Asian Wedding Traditions

Asian Wedding Traditions

Asian Wedding Traditions

Rituals & Blessing

There is something inherently mysterious and romantic about Asia…the mysterious Far East. And when it comes to weddings, the rich diversity of Asian cultures, traditions and religions makes for a wide variety of colorful and fascinating wedding customs.

What makes weddings truly beautiful in this part of the globe is that traditions actually vary from one country to another, with no two being exactly alike. However diverse these wedding customs are though, they all celebrate the beauty of marriage and love. Incorporating ethnic traditions into your wedding can create a more intimate environment for you and your family.

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Need an experienced and professional wedding planner? Visit us at  KYM SIGNATURE |  PREMIER SAVANNAH WEDDING PLANNERS

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).

Wedding Gratuity Guidelines

Wedding Gratuity Guidelines

Wedding Gratuity Guidelines

What’s up with tipping wedding wedding vendors? I am often asked what are the guidelines for tipping wedding staff and service providers or if tipping is even necessary.  Here are some practical guidelines.

Tipping is customary especially if your wedding vendors have gone over and above the service required to make your day fabulous. The following are guidelines to tipping those who helped make your special day an extraordinary affair…

Wedding Gratuity Guidelines

Caterer/Banquet Manager

15% to 20% (usually included in contract, however, if the caterer or manager has done an exceptional job, an additional $1.00 – $2.00 per guest is suggested.)

Waitstaff

15% to 20% (usually included in contract, however, if it is not included, the tip should be given to the maitre d’ or head waiter along with an additional 1% – 2%.)

Bartenders

15% to 20% (if the bartender is not accepting tips from guests, an additional 10% is suggested, but not required.)

Limousine Drivers

15% to 20%

DJ’s

15% – 20% (gratuity is not usually required, however, if you feel he/she has done an exceptional job or has provided extra or special services, a tip is a wonderful gesture.)

Bands

$25.00 per band member (gratuity is not usually required, however, if you feel he/she has done an exceptional job or has provided extra or special services, a tip is a wonderful gesture.)

Photographer and Videographers

15% (gratuity is not usually required, however, if you feel he/she has done an exceptional job or has provided extra or special services, a tip is a wonderful gesture.)

Florists

15% (gratuity is not usually required, however, if you feel he/she has done an exceptional job or has provided extra or special services, a tip is a wonderful gesture.)

Bakers

15% (gratuity is not usually required, however, if you feel he/she has done an exceptional job or has provided extra or special services, a tip is a wonderful gesture.)

Restroom and Coat Check Personnel

$0.50 – $1.00 per guest (if not accepting gratuity from guests, the host would be responsible for tipping personnel at the end of the event.)

Parking Attendants

$1.00 – $2.00 per car (if not accepting gratuity from guests, the host would be responsible for tipping parking attendants at the end of the event.)

Officiants

$75.00 – $100 .00 (Note: It is appropriate for a clergy member (priest, rabbi, minister, etc.) to accept gratuities or a donation along with their regular fee (if any), however, civil officiants (judges, clerks, etc.) receive a flat fee and are usually not allowed to accept gratuities.)

Ceremony Staff

$35.00 – $75.00 is suggested for organists/musicians. $5.00 – $25.00 is suggested for altar boys, sextons, etc. (gratuity is not usually required, however, if fees for the above are not included in the ceremony site fees, the suggestions above are appropriate.)

Wedding Planners / Coordinators

10% – 20% (gratuity is not usually required, although, for something better than usual to exceptional a 10-20% tip is not unheard.


Need an experienced and professional wedding planner? Visit us at  KYM SIGNATURE |  PREMIER SAVANNAH WEDDING PLANNERS

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).

Tips For A Fabuluxe Tented Affair

Tips For A Fabuluxe Tented Affair

Tips For A Fabuluxe Tented Affair

Karen Moore of KYM Signature – A Savannah Premier Wedding Planner discuses Tips For A Fabuluxe Tented Affair

Last Sunday, I posted some great information on using tents for your reception. Today, I will pick up where I left off. Giving you four awesome tips that will result in fabuluxe tented affair.

