Top Ten Wedding Car Hire Tips To Consider When Booking A Wedding Car

Everyone wants to look back upon their wedding day with fond memories. It is one of the most monumental days of their life, and one that you would want to live in style. The day itself takes time and a lot of organisation, one aspect of the day which is often over looked or left to the last minute is the wedding transport.

Traditionally it is the groom’s responsibility to organize the wedding party transportation, but many grooms are ignorant in this respect. They just lack the knowledge and understanding to know exactly how important this day is for the bride-to-be.

Some grooms even delegate this responsibility to the bestman and if you are a bride-to-be and are worried that your future husband lacks the understanding on how important it is to find the best transportation for you, you may just have to do it yourself. Here are some tips on how to get the most out of your wedding car hire, even if you don’t know a lot about transportation.

1) Think about the journey you will make and who will be in the wedding cars. It is important that you think about where the pick up points are and exactly who you would like to be in the wedding cars. How many bridesmaids, flower girls and pageboys will you be having, this will determine how many wedding cars you will need. If you want to stick to the traditional two wedding cars then why not consider hiring a seven seat Daimler Limousine as your wedding car? Also, think about asking a relative or friend to take any large bags or luggage as not all wedding cars have enough storage space.

2) Think about timing and be realistic. Decide on the route of your journey as early as possible and make sure the car hire company knows exactly where you want to go. Some brides like to take a special route to the church, maybe to pass their old school or friends homes, while after the ceremony the bride and groom may want to enjoy a drive round in the wedding car before going to the reception. The wedding car company will help you plan a route and timings but consider what you would like. It may be that you need 2 cars in order to get the wedding party to the locations in the right order and on time.

3) Think about the car colour. It is important that the wedding car you hire complements the colour theme of your wedding, so do not go for a bright red wedding car if your theme is ivory and pastel green. It is also worth checking before you sign the hire agreement if the wedding car hire company is willing to match the ribbons and flowers in the car with your dress or colour theme.

4) Book early. As you would expect, wedding car hire companies are bombarded with requests for their services, particularly on Saturdays and during the summer months. Therefore it is extremely important that you book your wedding car well in advance of your wedding, ideally 12 to 18 months ahead or as soon as you have set the date.

5) Think about the style of car. Just as important as getting the colour scheme of your wedding car right, you should also ensure that the style of the wedding car reflects the style of your wedding. If you are going for a traditional or classical style wedding then a classic Rolls Royce Silver Cloud or Daimler Limousine might be the best wedding car option. But if you are planning an original wedding or something a little different, why not look into hiring an Aston Martin DB7 wedding car or Morse Jaguar wedding car?

6) Think about your dress and your comfort in the car. Like colour and style, you will also need to consider the size of the wedding car you hire. You need to make sure that the wedding car is big enough to fit your dress in comfortably, particularly if the dress has a long train. The wedding car company will be happy to advise and to show you suitable cars, but consider the style of your outfit and how this may impact on the car that you choose. You will be able to do this by making an appointment to view the cars in person.

7) Always see wedding cars before you book. Older cars can vary greatly in their condition, if the cars are garaged all year, they are likely to be of a higher standard and better maintained. You can check that it is the actual car you will get for your wedding, and a reputable company will be happy to invite you to their showroom to view the cars.

8) Ask if you get exclusive use of the car. Make sure the wedding car hire company only book one car, per wedding, per day. This means that the car is not double booked and the service is focused on your wedding day only. Some firms only have one or two cars and will try to make as much money as they can during the key wedding season. They may also have to leave for another wedding or charge by the hour with hidden additional costs if your wedding should overrun.

9) Ask if the company has public liability insurance. There are many hobbyist wedding car owners out there that do not operate as a proper business. One easy way to sort through these is to check for wedding hire insurance and public liability insurance, it is an expensive cost.

10) Ask how the company will prepare for your wedding day. The company should plan the chauffeurs schedules. Each chauffeur should have a full briefing and undergo a dry-run of the route prior to the wedding. This will also check for any disruption on the roads or any plans for roadworks that may cause delays. The cars should be prepared a couple of days before the wedding to ensure they are in tip top condition and decorated in accordance with your requirements.

Introduction of High Definition for Wedding pictures and Videos

All are want to watch movies that have sharp images and clear. There is no matter how lovely the story is, once it is unclear or hazy you can lose interest in viewing it. That is why, at what time you are out on the market, you would have a preference to select DVD copies because they are so much clearer. When you want to have your videos taken, you absolutely want to have this option also.

This is approximately that you should be watching into for your wedding videos. It is not sufficient that you have a duplicate. The utmost significant thing is the quality of your copy that make sure your satisfaction should you choose to view these videos years later. Though, a new technology has been presented in the market and it has also gradually attacking the wedding video services. It has an improved picture related to DVDs and the determination is bigger associated to it. High definition videos have been one of the greatest prevalent choices for your HD wedding video. Though they say it is on its start, you can guarantee that while you look at your videos 10 years later, you will still have a brilliant image of what your wedding day ought to be. Your marriage video is so much well than just a DVD copy.

Rare cameras out there can provide you a high definition video. If you need to have this type of option for your wedding day, ask it from your videographer. Though, once you get to have this choice, consider the subsequent things:

Define the equipment required to play the disc with the kind of format it has. As this is the modern technology, you have to identify its compatibility with your old equipment. This method, you can ask for another choice on how to have it played.
Inquire what software is required to play high definition videos on your computer. If all other fails, your last option will always be your computer.
Make sure the least configuration of your personal computers so that you can be make sure that your HD wedding video will work well with it.

The single problem that you may have if your videographer uses the primary HD cameras. This can be fairly frustrating at times because it has a greater risk for data loss. Though, manufacturers of video cameras are functioning on it to remove the use of tapes rather than introduce use of memory cards. If you need to have the best pictures, better than DVD, then go for High definition videos.

Decide on a proficient Wedding Photographer in Delhi

Every person would want to capture as several good-looking frames on that exceptional day so that it can be watched with great happiness at an advanced point of time. The photos are moreover passed about to relatives and close friends who couldn’t create it to the event due to one or the other causes.
At this time, selecting a wedding photographer in Delhi can be a difficult task owing to the giant options beforehand you today. Because of the admiration of digital cameras, you could come crossways at least one photographer when you walk across the ways.
You will moreover see lots of sign boards that show the marriage photographer tagline on each nook and corner of the town. Searching throughout the web will as well leave you in a various confusion owing to the numerous options accessible today. Though you wouldn’t require to negotiation on the excellence of photographs clicked on the utmost significant day of your life. Here are definite points that would create your search procedure simple.

