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Where to Splurge and Where to Save when it Comes to Your Wedding

So, we all know that there is an endless list to work off of when planning for a wedding. When it comes wedding purchases, there are some things that you can and SHOULD splurge on, and there are other things that you should save on. There is no right or wrong decisions, however we have some great insight for you that will help you decide what is worth it!

Splurge:

1. Wedding Dress: Of course this is number one! As a bride, you need to feel AMAZING on your wedding dress so splurging a little to achieve that is perfectly acceptable.

2. Entrees and Appetizers: These two are definitely things you should splurge on! You definitely want your guests to be eating, especially if there is alcohol is involved. Take the time to plan out your menu and ensure that you have enough food for all of your guests.

3. Cake Flavor(s): There is nothing worse than a wedding cake that tastes like a cake from the grocery store. Spend the time cake tasting to ensure that you find the perfect cake and the perfect decorator to make your vision come to life!

4. Wedding/Reception Music: This can make or break your big day! It is imperative that you select the best band, DJ, songs etc. because the music dictates everyone, and I mean EVERYONE’s mood!

5. Lighting:  A chandelier can make a room go from basic to extravagant, up lighting can make a room go from classic to chic, spotlights can really center in on the dance floor and have everyone feeling important, and there are so many other types of lights that one can have. Selecting your lighting should come after you have set a theme, but this is definitely something you may want to put some extra money on.

6. Photography/videography: What is a wedding day without photos and video footage? The answer to that is a mere memory that will loose its vivid details as the years go on. Splurging on an individual or a company is wise because they will provide you with the lasting memories from this special day that will have you feeling just as magical as you felt in person whenever you watch it.

Save:

1. Veil: No need to splurge on a veil when you just did for your dress. Simplicity is key when it comes to veils, so you can stick with a classic or less embellished one and still look just as fabulous. DIY veils are popular as well.

2.  Wedding Flowers: While a hit at a wedding, your flowers do not have to be expensive at all. Look up some sites online and you will fine some awesome ways to have inexpensive flowers for the bride, bridal party, flower girl, centerpieces, and much more.

3. Cake Tiers: Now a days, the trend is to get fake cake tiers to save money. Couples will have a 5-layer cake with only the top layer being real cake! How cool is that? One can save so much money with this and simply have a sheet cake in the back for serving.

4. Wedding Invitations: The process of purchasing your invites, personalizing them and mailing out can easily add up when it comes to costs. Consider DIY invites; consider sending out an electronic version, etc. All of these are great alternatives to creating a grand elaborate wedding invite. At the end of the day, all you really want is your guests to have all of the central information needed for the big day!

5. Wedding Favors: When it comes to thanking your guests for attending your wedding, this is important yet easily taken out of hand. It is not necessary to splurge on wedding favors as these are meant to be little keepsakes of the special day.

Up for Debate:

1. Shoes: Now, this topic is up for debate because if you are a die-hard shoe lover then we definitely say that you can drop a few extra bucks on your shoes for this special day! However, if your shoes wont be showing during the night, then you may benefit from a cute cheaper pair to save you

2. Jewelry: This is a tricky one because it depends on your dress. If you are wearing a classic and simple dress, they we say yes to splurging a tad to make your look pops. However, if your dress is already very detailed and busy, then we say do not splurge on your jewelry.

3. Centerpieces: These are the focal points of your reception room so you have to put some time into the design of these! Deciding on whether you want to spend more or less money on these depends entirely on the rest of your reception décor. Some couples like to have extravagant centerpieces with simple décor and others like to have extravagant décor with more classic centerpieces.

4. The Bar: This depends completely on the couple. Some want an open bar and others opt to choose for only a select amount of wine, beer, or cocktails.

All in all, the items that you decide to splurge on should be the things that will make this big day unforgettable TO YOU. Weigh your options and be sure that it all falls within budget, and you will be just fine! Remember this is your big day so you deserve to go all out in some aspects, just keep in mind that you don’t HAVE to do so for all of it!

If you need further help finding deals on the items you want to save on, you are in the right place! Contact Devoted to Your Event today and let us take care of you. We can get you the best deals and not to mention help create some amazing DIY projects for you that will save you tons!

Source: https://www.theknot.com/content/how-to-save-and-splurge-on-the-wedding

Amber Bentley
Social Media Manager/Event Assistant,
Devoted to Your Event

A Bride’s Wedding Beauty Timeline: When To Do What

Planning for your wedding involves a countless number of tasks. Often times a bride can get caught up in her to-do list and completely forget about her own personal wedding preparation. Between her hair, her body, her face, etc., there are many different guidelines created that explain how you can plan to look your best on your wedding day. Keep reading if you want to find out what the standard wedding beauty timeline is so you can add these things to your to-do lists. We hope that this post will serve as a great reference for all future brides!

  1 Year Before: This timeframe gives you enough time to develop new routines and have plenty of time to achieve any longtime goals.

  • Begin any new skin care regimens that you have wanted to try; you can afford to spend a few months figuring out what works and what doesn’t.
  • If you want to drop a few pounds or if you want to gain some curves, this is the time to develop and begin your workout/diet routines.

6 Months Before: Here is where you begin to look into specific things that you know you want for your wedding. Doing these things this far in advance gives you the time to experiment and if for some reason you are not happy with something that you try, you have plenty of time for it to be fixed.

  • Find the perfect place/person to do your eyebrows and lashes, if you already have somewhere or someone that you trust and love then you are good to go! Determine if you want your brows waxed or threaded, and also decide if you want to try strip lashes or individual lashes.
  • Give facial waxing or threading a try if you are considering having airbrushed makeup. Some brides go the extra mile to get their face, upper lip, etc. waxed so they can appear super smooth on their big day.
  • Experiment with hair color or a haircut if you have wanted it. If you don’t like the color, 6 months is a good amount of time for it to be fixed, and if you cut your hair and don’t like the cut, you will also have plenty of time for it to grow out some before the wedding.
  • Exercise proper caution in the sun and be sure that you apply proper sunscreen to avoid any burns/unwanted tan lines.

