Friday, February 26, 2010

Let me give you a tip....

I have searched many etiquette guides over the past year to make sure I followed the correct guidelines when it came to tipping vendors during my big day. Here is one of the best list I have seen thus far. Not every wedding works this way, but if you are typical this is a good comprehensive list...

Take it for what it is worth, not ALL of these people need to be tipped. A good rule of thumb is, if they provided entertainment, they get a tip! Most Caterers and Photographers may include gratuity in their contract, look closely.

Caterer/Banquet Manager

15% to 20% (usually included in contract, however, if the caterer or manager has done an exceptional job, an additional $1.00 - $2.00 per guest is suggested.)


15% to 20% (usually included in contract, however, if it is not included, the tip should be given to the maitre d' or head waiter along with an additional 1% - 2%.)


15% to 20% (if the bartender is not accepting tips from guests, an additional 10% is suggested, but not required.)

Limousine Drivers

15% to 20%


15% - 20% (gratuity is not usually required, however, if you feel he/she has done an exceptional job or has provided extra or special services, a tip is a wonderful gesture.)


$25.00 per band member (gratuity is not usually required, however, if you feel he/she has done an exceptional job or has provided extra or special services, a tip is a wonderful gesture.)

Photographer and Videographers

15% (gratuity is not usually required, however, if you feel he/she has done an exceptional job or has provided extra or special services, a tip is a wonderful gesture.)


15% (gratuity is not usually required, however, if you feel he/she has done an exceptional job or has provided extra or special services, a tip is a wonderful gesture.)


15% (gratuity is not usually required, however, if you feel he/she has done an exceptional job or has provided extra or special services, a tip is a wonderful gesture.)

Restroom and Coat Check Personnel

$0.50 - $1.00 per guest (if not accepting gratuity from guests, the host would be responsible for tipping personnel at the end of the event.)

Parking Attendants

$1.00 - $2.00 per car (if not accepting gratuity from guests, the host would be responsible for tipping parking attendants at the end of the event.)


$75.00 - $100 .00 (Note: It is appropriate for a clergy member (priest, rabbi, minister, etc.) to accept gratuities or a donation along with their regular fee (if any), however, civil officiants (judges, clerks, etc.) receive a flat fee and are usually not allowed to accept gratuities.)

Ceremony Staff

$35.00 - $75.00 is suggested for organists/musicians. $5.00 - $25.00 is suggested for altar boys, sextons, etc. (gratuity is not usually required, however, if fees for the above are not included in the ceremony site fees, the suggestions above are appropriate.)

Wedding Planners / Coordinators

10% - 20% (gratuity is not usually required, although, for something better than usual to exceptional a 10-20% tip is not unheard of.)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Attention Sports Fans...

Does your Groom to be wear Blue and White while rooting on his favorite team? All along you sit in Orange and White glaring at him from across the room? If so then here is the cake topper for you!

Find this and other funny toppers at Fun Weddings.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Cutting Corners Tips!

A little girl grows up dreaming of her wedding day with a perfect picture in her mind on how it is supposed to be. Then we grow up, get engaged and become shocked at how expensive everything is. Things become crazy and we get stressed out wanting everything to be perfect but wondering how to pay for it all. A wedding should not put you in debt. Here are a few pointer on cutting corners...

*One of the easiest ways to cut the expense of your reception is to cut all the extras. You can choose to have your reception earlier in the day so you don’t have to provide guests with dinner. You can skip the alcohol or just have the champagne toast and shots for the dollar dance. Another option is by having a cash bar, let guests pay for their own alcohol while you provide just tea, coffee, punch or soft drinks

*If you really want to have a dinner reception check your area for culinary arts schools or cooking schools, sometimes they will cater an event for just the cost of food. You could even have pot luck. Have close friends and family each cook a special dish for your reception

*If you want decent entertainment, check out local colleges for bands or DJ’s. With modern technology and computers many college students have excellent music skills. Music can be downloaded from the internet and saved on an MP3 player or burned onto a CD. You can get a techno savvy person to play music at your reception. Just give them a play list of certain songs you want played at certain times and make sure they have plenty of your type of music on hand

*Skip the fancy linen tablecloths, china, and silverware settings. I about had heart failure when I found out how much rental for those items would be. Plus I would have had to wash everything before returning it, except the tablecloths. Paper plates and plastic silverware are fine. No one will be insulted because you didn’t have fancy table settings.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Location Hot Spot!