Budget

various photographers charge you various extents. You should describe a budget beforehand beginning off with the search procedure for a wedding photographer in the town. You may find quite of budget photographers who will organise the job effortlessly and with great excellence. Visit a small number of of the utmost general wedding photographer in India to know an assessed amount that they will charge for the event. The charges will be founded on the kind of function you are forecasting to host and moreover the complete duration. When you acquire the rates from various people, you will be capable to create a smaller list of experts to pick out from.

Previous works of the photographer

when you discover out the fees charges by few of the utmost noticeable wedding photographer in Delhi, you should at the present look at their previous workings. Wedding photographer in Delhi will have concealed marriages across the nation if they have a good status. You will be capable to take an expression at the pictures and discover out the level of abilities they retain. A speedy list of significant points is specified below that may be of great aid to you.

* Pictures captured from various angles would be an inordinate positive
* Backup possibilities will moreover be virtuous

* Checked for photographers who have inordinate imagination

* Look at the adaptability of the professional photographer

Afterward determining on a financial plan and discovery out a worthy wedding photographer in India who has prepared some attractive assignments positively in the past do not hesitate to wage an amount as advance if you need him or her to do the work for you. And if you go to book the photographer by sending a mail, or by insertion a phone call, you could have to remorse on your significant day. Therefore plan things and take essential activities to capture each moment on the special day in a beautiful way.

How to Find the Best Wedding Invitations

Wedding invitations are often the first indication of the style or theme of the event. Your friends and family should be able to get an idea about how formal the wedding will be, or, in the case of a destination wedding, where the event will be held. Often overlooked, wedding invitations are a crucial part of the wedding planning process and finding the best ones available should be a top priority.

Choosing the best wedding invitations means more than just picking top of the line cards and papers. It means choosing wedding invitations that reflect your style and the style of your wedding, as well as choosing wedding invitations that give your guests all the information they need in order to attend your wedding.

It is important to remember that the purpose of your wedding invitations is to give your prospective guests important information. That is why wedding invitations often contain so many parts. A full wedding invitation suite would include everything from Save the Date cards to Thank You cards, preferably all in the same style. One of the things you should consider when deciding on the best invitations for your wedding is whether there are coordinating pieces of stationery for all of your wedding stationery needs.

Of course, there are other factors to consider when choosing wedding invitations for your special event. Here’s how to pick the best wedding invitations to reflect the special style of your wedding day.

Choose wedding invitations that reflect the formality of your wedding

How formal is your wedding? If you are planning a formal wedding, you might want to choose wedding invitations that follow the “rules” of etiquette for wedding invitations. That means engraved wedding invitations in white or cream with black text, but it does not mean that you are confined to invitations that look like every other wedding invitation.

Even if you are choosing formal invitations, there is a surprising variety of styles in embossing, fonts and designs from which to choose. Whether you choose a timeless classic like Ivory Elegance or the more subtle beauty of Refined Grace, your wedding invitations will be a unique reflection of your formal, traditional wedding.

Semiformal and casual weddings open up an entire range of wedding invitations styles from which you can choose, or even design your own wedding invitations entirely. The invitations that you choose can use color, images and even photographs of the bride and groom. You may choose gatefold invitations with a photo of the bride and groom on the cover that open to reveal the printed text of the invitation itself, or pick a brightly accented invitation with matching foil liners for the invitation envelope.

Reflect your chosen colors in your wedding invitations

No matter what colors you have chosen for your wedding, you can find wedding invitations that reflect those colors. You have your choice of standard wedding invitations in cream or white with just a touch of your wedding colors in the form of ribbons or borders, or pick wedding invitations that make fuller use of your chosen colors in background papers, print or overall design. You can find colorful invitations that reflect your wedding colors when you choose a line of wedding invitations designed in house by the same designers that created your wedding dresses and other wedding stationery.

Find wedding invitations that suit the theme of your wedding

Theme weddings have never been more popular than they are now. Many couples choose to be married in a beach or island setting, in a medieval castle or in a garden that pays homage to Mother Nature. If you have decided to build your wedding around a theme, the best wedding invitations for you may be those that fit right into theme. For a beach wedding, you may choose invitations embossed with delicate shells and fronds, while the best wedding invitations for your fabulous Great Gatsby Roaring 20s wedding may feature art deco styling and bright colors.

Pick wedding invitations created by your favorite designers

Many designers of fabulous wedding dresses have opened their design lines to include a full line of bridal designs – not only wedding gowns and bridesmaid dresses, but wedding stationery, invitations and table décor. Let designers help you coordinate your wedding invitations with your wedding style by choosing a line of invitations inspired by your favorite designer.

Pick wedding invitations that are part of the season

If you are having a summer wedding, choose invitations that are light and breezy with lots of floral accents. The winter bride might choose a snowflake theme for her wedding invitations. You can find plenty of wedding invitations that are seasonal, reflecting the mood for both the time of year and traditional holidays when you shop online bridal shops.

Of course, the most important part of finding the best wedding invitations is to find wedding invitations that you love, and that reflect your style as a couple. The very best way to ensure that your wedding invitations are a perfect match for your wedding is to design them yourself. Many wedding designers now offer you the option to create your own wedding invitations right online.

How to Become a Successful Wedding Planner With Inexpensive Weddings

Can you make a living planning weddings? Yes. As a self-employed professional, you can either charge a set fee for the wedding or a percentage of the total cost. Your income can be uncertain when you first start planning these extravaganzas, but as your reputation spreads and you gain more experience, your income can increase dramatically.

Of course, you will make more income on an elaborate, huge wedding, but several smaller and simple weddings will be less stressful when you are starting out and, when the separate income is added together, you will probably make the same amount of money.

Some agencies who track salaries report yearly incomes in the $50,000 range for wedding planners. One such agency, PayScale, currently reports these average hourly rates for the profession:

* California $28.00

* Georgia $27.50

* Massachusetts $20.64

* New York $15.00

* Louisiana $14.00

* Pennsylvania $10.23

* Texas $9.00

As with any self-employment, your success depends entirely on your creativity, reliability and marketing skills. There are online courses you can take to teach you the skills you need to plan the perfect wedding for your clients. Some of those courses will lead to certification as a Wedding Planner, which will give you more credibility with your clients and improve your professional standing with your colleagues.

Getting Started

What a professional Wedding Planner actually does is take on the details and responsibility of the event, relieving the bride and groom and their families, from the stresses involved. In turn, this allows them to enjoy the preliminary wedding events, like bridal showers and picking a honeymoon location.

There are lots of details you, as a Wedding Planner, need to know to keep things running smoothly and within the budget available. You will have to have a set of resources you can tap into to get the best service at the best prices, like reserving the church or chapel, catering the reception, ordering flowers, getting the wedding dress designed and ordered, selecting invitations and announcements, booking the music and hiring a professional photographer, among many other tasks.

It would probably be very good advice to start your career on small and somewhat inexpensive weddings. Giant extravaganzas can be very complex and time consuming to the most experienced Wedding Planner and you would be well-advised to start smaller and work up.

