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Reception Venues: Everything You Need To Know About Them

Reception Venues: Everything You Need To Know About Them

The high point of the wedding celebration should be an expression of the couple and the appreciation they feel for their guests. It’s the time when the spotlight is truly on the couple. Of course, the dresses, flowers, cake and dinner are also sharing some of the attention, and choosing the right venue to feature it all together should be the first steps in the planning process.

The best reception venues feature the finest combination of location, convenience, service and ambiance.  Look for the site’s individual style characteristics. The worst reputation any venue can earn is that of a cookie cutter operation. No two couples are alike, and a wedding has to be a very personal statement.

Keep In Mind:  Your reception is the heart of your wedding day.  You will also spend the most time at your reception. The reception sets the tone, theme and personality for your ceremony.

The primary factors to consider in choosing a site are: budget, then number of guests, location preferences, and any sentimental value a certain location holds for you as a couple.

Popular sites for receptions are hotels, clubs and event facilities because they offer the convenience of having everything in one location.

KYM Signature | Reception Venues

As well as scouting every avenue to ensure you find the right place or the right date, there are plenty of other considerations to think of. Here are a few that you should take into consideration while you are searching for wedding reception venues.

  • Is the venue big enough? Will it be able to accommodate the number of guests that you are anticipating?
  • Will your wedding be the only event at the venue on your big day? Weddings tends to over their allotted time, but you shouldn’t feel rushed out before you are ready to wind down or fell neglected because the staff have to tend to another parallel function.
  • Does the venue allow outside catering or insist that you use theirs?
  • Does the venue offer a menu tasting prior to your wedding?
  • Is the venue accessible and easy to find?
  • Are their separate spaces for your cocktail hour and reception?
  • Does the venue have adequate storage for gifts, etc?
  • Can you have open flames?
  • Is confetti, fireworks or sparklers permitted?
  • Is there an option for event signage or marquee?
  • If you opt not to serve alcohol is there still a bar fee? Is there a corkage fee? What is the legal cut-off time to serve alcohol?
  • Do they have a Public Address system for speeches and toasts?
  • Can the photographer/videographer conduct a site visit beforehand to get an idea of what to expect on the big day?
  • And most importantly have you fallen in love with the space?

When it’s all said and done, you need a venue that will effectively set the mood for the entire celebration, but also one that allows for your guests comfort and convenience. Providing ample parking or valet service and a fully functioning air conditioning in the reception facility contributes to your guest’s enjoyment of the celebration.

Look for a venue with more than one set of restrooms, and make sure that they are accessible.  For any venue there may be restrictions on decorations that you can use or the type, duration, or volume of the music.

One final word of advice don’t forget to ask about set-up and break-down times or find out if you can set-up the night before. Also check to see if clean-up services are provided.

 About The Author:  Karen Y. Moore is an award winning wedding planner and the Lead Planner of KYM Signature (http://kymsignature.com). Karen is also the author of The Keep It Sweet & Simple (KISS) Method of Wedding Planning (http://thekissmethod.com).

Make Up Magic

Make Up Magic

Make Up Magic

When it comes to beauty, the first thing any bride-to-be should do is take a good look at their skin care regime. Visit a dermatologist or skin-care experts (you can get recommendations from your doctor, family or friends) to find out exactly what you need to do to get the perfect, healthy skin you want for your wedding day. Ask lots of questions and learn how to take care of your complexion – both your face and your body. One thing you can start doing right away is to drink more water. This flushes toxins out of your skin and your system.

To tan or not to tan? Most brides choose to tan for their weddings. As long as you do this properly, you won’t have to worry about the orange color from a sun-lamp or the redness of being outside. Tan gradually and never excessively. Watch for tan lines – you don’t want them to show. Don’t tan in the week prior to your wedding because your tan needs the time to turn from red (or orange!) to the lovely brown you’re seeking. Another option (which is quite healthy) is a tan-in-a bottle or a spray tan. Test either of these methods well ahead of your wedding for any reactions.

Get a full facial done (not within two weeks of your wedding) to even out your skin tone and give your skin time to heal from any reactions you might have. If you are wearing a strapless gown, get two shades of foundation – one for your face and one for your shoulders.

