A Wedding Location Rip-Off Eliminated by Wedding Insurance

Here’s a tale about a soon-to-be-married couple who was counting their lucky starts that they had wedding insurance for their nuptials. The day commenced all right with the ceremony taking place outside the location at their attractive wedding ceremony area. Well, it was by a busy avenue and quite a bit of traffic interference could be heard during the ceremonial presentation but the now newly married pair didn’t take any issue with it. The ceremony was not that big of a deal to them.

Now that the couple was married all of their friends and family moved into the building for the cocktail hour. Friends and family were drinking and eating and thoroughly enjoying themselves. This was, after all, a gathering of close friends, a celebration, and all the people we’re reveling. Some snacks might have been dropped and a beer may have spilled a little somewhat. There were a few kids in attendance, too, so they make a little bit of a mess sometimes. There wasn’t anything off kilter when it came to the initial party gathering…nothing that would need any sort of wedding insurance to cover, at least.

The guests then headed into the reception room for the chow time and party time. The food was not the greatest ever. This was, after all, a wedding and when feeding two hundred-plus guests, it’s not easy to create outstanding main courses. Some would even say the food was bland and cardboard-like, but that was something they didn’t really care about. What was important was that all the bride and groom’s nearest and dearest were there to spend time with them and to celebrate their marriage! Wedding insurance was the farthermost thing from the bride and groom’s. The happy couple was preoccupied with spending time and enjoying their loved ones and close friends. They weren’t going table to table thinking, “I wonder what is covered by our wedding insurance policy?”

After dinner, the cake cutting came up next. Up to now, not only had all the guests had a couple under their belt, but so had the happily married pair. They were goof off with the cake cutting and ended up having a mini-cake fight. A little cake in his face, a little in hers, a little more up his nose, a little more up hers, you get the picture. Well, some of the bits dropped on the rug, but no one smashed it into the rug and the bride and groom were sure a food server or worker would have brushed it up immediately. Besides, this probably happened almost every other weekend and even if the carpet got a little stained, surely the wedding locale had wedding insurance coverage also.

Following that-and after cleaning the cake crumbs off of their faces-the newlyweds danced their first dance. All the guests had tears in their eyes during this once in a lifetime dance. After all the other special dances, like the parents and wedding party dances, everyone else joined in the celebration. The disc jockey was outgoing and inclusive and everyone got down on the packed dance floor all night. During the bouquet toss, the bride tossed it way up in the air the flowers actually bounced off of the roof and sprang right in to the hands of the maid of honor. Of course, no person was hurt by jumping for it so no need for wedding insurance again! Maybe the young lovers were wondering if they had wasted their money on a worthless policy.

Now, at the end of the night, almost all of the guests had made their way home and the rapturous lovebirds were spent. They were more than happy with the outcome of their ceremony and reception and they were even more thrilled that nothing terrible happened to the point of having to have their wedding insurance coverage come into play. Amazingly, no one from the reception hall helped them out. The bartender closed the doors behind them and their spectacular day of celebration was complete, only to be alive in their memories. Little did they know the locale owners had been victimizing young couples for quite a while.

A couple of weeks after their special day, the newlyweds got a bill from the owners of the marriage place stating that there was damage caused to their place of business during their time there. They expressed the gazebo was damaged by the ring bearer. They said a table in the entranceway had a cocktail spilled on it and was damaged beyond repair. They had to completely replace it. They stated that the silly cake conflict that occurred destroyed that area of the rug and the entire carpet needed to be replaced. They said that when the bride tossed her bouquet, it hit the ceiling and stained it, so the stained section and the entire main room had to be repainted. The total number of dollars to the couple came out to almost $20,000! Mr. & Mrs. was devastated. They were lost and bewildered. They presumed that they had to give in or get taken to court, and we all know what that can cost. After speaking with their parents and other family members, it was the minister who mentioned their wedding insurance. The frantic pair contacted their wedding insurance representative, and he/she opened up a case to investigate. The couple breathed a small sigh of relief.

Two to three weeks went by and the worried pair heard not a peep and started to sweat a little. They started looking at their finances to see if they could somehow scrape up the money that they were being asked to give up. Their wedding insurance representative finally reached them and told them to come in for a pow wow.