Some of the following tips should help you get started on planning a smaller wedding that will save money on several of the more expensive features of normal weddings. The bride’s father will love you for it.

The Wedding Gown

* The wedding gown can be expensive enough to break any budget. You can offer your client several options that are affordable and will still make the bride look like an angel as she floats down the aisle.

Renting a gown is becoming more popular every day. Think about it. The bride is going to wear it once and it was probably worn once before she rented it. It also avoids the storage problem for 20 years if the bride will not be saving it for her firstborn child to wear at her own wedding.

* If a member of the bride’s family is a good seamstress, suggest that she ask the family member to make the dress. Providing all the material and even paying the family member for the service will more than likely be less expensive than buying one from a bridal store.

* Another way would be for the bride to wear her mother’s wedding gown, if she saved it. You might want to check it carefully for any deterioration before the bride commits to wearing it. The mother is probably from a generation that thought saving her wedding gown was an obligation of the marriage and believed for several decades that her daughter would wear it at her own wedding.

The Reception

Another budget-buster is the reception, but some planning with a true reality check can reduce your client’s expenditures here.

* Think smaller. Talk to your clients about how they can downsize the guest list. When the excitement of the coming event takes over, your clients and their parents will many times have a very long list of people to invite to the wedding and the reception after.

Many of the parents’ visions of the reception can resemble an extravaganza with hundreds of guests, munching caviar and drinking champagne all night long in a huge ballroom. If their budget will not cover the considerable expenses involved in their dream reception, your skills as the Wedding Planner will be well served here.

To start with, keeping the guest list small and only inviting close family and friends will save money and still provide the dream celebration your clients want. If your client hasn’t had a close relationship with college friends or neighbors from four moves back, don’t put them on the list.

Instead of renting the largest hall or club banquet room in your town for the reception, you have a couple of inexpensive options that might appeal to your clients:

* Check out restaurants in the area. Some have banquet rooms that they will either rent out or provide free if you use their services for the sit-down meal or the buffet.

* Consider suggesting that your clients hold the reception at their home. The party does not have to include a full meal. Catered hors d’oeuvres and a champagne fountain will set the festive mood your clients want.

* Weddings held in gardens or other natural settings are very popular and beautiful. There’s minimal decoration needed and the only expense might be for the minister, rabbi or Justice of the Peace.

* Not having a full bar will save a lot of money, regardless of where the reception is held. The champagne fountain mentioned above can also be combined with beer or wine if the clients want to provide additional libations for their guests.

The Photography

The formal wedding service requires a professional photographer who will create a beautiful album to record the special day and preserve the memories to relive as they wish. If you create a relationship with several photographers as you build your career, you will know which one to hire for your client’s purposes.

The rest of the celebration can be recorded by all their friends and relatives with a digital camera in their pockets. Some clients put disposable cameras on tables for anyone to use. Have a decorated basket nearby and visible to give your guests a place to leave the cameras when they go home.

The Wedding Invitations

Newly engaged couples can go way overboard on their wedding invitations and your task, as their Wedding Planner, is to suggest ways for them to save money on this expensive item.

Those engraved invitations with the ribbon attached or the edges cut into curvy designs are expensive. The same effect can be achieved with a good card stock and one of those edge cutters used for scrapbooking. The necessary items can be found in any good craft store and some stationary stores. They come with matching envelopes, too. The actual text can easily be printed with a good inkjet or laser printer.

One way to make homemade invitations special and very personal is to order stamps from the US Post Office with the couple’s engagement picture on them.

Consider suggesting that your client include making her own thank you notes and, even the place cards, if you are including a sit-down reception for their wedding. Once again, a good laser or inkjet printer can do the fancy fonts and include a picture of the couple to make them personal. The thank you notes would stand out if they were sent with a wedding picture on the stamps.

The Flowers

It is not necessary to buy fancy floral arrangements and pay for the floral designer’s time and expertise. Simple flowers arranged beautifully in clusters or cascades can be created by either the bride’s family or a crafty friend. They can be delivered to the church by you or by friends.

If you are building your business, create some relationships with flower vendors and provide that service to your clients. They will be delighted at the savings and the vendors will love you for the business.

Depending on the time of the year, the flowers can be picked from the bride’s own backyard or from a friend’s yard. A few inexpensive vases, some ribbon and both the wedding and the reception will be beautifully decorated while not breaking the family’s budget.

A few flower arrangements can attractively set off a buffet table or on the tables at a sit-down dinner. Think about several weddings you have attended as a guest. How many flower arrangements do you really remember? During the entire wedding ritual, most of the guests were focused on the bride and groom; weren’t they?

A simple floral bouquet can be easily arranged from flowers out of a garden with the stems wrapped in a ribbon that complements or matches the bride’s gown. When you toss the bridal bouquet before you leave the reception, you will be tossing out a truly personal memento of your wedding and not one that was exorbitantly priced.

Any flowers left over can be scattered in the bride’s hair to make her even more beautiful as she walks down the aisle.

The Wedding Cake

There’s lots of tradition around the wedding cake, including saving a piece to be eaten on the first anniversary of the wedding. The top layer of the cake is normally put aside before the cake is cut and frozen to preserve it. Some bakers have been making a top layer that is a light fruitcake. It freezes well and thaws better a year later.

Wedding cake history can be traced as far back at the Roman Empire and the traditions have gone through so many changes between now and then that there is no comparison.

Today’s “traditional” wedding cake practices can be anything the couple wants them to be. Some have abandoned the white wedding cake and substituted frosting colors and decorations that reflect the bride’s choice of décor or the color of the bridesmaid dresses.

The multi-tiered cake is not an obligation and can be a heavy drain on a limited budget. Friends can make the cake for the reception or something else can replace the cake entirely, like a wedding cake made of frosted cupcakes stacked in layers. The cupcake wedding cake is becoming very popular, not only for economy, but for it’s novelty and the range of cupcake flavors that can be offered.

As the Wedding Planner, you will need to have a list of different and affordable wedding cakes to give the couple choices. If no one in the family or set of friends can make the wedding cake, you will also need a list of economical bakeries.

Lists – How To Plan A Small Wedding

When you first begin to work as a Wedding Planner, you will be buried in details that can only be managed if you know how to make ordered lists. Over time, you will probably create your own templates on your computer and be able to print out a complete set of templates whenever you book a new wedding.

Your templates will be your “spare brain” and will keep you informed of what needs to be done and when, along with favored vendors, the services they provide and what their fees are.

Your templates should include the following information:

* A reasonable timeline for all activities concerning the wedding from start to finish. That should include preliminary details, like scheduling the bride’s appointments for fittings, reserving the banquet room or restaurant for the reception, booking the chapel and anything else that needs advance scheduling.

Waiting too long may require rescheduling that might interfere with the travel arrangements made by the out-of-town guests or make finding a caterer difficult, to name only a couple of serious possible problems.