Powder Is A Must – Flashes from cameras can reflect off your face, making you look hot and greasy. Focus attention to one dramatic part of your face – either the eyes or the lips. A great tip to keep in mind; blush is an accent, not a feature!

Whether you go light, dark or dramatic on your eyes, always use a matte contour in the crease of the eye – never a frost. Save frost shades for the lower lid, slightly under your brow bone or on your lips. Eyeliner is the best product to bring out the glamour for your bridal make up. Reshape or darken your brows with a pencil or powder for better definition. If you are getting your brows waxed (or any part of your face), do it at least three days before your wedding.

Eyelashes are the finishing touch on your wedding look. Try using a eyelash curler for more dramatic lashes. The key is to curl your lashes before you apply mascara. Stay on the safe side – black and waterproof. If you are looking for more than your lashes can give you, get false ones. These are available individually or in strips, so you can choose exactly how much you want. After you’ve applied them, finish your lashes with a thin line of liquid eyeliner to make them look more natural.

Keep your lips simple. Use a lip liner only if you are willing to touch it up all day. Lipstick lasts longer than gloss, but lip gloss is very easy to use for a touch up in a hurry. Pedicures and manicures are a must for your day. Simple and soft shades are usually your best bet a nice touch without overpowering your total look. We hope that you enjoyed our Make Up Magic post. Please comment below if these tips were useful to you in planning on of the most glamorous days of your life.

Planning A Savannah Destination Wedding

Planning A Savannah Destination Wedding

Planning A Savannah Destination Wedding

Over the past 13 years I have watched Savannah become a  top destination wedding location.  Loaded with rich history, culture, charm and romance,  our beautiful city attracts hundreds of couples yearly. There is no doubt that Savannah provides endless possibilities to the destination bride.

Having a Savannah Destination Wedding  is quite cost effective and can save the prospective couple thousands of dollars on their wedding. Destination weddings  also provide great mini-vacations for the guests.

As Senior Planner for KYM Signature, I have found that the typical destination bride, desires that her wedding be  ultra chic and leave her guests with an indelible  “wow” effect. Assembling family and friends to a destination location such as Savannah creates amazing memories. It can also provide a special place for the bridal couple to come back and celebrate their anniversaries for many years to come.

However, planning a destination wedding can be a daunting task if you are unfamiliar with the area. Guest accommodations, travel arrangements, guest transportation, finding the right venue,  locating the perfect photographer  are only a few of the components needed in planning a perfectly executed destination wedding.  There are numerous details and with the bridal couple living so far away oftentimes many of these important get overlooked. The bridal couple should be able to enjoy their celebration, instead of worrying about caterers, photographers or timing the delivery of the bridal flowers.

I believe that proper planning and all of the intimate and signature details are the keys to having a “Fabulous” Destination Wedding. Hiring a local planner to handle all of the details, both large and small is one of the best decisions that a bride can make in the destination wedding planning process. By hiring a local planner a bride alleviates  an enormous amount of stress.

A planner assists in finding the perfect wedding and reception venue, securing vendors, making telephone calls. and  running errands.  Another reason hiring a planner is beneficial is that they save you from making unnecessary trips to the destination location. A planner also takes care of everything behind the scenes on your wedding day, therefore allowing you time to relax and have fun.  The  goal for each of my destination brides is to have a Fabulous, Memorable, Stress  and Hassle Free Day!

When  planning a destination wedding flexibility is a must!. An enormous  amount of destination weddings takes place in Savannah’s  Historic Parks and Squares.   A back-up or alternative plan is another crucial  detail when planning a destination wedding that happens to be outside.  Another benefit of having a local point of contact is they are capable of spinning on a dime in the event of inclement weather. This is very helpful  as you want nothing short of a smooth transition for you and your guests into the back-up plan or location.

How does one select the right destination wedding planner?  I recommend  calling the Better Business Bureau, the local Chamber of Commerce or the Visitor’s Bureau. They have resources available right at their fingertips and  can offer you invaluable assistance with locating the right  local planner.  Weddingwire.com is another great online resource as it puts Savannah’s best right at your finger tips.  One of the many features of WeddingWire.com that I love, is there are vendor reviews and testimonies directly on the vendor’s profile from previous clients.

This gives you a wonderful feel for the planner and is an important resource for the decision making process.

