Bridesmaid’s Expenses – Who covers what?

After my faincé proposed on our four year anniversary in 2013 I immediately knew who the girls were that I wanted to be standing by my side. I held off asking of course because we weren’t planning the wedding to take place for two years and you never know what can happen in that length of time. Luckily when the ten month mark rolled around I was still just as close to those same girls I had originally thought of and I asked them! You can see how on my DIY – It’s All About the Details post.

They all said yes, which leads me to my next discussion! What costs should the bride (or bride’s parents if they are helping pay) be responsible for when it comes to the bridesmaid’s expenses? Since my parents are helping us pay for our wedding this was something I personally discussed with my mother. For us, we decided that I will buy their jewelry and my mom wanted to buy their dresses, boots, and pay for their hair and makeup costs.

But, depending on how many bridesmaids you have and the extent of your outfits, it can be very expensive! My girls were in awe when my mom said she and I were picking up all of the costs, so clearly they figured they would be paying for some of their things when they accepted to be a bridesmaid, but they’re doing this to be there for you so doesn’t it just seem like the right thing to do to pay for their things?

I went in search of some etiquette answers just to see what other peoples thoughts were on the process, so here are some links to the information that I found:

What are your thoughts on bridesmaid expenses?

Wedding Registry Dilemma

Bridal Registry - 7

When you get married the most important thing is being able to say I do to that special someone you’ve been dreaming about for forever. The next best part is being able to share it with your closest family and friends. And then there is the added bonus of the gifts that they bring! I’m not going to lie, who doesn’t love getting gifts?! But a big part of this is making sure to create a wedding registry so those gifts that you are receiving are those that you actually want.

Here is my dilemma. I have fallen in love with the Blueprint Registry where you can do so many awesome things. You can add a gift from any website and create one universal holding space for anything that you desire. The site enables guests to pay for gifts in groups, that way they can contribute to a larger product like a couch without having to pay for the whole thing. They offer a list of the top retailers they work with for you to help choose from. And, you can customize your registry by rooms in your home that you want to get products for.

Awesome right? Well the problem is that this site is completely online and a large portion of our guests are older relatives who want to be able to go to a store and ask for our registry list from which they can physically purchase the item and wrap and give it to us. I am not against this in any way, but this is limiting. So what is one to do in this situation?

Real Simple says it’s better to have more than one registry, so I am planning to have two or three. Also, take this advice from The Knot; make sure that your bridal party and parents know exactly where you’re registered to get the word out and also keep in mind that if you spread your registries too thin, you may find yourself with very few items from each store. This might be more work, but it definitely will give us more options.

Something that can help narrow your choices is to create registries at nationwide stores as recommended here, because these types of retailers are more likely to have physical stores that way the elder generation can shop in store, but they also offer online shopping so our younger crowd of friends can purchase things on line if they would rather.

With these tips now my options are almost endless! Do you have any other tips for someone in this situation?

 

 

Bridal Makeup

 

makeup choices

As a senior student with a minor in event planning, when I got engaged I knew it was going to be a very long and detailed process. Luckily wedding planning is something that I am passionate about, and even more lucky that there are so many great resources out there for first time brides to learn from.

As I have been going through this process there are so many small things that have to be taken into consideration, so take my advice and make check-lists!

It has been a little over a year and a half now that I have been engaged and about five months left until I say I do! It’s crazy how the time flies! So, with that said, I have gotten all of the big to-do’s out of the way and now it is down to the small details.

Right now my focus is on how I want to look and a big part of this is makeup. I have pinned several ideas on how I want to look, but I was curious about the dos and don’ts, especially if it turns out to be a warm summer day (fingers crossed that it is!)

So I thought I would share with you some useful lists that I found in my search! Here they are:

What are your makeup plans for the big day?

