Do You Need Wedding Insurance?


That’s a good question.

It’s never a bad idea to protect your investments but bad things happening at or to your wedding isn’t something we really want to think about. The reality is that you are putting together a rather complex event; the more complex the more chances that something could go wrong.

By go wrong I mean it could be anything from the best man losing the rings to a sudden illness. Just last week I saw a news story featuring a couple whose house and wedding venue had been destroyed in the tornados that ravaged parts of Tennessee. As they interviewed this poor thing amid the rubble that had been the couple’s home she told the reporter that her one wish was to find her wedding gown so she didn’t have to try and replace the one she loved so much. My heart just broke for them. I feel certain that they had their house insured but what about their wedding?

It really doesn’t matter what you are spending on your wedding, to you it is a large investment. The policies that I have checked out are not terribly expensive for the peace of mind they buy.

Something else you may need to know is that more and more wedding venues are requiring couples to carry liability insurance on their event. Hey we live in some pretty litigious times; they have to protect themselves too. You will get a better rate if you bundle that with your core wedding insurance.

Speaking of bundling; check with your regular insurance carrier to see if they have a policy to meet your needs. I know that Travelers Insurance offers it. If you already have coverage on your home or car from them I think this would bundle with that for a better rate.

If you are planning a destination wedding, don’t even think about passing on the insurance. The policy I looked at even covered transportation shutdowns; you know like canceled flights due to a blizzard or hurricane.

It is something you should think about.

Photo by Michael Hodge

The Greening of the American Wedding Part 2

Fashion

Your wedding gown might not seem like the place to make an environmental statement but a quick search of the internet will prove you wrong. A search for “environmentally friendly wedding gowns” brought up 206,000 hits. First think recycle. You can either buy vintage or reuse one that is in the family. A good seamstress can recut a dress to a more modern style to suit your taste and figure and in some ways you are carrying on a family heirloom. If what you crave is new that is also now an option. There is of course silk but also silk hemp blends and a fairly new synthetic fabric make from cellulose called tencel that is very soft to the touch. You can either buy gowns ready made or purchase yard good to have a gown custom made for you. All those options also hold true for bridesmaids.

Jewelry

With how much has been said and written about so called conflict diamonds many socially conscience couples are forgoing the traditional engagement ring altogether. A diamond is considered a conflict diamond if its profits is used to fund war, or it is mined or produced under unethical conditions. In fact there has been such a backlash against diamonds that in 2001 diamond industry figures convened and formed a new organization, the World Diamond Council. This new body set out to draft a new process, whereby all rough diamonds could be certified as coming from a non-conflict source. Dubbed the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme it tracks the origin of rough diamonds and follows the stone through it life. If you are considering a new stone you can look for its certification. Such jewelry stores as Tiffany & Co, Zale and even QVC have started marketing “Ethical Jewelry”.

Not everyone has complete faith in any system, especially one as steeped in human rights violations as the diamond industry. If that is you the best way to go may be to use recycled stones and precious metals. Both GreenCarat.com and BrilliantEarth.com specialize in using recycled materials. Better yet, recycle the family jewels. You can have pieces collected from both families recast into one beautiful new set to symbolize your joining.

After the Wedding

Consider taking your honeymoon close to home. You will be so tired anyway after all that planning and partying that not having a seven hour flight might be a relief. You will also reduce your carbon output.

When it comes time to preserve your gown you can even do that in an environmentally friendly way. Oakwood Cleaners, in Nashville,TN operated by Surendra Kumar is one of the most modern facilities in the world. Specializing in a non-toxic cleaning process they preserve and restore wedding gowns for customers all over the country. Most telling was when Kumar told me that the process is so gentle on fabrics that shops like b. Hughes Bridal and Formal and Ann Frances Couture trust them to pre-clean gowns before the wedding. That just isn’t done. Normal dry cleaning methods can sometimes be so harsh to delicate fabrics that salons usually only spot clean a gown if needed between the portrait sitting and the ceremony for fear of damage. I take that as a huge vote of confidence.

Just how green you decide to go is up to you. Whether your color is a hint of green or more of deep foresty green the people that supply you are catching on. As more and more couples make greener choices and ask for what they want the more resources like money and time the vendors will put into finding solutions. So you see, it really is up to you.

What Color is My Wedding?

Are you struggling to pick the perfect palette for your wedding? It seems that brides either can not decide on a color scheme or picked one several years ago because they saw a wedding in those colors and they loved it. The first group is thinking too hard and the second is not reflecting their uniqueness.

Most brides tend to go to the bridal magazine or bridal websites and forums to find ideas for a color palette. How about a better idea, go to your closet.

1. They are colors you love or you wouldn’t have bought them.

2. They are colors currently in style or you couldn’t have bought them.

3. They are most likely colors that flatter your skin tone. Hey, you do want to make sure YOU look great that day, right?

4. If you pick an outfit not a single item you have already done the work of “What color goes with this”

5. If you pick an outfit that corresponds to the season in which you are getting married you already know the colors work with it.

Don’t let some designer from a magazine or the designers that make bridesmaids gowns determine the color of your wedding. You are a heck of a lot smarter than you think you are. You have been picking color palettes for as long as you could shop. If you are like most of us, you have invested countless hours honing that skill in the malls and boutiques of life. Use it.

