01/31/11

Contest: lucky + in love Winners!

Thanks to all you wonderful couples for entering our January lucky + in love contest. The lucky winners have been drawn! Congratulations to:

  • Kendall + Ross
  • Krista + Paul
  • Kuo-hsien + Jeremy

Looking forward to meeting you soon for your FREE wedding planning consultations!

Jennifer

01/20/11

Planning Your Wedding: Tip #9

Tip #9: Don’t let wedding planning consume you!

The average length of an engagement is 16-18 months – that’s a long time! The last thing you want is to be miserable throughout what’s supposed to be a wonderful experience in your lives. Here are a few pointers to help you avoid bridal burnout:

  1. Take a break. Do you really need to spend another five hours on your laptop Googling “pink bouquets?!” Make a point of taking breaks from wedding planning to enjoy time with your fiancé. Plan regular date nights and try to avoid talking about the wedding while you’re out. Think about what you used to do before wedding planning and revisit those hobbies and pastimes.
  2. Ask for help. If you have too much on your plate don’t be afraid to delegate and ask for help! Ask your mother to manage the guest responses. If your fiancé loves vehicles, send him to look at limousines with his best man. Of course, enlisting the services of a wedding planner will save you the most time and stress!
  3. Be mindful of your relationships. Throughout the planning process it’s understandable that you may feel overwhelmed at times – especially when the wedding date is fast-approaching. But remember what comes after the wedding…your relationship with your partner is the real reason you are having a wedding! Consider the strain of your wedding on your families and attendants and try to be reasonable with your requests.

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Edmonton Wedding Planner, Jennifer Bergman Weddings

Thanks for reading our top 9 wedding planning tips! Our lucky + in love contest is now open! Here are the important details:

The prizes:

The three winning couples will receive their choice of one of the following packages:

  • A complimentary She Said Yes! consultation session with Jennifer. This two-hour session will help you get your planning underway with vendor recommendations to match your wedding style and budget, a personalized planning checklist and budget worksheet, as well as the opportunity to discuss your questions and concerns {$250 value}.

…OR

  • A complimentary two-hour Décor Consultation with Jennifer to discuss the theme and design of your wedding vision! Included in this session are creative design suggestions suited to your wedding vision, venue(s) and budget, plus vendor recommendations for rental and décor items to save you time and frustration {$350 value}.

How it works:

  • Complete and submit the entry form before the contest deadline (January 28th) and you will be entered to win one of the three free consultation sessions!

The fine print:

  • Contest entries will be accepted from January 21st to January 28th, 2011.
  • Winners will receive their free consultation session in person in the Edmonton area or via phone / Internet if they reside elsewhere.
  • This contest is not applicable to couples who are already working with another wedding planning company.
  • Winners will be randomly drawn from all correctly completed contest entries received by the contest deadline: Friday, January 28, 2011 at 11:59 PM MST. The winning couples will be announced on Monday, January 31st, 2011.

Enter the Jennifer Bergman Weddings lucky + in love contest now!

Good luck!

Jennifer

01/19/11

Planning Your Wedding: Tip #8

Tip #8: Consider wedding day logistics.

Logistics are the most important consideration for making your wedding day flow seamlessly without any major hiccups. Unfortunately, this is one area that many brides just don’t spend enough time thinking about.

Your wedding is probably the biggest party you will ever host and you’re likely spending a significant amount of money on the event. It only makes sense to hire an experienced professional to oversee it. Most wedding planners offer some form of Wedding Day Management – often referred to as wedding day or wedding month coordination. Having a professional step in 4-8 weeks before your wedding is extremely beneficial – not only for the sanity of you and your fiancé, but it is also a wonderful gift to your parents and bridal party.

If you’re skeptical about whether you need a coordinator, ask yourself who is going to do the following on your wedding day:

  • Edmonton Wedding Day Coordinator, Edmonton Wedding Planner

    Sarah of Jennifer Bergman Weddings assists a beautiful bride as she's about to walk down the aisle

  • Locate your V.I.P.s and pin on their boutonnieres / corsages
  • Cue the wedding party processionals
  • Hand tissue to your father before he walks you down the aisle
  • Glue your false lashes back on if they come loose
  • Fix your bustle if it breaks
  • Light all the candles in the room before guests enter
  • Cue your grand entrance into the reception
  • Liaise with the venue for food and bar service
  • Ensure your cards and gifts are put in a safe place once the reception begins
  • Brief the M.C. before the wedding to ensure he or she knows what’s required of them
  • Orchestrate the bouquet / garter toss, cake cutting, etc.

The above items are just a few examples of how a coordinator works behind the scenes to manage the details of your wedding day while you soak in every wonderful moment.

Check back Friday to read our last wedding planning tip and to enter our lucky + in love contest!

Jennifer

Photo Credit: Shandro Photo.

01/14/11

Planning Your Wedding: Tip #6

Tip #6: Mind your manners.