3 Months Before: Now, you are getting closer to your big day and it is time to get serious and prepared.

  • Schedule your hair and makeup trials. Go in with photos and be very clear about what you want. And once you decide on what you want, schedule your appointment for your wedding.
  • If you are into tanning then you should begin trying out airbrush and spray tanning at least 3 months before your wedding.

1 Month Before: The real countdown has begun. Time to get beautiful!

  • Don’t change your skin care routine at this point, you don’t want to do anything new this close to your big day.
  • Now that you have already went in for trial beauty appointments, this is the time to schedule everything else that needs to get done, like your lashes, eyebrows, tans (if needed), manicure and pedicure, etc.

Use this wedding beauty timeline as a template for your own wedding; add to it and swap things out as you please!

Source: Nancy Caroline Bridal Styling

Amber Bentley
Social Media Manager/Event Assistant,
Devoted to Your Event

Why is Décor Such a Big Deal?

A wedding is nothing without décor! Whether you are the simple type couple, or on the extravagant side, there has got to be some sort of décor for your big day.

Lets first start out by saying that your décor is more than a bouquet of flowers on a table, or a color scheme at the reception. Your décor really does set the entire scene for your event.

Think about it…what is a play without the backdrops and props? The same thing goes for a wedding. You have to create the atmosphere.

Because your décor will be captured in photos that you will have forever, be sure that you love what you select! It is not uncommon to start planning your decorations far in advance. Those that wait until the last minute usually end up very stressed, or worse, some end up unhappy with what they select. All in all, you definitely need to put some effort into this portion of your wedding.

Below are some of the top places that you can incorporate decorations into:

1. Signage – This can be a directional sign, welcome sign, seating chart etc.! These items can be a cute place to incorporate your theme into, and not to mention they will be very helpful for your guests.

2. The Entrance – First impressions are key for both the wedding and reception. Make sure you and your guests are both wowed from the moment they walk in.

3. Escort Cards and Menus – You do not always have to have fancy or creative escort cards or menus. Sometimes the simpler the better, plus you can decorate the table that they are sitting on as another option.

4. Guest Book – Here is the area where guests usually get the most creative! Design your guest book to reflect your wedding theme or something that you and your partner will cherish is a must.

5. Lighting – There are endless options for your wedding and reception lighting. From chandeliers, to candles, to string lighting, to uplights, and so much more! Look to your wedding planner for insight on the best lights for you theme and venue.

7. Chairs and Tables – Ribbons, and cute covers are the most popular ways to decorate your chairs and tables. Get artistic with the way you tie your ribbons, and get fancy with your table runners!

8. Wedding Favors – Having little gifts for your guests are cute, but don’t forget to spice them up a tad, i.e. adding a ribbon to candles, personalizing the gift bags for your guests, and more.

Presentation is key and without décor you have no presentation. Your options are infinite when it comes to wedding décor and that right there should let you know how big of a deal this is!

On behalf of our team, if you ever need any inspiration or assistance be sure to contact Devoted to Your Event so we can create something fabulous for you!

 

Amber Bentley
Social Media Manager/Event Assistant,
Devoted to Your Event

How To Be Strategic With Your Decor

Wedding décor can make or break your big day. Some brides want simple décor and others want more bold and extravagant items. It is not uncommon for brides to go a little overboard when in “wedding planning mode.” Budgets may increase, guest counts may go up, new desserts or cake ideas may arise, etc., however the ONE thing you don’t want to get out of hand is your wedding décor. There is a thin line between what is cute and what is tacky.

First thing you have to know when shopping for your décor is that just because many things are cute, that does not mean that they will all look great together! For instance, if your favorite colors are red, blue, and pink, all of which are bold colors, it may not be the best idea to go and grab everything in those colors just to have to “find” a place for it in your wedding/reception hall. Plan out the color theme, consider dark and light variations of colors to have the best mix, etc.

Consult with a professional or trusted individual. It is perfectly fine to be the creative bride who does not want a wedding planner, but along this long journey it is very important that you have a support system that you can bounce ideas off of. It will be great to get their opinions on different aspects of the wedding décor to ensure that it all flows well.

Along with talking to someone, do some research on your own, there are tons of wedding sites, magazines and events that you can attend that are meant to help you during this process, and more specifically this can help you see what looks good together and what may not.

The last and most important thing is to do a mock set up to see if the vision you have in your head can be executed properly and actually looks good. For example, the last thing you want to do is to order all of these wonderful items for your wedding centerpieces and then the day before the wedding you see everything assembled together and you hate it!

Less is always more when it comes to decorations! Don’t feel like you need a lot for a stunning wedding/reception because that could be the farthest from the truth! Devoted to Your Event is the perfect company to begin your wedding décor search with, we can help bring your vision to life in the most classy way possible!

Amber Bentley
Social Media Manager/Event Assistant,
Devoted to Your Event

The Non-Negotiable in Relationships

When in a relationship there is one word that always comes up, and that word is

“compromise.” There are going to be many situations and topics that couples will

have to come to an agreement on, but at the very same time there are some things

that each individual believes in, stands on, wants and don’t want that are “non-

negotiable.” This month’s blog post is all about those topics that you need to wrap

your head around before getting into a relationship, or before saying “I do.”

1. Political Views

Whether you are seriously into politics or not, it is important to understand where

you stand and where your partner stands. Would you be okay if he or she did not

share the same political views as you? Along with the party sides, other things that

fall under this category are same-sex marriage, abortion, the justice system, etc. It

would be ideal if you and your spouse agreed on all of this.

2. Religious Beliefs

Finding out what one’s religion is, is something that is vital prior to getting seriously

involved with someone. If you are religious, do you need your partner to have the

same beliefs as you? Is there room for differences in belief? Religion is something

that can guide one’s life, be sure this is an early topic of discussion.

3. Marriage

What is the ideal age that you want to get married? Are you the type who even

wants to get married or do you prefer to keep it title free? Marriage is a big step in

one’s life; you should never have to compromise on this topic, so find someone who

agrees with your views as well.

4. Sex

This topic is one that you should have ironed out in your mind before dating and

getting into a relationship. You do not want someone making this decision for you.

Decide what you are and are not willing to do, if anything at all, and make sure that

your partner is okay with that and respects it. Along with sex, you should discuss

sexual history, boundaries, and much more.