It turns out the owners of this wedding establishment had been making false claims on their clients for years. Whenever they felt they needed something repaired or upgraded, they would blame the previous weekend’s wedding guests. Lucky for them, most newly married kids didn’t think they had any options and whenever they tried to work out a deal, the wedding location directors would threaten them with court. Begrudgingly, couples would just put up and shut up. Never again.

The wedding insurance policy would have covered any damage caused by the new married pair’s event, but with an open case, the wedding insurance broker was able to inquire about and discover what was really going on. Not only did this couple not have to pay money to the reprehensible crooks of the wedding site, but they saved any future embezzlement by these wedding criminals.

Here, typical wear and tear would have been the conclusion and their wedding insurance wouldn’t have had to pay a dime. And now, this couple and their wedding insurance agent are superheroes of a sort for sending those menacing event location managers to jail. Without that couple getting some kind of wedding insurance, the hornswoggle probably would have continued indefinitely.

Wedding Planning Tips – Budget Wedding Ideas

When planning your wedding day, if you’re like most people, you must plan the event with a budget in mind. Weddings do not necessarily have to have an expensive price tag attached to them, and with careful planning and taking heed to a few tips from people familiar with how to plan for a wedding, costly mistakes can be avoided that will result in considerable savings.

Finding an Inexpensive Wedding Location
One of the first and probably the most costly item to plan for is the wedding location where you would like to have your ceremony held. There is an abundance of ceremonial venues available no doubt, but as you know, hundreds or even thousands of dollars can be spent on an ideal location. However, if you’ve considered having an outdoor ceremony, there are many suitable public areas such as state parks or recreational areas that allow marriages to take place free of charge.

For example, referring to the Lake Tahoe area in Northern California, an area of which I’m very familiar with, weddings take place daily in at least a half dozen locations on the south shore without charge. City and state parks are used and there is no compromise in the beauty of any of the settings just because it is free. These areas are picturesque and most suitable for a ceremonial event. The well-known truth “you get what you pay for” does not apply in this case.

Keep in mind, though, at these particular locations the ceremony is to be performed as what we call “stand-up weddings”. What this means is that chairs or arches or any type of structures cannot be setup, although a few chairs and some small decorating with flowers and the like are acceptable.

However, if you decide you would like to go all out and provide chairs for your guests, erect a finely decorated arch and lay a runner down for the bride to make that walk down the aisle of matrimony, quite a few of these sites will allow it if you apply for a permit. Applying for a permit in most cases is neither difficult nor costly. It is simply a matter of contacting the appropriate facility that oversees the site of interest and giving them the details they require.

In the Lake Tahoe area, the cost of the permit for the locations that many wedding planners use when coordinating a wedding can be as low as $15 and range up to approximately $350 in peak wedding season. This entire process of applying and paying for the permit can be done, in many instances, right over the phone. Or, if you want convenience, if you’re using a coordinator, they will provide this service, and the cost is usually included in their wedding package prices.

Professional Low-Cost Ministers
Another and sometimes costly but necessary item on the list of planning a wedding is obtaining a professional minister to perform the ceremony. Again, this cost can be minimal and fit within any budget if you just want simplicity. For example, in the Lake Tahoe area there are quite a few ministers who will travel to the wedding site, perform the service, and even issue and notarize the marriage license the day of your ceremony for under $200. This includes returning the completed license to the county clerks office where it will be recorded, making a certified copy available to you shortly thereafter. What’s more, finding these ministers can be as simple as conducting a Google search in the vicinity of your chosen venue.

Although acquiring the services of a licensed minister for under $200 seems rather low, with a small amount of time invested into researching their background and credentials, you can be assured that the quality of the ceremony will not be compromised. If you work with a reputable wedding coordinator, the research in many cases should already be done for you, though additional fees most likely will be paid to the coordinator for providing the service.