Local planners are a wealth of knowledge and most often they have wedding packets on hand from various vendors that list the services that you will need to plan your dream destination wedding.

From my experience in the industry, having  a  team of knowledgeable professionals  lays a solid foundation and helps to insure that your wedding day will be one of  the best days of your life.  A stress-free  engagement is truly possible and you can be confident that your special day will be everything that you imagined it to be!

Planning Your Honeymoon Adventure

Planning Your Honeymoon Adventure

Planning Your Honeymoon Adventure

The wedding is just the beginning.  There’s plenty of excitement that goes along with planning your honeymoon adventure as well, from choosing a travel adventure to deciding on what to bring along on the journey.  And for many, planning this great “escape” is just as important as planning the actual wedding.  Regardless of where you decide to go, there are some things you should know to make it the kind of experience you want it to be.

First, you must decide on a budget.  If money is not an issue, bon-voyage!  However,  if you’re like most engaged couples, you’re already paying more than you anticipated.  Establish a budget and use it as a guide.

You’ll also need to decide whether you want an all-inclusive, one-price-does-it-all, leave-the-wallet-at-home type of trip, or a more do-it-yourself package with car rental, lodging, food, and activities on an a la carte basis.  Cruises technically fall under the all-inclusive category, as do resorts.

Of course, honeymoon budgeting takes on a new meaning if you decide to do a “destination wedding”.  These are becoming very popular as more and more couples decide to forego the traditional wedding costs in addition to the honeymoon expense.  There are especially popular with second marriages.  It’s easier to get married in some countries than others, so be sure to check with a reliable source, like a country’s consulate or the U.S. Department of State, before making any arrangements.

Now you need to book and pay for this trip.  Many honeymoon suppliers offer special rates for early booking, which may or may not include airfare.  Packages that include airfare can offer significant savings because retailers buy airline seats in at a discount, then package hotel, and sometimes car rentals as well.

You may also want to consider using a honeymoon gift registry to help with expenses.  Check with your local travel agent to see if they offer this kind of service or you can investigate more on the internet.  A good place to start is at www.TheHoneymoon.com.

Honeymoon registries allow guests, friends and family to contribute toward specific elements of your honeymoon, like shore excursions, parasailing, spa services, and tours.

Kiss Tips For The Newly Engaged Couple

Kiss Tips For The Newly Engaged Couple

Keep It Sweet & Simple (KISS) Tips For The Newly Engaged Couple

Becoming engaged is a time you and your partner will remember forever; it can be overwhelming while marvelous and exciting.

Below you will find some tips and suggestions for you during the hectic months to come:

  • It can be difficult to compromise with one another. Each of you may have different ideas; but the important thing to remember is meeting each other half way.
  • Communicating with your partner is the key to any relationship; make sure to listen to each other. That way you both know that your opinion does matter.
  • While planning your wedding you should try to set a date for every second week that has nothing to do with planning your big day. That way you two can just focus on each other without all the excitement of your wedding.
  • Get to know your partners family, after all they are going to be your future in-laws. Learning about your fiancés relatives is a great way to grow as a couple.
  • Have priorities when it comes to planning your wedding; make sure that when you both are setting out your schedule that you are taking into account the more critical things verse the more easier tasks. Setting a timeline can be very beneficial.
  • Keep in mind that it is up to only you two to plan your wedding day – what the cake will be like, who your band will be, what your china looks like, these are things that are all up to you two and no one else.
  • It is important for you and your fiancé to seek pre-marriage advice. You need to make sure that you both understand each other’s view on your future.
  • Remember what is most important. Weddings are never just about the two of you (the honeymoon is!) That being said, take into consideration that you will need to learn how to work and cooperate with family members, the annoying cousins, or his/her charming but callous best friend. For what its worth, at least you can look back and say that you had made the best of “those” moments of your life.

Lastly, remember that you are no longer going to be a me, but a we. Some topics that will need to be discussed before marriage are: personality differences, sexual expectations, and most of all money. Finances have made and broken families and life time partners, all because there was no established mutual agreement to begin with; that or setting unrealistic standards for each other.

8 Questions You Must Ask a Wedding Professional Before Booking Them

8 Questions You Must Ask a Wedding Professional Before Booking Them

8 Questions You Must Ask a Wedding Professional Before Booking Them

Hiring the right team is critical to planning your dream wedding…and it can also be quite stressful. How do you find the right match for you?  How do you know who to trust?  Where do you go for advice?