5. Children

Most people do not have this conversation until they are sure that their

relationships could be headed somewhere, however early on there is no harm in

getting an idea of how many kids if any that your partner might want. Decisions like

these along with the ideal age to start a family could often change in one’s mind but

having that basic conversation can cause no harm.

6. R-E- S-P- E-C- T

A relationship cannot progress if there isn’t respect. Be conscious of ones words,

actions and behaviors early on because that will give you insight into how they will

treat you in the long run and how they will handle situations.

7. Gender Roles

Being seen as equal in a relationship is a must. Once that is established you have to

discuss where you and your partner stand on roles such as household tasks. Some

people feel strongly about not doing certain things, or what their expectations are

Amber Bentley
Social Media Manager/Event Assistant
Devoted to Your Event

The Glitz and Glamour of a Celebrity Wedding

Wedding expenses are always something that makes people cringe! A budget can start out so small and then next thing you know your prices are through the roof! Well, rest assure, you haven’t seen “expensive” until you take a look at the breakdown of a celebrity wedding!

Looking at a million dollar ceremony will surely ease your mind when you are looking at your own bill, particularly the wedding of Kim Kardashian-West and Kanye West. This couple got married in 2014 and spent over $12 million dollars on their ceremony! Stick with us as we dive into what made this wedding so expensive!

“Kimye” as this couple is so often known as, traveled out of the country for their wedding to both Paris and Florence during a week’s period. But wait….before we can even get into the wedding, did you know that the proposal and 15-carat ring that Kanye purchased added up to $3.3 million total in itself!?

So lets get into the breakdown of the biggest components of this extravagant intercontinental ceremony.

  • Hotel George V in Paris: Rooms start at $750/night
  • St Regis or Four Seasons: Rooms start at $885/night
  • Villa San Michele in Florence (for the family): $1,800/night
  • Westin Excelsior (for their guests): $68,000 for 100 rooms
  • Transportation in the city: $70,000
  • Air transport: $74,000 per trip between Florence and Paris
  • Bachelorette Dinner: $409/person
  • Givenchy Haute Couture Wedding Gown: $500,000
  • Balmain heels: $40,000
  • Makeup and Hair Stylists known as her “Glam Squad: $380/person, an estimated $65,000 total
  • Forte di Belvedere Wedding Venue: $409,000
  • Fiori Della Signoria Flowers: $136,000
  • Wedding Catering: $110,000
  • 7-foot tall cake: $6,685
  • Opera Star, Andrea Bocelli: anywhere from $136,000-$1.3 million
  • 230 ft Calacatta Vaticano Marble Table: $478,000

Now, while Kim and Kanye are the only ones who know the true value, these estimates bring their wedding up to over 12 million dollars! Super expensive and it will definitely be a wedding experience that they and everyone involved will never forget!

Amber Bentley
Social Media Manager/Event Assistant
Devoted to Your Event

Luxury Reception Ideas for Less

Are your wedding expenses adding up and causing you to stress out over your rising reception cost? Don’t worry; Devoted to Your Event has the solution for you! We are bringing you a list of great tips to decorate your reception for a low cost.

 

 

1. Choose a location that has a lavish look on its own. This will eliminate you from having to purchase a lot of décor, thus save you money in the end.

2. Create your own table runners. If you or someone you know is a crafty individual, go to your local fabric store and buy the fabric of your choice for your tables.

3. Go for chic and simple centerpieces. Instead of purchasing expensive flowers or grand table toppers, consider purchasing tall clear cylinders from your dollar store and put artificial flowers inside.

4. Light up the room. Use candles, dramatic lights, and inexpensive chandeliers to create the illusion of an upscale venue.

5. Bling it out. Jewels and little crystals can always take your décor to a new level, and the great thing is that these eye-catching items are very inexpensive.

6. Hire a musical group that has both a DJ and instrumentalists. This will lower your cost for entertainment and provide you with both a band and the top radio hits!

7. Desserts are pricey. If you want a large wedding cake and don’t have the money for it, use artificial layers to give you the illusion. No need for all of the layers to be edible! Cupcakes are another awesome alternative.

8. While we are on the topic of food, hire a friend or family member to do the catering. Everyone has that one person they know who is an awesome cook, and their prices will be way less than a caterer you don’t know.

9. Go on a shopping spree at the local craft stores and see what you find! There are some gorgeous items in these stores, some even greater DIY items, and all for fantastic prices.

10. Ask your newlywed friends if you can borrow some of their old wedding décor. Most couples don’t want to throw everything away right away, but they also don’t want to hold on to everything for too long.

These were just a few tips for you to take a small budget and turn it into a reception that looks very expensive. Contact us for more ways to be luxurious on a budget!

Amber Bentley
Social Media Manager/Event Assistant
Devoted to Your Event

Resources:

Finello, K. (2015, August 19). 75 Ways to Throw a Luxury Wedding on a Budget.

Retrieved February 19, 2017, from http://bridalguide.com/planning/wedding-budget/75-ways-to-build-a-luxury-wedding-on-a-budget?page=4

Great Ways to Announce your Engagement!

DTYE has seen several engagements happen already in the year 2017, and this is a great sign for how the year is going to go! This month we are going to focus on special ways to announce your engagement to the world. There are so many different ways to do this so keep reading for more!

1. Face to Face: If you don’t get proposed to with all of your family and friends around then you definitely need to make it a point to get everyone together to announce the big news! Dinner or family outings are great options. If getting everyone together is not doable then pay visits to a few people.

2. Phone Calls: Some family members may be located out of state and you don’t want to keep the news from them too long, so picking up the phone is an option you can use as well.

3. Social Media: Most engaged couples cannot wait to share their news on social media. You will see the classic ring post, the post of the guy on one knee in the middle of proposing, or a post of the couple with the fiancé showing off her ring. This is a great way to share with all of your extended friends and family.

4. Engagement Party: Some couples like to keep the reason for the party secret and others are open with sharing the news prior to the party. If you are keeping this a secret then you have to think of a good cover up reason to host a party! A few good examples you can use as disguise are birthday parties, holiday parties, super bowl parties, etc! Then, once everyone arrives you can share the big news.

