My Final Post

With the end of the spring semester near, it’s time for me to write my final post. Having a blog has definitely been quite an experience for me and I have to admit that I am glad my FDOM class required me to have one. I would have never known what Storify and Flickr were and probably would have never used them in the future but my opinion on a lot of things has changed. When we were first told that we had to keep a blog over the semester, my reaction was somewhat negative. I had never done a blog and had no intention of doing one in the future. After the first couple weeks, I realized that keeping a blog really wasn’t that hard and could be beneficial to me as a wedding planner. I like the idea of being able to share my thoughts, tips, and photos with other people and have them give me their opinions. When I do my internship this summer, I plan on keeping a blog because it’s a way to share my experiences with the world. I would have to say one of my favorite posts involved Storify and honeymoons. Being able to connect to all different social medias to create a story is pretty amazing. The ideas and thoughts that people posted really made my Storify unique and I enjoyed it.

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Having to create a Twitter account for this class was also something I enjoyed. Before this class, I had never been on Twitter or knew anything about it. I was a Facebook person and that was really all the social media I used. Now I would say that I am on Twitter way more than Facebook and enjoy it just as much. I love that I have the ability to connect with famous people and friends in a different way. I also like that people can’t write a whole book on one tweet cause there is a limit. Overall, my experience with Twitter has been a positive one and has led me to use other social medias, such as Vine and Instagram.

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Having a blog has been a great experience and I have learned so much. I appreciate all the people who have taken time to read my blogs and thoroughly enjoyed them. Like I said before, I plan on keeping another one when I do my internship this summer and hopefully I can use the things I learned in FDOM to make that one even better!

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It’s Time for Cake

And for the last course…WEDDING CAKE! Who doesn’t look forward to that amazing slice of heaven when they go to a wedding? Every couple wants their wedding cake to be perfect but there is no sugar coating it, the cost of confection perfection can soar. The rising cost of ingredients has made the average cost of a wedding cake around $450. The more details you add to your cake, the higher the price goes. So I’m going to share a few tips with you that I have learned from some of my friends in the baking industry and some I have read about in magazines.

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TIPS FOR THE CAKE

Labor and ingredients determine the cost of the cake. The time spent constructing the cake, putting on the icing, and adding the details will contribute to the cost.
Cakes are priced per slice. Not every single guest at your wedding will want cake so your safe asking your baker to allow 25 fewer slices for 150-guest head count.
Consider a cake-slicing station. It can save you around 10% instead of paying for it to be a served course.
Create the effect of a larger cake. Separate each layer of the cake with thick, decorated non-cake layers (could use Styrofoam) to create the effect of an extravagant cake at half the cost.
Go Smaller. Have a small two- to three- tier cake for the display and cake cutting. Then have sheet cakes, non-decorated, in the kitchen where you can cut most of the guest slices. This can save you around 50%.
Square if you dare. A square wedding cake will usually feed more guests, is easier to cut, and you can get a larger number of servings from each tier.

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TIPS FOR FILLINGS, FROSTINGS, FLAVORS, & TRIMMINGS

Standard flavors cost less than the more unusual “premium” flavors. Cake flavors, like red velvet or carrot, will usually cost more than vanilla, chocolate, or lemon.
Choose buttercream frosting over fondant coverings. Fondant takes more time to roll out and apply so naturally it will be more expensive.
Use standard flavors for the larger tiers. If you want to use the “premium” flavors, choose to use them in the smaller tiers to save up to 40%.
Stick to two flavors and fillings. This is usually standard and many bakers will charge more if you decide to go over two.
Icing dots are inexpensive. They are also very easy to put on the cake and the icing “pearls” add a stylish touch.
Avoid hand-piped designs. Although they are gorgeous, these designs can cost you big time.
Embellish your cake. Think about using fresh flowers, chocolate-covered berries, or ribbon to add that extra “oomph” to your cake. These are very easy to apply and can save you around 40%.

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Remember to schedule a taste testing with the bakery you choose to make sure you get the flavor you want. I hope these tips help and best of luck on designing your perfect wedding cake!

My Video of The Grand March

Ever since I was little, I can remember attending weddings in my hometown and watching people participate in the Grand March. Being from a small town in Texas, most people around the area know what that is but I’m sure many people do not. The Grand March is formal dance that takes place at the reception hall and is done before the dance floor opens. The song that most people use to do the Grand March is “In Heaven There is No Beer.” Anyone can participate in the Grand March unless the DJ or band says otherwise. Usually there is a couple, who have experience leading and know the dance, at the front of the line. The bride and groom are behind them followed by family and the wedding party. Anyone who wants to participate in the dance can then get in line behind the others. All you need for this dance is a partner and basically you just follow the leader. The dance includes splitting off from your partner, with men going one way and women the other, going through a tunnel made from the people participating, and even weaving in and out of people to form a circle around the bride and groom at the end. After the dance is done, the bride and groom have their first dance while the circle around them moves and even sometimes rushes in on them. It’s a really fun tradition that I plan on having at my wedding so I wanted to show you a video of the Grand March from my friend Melanie’s wedding. The person recording this for me (since I was participating) was not able to get the entire dance. I apologize for the quality of the video, but you get the general idea. I am also going to include some pictures from my friend Amy’s Wedding so that you can see some of the things I described above. I hope you enjoy it and will consider doing the Grand March at your wedding!

