Thursday, August 30, 2012

4 Signs You're Becoming a Bridezilla

We all know that weddings can be stressful, and as the bride, you want everything to be perfect. Most brides want to call the shots when it comes to their big day. However, you want to make sure that you're not becoming a bridezilla.

If any of these signs apply to you or sound like something you'd think about doing, it's time to re-evaluate your priorities -- planning your wedding should be fun!

1. You're putting your parents into the poorhouse. It's natural to want the best of everything for your wedding. But, if your parents have a fixed income, don't have much disposable income, and you're not footing the bill, don't hold on too strong to a vision of $100 per-person dinners. By doing so, you'll be well on your way to becoming a bridezilla. You can have a fabulous wedding without your parents having to take out a second mortgage...just tone it down a bit.

2. Your pictures have to be absolutely perfect. If you're like most brides, you'll hire a professional photographer to catch every single minute of your special day. Since you'll still be admiring them when you're gray-haired, it's understandable that you want your wedding party to look their best. However, it is not okay to get rid of a bridesmaid who let you know she's expecting and you don't want her to look "fat" in your pictures. Your bridal party members are beautiful the way they are, and hey, if they're so "flawed," your beauty will stand out even more.

3. You no longer have time for anyone -- or anything-- else. Have you missed a ton of work since you've been engaged? Been too busy to be there for your best friend after a horrible breakup? If you're asking someone to postpone a planned, major surgery or you're considering telling your boss you need two days off per week to plan your wedding, you are, more than likely, being a bridezilla.

It's time to get real. Yes, your wedding is important, but so are your other relationships and responsibilities. Don't ignore everything else in your life or expect others to drop everything they're doing simply because you're saying "I do." Get back to work, and be there for your friend. You can handle your upcoming nuptials later.

4. Your registry total is more than most college educations. If you fill your registry with $100-plus items, all you're going to get is several congratulatory cards. Yes, your families will likely splurge on a nice gift and your close friends may, too. But the rest of your guests probably won't spoil you with high-tech toys and crystal. So, make sure you include some less expensive items in your registry as well.

For six more signs, check out 10 Signs You're Turning into Bridezilla.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

6 Ways You May Be Sabotaging Your Wedding

  1. You don't stick with your budget. Simply put, you have a budget for a reason. Early on, prioritize what you want to splurge on and what you want to save on. For example, do you care more about the flowers or the photography? When you have an idea of how high you're willing to go in each of the main categories, it'll be easier for you to narrow down your vendors and negotiate exactly what you're getting. 
  2. You plan your own bridal shower and/or bachelorette party. Let your mom, aunt, maid of honor, best friend or anyone else plan these two events. It's okay to give particular guidelines (like no strippers), but you shouldn't book any hotel rooms or create a detailed itinerary. Your friends will have lots of fun planning it, and you'll be better off since you'll have more time to focus on planning the main event. 
  3. You choose to do your own hair, makeup and/or flowers. Although you might be able to make your own favors or print your own menus, there are particular aspects of your wedding you should leave to the professionals -- hair, makeup and flowers are generally at the top of the list. Having your hair and makeup done professionally ensures you'll look amazing from beginning to end. And there won't be enough time for you to do every single centerpiece, bouquet and boutonniere yourself.
  4. You don't have a Plan B for an outdoor wedding. Always ask about rain when you're visiting potential venues, even before you book. By doing this, you're guaranteed to get something you're equally happy about, no matter what the weather does. Also, think about other weather conditions: Get heat lamps if you're planning your wedding for early fall, and provide paper fans just in case you have an extra sunny summer wedding.
  5. You wait until the big day to try on your shoes. Yes, you want to keep your fabulous shoes in perfect condition, but you should try wearing them around your house, at least, for several hours on a few different days before your wedding so you can avoid blisters or pinched toes. Even if you plan to change shoes after the ceremony, you want to be sure you can both comfortably and confidently walk down the aisle in your heels.
  6. You assume you'll be coordinating the day-of. The only thing you should have to do on your wedding day is enjoy yourself. You've likely heard this many times before, but the day goes by very quickly. If issues pop up that can't be handled beforehand, try to hand them off to your mom, maid of honor or a helpful family friend to deal with. Even better: Consider hiring a day-of coordinator to be certain everything runs smoothly. 