45 minutes north of Nashville is a hidden treasure in Bowling Green, KY. The Lost River Cave is one of the most amazing venues for a wedding and reception I have ever seen. It is definitely worth a glance.

Just a PSA, don't forget the Bug Spray if you are planning a Summer Wedding....

Monday, February 22, 2010

Have you been watching the Olympics?

If you have watched any medal ceremony for the 2010 Winter Olympics then you have noticed the newest trend in floral bouquets. The new trend is using the large Aspidistra leaves to frame the flowers. These leaves make bouquets easier than ever to DIY, and add durability the bouquets.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Friday = Funday!

This would make a fun Bridesmaid gift.

Stella by Stella McCartney solid perfume necklace

Courtesy of Sephora

If you have a fashion-forward bridesmaid give her one of these solid perfume necklaces filled with Stella McCartney's signature scent, Stella. The round locket is stamped with the Stella McCartney logo and can either be thrown in your bag to travel with or worn around your neck as an accessory. For $50 it's the best deal on a designer fashion necklace we've seen in a while.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

I am on Facebook!

I am on Facebook, Feel Free to join me, and share helpful information with fellow Brides-to be! I look forward to speaking with ALL of you!

To join me, just click the widget, on the right side of the blog!!!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Bridal Show this Sunday....

Perfect Wedding Guide Bridal Show

You are invited to an afternoon of elegance at Nashville’s most anticipated new bridal show – the Perfect Wedding Guide Bridal Show on February 21, 2010 at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts from 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Register online and save time while others are in line.

This post from Ashley's Bride Guide

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Pale Pink and Black...

I hate pink, but this blush pink paired with Black, is sleek and classy.

Monday, February 15, 2010

What to do if?.....

Your Father hates your step-father? Aunt Jo and Mom haven't spoken in years? Or you have any family members on the outs? I had a bride to be ask me who gives me away, my dad or step-dad if we are equally close?

Here are a few ideas to help things run a little smoother, and to avoid any family drama.

1. Have a "family meeting" and tell your family this is your day, and you won't let any petty family argument ruin it, THE END!

2. You can have your father (brother, step-father, mother) walk you down the aisle, and when you get to the end have ALL parties giving you away stand and when the preacher ask "Who gives this woman..." they say "We DO!"

3. Seating Charts are a great idea, if you have guest that don't need to be near one another on your big day.

4. Enlist the help of your day of coordinator, make her aware at your rehearsal so she can do her best to keep parties separated on the big day.

5. Pray, that these 'grown-ups' can put their differences aside for you.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Cupid's Big Day!

If you have been shot through the heart by Cupid, then here are a few events going on this weekend to celebrate this Hallmark Holiday!

>Jim Brickman with the Nashville Symphony

>The Wine Loft in the Gulch has a deal for 1 Bottle of wine 2 appetizers, and 1 dessert for $60!

>Check out a movie Valentines Day comes out Today at a Theater near you!

>Tin Angel has been name the most romantic restaurant in Nashville for years. They do take Reservations.

I am taking D to the Frist Saturday for the new exhibit on Mortals and Myth's of Ancient Greece, he is a History teacher and Ancient Roman History is his absolute favorite, he is so excited I am not sure how he is teaching today?!?! After that, who knows? I am hoping for a low-key, romantic weekend!

Happy Valentines Day Love Birds!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

just PLUM fabulous!

I am loving these fall/winter colors.....If you are a Winter 2010 Bride think about using these rich, luxurious colors.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

How to Pick your florist?!