A tent reception can be an exceptionally beautiful and unique experience for the bridal couple as well as their guests. The variety and sizes of tents that are available today make finding something that fits your personal style easy and affordable. Clear top tents let you dance beneath the starlit sky and flat top frame tents provide you with an open and welcoming feel without supporting poles blocking the way. You can choose a tent without sides or one with French window sidewalls. Whatever tent you select, you will need the right lighting, flowers, fabrics and favors to make it a gorgeous oasis for your guests.

  1. Use Lighting to Create Drama

The lighting of your reception tent is extremely important. By using some simple tricks, you can create an elegant escape or a fun and festive celebration. Twinkle lights, in white or colors, are often used in tent receptions; hidden in garlands, draped along ceiling panels, or strung in plants and shrubs. Other lighting options include spotlights with colored gels that create dramatic patterns on walls, floors or ceilings. For those who want a classic, romantic feel, candles create a dreamy and mysterious ambiance that could be just the right touch. A plethora of candle holders are available and make wonderful centerpieces. Blinking balloons can create a fun and casual tone to your event that your guests will love. Whatever your style, lighting is an important factor in creating the right atmosphere for your reception.

  1. Bring Nature Indoors

Through the aid of well-placed flowers, trees and shrubs, your guests may be able to forget they are even in a tent. Fill corners with beautiful flowering shrubs or trees. Disguise support poles with vines and bouquets. Add fragrance with elaborate floral centerpieces. A nice twist on the traditional cut flowers for the table is to have a living arrangement that your guests can take home and plant in their garden or keep in the house, a continuous reminder of your special day. Flowers can add color and excitement to your event with a subtlety that your guests will surely appreciate.

  1. Surround Yourself with Sumptuous Satins

In order to really transform a reception tent, creative use of fabrics is essential. From luxurious panels draped across the ceiling to tantalizing tulle-adorned support poles, fabrics can create depth and contrast to the harsh lines of the tent. Soften doorways by swathing them in flowing chiffon. Emphasize your head table with curtains of lace as a backdrop. Evaluate your tent and accentuate the highlights while downplaying any possible negative aspects. With a little imagination, you can create a completely unique and ethereal feeling for your reception.

  1. Finish with Wedding Favor Flair

Complete your décor with corresponding favors that complement the surrounding motif. Very often, a well thought out favor can be the final touch needed to create a cohesive design for your reception, uniting the various elements around them. Whatever theme you use for your reception, you can use favors to heighten your guests’ experience.

With these simple techniques, you can create a magnificent venue for your reception. However, don’t forget the little details, too. Think about if you need flooring for the entire tent or just the dance floor. Are there any sound ordinances in the area that might affect your party? Do you have enough parking and restrooms for your guests? Do you have enough power for the caterers, musicians, and lighting? Is there a contingency plan in case of extremely bad weather? Once you have answered these simple questions and created your own design plan, you will have a wonderful reception that is uniquely your own that your guests will absolutely adore.

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Need an experienced and professional wedding planner? Visit us at  KYM SIGNATURE |  PREMIER SAVANNAH WEDDING PLANNERS

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).

 

Tents: A Blank Slate and Creative Palette

Tents: A Blank Slate and Creative Palette

Tents: A Blank Slate and Creative Palette

There’s nothing quite like a wedding reception in a tent, with its uniquely informal atmosphere, customized decor and proximity to the elements outdoors.

Weddings and receptions with an outdoor component are incredibly popular in the warm months. And, with larger, more sophisticated tent structures boasting such comforts as built-in heating, tent receptions are even taking hold in the colder seasons as well.

Yet tents are so much more than simply shelter. I love tented receptions for their natural intimacy, and creative possibilities.

One of the nicest things about tent receptions is the creative possibilities they enable. Unlike the typical reception hall, a tent is indeed like a blank slate upon which you can build your own world, creating exactly the atmosphere you desire for your grand celebration.

This not only makes your reception more memorable for you and your guests, but also makes possible a unique and powerful set of visual elements that will translate to beautiful memories. A tent gives you the creative freedom to visual construct the venue of your dreams

Because the canvas is bare you don’t to work around the existing décor of a venue, which oftentimes clash with the overall theme and look that you are trying to achieve. With tents you have more latitude to create a specific feel.

If you use a tent’s creative freedom wisely, you can assure an environment that not only reflects your own aesthetic, but also creates a sense of warm intimacy that would be difficult, if not impossible, in most banquet halls.

The direct proximity to the outdoors opens up an entirely new dynamic of atmosphere and social interaction.

