Events by Divine Creations | July 2009
Events by Divine Creations

Saving Money Part 1: Location, Location, Location

by Valerie DiVecchio 16. July 2009 06:21
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Times are tougher these days financially than we have seen in many years, but that doesn't mean you can't have the wedding of your dreams.  Part of my job as an event planner is to recommend alternatives to the things that my clients may want, but cannot really afford.  We all have a bottom line and know that compromise is key, but the word "budget" should not necessarily equal "sacrifice".  This summer I am going to do a series of blogs about little things that you can do to save some big bucks when planning your wedding so I hope that you will find it helpful and continue to check back for more!

Just like in real estatem, location is crucial when planning your special event.  If you belong to a church or synagogue, check to see if they have a social hall for your reception which often has a much lower price tag than most other places.  If that is not an option, having your ceremony and reception in the same venue (separate rooms of course) will help to eliminate certain costs like transportation for the bridal party and many times you can also get a complimentary suite for your wedding night.  Another consideration is to look in your own backyard.  Do you or someone you know have a beautifully landscaped area that is already decorated by Mother Nature?  This option for a ceremony comes with little to no cost.  One word of caution though, having the reception at your home will not necessarily save you money due to the cost of renting tables, chairs, tent, etc.  Just remember if an outdoor ceremony and/or reception is what you desire, have a back-up plan due to inclement weather.  Nothing can put a damper on your wedding day like being caught in a downpour!

Something Borrowed, Something Chewed - Part 2

by Valerie DiVecchio 11. July 2009 14:07
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Okay, so you decided that maybe your dog(s) and/ or cat(s) might act like mine and potentially be a disaster at your wedding, but you still want to incorporate them in your special day.  There are ways to do that while your furry loved ones remain in the comfort of their own home.  According to "Healthy Pet" magazine, there are several ways to accomplish this:

1) Include your pet on the wedding invitation (I think it may be more appropriate to do this for the Save the Date Cards; invitations tend to be a little more formal)

2) In lieu of flowers, make a donation to an animal shelter on behalf of your guests (Or maybe in lieu of favors - see my blog on 'Favors with a Cause')

3) Let your pet add fun to the reception like naming the tables after different locations you have visited and displayed a photo with your dog at those places.

4) Add your pet as the cake topper or maybe make the grooms cake in the shape of your pet.

And I'll add one last one not in the magazine, include your pet in your engagement photo shoot.  Then use one of the photos as a signature board for your sign-in table.  Speaking from experience... if you have hyperactive pets, but sure to take them for long walks before the photo shoot starts to get them nice and tired.   And bring a squeaky toy for the photographer to get their attention.  After about 3 hours on our photo shoot we finally got one nice family picture!


Something Borrowed, Something Chewed

by Valerie DiVecchio 8. July 2009 20:48
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Cute title, huh?  Wish I could take credit, but it was actually an article in the "Healthy Pet" magazine that we receive quarterly from our veterinarian.  It contained some great advice on including your pet in your wedding.  Now, there are some pluses to incorporating your furry loved one into your ceremony, but there are also some cons.  You need to really know your pet well and know where their limitations lie.  If you have never had your pet around a crowd of people, this is probably not the best way to test them.  I adore my dogs to death, but I could pretty much predict disaster if I tried to get my hyperactive Jack Russell to be the ring bearer!  So to ensure that your pet will work well in this setting, solid planning is critical.

1) Obviously first you need to make sure that your venue is pet-friendly.  Not all places like the idea of dogs and/or cats in their facility.

2) Designate an "escort" to be responsible for your pet during the entire event.  This person would have the important tasks of taking the pet out for bathroom breaks, getting water and most importantly, remove him/her from the scene if it gets too overwhelming.

3) Have a Plan B... no matter how many times you practice pets can be unpredictable.  They make refuse to walk down the aisle or may try to run in a different direction.  Having a wagon or being carried in a basket is a great back-up plan in case the dog or cat simply refuses to do what you practiced.

Later this week I will give some advice on how to incorporate your pet in your wedding if you prefer for him/her to be in the comfort of their own home.  For now I'll leave you with a picture of why my dogs will never be allowed near any of my events!


Ouch... the Sunburn!

by Valerie DiVecchio 6. July 2009 10:05
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I hope everyone had a great 4th of July weekend!  I know I enjoyed it spending time at my sister's house further down south the West Coast, but today I am unfortunately paying for the lapse of judgment on not using enough sunscreen.  I thought I did the right thing by applying sunscreen to my upper body before heading out for a day on the water in a boat, but the lower part of my body was overlooked.  I figured I was going to be sitting on a boat, who needs to worry about your legs, right?  Wrong!  So as I gingerly edged out of bed this morning and thought there were a million needles being stuck into my legs, my thoughts were drawn to the many brides I see make the same mistake.

I don't know about you, but I tend to feel healthier when I have a little color (I know, not the case, but I said "feel" not believe!).  And I try to warn brides not to lay out in the sun too close to their wedding day just in case of incidences like this one.  Sunburn can be extremely painful (not to mention not the most attractive) and who wants to walk down the aisle like a 90 year old lady?!  But many brides or bridesmaids decide a day frolicking on the beach and in the water is a great way to spend the day before the ceremony - and it is a lot of fun - but be sure to use a waterproof, sweat proof sunscreen and reapply it frequently.  It's also a good idea to use a higher SPF than you think you need.  Those who come to Florida for their destination wedding do not realize how strong the sun is here... and often times those of us who live here forget that too! 

If you do not want to risk the sunburn or the tan lines (especially if you are wearing a strapless dress!), there is the spray tan alternative.  It is very natural looking - if you go to a professional who knows what they are doing - and will last about 5-7 days.  Just remember, when you go on your honeymoon don't think you already have a natural base tan so you decide to go easy on the sunscreen otherwise you'll be the same shade of lobster as me when the spray tan fades!

Powerful Paper Pointers

by Valerie DiVecchio 1. July 2009 11:05
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Recently I was flipping through the most recent edition of InStyle Weddings magazine and they did a story on the newest stationary trends.  Whether you are getting married, having a bar/ bat mitzvah or just a good ol' fashioned fun party, everyone needs invitations and there were several great tips that I wanted to share.  And of course, I have to throw in my own two cents as well!

1) Go Bold and Graphic - Strong patterns, bright colors and a clean font are the up and coming trends for invitations.  Blues and greens are topping the color palette for 2009 as the hottest trends.

2) Get Nature-Inspired - Instead of the traditional flowers that are often seen on wedding invitations, if you are having a more contemporary event, you may want to consider branches, leaves or coral (not the color, but what you find in the ocean).  Recently I had a couple select an invitation with a bamboo motif which was very cool and modern.

3) Personalize Your Stamp - the envelope is the first thing your guest sees; why not make the stamp memorable?  The theme logo if it's a bar or bat mitzvah or a picture of the couple if it's a wedding makes a lasting impression.

4) And last but not least, they suggest creating a calling card so that guests can reach you after the wedding.  These days texting or connecting via social networking like Facebook or Twitter can keep you connected better than ever.  About the size of a business card that can be inserted into your thank you notes you can communicate your new address, phone number and e-mail addresses.

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