While I wouldn’t consider myself to be very traditional, one thing I’m a stickler about is classic etiquette. Here are my top three “musts:”

  1. Don’t ask for gifts! It makes me cringe to see those little registry cards in invitations! Including them implies that you expect a gift which comes across as rude. Guests who want to know where you are registered will ask you, your bridal party or your close family members. The only time you are permitted to use registry cards is in bridal shower invitations, as the purpose of these parties is to “shower” the bride-to-be with gifts.
  2. Be a true host. In the world of wedding etiquette a cash bar is the ultimate faux-pas. You wouldn’t invite someone over for a dinner party at your home and make them pay $6.00 for a glass of wine – don’t do this at your wedding! With this said, some couples are still adamant that they will not have a fully hosted bar. A few modern compromises: hosting a limited bar where only wine and beer are served, or providing guests with a certain number of drink tickets in the wedding invitations.
  3. Say thank you! Always, always, always send out thank you cards promptly following an event where you have been the recipient of gifts. This includes engagement parties, bridal showers and of course, the wedding itself. Proper etiquette indicates that a mailed card (no, an email won’t do!) should be sent out within three months of the wedding. The sooner the better – try not to procrastinate this important task. Your guests will appreciate your promptness.

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Edmonton Wedding Planner, Edmonton Wedding Day Coordinator

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Have you heard about our lucky + in love contest? We are giving away FREE planning consultations to three couples! The contest entry form will be available on January 21st after all 9 planning tips have been posted. Click here for all the details and stay tuned for more helpful wedding planning tips.

Jennifer

Photo Credit: JDS Photography.

01/13/11

Planning Your Wedding: Tip #5

Before we get into Tip #5, here’s a recap of the previous tips:

In just one week all 9 planning tips will be posted and you’ll be able to enter our lucky + in love contest!

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Tip #5: When and where?

When to Get Married – Considerations

  1. Season: Do you love the idea of a cozy winter wedding, or is the freshness of spring more appealing? If you have no preference for a particular wedding date, nail down a window of 1 or 2 months and go from there.
  2. Day of the Week: Most weddings are held on Saturday but if you are open to a Friday, Sunday or even a weekday wedding you will have a lot more flexibility with your choices of venues and wedding professionals.
  3. Length of Engagement: Some couples like to take their time during the wedding planning process and are happy to stretch out their engagement for 12-18 months – or longer! Others want to tie the knot as soon as possible. Shorter planning timelines are absolutely doable, but be prepared to make decisions quickly.
  4. Popularity: July and August are extremely busy months for weddings in Canada and especially in Alberta where the warm weather is so short-lived. If you are set on a July wedding be prepared to begin planning at least 12 months in advance. Many of the popular venues and wedding professionals are booked up quite early for the busy summer months.
  5. V.I.P. Guest Attendance: Once you have an idea of when you’d like to get married, you may wish to run the timing by your closest family members and friends to ensure they can attend.

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Edmonton Wedding Planner, Edmonton Wedding Coordinator, Jennifer Bergman Weddings


Where to Get Married – Considerations

  1. Ceremony Venue: Are you having a religious ceremony in a church? Would you like to hold your ceremony at the same place as your reception? If you have your heart set on an outdoor ceremony don’t forget to make a ‘plan B’ in case of inclement weather.
  2. Reception Venue: When searching for the perfect reception venue, consider formality, atmosphere and style. Select a location that fits the look and feel that you would like to convey on your big day. As the reception costs will likely eat up about half of your budget, do some serious number-crunching before signing a contract.
  3. Location: Are a lot of guests travelling to your wedding from out-of-town? If so, consider holding your reception at or nearby a hotel. Likewise, if most of your guests won’t have transportation it’s thoughtful to hold the ceremony and reception in the same place or arrange for shuttle service.
  4. Capacities: Only look at venues that are suited to your wedding size. A venue may advertise that their location can hold up to 200 guests but that capacity may not be meant for a wedding layout. Ask your wedding planner or the venue coordinator for floorplans from weddings previously held in the space to ensure that it can accommodate a dance floor, a head table and any other special requirements (ie. a dessert table, a guestbook table, etc.).
  5. Revisit Your Wedding Priorities: Look back at what you listed as your wedding priorities and keep them top of mind on your venue hunt. For example, if an awesome party is really important to you ask about noise restrictions and when guests must vacate the reception room. Some hotels dictate that music must be turned off after a certain time due to guest room proximity.

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Until the next tip…

Jennifer

01/12/11

Planning Your Wedding: Tip #4

Tip #4: Set your budget.

