Congratulations on Your Engagement!

This exciting time for you and your fiance comes with so many questions.  One of the things we pride ourselves on is having amazing vendors who are able to help you navigate all those questions seamlessly to allow you the opportunity to enjoy every minute of the process!  We have some great blogs below by our members to help you plan your wedding.

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  • August 21, 2017 9:49 AM | Cherie Ronning (Administrator)

    Ring Insurance – Get Protected

    You window shop for your dream engagement ring at every jewelry boutique you pass on your way to work. Your partner is secretly searching for the perfect ring on his iPad during an office meeting. As the two of you go looking through store after store, searching for that diamond needle in a haystack of sparkle, don’t forget to also search for protection; insurance that is.

    It may not be the first thing you think about when hunting for the perfect princess cut diamond ring, but it should definitely be on your to-do list. The last thing you want is for your ring to be gobbled up by a sea turtle while snorkeling on your Hawaiian honeymoon. Why make a situation worse because insuring it slipped your mind?

    Tips for insuring your engagement ring:

    • Get an appraisal – most jewelers will offer to appraise your ring for free at the time of purchase. Reappraise every few years because the value may have gone up.
    • Offered by most insurance companies – so shop around. Insurance agents will want to look at the ring, so policies have to be written in person.
    • Add it to your renters insurance – renters insurance can insure a particular item up to 5k.
    • Consider pulling out a separate policy – if your ring is appraised for more than 5k it cannot all be insured under renters insurance. A separate policy covers the ring outside of your home (such as coverage against Hawaiian sea turtles).
    • Take pictures – take pictures of your ring. If your ring is stolen, you can show the police exactly what is missing. You can also show this to a jeweler who can help you replace it with something similar.

    Talk with your jeweler and insurance providers to learn how they can help you protect your engagement ring in the case it gets lost, stolen, or eaten.

  • August 10, 2017 9:16 AM | Cherie Ronning (Administrator)

    Mind your manners - 

    We are always taught to say “please” and “thank you”, but too often does the “thank you” get over looked in the hustle and bustle of wedding planning. Hopefully you saved your list of names and addresses from sending out your invites because you are not done with them until the Thank You notes are sent!

    Don’t worry about spending a lot of time on each; all you need to do is write a few sentences thanking them for their attendance and gift in a relatively personal way.

    “Thank you Aunt Beth and Uncle Bob for flying out from Denver to be at our wedding, it was great to see you! We love the stainless steel Crockpot you gave us, now I can make an attempt at Grandma’s famous clam chowder!”

    It’s as simple as that! Short, sweet, and personal. Even if it was the fifth blender you received or it is a frog sculpture Aunt Marge made in her beginners sculpting class, Thank You note is still a must!

    Trying to figure out how you are going to squeeze in the time to write all these Thank You notes? Even though they don’t have a lot of writing in each, there are still a lot of notes to write. It’s okay if you don’t get all of them done in one sitting, in fact you should take a little break! Write part of your Thank You notes on the flight to your Hawaiian honeymoon and part on the way back. Break it up into groups of 25 notes and it will seem more manageable.

    Whether they drove across town or flew across the country, your guests took the time to be at your wedding AND pick out a gift or write a check. Show them your appreciation by sending them a Thank You. This small gesture can mean a great deal!

    Your Momma would be so proud!

  • August 07, 2017 9:38 AM | Cherie Ronning (Administrator)

    Makeup Artists

    Having your hair and makeup done the morning of the wedding is a treat and one that is truly something you should consider a necessity for yourself, the Moms and the Bridesmaids.

    A good makeup artist will only accentuate you, bringing out your natural beauty, adding those lashes and making you feel glamorous. The makeup will last throughout the day, keeping you looking your best for photos, the ceremony and while dancing the night away! Be sure to schedule a trial run to be comfortable with the style and amount of makeup. Then plan a romantic night out for the two of you after your initial trial!

    The up-do or other style you choose can also last the day when created by a professional. Consider having a trial run about a month out, take your veil and be sure that the style suits you, the veil and your vision.

    Things to consider:

    • Who should pay for hair and makeup for the Moms and Bridal Party?
    • Will you bring the artists to the location, or will you go to the salon?
    • Consider all of you wearing the same lip color.
    • If doing mani/pedis get them done the day before.
    • Remember to add plenty of time into your timeline for the day.

  • July 31, 2017 10:34 AM | Cherie Ronning (Administrator)

    Wedding Musicians & Entertainment

    Live music at your wedding or reception is always wonderful. A great organist, piano player, cello, violin, harp, guitar or even a marimba can add another layer of interest to the ceremony. And don't forget about a trumpet fanfare or a bagpiper.

    Watching great musicians and hearing great vocalists will make your Guests feel special and they will feel like dancing. It isn’t too often anymore that people get to see live bands, so consider this if it fits your budget.