 

5. Engagement Photos: If you are the kind of couple that can keep a secret then setting up engagement photos to use for your big announcement is a great idea! Gentlemen, if you and your fiancé are into spontaneous events, then consider taking it a step further by proposing one day and then arranging for a glammed up photo shoot the day after! This way you will have beautiful photos to use and share right away.

Of course there are many other great ways that you and your fiancé can share this big news with others, but be sure that that is not the main thing you are focusing on. After getting proposed to, you and your fiancé deserve a little time bask in the newfound happiness! Announce this news when you want it and how you want it. And by the way…congrats in advance to all of our budding romances this year!!!

Amber Bentley
Social Media Manager/Event Assistant
Devoted to Your Event

Source:

Ingalls, A. (n.d.). 7 Ways to Announce Your Engagement. Retrieved January 27, 2017, from

http://www.marthastewartweddings.com/230657/announcing-your-engagement

The Benefits of Attending Bridal Shows

A bride-to-be has some big responsibilities to take on once she says “I Do,” but where does she begin? Well…we have the answer for you! We know a place where a bride can go to get a plethora of information, bridal shows! Making the decision to attend a bridal show is something that is very beneficial for a bride and here are five reasons why!

1. This is where you will gather the most information at once:

You can learn information on planning your wedding, the components you will need, talk with professionals about wedding advice and more.

2. You can compare prices and services:

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At these bridal shows there are tons of vendors present from décor, catering, floral companies and more. You can visit all the ones you are interested in and decide on the one that best fits your budget. Checking out all of the vendors before hand is a great way to prep for the event.

 

 

3. You can register and sign up to win prizes:

Many of the vendors offer giveaways to potential couples who visit their booths like photography sessions, desserts, wedding dresses and more.

4. You can find out what is trending now:

Much like the world of fashion, the wedding trends are constantly shifting. Vendors are known to showcase the newest trends at these wedding shows to attract the modern couples. Bridal shows sometimes even have a fashion show to showcase these amazing trends!

5. You can possibly score some deals:

The competition is tough at these shows between the vendors; everyone wants to secure new clients. In order to do that, vendors are known to promote some deals if you book them during the event! Bring your wallet because you may come up on a great opportunity!

There is a lot to cover at a wedding show so it is definitely great if you come with a friend, or even better, another bride-to-be. Most shows cost to enter but their prices are very low. Trust us, this is definitely something that a bride to be should attend. You will leave with many business cards, new insights, free samples, and great new connections on top of having an awesome time!

Amber Bentley
Social Media Manager/Event Assistant
Devoted to Your Event

 

Bishop, J. (2016, January 14). 5 Reasons Why You Should Attend a Bridal Show.
Retrieved December 30, 2016, from http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/5-reasons-attend-bridal-show/
Bridal Show Benefits | Bridal Show Producers International | Wedding Planning Shows (n.d.). Retrieved December 30, 2016, from
http://www.bspibridalshows.com/Bride-Bridal-Show-Benefits.aspx

A Great Way to End Your Reception

Wedding Receptions are undoubtedly the liveliest part of a wedding. The stress of a wedding is over and the time to celebrate with your most cherished friends and family begins. The question after you’ve partied the night away is how do you end the night? Many clients often wonder what they are supposed to do to close out their reception and here you can find several great suggestions!

1. End on a slow song:

This will tone down the mood and be very fitting for a night filled with upbeat dancing. Everyone can get up and join in on that last song of the night.

2. Make a closing speech:

Around the time that you are thinking about wrapping up the reception, you and your spouse can take the stage or the microphone one last time to thank everyone for coming out and being a part of your special day.

3. Have the DJ announce the last song:

This is often seen or heard after the couple makes a closing speech. If the DJ makes the announcement it can make it look like it was his call and not the couples decision. Therefore, if you have those partygoers who wanted to stay all night they wont be upset with you!

4. End on a timeless sing-a-long:

Select a song that all generations know and love and it will have everyone on one accord as the night ends.

5. Set off balloons, confetti or fireworks (if your venue is outside):

What better way to end with a bang than this! This can happen right before or after the final song of the night with one final cheer before everyone leaves!

There are many ways that you can end your reception and these don’t even cover half of them! It all depends on what you as the couple wants, and what your venue permits. Whatever you choose, have fun while doing it and make all of your guests leave wanting more!

Sources:

Ending your wedding reception on the right note. (n.d.). Retrieved from

http://mikestaff.com/ending-your-wedding-reception-on-the-right-note/

5 Ways to end your wedding with a bang. (n.d.)Retrieved from

http://www.brides.com/story/how-end-your-wedding-with-bang

Amber Bentley
Social Media Manager/Event Assistant
Devoted to Your Event

10 Fun Ideas to Incorporate into Your Wedding

Wedding days are supposed to be fun, but with all the stressful planning that some couples go through, sometimes things can become not so pleasant. To be sure that you really make it all worth it, here are 10 super fun ideas that you can include in your big day. These ideas will surely put a big smile on your face and everyone around.

1. Hold a pre-wedding party or field day:

This is a great way to get your wedding party acquainted if they don’t already know each other! Plan a fun day out on the town, some physical activities, or a fun party to build the relationships.

2. Create a snapchat filter:

Now a day’s social media is really becoming a big part of people’s everyday lives. Snapchat, the newest platform, is extremely popular and so are the filters. It has gotten so popular that you can pay and create your own! Wedding filters are the next big thing and it is something that a lot of brides and grooms are opting in to! Check out this link for more information https://www.snapchat.com/on-demand

3. Prepare for a highly anticipated first look:

Want to build up even more anticipation from your groom? Have him be blindfolded once he gets to the altar so he doesn’t see you until the moment before you begin your vows! The reaction on his face will be truly priceless.

4. Incorporate designs into the wedding isle:

There are many ways that you can have cool designs on wedding isle. You can have lights, colors, pictures, and more to make the actual ceremony be just as fun!

5. Toss something at the couple as they leave the ceremony:

Tossing rice is something that has been around for many years, however recently we have seen couples take a modern twist on this! Tossing pom-poms balls, glitter, and confetti are three of the best items to throw and a great way to show love and excitement for the new couple.

