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Monthly Archives: May 2015

  • 4 Creative Summer Proposal Ideas

    summer-fairLooking for the perfect opportunity to pop the question this summer? The season is already starting to heat up, so now is a good time to make plans for your romantic proposal.

    Make a moment to remember with one of these sweet summer proposal ideas.

    At the Fair

    There is something timelessly romantic about going on a date to the state or county fair. Go in the evening, when it’s not as hot outside, and do all of the activities she loves. Speed around in bumper cars, eat cotton candy and hold hands on all the roller coasters. Pick a simple but heartfelt moment to propose. Wait until you reach the very top of the Ferris wheel, with a view of the whole fair, and ask her to marry you. Or play a game to win her a giant stuffed animal, then hand it to her along with a diamond engagement ring.

    Nighttime Stroll

    If the two of you love being active in the great outdoors together, use nature as the perfect backdrop for your romantic proposal. Head out on a night hike close to home, bringing flashlights, a few blankets and a romantic surprise, such as champagne and strawberries. When you reach your destination, propose under a blanket of stars.

    Child’s Play

    Plan an entire day of fun, throwback-to-childhood summer activities. Go for a long bike ride. Get ice cream cones. Run through the sprinklers or do cannonballs in the swimming pool. At the end of the day, suggest you make chalk art on your driveway or sidewalk. Make it into a game, saying each of you should draw a picture with a hidden meaning that the other person has to guess. Turn your backs to each other so she can’t see your masterpiece, and write your romantic proposal.

    Rainy Day Romance

    Have a custom jigsaw puzzle made of a photo of you holding the diamond engagement ring and a sign that says, “Will you marry me?” Wait for a summer storm, and spend the day at home putting together the puzzle together. Wait for the big reveal, and have the real ring ready for her! 

    Choose the perfect diamond engagement ring

    Photo credit

  • Eco-Friendly Wedding Ideas on a Budget

    green-wedding-ideasWhen you plan a large event, like a wedding, you might be surprised by how much waste you produce by the end of the day. Leftover food, empty bottles, plastic packaging, abandoned decorations and party favors… not to mention the fuel required to ship items from distant locations.

    If you are environmentally conscious and want to reduce the impact your wedding has, it can be intimidating once you start looking at the cost of green alternatives. Planning an eco-friendly wedding while sticking to your budget is a challenge, but you can do it with a little advance planning and creativity. Here are a few ideas to help you throw a gorgeous wedding that represents your values and stays within your means.

    Green Wedding Planning Tips

    Buy secondhand.

    Remember that not everything has to be brand new to be beautiful. Vintage and thrifted items add stylish and unique touches to your wedding, while reducing your footprint and your expenses. Look for a one-of-a-kind vintage wedding gown on Etsy, or shop at garage sales or thrift stores for antique vases for table centerpieces.

    Keep the future in mind.

    While shopping for everything from wedding jewelry to reception decorations, ask yourself, “Will I ever use this again?” Avoid cheap, flimsy items that you’ll throw away after your wedding day. Look for opportunities to reuse items in the future. For example, choose wedding jewelry you would wear again for a fancy dinner out or potted plant centerpieces that double as wedding favors.

    Choose a naturally beautiful setting.

    To save money and reduce waste, opt for a wedding venue that has its own natural decorations. Get married in a botanical garden or a funky art museum where the decor is already stunning.

    Stay close.

    For a more eco-friendly wedding, cut down on the amount of transportation needed. Plan the ceremony and reception in the same place or within walking distance of each other. 

    Go paperless. 

    Use Paperless Post or a similar service to create elegant paperless save-the-dates and invitations.

    Pick green wedding vendors.

    Ask your wedding caterer, florist and other vendors if they offer any environmentally friendly options. For example, can you find a caterer who will use mostly local products, offer many vegetarian options and compost food waste? Can you find a florist who will make bouquets only from local, in-season flowers?

    Find the wedding jewelry perfect for your style 

    Photo credit

  • 8 Instagram Accounts to Follow for Wedding Planning Inspiration

    Instagram, with its neverending feed of stunning photos from around the world, is ideal for an inspiration boost when you are planning your wedding.