* After your templates are printed and initially filled out, you need to make a preliminary wedding budget and include the fees for your services. As the director of this event, you will be spending the money and have a responsibility to provide records when requested.

* The actual wedding ceremony should be painstakingly detailed to ensure that all aspects are taken care of in advance. Leave nothing to the last minute.

o Have the bride and groom choose their wedding date as soon as possible. Everything needed to be in place for that date has to be scheduled and confirmed before any other plan can be completed.

o Decide upon the wedding site, church, chapel, garden, park, etc. Make that decision specific. Get the details of the church or chapel, the address of the garden and the phone number of the relative or friend who owns it or permission of the agency controlling the park.

o Book and confirm the minister, rabbi or Justice of the Peace who will be performing the wedding ceremony.

o Start selecting the music with the couple for the actual ceremony. Include the music for the reception and book who will be providing it…disk jockey, small band, etc.

o Send the couple to get the marriage license. For their book of memories, see if a friend or family member will take a few photos of this necessity.

One thing you might consider is using your own digital camera and recording most of the less dramatic events of preparing for the wedding, like getting the marriage certificate, making or addressing the invitations, trying on wedding dresses.

A CD or DVD given to the couple after they return from their honeymoon will serve two important purposes.

1. They will have something to remember all that went into the ceremony that will not be included in the normal wedding album.

2. When they share the CD or DVD with their friends, some of whom might be contemplating their own wedding, your name and contact details will be prominent.

Referrals are what will build your business. Subliminal ads, like on the CD or DVD label and at the beginning and end of the photos might bring you some business. At the very least, your unexpected gift after the excitement that goes with any wedding, will be remembered by the bride and groom.

The wedding ceremony rehearsal needs to be scheduled as soon as possible. It normally takes place a night or two before the actual ceremony (after work) and can be easily forgotten in the rush of last minute details. Additionally, the church or chapel might be previously booked by another wedding party.

Some have a small dinner party in a restaurant after the rehearsal. If your couple is planning one with their bridesmaids and groomsmen, make the reservations as soon as possible and confirm a few days before the rehearsal.

Make sure that everyone knows who will be in the wedding processional and the recessional and what to do. Practice it with the actual music, if possible, so it looks graceful during the actual event. Never forget that you are creating life-long memories for the couple.

The wedding reception has its own set of details to schedule and set in motion.

1. You need to determine the time of day for the reception. Be sure to allow enough time for the photographer to take the album photos after the ceremony and for the newly married couple to travel from the church to the reception.

2. Make sure the place for the reception is set up, decorated and stocked. It would be a wise decision to check with the restaurant or hall about a week before the wedding to check details and to discuss any changes in the menu or times with the manager. A phone call the day before the event wouldn’t be a bad idea.

3. Normal wedding reception activities need to be scheduled and coordinated so they feel like a natural progression before the couple leaves the reception.

Those activities can include the receiving line, the first dance, cake cutting, tossing the bouquet, speeches and toasting from the best man, parents or friends.

How To Find A Job In The Wedding Industry

There’s over a dozen different industries that might be interested in hiring Wedding Planners or consultants, if you were interested in working with companies.

Resorts in popular vacation spots are becoming sites for destination weddings and would have the need for a Wedding Planner. This would be a way to work and enjoy all the amenities available in some of the world’s most beautiful spots.

Hotels almost anywhere, even in your current location, are always sites for weddings or receptions in their banquet rooms and many might need a Wedding Planner or Event Coordinator to keep their wedding parties from becoming a disaster.

Churches and synagogues might be on the lookout for someone to handle the weddings being scheduled at their churches and temples. Distributing a well-designed flyer at each facility might get you referrals, if not an actual job. Make sure to include some business cards with the flyers.

Finally, do not forget to leave your business cards with local bridal shops, caterers and florists. These businesses handle some aspect of the wedding preparations every day. They would be good reciprocal referrals for your services. If you, in return, used their services in the wedding planning, it would be a Win-Win situation for all involved.

You should have enough information to decide if being a Wedding Planner is the career for you. You can find eCourses to take online and several step-by-step eBooks or manuals that explain everything you need to know and even provide templates to help you organize the details.

Start out slowly. Make a list and check it twice. Learn to network with all the appropriate vendors. Have some fun. You can do it! Here is a link to a great site for more info on becoming a wedding planner or to plan your own wedding.

Tiffany Wolseley is an expert on Relationships and Marriage. For Over 10 years she has given guidance and advice to couples from all over the United States. Her specialty is adding spice back into a relationship and successful wedding planning. You can find out more about how to PLAN MY WEDDING at at her blog by visiting [http://plan-my-wedding.info].

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Tiffany_Wolseley/23986

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Choosing Your Wedding Photographer – Wedding Photography Styles Explained

You’ve chosen your date, booked your venue and started shopping for dresses. Now you’re looking for a wedding photographer. There are a lot of styles of wedding photography out there, and while people in the industry might know these styles inside out they be confusing for couples. Remember as well that not only are you picking a style of photography, but different types of wedding photography can make different demands on your time on your wedding day.

Picking the style of photography you want at your wedding boils down to three things. What style of images you want, how long you want to spend with a photographer on your wedding day, and most importantly of all your own personality and comfort in front of the camera.

There are plenty of different photography buzzwords out there. Vintage, editorial, artistic or contemporary are just a few. Perhaps more confusingly they are used by different photographers in different ways. Ultimately it is up to couples to ask plenty of questions and do plenty of research before picking a photographer, and to rely on seeing full set of photos from completed weddings Do not rely on the best five or six shots from several weddings to make a choice.

Wedding photography styles are a compromise between producing fantastic work and keeping to a timetable. A photographer might produce brilliant photos, but if he takes too long to produce them you probably won’t enjoy the experience.

Traditional (or Posed) Wedding Photography

A lot of people think of traditional wedding photography as endless stuffy group photos where everyone looks stiff as a board. Worse still, the different collections of people seem to go on forever. I think there is a fashion to be down on traditional wedding photography, but the actual working framework is still the same for most wedding photographers. The photographs may be more stylish but the actual experience on the day for the bride and groom is very similar.

There is always a trade off between the type of work a photographer does and the time it takes to shoot it. More formal posed photographs will take longer to set up and achieve. Any photographer who produces artistic posed work will need a certain amount of time to produce his best work. It is important that you find out how much time he will need, and work out how it will fit into your day. There are photographers who spend a couple of hours on formal shots. Make sure you are happy with giving over that amount of time on your wedding day. If you are not that comfortable in front of the camera you may find this type of photography more difficult. A good photographer should be able to help you and put you at your ease but for many individuals it can still seem a bit daunting.

