The right kind of music will fuel your reception and can make the difference between “just another wedding” and an unforgettable night of dancing. Take the time to find the right musicians for your wedding.
In my opinion you can’t determine how great a wedding band is from watching a video on a website. Many of those videos are filled with special effects, which will not give you the true picture. If you’re going to hire live entertainment, you must see them perform live. Many bands perform at night clubs in the area as well as bridal shows. Not all bands are great wedding bands. A great wedding band is going to play all kinds of music. You’re not going to find that with your run of the mill bar band. Your guests are going to range in age from your friends and cousins to your aunts, uncles and grand parents. A great wedding band will play many styles of music to keep all your guests happy. When a band performs at a bridal show, the people in the audience are going to be a representation of your guests at the wedding. Watch the body language of the people in the audience around you. If they are having a good time, so will your guests.
Get band recommendations from friends, newlyweds, catering halls and wedding planners. Call them up to see where they are playing live. Ask to see a play list – ideally, you want a variety of songs that will appeal to guests of all musical tastes. I would not go by so called reviews on wedding websites. You don’t know the source of who is writing the review. It could be an out of control Bridezilla or a member of the band. Make up your own mind by seeing the band perform live at a bridal show. Pay attention to how they interact with the audience and the variety of music that they play. Some of my personal favorites in the tri-state New York, New Jersey and Connecticut markets are Alive N Kickin, Paris Music and Stolen Moments.
It’s always important to read the contract in detail. Make sure the contract includes dates, times, location, breaks, the number of singers and musicians, song commitments, emcee duties, clothing requirements, equipment, food, rates and cancellation and their refund policy.
I’ve asked some of the top wedding florists from New York and Connecticut for the most common mistakes brides make when it comes to wedding flowers. Here’s what my panel of florists wished you knew.
Couples tend to see the centerpieces and the table setting but do not visualize the whole reception room with their guests in it. For example, couples pay for a room with a wonderful view of the ocean or mountainside and want tall, large centerpieces that will obstruct this view.
Flower Mistake 2: Not trusting your florist
Communicate your vision, likes, dislikes, and expectations but have a little flexibility. Bring pictures from magazines to help convey your vision. The florist wants to make your wedding absolutely breathtaking. So relax, put trust in your vendors and remember why you hired that amazing talent!
Flower Mistake 3: Not reusing ceremony arrangements
Aisle flowers can become centerpieces and altar pieces can be used at the buffet table. The ceremony usually only lasts about half an hour — it’s a shame to see so many flowers go to waste. Select flowers that can be easily be incorporated into your color pallet for the reception décor.
Flower Mistake 4: Booking your florist last
Couples should begin the process of booking vendors by speaking to one vendor from each category before booking anyone. This way they can get an idea of what things cost and perhaps they could budget better.
Flower Mistake 5: Being forced to work with a florist you don’t want
Many catering halls force you to use their house florist by putting it in their contract. In many states this is against the law. It’s called “Restraint of Trade”. They are only guaranteeing their kick back from the florist. It’s Ok for them to recommend companies, but they can not require you to use them.
Flower Mistake 5: Refusing to compromise
The biggest mistake is for a bride to have her heart set on specific flowers and not be flexible. A florist can do a much better job if the bride asks for an overall look, feel, and color scheme and let the florist create it.
Flower Mistake 6: Ruling out pricey blooms
Don’t be scared of the expensive flowers. Flowers like cattleya orchids and peonies are more expensive, but they also cover more space and have a greater impact. One cattleya orchid can have a greater impact than a bouquet of roses.
Flower Mistake 7: Using only one color
A lot of brides try to match the flowers to the bridesmaid dresses. A bridesmaid in a pink gown with pink flowers will lead to boring wedding pictures. Flowers are a great place to choose an accent color — for example, a lime green against a chocolate brown gown will bring out the best in both colors and make for fabulous photos.
Flower Mistake 8: Choosing strongly scented flowers
Choosing highly aromatic flowers for centerpieces may sound like an amazingly romantic idea, but it will drive your guests insane if they are prone to allergies.
Flower Mistake 9: Not taking care of your blooms
Everyone loves hydrangeas, especially in bouquets. However, hydrangeas need to stay hydrated, and the average lifespan out of water in temperate conditions is about three hours. They might not even make it through your ceremony if it’s very warm the day of your wedding .
Flower Mistake 10: Forgetting to budget for flowers
Most brides find that flowers are an important part of their day, but forget to include them in the planning from the start. When your florist has a budget and a theme, they are better equipt to advise you right from the start.
Flower Mistake 11: Ordering your flowers too late
Flowers come from South America, Holland, and all over the world. It’s hard to contact farms from around the world and have your flowers arrive within one or two weeks. Leave at least a six-week window ahead of your wedding week to be able to line everything up. Your flowers will be cheaper if you can give your florist the time that they need to order.
Flower Mistake 12: Overlooking the reception table linens
What’s underneath a centerpiece is just as important as the arrangement itself. Linens don’t just complement the look of your centerpieces; they complete them. From runners to overlays, the right linen decor can make flowers flourish on a table.
If the price of a wedding gown sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Don’t get scammed into buying a counterfeit wedding gown online.
Are you worried about getting scammed? Sadly, you should be. Brides are more vulnerable than other fashion consumers. Every bride wants to find that perfect wedding dress at the best price. When you purchase a wedding dress online you’re not likely to be buying from a place where you have a regular relationship. Many of these companies are based outside of the country and reship from a distribution point within the United States. It’s worth investing the time to do your homework. Here, five warning signs to be wary of when shopping for your wedding gown:
1. Search for bad reviews on reliable sites
Search for the website name on reputable wedding boards and online forums like SiteJabber.com. You want to see whether other people have registered complaints about the quality of the dress or customer service. A lot of the review sites that appear on Google aren’t legitimate because some companies pay them to give good reviews.
2. Look for inaccuracies and inconsistencies
Take a real close look at the website: Misspellings, inaccurate model numbers and grammatical errors are a good sign that you’re not dealing with a reputable company. Look up the company’s address on Google street view so you can see what the actual store looks like, if it even exists! Check to see if they don’t have a working phone number.
3. Retail has a re-stocking fee requirement
If the site promises refunds only with a restocking fee that may indicate that they make their money by shipping merchandise that is unacceptable and then offering refunds minus the restocking fee and sometimes shipping fees. These companies count on you returning the dress.
4. Photos that look all-too-familiar
When the same picture of a dress keeps popping up, not only on the designer’s website or a well-known retailer’s site but on lots of other sites as well, think about where it came from. Check the designer’s site to make sure the retailer is in fact an authorized dealer.
5. Unbelievable deals
If every gown is deeply discounted, start to be wary of what kind of retailer you’re dealing with. When it looks and sounds too good to be true, it is! Your best bet is to shop at local bridal shops in your area. I would never recommend that you purchase your wedding gown or bridesmaid dresses online.