My Trio Rings Blog provides useful information about how to experience the timeless traditions of marriage on an affordable budget
6 Important Questions to Ask a Wedding Planner
Whether you decide to hire a wedding planner or not will depend on your budget, the type of event you are hosting and the amount of help you need. Some couples prefer to save money on a wedding coordinator and do more of the hands-on work themselves. Others think it’s a worthwhile investment to hire a professional to handle all the arrangements and details for a more stress-free wedding day.
If you do decide to use a professional wedding planner for your special day, do your homework in advance to make sure you find the right person for the job. A great wedding planner will do everything he or she can to make your wedding run smoothly so you can enjoy your celebration - whether that’s by getting the best deals from vendors or troubleshooting a crisis right before you walk down the aisle to exchange wedding ring sets.
Here are five of the first questions to ask a wedding planner before committing:
1. What wedding planning services do you offer? Do you specialize in any area?
Get an idea of what she offers clients. Does she customize full-service packages to each wedding - offering everything from event design to day-of coordination? Does she offer a la carte services or smaller packages as well? Does she handle coordinating rentals, vendors, contracts and all the details you want her to manage? Ask her to tell you about a few specific examples of different weddings she has managed so you can get an idea of her style.
2. Have you worked with our wedding venue or vendors before?
It’s helpful if he has worked on an event at the location you’ve chosen or has existing relationships with your florist, photographer or other vendors. But if you are still searching for service providers, he can also be a valuable asset in this process. Ask if he has strong contacts in certain industries, and get a feel for how he chooses the right vendors for a wedding.
3. Do you work alone or with a team?
Ask for a breakdown of her wedding planning team - what each person’s expertise is and what he or she is responsible for. Be clear on who you will be working with and who will be there on your wedding day.
4. How do you handle tricky situations or things that don’t go as planned?
This is one of the most important questions to ask a wedding planner, so don’t let him off the hook with a generic response. Weddings can have emotionally charged or challenging moments - guests showing up who haven’t RSVPd, flower arrangements showing up late, wedding ring sets getting temporarily misplaced by the best man. You want to know the wedding planner you hire can keep his cool and fix any problems that arise (preferably without you having to get involved at all). Ask for examples of times he’s successfully managed crises.
5. How does your wedding planning process work?
Ask her to outline how she usually works with her clients, including how often you will meet and the best way to communicate. Be clear about what you are looking for - if you need someone to take a strong lead with all aspects of planning, for example - and see if your two styles will algn.
6. How do you charge? Is there a minimum budget you work with?
Wedding planners charge in different ways - some quote a flat package rate or a percentage of the total wedding budget (often 10 to 20%), others charge hourly. Ask for a detailed quote, including any extra expenses, such as transportation or travel fees.
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5 Creative Wedding Reception Ideas
Want to make sure that your guests have the time of their lives at your reception? Think outside the box when wedding planning, and try one of these creative wedding reception ideas that are sure to win you the “most fun wedding of the year” award.
1. Set up a SpeechBooth
Not all of your friends and family have the opportunity (or inclination) to give a toast in front of everyone, but many would still love to have the chance to offer their love, congratulations and advice more privately. SpeechBooth offers the perfect way to do this - with minimal expense and hassle. Simply order a DIY kit, and set up a video booth that is easy for guests to use to record their personalized messages throughout your reception. After the wedding, you’ll receive a professionally edited compilation video and all the raw footage of guests’ messages.
2. Offer a Respite from the Dance Floor
Even the most enthusiastic dancers at your wedding reception will need a breather from time to time. Set up a relaxing lounge area away from the dance floor with sofas, comfy chairs, water bottles, games and flip-flops for weary feet. It will be more comfortable and appealing than camping out at the reception tables.
3. Ask for Requests
If you want everyone to bust a move on the dance floor, one of the simplest creative wedding reception ideas is to let your guests contribute to the DJ’s playlist. At the beginning of the wedding reception, ask the DJ to announce he or she will be taking song requests for a set period of time. Let people write down their faves, and get ready for a great dance party.
4. Make Dessert Extra Refreshing
Instead of serving traditional wedding cake, opt to rent a retro ice cream, frozen yogurt or snow cone cart to serve refreshing desserts. Pick a few of your favorite ice cream flavors to serve, or create a signature daiquiri that can be enjoyed with or without alcohol added.
5. Serve Late-Night Munchies
The golden rule of wedding planning is to make sure your guests are well fed. A few hours after the dancing starts - well after dinner has been served - hire a local food truck to make a surprise appearance at your wedding reception. Guests will love refueling on tacos, mini sandwiches or other tasty treats.
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Engagement Etiquette 101: Do’s and Don’ts
Congratulations! You are newly engaged. You might feel both giddy with excitement and a bit overwhelmed as you are sharing your news and planning your wedding. Here are a few basic engagement etiquette tips to set you on the right track.
Engagement Do’s and Don’ts
Tell your family about your engagement before posting on social media.