For other things to avoid for your big day, check out 20 Ways You're Sabotaging Your Wedding.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

5 Simple and Quick Tips for Improving Your Relationship

Want an instant love boost? Sometimes, all you need is the obvious for your relationship to feel fresh and new once again:

  1. Make small, unexpected gestures. Many times, the best validation that you're loved and appreciated is when you experience an act that shows your partner is always thinking about you. Of course, planning a romantic date night takes thought and is always appreciated; but, buying your spouse a sweet treat just because you happened to pass a bakery and know he/she would love it really makes an impact. The feeling of "for-no-real-reason" makes the gesture mean a lot.
  2. Let your spouse breathe. Why? Because you'll be more excited to see one another. Yes, having a person to come home to is a big plus of being married. However, sometimes, it's nice to walk into an empty home, and take a bubble bath or just chill out in front of the TV without having to talk. Whatever space your spouse needs, give it to him/her, guilt-free; you could make dinner plans with friends or conveniently come home late from work one evening. Just a little distance makes the heart grow fonder.
  3. Write it down. While it may seem sappy or cliche to let your mate know how much he/she means to you, expressing your feelings (even when you assume they're known) is important in long-term relationships. Otherwise, you risk getting into "taking each other for granted" syndrome. You don't have to pen a 10-page love letter (or a really long email); an "I love you" written on your dry-erase board or leaving a "Have a fantastic day!" post-it note on the bathroom mirror is all it takes to let your significant other know you cared enough to take some time to write it down.

For the final two tips, check out our source.

How do you keep the romance in your relationship and/or marriage going?

[Photo Credit]

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

How to Plan a Party That's More Fun With Less Money

One of the most stressful aspects of planning an event is its cost. When you add everything up -- the food, decorations, etc. -- it's easy to spend a small fortune on just the basics. Check out five easy things to consider that can help you save money while planning your bash:

Imagine. Think about what your dream event will be like. Create a list of all the things you'd like to have, and don't hold back. Include every thought and concept, both big and small, regardless of how unbelievable you might think they are. Give this serious thought since this is your brainstorming session.You won't use all the ideas you write down, but putting them down will give you an outline of your ideal event and gives you a great starting point.

Theme. Evaluate your list, then place all related ideas together. More than likely, you'll have one or two main themes, and those will help you determine what you really want to do. Get rid of everything else that doesn't fit with your theme; and keep in mind that you might need to readjust a few times before you get it just right. Determining a theme is the first step in making a festive mood; it also provides you with a focus that will help you maintain your budget and even makes the party planning process more enjoyable!

For three more tips, check out our source.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

5 Ways for Event Planners to Use Twitter

Are you an event planner? If so, here are a few ways you can use Twitter more effectively:

  1. Create a list of people you think are influential in the industry. Doing this will give you a real-time feed of what those in the industry are up to. Additionally, if you use a tool like Hootsuite (or something similar), you can create a specific feed for a hashtag (a couple of good examples, #eventprofs, #eventtable). Not only can this help inspire ideas, it can also keep conversation flowing.
  2. Use lots of @s and RT's (retweets). People will unfollow you if you're not active on Twitter. So, be sure to keep your page lively by being involved in conversations; don't just tweet out your own content. When you retweet other event industry professional's content, people will begin to see you as more of an expert. And that makes your page a place someone goes to for ideas and/or information. 
  3. Ask questions. Ask your followers for their opinions of events, blog post ideas, etc. People love to feel like they're included in something. 
  4. Share any content you create on Twitter. Make sure you keep your content flowing. Everything you post -- articles, blog posts, videos, etc. -- should also be shared on Twitter.
  5. Update often, and keep it relevant. Being consistent and posting often will increase your number of followers and activity. And be sure that about 90 percent of your posts pertain to your expertise.

For four more tips, check out our source, 9 Easy Ways to use Twitter for Event Planners.

[Photo Credit]

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

What to Ask Wedding Cake Bakers BEFORE You Book

Because your wedding cake is the centerpiece of your reception, you want to be as careful in choosing it as you were with your dress. So, here are some important questions you should ask a cake baker before hiring him or her:

Do you customize? Will the baker create a unique cake, or does he or she have particular styles to choose from. If possible, look at photos and actual cakes. And make sure you bring along fabric swatches, pictures and any other resources if there is a custom style you want.

How far in advance are cakes prepared? Remember, cake bakers often have more than one cake to make per weekend. With that said, don't be surprised if your baker prepares your cake three or four days before your wedding. Of course, the closer to your wedding date, the better.

What are my filling options? Determine what filling options are available and the ingredients used. No matter what you're looking for, the ingredients used will make all the difference in how it tastes. A few common filling ingredients are fresh fruits or purees, Italian buttercream and farm-fresh buttercream.

How do you price your wedding cakes? It's common for cakes to be priced by the slice, and the price usually increases, depending on how complex your flavors and fillings are. This goes for custom-designed cakes, too. More intricate details add to the cost.

