Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Choosing your honeymoon destination

Deciding where to go for your honeymoon can really be a difficult choice. There are so many options to choose from! Here's how to choose one that you and your spouse-to-be will love:

Ask yourself what kind of honeymoon experience you want. Do you want relaxation, culture or an adventure? Whichever you choose, you should also consider the distance and how long you plan to stay; these aspects might affect your final decision. If you and your partner are having a hard time agreeing on the perfect place to go, try to compromise.

Create a budget. And be realistic. Many couples want a little luxury when it comes to their honeymoons. However, if an entire vacation at a five-star resort or hotel is too expensive, consider staying only a few days, and then move to a less expensive location. Additionally, you can register for a honeymoon; this will allow your loved ones to give toward your vacation. One other tip: Pass up pre-packaged honeymoon deals-- they're usually not as flexible and aren't customized to fit your choices.

Consider using a travel agent. They are skilled time-savers that can assist you in simplifying this process. Get recommendations from family and friends, or look for agents who are bonded and members of the American Society of Travel Agents.

Make sure the names on your passports are the same as the ones on your plane tickets. Also, get immunization shots or any needed medication ahead of time, and remember, you may experience jet lag. If you aren't accustomed to traveling, don't plan a day of sight-seeing immediately after getting to your destination. Finally, don't overplan; give yourself enough time to rest and explore.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

4 Tips for Hiring Your Wedding Videographer

Choosing a videographer for your wedding might seem difficult, but here are four tips to help:

1. Ask your photographer for a referral. He or she is probably familiar with several video shooters and knows who does good work and works well with others. There might even be a videographer associated with his or her studio.

2. Speak with couples who have worked with him or her recently. One question to ask: Was the videographer professional and discreet, or was he/she in everybody's face? Edward Neary of Milestone Video Production says "it's best if he stays invisible to the bride, groom and other guests."

3. Ask for a sample or two. It's better to see a completed video from a single wedding as opposed to a highlight video that's a combination of multiple weddings.

4. Make sure the videographer will blend in. She may need a tripod on occasion, but if she says "wheeled cart" or "dolly," run in the opposite direction.

Source: Brides Magazine, November 2010; Photo Credit

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tips for throwing an office party

Thinking about putting together an office party for your workplace? Check out the tips below to make sure a fabulous time is had by all:

Get assistance. One way to do this is create a committee with the more social staff members. They will be able to give you some ideas, and by allowing them to be a part of the process, you can basically ensure there will be less complaining about the party plans. Additionally, ask for ideas from your employees by gathering answers on a brief questionnaire or set up a suggestion box.
Leave the office. Have the party at another location so everyone can get away from the office and the work-vibe. If you don't want to have it at a restaurant or hotel, try something different like an art gallery, museum or even a country inn.
Bring in the noise. Music is always good, so if you can, hire a DJ or live band. If you can't afford either, be sure to bring an iPod or a CD player. You can have employees bring their favorite CDs and have someone be responsible for regularly changing the albums to make sure a variety of music is played.
Guests. If you have the party in the afternoon, it makes sense to have an employee-only event. If it's an evening affair, however, letting employees bring a guest helps them keep the peace in their homes.
Be responsible. For the most part, you should provide festive and tasty non-alcoholic beverages. In certain situations, you could be held liable if an employee causes an accident while driving intoxicated after your party. Your options: Limit alcohol consumption, give employees rides home or establish a designated car pool.

Do you have any tips for throwing an office party? Please share below : ) (And if you need assistance in planning your office party, please don't hesitate to contact us: anointedaffairs@gmail.com).

Photo from: celebrations.com; Source

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

6 unexpected ways to relax

Wedding planning got you feeling stressed and overwhelmed? Here are six ways to de-stress that you may not have considered (from Brides Magazine):

  1. Tell a joke.
  2. Sing a children's song.
  3. Make your bed.
  4. Go through some family photos.
  5. Chew a stick of gum.
  6. Pet a cat or dog.

What are some unconventional ways you relieve stress? Let us know by leaving a comment!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Wedding reception seating

With some tact and common sense, you can make a seating plan that will make nearly everyone happy.

You may feel that if you supply enough seats, everybody can determine where to sit on their own. But, if you take the time to create a plan, you'll ease your guests' anxiety of attempting to find a seat, and it ensures that couples who want to sit together can. If you have under 50 people attending your wedding, a detailed plan may not be necessary. Additionally, you could choose to just identify the bridal table with place cards and let other guests seat themselves; some couples choose to have a cocktail party or buffet with few tables, hoping the guests will "alternate" sitting and eating. If you choose to do this, be sure that elderly guests have somewhere to sit-- you could even designate an individual table for them.