If you’re not working with a wedding planner and have concerns about the professional experience of a particular minister you are considering or want more than just an officiate who is merely licensed to perform ceremonies, don’t be afraid to ask him questions. Do a little probing into his history and see if he has a theological degree or other qualifications for ministering and if he has any affiliation with a local church. Although there are couples who place less emphasis on a minister’s background, knowing these things beforehand is a great comfort to many brides and grooms and makes the sacred event of their marriage more genuine.

Quality Photographers at a Discount
Photography is another area where huge savings can be acquired. Photographers in many areas are plentiful, and the competition is usually fierce. If you hire the services of a major photographic company, particularly one with a well-known reputation, you can expect to pay $1000 or more for your ceremony and reception. However, although a good reputation is quite desirable, there are alternatives to obtain the same quality product from reputable photographers at a discounted price.

The trick is in finding the less known photographers while maintaining excellence, which can ultimately cut the price in half. One way to accomplish this is to once again use the Google search engine. For example, type into Google’s search box the keyword phrase “Wedding Photographers” and add the city or town where your wedding is to take place to these keywords. From the search results, don’t look at just the top results or the fanciest websites. Rather, scroll down to the bottom of the page or go to the second page of the Google findings and make some phone calls. It’s a sure bet you’ll find a bargain photographer with an abundance of samples illustrating the quality of his work and capabilities.

Alternately, another method to find a great photographer without the high cost is to contact a wedding planner. Again, make a search in the area of your selected venue and ask a local coordinator for a recommendation. They usually have a list of low-cost but good photographers they work with, and though you’re not using their service, most don’t mind providing the information.

You’ll find in many cases that fees for shooting the ceremony can be done for a flat rate as low as $100, and the reception on an hourly basis ranging from $100 to $175 per hour. Although you won’t be given 500 pictures in a wedding album like many high-priced photographers may offer (which may be a little excessive anyway), you should receive ample photographs with the crucial moments of the entire event being captured. If you arrange for the photographer to be at the reception after cocktail hour and after dinner has been served—the time period when there are fewer photo opportunities—you will benefit from additional savings of hundreds of dollars.

The “small guys” will usually be happy to do this for you, and don’t think you’re getting short-changed on the quality of work. Just be sure to ask for their portfolio and confirm that it’s their own work. You may be surprised at the comparable—and often more superior—quality of work you’ll receive at a fraction of the cost.

Planning a wedding certainly isn’t an easy task. But with a little investigation into the options available and with a little help from those familiar with the business, big weddings with small budgets can be planned. Following some or all of the tips included here can amount to hefty savings, making your special day a little more special by knowing you’re getting the best of both worlds—the one you love and the wedding of your dreams at a price you can afford.

Dress Your Flower Girl Comfortably For a Wedding

There is always a direct proportion to the comfort of children in weddings, to the comfort of adult guests. The comfort of little guests in a wedding will affect the comfort of the older guests. This does not always hold true when taken the other way around, so it is wise to carefully plan everything that may affect the disposition of our little girls in weddings.

The flower girl dress is the first concern of parents whenever the little girl is tasked to be a flower girl. Parents usually pay for the flower girl dresses. If the bride and groom does not offer to pay, parents should buy the dress. Coordinate with the bride what will be the design of her dress, and the bridesmaid dresses. The flower girl dress can then be based on the dominant design, or pick one design element and use it also for the flower girl’s dress, either as the main design or an accessory in the flower girl’s dress.

With the main design of the flower girl dress cleared with the bride, here are several factors to consider ensuring your little girl is comfortable and pretty on the wedding day.

Fabric

The fabric of flower girl dresses varies, but it is best to match it to the season. A heavy fabric, such as velvet, is great to use for cooler weddings, and satin/ lighter dresses are better to use during weddings in the warmer months. Inappropriate fabrics may also be itchy, or worse, cause rashes for your little flower girl, so please pick the fabric carefully.

Long sleeves or short? Cap sleeves or sleeveless? Long skirt? Knee-high? Floor length?

Consider the season/weather, the church, the reception venue. Will your flower girl feel cold or too warm? Where will the wedding ceremony be held? Consider if the ceremony and reception will be held indoors or out. A sleeveless flower girl dress can be both comfortable and flexible. Sleeveless flower girl dresses let your little girl move freely. If you think it may get too cold for her, bring a dainty jacket or bolero that is appropriate for the flower girl dress.

