To DIY or Not to DIY-Wedding Tips for the Do It Yourself-er

There is no mistake, we all have talents and gifts. No matter how good you are at any of the following, these are bride-tested things not to DIY.

First on the list are flowers. Blooms are perishable and need a timed delivery. If your wedding is laid-back, you can opt for silk and do them really early so you can decide if it's really something you can handle.  Two things that absolutely need to be fresh are bouquets and boutonnieres.

Second is your hair. This will be the most photographed day of your life. So a picture perfect up-do may be on your list. If a red carpet look that makes your other half breathless is a must-have, thenthis is definitely not a DIY option.   Two things needed to accomplish that are patience and practice but you will be short on patience on your big day.  So let the hot iron wielding hair experts have at it. 

Third on the no DIY list is photography. How many friends do you know with an expensive digital camera? Before you let your cousin's son's friend photograph the most important day of your life, look at their work.  If they have never shot a wedding, that is a definite "no thanks".  There is a flow to a wedding and your photographer will need to know where to be to get the best shots.  A professional will also have more than one person working a wedding to assure the best angles possible. These photos will be the only thing you have to reminisce with years from now. Don't kick yourself later, this is one that is best left to the professionals.

Fourth is planning and coordinating your big day. You might be the most organized person you know, but trying to run your day of proceedings, is a disaster waiting to happen. Take it from experience, you don't need that stress. It doesn't have to be an expensive professional. If you know someone that is a natural leader and is willing to take on this task, you have a winner but do not overlook the advantages of having someone experienced. A professional is worth their weight in gold when unexpected disaster comes into play.

Fifth is food on the no DIY list. While you or your mother may be gourmet chefs, your wedding will require your full attention.  Food is not what you need to be stressing over. A professional caterer will know how to combine your and your other half's tastes. They will also know what foods need to be served when. Just food for thought.

Next on the list is your wedding cake.  You may be fabulous with fondant and flamboyant with fruit, but this is definitely not a DIY. Anyone that has attempted one of these elaborate masterpieces knows it takes days. One wrong move means starting over. You don't want to be worrying with this days before the wedding and definitely not trying to set it up on the big day.

On another note, a popular trend is making a play list on an iPod to save money.  But consider this, can an iPod make announcements, keep the mood up, play only the hottest parts of songs or play last minute requests? DJ's do so much more than just press play. It is a key element of your big day.  If something happens to your iPod, there's no music and you'll be humming a different tune.

Last but not least is transportation. You may not dream of a horse drawn carriage or even a limo and that's ok!  Just don't forget it's the most photographed day of your life.  So a flashy caddy or hot rod verses a family car is a discussion that needs to be had. How you exit from the extravaganza is up to you.

Everyone has talents but stress is not one of them. Let's keep stress at bay and let the experts do what they are good at, so you can dance through your dreamy big day.

St. Patrick's Day Inspiration for Green Wedding Themes

With St. Patrick's Day here, you may ponder on a lucky wedding.  If March is your magic month, then green is probably on your mind.  Green can be soft, rich, deep, strong, uplifting and even outrageous.  It doesn't matter what your personality, there's a green for you! 

From start to finish you can find gorgeous green accessories. St. Patty weddings can be rustic with horseshoes and burlap or elegant with green Amaryllis and emerald shamrocks.  A wedding dress with a green satin wrap along side a groom with a green vest and plaid tie is undeniably lucky in love. Invitations in all shades of green, and even St. Patty theme, are abundant.

Most any vendor can accommodate a St. Patty theme. The level of saturation of the theme is up to you. If you're crazy about St. Patty, you can incorporate it into every aspect of your wedding. It can be done withoutdrowning in shamrocks.

Cakes can be bold with dark green stripes or elegant with sage accents.  If St. Patty's day isn't the main theme but green is, then you're in luck.   Having different shades of green on different styles of dresses for your bridesmaids makes for a dazzling display.

Green is more versatile than you think. It will pair with many colors.  White and pink are favorites but don't be afraid to experiment.
When thinking food, don't shy away from green or Irish foods.  Almost any food can be turned green, or you can go with actual Irish appetizers. Whatever you choose, it's probably a good idea to go mini, so your guests can sample many items.
When thinking flowers, there are ways to have green bouquets that work. Your dress will more than likely be white. If it has green accents pick that color up with the bouquet. White roses can be tinted ever so softly and green hydrangeas make a heavenly handful.

No matter the theme of your wedding, green of any shade is always a good choice. It isn't just a March color but can be any month.
Green is the most common color in the world.  It is the easiest color on the eyes as we can usually discern all shades. It represents the Irish patron Saint Patrick. Green is a color represented in almost every culture in the world as positive. No matter what theme your wedding, green is good to go.

Bridal Show Bonanza

After the elation of a dreamy engagement starts to fade, the frenzy of thoughts on how to plan start rushing around in your mind. Fear not! We are here to help make this an exciting, fun part of the whole wedding experience. Wedding shows are a team sport, so gather your most enthusiastic friends and family and make a game plan. If you have not had trusted recommendations for individual vendors, you can meet many when they are all in one place at a wedding expo. Serious vendors attend bridal shows, because of cost. Don't shy away from smaller venue type wedding shows. They can be very intimate and informative.
Use some of your down time to peruse wedding ideas. Jot down or screen shot things you really like. Most women know what they want their wedding to look like but get lost in the details. Start narrowing down the endless options early, so you know what vendors to look for.

A cute idea, if budget allows, is to get yourself and your wedding show helpers matching tote bags, or backpacks, or carry-ons with wheels.  You can find bridal organizers in all shapes and sizes.  If you are a DIY'er, then grab a note pad and stapler and paper clips. Make sure you have a check list of services and vendors you need.  You also need questions written down. There will be a lot going on and you don't want to forget an important thought.