So, who sits where?

The bridal table: The newlyweds might sit at a long, rectangluar head table, at a round table in the center or have their own "sweetheart" table. On the other hand, some couples don't have a table at all and leave some empty seats at each table so they can interact during the reception. Typically, the bridal table is set apart from the others by the type of decoration.

Family tables. Usually, the parents of the couple sit opposite of one another at a big family table with grandparents, the officiant and other close friends. Another option: The couple's parents "host" their own tables with their family members and close friends. And when it comes to divorced parents, each parent might host his or her own table which would help prevent discomfort.

Mix or match. When it comes to everyone else, you may be wondering if you should put friends together or put them with people they may not know. You should do a little of both. Yes, it's a good idea to throw in a few new places at every table, but people are more at ease when they know some of the people they're dining with.

Singles vs. Couples. Perhaps you've really been wanting to set your college roomate up with your fiance's best friend. It's okay to discreetly seat them next to one another. One thing you don't want to do is make a separate "singles" table; this may embarrass guests. Additionally, be careful not to place an unmarried friend at a table with a bunch of giddy newlyweds.

Children. If several children are at your reception, seat them together at a separate kids' table. If, however, only the flowergirl and ringbearer are there, they can sit with their parents.

Once you've figured out where everyone will go, you have to choose how you're going to guide them to their seats:

Place cards: These are tented cards, and they can be used by themselves or with escort cards. They are displayed close to the reception entrance in alphabetical order and typically include the guest's name and table number. When they reach the table, guests generally choose where to sit.
Escort cards: These are used in the most formal seating arrangments. They usually have the guest's name on the outer envelope and the table number on the card inside. The place cards on each table indicate where each guest sits.
The seating chart: These are generally displayed alphabetically in a nice frame close to the reception entrance and are lists of the guests' names with their tables. Additional place cards can be used at each table to signify assigned seats.
Do not, under any circumstance, use nametags. Your guests can make any introductions you haven't made beforehand.

Prior to making your seating arrangements, you should get the floor plan and make some copies. By doing this, you can try out different arrangements before you make the final choice. If you have any doubts, trust you instincts. And remember, it doesn't matter how perfect your final plan seems, someone will probably ask you to alter something to make a guest happy. You should try to be accommodating, but don't let it drive you crazy.

Source; Photo Credit

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Planning a baby shower on a budget

So, you have to host a baby shower for your sister, friend or cousin. And although you want it to be great, you don't want to spend a fortune on it. Here are some tips to help you host a fabulous shower without breaking the bank:

The location will be about five percent of your budget.
How to Save: Use your home (a relative's or a friend's will work to) to host the shower instead of using a restaurant or club. Additionally, consider having the party in a public place like a local park; just be sure to determine if you'll need a permit. And if you choose an outdoor venue, you also need to create a rain plan.

Invites and stationery are usually about 10 percent of your budget.
How to Save: Forget about snail-mail invites and use an online service like Evite, pingg or MyPunchBowl. Guests will be grateful for the ease of RSVPing by email, and you get to feel great about saving the trees and money. (However, if older guests will be attending, this might not work for them). And instead of having a guest book, cut out stars from heavy card stock. Ask guests to write their well wishes to the little one. Afterward, paste the stars into a baby book with a cute heading like "A Star Is Born" or "When You Wish Upon a Star."

Decoration will be about five percent of your overall budget.
How to Save: Purchasing items in bulk is one of the best ways to save. Before buying anything, compare online warehouse prices to your local store. Use latex balloons instead of mylar. For tablewear, look into stores like Christmas Tree Shops where you can buy dishes and cups inexpensively. You can also find lots of DIY decor ideas in the baby shower themes area on TheBump.com.

Rentals are usually around five percent of your budget.
How to Save: If you have the shower at someone's home, you shouldn't have to rent any furniture. If it's outdoors, get creative with seating options. For instance, you can spread out blankets on the grass and pack large picnic baskets with finger foods like tea sandwiches, strawberries and homemade cookies. Remember that the mom-to-be still needs a comfy chair.

For five more ways to save on a baby shower, check out 10 Tips For Budget Baby Showers.

Photo Credit