What length is appropriate for the flower girl dress? Can my little girl carry herself well and not trip on a floor-length skirt? Smaller girls may find it easier to have the skirt of the flower girl dress above the ankles or knee-length. Bigger girls may carry themselves more confidently and easily with floor-length skirts. Also, consider the “dirt magnet” factor of the skirt if it is too long, especially if the wedding will be held outdoors.

In these days when being practical is required, it would be nice to get a pretty, neutral dress that may also be worn as a special occasion dress. Get something that can be worn during birthdays, attending other weddings, etc. It may also be used as a communion dress or church dress.

Embellishments and accessories

Flower girls are just too cute in their beautiful dresses it is easy to go overboard with other accessories and embellishments. If you are thinking of attaching a pretty flower/s or sash to her dress, please do sew it on rather than use safety pins. Ever notice how safety pins have the uncanny ability to open by itself only during the most formal occasions? Safety pins get itchy on the skin and may make your pretty flower girl fidget. Your little girl may get the safety pin open as she moves around, and injure herself, so sew on embellishments instead.

Test the length of sashes. Nothing too long, please. Your pretty flower girl may trip down the aisle if a foot gets entangled on a long sash.

Ask your little girl if she’d like to wear gloves, but keep in mind that these may get uncomfortable the longer it is worn. The flower girl’s grip is also hampered with gloves, so consider carefully if these should be used. Or your little flower girl may remove these for some time and worn again later.

Shoes and footwear

It is always healthy for little girls (and “bigger adult” girls, actually) to wear flat shoes. Cute mary janes, or pretty slippers can both be appropriate and comfortable flower girl shoes. If your little girl is wearing new shoes with her formal dress, let her walk around the house days before the wedding so the new shoes will settle on her feet. Let her also wear the stockings or formal socks she will wear at the wedding to let her grow comfortable with her new footwear.

For good measure, bring along comfortable but pretty footwear on the wedding day itself so that your child may use these as back-up shoes just in case she has a hard time on her feet further along the wedding.

Makeup

Little girls love to be primped and pampered as well with hair and makeup during a wedding. Let her wear make up if you think it okay. Just keep it light to make sure it enhances your little girl’s natural beauty, not hide it.

Last minute tips

Try out the dress a day or two before . Let her wear it an hour or two, practice. Tell her what good behavior is expected of her for being the flower girl during the wedding. On the wedding day itself, it may be a good idea to make her up and fix her hair first in comfortable button-down clothes. Dress her up the last minute so that the flower girl dress does not get crumpled or dirty while waiting for the wedding to start.

Affirming our little girls

At each step of the wedding, affirm your pretty flower girl that she is doing a good job and that you are proud of her. If you like, reward her with a keepsake, such as a bracelet or necklace. However, it is always a parents’ affirmation that will mold her character, long after the wedding has finished and the flower girl dress has been outgrown.

Wedding Welcome Bags

Friends and family often live very far apart from each other. These means traveling long distances at great expense when they are invited to a wedding. It is important that the bride and groom let their guests know how much they appreciate their efforts. A wonderful way to make them feel welcome is to place a custom gift bag in each guest’s hotel room.

Imagine dealing with the stress of traveling – crowded airports, overpriced meals, and having to navigate in an unfamiliar city. Then you arrive in your hotel room (at last!) and find that a bag or basket of treats is in your room awaiting you. Wouldn’t you feel grateful to have such thoughtful hosts? Nothing is more fun than surprise gifts.

What to include in the welcome bags is a personal choice, and will be dictated in part by budget (all of those little things can quickly add up). One definite thing to enclose is information on the wedding particulars. A brief timeline, with directions to and from each location will be greatly appreciated by your guests. Do this even if you mailed out a packet earlier, because some of your guests will surely forget to bring your packet. Guests will also be delighted to have some tips on points of interest within walking distance or a short ride from the hotel. Ideas include shopping destinations, restaurants, and scenic attractions.