First of all, this is not an easy task and it’s totally normal for couples to feel overwhelmed, frustrated or confused.  It’s not like you plan a wedding every day!  This is all probably brand new to you, so be patient with yourself.

Here are a few tips to finding the wedding professional that is just right for you…

  • Do Your Homework.  You’ll get much more out of a meeting or conversation with a wedding professional if you do a little background homework first. Spend some time on the internet or talking to friends who’ve recently been married.  Find out the average prices in your area and what services are available.  Get an idea of what you like and don’t like.  Wedding websites and chat rooms can be a great resource.  This way when you meet with a wedding professional you’ll be able to ask better questions and have an idea of what to look out for.
  • Meet With Them.  An in person meeting is the best way to interview a potential wedding vendor.  It lets you get the full experience of their personality, style and professionalism.  If that’s not possible, have a phone conversation.
  • Ask Questions.  There are no stupid questions!  Make sure you get clear, specific answers to your questions. If you aren’t sure what something means, ask them to clarify. Keep asking questions until you completely understand.

If a wedding vendor has a problem with you asking questions, they probably aren’t the one for you.  The best wedding professionals are patient, understanding and take the time to help you make the best choices for your wedding.

  • Listen.  Don’t just hear the words they say, really listen.  Watch the vendor’s body language.  Are they confident and comfortable with their response?  Do they look and sound nervous?  Do you get a “funny feeling” about them?  Take all the sights, sounds and feelings into account along with their responses; if your gut tells you something isn’t right, it probably isn’t.
  • Check References.  Portfolios are hand-picked to show off the best work, but they may not represent the “average” wedding performance.  Videos are edited for the optimum presentation.  But real referrals from satisfied clients are hard to fake.

Call up both client and professional references.  Ask questions and use those listening skills.  Even if they give a rave review, you’ll often be able to “read between the lines” if there were any issues or problems. Ask around and search the internet for reviews.  Check the Better Business Bureau for any outstanding complaints against the business.  Weigh all of this information into your choices.

Here are 8 Must Ask Questions to ask ALL your potential wedding professionals before booking:

  1. How many weddings do you do per year? How much experience do you have? This is an extremely important question.  Ideally, your wedding professional should have ample experience specifically with weddings.  Not only will they be more skilled in their craft, this also makes them a valuable source of information and ensures that your wedding day goes smoothly.
  2. How much do you cost? Price is often relative, especially when you factor in experience, reputation and expert skill. Generally, the most talented professionals have a higher price tag because they are worth it.
  3. How much is the deposit?
  4. What specifically is included in that cost? Because packages often vary, it’s likely that you won’t be able to compare one vendor exactly to the next without doing a little figuring. The lowest cost isn’t necessarily the best deal; some higher quotes include services that you have to pay extra for in other packages.  Make sure you take this into account.
  5. What happens if I cancel? What happens if you cancel? Find out if your deposit is refundable under any conditions.  Does the wedding professional have a back up plan if something happens to them?
  6. Do you use a contract? If the answer is No, RUN! A contract is designed to protect both you and the wedding professional.  Don’t settle for a verbal agreement that won’t hold up in court.
  7. Are there any additional fees? Taxes, service charges and travel fees can add up quickly. Make sure you understand exactly what is included and if there are any other fees you’ll have to pay.  This should be clearly defined in your contract.
  8. Do you carry liability insurance? The answer you’re looking for here is Yes. This protects you in case an unfortunate accident should occur on your wedding day.  It’s also a sign that this is a reputable business, since most “fly by night” operations don’t invest in insurance.
You Are Engaged! Now What?

You Are Engaged! Now What?

You Are Engaged! Now What?

Congratulations!

Did your he pop the question over the holidays? Though only 7 percent of Americans decide to get married in December, 16% percent of couples become engaged. If you are sporting shiny new bling on your left ring finger, FABULOUS!  It’s now time to get to work planning your dream wedding.

As the engagement high starts to wear off, the task of actually planning the biggest event of your life may seem a little daunting (no pressure). There are hundreds of details that go into planning a wedding of any size so where does a bride-to-be begin?