    Not sure what style of men’s wedding bands or bridal ring sets to choose? Having trouble making decisions about flower arrangements or invitations? Instagram has the answers to all of your wedding planning questions.

    Here are just a few of our favorite Instagram accounts to follow while planning your wedding:

    1. HowHeAsked

    It’s OK if you get a little misty-eyed when scrolling through this one. It features photos of “proposal stories, engagement rings, and all things love,” and you can tag your own proposal photo with #HowHeAsked.

    how-he-asked-instagram

    2. Loverly

    This feed is beautifully curated with photos from real weddings and links to wedding planning tips, with a focus on personalized details.

    3. Brown Paper Design

    This California-based event design company has a swoon-worthy lookbook of everything from floral arrangements to inventive space design.

    4. Kleinfeld Bridal

    Fans of “Say Yes to the Dress” will need no convincing. Drool over Kleinfeld’s incredible selection of wedding gowns.

    kleinfeld-instagram copy

    5. Sugar Flower Cake Shop

    Warning: do not look look at this account if you are hungry! Sugar Flower Cake Shop in New York City creates gorgeous cakes with realistic-looking sugar flowers.

    6. David’s Bridal

    Scroll through an extensive collection of wedding dresses, bridesmaid dresses, wedding jewelry and other details, plus photos of real weddings.

    7. Dauphine Press

    This artisan letterpress shop creates handcrafted wedding invitations that jump off the screen.

    8. My Trio Rings

    Of course no list would be complete without our own fabulous Instagram account! Follow to find your perfect rings - including diamond engagement rings, women’s wedding bands, men’s wedding bands, trio ring sets and bridal ring sets.

    my-trio-rings-instagram

    Browse My Trio Rings' selection of bridal ring sets

  • Ideas for Wedding Day Attire: Something Old, New, Borrowed & Blue

    something-blue“Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue…” You know the old saying, but are you planning to incorporate this tradition into your wedding day attire for good luck?

    There are many different ways you can find your own unique something old, new, borrowed and blue. Here are a few ideas to get you started!

    Something Old

    This item can be an accessory you already own and love or something vintage you find secondhand. Start by looking through your own closet and jewelry box to see if you have a pair of shoes or a bracelet or a shawl that would complement your wedding attire. Then search at antique stores, thrift shops and Etsy stores for unique vintage finds. You can also take pieces of lace or material from a secondhand piece of clothing and use it in your wedding outfit. For example, make a handkerchief from the lining of an old coat belonging to your father, or sew lace from a thrift store dress onto your clutch.

    Something New

    This should be the easiest one to check off your list! You’ll likely be purchasing at least one new piece for your wedding day attire - from your dress and shoes to your veil and wedding jewelry.

    Something Borrowed

    An especially meaningful way to honor the past is to wear a borrowed item from a close family member or friend. This might mean incorporating something your mother or sister wore on her wedding day or a memento from someone who has passed away. Choose to wear one piece of wedding jewelry from someone special to you - earrings, a necklace, a brooch. You could also use jewelry as an accent on your bouquet or as hair accessories (transforming an antique pin into a hair comb for a fascinator, for example). Or wear a veil, headpiece, shawl or purse borrowed from a family member.

    Something Blue

    Even if blue isn’t one of your wedding colors, you can add a tiny accent into your wedding day attire. Wear azure or turquoise shoes (or paint the soles blue). Add blue stitching to your veil, purse, undergarments or handkerchief. Sport pale blue nail polish or eyeshadow. Incorporate blue flowers into your bouquet.

    Find more creative wedding planning ideas 

    Photo credit

  • 6 Important Questions to Ask a Wedding Planner

    questions-to-ask-a-wedding-plannerWhether 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.

    Get more expert wedding planning advice

    Photo credit 

  • How to Block Hotel Rooms for Wedding Guests

    blocking-hotel-rooms-for-weddingIf many of your guests will be traveling from out of town to attend your wedding, one of the most common questions they will ask you is: Where should we stay?

