Thursday, September 4, 2014
I have yet to find many people who are as enthusiastic about Pinterest as I am. Whenever I meet a person who hasn’t heard of the popular visual discovery website — say, what? — I quickly describe it as, “The place of dreams!”
Even though Pinterest is a wonderland for those do-it-yourself, dreamin’ types like me, I’m very happy the Pinterest hype had not yet reached maximum levels at the time I was planning my wedding in 2011. While the website is helpful on so many levels, the ideas can be pretty darn daunting when planning an important day such as your wedding.
Sarah Willard, owner of Music City Events, has seen an increased amount of clients with preconceived wedding planning ideas straight from Pinterest. In fact, Sarah also uses the site to search for and visualize color palettes and other ideas. She says it’s a great way for brides to get inspired.
Sarah, owner and lead planner, Music City Events; Photo: Wedlock Images
“I think Pinterest can be a really great way to expand your horizon,” Sarah says. “A lot of people haven’t had a wedding before. There are so many ideas you can do with lighting, printed goods, and hairstyles and a lot of brides don’t have time to come up with all of the ideas on their own. Being able to see what others have done really can help.”
This experienced, Nashville-based event planner advises brides to share their Pinterest boards with vendors and let the vendors offer their professional expertise on how to tailor the idea into something unique to the bride and groom. She also warns brides to limit themselves to three to five projects — brides will have enough on their plates with all the planning as it is.
Above all, brides should be realistic with themselves when using Pinterest and incorporating DIY projects found on the site. Pinterest has a tricky way of convincing you that any DIY project is a great one to take on, but that’s not always true.
“Pinterest could very easily overwhelm a bride and set up unrealistic expectations,” Sarah says. “Not everyone is super crafty, nor do they have the time or money to do all these projects. Besides, projects can get expensive very quickly. It’s easy for people to think these Pinterest ideas are easy to accomplish, but not realize how much money goes into them.”
How do you use Pinterest during your wedding planning process? Do you find it more helpful or overwhelming? Tell us in the comments section below.
Wednesday, September 3, 2014
There are only a few things that you actually get to walk away with after your wedding day: memories, pictures, gifts and most importantly, your gown. Believe me, I know trusting one of your most treasured and expensive possessions with a stranger is something that can keep you up at night. Thankfully, Oakwood Cleaners is here to calm your fears and make sure your wedding dress is not only spotless after your big day, but will also stand the test of time. Who knows, your daughter may actually want to wear your beloved gown one day!
To give us some insight on this process, we spoke with Rhonda Wernick, who is not only the owner of Oakwood Cleaners but is also a board member of the Association of Wedding Gown Specialists! She helped us to understand some common fears that brides have during this process and also why it really is imperative to clean and preserve your gown.
Photo: Oakwood Cleaners
Why should brides get their gown professionally cleaned after their wedding?
Your gown means the world to you and you will never forget how you felt in it, and how it still makes you feel to this day. You danced, laughed, cried, drank, ate, hugged, all on the biggest day of your life. No matter how careful you are, your gown is a magnet for food particles, drinks and perspiration; there is ground-in dirt from hours of sweeping the floor. Even hugs from family and friends can transfer oil and dirt that can ruin your gown. If you want to keep it for the next generation then cleaning and/or preservation is a must.
What are some typical concerns that you hear from brides who are unsure about this process?
Some concerns that we commonly hear are: Who is cleaning the gown? Will it be sent away away? What kind of cleaning agent is being used? Will my gown be cleaned with other clothing or another gown? The gown is delicate or a family heirloom, what if something happens?
How do you calm those fears?
We begin the process by talking with each bride about any specific concerns that she may have (stains, damage, loose embellishments, etc.). Each gown is treated individually on a case-by-case basis, as if it were our very own. We will have the gown for two to four months and you can rest assured knowing that your gown will not be sent to a mass-production cleaning plant, we do all of our own cleaning and preservation in house. Finally, we have a pressing specialist on site who will carefully inspect the gown and make sure it is returned just as beautiful as the day you wore it.
Photo: Association of Wedding Gown Specialists
This certainly helps to ease my mind and I hope it does yours too! Oakwood Cleaners is a family owned business that has been in Nashville for over 15 years. They are Nashville’s only members of the Association of Wedding Gown Specialists and are also certified couture cleaners, so you can have confidence in the fact that no matter what the fabric or difficulty level of the wedding gown, Oakwood will handle it with expert care.
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
At our Smart Bride Boot Camp last winter brides wanted our thoughts on wedding insurance. Sarah Goude of Regalo Design shared with us a situation she encountered where the newly finished floors at a venue were damaged. With a repair bill in the tens of thousands of dollars, this couple was lucky to have had limited liability, escaping a major cost!
Photo: The Smart Bride workshop; The Collection
For many people, a wedding can be one of the single most expensive days in their lives. Just as you would have insurance for your other major assets, like your home or vehicles, having insurance for your wedding is something to consider. While we all wish for a perfect wedding day that goes on without a hitch, behind the scenes there is always a Plan B - just in case. Think of wedding insurance as a Plan C, to ensure that your financial risk is limited in an emergency situation, such as a fire, vendor bankruptcy or major injury. With multiple vendors, furnishings, locations and gifts to consider, the financial implications of any unfortunate event can be dramatic. If you’re a numbers person like I am, knowing that the investment you are making on your wedding day is protected (no matter what!) can provide great peace of mind in a time that is often very busy and stressful.