    When coupled with a fabulous DJ, it is a party waiting to happen. There are many great bands but often they don’t like to do the MC work and then they take a 15 minute break every hour. So having a DJ as well covers the breaks, gets you a professional MC and they can play those recognizable songs that get people up and moving.

    Things to consider:

    • Number of band members.
    • What do they need – power – lighting – break room – refreshments?
    • How much time do they require for setup and take down, and be sure it fits your overall schedule.
    • What is their musical genre and do they play outside of that?
    • Will they learn and do a special first dance song for you?

  • July 27, 2017 8:41 AM | Cherie Ronning (Administrator)

    Wedding Travel

    There are two types of travel associated with a wedding. The travel to get your Guests and Bridal Party to the event and of course YOUR HONEYMOON!! If you are staying in the city or headed to Thailand, below, travel must be carefully researched and we totally recommend you use an experienced Travel Agent!

    For Guest travel, be sure they have ample time to book to ensure the best rates. This means send out a Save the Date a year in advance if you have your location and date secured. If you are having a Destination Wedding, your travel agent can book for everyone and probably be able to secure better rates.

    Your Honeymoon is so important and exciting! After months of planning the wedding and the excitement and exhaustion of the wedding it will be so nice to get away with your new spouse and create a memory to last a lifetime.

    Things to consider:

    • Budget – first and foremost! The average couple spends at least $5,000 if leaving their hometown.
    • What is your fantasy honeymoon location? Hawaii, Mexico, the Caribbean? Italy?
    • What do you think you want to experience on your trip – are you looking for adventure, wine tasting, cooking classes, snorkeling and other water sports – or do you just want to lay out in the sun and relax?

    If you have those answers when you meet with your travel expert then they can show you all the options that fit you and your budget.

  • July 24, 2017 9:57 AM | Cherie Ronning (Administrator)

    Wedding Catering

    Feeding your Guests is the biggest expense of your reception. This means you must seriously look at the number of Guests you wish to host and the type of food you wish to serve and be realistic within your budget. Typically the starting point would be around $30.00 per person, plus tax and gratuity.

    Your Guests will remember the meal, so it is important to make it a good one! Only hire a reputable caterer. Ask to see their menus. Ask what is included in their food cost quote – does it include the staff, the set up and tear down. Do they set the tables? Do they handle the rentals or is that your responsibility?

    If you are at a venue with a catering staff included you must still understand the costs, and as with everything else – get it in writing.

    Things to consider:

    • Do you get to do a tasting before you sign a contract?
    • Should you offer a buffet or a plated meal? Did you know that plated is usually cheaper, and so much more elegant? Plus it is easier on your Guests.
    • Do they have late night offerings?
    • What is the ratio of service staff to the number of Guests? What do they do with the leftovers? Do they box them up for your family, take them to a local shelter or throw them away?

  • July 20, 2017 8:26 AM | Cherie Ronning (Administrator)

    This is the MOST important decision you need to make and make it before you sign any contracts! No matter what you have seen in the movies or on TV – the planner and their team are the workhorses behind the scenes making sure that everything is produced to their high standards and your vision!

    This is probably the biggest party you will ever throw until your own daughter gets married. If you are spending $25k to $50k or more – why in the world would you think you can do it all yourself? You do not want to make costly mistakes.

    The Planner is a return customer to the venues and service providers. They know what the pricing should be, the quality of the service providers, how to read the contracts, how to ask for extras and get them, how to write a REAL timeline that accommodates everything and then they know how to produce the event.

    Your Planner works for you – they are NOT the same as an on- site wedding coordinator at the church or event facility. These people work for the church or facility, the Planner works for you. That means they are always watching out for you and making sure every person hired lives up to their contractual agreement. Wedding Planners may help you with the concept of your overall vision, but an event designer will bring the vision to life. When interviewing a potential Wedding Planner ask about their design services.

    There is NO such thing as a Day of Wedding Coordinator – this is a term the media created. You can’t have a “Day of Attorney” represent you in court without having meetings and knowing all the facts.

    Hiring a Planner for “Day of” wedding day management can have its drawbacks. For example, they can only direct traffic that day, they can’t ward off mistakes that would have been caught in the full service planning process. Someone offering to provide “Day of Wedding” service in the $250 or $500 price range is NOT an experienced professional Planner.

    Industry standards in the Pacific NW, have Month of Management starting at $1,750 and up, and full service wedding planning starting at $4k and up. This usually includes 1 assistant. Month of Management means you will have at least 4-6 meetings with the Planner, they will handle the timeline, be in touch with all your service providers, tour the facility, help you choose rentals and more. They and their team will be at the rehearsal and then at the wedding for hours, working to be sure it is perfect

    Make no mistake – you and your Mom deserve to be Guests at the wedding, not workhorses! No Bride wants to be worrying if the cake arrived or have all the service providers asking them where to set up. You are busy being the Bride. No matter how many friends and family members say they will help on the wedding day – typically they won’t!