    You can provide guests with a list of a few hotel options for different budget ranges, but it’s considerate (and will ultimately save you time fielding logistical questions) if you reserve a block of rooms at a hotel near your wedding venue. You can often get a discounted room rate for groups, and it’s convenient to have many guests staying in the same location. Here are a few tips on how to block hotel rooms for wedding guests like a pro.

    Search for convenience.

    A hotel that’s a 45-minute drive from your wedding venue won’t be ideal for out-of-town guests. Look for a hotel that is easy to reach from your venue on foot, by public transit or via a short taxi ride. Pay attention to handy extras offered by the hotel, like an airport shuttle, free breakfast or family rooms for people with kids.

    Get to Googling.

    Research different hotels in the area, and compare prices and amenities to narrow the choices down to a short list. Also search for any large events that are going on around your wedding day - games, conventions, graduations, conventions. Any event that will flood the city with out-of-towners can affect the supply and price of hotel rooms.

    Look at different price ranges.

    When blocking rooms for wedding guests who are already traveling for your big day, pay attention to cost. Find a hotel with mid-range room rates, or Consider reserving room blocks at two different hotels, one that is more of a budget option (appealing for your cash-strapped peers) and one that is a more upscale choice (better for your older, more established relatives).

    Estimate rooms needed.

    Look at your guest list, think about who is likely to come and determine a realistic number of rooms you’ll need. Call your short list of hotels, and ask about pricing for blocking this number of rooms - keeping in mind you will probably want the rate for at least one day before and one day after your wedding. Ask for a detailed list of conditions from the hotel to secure this rate - for example, what percentage of rooms will need to be filled to avoid penalty, what the cancellation limitations are, if there are any hidden fees, etc. Ask if it’s possible to get a comp room for you and your spouse-to-be when blocking rooms for wedding guests.

    Notify guests.

    Set a cut-off date for room reservations, and let wedding guests know the details as soon as possible. Put the info on your wedding website if you have one, and tell guests to share far and wide.

    Browse our blog for more wedding planning tips

    Photo credit

     

  • Should You Plan a Mini-Moon?

    plan-a-mini-moonMany couples dream of the glamorous honeymoon they will take together right after they say exchange matching wedding bands and say, “I do.” This vision is often of a faraway location (preferably with room service, beautiful scenery and no reminders of work back home).

    But, while you might want to hop on a plane for Bali or the Amalfi Coast, you might not have the time, the finances or the energy right after your wedding. If that’s the case, how do you celebrate the huge milestone of getting married while not putting any more strain on your resources?

    Enter: the mini-moon.

    What is a mini-moon?

    A mini-moon is the same concept as the traditional honeymoon - you two take a romantic and relaxing trip together before starting your new married life. The difference is that it takes the pressure off of you to go halfway around the world or plan a long and lavish trip. The perfect mini-moon can be a quick drive or plane ride away and last as long as you want. It can even be right in your own city - staying in a nice hotel and playing tourist for a few days (and not telling anyone you’re in town!).

    What are the benefits of taking a mini-moon?

    The great thing about a mini-moon is that it lets you to take time to appreciate each other and the importance of what you just did. As newlyweds, you deserve to revel in your new married status and not have to go right back into the daily grind. If you want to save up money and vacation days to take a big trip in six months or a year, you can and should. But a mini-moon allows you to do something special without causing stress or financial strain.

    What are some good ideas for planning a mini-moon?

    Mini-moon planning is a fun exercise to do together. Browse local guidebooks and magazines. Look at maps for nearby destinations. Research cheap short-distance flights. Find a location you are genuinely excited about visiting - especially if it is a good attraction for something you enjoy doing together, such as wine tasting, hiking, eating or gallery hopping. Look into the California wine country, upstate New York, big Southern cities like New Orleans and Austin or small Midwestern towns like Lanesboro, Minnesota and Nashville, Indiana. Plan a mini-moon you will remember for the rest of your lives.