Word of mouth is always your safest bet. If the florist's service and work comes highly recommended, chances are they will do a good job for you. Do your research by going to bridal shows and looking at online pictures from your store's website. Make appointments to visit at least 3 different florists.

When you visit each florist, look at pictures of their previous work and look around their shop.

* Do you like the arrangements that you see in the shop's displays?
* Do the flowers in the pictures look fresh or are the petal edges brown?
* Are the pictures dated or are they following the current trends?
* Is the designer willing to work with you or are they telling you that your idea won't work?
* Make sure you speak to the florist that will do your arrangements.
* Do you feel comfortable with your florist?
* Is your florist paying attention to you while you're talking and does he/she seem interested?

When To Book Your Florist

6 months before your wedding is a good time to start your search. Book your florist approximately 4 months before your wedding date.

What To Bring To An Appointment

* Pictures of flowers and arrangements that you like (magazine clippings or websites)
* Picture of your wedding gown - swatches of material from your bridesmaids gowns - if available, a picture of your reception room
* If you are supplying the containers for arrangements, bring those too.
* Bring quotes you've gotten from other florists.
* Bring a list of all the flowers and arrangements you need and who they are for, so that the florist can label corsages, boutonnieres and bouquets, with names or titles. Example: on a bouquet a stapled piece of paper reads "maid of honour". This way everyone gets the right flowers.

Questions To Ask The Florist

* When viewing photos of past work, ask if the flowers where arranged by the same person that is doing your arrangements.
* After giving your florist your ideas, ask for their opinion or ideas. You don't have to take their advice but at least take the time to listen. You never know, you might like their ideas better then your own.
* Is there a delivery charge?
* Is there a setup fee?
* Do they have rental supplies?
* Do they need a map for the different delivery locations?
* Can you change your order if you have another idea? What's the cut off date for new ideas?
* What times will the flowers be delivered to each location? This question can be asked 1 month before your wedding.
* Will the florist transport ceremony decorations to the reception location? Is there a fee?
* Can they make a sample of your bouquet and centrepiece? Some florists will, some won't.
* Will they write you up an itemized quote? Some won't in fear that you will bring it to other florists for a better deal.
* Are the flowers you've chosen in season? What flowers are in season for your date?
* You're on a tight budget, can the florist work with a mixture of silk and fresh flowers?
* Are there any additional or hidden costs?
* Is the florist familiar with your reception and ceremony locations?
* 1 month before your wedding date, call the florist and ask them if they can get the type and color of flower you wanted?

Things To Keep In Mind

If your wedding date is around the time of a flower giving holiday (mother's day, valentine's,etc) you're going to pay more for your flowers. The florist will also be very busy during this time and you can't expect to be the centre of attention. Meet and speak to the person that will be making your flower arrangements.

If you choose flowers that are not in season and have to be shipped, you're looking at a bigger expense and you don't know what effect the shipping will cause on your flowers.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Warning Signs!

As you start to plan your big day second guessing is totally normal. I planned my big day in 100 days, so I had just a touch of this. For you other brides, here are somethings to look out for.

The Most Important Money Saving Tips.....

1. You will save yourself an enormous amount of money if you get married during the off-season months of January, February, March and November.

2. Getting married on any other of the week other than Saturday.

3. There is no official name for this disease but many brides get it.
>1st Symptom - around 3 months before your wedding, you'll begin to second-guess your decisions.
>2nd Symptom - You'll get scared and think about what you can do to make your wedding better or more unique.
>3rd Symptom - Then you'll ask friends, family, co-workers and anyone that will listen to you, about what they think of your new ideas.
>4th Symptom - and most dangerous…you make a few phone calls and start up-grading a few of your packages.

The Cure - stick to your original budget. As the wedding draws near, your emotions take over…ignore them.

Vendors are well aware of the disease. That's why every contract allows for you to upgrade a package at any time but there are rarely loopholes for downgrading.

