Monthly Archives: July 2018

Our Tips for Thanking Hotel Staff for Your Wedding

Catering/Special Events Manager

Your Event Manager is most likely your best friend by now! If they aren’t yet, they will be soon as your really get into your wedding planning. They are even part of the reason you booked your hotel we bet and have guided you through the whole planning process. They are your wedding navigator. As the Event Manager is such a special part of your wedding from beginning to end, a gratuity or gift for all their help is very nice gesture. When deciding how much to tip, we recommend for you to consider a few things:

  1. How much work/extras did the Manager put into your event?
  2. Were they present at your wedding most of the evening and until all the formalities were over?
  3. Wedding Budget – Many times this correlates with the amount of work that goes into a wedding. The bigger the wedding – the more work!

The average American wedding will cost anywhere from $25,000 – $35,000. Industry Professionals like Martha Stewart and Mindy Weiss’ in her Wedding Book have quoted $200 as a generous tip based on this wedding budget. If your wedding budget is higher than the average wedding and you have an amazing Event Manager perhaps something more generous is appropriate.

Banquet Manager

When tipping your Banquet Manager(s) consider how many worked on your wedding and how proactive they were. Normally your Banquet Manager is the one who stays with you from the beginning to end of your event. They put in a lot of hours making sure your wedding runs smoothly. In our opinion, they are also worthy of a thank you if all goes as planned. Again, when determining how much to give, consider the size of your wedding as well as how involved your wedding is and how late it will go. The more involved, the bigger the tip. I would recommend a $100 tip as a good start and go up from there.

Banquet Staff

Gratuity is almost always included in your contract for banquet staff. However, if you have a smaller wedding with a very attentive staff or wish to add additional gratuity for spectacular service that’s okay too! Remember when budgeting there are servers, busboys, bartenders and bar backs who should all be included.

Other Hotel Staff

If any other hotel staff has made a special impression on your during your stay or gone outside the realm of their job description, a tip is always a welcome thank you. Think the Bellman that carried your wedding dress safely to your room. A Housekeeper who may have steamed your wedding dress and your bridesmaids dresses or a Valet who always kept your car nearby for easy comings and goings.

There are so many people who are a part of making your wedding day special and stress free so remember to recognize them whether it’s with a gratuity or a heartfelt thank you note.

Wedding Flowers Defining Your Expectations

The wedding flowers that decorate the church will go a long way toward setting the mood for your wedding. Done right, a selection of well placed wedding flowers can give your event the sense of joy, expectation, solemnity, or pageantry you and your intended anticipate for your wedding. Done poorly… well, your wedding flowers will set the wrong mood for your wedding at best. At worst, your wedding flowers will make it appear that your wedding happened in a tacky looking facility or several decades earlier (actually, it can get worse, but we won’t talk about that – The point is to make sure we stay on the top of the scale with our wedding flowers, not the bottom).

The success of your wedding flower arrangements and decorations depends on your florist’s attention to detail, sense of style, flair, expertise, and the connection that the two of you achieve. Don’t assume that because a particular florist is highly respected you will get the wedding flower arrangement of your dreams. If there is no meeting of your minds, if you don’t feel like they are grasping what you are trying to communicate about your wedding flowers, theme, or both, keep looking. In most cases your wedding flowers will be more to your liking with your second choice that fully understands the theme and mood you are trying to set than with the reputed best florist in the city who isn’t listening or just isn’t managing to understand what you want from your wedding flowers.

Finding the right wedding flower specialist is easy if you begin your search prepared and know what to look for and what to stay away from: Being prepared means doing some dreaming about your wedding flowers. Doodle. Search bridal magazines. Look at wedding flower schemes in books and dream. Go to bridal shows. Go to weddings, if you can get an invitation, and dream. Collect pictures of wedding flower arrangements that you think will fit into the theme that you want to design your wedding flowers around. In short, have a pretty clear idea of what you want in your wedding flowers before you ever start visiting florists and bring the pictures with you. This will help them understand your vision for your floral arrangement.

The second step is like the first: Don’t even think of going to a florist without swatches of the material from your dress, the bridesmaid’s dresses, and any other fabric that might affect the wedding color scheme (this is true of your cake decorator too). This is most especially true of your dress. White wedding dresses come in a wide variety of shades of white, so to ensure that the wedding flowers will properly accent your dress bring a swatch. A professional florist will know how to set it off so that the wedding flowers draw the attention to you in just the right way.