    Find matching wedding bands for your budget

    Photo credit

  • Best Places to Propose in Long Beach, California

    places-to-propose-long-beachLong Beach is only about 20 miles south of downtown Los Angeles, but it has its own distinct atmosphere and personality. With a population of close to 500,000 (compared to nearly 4 million in L.A.), it combines the thriving culture of a big city with the natural beauty of an upscale beach town.

    Long Beach is full of stunning views and seaside scenery that make perfect places to propose. It also boasts lovely weather almost year round, so it’s easy to find just the right moment to pop the question. Shop for beautiful and affordable engagement rings, pick the one she'll love and plan a day to remember. 

    Romantic Places to Propose

    Gondola Getaway

    No need to book a ticket for Venice - you can arrange a romantic gondola ride for two right here in Long Beach. Book a private hour-long tour of the Naples canals, timing it so you get to enjoy the sunset. You are allowed to bring your own food and drinks, so bring along a bottle of bubbly and some antipasti to enjoy. It’s supposedly good luck to kiss under every bridge, so uphold the tradition. Under one of them, take out a diamond engagement ring and ask her to marry you. If you’re lucky, you’ll even get one of the singing gondoliers who can serenade the newly engaged lovebirds.

    Peaceful Garden

    The Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden is located on the CSU Long Beach campus, and it offers a serene oasis within the city. Explore the 1.3 acres of gardens, trees, ponds, statues and bridges. Buy fish food so you can feed the colorful koi swimming in the ponds, then sit down for a picnic in a quiet area. Present her with a ring along with her favorite dessert.

    Island Escape

    Catalina Island is just an hour away from Long Beach by boat, but it feels a world away from the hustle and bustle of the city, and it’s one of the best places to propose in the area. Take a day trip or stay in one of the small hotels on the island for a weekend getaway. Explore the charming town of Avalon, go snorkeling or rent a golf cart (full-sized cars are restricted on the island) to see more of the wild landscape. Find a spot with a gorgeous view (they are everywhere), get down on one knee with a diamond engagement ring and propose.

    Browse our affordable engagement rings

    Photo credit

8 Item(s)

Monthly Archives: May 2015

  • 4 Creative Summer Proposal Ideas

    summer-fairLooking for the perfect opportunity to pop the question this summer? The season is already starting to heat up, so now is a good time to make plans for your romantic proposal.

    Make a moment to remember with one of these sweet summer proposal ideas.

    At the Fair

    There is something timelessly romantic about going on a date to the state or county fair. Go in the evening, when it’s not as hot outside, and do all of the activities she loves. Speed around in bumper cars, eat cotton candy and hold hands on all the roller coasters. Pick a simple but heartfelt moment to propose. Wait until you reach the very top of the Ferris wheel, with a view of the whole fair, and ask her to marry you. Or play a game to win her a giant stuffed animal, then hand it to her along with a diamond engagement ring.

    Nighttime Stroll

    If the two of you love being active in the great outdoors together, use nature as the perfect backdrop for your romantic proposal. Head out on a night hike close to home, bringing flashlights, a few blankets and a romantic surprise, such as champagne and strawberries. When you reach your destination, propose under a blanket of stars.

    Child’s Play

    Plan an entire day of fun, throwback-to-childhood summer activities. Go for a long bike ride. Get ice cream cones. Run through the sprinklers or do cannonballs in the swimming pool. At the end of the day, suggest you make chalk art on your driveway or sidewalk. Make it into a game, saying each of you should draw a picture with a hidden meaning that the other person has to guess. Turn your backs to each other so she can’t see your masterpiece, and write your romantic proposal.

    Rainy Day Romance

    Have a custom jigsaw puzzle made of a photo of you holding the diamond engagement ring and a sign that says, “Will you marry me?” Wait for a summer storm, and spend the day at home putting together the puzzle together. Wait for the big reveal, and have the real ring ready for her! 