From a distance, at nighttime the tent just glows. They have a very warm and cozy feeling. Receptions are all about creating the sense of intimacy-the sense of space and place. Tent weddings/receptions are romantic and magical. I feel brides always look for these key elements when planning their wedding.

A tent changes the dynamics, climate and culture of an event. Most importantly tents give you a blank slate and creative palette that gives you the ability to design your dream wedding.

 


Need an experienced and professional wedding planner? Visit us at  KYM SIGNATURE |  PREMIER SAVANNAH WEDDING PLANNERS

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).

westin savannah harbor

Choosing A Non-Traditional Venue For Your Wedding Ceremony

Choosing A Non-Traditional Venue For Your Wedding Ceremony

There are many weddings that are held outside of traditional religious facilities. These locations can offer a great, unique occasion that shows off a bit of your personality and style as well as giving your guests a fun time to remember.

KYM Signature | WeddingNothing is nicer than having an outdoor wedding, if the weather cooperates. This is never a guarantee, however, and people planning to have an outdoor wedding should have a backup facility in case of inclement weather. There should also be information on where the ceremony will be held in the event that the ceremony needs to be moved indoors due to weather.

An outdoor ceremony should take place in an area where there is abundant shade. The wedding party will be standing up for the entire ceremony, and heat can take its toll in the summer months. Too much heat can also be detrimental to any older guests attending the ceremony.

Remember as well that you will have to arrange for a seating, a sound system, and decorations to be provided at the outdoor location, so a dry run will be important to determine needs as far as electrical cords and seat placement.

Large houses can be an ideal place for a non-traditional wedding ceremony, so long as you are ensured of adequate space. Courtroom weddings are rarely affairs in which a large number of guests will take part, but you will want to ensure that there is available seating for those who do wish to attend.

Destination weddings are a great and memorable way to hold your special day, if they fit within your budget. Destination weddings can also offer some opportunities in terms of convenience as they offer the opportunity to be held right at the location of your honeymoon. They can also be a very special part of the occasion, as most of the time you will not be able to spend time with the friends and family who attend your wedding.

A destination wedding allows for the entire party to be together over a period of several days, with lots of time to visit. Remember that you may have to make an additional trip to have final approval over the ceremony venue. You will also want to make sure there are very clear directions to the venue’s location on the invitations.

For some originality, why not consider a less traditional venue for your wedding ceremony? These suggestions are all ideal for smaller weddings and might even save you some money in the long run!


Need an experienced and professional wedding planner? Visit us at  KYM SIGNATURE |  PREMIER SAVANNAH WEDDING PLANNERS

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).

Creating A Memorable Cocktail Hour

Creating A Memorable Cocktail Hour

Creating A Memorable Cocktail Hour

The wedding ceremony has concluded! It is now time for cocktails!  Who doesn’t love a fabulous cocktail hour?

Ice sculptures, passed hors-d’oeuvres, chef stations, and signature drinks, all lends to the perfect setting that creates a memorable cocktail hour.

The cocktail hour is the kickoff to a wonderful and momentous occasion and a chance to mix and mingle with friends and family. This pre-reception event sets the tone for the evening and it is the perfect opportunity to show off your personal wedding style.

There’s no limit to what you can do to set your cocktail hour apart. Personalize your event with hot new trends and be vigilant about incorporating all of the little details.

Then watch the “wow factor” take effect. Your guests will be blown away.

When planning your cocktail hour, be sure to keep it in line with your overall wedding theme. Here are some great ideas to make your cocktail hour memorable:

  • Host your cocktail hour in a separate room from your reception. Your guests will see the cocktail hour room before the reception location; this gives you the opportunity to really showcase your theme and décor. Make this a fabulous space in and of itself, one that has its own distinct personality. Utilize high tables and bar stools, which allows guest to mingle.
  • Color Palette – Switch up your color scheme by reversing the reception decor: If your wedding colors are purple with gold and white accents, use gold as the dominant hue for the cocktail area (working in hints of purple and white).
  • Dazzle Them With Décor – The cocktail area is just as important as the reception; utilize candles, floral, crystals and a little bling to bring life to the cocktail space.
  • Create A Signature Drink – There are no limits to creativity. Match your signature drink with your wedding theme. For a fall-themed wedding, for example, you may want to consider a glamorous Pometini (Pomegranate Martini). Feel free to match colors from your wedding with the color of your signature drink.
  • Keeping Things in Harmony – Choose food and drink selections that complement each other.  After choosing your menu for the cocktail hour, select beverages that will complement menu selections.  For example if you plan on serving Hors d’ oeuvres with a Mexican flair  then flavored Margaritas, Pina Coladas and Sangria are obvious choices.
  • Theme – For an Asian Theme as an example incorporate Cherry blossoms and the beautifully Asian symbol of love and affection throughout the cocktail space. Chinese lanterns can be incorporated into the space at varying heights to give added depth and dimension to the space. For appetizers Chicken Satay with peanut dipping sauce for Shrimp Shumai with Ponzu Dipping Sauce. The signature drink a Passion fruit Saketini.
  • Incorporating professional wedding photo booths, cigar rolling, caricature artists, steel drum tropical band or brightly costumed, interactive dancers to perform a feature dance then mingle with your guests are also great ideas for keeping your guests entertained during cocktail hour.

Set the stage by keeping your cocktail hour fun and festive. Creativity is the key and don’t forget to let your personal vision and style shine vividly.


Need an experienced and professional wedding planner? Visit us at  KYM SIGNATURE |  PREMIER SAVANNAH WEDDING PLANNERS

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).

Bathroom Amenity Baskets

Bathroom Amenity Baskets

 Bathroom Amenity Baskets

If you’re not familiar with the wedding world, you might be asking yourself what are bathroom amenity baskets or hospitality baskets. Wedding bathroom baskets or amenity baskets are filled with goodies that your friends and family may need while celebrating with you.

The basket doesn’t have to be overly fancy.  Just big enough to hold all of your goodies! Shop the travel-sized aisle to keep costs down.

 

Bathroom Amenity Baskets

So what’s in the bathroom amenity baskets? I’m so glad that you asked. A little of everything!

Lady’s Room:

~ Mints                                    ~ Hair Elastics

~ Hairspray                             ~ Bobby Pins

~ Tissue                                   ~ Tide-to-Go Stick

~ Spritzer/Perfume                  ~ Lint Roller

~ Mouthwash                          ~ Q-tips

~ Dental Floss                         ~ Clear Nail Polish

~ Hand Lotion                        ~ Mini Sewing Kit

~ Feminine Products               ~ Scissors

~ Blotting Sheets                    ~ Tums

~ Band Aides                          ~ Imodium

~ Moleskin                              ~ Eye Drops

~ Safety Pins                           ~ Advil or Ibuprofen

Items you may not have thought of for the ladies: Earring backs & Double Sided Tape

Men’s Room:

~ Mints                                    ~ Lint roller

~ Hair Gel                               ~ Safety Pins

~ Tissue                                   ~ Mini Sewing Kit

~ Cologne                               ~ Scissors

~ Mouthwash                          ~ Tums

~ Dental Floss                         ~ Imodium

~ Hand Lotion                        ~ Eye Drops

~ Band Aides                          ~ Advil or Ibuprofen

~ Tide-to-Go stick

Items you may not have thought of for the guys: Instant Hem & Cuff Fabric Tape

Want to add an extra “little personal touch”?

Include a framed engagement photo, poem or note next to each basket addressed to your guests. Below are a couple of more well know poem examples.

“Please Help Yourself”

So happy you’re here sharing our special day. But just in case something should go astray:

Please help yourself to the contents within, Mouthwash, hand lotion or ibuprofen

Use what you need, and just leave the rest. For it may be useful to some other guest!

Repair the damage that may have been done, Then quick!  Hurry back and join in the fun! 

~ Compliments of the Bride & Groom ~

Dear Guests,
Whether your skin feels dry or your hair out of place
You’re not feeling so fresh or whatever the case
We’ve put together a basket to help you along
Now hurry back out before you miss the next song!

~ Compliments of the Bride & Groom ~

 

Are you doing Bathroom Amenity Baskets?  What amenities will you supply your guests?

The baskets are a nice DIY project or one that you can delegate to your wedding planner or bridesmaids.

Happy Planning!


Need an experienced and professional wedding planner? Visit us at  KYM SIGNATURE |  PREMIER SAVANNAH WEDDING PLANNERS

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).

KYM Signature | Reception Venues

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).

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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