Choosing Your Wedding Photographer – Wedding Photography Styles Explained

You’ve chosen your date, booked your venue and started shopping for dresses. Now you’re looking for a wedding photographer. There are a lot of styles of wedding photography out there, and while people in the industry might know these styles inside out they be confusing for couples. Remember as well that not only are you picking a style of photography, but different types of wedding photography can make different demands on your time on your wedding day.

Picking the style of photography you want at your wedding boils down to three things. What style of images you want, how long you want to spend with a photographer on your wedding day, and most importantly of all your own personality and comfort in front of the camera.

There are plenty of different photography buzzwords out there. Vintage, editorial, artistic or contemporary are just a few. Perhaps more confusingly they are used by different photographers in different ways. Ultimately it is up to couples to ask plenty of questions and do plenty of research before picking a photographer, and to rely on seeing full set of photos from completed weddings Do not rely on the best five or six shots from several weddings to make a choice.

Wedding photography styles are a compromise between producing fantastic work and keeping to a timetable. A photographer might produce brilliant photos, but if he takes too long to produce them you probably won’t enjoy the experience.

Traditional (or Posed) Wedding Photography

A lot of people think of traditional wedding photography as endless stuffy group photos where everyone looks stiff as a board. Worse still, the different collections of people seem to go on forever. I think there is a fashion to be down on traditional wedding photography, but the actual working framework is still the same for most wedding photographers. The photographs may be more stylish but the actual experience on the day for the bride and groom is very similar.

There is always a trade off between the type of work a photographer does and the time it takes to shoot it. More formal posed photographs will take longer to set up and achieve. Any photographer who produces artistic posed work will need a certain amount of time to produce his best work. It is important that you find out how much time he will need, and work out how it will fit into your day. There are photographers who spend a couple of hours on formal shots. Make sure you are happy with giving over that amount of time on your wedding day. If you are not that comfortable in front of the camera you may find this type of photography more difficult. A good photographer should be able to help you and put you at your ease but for many individuals it can still seem a bit daunting.

Reportage Wedding Photography (Wedding Photojournalism)

If traditional is all about posed photographs, then reportage wedding photography is the opposite. It relies on capturing moments as they happen, and is more like a fly on the wall documentary. This form of wedding photography means that the photographer spends most of his time in the background, and so has become increasingly popular with couples. Weddings are also increasingly less formal than they used to be. Documentary wedding photography demands a different skill set from traditional wedding photography so you have to make sure that your photographer has the correct photographic background and can show you full weddings to back this up. Wedding photojournalism is more about a complete set of pictures from the whole day than a set of a dozen highlights. There are photographers out there who will jump on the latest bandwagon to gain business, but still use the same old style they always have. Wedding photojournalism is all about anticipation and being in the right place at the right time. It is not about closely directing people, so it puts many traditional wedding photographers outside of their skill set. There are some less ethical photographers who will use the latest buzzwords to improve their search engine presence, but still shoot the same tired old pictures.

If you are reticent about having your photo taken, wedding photojournalism is probably your best choice. The photography happens without you really realizing and you’ll look your natural best.

Although these two approaches might appear polar opposites, in reality most wedding photographers will offer a blend of these two styles. There are not many wedding photojournalists who don’t shoot at least some formal photographs and traditional wedding photographers will shoot informal pictures as well. Find out what proportion of each a photographer likes to shoot, and better still ask them what they like to shoot the most – chances are this is what they are best at.

Vintage Wedding Photography

Vintage wedding photography is a style that has been coming into vogue recently, but in lots of ways its a hard one one to quantify. Vintage can mean anything from using old film cameras during some of the wedding to just a different approach to post production to produce ‘vintage’ looking digital files. There are some great photographers out there, but bear in mind that if you are receiving files that are heavily edited in a certain style, you run the risk of your photos looking rather dated a few years later. If I was hiring a vintage style photographer, I personally would want at least some of the wedding shot on film, I’m not a huge fan of faking things. As always ask questions, see examples and make an informed decision.