    Choose the perfect diamond engagement ring

    Photo credit

  • Eco-Friendly Wedding Ideas on a Budget

    green-wedding-ideasWhen you plan a large event, like a wedding, you might be surprised by how much waste you produce by the end of the day. Leftover food, empty bottles, plastic packaging, abandoned decorations and party favors… not to mention the fuel required to ship items from distant locations.

    If you are environmentally conscious and want to reduce the impact your wedding has, it can be intimidating once you start looking at the cost of green alternatives. Planning an eco-friendly wedding while sticking to your budget is a challenge, but you can do it with a little advance planning and creativity. Here are a few ideas to help you throw a gorgeous wedding that represents your values and stays within your means.

    Green Wedding Planning Tips

    Buy secondhand.

    Remember that not everything has to be brand new to be beautiful. Vintage and thrifted items add stylish and unique touches to your wedding, while reducing your footprint and your expenses. Look for a one-of-a-kind vintage wedding gown on Etsy, or shop at garage sales or thrift stores for antique vases for table centerpieces.

    Keep the future in mind.

    While shopping for everything from wedding jewelry to reception decorations, ask yourself, “Will I ever use this again?” Avoid cheap, flimsy items that you’ll throw away after your wedding day. Look for opportunities to reuse items in the future. For example, choose wedding jewelry you would wear again for a fancy dinner out or potted plant centerpieces that double as wedding favors.

    Choose a naturally beautiful setting.

    To save money and reduce waste, opt for a wedding venue that has its own natural decorations. Get married in a botanical garden or a funky art museum where the decor is already stunning.

    Stay close.

    For a more eco-friendly wedding, cut down on the amount of transportation needed. Plan the ceremony and reception in the same place or within walking distance of each other. 

    Go paperless. 

    Use Paperless Post or a similar service to create elegant paperless save-the-dates and invitations.

    Pick green wedding vendors.

    Ask your wedding caterer, florist and other vendors if they offer any environmentally friendly options. For example, can you find a caterer who will use mostly local products, offer many vegetarian options and compost food waste? Can you find a florist who will make bouquets only from local, in-season flowers?

    Find the wedding jewelry perfect for your style 

    Photo credit

  • 8 Instagram Accounts to Follow for Wedding Planning Inspiration

    Instagram, with its neverending feed of stunning photos from around the world, is ideal for an inspiration boost when you are planning your wedding.

    Not sure what style of men’s wedding bands or bridal ring sets to choose? Having trouble making decisions about flower arrangements or invitations? Instagram has the answers to all of your wedding planning questions.

    Here are just a few of our favorite Instagram accounts to follow while planning your wedding:

    1. HowHeAsked

    It’s OK if you get a little misty-eyed when scrolling through this one. It features photos of “proposal stories, engagement rings, and all things love,” and you can tag your own proposal photo with #HowHeAsked.

    how-he-asked-instagram

    2. Loverly

    This feed is beautifully curated with photos from real weddings and links to wedding planning tips, with a focus on personalized details.

    3. Brown Paper Design

    This California-based event design company has a swoon-worthy lookbook of everything from floral arrangements to inventive space design.

    4. Kleinfeld Bridal

    Fans of “Say Yes to the Dress” will need no convincing. Drool over Kleinfeld’s incredible selection of wedding gowns.

    kleinfeld-instagram copy

    5. Sugar Flower Cake Shop

    Warning: do not look look at this account if you are hungry! Sugar Flower Cake Shop in New York City creates gorgeous cakes with realistic-looking sugar flowers.

    6. David’s Bridal

    Scroll through an extensive collection of wedding dresses, bridesmaid dresses, wedding jewelry and other details, plus photos of real weddings.

    7. Dauphine Press

    This artisan letterpress shop creates handcrafted wedding invitations that jump off the screen.

    8. My Trio Rings

    Of course no list would be complete without our own fabulous Instagram account! Follow to find your perfect rings - including diamond engagement rings, women’s wedding bands, men’s wedding bands, trio ring sets and bridal ring sets.

    my-trio-rings-instagram

    Browse My Trio Rings' selection of bridal ring sets

  • Ideas for Wedding Day Attire: Something Old, New, Borrowed & Blue

    something-blue“Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue…” You know the old saying, but are you planning to incorporate this tradition into your wedding day attire for good luck?