Once you have done your homework it is time to start actually looking for a florist to provide your wedding flowers. As in every other discipline, your first move should be to talk to people who have recently gotten married and get referrals from them. There is no shame in learning from the success and failures of others and doing so will generally save you a lot of grief. In the process, no doubt, you will discover that while most any florist can provide wedding flowers, some are more skilled, gifted, and experienced than others. Your goal is to identify these people and choose one of them to take the stress of your wedding flower needs off your hands.

Remember, wedding flowers work or don’t work on the florist’s attention to detail, creativity, and their ability to match your style. But part of their ability to perform depends on you communicating what you want and providing pictures and swatches. It’s your wedding; make sure it goes right by taking the time to prepare before you go shopping for those wedding flowers.

Wedding Flowers Cost Cutting

Wedding flowers cost cutting is often a concern for brides-to-be who want floral elegance featured at their wedding but don’t know how to save without cutting flowers out of their special day. As a retired wedding florist, I can suggest that the first rule of cost cutting on wedding flowers is to select your main flowers carefully.

You want to choose a flower that will look beautiful, will coordinate with your theme or color scheme, will not have an overpowering smell that will give you a headache on your special day and a flower that will look romantic and wedding appropriate. For this purpose, I have compiled a list of the top 5 flowers that may be perfect for your wedding while being cost conscious to save you money on your wedding flowers.

5. The Rose

Not the cheapest of the cheap flowers but definitely on the list due the rose’s ultimate role as The quintessential flower of romance. This all-star in the world of weddings comes in most colors and even in bi-colored, stripped and tipped roses too. Though roses are commonly associated with strong fragrance, not every rose is scented and even those that are scented are not overpowering. All these reasons make roses the ideal choice as a wedding feature flower. Of course, in order for your roses to be as cost conscious as possible, choose popular long stem rose colors such as red, pink, white, yellow or orange (in that order) Also, choose simple hand tied rose bouquets for minimum labor and a modern look. If you want to save even more money, make your own wedding bouquets. It’s not that complicated especially if you are following good step by step instructions written by a florist and if you are making hand held bouquets. If you decide to make your own boutonnieres and corsages, make sure to use sweetheart roses for a more elegant and long lasting look. On the same note, if ordering from your florist make sure she will use sweetheart roses for your body flowers.

4. The Gerbera

If gerbera daisies are your favorite flowers, you might want to choose this look for your wedding or for your special event. Inexpensive, cute, modern, easy and quick to work with, you will not have to worry about being able to achieve these simple bouquets in time if you decide to make them yourself. Gerberas come in a wide variety of colors and can therefore blend well with any color theme. Although you can easily choose hand-tied bouquets for the bride and the whole wedding party, you could also decide to have a more elaborate bouquet for the bride including a few gerberas or amongst other flowers while your bridesmaids could carry gerberas exclusively. You will have to provide a constant water source between the times when you or your girls will be holding the gerbera bouquets. This can be an advantage at your reception in the sense that if you provide elegant vases at the hall for them to place their bouquets in when they get there, these can also decorate and add style to your reception. For the boutonnieres and corsages, gerberas also come in the miniature versions although they are still approximately 4 inches in diameter; this is the ideal size for body flowers. Just one per lapel or wrist will suffice.

3. The Sunflower

Sunflowers are perfect for fall events and look beautiful with hypericum berries or other fall berries and foliage, Although sunflowers come in a few different colors besides yellow now, such as orange, brown and rust; going with yellow sunflowers ensures getting the healthiest and longest lasting budget flowers that will shine at your wedding. Sunflowers are perfectly suited for hand held bouquets. The bridesmaids could carry 3-5 sunflowers with fall foliage, berries and accents tied with a pretty bow, whereas the bride could carry a more elaborate bouquet featuring 5-7 sunflowers (any more would be too big) with 3-6 fall roses, berries and fall foliage, tied with a pretty bow. As for corsages and boutonnieres that will coordinate with a sunflower wedding…even the mini sunflowers are way too big for body flowers. Instead, I would suggest either mini yellow gerberas with the black center or novelty chrysanthemums, preferably with the black center as well.