One more thing Just because a certain style is always shown in a certain palette doesn’t mean you have to do it that way. I designed an urban tablescape recently using the cliché black cloth, red table runner and napkins on square tables, white square china, single stems of white orchids, black river rocks…oh you know the look. Anyway, as I stood there admiring my handy work I suddenly saw it in other colors. How marvelous it would have looked in a medium moss green and pale khaki. Wow. Your style and your color palette are not necessarily joined at the hip. Even the classic Zen/urban look can be tweaked to fit your personality and venue.

Have fun with your wedding. There really aren’t any wedding police that come bug you if you don’t follow traditions and current fads. OK well maybe that one pain in the ass aunt. Just smile serenely and tell her that you are certain that her idea will be lovely at her next wedding and you can’t wait to see it. Then laugh like hell after she leaves!

DIY Wedding Projects


True confessions. My name is Christine and I am addicted to crafting. With that little disclaimer out of the way it’s time to tackle the subject of DIY and wedding.

It is so easy for crafty brides to get caught up in the “I can do that myself” mind set. You see all these beautiful things (and their price tags) and the ideas start multiplying in you head like rabbits on Viagra. Stop! Wait! Don’t be that bride! Before you know it you are spending half your wedding budget at the craft store and turning your bridesmaids into indentured servants to get it all completed on time.

I understand the lure, the sirens song of making it yourself for an event this important to you. I also understand the financial realities of most brides. What we are at times blinded to is the true cost of the projects you take on.

The first thing most DIY brides consider doing is invitations. If you are only looking at it from a $$ point of view DIY may not be your best option. There are some unbelievable inexpensive invitations out there and many dealers that discount up to 50% off book price. No, these aren’t the most gorgeous, amazing invitations out there but they are cheap. Now if you want gorgeous and amazing DIY may be the way to go. If you have the time and skills you can DIY them but they will still end up costing you much more than cheap and basic. In the end you will have a very high end result with a high to moderate price tag and the satisfaction of having created it yourself.

One thing you must look at as you start getting the DIY bug isn’t how long it will take you to make an invitation but how long it will take you to make 200 invitations. You may end up cursing every little fold by the end of the project. And that is if you only took on one DIY. Suppose you also decided that place cards and favors to match your fabulous invitations were in order. Now you just added a few hundred more times of doing the same repetitive thing over and over and over and over….Are we still having fun?

Like I said, I’m a crafter and I’m sure I would not be able to resist the lure.

I say go for it, but in a very limited way. Pick one or at most two wonderful projects that won’t eat your life or your wallet and have a ball. Here is a really cool one I ran across on Something Old, Something New that I am DYIng to try. Happy crafting!


Why You NEED A Consultant

This is so sad. I can not begin to tell you how badly I feel for this bride.

I spoke with one of my florist friends today and this is the story as she related it to me.

She is doing the flowers for the wedding of a lovely young woman who is marring the son of an old family friend. It is quite the large wedding with over 800 guests invited of which nearly 500 are expected to attend. It is being held at one of the premier hotels in the area. It is scheduled for early June, one of the busiest times of the year. The décor is extensive with draping and a full on cocktail lounge being brought in. A very hot band out of Atlanta has been booked…

As a part of finalizing the details my florist friend asked what time the venue would be available to start decorating. The bride responded that the planner at the hotel had told her she had it all day. My friend suggested she check on that since the hotel had had a turn over in staff. Long story short… the new hotel staffer told her there was a conference scheduled for that day and they could have the room at 6 PM!!!!!!!!!!

OH MY!!! With an 8PM reception that leaves a scant 2 hours to transform this room. In most circumstances that would be a stretch but doable. Not this wedding. Draping, furniture for a lounge, place settings for 500; heck, the band’s contract states they require 6 hours to set up!

I have no idea what this poor thing is going to do. At this late date there is no way she could find a new venue even if she wanted to move her wedding. I will tell you, had she had an event/wedding planner this would have never happened. Even if this girl had already booked all her vendors it is the planner’s job to stay on top of just this kind of thing. She would have communicated with the hotel the amount of set up involved in this wedding. Oh my.

If you are planning a wedding for a hundred at a local hotel or your church maybe you really can do it yourself. Please, please, if you are planning something this big, hire help.

Consultants

Did you know that 50% of all weddings are planned from out of town? With our mobile society more and more brides are having to resort to long distance planning. This is the where hiring a wedding consultant really comes in handy. But how do you pick one, especially if you are doing it long distance?

One of the big problems is that everyday some newb hangs a shingle. You know, she planned her own wedding and now thinks she is a pro. WRONG But how can you tell from a website? You can’t. Your best bet is to get referals. Do a little research on venues in the area that might fit your style and call them. Pick their brain a little and see who they refer. Also go to the local forums for your target area and ask the other brides. Sort your master list down to three or four and check their website. Look at how long they have been planning weddings and how long they have been in the area. If all the pictures on their site look like they are from the same event cross them off your list. Remember, you are looking for someone that really knows the players in this market. The longer your consultant has been in the market the more leverage they have. They also have a reputation to protect. Both of these things work in your favor. You are from out of town, they aren’t. The local vendors know them and don’t want to lose their business.

Call your top three choices and see if your personality and vison are a fit. Ask them to send you pictures of several weddings they have done and testimonials. Everyone worth their salt in the wedding industry has a file full of thank you letters from happy brides. Are they someone you can trust to look after you interests while you keep tabs from afar?

Once you settle on a pro to handle your wedding, step back and let them do their job. If they send you to specific vendors, there is a reason. They trust them, work well with them and feel they can best fit your vision and budget. Trust your consultant to do the job for which you hired them. A good consultant has a huge roster of vendors they use. It is their job to find the ones that are the best match for you. More than anything else, you are hiring an advocate.