    There are many different ways you can find your own unique something old, new, borrowed and blue. Here are a few ideas to get you started!

    Something Old

    This item can be an accessory you already own and love or something vintage you find secondhand. Start by looking through your own closet and jewelry box to see if you have a pair of shoes or a bracelet or a shawl that would complement your wedding attire. Then search at antique stores, thrift shops and Etsy stores for unique vintage finds. You can also take pieces of lace or material from a secondhand piece of clothing and use it in your wedding outfit. For example, make a handkerchief from the lining of an old coat belonging to your father, or sew lace from a thrift store dress onto your clutch.

    Something New

    This should be the easiest one to check off your list! You’ll likely be purchasing at least one new piece for your wedding day attire - from your dress and shoes to your veil and wedding jewelry.

    Something Borrowed

    An especially meaningful way to honor the past is to wear a borrowed item from a close family member or friend. This might mean incorporating something your mother or sister wore on her wedding day or a memento from someone who has passed away. Choose to wear one piece of wedding jewelry from someone special to you - earrings, a necklace, a brooch. You could also use jewelry as an accent on your bouquet or as hair accessories (transforming an antique pin into a hair comb for a fascinator, for example). Or wear a veil, headpiece, shawl or purse borrowed from a family member.

    Something Blue

    Even if blue isn’t one of your wedding colors, you can add a tiny accent into your wedding day attire. Wear azure or turquoise shoes (or paint the soles blue). Add blue stitching to your veil, purse, undergarments or handkerchief. Sport pale blue nail polish or eyeshadow. Incorporate blue flowers into your bouquet.

    Find more creative wedding planning ideas 

    Photo credit

  • 6 Important Questions to Ask a Wedding Planner

    questions-to-ask-a-wedding-plannerWhether 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.

    Get more expert wedding planning advice

    Photo credit 

  • How to Block Hotel Rooms for Wedding Guests

    blocking-hotel-rooms-for-weddingIf many of your guests will be traveling from out of town to attend your wedding, one of the most common questions they will ask you is: Where should we stay?

    You can provide guests with a list of a few hotel options for different budget ranges, but it’s considerate (and will ultimately save you time fielding logistical questions) if you reserve a block of rooms at a hotel near your wedding venue. You can often get a discounted room rate for groups, and it’s convenient to have many guests staying in the same location. Here are a few tips on how to block hotel rooms for wedding guests like a pro.

    Search for convenience.

    A hotel that’s a 45-minute drive from your wedding venue won’t be ideal for out-of-town guests. Look for a hotel that is easy to reach from your venue on foot, by public transit or via a short taxi ride. Pay attention to handy extras offered by the hotel, like an airport shuttle, free breakfast or family rooms for people with kids.

    Get to Googling.

    Research different hotels in the area, and compare prices and amenities to narrow the choices down to a short list. Also search for any large events that are going on around your wedding day - games, conventions, graduations, conventions. Any event that will flood the city with out-of-towners can affect the supply and price of hotel rooms.

    Look at different price ranges.

    When blocking rooms for wedding guests who are already traveling for your big day, pay attention to cost. Find a hotel with mid-range room rates, or Consider reserving room blocks at two different hotels, one that is more of a budget option (appealing for your cash-strapped peers) and one that is a more upscale choice (better for your older, more established relatives).

    Estimate rooms needed.

    Look at your guest list, think about who is likely to come and determine a realistic number of rooms you’ll need. Call your short list of hotels, and ask about pricing for blocking this number of rooms - keeping in mind you will probably want the rate for at least one day before and one day after your wedding. Ask for a detailed list of conditions from the hotel to secure this rate - for example, what percentage of rooms will need to be filled to avoid penalty, what the cancellation limitations are, if there are any hidden fees, etc. Ask if it’s possible to get a comp room for you and your spouse-to-be when blocking rooms for wedding guests.

    Notify guests.