6. Arrive to or leave your wedding / reception in style:

A traditional limo is not your only option for transportation any more. Sports cars, water vehicles, helicopters, bikes, motorcycles, etc. can all be super fun ways to make memories with your spouse.

7. Have an expert tasting session during the cocktail hour or reception:

Wine and beer tastings are very popular during weddings. Be sure to look around for a great brand and one that most people may not have tried before. They may end up leaving with a some of their own!

8. Have an interactive guest book:

You can have a guest book that asks for advice, tips, and encouraging messages for the couple. In addition it doesn’t have to be in book format. Modern couples get large boards, photo books, posters and much more! Being able to look back on something like this will be priceless for your marriage.

9. Share fun facts:

Whether you place them on the guest tables, around the room, or verbally share them, trust us when we say that your guests will love learning fun facts about you and your spouse!

10. Have song selections for the DJ:

We all know that the couple will have their set songs for the wedding but what about the guests? Take the time to create little song request cards that your guest can fill out and send to the DJ throughout the night. The songs can be crazy and fun and really make the crowd have a good time!

All in all there are truly so many things that oneRuffled - photo by http://www.rachel-whyte.com/ - http://ruffledblog.com/texas-gemstone-wedding/ can do to incorporate some fun ideas in their wedding, and we hope that these few are a good start! One thing that you can never go wrong with is setting up surprises. Remember there is no such thing as too much fun during a wedding!

 

 

Amber Bentley
Social Media Manager/Event Assistant
Devoted to Your Event, LLC

Sources:

150 Ways to Make Your Wedding Unforgettable. (n.d.). Retrieved October 29, 2016.

http://www.bridalguide.com/planning/the-details/reception/unique-wedding-ideas#137047

20 Secrets to a Fun Wedding Reception. Retrieved October 29, 2016, from

https://www.theknot.com/content/secrets-to-a-fun-wedding-reception

Wang, P. (n.d.). 31 Impossibly Fun Wedding Ideas. Retrieved October 29, 2016, from

https://www.buzzfeed.com/peggy/impossibly-fun-wedding-ideas?utm_term=.gij6v2Z3Q7#.ivnPbVm4rz

How to Cut Alcohol Costs at Your Wedding

Now a days wedding receptions are transforming from what was once a nice gathering for everyone to congratulate and the bride and groom, into a true grand party for the couple and their guests. Receptions are the best part of a wedding because everyone can finally relax, let loose and party the night away! In most cases, you can’t have a wedding reception without the alcohol…which unfortunately can get very expensive. Will you have an open bar? How many guests are you inviting? What types of liquor are you serving? All of these are important questions that can greatly alter how much you spend on drinks. Keep reading to see the some great ways that you can cut alcohol costs at your wedding.

  1. Offer one to three signature cocktails.

Instead of having an open bar which can run you several thousand dollars, have a few personalized drink selections that will be offered. These drinks will consist of a few set liquors thus eliminating the option of guests picking and choosing whatever they want.

  1. Skip the champagne toast OR pour the glasses half full

Now, this is a small change to implement but it definitely will add up in the end. Providing a full glass of champagne is not needed, because chances are, your guests will care more about the liquor at the bar. So to save a few hundred dollars, only pour them a half glass, or you can skip the toast entirely and let them toast with what they have in their hands.

  1. Serve only beer and wine.

This trend is very popular with the modern bride. You can offer a variety of different beers and wine and this will total up to less than a variety of straight liquor. If you want to go this route then consider offering a “tasting” hour with some local brews and wine to make your guests feel like they are getting something great out of this experience.

  1. Shorten the open bar hours.

If you must have an open bar and are concerned with the price, simply shorten the hours! Instead of having an open bar all night, just make it end a few hours earlier. This will not only save you a great deal, but you will be able to feel better about your guests leaving the reception safely because they will have time for their buzz to wear off.

.Pay her head, instead of per drink.

Some caterers offer the option to pay per head, instead of per drink and if they do, they take the offer. You will end up saving more money paying per head, even IF everyone doesn’t get a drink. Chances are that the ones who are drinking will have several drinks a piece and paying her head will cut the costs.

  1. Speaking of the liquor, eliminate top-shelf brands from the selection.

If you absolutely MUST have an open bar then an option for you is to eliminate the most expensive brands of liquor. Your guests can get just as “lit” off of less expensive brands, and no one should complain since the drinks will be free.

  1. Host a day time wedding.

Guests always tend to drink much more at weddings that are in the night, as opposed to weddings that are during the day. So if your plans are not set in stone ye, look into an earlier wedding time as an option to save money!

  1. Hire a friend who is a bartender.

Have any friends who are licensed bartenders? Definitely see if they wouldn’t mind assisting with your reception and they probably won’t charge you as much as other bartenders will! Think of it as a wedding gift from them to you!

All of these tips and more can go great for lessening your wedding bill, and at the same time they will be so small that no one will have any less fun…trust us!

Amber Bentley
Social Media Manager/Event Assistant
Devoted to Your Event, LLC

Source: http://www.borrowedandblue.com/all/wedding-blog/top-10-ways-to-cut-alcohol-costs-at-weddings

Need Rehearsal Dinner Location Ideas?

Selecting a location for your rehearsal dinner is something that couples put a lot of effort into. This night is usually spent with the couple, their families and the wedding party so you want your venue to be one that is really intimate and special. Keep reading to find out 9 of the best rehearsal dinner locations in the area!