2. The Carnation

Although carnations sometimes get a bad rap as being the cheapest undesirable flower, the truth is, carnations are long lasting, smell sweet without being overpowering and are easy to work with. For wedding elegance, I would suggest going with white or cream carnations if you want to use only carnations. If you prefer a mix of flowers, I would recommend combining carnations with daisies and poms for lovely mixed bouquets that won’t cost much and will have that wildflower look but will last so much longer and won’t wilt in the summer heat (as long as they have a source of water) Mini carnations are the perfect size for corsages and boutonnieres. One bloom with a bud is the ideal body flower when combined with a touch of foliage and perhaps a filler flower such as baby’s breath.

1. Daisies and Poms

Often neglected out of weddings, I cannot imagine why. Poms are pretty, long lasting and come in many types and forms. Daisies and poms are available in white, cream, yellow, orange, pink, purple, lavender, orange and rust. They come in 3 varieties appropriate for weddings: button poms are like little flat balls atop a stem, flat poms look as the name implies and daisies which need no introduction. If you like the wildflower look, combine daisies with other types of forms in bouquet holders with greens and foliage. If you prefer a classier look, focus on flat and button mums. The bridesmaids could carry a round bouquet in a bouquet holder featuring poms, foliage and fillers while the bride could carry a cascading or round bouquet with poms, roses, foliage and fillers. The groom, groomsmen and parents could be wearing body flowers featuring similar types of mums, daisies, foliage and fillers. Be fore warned though that if some petals are pulled out of the main head of the flower, they will fall apart. Ultimately, daisies and poms will offer the best value and elegance for the lowest cost.

Wedding Dress Fabrics & Decorations

You’re doing your best to make everything perfect for your special wedding day. Here is some free advice when selecting your wedding gown. Make sure that you are getting the wedding dress that you really want. After all, its your wedding day and you deserve the perfect look that you want and need from a wedding dress. There are factors that will help you make the right choice for the material and the decorations that you will use for your wedding gown.

The first point to consider is that a wedding dress can be crafted from many different fabrics. You will quickly realize that there are a wide variety of styles that you will find fascinating. There are several materials to choose from such as is chiffon, crepe, satin, silk and so on. Be sure to consider the time of the year when you are getting married. You surely don’t want to wear a wedding dress made of a heavy material in the summer time! More over, if your planning a winter wedding, you will need to have a wedding dress that will help you stay warm and comfortable on your special day.

We recommend that you choose a wearable fabric for your special look. Wearable fabrics will not wrinkle up when you are sitting down. Because the bride is the star of the show, you will want to make sure that your dress that is made from materials that will make you look your best at all times. Your wedding day is full of activities and you will be sitting and standing a lot. You surely don’t want your wedding dress to become wrinkled or bunched up on your special day, especially when you will be posing for pictures all day long.

When choosing the right wedding dress, pay close attention to the different materials that will make your day shine. Feel the materials and then see what you want to have on your body that day. The materials will also have different looks to them. Think about if you want to have silky and shinny or another kind of material that you will feel good wearing.

There are several types of decorations that you can choose from too. Think about what you want for your dress and what will make you feel good while wearing it. Think about how you want to look in your wedding dress and the different beads and lace that you will want on your dress. There are many different things to choose from and this is what makes it fun. If you are getting a dress made, you can pick out the special things that you want as it is being created.

If you are looking for a dress that is already made, take notice of all the different decorations that are already on it. You can choose from many things. If you see the dress that you want and there is something on it that you do not like, you can always have it altered to your tastes.

Custom beadwork for wedding dresses has become very popular. You can have a wedding dress that is decorated perfectly, to your exact taste. There are elegant options and simpler styles that will make your day even more special. Why not add crystals and sparkle to make your dress stand out. This will allow you glimmering walk down the aisle in your special dress. Why not go all the way and add a headpiece and veil to complete the look of glamour.

Remember, the decorations and materials of a wedding dress are just as important as its color and style. Be sure to consider the style of wedding you are having. Whether you decide on a huge glimmering wedding or a smaller wedding, you want to be comfortable wearing a dress that will represent your personal taste and preference.

If you are still not sure what you want, look at some fashion magazines and see the different styles that are available. Glance through them, find the looks that you like and go to the store and find the exact same thing.