Professional Digital Identity

Over the course of my final fall semester at Champlain College I have been working on building up my PDI (Professional Digital Identity) for my Marketing Capstone. I have done this by creating and sharing content in relation to event planning across my blog, and several other social media platforms that will be discussed below. This post will reflect where I started, how far I have come, and where I would like to continue to.

Goals

goals

At Champlain College I am a marketing major with an event management minor. My goal for my career is to work in the event planning industry, so when I created my blog this is the direction I headed in.

My goal for the semester was laid out in the very first post I created, called making connections. In this post I discussed the fact that I don’t really know how many event planners there are in the Burlington area and Vermont as a whole. Since the event industry is so small in Vermont, it is all about who you know and making connections with those people. So, my goal was to follow several Vermont event planners on Twitter, do several informational interviews with some of these event professionals, and participate in more event internships and/or volunteer opportunities.

I have started following several planners and have started engaging with them by retweeting their content, commenting on interesting posts, and sharing blog posts that they have created that I find interesting or important. I did take on a new internship this semester and will be volunteering for the Downton Abbey event in January as well as applying for a different event internship for the spring in order to keep building my event experience while in school. The one area I did not complete was the informational interviews, so I hope to carry this goal into the spring semester and complete it on my own.

My Blog

My current number of followers is 10, the majority of whom are my classmates, so moving forward my goal will be to grow this number and plan to have other event professionals following me.

# Blog Followers

Overall I have only created 7 blog posts so far, but I plan to continue using my blog even though the semester is over. My goal was to post every week, but like many busy college students I got sidetracked and my posts became more scattered. The content I created related a lot to my own personal wedding planning, which I think helps the target market of the industry I want to be in connect with me. I plan to start posting at least once a week again after finals in hopes to build up my blog even more!

Social Media Platforms

In order to boost my SEO (Search Engine Optimization) I used several social media platforms beside by blog, including Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. Every blog post I created I posted a link to on each of these sites in order to help drive traffic.

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I created my Twitter back in 2009 when everyone I knew in high school was starting to talk about it being the coolest social media platform. Except I didn’t know how to use it. I would tweet a few random things here and there, but it wasn’t until my digital marketing class this past spring with Elaine Young that I started understanding what Twitter was all about. With this knowledge it was much easier transforming my Twitter into a professional space where I started tweeting A LOT about different event planning ideas and retweeting other event planners content.

Out of all of the social media platforms I used this semester, I used Twitter the most. I started scheduling posts about half way through the semester using Klout and then Hootsuite in order to make sure I was pushing content at least once or twice every day to every other day.


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When it came to my Google+ account the majority of the content I shared were the blog posts that I created. I would occasionally get on and scroll through the feed and re-share others content that I found interesting, but not nearly as much as I should have.

Only two of my blog posts that were shared on Google+ were re-shared and these shares were from my professor and a classmate. Moving forward I want to build up my Google+ and start sharing a lot more content like I have done on Twitter. I think that Google+ is becoming a popular professional space and it is a social media platform that I need to become more familiar with in order to build my identity even more.

LinkedIn_Screenshots

To me my LinkedIn profile is more like an online resume, so the only content I shared was the blog posts I created and one or two re-shares of some of my classmates content. I know that this is also a very important professional space and I need to start sharing more professional content here as well. Moving forward just like Google+ I plan to start sharing more content on this platform and build my identity in this space too.

Pinterest_screenshots

As for my Pinterest, this is more than a social media site, it’s an addiction. I wrote a blog post about how much I love Pinterest and why it is such a great tool for event planners. For me, my passion is planning all of the little details that go into an event and Pinterest is the perfect place to get ideas for so many different event details.

My followers only increased by 1 person, but that is because I did not do a great job of connecting Pinterest to all of my other social media sites other than having a link on my blog. Moving forward I plan to share my Pinterest posts more on Twitter and Google+ in order to boost the traffic to this site.

