The Planner's Corner
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10 Top Reasons Why YOU Do Need A Wedding Planner
Avoiding A Runaway Bridal Party
Avoiding Relationship Killers
Bridal Show Tips
Ceremony Options!
Event and Wedding Planners
Holiday Tips
It's All About You
Meeting Locations
New Trends for 2011
Planning the Marriage Before the Wedding
Same-Sex Weddings
Seven Wedding Tips
Starting a business
The Real Meaning about Wedding Traditions
Was that Cake Real?
Wedding Preparation
What Wedding Budget
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The Planner's Corner

Top 10 Relationship Killers

Once we get into a relationship, how can we guarantee that we stay in it?  We found that special someone, and see us spending the rest of our life with them, right?  You have some much in common and you truly enjoy being around each other.  So what are some of signs that can kill a relationship that should be avoided? 

10.   Slow down.  Take your time in getting to know each other.  Enjoy one another as the relationship blossoms.  If it’s been over a year, and s/he has not begun to talk marriage....then maybe  s/he's not ready.  If this is the case, then you need to find out what  their intentions are for you.    

9.  Bringing baggage from a previous relationship.  When you enter into a new relationship, make sure you resolve the old issues and leave them.  Give the new person the benefit of the doubt that they will not be like your previous mate.   

8.   Being too comfortable with each other.   Once this happens, you will begin to lose that thing that brought you two together and begin to take each other for granted.  Always stay in the dating mode and your love with never die, even after you’re happily married.   

7. Three's a crowd.  Leave your relationship problems at home and not shared with your friends or family.  Be careful of who you have around you and/or your mate.  They may just have other motives.    Do not discuss your sexual relationship with your friends either.  This can be a relationship killer not just among your mate, but your friend as well.  Keep it Vegas.

6.   Be aware of each other habits.  Eventually, they can become annoying and be more prevalent when you get mad at each other.  Make sure you communicate with each other about what bothers you.   

5.  Not getting along with each other's family or friends.  It's important to keep a "friendly" relationship with the closets people in your mates’ life.   

4.  Being on different pages.  If you both are not aiming for the same goal, then you will soon be on different pages which will allow for room for distance, or someone else to walk in.  

3.   Knowing when to spend time.  It is equally important to know when you both need to exercise "me time" and spend time together.  Make sure you do not work too much or else the other person will feel lonely and thus seek other things to fulfill their time while you are gone.   

2.   No Comparison.  Never, ever, compare each other to your previous relationship.  This is surely grounds to separation.  Leave the past right where it is - in the past.   

1.  Stepping out.  Stepping out on the one you love is a sure bet to kill your relationship.   This is the ultimate level of betrayal.  True, some people who have been cheated on bounced back, but never to the level of trust they had.  It will always linger in the back of their minds.  

Share your thoughts on some of the other things that are relationship killers.

Avoid Dealing with a Runaway Bridal Party

OMG!  How many times have you heard of a bride turn into a bridezilla!  Or better yet, how many times have you heard a bride say that her bridesmaid is missing in action or not returning her phone calls or emails?  Well there is a reason behind all of this.  

The Diva Bridal Squad Enhancement and Enrichment Program is here to eliminate all that drama!  Face it, planning a wedding is serious business and no one has time for unnecessary non-sense (not saying non-sense is necessary), but I digress.  

When planning a wedding or any major event for that matter, it is important that you have reliable people helping you throughout the entire process right? of course I'm RIGHT.  So to eliminate all of the confusion, my company has developed a program with the entire bridal party in mind.  Sure you can get information all over the Internet, spending hours at a time trying to find tips on planning a successful wedding.  But don't you think your time should be spent elsewhere instead of searching the net?    We have designed a program that will give you everything you need in less than three hours.  

Before you or someone you know make any plans, make sure they participate in The Diva Bridal Squad Enhancement and Enrichment Program so you (or they) can truly have the wedding of your (their) dreams and avoid a runaway bridal party. 

This program will provide access to trendsetting ideas so that you will avoid a cookie-cutter wedding experience.  

Throughout my years of wedding planning, I have run into brides and their bridesmaids not knowing what their full responsibilities are to the Bride.  I cannot tell you enough how many times a bridesmaid thinks it’s about her. Crazy right?  But true.  We are here to eliminate that! 

This program will begin in January, so go online to register today at seats are filling up fast.  Its worth the investment.  No bride nor bridal party should be without this program!  For more details or call 716-400-7170.

