Wordless Wednesday: Overcome & Overjoyed

Courtesy of Shawna Herring Photography
Tifiny & Telly
Atlanta, Georgia

Family & Friends: When They're Helpful, When They Aren't

- Lisa of Elegant Event Design

Many couples are struggling with the fact that they want to cut down on costs, but still have the wedding of their dreams. How do you find the balance?

Through the years, I have seen instances of couples using friends or family members to take photographs, shoot video, DJ, arrange flowers, bake the cake/cupcakes, and plan/execute the wedding day. In all cases, the couple had unrealistic expectations of what the free, or reduced cost, help would get them. The work of family and friends do not substitute that of a professional, someone who makes weddings their business. Weddings are large events that are very difficult to execute. This is why there are professionals to help you through the process. I said it before, and I will say it again - time is money, and stress is even more money. I have seen instances where the well meaning friend or family members have caused the Bride and Groom more undue stress and worry, not only prior to the event, but on the day itself.

I have seen instances where the Bride and Groom used a friend to DJ. The couple had to be concerned with getting the DJ equipment to and from the site, helping the DJ set up during the cocktail hour that they should have been enjoying, and then concerning themselves during the wedding because the DJ did not know anything about weddings. There was the aunt who worked at a bakery and wanted to make the wedding cake. She got the cake into the site, but then it fell over and crashed into a million pieces when she was trying to set it up. In many occasions, the couple had enlisted family members to help them with the day of events - help with programs, guest book, place cards, etc. In many cases, I knew they were supposed to be present, because I had them in the timeline and talked to them prior to the ceremony. For some reason, they are nowhere to be found when it’s time for them to perform their duties. Had we not been there, I am not sure what the Bride and Groom would have done. Then, there was the case where the Bride hired a friend to take her pictures. In the beginning it was nice to think about saving a little money. When she was crying over her pictures, a little money saved was not worth it.

Why should you have to worry about how your cake is going to make it to the right place? Why should you worry about how the flowers that your Mother’s friend made will get to the reception site, and set up properly on your wedding day? There are wonderful vendors in all budget categories; the trick is being able to weed them out of, what seems to be like, the endless wedding pool.

It’s really nice of well-meaning friends and family members to offer to help you on your special day. In the end, you get one shot to get it right. Why gamble?

Something Green: Eco Chic

In honor of Earth Day, here are four simple ideas for going a little green on your wedding day:

Wedding dress made from organic materials

Adele Wechsler "EcoCouture"

Save-The-Dates Printed with Soy Ink
Seaside Sundae by Linda & Harriet

Let guests throw flower petals for your grand exit

The rose petals below are from Pick-A-Petal

Eco-Friendly Favors
Bamboo Coasters or Seed Packets
from MyWeddingFavors.com

Affordable and Chic: Unforgettable Moments

Oh we do love our shoes, ladies, don't we? But paying top dollar for a shoe we may only wear once, isn't always in the cards. Many designers know that and some of them are putting out ultra-affordable wedding shoes. Unforgettable Moments by Lela Rose is a new line of shoes for brides and attendants available at Payless. Yep, Payless. The satin dyeable shoes can be customized in 64 colors and are between $45 to $50. Coordinating satin handbags are available online. Below are a few of our faves but see more on the Unforgettable Moments website.

Having a Home Wedding? Get It Insured!

- Lisa of ElegantEventDesign.com

I received a question on wedding insurance and home weddings, and I thought I would address this issue in this week’s blog.

As I stated before, home weddings are a bit different than weddings taking place at a more “established” wedding venue because your guests are coming directly onto your property. Because of this, you may be opening yourself up to a bit more liability, not just in the event that one of your guests is hurt during your event, but also for the expensive rentals, tent(s) and equipment that may be left on your property over several days and nights.

For a Saturday wedding taking place at your home, the rentals arrive on Thursday or Friday and the tent is erected on Wednesday or Thursday. In one case, the band left their equipment overnight. What is your liability in the event that one of these items is damaged or stolen prior to the event? What about if a rental item is damaged or a guest is hurt, during the event?

Traditional event insurance companies, Like WedSafe (www.wedsafe.com), might not be enough to cover your home wedding. They are really great for cancellation insurance (to cover your deposits in the unfortunate event that you have to cancel your wedding). They are also good for liability insurance, in the event that something is damaged during the event itself. But, be careful, they will only cover loss/stolen items if the items are lost or stolen during the event (with the exception of photography issues). So, if you think that during the wedding, one of your guests will sneak off with some of your rentals to have as mementos (not sure how you would go about proving that it occurred during the event and not prior) than this type of coverage may be for you.