 

Maryland:

1. Boxwood Estate Winery’s Tasting Room- 137 Waterfront Street, Oxon Hill, MD:

This wine tasting room restaurant is perfect for the wedding party that likes to indulge. You can rent out the whole area for an even as well. It is surely a great place for a rehearsal dinner. http://www.thetastingroomwinebar.com/national-harbor.html

2. Chesapeake Beach Resort & Spa- 4165 Mears Ave, Chesapeake Beach, MD:

The venue is beautiful, the location is relaxing and the food is spectacular. http://www.chesapeakebeachresortspa.com/?utm_source=theknot.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=theknot

Washington, D.C.:

1. The W Hotel- 515 15th St. NW, Washington, DC:

At the W Hotel you can experience many different room styles, restaurants, bars, and rooftop fun. It is the perfect place to invite your wedding party to for an fun yet intimate rehearsal dinner. http://www.wwashingtondc.com

2. The Odyssey- 600 Water Street, SW, Washington, DC:

Here you can enjoy all inclusive dinner packages, stunning views, live entertainment and creative cuisine. http://www.odysseycruises.com/washington-dc/groups/wedding-venue

3. Clyde’s of Gallery Place- 707 7th Street NW, Washington, DC:

Clyde’s is located in the Chinatown/Penn Quarter which is a very vibrant neighborhood. Here you can have access to a private indoor balcony with its own bar that would be perfect for a rehearsal dinner. http://www.clydes.com/gallery

4. The Hamilton- 600 14th St. NW, Washington, DC:

The Hamilton is a super popular hotel and great for events. With its upbeat vibes and great scenery this is a must on our list. http://www.thehamiltondc.com

Virginia:

1. Top of the Town- 1400 14th St. N, Arlington, VA:

This location is noted as having one of the best views in town according to Washingtonian Magazine. This site is elegant, fun, and sure to never have a dull moment when enjoying the views over dinner http://www.topofthetown.com

2. Dolce Vita Restaurant- 10824 Fairfax Blvd Fairfax, VA:

Located in the heart of Fairfax this restaurant has been serving Italian food for over 20 years. They offer a wide range of menu options, catering, and plenty of specials. http://www.dolcevitaitaliankitchenandwinebar.com

3. The Overwood- 220 N Lee St, Alexandria, VA:

Here you will find modern American cuisine, specialty cocktails, and great premium draft and bottled beer. Paired with a warm ambiance and hospitable service you will surely feel at home for your reception dinner. http://theoverwood.com/?page_id=585

To check out even more great locations for your rehearsal dinner be sure to visit TheKnot.com and adjust the search location to match your preferred area! Happy planning, hope you have as much fun as we did searching for locations!

Amber Bentley
Social Media Manager/Event Assistant
Devoted to Your Event, LLC

DTYEvent’s Staff of the 4th Qtr

IMG_0351_burnedFor the last quarter of the year, I’d like to give the honors to Angela Kim, for being selected as Devoted to Your Event’s Staff of the Quarter. Originally from South Korea, Angela grew up in Montgomery County, MD. She is currently enrolled as an undergraduate student at Towson University, where she is double majoring in Psychology and Mass Communications – Public Relations and Advertising tracks. After she graduates in December 2016, she plans to enroll in an accredited university for social work, while continuing to serve as a staff member with Team Devoted to Your Event.

Angela first became interested in event planning in high school when she helped her mother plan for different social functions and events at their church. She was fascinated by the fact that someone could turn a boring, generic venue into an alluring, magical place where guests can feel as if they are in a dream. While she has always enjoyed aiding her mother, it wasn’t until she saw the ad for an event assistant on internship.com that she realized she wanted to pursue a career in event planning.

Since accepting a position with DTYEvent, she’s been eager to help Ms. Pope and the team at variety of events from weddings, community events, bridal expos and even a marriage retreat. While some aspects are more physically and mentally demanding than others, she has never doubted her passion and devotion to creating a remarkable experience for clients and their guests.

A couple of Angela’s favorite things about DTYEvent includes: working with the fabulous, one and only Ms. Tracy Pope and the rest of the team; it’s the end results of our collective effort that places smiles on the clients’ faces and that of their guests.

“I have been part of the team for a little over a year now, and I couldn’t be more grateful to Ms. Tracy for offering me a chance to learn a little about her expertise in event planning and event décor. I can only hope that I have performed competently and that she chooses to keep me around longer!” states Angela.

Besides gaining experience in the event planning industry, Angela aspires to become a social worker later in her career. “Some people think it’s weird that I am interested in completely different career paths. However, everyone should at least try to pursue his or her passion in life. I don’t want to wake up one day and utterly regret not venturing outside of my comfort zone.”

I am truly thankful for the young ladies I have been able to develop, mentor and grow my business with. These ladies possess a positive can-do attitude, a desire to work hard and willingness to provide selfless service. I call my assistants “Rock Stars” because to me, they are truly on the level of celebrities. Angela is the epitome of a dedicated hard worker,. She willingly does what has to be done regardless of the work involved to assist me, the team and the clients we serve. I couldn’t be more happy than to have Angela on my team, how fortunate am I?

Tracy Pope
CEO, Devoted to Your Event, LLC

To Have Seating Arrangements or not to Have Them?

When it comes to a wedding reception one of the biggest things to plan out is the seating arrangements. The location and the number of guests play a large role in your decision. Some couples have seating arrangements and other opt to not have one at all. Lets dive into the main factors of this decision.

Seating arrangements are meant to help, not be a hassle. They are put in action to help keep things organized, ensure that all tables and seats are filled, to help the flow of traffic into the reception area, and to reduce the anxiety of guests trying to find seats with the individual(s) they came with.

When developing your seating chart be sure to look at the entire guest list. In most cases couples keep their families together sitting across multiple tables. When it comes to the rest of the guests you can put specific friends together or mix and match those two people you that have been trying to get to meet up! Most people also always put the children together at a kids table. If you do decide that you are having seating arrangements you should also have place cards, escort cards, or a seating chart to make things even more organized.

Now, not all wedding require seating arrangements. If you wedding is going to be small and intimate then setting aside time to create a seating chart should not be your focus. For example, a wedding of 50 people may not need a detailed plan.

So the decision is entirely up to you! For a smaller party seating arrangements are not a must, but for larger parties you would greatly benefit from setting aside the time to plan out your guests seats. Whatever you do make sure it is the right decision for you, and one that will cause as little stress as possible during this crucial planning process!

Reception Seating Etiquette Musts. (n.d.). Retrieved July 30, 2016, from

https://www.theknot.com/content/etiquette-seating-charts

Amber Bentley
Social Media Manager/Event Assistant
Devoted to Your Event, LLC

Adding a Personal Touch with Escort Cards

During your wedding planning you will find that there are a lot of little things you can do to make your wedding special and make your guests feel that way too. Setting up escort cards are a cute way to show that you care, along with helping the reception flow in much more smoothly.

