Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Top 5 Wedding Budget Crashers

It’s that time of the year, and calculators are busy cranking up numbers. No it’s not tax time yet, but it IS time to set your wedding budget. There are plenty of wedding resource websites and magazines that give couples a cookie cutter budget format to guide them on how their wedding budget will be spent. I personally feel that budgets are subjective. What is important to one bride may not be important to the other. So as a bridal couple, you should prepare a list of items that are of absolute importance to you, and another list of those that are not. For e.g. a high end photographer with a photo journalistic style of capturing your wedding day is a must but a videographer may not be as important. I have worked with couples that have put a higher emphasis on the food then on the flowers, or on securing a specialty venue and not the caterer.

As to any budget that is set, whether buying a car, home or vacation there are always those unexpected costs that can put a dinger on your spending limit. So consider the following when setting up your budget Excel spreadsheet:

#1 Venues that charge a service charge. Clarify if the service charge will be taxable. It won’t devastate your budget, but it may impact you by few hundreds of dollars.

#2 Gown Alterations. You may have just spent thousands of dollars on that perfect gown, that will make you the trendy sophisticated bride that you are, but to get the right fit you may need to spend some time with a seamstress. Alterations may not be included in the price of the gown.

#3 Stamps. AAHHHH Stamps. The current price for your mail to travel in style is $.44 cents. Not only will you need the stamps for the Reply cards but also if you are sending out “Save the Date” cards. In addition I have yet to have an invitation that fell in the weight category of first class mail. I have clients that have paid as much as $5 in stamps per invitation, to mail their invitations to 300 of their closest friends.

#4 Make Up and Hair Trial. To make sure you have stylish hair style and photogenic make up, Brides will need to spend time with a Make up Artist and Hair Stylist before the big day. A consultation to create the glowing look on your special day is extremely important. There should be no surprises on the day of the wedding. In doing so, keep in mind that these trials do cost money. You can expect to pay as little as $50, to as high as $250, just to finalize the style and glamour of your beautiful day.

#5 Night Pick-up. Depending on the time your event finishes, and the ability of the venue to let the flowers/décor/specialty linens stay in the reception room you may incur additional charge. This is a must have conversation with your venue. If the venue requires that your floral/décor/linen company pick up the items at the end of the reception time these vendors may charge you for a night pick-up. The cost can be $125 to $900 depending on the work that will be involved. Having too much fun dancing and want to keep going? Don’t keep them waiting to start tear down or you may be stuck with overtime fees as well.

I will post more tips on Budget Crashers in future blogs. I would love to hear about costs that you have had that you didn’t account for.

BBFN (Bridal Bliss for Now)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

My Engagement Ring, It is Perfect!!!!! Maybe…

Have you fallen in love with your engagement ring?

Or do you love it, but you’re not quite in love with it?

It took all the Groom’s courage, and months of saving for that special ring, which will forever represent his love and devotion to you. The ring will symbolize his commitment to happily ever after. After the euphoria of the proposal, engagement announcement and the solicited approval from your BFF, you sit back and wonder, “Would I have picked this ring?” After all, you have to wear it everyday. You are not the only one out there pondering this question.

Before you decide to share your feelings with your new fiancée you might consider the following:

Do you really hate it?

Is it that he just didn’t listen to your subtle hints or taking you shopping for the ring?

If it really clashes with your jewelry collection and you will constantly think of it as your “not so fabulous ring,” then tell you partner. In a gentle way explain to him how happy you are to commit yourself to him for the rest of your life. Tell him, even though you were ecstatic that he put so much time and effort into buying the ring, maybe you can exchange or redesign the ring. If he gets offended by this don’t be surprised. You just told him that he can’t pick the right ring and doesn’t understand your taste. But these few minutes of emotional awkwardness may turn into a day of blissful ring shopping.

I, being a Type A personality, had the same situation and hated the ring. The funny part is that I helped pick the ring. So I hated what I had picked, and wanted to redesign mine one month into our engagement. I felt bad, but after few glasses of wine I found the courage to tell my fiancée that I was wrong. Confessing I was wrong was enough to make my fiancée decide to upgrade my ring. A confession I will never admit to. But I love my ring now, and love to show it off.

One possible catch, is the ring a family heirloom?

Has the ring been handed down generation after generation?

Does the family have deep emotional ties to it?

Have they told you how lucky you are to receive the ring? It is rare in this day an age that heirlooms are passed down as engagement rings, but it does happen.

What do you do??

Many brides wish for a ring that is uniquely theirs, and chosen just for them. Conveying this sentiment to your fiancée, and his family, might be tricky. Express to your fiancée and the family how honored you are to receive such a ring, and to have been bestowed the caretaker of the ring as it passes from generation to generation. Ladies, this will be a battle, you must pick and choose. Could the heirloom ring serve as a commitment ring while you select a ring that reflects your lifestyle?

Greeks believed that the diamonds were precious splinters of stars that had fallen to the Earth. Diamonds have a unique status as the ultimate symbol of love. If you have fallen in love with your ring, or are about to fall in love with it, do know that engagement rings have strings of your heart wrapped in your fingers.

BBFN (Bridal Bliss For Now)

If you are a bride that got her “Perfect” ring, would love to know how did you drop those subtle hints?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Path to a Perfect Venue

Navy Pier or Michigan Avenue
Modern Lux to Contemporary Art
Urban Chic or Historical Landmark
When it comes to hosting Conventions, Galas, Fundraisers but most importantly Weddings, Chicago has it all and done it all.

So how do you find the perfect venue to celebrate your nuptials? For starters make a list. List 5 things that you want at your wedding venue and most important, 5 things that you don’t want. This list won’t match you with the “Perfect” venue but it is a start. Feel free to add to the list.

Here are my 5 wants in a wedding venue and absolutely don’t want:

1. I want my wedding reception to be the only wedding at the venue.
2. I want food at the venue to be the showcase since I am such a foodie.
3. I want an old world romance charm to my dining room.
4. I want a venue that can accommodate 200 guests.
5. I want my cocktail reception in a separate area either outside the ballroom or away from the ballroom. Patio or Terrace would be ideal but not a deal breaker.

I don’t want from a wedding venue:

1. I don’t want to pay more than $150.00 per guest.
2. I don’t want a Friday or Sunday wedding.
3. I don’t want the venue off the beaten path.
4. I don’t want the venue to be more than 45min away from my ceremony location.
5. I don’t want the bar to close at midnight.

This should give the bridal couple a sense of their needs and wants. Marriage is about compromise, you may just start making some in your search to find the “Perfect Venue”.

BBFN (Bridal Bliss for Now) Olivia

Next blog: Can I find the best kept secret venue in Chicago. Any guesses as to where it may be?

Monday, January 11, 2010

Business Practice

It is our mission at Oliveaire Events and Meetings to conduct our business with transparency. Our goal is to exceed our client’s expectation and refine our services to keep exceeding them. Our promise to be on top of our industry trends and provide cost effective event solutions for our clients. Implement an Oliveaire culture of team support that serves our clients best interest. Communicate with our internal and external clients and partners with clarity and direction. Produce events that emphasis management, form and delivery. Continue to provide products and service that tailor to our clients and partners needs.