Reportage Wedding Photography (Wedding Photojournalism)

If traditional is all about posed photographs, then reportage wedding photography is the opposite. It relies on capturing moments as they happen, and is more like a fly on the wall documentary. This form of wedding photography means that the photographer spends most of his time in the background, and so has become increasingly popular with couples. Weddings are also increasingly less formal than they used to be. Documentary wedding photography demands a different skill set from traditional wedding photography so you have to make sure that your photographer has the correct photographic background and can show you full weddings to back this up. Wedding photojournalism is more about a complete set of pictures from the whole day than a set of a dozen highlights. There are photographers out there who will jump on the latest bandwagon to gain business, but still use the same old style they always have. Wedding photojournalism is all about anticipation and being in the right place at the right time. It is not about closely directing people, so it puts many traditional wedding photographers outside of their skill set. There are some less ethical photographers who will use the latest buzzwords to improve their search engine presence, but still shoot the same tired old pictures.

If you are reticent about having your photo taken, wedding photojournalism is probably your best choice. The photography happens without you really realizing and you’ll look your natural best.

Although these two approaches might appear polar opposites, in reality most wedding photographers will offer a blend of these two styles. There are not many wedding photojournalists who don’t shoot at least some formal photographs and traditional wedding photographers will shoot informal pictures as well. Find out what proportion of each a photographer likes to shoot, and better still ask them what they like to shoot the most – chances are this is what they are best at.

Vintage Wedding Photography

Vintage wedding photography is a style that has been coming into vogue recently, but in lots of ways its a hard one one to quantify. Vintage can mean anything from using old film cameras during some of the wedding to just a different approach to post production to produce ‘vintage’ looking digital files. There are some great photographers out there, but bear in mind that if you are receiving files that are heavily edited in a certain style, you run the risk of your photos looking rather dated a few years later. If I was hiring a vintage style photographer, I personally would want at least some of the wedding shot on film, I’m not a huge fan of faking things. As always ask questions, see examples and make an informed decision.

Editorial Wedding Photography

This wedding genre is inspired by the fashion editorials of glossy magazines, at it’s best it can produce fantastic high-end images. To produce this successfully on a wedding day the photographer needs to be highly organised, and would probably need an assistant to help set up some of the shots in advance, although that would depend on his or her style. Do your research to make sure that the time requirements for this type of shoot fit in with your plans. If you really like this type of photography but don’t want to devote too much time to it on your wedding day, consider booking a separate photo session after the wedding. Often describes as a trash or cherish the dress shoot, a separate photo session might be the best way to get the wedding day you want and the photographs you’ll love without losing a huge chunk of your wedding day. It also means that you and your photographer can pick the ideal time of day for the right light and you have scope for rescheduling if it’s pouring with rain. In many countries, particularly the US, high end wedding photography is evolving towards three shoots: the engagement shoot, the wedding day, and an editorial session. Don’t necessarily think that it all has to be done in one day.

Artistic or Fine Art Wedding Photography

Essentially an evolution of traditional wedding photography, this type of photography offers a contemporary take on the traditional set of posed photographs, although these are both terms that have been somewhat over used by the photographic community, so again do your research. At its best this genre can produce moving romantic images, but some photographers can over use the same poses, so it can feel a bit impersonal. Ask to see lots of shoots and don’t be afraid to input your own ideas at your pre-wedding meeting.

Conclusions

There are lot of styles of photographer out there, but the main thing is to look beyond the catchy buzzwords and look long and hard at portfolios. Ultimately it is the competence of the photographer you are hiring that really matters. Experience, personal service and professionalism are what ensure a consistent standard of photography from wedding to wedding, and the consistency and ability to deal with the different shooting conditions that present themselves throughout a wedding day. Their portfolio should show a good balance of shots from bridal preparations to the first dance. Ask questions about how much time they will need to complete those all important formal and couples shots, and work out how much time you are happy to give. Even with more observational styles, planning and communication before the wedding is vital to get the best results and to get them efficiently. Keep to the guidelines and you are sure to have a memorable wedding day with photos to match.

Tobias Key is a Wedding Photographer Based in Chichester, West Sussex, UK. Visit his website http://www.tobiaskey.com for more great hints and tips on how to make your wedding day perfect.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Tobias_Key/1452435

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Wedding Photographer Glasgow

Getting Ready
I got to the brides house on the morning of the wedding. As you can imagine with the bride, bridesmaids, flower girl and other family members getting ready, the scene was hectic with everyone getting ready. After a brief introduction I got started taking pictures. As everyone was so busy, they hardly noticed me as I snapped away. I find these kinds of pictures always turn out really well as they are very natural and candid. There was lots going on and everyone was in a good mood so I got some great pictures. Before I left there was some time left to take some posed shots in the garden as well?

A couple of weeks ago I shot a feature on Karen Elizabeth Bridal boutique In Glasgow. The paper only used one image of mine, so I would like to use this blog to show the rest of the pictures I took on the day.
The article was about how Karen had a dream about becoming a costume designer at school. She used to doodle drawings in her school books but after leaving, she ended up taking a very different path and qualified as a nurse. For six years she travelled all over Scotland In her new profession. In her spare time she started customising wedding dresses for friends and family. That quickly spiralled and she ended up designing gowns for lots and lots of brides to be. She was such a success, after six years she opened up her own boutique in plush St Andrews Square in Glasgow city centre.
Karen says:” I still can’t believe I’ve hung up my nursing uniform and I am now the proud owner of my own shop and bridal design business. I couldn’t be happier. It’s a dream come true. When I was covering shifts in hospitals and nursing homes, I didn’t dare think I would one day have the job I always wanted. There is nothing more satisfying than seeing a bride’s face light up when she tries on one of my gowns and realises it is the dress she has been dreaming about all her life”.
When I arrived at the shop I was immediately blown away by how beautiful it was. It was very bright and had lots of gorgeous gowns and accessories everywhere. From a photography point of view there were massive windows letting lots of light which I knew would be great for my pictures. My brief was very straight forward, all I had to do was capture some images of Karen with her gowns to go along with the story.
Karen was really nice, easy to get along with and helped me out by moving anything I needed moved around the shop floor.
I really enjoyed the shoot and was over the moon with how the images turned out.

Difference between Spring and Winter Wedding Invitations

Contemporary wedding etiquette allows you to create wedding invitations that reflect whatever you want about your wedding style. The formality of the event, your wedding colors, your personal style and more should all be taken into consideration. You can choose wedding invitations that are elegant, traditional, whimsical or trendy. Your wedding invitations can reflect the theme of your wedding in motifs, borders, colors and embellishments. When you are choosing wedding invitations for your big day, one thing you may not consider is the significance of the season in which your wedding will be held.

Is there actually such a thing as spring wedding invitations or winter wedding invitations? While most wedding invitation printers and online wedding sites do not necessarily differentiate their wedding invitations by seasons, there are definite differences between wedding invitation styles that are popular in the spring and those that are appropriate for a winter wedding.