    Set a cut-off date for room reservations, and let wedding guests know the details as soon as possible. Put the info on your wedding website if you have one, and tell guests to share far and wide.

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  • Should You Plan a Mini-Moon?

    plan-a-mini-moonMany couples dream of the glamorous honeymoon they will take together right after they say exchange matching wedding bands and say, “I do.” This vision is often of a faraway location (preferably with room service, beautiful scenery and no reminders of work back home).

    But, while you might want to hop on a plane for Bali or the Amalfi Coast, you might not have the time, the finances or the energy right after your wedding. If that’s the case, how do you celebrate the huge milestone of getting married while not putting any more strain on your resources?

    Enter: the mini-moon.

    What is a mini-moon?

    A mini-moon is the same concept as the traditional honeymoon - you two take a romantic and relaxing trip together before starting your new married life. The difference is that it takes the pressure off of you to go halfway around the world or plan a long and lavish trip. The perfect mini-moon can be a quick drive or plane ride away and last as long as you want. It can even be right in your own city - staying in a nice hotel and playing tourist for a few days (and not telling anyone you’re in town!).

    What are the benefits of taking a mini-moon?

    The great thing about a mini-moon is that it lets you to take time to appreciate each other and the importance of what you just did. As newlyweds, you deserve to revel in your new married status and not have to go right back into the daily grind. If you want to save up money and vacation days to take a big trip in six months or a year, you can and should. But a mini-moon allows you to do something special without causing stress or financial strain.

    What are some good ideas for planning a mini-moon?

    Mini-moon planning is a fun exercise to do together. Browse local guidebooks and magazines. Look at maps for nearby destinations. Research cheap short-distance flights. Find a location you are genuinely excited about visiting - especially if it is a good attraction for something you enjoy doing together, such as wine tasting, hiking, eating or gallery hopping. Look into the California wine country, upstate New York, big Southern cities like New Orleans and Austin or small Midwestern towns like Lanesboro, Minnesota and Nashville, Indiana. Plan a mini-moon you will remember for the rest of your lives.

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  • Best Places to Propose in Long Beach, California

    places-to-propose-long-beachLong Beach is only about 20 miles south of downtown Los Angeles, but it has its own distinct atmosphere and personality. With a population of close to 500,000 (compared to nearly 4 million in L.A.), it combines the thriving culture of a big city with the natural beauty of an upscale beach town.

    Long Beach is full of stunning views and seaside scenery that make perfect places to propose. It also boasts lovely weather almost year round, so it’s easy to find just the right moment to pop the question. Shop for beautiful and affordable engagement rings, pick the one she'll love and plan a day to remember. 

    Romantic Places to Propose

    Gondola Getaway

    No need to book a ticket for Venice - you can arrange a romantic gondola ride for two right here in Long Beach. Book a private hour-long tour of the Naples canals, timing it so you get to enjoy the sunset. You are allowed to bring your own food and drinks, so bring along a bottle of bubbly and some antipasti to enjoy. It’s supposedly good luck to kiss under every bridge, so uphold the tradition. Under one of them, take out a diamond engagement ring and ask her to marry you. If you’re lucky, you’ll even get one of the singing gondoliers who can serenade the newly engaged lovebirds.

    Peaceful Garden

    The Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden is located on the CSU Long Beach campus, and it offers a serene oasis within the city. Explore the 1.3 acres of gardens, trees, ponds, statues and bridges. Buy fish food so you can feed the colorful koi swimming in the ponds, then sit down for a picnic in a quiet area. Present her with a ring along with her favorite dessert.

    Island Escape

    Catalina Island is just an hour away from Long Beach by boat, but it feels a world away from the hustle and bustle of the city, and it’s one of the best places to propose in the area. Take a day trip or stay in one of the small hotels on the island for a weekend getaway. Explore the charming town of Avalon, go snorkeling or rent a golf cart (full-sized cars are restricted on the island) to see more of the wild landscape. Find a spot with a gorgeous view (they are everywhere), get down on one knee with a diamond engagement ring and propose.

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