Escort cards can easily be one of the most important pieces of stationary that you have at your wedding but do you know what they really are? Most people tend to think that “escort cards” are the same as “place cards” but they aren’t. Place cards are the cards at the reception tables to show you exactly what seat you are in, and escort cards are what you take at the entrance of the reception or wedding to direct you to your table. This is something that minimizes a great deal of wandering bodies.

Along with the obvious reason for creating an escort card there are also a few other reasons that prove they are a good touch for your wedding. First, they would allow for you to show off your creativity. Second, they are just another way you can incorporate your theme into your wedding. Third, they can be super fun to make. And last, it could be a keepsake that your guests may want to take home!

EscortCard1

There are so many great ways one can create an escort card so your design is truly up to you! Check out this blog post on Brides.com for 35 INSANELY creative escort card ideas that you could use to add a great personal touch to your wedding. Explore your options and have fun while making yours!

 

 

Amber Bentley
Social Media Manager/Event Assistant
Devoted to Your Event, LLC

Incorporating Children into Your Wedding

Now a days it is very common to see children involved in wedding prep and the actual ceremony! There are so many different ways that one can chose to incorporate children into a wedding, so keep reading to find out the 5 unique ways that we loved the most! 

  1. Let the children help pick out the ring:

Gentlemen, if you or your partner has a child from a previous relationship, or if you and your soon to be fiancé have a child together, a great way to make them feel important is to let them help pick out the engagement ring. Letting them in on this huge secret and having them there when you propose will be a moment they never forget!

2.Take them with you while you shop for your wedding outfits:

What daughter wouldn’t want to see her mommy in a gorgeous princess wedding dress?! This would be a great moment for the two of you to bond and for the child’s eyes to light up with amazement! You could even let her pick out a few dresses that she might want you to try you….you never know, she might even find the dress you end up buying!

  1. Include them in the ceremony:

There are a lot of cute ways that children get incorporated into weddings these days! They can be at the front door greeting the guests, they can be the flower girl or ring bearer, they can walk down the isle with you and “give you away” at the altar, plus much more. Moments like these are priceless for both the couple and the guests!

  1. Include them in the first dance:

After you and your partner have your first dance you can call your kids up to join in on the fun! This would be a perfect photo op! The dances could be even more special if the father and daughter had a dance and the mother and son shared one as well.

  1. Get crafty at the reception:

If you are inviting children to your wedding it would be cute to have tables set up for them to have some fun while the adults are having their own fun. Providing non-messy art supplies and letting the children draw cute pictures of the couples or of the wedding room will be great mementos for the couple to keep in their wedding album.

Incorporating children into your big day will add happy vibes, adorable smiles, and most of all a lot of energy! All in all it will be nothing short of unforgettable when done the right way!

Kamee-June-Photography

How to Include Your Children in Your Wedding. (n.d.). Retrieved May 28, 2016, from:
http://www.marthastewartweddings.com/372766/how-include-your-children-your-wedding#312279

Amber Bentley
Social Media Manager/Event Assistant
Devoted to Your Event, LLC

The Top Subjects a Couple Needs to Discuss Before Marriage

Getting married is a big step…that’s stating the obvious right? It is the process of taking two and turning them into one, so with that being said you and your partner definitely need to be one with your thoughts and plans for the future! Today we are bringing you seven topics that you for sure need to be sure you have discussed with your fiancé before you walk down the isle!

 

            Topic 1: How many children do you want if any?

One may not want kids because he has a lot of nieces and nephews already, didn’t like growing up with his siblings, or simply is not a fan of children. While others may not have had a chance to have siblings so they for sure want a big family of their own. This is something that needs to be discussed before hand in case a compromise is necessary.

 

Topic 2: Where do you want to live?

Now, if you and your fiancé are from the same hometown this will be much easier for at least the early years of your marriage. If you two are from two different places then you might have to sit down and weigh your options and decide on the place that will work best. You may have to move where your fiancé is if he or she has a solid job already or if there is some other reason that he would need to stay put. After selecting where you want to live you can start figuring out what type of home you want. Do you want to start out in a condo for a while, do you want to purchase a new house right away, etc.

 

Topic 3: Will you raise your family under one specific religion?

If you were raised up in a certain religion, do you want your kids raised in the same? What about if you two have different religions, which one will your kids practice? If you don’t have a particular religion at all will you allow your kids that same freedom to choose?

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Topic 4: Family Time

Some people spend a lot more time with their families than others do. Will that change when you get married? How will you split up the holidays if each family lives somewhere different? Will the grandparents get equal time with the grandkids? Will they be invited on family vacations? There are so many questions you can ask with this topic. Family is such an important topic and this is something that you should definitely be on the same page with before getting married.

 

Topic 5: Career Plans

A career can be something that truly breaks a family. To avoid this talk with your fiancé about how important his career is to him. Find out what his dream career is and what his plans are to get there. Do you anticipate it interfering with your family life? Would that put a hold on building a family? Find out of you both can be happy where you are in life in terms of your career before you start building a family and are forced to stay stable for a while.

 

Topic 6: What will you do with your bank accounts?

Before getting married, couples usually come in with separate bank accounts, so will you keep yours that way or merge them together? This is very important and has a lot of elements tied to it like the shared bills, individual bills and loans/debt that one has to pay off. Come up with a plan that you both agree on and one that seems fair to the both of you. Also be sure to have some type of emergency fund!

 

Topic 7: House Shopping Requirements

When it comes to the items for your first place together after marriage, you definitely need to be on the same page with what you want. A lot of couples have two different visions for what they want their home to look like so you definitely need to prepare some sort of agreement when shopping. Do you like soft or hard mattresses? Will you want a television in your room or not? Rectangle or circle dining room set? Save yourself the possible arguments in the store and talk about this before hand!

 

The topics above are not the only topics that you need to talk about but they are for sure some of the important ones! In order to have a successful marriage you and your partner need to be a team, and in order to be a team you need to have the same goals. Discussing all the key life topics before getting married will help you both see where you stand and give you time to adjust if needed!