Keep your cool and surround youself with level headed frugal people that have your best interest at heart.

Friday, February 5, 2010

not your mothers work out....

Are you a bride to be who is looking to tone and drop a few lb's before your big day? Maybe you are bored with the same ol' weight training and cardio? Or you want to surprise your man for his Birthday, Valentines Day, etc.

Let me introduce you to Goddess a go-go, it is NOT your mothers work out, it is by far one of the most challenging workouts I have ever tried. My bridesmaids kicked off my Bachlorette Party with this saucy class and I highly recommend an open mind and you try it.

Check them out here...

Also Half-Off Nashville is running a special on 4 classes for the price of 2. Get them while they last.

Like I said, it is a kick butt workout, you should try at least once!

Thursday, February 4, 2010


10 years ago I was asked to be a bridesmaid for the first time, 10 Bridesmaid dresses, and 1 Wedding Gown later, I think I have found a calling in helping Brides-to-Be pull off a great event.

I will now be offering my services to ALL brides to be as a Day of Coordinator. As a recent bride I know what a tremendous amount of stress this can take off your shoulders the day of your wedding.

What will my role do?
> Initial consultation to explain the planning & coordination process
> Unlimited phone & email communication from date of contract
> Advice on how to personalize your wedding and how to stay within your budget
> Two weeks prior to the ceremony, all vendors listed on the contact will be contacted to verify details of their services
> Contact all vendors listed on the contract to finalize any monies due one week prior to the ceremony

~Rehearsal ~
> Organize wedding rehearsal
> Develop & distribute Wedding Day Itinerary to be given to guests of the rehearsal

~ Wedding Day ~
> Unlimited hours of service on your wedding day
> Manage wedding vendors per your instructions –will be available in person or by telephone
> During the entire wedding day to assist vendors with any problems or questions
> Manage wedding party
> Manage vendor & d├ęcor setup at ceremony & receptions sites
Organize & distribute all person flowers to wedding party, family members & special guests
> Provide Bridal Emergency Kit – aspirin, energy bars, mints, sewing kit, etc.
> Facilitate the wedding ceremony
> Check for any items necessary to properly conduct the ceremony
> Oversee ushers & guest book attendants
> Make sure that all members of the wedding party are looking picture perfect
> Brush tuxes so that they are lint free
> Check ladies gowns, bra straps & hair
> Properly line up processional & cue musicians
> Place table names, place cards, favors, toasting glass & serving set per your instructions
> Bustle bride’s gown
> Coordinate entertainment and all announcements/events during reception
> Ensure payment of vendor tips & balances
> Return any personal or rented items to their owners (this does not include Tux Rentals)
> Be prepared to meet any emergency situation that may arise

My price is $250 for a total coordination package. That includes the above mentioned. This price may increase if your wedding is 300+ guest, or requires out of state travel.

If you think I can be of service to you please let me know. You can email me at for more information!!!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


As I always say to my mother, no I am NOT pregnant, but I DO have a big announcement coming tomorrow so stay tuned...................

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

15% OFF at The Knot!!

Site wide 15% OFF at The!!

We bought our personalized Groomsmen Mugs off the, and our personalized matchbooks. The Knot was by far the most reasonably priced.

go forth and save!!!!!!!!!

Link to Discount Code:

Monday, February 1, 2010

Bridal eye Candy!

Here is a new book I found at Barnes and Noble yesterday that I thought you would get a kick out of. The cover sure caught my eye (yes I was in the Wedding section!)

Porn for the Bride: Rated PG
This book will showcase ultra-handsome, ultra-sincere grooms thoroughly engaged in every detail of the big day. Engraved invitations or embossed? Freesia or peonies? Tiffany or Limoges? It's so hard to choose. These hotties write the thank-you notes, insist the bride put on some weight before the wedding, and best of all, they take over the cooking and cleaning so she can rest up before the big day. Who wouldn't say 'I do' to that?