    The average Planner gets at least 175 questions from guests, bridal party, service providers, facility folks and others during the course of the wedding day. That is a lot of interruptions that you never know about. They solve every problem and IF it requires a final decision from you or your family they will inquire in a discreet way. And they do it all with a BIG smile on their face.

    Things to consider:

    • Interview 3-5 Planners and get a feel for their style.
    • Look at their reviews on The Knot and Wedding Wire.
    • Look at photos from weddings they have produced.
    • You have to click with them; you could be hanging out together for over a year!
    • You are not turning over the vision to them but the execution of the vision; they want this to be YOUR day!

  • July 17, 2017 1:19 PM | Cherie Ronning (Administrator)

    You are here: Home / Wedding Rentals & Décor

    Wedding Rentals & Décor

    Setting up a wedding in a non-traditional location will require you to rent a number of items. It is NOT cheaper to host a wedding in Grandma Gale’s back yard as opposed to a hotel – but it is more unique and may fit your style so much better.

    Make an appointment with the rental company early on in the planning stage. Go visit and then listen to what they have to say. They can tell you what you need and remind you of things you will have forgotten or not even thought of when preparing for an outdoor garden wedding. Make your decisions, make a deposit and then be sure to finalize a minimum of 2 weeks out. 

    Rental companies are not a bottomless pit! Don't wait until the last week to decide if you need a tent, or 200 chairs. While a large rental company might have 20 tents, on your weekend there might be a 100+ weddings going on in your area. You MUST rent early, confirm and pay or your guests could be standing in the hot sun or the rain with no tent or chairs.

    Things to consider:

    • Tents, for rain and for sunshine – do you want a liner, chandeliers, market lights, uplights?
    • Standing fans or heaters.
    • Tables and chairs.
    • Linens, china, glassware and flatware.
    • Bar set ups.
    • Catering stations.
    • Décor items – arches, overhead décor.

  • July 13, 2017 8:52 AM | Cherie Ronning (Administrator)

    A video documentary of your wedding can entertain you and your family for generations. You are doing the video not just for yourselves but for your children and grandchildren.

    As the Bride and Groom, you miss so much of the action and the video can document what you don’t see that day and allow you to see it later. The joy of seeing your Dad walk you down the aisle and hear his voice as he says “her mother and I do!” will be something that you never forget. Hearing the voices, hearing you share your vows, hearing the music, seeing tears flowing, people dancing and all the laughter is something you can’t just remember. You must document it to savor it for years.

    Never have I heard a Bride and Groom tell me after they got their video that they weren’t thrilled seeing the day unfold for them – in great detail – all over again. Over 80% of couples who chose not to have video say it’s their biggest regret, don’t make that mistake.

    Don’t hire an amateur to handle this, hire only a seasoned professional who can capture the images you will want to see. They can edit them in short and long edited videos, taking an average of 40-60 hours in edit time! The equipment is very expensive and they must continue upgrading to keep up with the latest technology.

    Things to consider:

    • Watch several of their videos, and share what you like or don’t like about each.
    • Chose the music you want on your video BEFORE the wedding, so as not to impede to edit process.
    • Determine how many hours of coverage you want.
    • Look at the package offerings, does one suit your needs, if not ask for a custom proposal.
    • Look at the contract to see how long it will take to get the edited video, 6-9 months is average, over 12 months is too long!

  • July 10, 2017 10:01 AM | Cherie Ronning (Administrator)

    They do not all have to be alcohol.

    Your Guests will expect beverages as well as a great meal. Beverages may include water, coffee, sodas, iced tea, lemonade, Italian sodas, Espresso service, beer, wine, cocktails and a signature cocktail or two that you have chosen to reflect your wedding style.

    For an outdoor wedding & reception, you should absolutely have water and non-alcoholic drinks available as Guests arrive for the ceremony. At the conclusion of the ceremony the bar can be opened. You can start with just tray passed signature cocktails, moving to full service for dinner or any number of offerings you work out with your service provider.

    Never serve alcohol without having a state certified bartender. Licensed bartenders check ID, don’t over serve Guests and will save you the embarrassment of cutting Uncle Joe off from service! You can get bartenders for hire – or hire a liquid catering company to handle all the bars for you. They can bring all the beverages, set up beautiful and appropriately themed bars, staff them with licensed bartenders, they can create signature cocktails and more. Plus they carry the needed insurance to cover you and your Guests.

    Espresso service companies can also provide Italian Sodas and sometimes soft drinks as well.

    Things to consider:

    • Are you hosting the bar or expecting Guests to purchase their own beverages?
    • If considering a cash bar, be sure your Guests are aware prior to the day so that they can be prepared.
    • Non-alcoholic drinks should be available at NO charge.
    • Whatever type of beverage service-company you hire, check their insurance.
    • Ask to help create and taste the signature cocktails.
    • Have fun things available, like Raspberry or Lavender Lemonade in big dispensers.

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