It's Time To Be The Guest

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Its Your Time To Be The Guest at Your OWN Wedding
Welcome to Above & Beyond! We specialize in making YOU a guest at your own Event. You will receive Red Carpet Service from your doors to ours!
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What's In A Wedding Budget

Congratulations! You are engaged and now its time to plan your wedding.  But do you know how much you want to spend?  This is one of the most important aspects of your wedding....determining a budget.  Most brides don't know where to begin with this part of the planning process because they are unsure as to what things costs. 
The actual ceremony does not cost much at all, unless you are going all out to have a Royal style ceremony.  Nevertheless, a ceremony does not break the bank.  The number of guests actually determines the budget and then the additions (i.e, attire, cake, photos, dj, decor, flowers, etc.).  When you decide on the number of guests, the venue and the food (catered or not), you will have a good idea on where you will spend the most of your dollars.  So let's see how much it will cost per person:for a wedding, use this formula:
  1. Multiply the # of guest by $75 for food and drink.
  2. The formality of your wedding will influence the cost of everything else.  Multiply your guest numbers by $125 for a casual wedding, $175 for semiformal and $225 for formal.
  3. Add the two numbers together, plus 8.75% for taxes (NYS) and 19% gratuity to see what your wedding could cost. 
Next, its time to create your spreadsheet (for my clients I provide this for them with formulas to eliminate the stress in this area.  Reality time people!  Below are percentages you need to consider when creating your spreadsheet and budget: 
Reception 40-60%
Attire 7-15%
Wedding Rings 2-5%
Flowers 9-12%
Music 4-10%
Photo/video 8-15%
Attendants' Gifts 2-5%
Transportation 2-6%
Stationery 4-5%
Miscellaneous 9-20%
Plus add an additional 10% for unexpected expenses because there will be unexpected expenses.  The last thing to keep in mind is to expect about 20% of your guests not to show up, even the ones who RSVP'd. 
If you have a story to share, please let us know, we want to hear from you.

Holiday Table Decor Tip

Need to add something extra to your holiday table setting?  What about chargers?
Charges (or service plates) makes a great addition to your table setting.  They come in a variety of metallic and plastic colors.  Depending on your color scheme a metallic would finish would add a sparkle to your decor.   It will add just the right touch to your table setting.  Typically you would place your dinner plate to the charger during the first course.  The charger plate is removed and replaced with the main entree. 
This large plate, usually about 12” in diameter, serves as an underplate for the plate or bowl holding the first course. The first course is brought to the table and set on the service plate. When the first course is cleared, the service plate remains until the plate holding the entrée is served, at which point the service plate is exchanged for the entrée plate.

Holiday Tips While Visiting Family

Visiting during the holidays is a great time to catch up and see family or friends that you have not seen in a while.  The holidays are always great times to create new memories, restore old friendship and begin new traditions.  While you are visiting your family or friends, keep these few tips in mind:
1. When visiting family or friends keep your visit short.  The rule of thumb is three nights.  Let the hostess know well in advance how long you intend to stay.
2. When family get together its time for everyone to get into your business.  In an event to avoid “sharing” your personal matters with family, just redirect the question or change the subject.  No need to get upset no matter how rude the person insist on being.   Give them a complement on their dress or shoes.  This will allow them to talk about themselves and will allow you to walk away. 
3. Depending on the hostess, offer assistance in cleaning up after dinner has been served.  A great idea would be to do a specific job such as sweeping the floor or washing the dishes or even removing the plates from the dinner table.
4. Everyone loves being surprised with a gift, so consider taking a gift with you when you go to someone else’s house for dinner.   This can be dessert, wine or something personal.
5.If the hostess declines the offer then let it go and move on.  Just don’t take it personal, as some people don’t like guests in their kitchen.

Make A Statement!

It's All About You...
It’s your big day! Everyone wants to make a grand statement that will be remembered for years to come by family and friends. The important thing to remember is to keep your big day focused on you and you fiancée.  If you aren’t into lavish, expensive things on a regular basis, why turn your wedding into that?
Pick wedding colors that are aligned with your personality. If you normally wear earth tones, stay within that color family. It’s not that you have to go the boring and safe route, but who doesn’t want their wedding day to make a statement that is all them? Stay within those earth tones you love, but spice it up by picking an emerald green for the bridesmaids dresses instead of the safe olive green that always appears in your own wardrobe.
Add a pop of color to your own dress. Pick a color that reflects your personality and who you are.
Surprise your friends and family by choosing a fun accessory to draw attention to your hair, through a fun hairpin. Or bring attention to your arms with a fun bracelet or gloves.
Hire a professional to do your makeup. Show them pictures of how you normally do your makeup. This way you will feel comfortable in what they do, but they may be able to add that pop of color or smoky eye to intensify your look in a way that is still you, but makes a statement on your special day.
Your wedding day is all about you. Make decisions that you feel comfortable with. Don’t let other people railroad your day, and don’t make decisions based on what you think will impress your guests. Impress them with a wedding day that makes a statement, but still screams you!

