Friday, July 29, 2011

Tipping... Who and How Much??

**Back by popular demand** 

One of the most common questions I get from Brides and her parents is
"Who do we tip and how much is appropriate?"
The general rule of thumb is to tip the vendors who stay for the entire wedding.
Example: Clergy, Musicians, Caterer, Wedding Planner, Photographer, Videographer.

So what about the florist, baker, etc.? They've put as much time as those who stay for the entire wedding day, right? My answer: Absolutely. If you are thrilled with their work, give a tip to your wedding planner and tell her it's for the baker/florist/etc. Your wedding planner will mail that vendor their gift.

First, let's look at the entire budget. The average bride spends about $29,000 on her wedding. So if your thought is, "I've already spent $13,000 on catering. Why should I tip on top of that?" let's look at your catering contract. If there is a 20% service charge in addition to labor fees and sales tax, that's normal. That 20% goes toward the staff's gratuity at the end of the night. The caterer is responsible for handing out that money to the staff.

HOWEVER (and I'm not sure I can write that in bigger, more note-worthy font so I'll say it again) HOWEVER, if you have amazing service, an additional tip is always appreciated. Typically you will have a dedicated server - someone whose only job that night is to make sure your glass never goes empty, that you are alternating between an alcoholic beverage and water, and to make sure you have everything you need. (For example, if your favorite fruit is grapes and your VIP Server sifts through the fruit tray and brings you only grapes, that counts as amazing service.) A good tip for a VIP Server is $50-$100. If the entire service staff rocked, I'd recommend $50 per server.

Keep in mind, most of these vendors have been working with you for upwards of 4-6 months or longer and are charging a flat fee. There is no "service charge" in your photographer's contract. So if he/she does a fabulous job, makes you feel comfortable all night, and falls in easily with your guests, he/she is *working* continuously through the day.

Here's an easy breakdown:
Clergy: $25 - $100
Baker: not necessary, but always appreciated in any amount
Caterer: $50 - $100 for VIP Server or $50 per server
Florist: not necessary, but always appreciated in any amount
Photographer: $50 - $100
Videographer: $50 - $100 (I recommend sending this after you get your DVD!)
Wedding Planner: $50 -$100
Band: $50-$100 per member
DJ: $50-$100

Here are a list of vendors who will get their gratuity at the end of the night regardless of if you slip them some cash.
Venue: (it's not necessary to tip the hotel)
Limo Driver: (his/her gratuity is built in to the fee and will not be split among others as in the case of servers and caterers)
Site Contact: (the person at your venue who shows up to make sure the lights are on / the Church Lady)

Remember, the BEST gratuity you can give a vendor is a letter thanking them for their amazing service. That vendor can post your letter and picture on their website and get more business because of your props. If you've been married for a couple of months, take a walk down memory lane and think about your vendors. If one sticks out in your mind as *phenomenal*, tell them about it. It's not too late. They'll appreciate it.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Wedding Floral Resource

For many brides, the flowers are the most important piece of their wedding day puzzle. Your guests will notice if the florals were high on your list of puzzle priorities. Also, florals are often times the focus of many of the photographs taken by your photographer, as well as your guests.
Often times it can be difficult to know what flowers to choose, and which will look best that time of year.
You want them to go with your color scheme, as well as be in season so they are as fresh as possible (and also not ridiculously expensive!). So, I'm sure you are wondering, how can I figure these things out?

Recently I came across a great resource online that allows you to search for flowers to fit your day.
You can search by the color of flowers you want, the area of the country your wedding is in, the season your wedding is in, and even the color of bridesmaid dresses you will have.



The website is called Bliss!

Check it out and find the perfect flowers for your big day!!

Elizabeth

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Sarah and Keith are Featured!

You may remember us posting tweets about #WestinBride. Well here they are. Sarah and Keith are featured today on www.TheWeddingYentas.com!