Believe me: your mom will be livid if she sees your diamond engagement ring selfie on Facebook before you tell her yourself. It’s normal to want to shout the news from the mountaintops… but tell your family first. If you can, share the news in person. If not, call, Skype or FaceTime them. Then get in touch with rest of your inner circle: grandma, your siblings, your closest friends. Now you’re free to broadcast the news to your wider circle of friends on social media - and enjoy the excitement and congratulations.
Talk incessantly about your upcoming wedding in front of people who won’t be invited.
It’s natural to be enthusiastic about getting married, especially when wedding planning is going to be taking up a lot of your time and energy. But be conscious of who you are gushing to about the diamond engagement ring, the reception venue and the wedding party attire. It would be impolite to talk an acquaintance’s ear off about all your plans if you have no intention of inviting her to the wedding. Keep your sharing to a minimum in front of those not on the guest list, and save yourself some awkward questions down the road. This goes for social media posting as well!
Ask your bridesmaids and groomsmen to be part of the wedding early.
Once you start planning your wedding, make your list of attendants one of your earliest decisions as a couple. You’ll want to ask your bridesmaids and groomsmen with plenty of notice. Share any details and logistics you have already - location, tentative dates, attire, any costs you’ll be covering, etc. - and let them know that you’d be honored if they can do it but you will understand if they can’t for any reason.
Feel that you have to have an engagement party.
Plenty of couples want to celebrate their engagement with a party with friends and family, but plenty opt out of this event. If your parents are dying to host a party as soon as you announce your news, go for it and enjoy yourselves. If it seems like another expensive item on your to-do list that you’re not looking forward to, skip it and save your energy for wedding planning.
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8 Easy Ways to Save Money on Your Wedding
At My Trio Rings, we firmly believe that you can plan the wedding of your dreams - from the guest list and the menu to the diamond trio ring sets and the flower arrangements - without cleaning out your savings.
You and your future spouse want to celebrate a life-changing milestone with the people who are most important to you, but you also don’t want to start your marriage carrying a huge financial burden. Here are a few planning tips to help you save money on your wedding without feeling like you’re missing out on anything.
Budget Wedding Planning Tips
1. Shop trio ring sets - which include an engagement ring, a women’s wedding band and a men’s wedding band - to save up to 65% off retail.
2. Plan a wedding outside of the peak spring, summer or holiday season. Ask the venues you are interested in what time of year is most affordable. You may find that shortening or lengthening your timeline can help keep costs down.
3. Set a firm guest list number, based on your budget, and stick to it. It’ll be tempting to let the number keep inching up, but hold firm and save yourself future headaches.
4. Think outside the Saturday evening schedule. This is usually peak time for weddings and other events, so price out Friday nights or Sunday afternoons instead.
5. Choose flowers that are in season and available locally to cut down on shipping costs. Use more greenery and fewer flowers for striking - but more affordable - centerpieces.
6. Question the extras that tend to add up in a wedding - the champagne toast, the favors, the top-shelf full bar, the sit-down dinner. Ask yourselves which you have your heart set on and which aren’t important. Cut the latter.
7. Look at different photography package and shooter options at the studio you choose. Sometimes the principal photographer charges significantly more than an associate photographer who will also take beautiful pictures.
8. Keep your wedding party small. You’ll have fewer people to coordinate, and you won’t have as many expenses such as bouquets, attendant gifts and hair and makeup costs.
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Wedding Etiquette Tips: How to Plan a Child-Free Wedding
One of the big questions that can cause the most controversy is: do we invite children or not?
There are many reasons you might want an adult-only celebration. For example, you are planning a glamorous black-tie wedding that wouldn’t be well suited to little ones, or you want to keep the guest list on the small side to keep the catering bill down. It is perfectly acceptable to decide to have a child-free wedding, but it can be a touchy subject with friends and family you’re inviting.
Here are a few wedding etiquette tips on how to handle the situation both clearly and gracefully:
Address the invitations carefully.
Writing “adults only” or “no children” on the invitation can come across as impolite and may ruffle feathers. Instead, address the invitation envelopes with care, writing, “Mr. Tom Figueroa” or “Ms. Amy Schmidt-Fuller and Mr. John Fuller,” without including the children’s names or “and family.” People should gather that it’s not a kid-friendly event, but if you are worried there will be confusion, ask your inner circle of family and wedding party members to spread the word in a subtle way to the wider guest list.
Plan an evening wedding.
It’s more challenging to host a child-free wedding at a daytime or more casual event. If you plan an evening wedding, particularly if it is a formal affair, it is easier to explain to friends and family why kids aren’t invited.
Arrange child-care services.
If you are having an adult-only wedding, especially if many people are traveling to it from out of town, it is a generous gesture to arrange to have a babysitter (or small team of sitters) take care of the kids while the adults have fun.
Inviting some children and not others can cause problems, so it’s best to pick a rule and stick with it. For example, you may want your sister’s son to be the ring bearer in charge of presenting the trio ring sets at the ceremony, so you could invite kids from your immediate family only. But to avoid hurt feelings, you should hold fast to this rule and not make exceptions.
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