Top 10 Reasons Why You DO Need a Wedding Planner

1. Peace of mind: No one wants to be stressed out on their big day. Let someone else deal with the last minute details. As we say at Above & Beyond, let us make you a guest at your own wedding!
2. Networking relationships with vendors: Experienced planners in the wedding industry will have great contacts. Utilizing these connections through them will not only give you great deals and room left in your budget, but great advice right from the experts!
3. Problem solvers, built to solve emergencies: Leave the emergencies to the experts. Wedding planners are known problems solvers. Not only are they built to solve those last minute emergencies, but they excel at it. Don’t leave any room for stress on the day of your event!
4. Help with creative ideas/fine details: Not so creative yourself? Wedding planners are more than just great with details. After years of experience in décor, they can provide you with solutions and ideas to make your wedding day unique and special.
5. Help save money: Wait, what?! Spending money on a wedding planner can help you save money?! Yes, they can!  Wedding planners are great at planning within a budget. Not only that, but the experts are great at brainstorming cheap ways to make your day look perfect! Utilizing their connections with vendors and expertise in décor, you may find you have room leftover in your budget!
6. Be a guest at your own event: This is our motto at Above & Beyond, and we mean it! Hiring a wedding planner allows you to focus on the important aspect of the day, enjoying time with friends and family! Let the wedding planner figure out the small last minute details, while you enjoy your special day stress-free!
7. Impartial voice of reason: Let someone with an outside opinion, and no bias, help plan your day! A wedding planner is able to take a step back, and ensure that not only is every detail covered, but that everyone is maintaining focus on the big picture and not stressing over the not-so-important small details.
8. Keep your family/friends from trying to run your special day: Keep control over your special day! By using a wedding planner as a buffer, you are able to stop your over-bearing family and friends from trying to make your special day about them. A wedding planner can keep the cool between the family by offering suggestions as the impartial voice of reason (mentioned above).
9. Professionalism and agreement: By relinquishing your duties to the wedding planner, they can ensure that every aspect of your wedding is professional and perfect. The agreement that you sign will be able to outline every detail for them to take charge of, again ensuring professionalism all the way through!
10. No surprises! Your wedding planner will have an amazing attention to detail. Your agreement will be followed, and there will be no surprises the day of your wedding! Everything will run seamlessly, and you won’t have to stress on the small details, knowing that your wedding planner will take care of it all!
Leave it to the pros!

Wedding Favors 101

Deciding on the details of your wedding favors can be daunting! You want to ensure that it is well-accepted by the wedding guests. Perhaps you are on a tight budget, but want to show them how much you care and appreciate them celebrating your special day with you. Regardless of your budget or ideas, we have put together 5 tips to ensure that your wedding favors fit perfectly with your wedding day!
1. Pick something useful! No one wants to spend money on a favor that will not be used by the guests, or will simply be left at the reception. Avoid this by choosing a practical, yet fun wedding favor. An edible treat is something that will be used and not turned down by many! Another trend right now are photo booths, so give your guest the favor of a frame or magnet to hold their photo memory from the photo booth in!
2. Personalize your wedding favor! Find a wedding favor that matches both of your personalities. Or choose a favorite candy, hobby or item that you share as a couple! Order M&M’s in your wedding colors with your names or faces on them!
3. Be sure to match your wedding favor to your wedding! You want to ensure that the gift matches the décor and color scheme of your wedding. Choose something neutral that won’t take away from your centerpieces and other decorations.
4. Make sure that your wedding favor is easily accessible to the guests! Place the favors on the table at each seat. Change the place cards table into the wedding favor table, and place it right at the door so that the guests will pass it as they leave. Another creative way is to incorporate the wedding favor into the place-card, so that it is a one-stop pick-up as they enter the wedding!
5. Impress your guests with a donation in their name! If you are on a tight budget and choose a small, inexpensive wedding favor a great way to go above and beyond your guests expectations is to make a donation to a local charity or a charity that you believe in as a couple. There is no need to specify the amount donated, just add a simple card to the favor, perhaps with a clever poem!

Meanings Behind Wedding Traditions

Have you wondered why the father really gives away the bride?  Why does the father walk the bride down the aisle? or why does the groom stand to the right of the bride or even has a best man?  Let's explore this together shall we?
Did You Know…
  • Ancient weddings was all about property.  Two families uniting meant more property.  The man use to literately still the woman from a family.  In tribal days it was easiest  way to win a bride was to kidnap her.
  • Walking down the aisle with your father use to symbolize what little freedom she had.  The father would give her to the groom and handing over ownership to the groom and his family
  • Witnesses make the union legally binding
  • Each family sits on each side during the ceremony because back in the day clans did not get along they had to be separated
  • Groom keeps his bride to the left because he needed his right hand to draw his sword if something jumped off and the best man got his name for being the best swords man
  • Bridesmaid are traditionally to help the bride to help with the wedding.  However, did you know bridesmaid use to dress like the bride so evil spirits would not recognize the bride to harm her
  • The groom would carry the bride over the threshold to protect her from spirits that would be hidden around the doorways and under the floor boards.
  • Flowers were used to ward off the spirits.  Strong smelling herbs were carried instead of flowers to scare off the spirits.
  • Clapping and klinking of glass were also done to ward off spirits because it was to believe spirits did not like loud noises.
  • Wearing white is the color of joy and celebration.  Wearing white has less to do with purity.  In 1840 Queen Victoria wore a white lace gown and women have been wearing white ever since.