SEO

At the beginning of the semester I tried looking for my social media sites using my full name “Christina Delphia” but I realized that so many of my pages I had scattered my name between my full name and nickname, so I was not getting the results I wanted.

SEO_before

After our midterm I changed all of the sites that I could to “Chrissy Delphia” and I am happy to say that with this and the work I have produced on the social media platforms, all of the sites I want to see now show up on the first page under “Chrissy Delphia”:

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Klout/Kred Growth

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I have never used any measurement tools before this class, so it was interesting to see how I was doing before and how I have improved. Although my Klout score has decreased recently, I know that is because I have not been posting as much content due to finals. I hope to bring my score back up and create a new high over break. As for Kred, my Twitter influence has improved and I know that is because of the scheduling I started doing and plan to continue.

Professional Values Statement

A large part of building up our professional identities was to look into what our values were moving into our careers. We talked a lot about what we valued individually and looked at several case studies where these values were mistreated. If you’re interested in what I believe to be the most important values for event planners you can fine it here.

Hire Me

So, why should you hire me? Well I believe that my passion for event planning is evident in the content I created to build up my digital identity. I am continuing to build my experience in the event world by seeking out internships and volunteer opportunities as often as I can. I’m a dedicated, organized, self sufficient individual and with the skills I have learned thus far I am the ideal candidate for an event management position.

The Wedding Dress Experience

Angelas_bridal

Over this past weekend I finally found the wedding dress of my dreams! Although I won’t share my dress at this time, as my fiance wants it to be a surprise until our big day, I can share the experience and give some input on how the moment went for me and how it may go for any other brides to be be out there!

In search of the perfect dress I began by watching the TLC shows, Say Yes to the Dress and Something Borrowed | Something New in order to get ideas of the shape, length, and style I was looking for. I also searched Pinterest and started a folder of dresses that captured my eye.

From here I concluded that I wanted something with straps, preferably one with an open or low back, beading on the top half, and a simple loose fitting and comfortable skirt, but NOT a ball gown. I tried on a ball gown once for my junior prom and I remember how heavy and hard to move it was, so I knew this was not the style I was going for. I wanted something that enabled me to move freely and with an outdoor wedding something that would fit that as well. I also had a vision to have my dress custom altered to be long for the ceremony and short for the reception in order to show off my cowgirl boots, so finding a dress in which this could be done was essential.

I booked my first dress appointment at Fiori Bridal in Essex, VT. There were several dresses I liked, but nothing that quite jumped out to me, expect for one dress that wasn’t quite big enough for me to fully try on. From here I searched for another store that had the same dress in my size, which led me to Lily Saratoga in Saratoga Springs, NY. Before this appointment I had been browsing wedding blogs when I came across THE dress of my dreams. I looked up the locations of the designer and found the closest place to be Angela’s Bridal in Albany, NY. So, since I made an appointment at Lily Saratoga for noon I had to take the only appointment left at Angela’s which was luckily at 2:00.

On Saturday we set out on our semi-long journey to New York. When we reached Lily Saratoga I tried on many dresses that were beautiful, but too mermaid shaped for my liking. Plus the whole time I had THE dress in the back of my mind. So without a dress picked out and dent in my wallet, we quickly headed to Albany. Here I tried on a couple of dresses until I finally stepped into the long awaited ONE. As soon as I walked out from the dressing room my mother started bawling and I knew that was it. Although I only teared up because she was crying, I  knew it was the one.

I didn’t have that emotional experience that we’ve all seen on those TLC shows, but as soon as I put it on I didn’t want to get out of it. I could move comfortably, the beading was beautiful and only on the top half where I wanted it. I caught myself dancing in it several times. This dress caught my eye online and it was exactly what I had envisioned for myself when I put it on that day. I knew from the moment I saw it that that was the dress I would get married in.