If you are ordering invitations for a winter wedding, you might look for some of the following details:

Winter motifs

Motifs are small images and figures that appear at different places on your wedding invitation. Some popular winter wedding invitation motifs include falling snowflakes and snow-covered pines. If you are in a whimsical mood, you might choose a wedding invitation topped with a bride and groom snowman, or a holly leaf or sprig of mistletoe for the Christmas season.

Winter Colors

Silver and gold are always popular in winter wedding invitations. Touches of silver printing on snowflake borders are an elegant way to express a wintertime theme. Other winter colors are Christmas colors. If your wedding takes place around the winter holidays, you might choose invitations with rich, red envelope liners and touches of red printing. Deep forest green satin ribbons are another wintry touch that you can subtly add to your wintertime wedding invitations.

Holiday photos

Photo invitations give you another way to include something seasonal in your wedding invitations. Choose a beautiful, snowy forest scene as the backdrop for your wedding invitations, or a bough of pine and a red ribbon to express the season.

Seasonal Embellishments
Colors are rich with symbolism and meaning. Choose flat invitations in white, then embellish with rich garnet satin ribbons and foil envelope liners, or enclose the invitation in a translucent wrap patterned with snowflakes.

If you are buying invitations for a spring wedding, you might consider some of the following elements in your wedding invitations:

Flower motifs

Delicate flower prints on corners or borders are one way to invoke a spring feeling in your wedding invitations. Sprays of bouquets and all over background prints of growing flowers are common springtime motifs for wedding invitations.

Vibrant colors

Bold, splashy prints in vibrant colors sing spring in a loud voice for a contemporary springtime wedding. Bright oranges, turquoise and persimmon are among the hottest colors for springtime weddings. Choose colors for your wedding invitations that coordinate with your wedding colors to get a completely coordinated look for your entire event.

Pastels

Pretty in pink pastels are also very popular in the spring. Choose border prints in pastel gingham checks or wrap a formal wedding invitation in a pale yellow or sage green satin ribbon to invoke the colors of springtime for your wedding.

Play with springtime patterns

Choose an invitation with whimsical patterns in springtime colors. The color can make all the difference. A pattern of stylized hearts and flowers can be very springtime in pale pink. The very same pattern in bright red and white recalls Valentine’s Day and wintertime.

Springtime Embellishments

You can start with a simple flat invitation and add embellishments in springtime colors to invoke springtime. Choose pale green or pink, yellow or baby blue if your wedding colors are pastels. If you prefer a brighter palette, choose clear persimmon reds, orange and bright, bright pink. Choose an overlay lightly brushed with pastel-washed watercolor, or add a tiny bow to the stems of a printed wildflower bouquet for a beautiful spring accent.

Of course, there are invitations that are completely timeless, and work well for any season. This is especially true if you are planning a traditional formal wedding. For this purpose, you can choose an invitation in solid white or ecru, and print it in black. Even formal wedding invitations can give a nod to the season, though, with the subtle embossed patterns in its borders or edges.

The most important thing to remember when choosing wedding invitations is that you should choose wedding invitations that you like and that express your style. Pick your colors, pick your styles and pick the words and pictures that mean the most to you. In the end, no one will care if your wedding invitations have snowflakes in the middle of summer or wildflower bouquets at Christmas.

20 Tips For Buying Your Wedding Gown

1. Start early – Once you have set your wedding date, begin your search for a wedding dress. Ordering a wedding gown can easily take four to six months for the complete process. Unless you purchase your wedding dress off of the rack, your wedding gown will not be sewn until you order it. Then you can expect to have one to two fittings for any needed alterations. Even if your purchase a gown off the rack, you need to allow time for finding the wedding gown and for fittings and alteration time.

2. Have an idea – Use the Internet and bridal magazines to get an idea of the type of dress you want, puffy sleeves, long skirt, etc…Consider the ceremony’s location and time of year- don’t plan a huge skirt for a tight little church or a thin silk sheath for an outdoor winter ceremony. Hint: Don’t remove the magazine pages with wedding dress styles you like. Keeping them in the magazine will help keep them organized and will be easier for the sales staff to flip through and see your choices.

3. Do your homework – Contact friends and the local Chamber of Commerce for reputable bridal saloons and other wedding gown dealers in your area. Call the Better Business Bureau about any company you plan to patronize. Be wary of any wedding dress salon or seamstress that requires more than a 50% deposit on special orders, you want to have some leverage if the product you receive is not what you expected. Be aware that some wedding gown shops remove the tags from wedding dresses so you cannot identify the designer. Many times they will not offer you the style number of the wedding gown but try to get this information before putting money down so that you will know the exact wedding dress manufacturer. (Click here to see a special notice from the bridal council of America on where to find a wedding dress.)

4. Don’t shop alone – It is best to take one or two people with you who can assist you in getting in and out of those beautiful, but big wedding gowns. Also, another person can give you an honest opinion on how the dress fits and help you determine its appearance from all angles. Most importantly, taking one or two people will make your experience more fun. Relax and enjoy yourselves! You don’t have to buy your dress in one day (usually).

5. Plan to Pay 50% down – Generally a 50% deposit is required by most bridal shops on special orders and off-the-rack gowns that need alterations. Once the order has been placed, that money is absolutely non-refundable. We recommend using a charge card for this payment, in case there is a significant complaint against the establishment you may be able to work something out with the credit card company for reimbursement.

6. Call ahead – Many bridal shops and department stores require appointments to try on wedding gowns. Be sure to call ahead and secure your appointment before dropping by an establishment, you might find you have just wasted valuable time because they won’t see you that day. Also, you will want to verify if the bridal shop carries the manufacturer you are interested in or if they have a sample of a particular wedding dress you have your heart set on.

7. Measure up – It is a good idea to have your measurements taken at a bridal salon or take them yourself before ordering your wedding gown. Each wedding gown designer has a different size chart and these sizes are generally a little larger than your street clothes size. Wedding gown sizes are based on measurements and even though you may normally wear a size 6 you may order an 8 or 10 in your wedding gown.

8. Buy a dress that fits – Even though you may be on a diet to lose 20 pounds before your wedding, buy or order a wedding gown that fits you now. It is very easy to take in a wedding gown with minor alterations but it is next to impossible to increase the size of a wedding dress. Don’t be stuck with a wedding dress that does not fit properly or worse that you can’t wear because it’s too small.

9. Get your purchase order in writing -Once you have chosen the wedding gown you are going to purchase and are prepared to put down a deposit, have the salesperson write up a detailed receipt for you. Included on this receipt should be a full description of the wedding gown, including any special charges, such as charges for petite or large sizes, extra length, change of sleeve length, or any other special requests. Delivery date and due dates should be included as well. Lastly, any special offers such as free alterations, free shipping or rushed delivery time should be spelled out on the receipt as well. Having a written record of your verbal agreement with the bridal shop will be added insurance for you should a dispute arise.