Snacks are a big favorite in welcome baskets. Little bags of non-perishables are great, as are pieces of fresh fruit like apples. Customize the snacks to the season and the location. For a winter wedding, little packets of gourmet cocoa would be a nice treat. I once attended a wedding in Philadelphia where the welcome bags contained local Pennsylvania Dutch pretzels (I guess the cheesesteaks didn’t fit in the bags!). Be sure to include bottles of water or gourmet sodas to wash it all down.

Sweets are always a hit, so be sure to include plenty of them in your baskets. Custom M&Ms would be really great (they could say, “Welcome!”), as would any kind of chocolate candy. Pretty sugar cookies in glassine bags are a good looking way to take up a lot of space in the goody bags. Choose a motif that either coordinates with your wedding theme or your location (like a cactus shaped cookie for a wedding in Tucson). A good rule of thumb is that is is better to over-stuff a small container than under-fill a large one. It feels more luxurious to receive a basket overflowing with goodies.

From there, you can really include any little items that you think your guests would enjoy. Stamped postcards would be a thoughtful enclosure, along with a little pen. Some couples like to include luxe spa items, like a fancy handcream (especially good for a cold weather wedding). You could be practical and drop in travel sized bottles of sunscreen for an outdoor wedding. Your creativity is the only limit to what your gift baskets can contain.

You may want to further customize the welcome bags for certain guests. Close friends and family would be delighted to find a bottle of wine or Champagne waiting in their room upon arrival. Perhaps you would like to add a small potted plant to your grandmother’s basket to make her hotel suite feel more like home. At my best friend’s wedding, she included more snacks in the bags designed for guests staying in a hotel without a restaurant to ensure that they would have a late night snack available. The more your tailor your goody bags to your guests, the more they will enjoy them.

The last thing to consider is the bags or baskets themselves. Of course a basic bag in silver would work, but it would be more exciting to dress up the package. Decorate the basket or bag by tying pretty ribbons and a fancy nametag to the handle. You could even take it one step further, and coordinate the gift bag with your overall wedding style. For instance, if your taste runs to classic pearl bridal jewelry, glue some pearls to the nametag. Splashier brides could borrow from the look of crystal bridal jewelry and add a few twinkling crystals to the ribbons for a surprise bit of sparkle. Considering those types of special touches will make the welcome baskets even more impressive, and will really set your event apart.

Wedding Day Must Haves – Emergency Kit

We all want to think good thoughts when it has to do with our wedding day, right? We all want to believe that nothing is going to happen out of the ordinary, so why plan for such an event? Wrong! Something always happens at weddings; little things, huge things, something! So, you always want to be prepared for whatever you might need at any given moment. And please understand, the bride does not carry around all of these things all day long just in case something happens. Gather these items and put them in a large purse or carry on bag and assign a mom, grandmom, friend, bridesmaid, someone to see that it gets put away in the bride’s dressing or changing room. And they are responsible for it, not you, the bride. So, now that I have you all worried, what are these crucial items that you will need?

Beauty Aids

Brush/comb

Barrettes/bobby pins

Deodorant

Hair spray/gel/products

Make-up

Handy wipes

Make-up remover

Nail polish (the color you’re wearing) and remover

Nail file

Cotton balls

Toothbrush/toothpaste

Perfume

Small blow dryer

Hair straightening tool (if applicable)

Tissue

Health Aids

Antacids

Antihistamine

Bandaids

Headache/pain reliever

Mints/hard candy

Prescription medication if applicable

Tampons/sanitary pads

Clothing Aids

Extra pair of panty hose

Clear nail polish for panty hose runs

Sewing kit

Earring backs

Iron

Comfortable shoes and/or slippers

Extra undergarments

Miscellaneous

Juice/soda/water

Club soda for stain removal

Important phone numbers

Tape

Include anything else that you can think of that might go wrong. Better safe than sorry. Take the time beforehand and look through your bathroom and bedroom areas. Think of all the things you cannot do without and add those to your personal miscellaneous list. Every wedding I’ve ever been in (including my own) and every single one that I’ve planned or consulted on all had emergency kits and the bride and wedding party used many of the items in it. You’ll have peace of mind once you put this together. At least that will be one area under your control. Enjoy!