Tropical Wedding Flowers

Tropical wedding flowers make for a striking difference at any wedding. Large, colorful and often simply bizarre yet beautiful in appearance, these flowers have the propensity to completely transform your wedding, even oddly enough on a psychological level as well.

If holistically life is seen as a huge theater and we are individually actors and actresses who play out their scripts, than tropical wedding flowers serve as important props when the stage turns to weddings, especially tropical weddings.

What is remarkable in human behavior is when we momentarily lose our stock standard masks and have these replaced with something unconventional, our behavior tends to become unconventional as well. Tropical wedding flowers can very effectively act as that catalyst at your wedding, and once the guests find themselves enmeshed with and surrounded by tropical wedding flowers they themselves have the potential to simply achieve a level of relaxation that in many instances is unprecedented.

Place a lei of beautiful tropical flowers around everyone neck, disallow them from wearing shoes or using a tie and put an exotic flavored drink in their hand and they very quickly relax completely.

Allow them not to have control and to simply enjoy the company of the bridal couple and associated guests. It is a winning formula that will guarantee laughter and enjoyment. All of this of course is subtly but very effectively supported and enhanced by the use of tropical wedding flowers, in all forms, from the table centerpieces, church decorations, the bridal bouquet and even down to the corsages and boutonnieres.

From a bridal perspective you do however need to be mindful that even the best laid plans of mice and men (and in this case brides) can go awry. To create the right setting and ensure you are able to sustain the momentum from start to finish you need to avoid these critical mistakes with your tropical wedding flowers:

1. Less is more: Do not fall into the trap of overwhelming your wedding floral arrangements with too many tropical flowers, especially the bigger types of tropical flowers, for example bird of paradise, heliconias, ginger or proteas. These flowers are unusually physically large and are best used sparingly. If you use too many specimens your floral arrangement could start looking like a miniature amazon jungle and will lose its visual impact.

2. Flower longevity: Most tropical flowers are robust as cut flowers and will ensure a great return on investment, however be careful in terms of storage and handling. Remember that different species have different optimum storage conditions. Research and understand at what temperature to store your flowers and make yourself aware of the ethylene sensitivity of the flower. If you want to use hibiscus remember the cut bloom normally only lasts 24 hours and has a very weak stem. You need to plan to have your hibiscus blooms delivered as late and as fresh as possible.

3. Handling your flowers: Ensure you understand something about the nature of the tropical flowers you intend using and take proactive measures to avoid mistakes. Very often a tropical bride will need to keep her admiration at arm’s length in this respect, for example frangipanis exude a toxic, milky sap which can cause skin irritation if gloves are not used, or stargazer lilies which produce excess pollen that can cause unnecessary staining, particularly with the flower petals, table cloths and clothing. A tropical bride needs to be particularly vigilant with her wedding dress when using lilies.

4. Use a reputable supplier: Avoid being penny-wise but pound-foolish. Rather pay a little more for your tropical wedding flowers, but have the peace of mind that you will get great quality flower specimens from a reputable and reliable supplier. This is one area where you need to avoid cutting costs if at all possible.

5. Match you flowers properly: If a beach wedding or beach-type wedding is a serious consideration a tropical bride needs to think carefully about her wedding floral arrangements. Her fundamental decision probably comes down to two basic choices, either she goes exclusively with tropical flowers or she uses a combination of standard wedding flowers and tropicals.

A lot of the tropical wedding flower varieties are a lot larger than their traditional non-tropical peers and can be used most effective with hand-tied bouquets, cascade bouquets and single stem bouquets.

An important aspect of any tropical bride’s choice is that her flowers need to be somewhat robust in nature to withstand the rigors of the humidity, salty wind, occasional monsoon downpour and of course the ever-present heat.

Above all a tropical bride needs to use common sense with most of these issues, after all forewarned is forearmed and why spend unnecessary time and effort on resolving a tropical wedding flower issue when it could have been avoided in the first place. Proper planning in this regard simply builds the foundation for a successful tropical wedding.

About The Author

Josh Elliott is an authority on wedding flowers and bouquet issues. As an Author on the subject, he is at the forefront to provide creative and innovative ideas related to brides wanting to use wedding flowers to accentuate their wedding.