Real Jewish Weddings | Atlanta, GA

In 2005, Sarah walked into her first day of work after college and she would have never guessed that afternoon she would meet her future husband in her first-ever work meeting. Keith was lucky enough to be in the cube that was diagonal from Sarah so that whenever she had a work question (“How do I use Outlook??”), he was Sarah’s first stop. Work questions turned into personal ones and before they knew it, they had become friends.
Then one day Sarah got to work early so she walked further than normal to go to the “good bagel place” and picked up a bagel and lox and thought Keith would want one too. She brought one back and put it on his desk. It wasn’t until she mentioned this to one of her friends that she thought, “Huh, I don’t normally buy bagels and lox for everyone. Maybe Keith and I are more than just friends . . . ” It was not long after that when New Years 2006 came along and they were at the same party. Their midnight kiss turned quickly into a loving relationship. Keith and Sarah have a great time together cooking dinner at night, hiking, or traveling around Europe. They always find themselves laughing and based on their smiles that plastered their faces on their wedding day, we know they’re for real!
Mazel tov, Sarah and Keith!
Venue- The Westin Atlanta Perimeter North
Photographer- Mylife Photography, Catherine Park
Coordinator- A Big To Do 
Florist- Edge Design 
Cake- Lulu’s Bakery
Jeweler- Boone & Sons 
Entertainment & Music- The Moxie Band
Dress- Maggie Sottero
Makeup Artist & Hair Stylist- Syncere Beauty 
Officiant- Rabbi Elana Perry at Temple Sinai
Invitations / Stationery- The Paper Bag
Bridesmaids’ Dresses- Amsale 
Ketubah- Ketubah.com
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Friday, July 22, 2011

Pig and Pinot

Looking for something fun to do this Saturday night?
Looking for a good place to have your rehearsal dinner?
We have something that may interest you!

Pig and Pinot
at Ray's on the River


Never been to a Pig and Pinot? Here's what to expect:
Receive a logo'd glass and party plate
Try 5 different pinots
Large selection of pork inspired dishes
Live music from A1A featuring Jeff Pike
Silent auction of wines and other items
Raffle for dinner for 4 customized by Ray's at Killer Creek's Tracey Bloom and
wines selected by Sommelier Phillip Cooper
Raffle for Fat Tire 2011 Cruiser
Auctions and Raffles at the end of the day

Ray's on the River has hosted weddings, rehearsals and other special events for over 26 years. They overlook the Chattahoochee River, making it a fun and relaxing environment for their guests.
They are able to accomodate parties of up to 200 guests, and have private as well as semi-private
rooms available. They also have a beautiful temperature controlled tent that can hold parties of
up to 110 people.


This will be a fun event that everyone should check out!
To purchase tickets, contact Keith Kendrick at

Elizabeth



Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Sarah's Wedding Part II- The Beginning Details

**Sarah was an intern with A Big To Do Event in 2010 and remains a friend of A Big To Do.  We are so excited to help Sarah plan her and Slayden's big day. She's keeping us (and you) informed on her progress through the process. For a recap of her progress so far, click here: http://abigtodoevent.blogspot.com/2011/06/guess-who-is-planning-wedding.html **

This weekend marked three months until the big day! THREE MONTHS?! I HAVE SO MUCH TO DO! It is no wonder the average engagement is 14 months; we are having an eight month engagement and I feel like there is ALWAYS something to do!

So let me start with some advice:
- Keep a journal during your engagement. This journal should include everything from the proposal, to asking your bridesmaids, planning, fun memories and everything in-between!
Speaking of many of those events... I have lots to fill you in on!

Once I got my venues secured I had a few things I knew I needed to take care of. I knew choosing our bridal party needed to be one of our first tasks! We have some many important people in our lives and narrowing them down was a difficult task. I wanted to do something that would be unique to our wedding and special to my best friends.

I decided to buy bathing-suit bags for each of my girls. The front said, "Let's hit the beach!" I wrote each of them a note asking if they would join me on the ultimate beach trip. It was something that was not a huge expense, but was special to each of them!

Now it was time to get organized. Creating the ultimate wedding binder would help keep my mom and me on track until the wedding! We divided the wedding into different sections such as: Attire, flowers, details, colors, budget, etc. We used sleeve protectors in the binder so I could pull pages from magazine and easily sort them! We also put a calendar in the front of the binder with a printable month for every month until the wedding. Lastly, we printed out a timeline of what needs to be done when to help (try) to keep us on track!