Atterberry, W. (2014, September 30). 15 Things Every Couple MUST Discuss Before Getting Married. Huffington

Post. Retrieved April 29, 2016, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/wendy-atterberry/15-things-every-couple-mu_b_5638629.html

Amber Bentley
Social Media Manager/Event Assistant
Devoted to Your Event, LLC

Meet Our Staff of the 2nd Quarter Mia!

It’s that time again; Devoted to Your Event LLC would like to shed light on one of our superstar staff members. This quarter we will be highlighting a staff member who has been with the team from its early stages of development. This exceptional individual is an extremely hard worker, has the most positive attitude and contributes a lot of her own experience into what we do to provide a magnificent service to our clients. This superstar assistant is Mia Ma, our senior Event Assistant!

Mia Ma is originally from Shanghai, China; she graduated from Indiana University Bloomington as the Master’s in Recreational Sports Administration. One month after arriving to the United States, Mia joined Indiana Memorial Union (IMU), the leading Banquet Catering Business in Bloomington, IN. It was there she first came to know about Western Style Weddings, especially what happens at the reception as it was far more different than the China traditions.

Glorious settings, seasonal flowering, exquisite cuisine, live music and for most, people’s enjoyment were the different exciting elements, Mia was able to experience in milestone celebrations of the western culture. “I was truly impressed by the endless happiness on the couple and all the guests. To me, it was a culture shock at first, yet, furthermore a great experience”. All of that grandeur led Mia into getting involved in the event planning industry.

After 3 years with IMU, Mia moved up to the Washington, DC Metropolitan area, known as the “DMV” that covers (District of Columbia, Maryland and Northern Virginia) area, Where she met the owner/CEO, Ms. Tracy Pope during a training session she was taking in Virginia. She was scouting out young ambitious candidates who wouldn’t mind earning a few extra dollars supporting her business of weddings and events. I guess you can say Mia was in the right place at the right time.

Tracy’s passion of the event planning industry as well as her enthusiastic delivery of her client’s life memorable experience is something that I admired and decided to get on board more than a year ago. Being a part of turning a blank, weird, nothing close to elegant venue into a place that everyone vows was a big challenge, made me smile both inside and out when I heard from the venue staff “we never thought this place could be that pretty”, I knew then, we made it. “The client satisfaction is the greatest motivation for all of us here at Devoted To Your Event”.

Other than the event assistant, Mia works as a Customer Care Manager in a Professional Training company in Arlington, VA, and a Travelers Aid Volunteer in Ronald Reagan National Airport every Sunday.

We are truly grateful for Mia’s dedication with all that we do here at Devoted to Your Event, LLC, she is by far a superstar!

By Tracy Pope CEO
Photo of Tracy Pope and Mia Ma Courtesy of Baglan Abisheva

Engagement Gift Ideas for a Couple!

One of the most exciting times is when a couple gets engaged! It can be even more exciting if someone involves is a friend or family member. Today’s blog is all about great engagement gift ideas that a couple will surely love. Whether you are going to an engagement party, dinner, or YOU are the newly engaged couple and need inspiration for your gift registry, keep reading for some great ideas!

 

 

Gifts For The Couple

  1. A wedding planner: This gift is perfect because it will help them keep everything together and in order when planning for their wedding. Some versions come with checklists, calendars, budget tips and much more.
  2. Champagne flutes: If the couple likes to enjoy a nice drink every now and then, an occasion like this will surely involve a lot of it! Purchase them a nice set of flutes that they will always be able to use and throw in a nice cool champagne bucket as well to give them a place to chill their drinks.
  3. A bottle of wine: Who wouldn’t love that?
  4. A new cutting board personalized for the couple. This seems to be a popular gift since most households use one and buying a personalized one will set this gift over the top.
  5. A crystal vase: Most people wouldn’t think to buy a vase on their own, so buying one for them will allow for the couple to always have one at the house if ever given flowers or simply for decoration!
  6. Customized stamps: During the wedding planning time and also after, there may be a lot of mail sent out by the couple for invites, thank you notes, etc. Purchasing them some customized stamps will be a cute addition to their mail and something that everyone could appreciate!
  7. Personalized bathrobes: The perfect “His and Hers” gifts to lounge around in at the house or while on vacation!
  8. Contribution to their Honey-Fund account for to help fund their honeymoon at www.honeyfund.com/

 

Gifts For Her

  1. Jewelry is definitely number one of the list! Whether its necklaces, earrings, or bracelets, a female will always appreciate and welcome a new piece of jewelry, especially since she will have many events to attend between now and her wedding day.
  2. Bridal clothes and lingerie: This is a super cute way for the bride to flaunt her engagement and have memories of this special time with a “Bride” or “Bride to be” item!
  3. Desserts and treats: Cute bridal treats are great for a dinner or party with the bride, you can get creative and make them yourself or seek a professional to make them for you.
  4. A fancy frame: During this time in a female’s life there will be countless pictures taken and she will surely want to frame some of them.
  5. Bouquet charm: This is a small item but something that can mean a lot to a bride. Whether it is engraved, or has a picture of a loved one in it, she will be able to carry that charm down the isle with her bouquet and hold whatever special meaning it has close to her heart!

 

Gifts For Him

  1. A tie clip: Whether he wears it on his actual wedding day or on a day where he needs to dress up, a tie clip is always a great accessory to add some extra pop to a man’s outfit.
  2. Luggage tags: With traveling probably something that will happen in the couples near future, why not get the male a new fresh set of luggage tags for him and his wife.
  3. Cigars/cigar holder: If the male enjoys a nice cigar get him some new ones to add to his collection and add a stylish holder that he would like as well.
  4. A pocket square: This is another gift used for the same reason as a tie clip, to add style to a man’s outfit, and once again it will surely not go to waste!
  5. Socks: The latest trend for men is to wear fancy colored socks with their clothes. No matter the occasion, dressed up or down, it seems like men enjoy pairing their outfits with some funky socks, so give him some more to add to his collection!

All of these ideas are some great gifts you could give to a newly engaged couple! Check out https://www.theknot.com/content/engagement-gift-ideas

For even more gift ideas and links to some of these great items mentioned above!

Amber Bentley
Social Media Manager/Event Assistant
Devoted to Your Event, LLC