10. Consider the rear view – Remember that you will be spending quite a bit of time with your back to the audience. Be sure that the view from behind is as flattering as the front.

11. Know the styles and terms – Look through our list of wedding gowns terms to know to help familiarize yourself with wedding dress terms so that you can better tell a salesperson what you are looking for. Consider doing a little research on fabric types and different wedding gown companies as well. Your local library or bookstore will carry books such as Bridal Gown Guide by Denise and Alan Fields which will provide you with more information.

12. Set a budget – Be realistic about your budget and try to stick to it. There are many options for buying a wedding gown (click here to see where to buy a wedding gown). Don’t try on wedding gowns that are out of your price range because you are only setting yourself up for disappointment and making the decision process even harder on yourself.

13. Review your options – There are many places to find your wedding gown such as Bridal Shops, Sample Sales, Department Stores and Renting. (Click here for more information on where to find your wedding dress and how their service and price compare to each other.)

14. Comfort matters – Remember you will be wearing your wedding gown for the entire day and well into the evening; so choose a gown that feels comfortable. An important test (after you have your wedding dress on) is to attempt to bend over, sit down, dance or do whatever it takes to assure that you can move in the wedding dress so that you will feel comfortable wearing it on your wedding day.

15. Try them all on – Even though you may have an idea of what type wedding gown you want, be open to the suggestions of a professional bridal salon staff. A wedding dress that is not very appealing on the hanger may surprise you and look very flattering once it is on your body.

16. Soften up – Stark white dresses are not flattering on many women. Consider an ivory, soft pink or other antique white that might be more becoming with your coloring. Also, understand that dye changes many materials vary slightly and the wedding dress that you special order may not be the exact color of the wedding dress you try on at the salon. If your wedding dress is being made, request a swatch of the fabric to get an idea of the exact color you will be wearing.

17. Wear a little make-up – We are not proposing that you wear a heavy application of make-up or lots of dark lip stick, but do put at least a little make-up on so that you don’t look “washed out” in everything you try on. If you wear your make-up and fix your hair before shopping, you will have a better idea of how you’ll look on your big day.

18. Try on the whole package – Bring with you shoes that are roughly the same height of the shoes you plan to wear during the ceremony and a strapless bra. Before you make your final decision on a wedding gown, try on your head piece and bridal slip to see what the total package looks like. You want to make sure that the headpiece and other accessories you choose will all look great together with the wedding gown.

19. Inspect each wedding gown – If you are planning to purchase a wedding gown off the rack, be sure that you inspect each wedding gown very carefully. Turn the wedding dress inside out and inspect each seam to make sure the construction of the wedding gown is solid and that the fabric is not unraveling at the seams. Inspect the appliqués and beading to insure that they are securely fastened and not just glued onto the wedding dress. Be wary of purchasing a wedding gown that needs “minor” repairs because once you begin to alter a wedding dress, you can not return it if the repair is not successful.

20. Relax and enjoy yourself – Remember to relax and enjoy the shopping experience. Allow the bridal salon salespeople to pamper you or enjoy the thrill of the bargain shopping of a warehouse sale. Whatever you do, remember the goal of your wedding is to marry the person you love and that your wedding gown is just one part of the ceremony. Being an educated consumer will help you feel more in control and feel more comfortable with the purchase you make.

**A special notice from the bridal council of America:

The Best Place to Buy Your Gown from The Bridal Council of America™

The best place to buy your wedding gown is at the store you try it on. You may be tempted to order your wedding dress through a “no inventory” dealer, an 800#, or the Internet, thinking you will get a lower price. However, when all things are considered, you may end up paying more. Here are three tips:

1) Beware of anyone who wants to ship your wedding gown to you. You have little recourse if anything goes wrong. Chances are the extra charges you will have to pay someone else for fitting, steaming, pressing and shipping will outweigh any discount.

2) Beware of anyone who requires you to pay in full for your wedding dress before ordering it. They are saying, “We do not service what we sell. We do not guarantee the fit. We do not want to be responsible.” OUR ADVICE: You should never pay more than a 50% deposit at the time of ordering your wedding dress.

3) Beware of anyone who suggests that you “do the footwork” – select your style preference somewhere else and then call them to order. If they can’t show you wedding dresses to try on, don’t show them the money.

Our recommendation is that you buy your wedding gown at the same place that you select it. When you consider terms and what the price includes, you can usually save time and money by doing it all at one place – a full-service bridal store where your satisfaction is guaranteed. A wedding is too important to take chances.

15 Steps to Your Perfect Wedding

Congratulations! You’re getting ready for the happiest day of your life. Unfortunately, the year or so leading up to that day might be filled with stress, confusion, and exhaustion. Don’t worry. Planning the perfect wedding doesn’t have to be that bad. I recently planned a wedding myself. The seemingly endless little details may drive you crazy, but I found that there are just 15 things you need to concentrate on in order to have a perfect wedding.

Step 1: Budget. Whether you are spending $30,000 or $3,000 you can have a beautiful, meaningful wedding. Decide what is most important to you and then be creative. When planning your budget you will need to decide which of these items you want to include in your wedding and how much money to spend on each:

Clothing:

Wedding dress
Undergarments–special bra, crinoline, garter
Veil/Hair Jewelry
Shoes
Tux

Church Rental/Fees

Reception Rental/Fees

Catering Fees

Alcohol, Drinks

Flowers:

Church
Bridal Bouquet
Bouquets for the Bridesmaids & Maid of Honor
Bouquets for the Mothers of the Bride and Groom
Boutonnieres for the Groom and Groomsmen
Reception Tables

Photographer

Videographer

Music:

Wedding
Cocktail Hour
Reception

Wedding Cake

Cake Topper

Wedding Favors

Gifts for Wedding Party Attendants

Gifts for the Parents of the Bride and Groom

Hair and Makeup

Stationary Items:

Save the Date
Invitations
Wedding Programs
Place Cards
Menu Cards
Thank you Cards

Other:

Serving Set
Toasting Flutes
Ring Bearer Pillow
Flower Girl Basket
Flower Petals or other item to toss on Bride and Groom

Tips:

Pastor
Maitre d’
Photographer
Limo Driver
Musicians

You do not need to include or buy every item. Wearing your mother’s wedding dress or using your parents’ cake topper will save money and add meaning to your day. There are also things that you can make; such as the ring pillow or wedding favors. Some items you can exclude all together. My husband and I decided to hire a photographer but no videographer.

Step 2: Size. The size of your guest list will depend on personal preference and budget. Some brides dream of a huge wedding with 300 guests, while others prefer an intimate ceremony with only close friends and family. We settled on 100 guests–large enough to invite who we really wanted to come and small enough that it still felt personal.