Pre-registration at events helps tremendously at the door.
A necessity you will need is a portable phone charger or at least a cord.  Don't forget you can add contacts to your phone and make notes there too. Definitely bring pre-printed address labels with your contact information, wedding date/venue on them. This saves a ton of time and writers cramp when filling out all the information cards/giveaway entry forms at booths.

If you already know your colors bring swatches.  Don't forget to eat light before you get there.  There will be tons of tasty treatsbut you want to try them with a level head not a hungry stomach.

So here you are at the expo, sounds, smells and excitement abound. Keep your companions close and don't forget to breath. Make sure you aren't just talking to a booth helper. Try to find the person you will be working with. Look for a vendor that seems genuinely interested and can focus on you and ask you questions. Sometimes people want to be pressured into taking advantage of show discounts when they like someone. This is fine but don't end up with buyers' remorse the next day and feel you are now stuck with a vendor. Most vendors who are offering a discount will honor it for a few days. If they discount is too great, be wary. You get what you pay for so in a service industry, steep discounts are often a red flag.

Don't feel you are obligated to to give all your information to everyone. If you have a hard time saying no, make sure you take a friend that doesn't.
After you have a bulging bag of magazines, brochures and a collection of business cards that would rival any baseball card collection, you may want to start heading for an exit.

If you can't force another cheese and cracker or sweet cake down the hatch, you are done.
Make sure you have time to unwind. Don't try to go through anything for a couple days. Take that night to grab a glass of wine and relax in a hot bubble bath and reminisce about your partner and your engagement. This is a wonderful time in your life, savor every moment.

Red: The Color of Love for an NC Wedding

It is the week of Valentine's Day. The one week of the year, most filled with love and promise...and Hallmark Cards. Valentine's Day is one of the most popular days of the year to pop the question. 

It's also a popular day for a wedding. The color that comes to mind for weddings is usually white but add valentines and love and everyone thinks of Red! Red and white make an amazing combination. There are so many beautiful wedding dresses with red accents. Is red too dominate of a color, you may ask? Why no, actually red trim on a white gown can be breathtaking and unforgettable. Red and white roses are undeniably beautiful and classy. Tuxes with red bow ties or red rose boutonnieres will stand the test of time. Red is classic. Brides maids will be stunning in flowing red gowns. Ring bearers and flower girls will steal your heart in red. You can also soften the colors with touches of pink for a full on valentine theme that will grab everyone's hearts and attention. These color combo's are good for any season! The colors of love are year round options!

@McEntee Images 2016 with Black Tie Formal Wear/High Point, NC

@McEntee Images 2016 with Black Tie Formal Wear/High Point, NC

Table settings can be as formal or as casual as you wish but red and white will always be elegant. Imagine settings in white on a black table dressing with red roses and red goblets.  Chairs wrapped in red satin with cascading roses. Your magnificent cake will be too beautiful to eat! It can be adorned with roses, lace or even red fruit. The choices are endless.

Photographers will love to capture your day with striking colors that pop in your photos.  The photos will stand the test of time with such a classic combination that there will be no regrets of "dated" choices 10 years down the road. 

By Elegant Wedding Invites

By Elegant Wedding Invites

Anything and everything you need for a wedding can be found in these wonderful colors. If you are pondering about red and white, have no doubt! Red and white are timeless and will be memorable for all who attend.

White is a positive color that represents purity, light, goodness and illumination. Red, the warmest of all colors, represents prosperity, joy, passion and strength. So you will be a confidant and dynamic bride! Your guests will be over flowing with love and blessings. So go ahead and be bold. Be the bride everyone remembers!

Wedding Forward

Wedding Forward

Tipping Wedding Vendors-North Carolina Wedding Venue

With the excitement of your wedding, we are here to help relieve some of the things that may get over looked.

Last minute decisions are never good.  So here is a helpful guide to tipping vendors at your wedding.

While tipping is not mandatory it is the norm in the service industry.  You will also want to take a few minutes to check your contracts.  Some vendors include it already. Standards can slightly very by local area. Just remember, in North Carolina,  it is not mandatory.  If it gets to be too much for your budget, try to at least tip the catering staff.  No need to tip owners. 

These are some commonly suggested tip percentages.

Transportation - 15%

Wedding Planner - 10% 

Catering - 20%

Photographer/ videographer - Usually tipping $50 to $100 to each person especially if they do not own the business

Venue staff - $20 each

Officiant - $100 donation to their church

Hair makeup - 15%

Band or DJ - 10% - 15%

Florist - 10% - 15%

Delivery drivers - $10

Seamstress - A pic of you in your gown

A good rule of thumb for the service industry is $10 to 15% but not over $500.00

If you do not have extra cash, a handwritten note thanking them for going above and beyond is a great way to show your gratitude.  They can use these for booking future clients.   You can also drop hints to loved ones that their gift to you  could be tipping staff. (Never hurts to try, right?)

It is always a good idea to put tips in the budget so you are not over whelmed.  Cash is also preferred. Who doesn't like cash?!

To take some of the burden off of you it is a good idea to have a trusted friend in charge of tipping. You can place a thank you note and or money in envelopes with the vendors names/duties written on them so that a trusted individual can hand them out through the day before the vendor leaves. 

Tipping is always up to you. You know who deserves more or less.  If they made you smile or took some stress off of you, went above and beyond their duties, a hug can be included!

If you can not tip, a good review is one of the best ways to show a vendor some love!

Congratulations on your big day!