Events by Divine Creations | August 2009
Events by Divine Creations

Saving Money Part 2: Timing Is Everything

by Valerie DiVecchio 14. August 2009 11:00
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Unlike the rest of the United States, off-season in Florida is mid-June through mid-September.  There are the two H's to deal with - heat and hurricanes - but for the budget conscious bride, that's when you will save a ton of money.  Venues are willing to lower their food and beverage minimums and vendors are willing to lower their normal rates so your dollar stretches a lot further.  Obviously it goes without saying, I would strongly suggest purchasing wedding insurance - particularly because of H number 2 potential!  But if the two H's are too much to deal with, you can also consider a Friday or Sunday date.  Saturday evenings are the highest priced so opting for a weeknight or Sunday will give you much more flexibility in terms of budget since there is a lot less demand for those dates.

Another consideration is the time of day... obviously evenings are the most expensive.  Morning ceremonies are readily available on Saturdays and a brunch or luncheon reception will cost a lot less.  Since the demand is reduced for those times, venues will work with your budget more and the menu will still be plentiful, but much less expensive than a dinner.  In addition, people tend to drink less during the day than an evening so you can still incorporate alcohol, but mimosas and bloody marys cost a lot less than martinis and cocktails!

Down Economy + Bankrupt Business = Nupital Nightmares

by Valerie DiVecchio 12. August 2009 12:07
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Recently there was an article on Angie's List that highlighted some couples across the country that were out major bucks due to companies going out of business.  The interesting part about this story is that out of all of the couples who were interviewed for the article, not one had a wedding planner.  Dena Davey, a spokesperson with The Association of Bridal Consultants was quoted as saying, "you can enjoy your wedding because a professional with the proper credentials will be able to see something coming that a bride might not".  Planners are a very close-knit group and the word gets around about shady and shaky vendors.

A few years ago there was a highly respected photographer in the Tampa Bay area that ran into some big trouble.  At the time I had one wedding client who had booked him and paid the deposit.  For months, I tried to track him down, get straight answers, spoke with other professionals in the area and had that never ending gut feeling that said "we need a Plan B".  I spoke with my client and advised her that I thought we should go ahead and terminate the contract, interview other photographers and book someone else for her wedding.  She could always take him to small claims court and try to get her money back.  Good thing we did because about two months after her wedding there was a big news story locally exposing this photographer and about 60 brides who paid the entire amount of their contract and did not get a single picture from their wedding day.  Huge scandal, major lawsuits and even bigger heartbreak.  That's one milestone in life that is just impossible to recreate.

Also quoted in the article was Kyle Brown, the executive director of the Bridal Association of America.  "You're going to pay a little more for experience, but how can you put a price on peace of mind?".  I couldn't have said it better myself.

On top of hiring a professional wedding planner, consider wedding insurance.  Typical policies can cover everything from a no-show vendor (or one that does show but fails to product the product) to family members being stuck at the airport to companies that you have secured (and paid for!) that go bankrupt due to the worsening economy.  Here in Tampa, the average wedding probably runs about $25,000 - what else do you own for that amount of money that you don't have insurance for?

Beware of the "Certified" Wedding Planner...

by Valerie DiVecchio 6. August 2009 15:36
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So today I received an e-mail announcing that a certain wedding program is offering a discount for home study course that costs $495 to earn the designation of a "certified wedding specialist".  Sounds impressive, right?  Hummm... $495 + on-line computer course = "specialist"?  Whatever happened to experience??

All I'm saying is to be careful if someone uses certifications to try and impress you in this industry.  There is no course that can replace years of hands-on, hard work in the field.  A certification might look great on their wall, but when it's all said and done, it's just a piece of paper.  Make sure they have the experience and expertise to back it up!

Secrets to Wedding Dress Shopping

by Valerie DiVecchio 3. August 2009 11:20
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Wedding dress shopping - it's every girl's dream and every girl's nightmare!  You dream of it being this relaxing, fun day shared with your closest friends and family, sipping champagne as an attentive sales person brings you dress after dress after dress.  Then that day comes and the sales person is rushed, the dresses are not your size and you're having to either squeeze into something that doesn't zip up or have ten clothespins down your back so the dress doesn't fall off!  And not to mention that there is no champagne in sight!

Recently I was reading InStyle Weddings magazine and they had an article with some great tips to help make wedding dress shopping a stress-free occasion.  I picked out a few that I thought were really important, but if you want to read the entire article it is in their summer edition.

1) For the best service, book the earliest appointment available on any weekday.  The shop is generally quieter and the sales staff is more attentive.

2) Wear sensible undergarments.  A flesh tone, strapless bra and panties are the best for dress shopping.  Dark colors and patterns can be seen through the dress and can throw off the true color and design of a dress.

3) Look and feel good!  No matter how gorgeous the gown, if you look like you've just rolled out of bed, you won't fall in love with it.  Make sure to do your hair and wear make-up as you normally do.  And if it's a bad PMS day... you may want to reschedule!

4) As soon as you have a dress ordered, go shoe shopping!  Before your first fitting, you'll want to wear the exact shoe to the fitting so that it is hemmed properly. 

5) It's a legal contract so be sure before you sign.  When you sign the contract to purchase a dress, you'll generally put 50% down.  If you elope or call it off, you're still responsible for the entire purchase price of the dress.

Hopefully by incorporating some of these tips you can be one of those brides who have an amazing dress shopping experience.  And if you're totally bummed about not having champagne, ask if you can bring your own bottle!

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Valerie DiVecchio Valerie DiVecchio

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Divine Creations

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