Step 3: Planning and Scheduling. Planning and follow-up are the most important factors in getting the wedding you want. That beautiful atrium in the park is probably booked years in advance as are many beautiful, old churches. Even if you are planning to get married in your own church and use its reception hall, you’ll need to find out about fees and availability. Research reception locations by looking in local bridal magazines, newspaper bridal sections and online. If a friend or family member has a beautiful back yard, you may want to have your wedding there. It would make an excellent wedding present. Choosing the locations of your ceremony and reception should be the first thing you do after settling on a budget. You can not plan or schedule anything until you know when and where everything will happen.

Step 4: Food and Alcohol. The food you give your guests does not have to be expensive. They are there to witness your marriage and celebrate with you. If you serve Chicken Francaise instead of Filet Mignon they will not enjoy themselves less. For drinks, you have many options. You may decide not to serve alcohol. Or, you may serve one or two special drinks–you can even name one after yourself and your groom. You may also decide to offer an open bar. Remember that alcohol can eat up a large portion of your budget. Talk to the caterer about your options.

Step 5: Wedding Party. The size of your wedding party should match the size of your wedding. If you have 300 guests, 10 bridesmaids and 10 groomsmen will fit right in. But, if you have 80 guests in a small church, it may look comical trying to fit those 20 attendants on the small church alter.

Step 6: Music. If you are having a church wedding, ask the priest or pastor if he can recommend someone to play the ceremony music. Or, you may know someone who could play at your wedding as a wedding gift. For your reception, should you choose a band or a DJ? Having a live band at your reception can be special, but expensive. We chose to have a DJ, not just for the savings but because he could play any song and it would sound great. Whatever you choose, go over what is required. Are there any songs you DO NOT want played? Do you want the DJ or musician to introduce the wedding party, start off the first dance, and announce when it is time to cut the cake? Often this is included, if not–speak to whoever is in charge of your reception location and find out if they offer this service.

Step 7: Traditions. Some couples disregard traditions. Other couples want to include them or even start their own. The biggest tradition is probably the bride carrying “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.” But, there are many other traditions you can incorporate. If you don’t wear your mother’s wedding dress, you may want to pin a piece of its lace onto your slip or tie it around your bouquet. You can wrap a family locket around your bouquet with pictures of you and your groom. I attached my mother’s antique brooch, which had been handed down from my grandmother, to a chain and wore it as a necklace. It made me feel as if they were with me on my wedding day and it meant a lot.

Step 8: Invitations. Invitations are another item that can be surprisingly expensive. They don’t have to be. I knew exactly what type of invitation I wanted, but at a stationer, it would have cost $800 to $1000. I did a lot of searching online and was able to order two less expensive sets of invitations, put them together how I wanted and ended up spending less than $400. Places like Staples and Michael’s also have nice invitations that you can print yourself at home for less than $100.

Step 9: Photographer. This is where we spent a bigger portion of our budget (Only the reception location, with food included, cost more). Even if our wedding was the best wedding in the world, it would only last for a few hours. With good pictures, we could relive it over and over. When you look for a photographer, ask questions. Who will be the photographer? What if he is sick? If you hire a company that has several photographers you may be shown sample wedding photographs from the best photographer. You sign up. Then on your wedding day “your” photographer can’t make it and someone else shows up–someone probably much less talented. Also, ask if the photographer will shoot in color, black and white, or both. Will he shoot traditional shots, photojournalism, or both? Will you be able to keep the proofs? Can you buy the negatives? How much time will the photographer spend at your wedding? Will he also take photos of the bride and groom preparing for the wedding?

Step 10: Dress. Some brides feel they need to spend a lot of money on “the dress.” My husband thought my dress would be the biggest expense, but it was one of the smallest. The dress I fell in love with happened to be on sale because it was discontinued. It was just my size! I didn’t even need alterations. How often does that happen?! Even if you are not that lucky, there are thousands of beautiful wedding dresses between $150 and $850. Check out the large bridal stores as well as your local bridal shops. If you like tradition, you can wear your mother’s wedding dress and have it altered to fit your style. You want to love your wedding dress, but remember–you will only wear it one time for about 8 hours.

Step 11: Flowers. Choose flowers that match your wedding colors. Your local florist can make suggestions and tell which flowers will be in season (they will be less expensive). The flower arrangements were one thing I should have followed-up on with a second meeting. I told the florist exactly what I wanted for my bridal bouquet–deep red roses, no greenery, long matching ribbons (which I provided), and how I wanted the roses gathered. I even gave her a picture. We also discussed the attendants’ bouquets and flowers for the reception tables. The day of the wedding, the attendants’ flowers were more beautiful than I imagined and the table flowers were gorgeous. My bridal bouquet was almost nothing like what I had asked for. I had red roses, but also plenty of greenery, no ribbons, and an ugly plastic piece that held the flowers. The wedding was in an hour and there was nothing I could do. I tried to put it out of my mind and concentrated on everything else that was wonderful about that day. Remember–follow up is one of the most important factors in getting the wedding you want.

Step 12: Hair & Makeup. Many brides go to a salon and have their hair and makeup done. If you do, have a trial run so you know you will be happy with the results on your wedding day. Going to a salon is not a necessity. You may decide to do your own hair and makeup or have a friend do it. You can schedule practice sessions and try several hairstyles to get it perfect.

Step 13: Cake. Many reception halls provide the wedding cake. Mine did. However, I was not happy with my choices. They agreed to make the red velvet cake I requested, but not the decoration I wanted. I had seen exactly what I wanted in a wedding magazine so I called the bakery listed in the back. The baker was able to make the decoration (without the cake) and ship it to my reception hall. The nice people at the hall, accepted the shipment and put the decoration on the cake. It was perfect! If you plan to do something like this, make sure everyone involved is willing to do their part. Then follow through and make sure the shipment is sent, that it arrives, and that the cake maker knows how to arrange the decorations (give her a picture).

Step 14: Favors. These little mementos are small tokens of appreciation to your guests for sharing in your special day. There are many options to choose from. You can give something that matches the theme of your wedding, such as starfish wine stoppers if you are having a beach wedding. Or, you can give something that symbolizes the love you share with your new husband such as a scented candle with the monogram you share as a couple. You can give something edible such as the traditional chocolate covered almonds, or you can make your own favors. Just try to give something your guests will appreciate and use. A wine glass with your and your groom’s name and wedding date may be pretty, but not very practical to a guest.

Step 15: Relax! You’ve done the research. You’ve done the planning. You’ve done the shopping and creating. And, you’ve done the follow-up. It’s now time to relax and enjoy the day. Don’t worry about the little things that go wrong–because something will go wrong (remember my wedding bouquet?). The important thing is that at the end of the day–after the ceremony that is witnessed by your friends and family, after the dancing and laughing and partying–you will be married. You and your groom are starting your new life together. That’s the most important thing.