Setting your wedding budget can be a daunting task, but if you put some thought into it during the early stages of your planning you will save yourselves from experiencing budget blues down the road. Here are some key considerations:

  1. Determine where the funds are coming from. Are you and your fiancé footing the entire bill, or are your families contributing? Financial involvement usually means input and opinions from the source(s) of the funds. It is your wedding, but if you aren’t paying for it be prepared to make compromises.
  2. Discuss your resources. Are you working with a maximum figure that cannot be exceeded, or do you have a more flexible budget range? It’s important to know what you can spend, but you and your fiancé should also discuss and agree upon what you are comfortable spending. Money matters can be a huge source of tension and conflict between couples and stressing over wedding expenses is no way to begin a marriage.
  3. Do your research. You’ve likely never planned a wedding before and you may not have the faintest idea how much things like photography, flowers and limos cost. If you don’t know what wedding vendors charge this is a great time to consult a wedding planner. Most planners offer hourly consultations and a variety of planning packages, so it’s a great idea to meet with one soon after you get engaged to see how s/he can help.
  4. Bring it all together. Now that you have determined what you’re working with, it’s time to revisit the kind of wedding you want, your wedding priorities and the guest list. If your budget and wedding vision don’t jive, something has to give. Above all, be realistic!

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When you’re ready to put pen to paper, remember these helpful pointers:

  • As a rule of thumb, expect to allocate about 50% of your budget to the reception costs (food, alcohol and room rental). This does not include any other expenses related to the reception, such as flowers, décor, entertainment, etc.
  • Decide if your budget will include costs associated with the wedding such as your honeymoon or wedding bands. These costs can add up to thousands of dollars so if they are coming out of your budget you need to allocate accordingly.
  • Don’t forget to account for tips and taxes!
  • Add a buffer to your budget for unexpected or miscellaneous costs (approximately 5-10% of the total).

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Edmonton Wedding Planner, Jennifer Bergman WeddingsHave you heard about our lucky + in love contest? We are giving away FREE planning consultations to three couples! The contest entry form will be available on January 21st after all 9 planning tips have been posted. Click here for all the details and stay tuned for more helpful wedding planning tips.

Happy Planning!

Jennifer

01/10/11

Planning Your Wedding: Tip #3

Tip #3: Tackle the guest list.

The guest list is an unavoidable part of the wedding planning process, and sadly it often causes the most headaches. If you’re recently engaged you’ve probably taken a stab at the first draft – this is a great start. But it’s important to consider the constraints that may affect your target guest number: venue capacity, overall budget, where the budget is coming from and desired atmosphere.

To limit the list-making madness, involve all “stakeholders” from the beginning. Your wedding stakeholders include anyone who has an emotional and/or financial interest in your wedding. If your parents are contributing financially to the wedding or if they’ll have any say at all as to who is invited, consult them from the get-go! More often than you’d imagine couples begin the venue hunt or even book a venue only to realize later that mom and dad are inviting 25 of their work colleagues to the wedding. Get it all on the table during the early stages so you don’t run into issues later.

Generally, you can expect anywhere from 10-30% of your guests to decline. Some factors that influence the decline rate include:

  • Time of year / when the wedding is being held (eg. busy summer weekends may see a higher decline rate as guests have booked family holidays or have other weddings to attend)
  • The proportion of your guest list who must travel to the wedding versus the number who are local
  • Length of notice provided to guests – sending save-the-date cards 8-12 months in advance gives guests ample time to make arrangements to attend

Edmonton Wedding Planner, Edmonton Wedding Venue

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Have you heard about our lucky + in love contest? We are giving away FREE Planning consultations to three couples! The contest entry form will be available on January 21st after all 9 planning tips have been posted. Click here for all the details.

Happy planning!

Jennifer

Photo Credit: Sam Ng Photography.

12/31/10

Contest: lucky + in love

Congratulations to all you recently engaged couples out there! This is an exciting time in your lives that can also be overwhelming. To help alleviate some of the planning pressure, we are giving away FREE planning consultations to three lucky + in love couples!

The prizes:

The three winning couples will receive their choice of one of the following packages:

  • A complimentary She Said Yes! consultation session with Jennifer. This two-hour session will help you get your planning underway with vendor recommendations to match your wedding style and budget, a personalized planning checklist and budget worksheet, as well as the opportunity to discuss your questions and concerns {$250 value}.

…OR

  • A complimentary two-hour Décor Consultation with Jennifer to discuss the theme and design of your wedding vision! Included in this session are creative design suggestions suited to your wedding vision, venue(s) and budget, plus vendor recommendations for rental and décor items to save you time and frustration {$350 value}.

Edmonton Wedding Planner, Jennifer Bergman Weddings

How it works:

  • Complete and submit the lucky + in love contest entry form before January 28, 2011 and you will be entered to win one of the three free consultation sessions!

The fine print:

  • Contest entries will be accepted from January 21st to January 28th, 2011.
  • Winners will receive their free consultation session in person in the Edmonton area or via phone / Internet if they reside elsewhere.
  • This contest is not applicable to couples who are already working with another wedding planning company.
  • Winners will be randomly drawn from all correctly completed contest entries received by the contest deadline: Friday, January 28, 2011 at 11:59 PM MST. The winning couples will be announced on Monday, January 31st, 2011.

Enter the Jennifer Bergman Weddings lucky + in love contest now!

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Wishing you lots of love (and a little luck) in 2011!

Jennifer + Team