Is the baker licensed by the state? This question might seem silly, but it's worth confirming that your baker is licensed by the state health department.

For more questions to ask a potential wedding cake baker, check out our source.

[Photo Credit]

Thursday, August 9, 2012

5 First Wedding Anniversary Gift Ideas

You're coming up on the anniversary of your first full year of marriage -- happy anniversary! Traditionally, paper is the gift for the first wedding anniversary. However, it can be difficult to find ideas for gifts that feature paper prominently and that are romantic. Luckily, it's not impossible; read below for a few ideas that your spouse will surely love:
  1. Tickets. Whether they're for a concert, sporting event or maybe a second honeymoon, be sure it's an event your spouse will truly enjoy.
  2. An invitation. If you want to make dinner or take your spouse out, you can invite him or her with a nice invitation you create yourself or buy. This shows that you put thought into the date since you're paying attention to the details while still incorporating paper.
  3. Scrapbook. Creating a paper scrapbook that features photos (which are printed on paper) is a very meaningful gift. You can focus on the wedding itself or document your first year as a married couple, from your wedding to your first anniversary.
  4. Gift certificates. A gift certificate to your spouse's favorite store or spa or a movie rental subscription gives him the opportunity to choose whatever he desires. Also, this can be a good excuse to shop together, get a couple's massage or have movie night.
  5. A love letter. There's nothing that says, "I love you," more than a thoughtful, sincere, handwritten love letter. Not only is it old-fashioned and sweet, it will also warm your spouse's heart.
For 10 more first wedding anniversary gift ideas, check out our source, 15 First Wedding Anniversary Gift Ideas.

[Photo Credit]

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Biggest Event Planning Fears...And How to Face Them

Hosting a company event is a great way to meet new people, get the word out about your business and just have fun. If you're the organizer, however, it can be intimidating.

Read below for some ideas on dealing with some of the biggest event planning fears so you and your guests can concentrate on having fun:
  1. No one will attend. Here, the most important thing is to promote your event like crazy in your store (if you have one) and on your website, blog and social media networks. Additionally, local media usually have calendar or community events sections that you can submit your event to. A few other ideas include creating an online event marketing page, making a Twitter #hashtag and encouraging people to tweet about it and using an e-mail marketing campaign.
  2. People aren't mingling. Although name tags aren't the most fun thing (particularly if you forget you have it on hours after an event), they're very helpful in getting people to mingle with each other. To get people talking, try including a surprising bit of information. Additionally, put the food, drinks and seating in different areas -- this will encourage people to move around the room. 
  3. People leave early, or they won't leave. Organization is very important for any event; everything needs to be set up and prepared before the early birds get there. If you have scheduled things that will take place during the event, pass out printed programs so people will know the timeline. Also, create a "soft" end time for the event. As that time gets closer, politely remind attendees that the event is about to conclude, but don't be too strict on the exact time. Most people won't hang around.
  4. Uninvited party crashers arrive. Inevitably, you'll have a couple of unwanted guests, whether it's your competition, former employees or even your ex. You've heard the saying, "If you can't beat them, join them," right? Well, the same applies here. Surprise them by saying "hello" first. Hopefully, any issues they have will be discussed with you in private, not with everyone else.
  5. Someone has had too much to drink. How do you handle this? Begin with the bartender(s) and have them limit the amount of drinks given to any one person and to offer coffee, water or juice as an alternative. If someone has been over served, call him/her a cab or ride home.
Although you might try to plan for everything, an event rarely goes perfectly. So, if something you weren't expecting does happen, stay calm, and get your employees to help. Know that you did the best you could, and everyone else will know as well.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

4 Things to do before you have a baby

Photo from:

Are you and your new hubby thinking about bringing a baby into the mix? No worries -- your life won't end when you do. But, there are some things you should probably check off of your 'life list' before you do:

  1. Go bungee jumping, zip-lining or whatever crazy, life-risking activity you have on your bucket list. These things are not looked highly upon when you have little ones who basically depend on you to be injure-free and alive. So do them before the baby.
  2. Value your alone time in the bathroom. Seriously. Really appreciate it.
  3. Go on a road trip. To anywhere, together or alone. It doesn't matter; just completely enjoy total silence or blast whatever kid-unfriendly music you want. Only stop when you want or need to, and really enjoy the freedom. Your car will never be the same after you have a child.
  4. Take that career risk. Try for that promotion, change careers or any other risk that's work-related that will feel too precarious once you have dependents. You'll have the rest of your life to worry about stability, your income and shelling out for diapers and college. Make the most of this time by pursuing your passion or determining what you really want to do.

For 11 more things to do before baby, go here