What made this appointment even better was the service provided by the Angela’s Bridal Staff. My consultant, Shannon, made me feel comfortable in the dressing room and talked me through each dress I tried on rather than just putting me into dress after dress. Each time I would step out of the dressing room and step on the pedestal she would let me talk through what I liked about the dress and then she would ask me what I didn’t like and what I would change about the dress. If I found something I didn’t like then we would move on to the next dress. All of the other ladies that were there made sure to pop back and tell me that I looked beautiful and really made me feel important.

But it gets even better. Unlike the other two stores, Angela’s Bridal even let me try on my boots with the dress! Because why buy a dress if you don’t know what your shoes are going to look like and feel like with the dress? AND they had upbeat music playing, which was part of the reason I kept dancing, but it helped me get a feel for how I could move in the dress. This atmosphere had me sold.

For me it wasn’t just finding the perfect dress, but the experience I had paired with it. So, for those of you who are embarking on this part of the wedding journey, don’t get discouraged  if you don’t find the one at your first appointment. Sometimes it’s the right fit of the dress as well as the fit of your consultant and bridal shop environment. The perfect dress is out there for you, you just have to keep searching until you find it. And, although you may not have an emotional reaction you will know when you have found the one. You will feel it in your own way, and trust me, you won’t want to take it off!

Wedding Cakes or Cupcakes

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As I often say, an event is all about the details, so when it comes to weddings, or any party for that matter, how do you choose whether to have a cake or cupcakes as your dessert? When making this decision of course it is about your personal preference, but cupcakes are quickly taking the lead over cakes and here is why:

  • Cupcakes typically cost less than a wedding cake, because they don’t have as much detail when it comes to decorating (although details can be done!)
  • Cupcakes do not entail cutting, which can help you keep with your timeline more easily since guests do not have to wait for a piece to be cut, they can simply grab one and go.
  • Each cupcake is the same portion size, so there is no need to fight over who got the bigger piece
  • Cupcakes are easy to eat without a fork or plates, which can help cut the cost of plates and silverware. This also enables the guests to wander around the reception as they please rather than stay seated if they have become antsy.
  • Cupcakes allow for more flavor variety. Rather than having one or two cake flavors, you could have three, or six, or however many the cupcake baker is willing to create,
  • There are many different and creative cupcake displays that can tie in perfectly with your theme and add a visual appeal since the cupcakes themselves are not as extravagant as a large cake.

cupcake_boxescupcake_standcupcake_ladder

If you want to keep the tradition of “cutting the cake” at your wedding, but still want cupcakes for your guests, then it is easy to have a 6” cutting cake made just for the two of you! This is what my fiance and I have decided to do – it keeps the tradition, but incorporates a modern twist!

What have you done or plan to do for your wedding or event dessert? Cupcakes or cake?!

For the Love of Pinterest

Pinterest_Logo

If you have never used Pinterest then you are missing out! My mom introduced me to this website a little over a year ago and my life has been changed for the better! For those of you who do not know what Pinterest is, it is a website that enables its user to save and sort items, webpages, articles, etc. as images in folders called “boards”. These boards are usually organized into categories that relate to the users interests and if you love planning events then you will love Pinterest. Trust me, you will want to eat, sleep, and spend all of your time on Pinterest if you are not already!

As an aspiring event planner and future bride I use Pinterest to get ideas for event decor, DIY project ideas, wedding dresses, hairstyle ideas, and much more! Each image often links right to a webpage with more details so it can be easy to find step by step details on DIY projects, or the designer of your favorite wedding dress. The ideas on this site are endless and it is a great way to come up with unique event ideas or create your own unique spin off of someone else’s idea.

If you would like to see an example, here is my Pinterest Page!

If you would like to stay up to date on all things Pinterest I would highly suggest following the TweetChat #PinChat, which takes place on Wednesdays at 9PM EST. If you are not familiar with this chat, founder Kelly Lieberman discusses it here. She has even created a Pin board for it!

For those of you who do not have a Pinterest page, go get one now! I promise you, you will become an addict, and you will not regret it!