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Planning Your Perfect Honeymoon

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In my FDOM class we are required to used Storify for one of our posts. I have never used Storify before so please go easy on me. I decided to make my story about planning a honeymoon because it will be the first trip you take as husband and wife, which is a big deal to most couples. It’s important to choose a place that you both agree on and get the best deal possible. My Storify is a collection of social media that will hopefully provide you with tips and ideas for planning your perfect honeymoon. Click the link below to access it and I hope you enjoy it!

Honeymoon Heaven http://sfy.co/jIEI #storify #holiday #honeymoon

A Dinner You Will Remember

The day before the wedding includes one of the most important components of your special day, the dress rehearsal dinner. Many newlywed couples say that the rehearsal dinner was their favorite part of the wedding weekend. It’s a time to celebrate and relax with close family and friends before the excitement of the big day. So here are a few tips to help your dress rehearsal dinner run smoothly.

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1. The rehearsal dinner is usually the night before the big day. Most people get married on a Saturday so dress rehearsals tend to fall on a Friday evening and the dinner takes place after the ceremony run-through. You can choose to have yours whenever it suits you, but just make sure you have it at a time that suits everyone.

2. Traditionally, the groom’s parents plan and pay for the rehearsal dinner. In the wedding world today, that is not always the case. Couples tend to cover the cost themselves or split it between both sets of parents, so really the choice is yours.

3. Don’t leave anyone out. When it comes to who is invited to the rehearsal dinner, the list is longer than you think. All of the wedding party, including their spouses or dates, need to be invited. If you are having flower girls or ring bearers, their parents need to be included. All parents, stepparents, and grandparents of the bride and groom need to be on the list and any siblings that are not included in the wedding party. Once again, you can’t forget to include all their spouses or dates. It is courtesy to invite the officiant and his/her spouse to join the festivities.

4. Make it clear how formal you want the dinner to be. The formality of the rehearsal dinner is up to you and your hosts. Invitations to the dinner should give the guests an idea of how formal it will be. It should not exceed the formality of the actual wedding.

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5. Keep the location simple. Appropriate places include a private room in a restaurant, someone’s backyard, or even a local hot spot like a pizza parlor or bar and grill, especially if you want something super casual. Be creative with your rehearsal dinner. It can be anywhere you want and anything goes as long as you and your guests are relaxed, comfortable, and having a good time.

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6. Distribute the gifts. This is the appropriate time for you and your groom to present the thank you gifts to your wedding party. If you have gifts for your parents, you can choose to give them now or on the wedding day. It’s totally up to you!

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I hope these tips help your rehearsal dinner run smoothly and that you enjoy every moment of it. Just remember, it’s your rehearsal dinner and you can decide how and when to do it. Best of luck to you!!

Charlie and Amy’s Big Day

Amy and Me

So for one of my posts, I have to include a slideshow that tells a story. I chose to do my slideshow about one of my best friends, Amy. She got married on March 3, 2012 to her best friend Charlie. I was a bridesmaid in her wedding and enjoyed every minute of it. Her fairytale wedding turned out perfect and if she could, I know she would do it all over again because the day went by so fast. So since they are still considered newlyweds, I guess it’s okay for me to congratulate them again and wish them many more years together!! Hope your enjoy the slideshow of Charlie and Amy’s Wedding Day!!

Turn Up The Music

Great entertainment can really make or break a wedding. Not only do you want people to pack the dance floor, but you also want some amazing introductions when you are cutting your cake or having your first dance. As a couple, you have to decide if you want a live band or a Disc Jockey (DJ). In most cases, a DJ is usually cheaper than having a live band because there are fewer people to book and feed. According to costofwedding.com, the average cost of a DJ is $525-$1,400 and live bands usually run $1,200-$3,000 plus.

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You need to consider the type of energy you want to have in the room: Do you prefer the excitement of a live band playing one of their hit songs or do you like the energy of random songs being played by the original artist? Some couples may decide to have both a DJ and a band, which is not a bad idea. Most often a band will play during dinner and then the DJ will take over to provide a club-like atmosphere. Other couples like the idea of letting the band play a set and then having the DJ perform in between. It does not matter what you decide on, as long as you feel that you and the guests will be pleased with the entertainment. So to help you when making that decision, here are some budget friendly tips that could save you some money.

Consider booking in off-peak season. During the slower months, October-March, prices will tend to be cheaper, sometimes as much as 20-40%.

Avoid booking for too few hours. Four hours is usually standard and anything shorter than that will go by quickly. Consider how long you want to entertain guests because overtime fees can be very expensive, usually hundreds of dollars.

Consider booking a band and a DJ. By booking both, you can split the time, provide a variety of music for guests, and save 25-75% over hiring a band for the whole event.

Check entertainers’ social media sites. Sometimes they will offer discounts or special online offers that can save you 10-15%.

Choose a one-man DJ operation. It will cost more to pay for a two- or three- member team of DJs.

Look for multi-tasking band members. Ask if any of the band members play more than one instrument and consider asking them to play at the ceremony. This could save you money from having to book a separate musical act.

Go with an established agency. Larger, more established agencies will often have a greater ability to meet your budget needs than a lesser-known agency.

Ask if they offer specialty lighting effects. Many DJs and bands offer specialty lighting effects as part of their packages. Often their basic lighting accents are free and if you want customized lighting, there will be an added fee.

Ask Everyone Questions. Check with your wedding planner for recommendations and see if they know any vendors that offer packaged deals. Ask the entertainer if they offer any discounts for paying the entire fee in advance. Some will even give discounts for last-minute booking planners just to book the date.

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Hope these tips help you out when booking a band or DJ for your wedding. Just remember to have fun and dance the night away!