My name is Karen and I’m your wedding planning angel. I’m here to get you started and pointed in the right direction. Let’s get started shall we?

First Things First

  • Call Your Relatives  – Engagement DOs and DON’Ts start almost the second you say yes. Your first task? Sharing the exciting news with the world. And how easy would it be to do so in 140 characters or fewer or with a quick status update? No matter how tempting, it’s an engagement no-no to not pick up the phone and call your family members and friends. All of them. No one likes to be the last to know—and getting the news via mass e-mail, Twitter update or Facebook is especially rotten. So set aside a few hours and plow through your phone book (you can enlist your mom, sister, aunt or another family representative to help you out).
  • Set a Date—Even If It’s Not the Date – After “congratulations” and “let me see your ring,” here’s the first thing people will ask: “When’s the wedding?” It’ll save you lots of headaches if the two of you come up with a vague-yet-specific answer, like “We’re shooting for early 2018” or “We like the idea of next fall.” People appreciate feeling like they’re in the loop, and they’ll also put the event into their mental datebooks. Plus, it’ll give you and your guy a little direction as you start planning.
  • Visualize(a Lot) – Get a bunch of wedding magazines, watch Father of the Bride for feel-good tears, look at maps for honeymoon ideas, and blog-stalk engagement sites. Give yourself permission to let your brain turn into its own wedding channel. If you haven’t been planning your wedding since you turned five, that’s OK; now’s a good time to collect ideas that inspire you and to learn what you want—and don’t want—in your wedding.
  • Plan a Night Out With Just Your Fiancé – Until the celebrations and parties and wedding are finally over, there’s not going to be much “just the two of you” moments. Get in some good face time with each other now—and make it a point not to talk wedding details. Yes, there’s a ton to do, but for now, it’s perfectly OK to hit the town and celebrate—just you and him.
  • Hire A Wedding Planner/Coordinator – Review the elements of your wedding that’ll take a little planning—negotiating with bakers and caterers for the best prices, finding the ideal venue, organizing party favors—and figure out if those are tasks you want to tackle alone or if you’d rather hire a wedding planner (stress reduction and a little time-saving sounds nice, right?). Keep in mind that a wedding coordinator will cost extra money, so make sure the option fits into your budget.
  • Start a Wedding Savings Account – Remember that even a simple, small wedding costs money (and sometimes a lot more money than you would ever imagine). A wedding savings account is an easy way to keep cash accumulating for the big day, so you don’t have to rely on plastic to bear the brunt later on. Open a basic savings account at any bank—or look online for higher-interest accounts at sites like ally.com and etrade.com—then deposit a set amount every paycheck that’ll go toward wedding-related expenses only.
  • Ask Your Parents (and His) for Their Ideal Guest Lists – Before you start putting a number on how many guests you want, it’s time to ask both your parents about whom they’d most want to invite. Be sure to tell them this is just a preliminary list and things might change—it’s on paper, not set in stone. After you have their “dream” lists, you can add and edit and trim. Helpful hint: Ask them to help prioritize their wish list by breaking it into tiers—it’ll help you make cuts later on.
  • Chill Out and Have Fun! – Take time to relax—get a massage, sleep in when you can. This is a once-in-a-lifetime event purely about you and your fiancé. You are allowed to enjoy it!

Let’s Get Organized:

  • Bookmark this SiteBookmark it in your browser or save it right to the home screen of your iPhone or iPad for easy access.
  • Purchase A Wedding Planner Binder – Get an iPhone app, a datebook, a calendar or some other kind of keep-organized device to help you create a timeline for major wedding-related tasks.
  • Purchase KISSThe Keep It Simple Method of Wedding Planning – Super Simple Wedding Tips, Ideas, Advice & Basic Know-How From An Industry Leader
  • Create a Wedding Website – Now that you’ve told everyone the good news (on the phone, missy—see step No. 1), set up a wedding site or blog to keep everyone apprised of your nuptial news. Post photos, write your “how we met” story, have a guestbook—make it as personal and interactive as you want. Get the bare bones up first; later on, you can get fancy with wedding details, hotel advice, maps, quizzes, daily thoughts and whatever other wedding whimsies you want to share. Send it around to those who ask, but be prepared for the fact that your mom and your BFF may be the only ones who want to read it.

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