Call Wedsafe (or web chat, like me), as well as your home owner insurance company, and ask lots of questions. Make sure you fully understand what each covers so that you can determine the best solution for you. Speak to your home owner’s insurance company about adding a rider which would cover you, your guests, and your rentals for the entire weekend – which you may need in addition to a traditional event insurance policy, depending upon your needs. To insure a stress-free event, and to get the best use of your money, make these calls as soon as you begin booking your vendors. Remember, “Traditional “wedding insurance policies must be underwritten at least 24 hours or 15 days prior to your event, depending on the level of coverage needed

As a side note, to keep you and your guest’s safe, make sure to contract a licensed and insured caterer. Make sure that they have up to $1,000,000.00 liability coverage and also possess a current caterer’s license.

What do you think? Was this post helpful to you? Give us your feedback by clicking on comments.

Traditional Cake Toppers Are Back

Cake toppers have undergone so many transformations in the last few years. Why just a short time ago many brides were trying to figure out whether they needed cake toppers at all. But the traditional always returns and now we are seeing more and more of those miniature brides-and-grooms sitting atop wedding cakes. We'd love to know what you think of the traditional cake toppers below. Which of them would appeal to you? And would any of you choose a racy cake topper like the last one?

"Ebony Enchantment" Cake Topper at MyWeddingFavors.com

Lenox Opal Innocence Porcelain African-American Bride and Groom

Apple Tree Cake Topper


"Sweet Embrace" at MyWeddingFavors.com


Funny Sexy Topper from C&R Unique

Blue Monday: Part III

We begin the week with a few more ideas to help you find your "Something Blue". Share your own ideas with us by clicking on "comments".

Shrug by Countessa

I Do for Shoes

Silver Crystal Heart Necklace by AzureTreasures

"Mrs." Panties

Dainty Light Sapphire Swarovski Earrings by BeadWire

Alfred Angelo: For the Wedding Recessionistas

Are you a bride-to-be whose wedding planning is being squeezed by these tough economic times? Or are you a bride-to-be who has money- and sense with it? Well, it seems lots of gown designers want to be part of your stimulus package. Several popular lines are preparing to release less-pricey wedding dress collections. Take a look at our favorites from the hot-off-the-rack "Recessionista Collection" by Alfred Angelo and tell us which is your favorite. These dresses start at $298.

The folks at Alfred Angelo say this collection offers the same craftmanship of its other lines, but with the most affordable price tag. The dresses are going into stores and boutiques this month. All of these gowns go up to size 30W.

Choosing the Right Photographer

-by Lisa

Besides choosing your spouse of choice, your photographer will be one of the most important parts of your day. In many instances, the planning stage is a year or more, and the day seems just like a moment. When all the food is gone, the flowers are long dead, and the dress preserved - your pictures will serve as the memories you remember, have forgotten or never experienced. I cannot express how important it is to choose the photographer that fits you style and personality, because it’s through this medium that you will remember your special day.
One point that I cannot stress enough is that photography is an art. Each photographer has his/her individual style – a style that no other photographer can duplicate. When you find a photographer that you like, you should commission that photographer. If your preferred style is formal/posed, than you should commission a photographer that excels with this type of portraiture. If you like a fine art approach, then you should commission a photographer who excels at a fine art approach. To ask one photographer to duplicate the style of another is pointless because you will not be happy with the final result or with the photographer.
Since I live in the real world, I know that budgets come into play. There are great photographers in all budget categories. You just have to do your research. Does your style not match the style in most “traditional” wedding photographers? Are you budget challenged? You may have to go outside your comfort zone and seek out freelance photographers who would fit your budget and/or style preferences.
Let’s review the 4 most common styles of wedding photographers.

1. Traditional
– These photographers are proficient at capturing posed shots so that they do not look posed.

2. Documentary – These photographers tell a story from beginning to end. They will often take a picture of a shoe, or an earring. They will capture the entire story from beginning to end.

3. Photojournalist – A true photojournalist excels at capturing emotion on film. It’s a newspaper style. They are able to get emotion out of the moment. The style is very hands off.

4. Fine art – These photographers often have the option of taking some or all of your wedding on film. These photographers often have their own dark room, and can offer options; such as, hand painting and custom printing.

Along with the style, the personality of the photographer is extremely important. You and your fiancé(e) will be spending the entire day with him/her. Liking and feeling comfortable with your photographer is of utmost importance, not only for great pictures but also for a good experience.

Whole Lot of Networking Going On

There's a lot going on behind the scenes at African-AmericanBrides.com and this is one busy blog. We try to give our friends various ways to keep up based on where they spend time online. So, today we joined Networked Blogs on Facebook, which provides a great way to see many of our updates in one place. We'll be adding new features over there to coincide with all the happenings here on the blog. Check out our blog's Facebook page by clicking the icon below.

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