Until I could move on to any other decision I had to decide on a theme for the wedding. How you want people to feel when they leave the wedding is an important part of all you decision making. Do you want a romantic affair? A whimsical evening? Or a casual afternoon? While some of the "themes" will overlap it is important to decide what you are going for before you move onto the big details.
For me, I wanted people to leave feeling like they just left a dinner party with all their best friends. Since we are having a relatively small wedding, I want everyone to leave with their heart full after spending a long night with people important to them. Since we are in historic venues, we are keeping things classic/traditional in our attire and decorating.

Now you are up-to-date on the beginning details! Up-next I will cover the big stuff! Including my dress!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Music Monday: Bouquet Toss Song

Bouquet Toss Song

We have all heard different songs for the bouquet toss part of the reception, but these days it seems there is only one song that is played, "Single Ladies" by Beyonce. If you ask me, it is a good idea to switch this song up, so I have made it my job this week to find some other suggestions for the bouquet toss song.

"This One's For The Girls" by Martina McBride


Although a throw-back, an oldie but goodie! "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" by Cyndi Lauper.


Hope these songs spark a little inspiration! What songs are you using?

Elizabeth

Friday, July 15, 2011

Color Palette: Navy and Coral

Today's color palette is super fun! It is girly, but can easily be incorporated into some fun things your fiance will love as well. I adore the way they go together so easily and really compliment each other! You can go with a more chic design or even go the nautical route.


Coral, Navy Blue and White

I love these coral and navy invitations. The script and other embellishments really
set the tone for a fun and chic wedding.


These navy bridesmaid dresses are simple, but classic. The coral and pink flowers look fantastic, and really stand out next to the dark color. Having the navy dresses are a great way to put the focus on the flowers!


Now that signature cocktails are normal, and almost expected at receptions, use this opportunity to bring in your color scheme, as well as having something that is unique to your special day!

Navy suits for the guys is always a more relaxed look. It is easy to pair it with many colors as well as patterns. I personally think a coral tie would look fantastic with the navy suit!


A great way to add a touch of color to a cake is to add ribbon around it like this one. I love the look of the clean lines around the curved cake. It is such a simple look, but still quite chic.


I love these flowers. They are so pretty and can be easily paired with anything navy to incorporate
 the navy and coral color scheme. I also love the small pops of greenery used to really draw your eye!

Such a fun and simple tablescape. It really goes well with the overall
theme of the navy and coral palette.




I can never do a color palette blog without including a pair of shoes that go along! I am in love with these navy shoes! The little bit of bling make them extra girly and perfect for your wedding! Not to mention, blue shoes are a great way to incorporate your "something blue."

I hope you guys are enjoying these color palettes as much as I am!
Find me on Twitter or shoot me an Email if you have any questions or want to see a certain color palette!

Elizabeth

Thursday, July 14, 2011

DIY Wedding Signs


I am loving the DIY wedding signs lately! 
It is easy to do and a unique touch for your day. These signs add so much character to a wedding, and it is easy to be creative and add your own touches on them.

They don't cost much money, and if you are lucky you may already have some of the things you need!

Shot by Lang Photographers

Heather & Tim's Wedding at Roswell River Landing
Photo: Dorn Brothers Photography
Tammy & Troy's Wedding in St. Thomas, USVI
Photo: PhotoSynthesis Studio

Here is what you Need:
1. A piece of wood. Or a few depending on how many signs you plan to make.
2. Leftover paint. You do not need much maybe half a cup.
3. A small paintbrush.
4. A few hours.




How To:

Draw on a piece of paper the word you want to paint on the wood. Remember Bubble Letters in elementary school? This is the time to re-visit that skill! Or you can go the easy route and find a font you like on Word and print them on the computer. Make sure it is the size you want it to appear on the sign. With scissors, cut out the word, e.g. "Wedding." 

Place the paper on top of  the wood and tape it in place so it doesn't move.
Draw a pencil line along the edges of the word, so that when you remove the paper
you can see the outline of "Wedding."

Now you are ready to add the paint. Use a small paint brush to fill in the penciled
outline with your paint. It may be a good idea to go over the word a few times to
make sure it is able to be seen from a distance.

When your paint is dry, cut the piece of wood (if you haven't done so already) to the
chosen size.Then you can attach it to a pole with a few screws, or use a rope
or chain to hang it from an archway.

I hope you have fun creating your own signs. Be creative and make them "you!" 
I would love to see them so send me a picture
on Twitter or shoot me and Email with them!

Have fun!
Elizabeth

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