Venue Add-on Policy
There are several different options when it comes to insurance coverage for your wedding day. Some venues will require an application through their own insurer to protect their building and finishes. This is the option I went with for my wedding, and it was a very easy process that was included in our venue fees. Be sure to ask your venue about any requirements they may have, like not having lit candles and sparklers, or having a certain number of security personnel and licensed bartenders for your guests. This type of insurance usually covers anything that is the property of the venue, which can include tables, chairs, flooring or common areas, but does not usually cover any of your own property, like your dress, gifts or rentals brought into the space.
Current Insurance Policy
For many homeowners or renters insurance policies, a rider can be added to cover any expenses that you might be liable for. Calling your current insurer and requesting a quote is a great place to start, as this option is usually fairly affordable and easy to obtain. This type of insurance could cover a personal accident onsite, or the value of any rentals, decor or gifts that you have brought into your venue. A rider can also cover the use of the venue and its property, and some venues will require that you show a Certificate of Liability. If you are renting tables, chairs, serving ware, lighting or other expensive elements, you will want to check with your rental company to see if they require a certain amount of coverage while the rentals are in your possession.
Separate Insurance Policy
It is also possible to obtain a separate policy with another insurance company entirely to cover your wedding and related events (i.e. a rehearsal dinner). You can also take out a policy to cover non-refundable costs should your wedding need to be cancelled or postponed. You can tailor this policy to cover exactly what you want to protect, including rentals, gifts or vehicles. Liability insurance can also protect you in the event that a staff member becomes injured, or guests receive food poisoning.
While you’re at it, don’t forget to add your new sparkly ring to your insurance, as jewelry like an engagement ring usually requires a separate rider on your policy. Most policies will require a certificate of sale, or an independent value from a jeweler in order to set up this type of protection. Covering loss, theft or damage to your wedding rings, it is certainly worth taking the time to make sure your investments are protected for a lifetime wear!
Monday, August 11, 2014
When my husband and I were planning our wedding, giving our guests one heck of a fun, memorable party was one of our main goals. One way we went about doing this was choosing to have a live band for our entertainment. And let me tell you, it was one of THE BEST wedding decisions we ever made. Our guests still rave about it over a year later!
I know that a live band is not for everyone and for every budget, but if budget does allow and you are thinking about hiring a band to entertain your guests for the evening, you'll want to make sure you ask all the right questions to ensure you're getting the best band for your reception – and most importantly, one that will keep the dance floor packed all night!
We sat down with Blue Tone Music & Entertainment, (who are experts in choosing the right wedding band because they represent some of Nashville’s most popular ones!) to discuss some of the questions you should ask before signing on the dotted line:
Do they play a wide range of music?
You and your fiancé may absolutely love country, and only country, but your guests want to hear everything from “Friends in Low Places” to “My Way” and “Livin’ On a Prayer.” Make sure the band is versatile enough to entertain all tastes!
What instruments are included in the price?
Most bands have at least five pieces: piano, guitar, bass guitar, drums and a vocalist. While these five pieces can definitely translate into a great band, adding horns (saxophone, trumpet, trombone, etc.) can really add a special element to the evening – a really fun element! Just make sure when you speak with the band, you know what instruments are included in the price. If they don’t include an instrument that you want, just ask! More than likely it can be added.
How many hours will the band play?
Most receptions last three to four hours, in turn, most bands are contracted to play for three to four hours. If you are planning a reception that will be longer than four hours, make sure to ask the band about their hourly policy. In most cases, they will be happy to accommodate for as long as you need them for an extra fee.
These questions are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to making the decision on which band to hire. If you have more questions or are considering hiring a live band for your reception, be sure to give Blue Tone Music & Entertainment a call at (615) 352-6358 or visit their website at bluetonemusicusa.com to get the planning process underway!
Thursday, August 7, 2014
I’m about to use a curse word and most of you won’t like it. Budget. Ok, now that that’s out of the way, let’s discuss one of the main reasons you should NOT skimp on your photographer when deciding on how you will be spending those precious dollars in your wedding budget.
I know (oh, I know) how easy it is to get carried away with certain details when planning your wedding. And believe me, I understand that sometimes you just NEED ten-thousand twinkling bistro lights or that specialty linen flown all of the way from Italy, but do you know else you need? A seasoned, professional photographer that will know to capture all of those beautiful décor elements that you spent a year dreaming about.
One of our past attendees at our Smart Bride Workshop posed the question, “Should a bride ever consider hiring a student photographer to save money?” Erin, of The Collection, gave her some advice. Erin believes that while you MAY possibly luck out by getting a student photographer that actually knows that they’re doing, doing so is a big risk. If you don't care whether or not your photos are of good quality and are creative or whether or not you ever even get them, then you can take that risk. But, if photography is important to you, a seasoned professional with years of experience capturing weddings is absolutely invaluable. She also believes that photography, or anything that is vital to your wedding day/memory, is not where you should skimp, be it photos, videos, food, etc. A general guideline is: whatever is a top priority for you is worth the investment.
All photos by The Collection
We agree - 100 percent! When it comes down to it, memories will fade but your wedding photos will last forever. Please hire a photographer worthy of making those beautiful memories ones that you are proud to show off for years and years to come. It is SO worth it!