Editorial Wedding Photography

This wedding genre is inspired by the fashion editorials of glossy magazines, at it’s best it can produce fantastic high-end images. To produce this successfully on a wedding day the photographer needs to be highly organised, and would probably need an assistant to help set up some of the shots in advance, although that would depend on his or her style. Do your research to make sure that the time requirements for this type of shoot fit in with your plans. If you really like this type of photography but don’t want to devote too much time to it on your wedding day, consider booking a separate photo session after the wedding. Often describes as a trash or cherish the dress shoot, a separate photo session might be the best way to get the wedding day you want and the photographs you’ll love without losing a huge chunk of your wedding day. It also means that you and your photographer can pick the ideal time of day for the right light and you have scope for rescheduling if it’s pouring with rain. In many countries, particularly the US, high end wedding photography is evolving towards three shoots: the engagement shoot, the wedding day, and an editorial session. Don’t necessarily think that it all has to be done in one day.

Artistic or Fine Art Wedding Photography

Essentially an evolution of traditional wedding photography, this type of photography offers a contemporary take on the traditional set of posed photographs, although these are both terms that have been somewhat over used by the photographic community, so again do your research. At its best this genre can produce moving romantic images, but some photographers can over use the same poses, so it can feel a bit impersonal. Ask to see lots of shoots and don’t be afraid to input your own ideas at your pre-wedding meeting.

Conclusions

There are lot of styles of photographer out there, but the main thing is to look beyond the catchy buzzwords and look long and hard at portfolios. Ultimately it is the competence of the photographer you are hiring that really matters. Experience, personal service and professionalism are what ensure a consistent standard of photography from wedding to wedding, and the consistency and ability to deal with the different shooting conditions that present themselves throughout a wedding day. Their portfolio should show a good balance of shots from bridal preparations to the first dance. Ask questions about how much time they will need to complete those all important formal and couples shots, and work out how much time you are happy to give. Even with more observational styles, planning and communication before the wedding is vital to get the best results and to get them efficiently. Keep to the guidelines and you are sure to have a memorable wedding day with photos to match.

Toys for Children: Everything You Need to Know Before Buying Online

Children love to play; and toys make playtime fun and engaging. Experts in child development say that toys promote positive learning even as they entertain. Therefore, toys can be learning aids that boost various skills in your child. Having said this, not choosing the right toys for your child is detrimental. In fact, you must always consider age-appropriate toys and games when buying. How do you know which toy is best for your child? The guide below sheds more light.

Major toy categories available in the market

Vehicles

Auto-themed toys are some of the most popular. Children are able to play with all manner of miniature vehicles including buses, cars, trucks and more. Consider this, every second, up to 8 Hot Wheels are sold. This is a toy vehicle brand.

Puzzles

There are simple and complex puzzles that suit various ages. These toys are known to trigger creativity and boost critical thinking. Rubik’s Cube is one of the most popular puzzles which was created by a Hungarian toy maker. Today, puzzles have gone to another level.

Dolls

These are some of the oldest toys. They are greatly loved by girls because they are made to resemble miniature babies. Plastic and cloth are the main materials used to create dolls. They are not only used by children; there are people who collect them as keepsakes or to decorate their spaces. Some people attach spiritual meaning to dolls.

Construction sets

These are standalone pieces that can be joined together to form a distinct model. These models could be cars, houses and even spaceships. These toys are great for children who like to be challenged. They are interactive and spark imagination. There are adults who also enjoy using these sets for fun.

Digital toys

These are some of the most common toys today. This is because they are fitted with digital technology. They are highly interactive keeping children on their toes. They incorporate virtual elements in which children can learn and access unique entertainment.

Toys that promote physical activity

The most traditional toys in this category include balls, jump ropes, hoops, tops, frisbee, foot bags and many others. These toys make physical activity possible. Tricycles and bikes for children will also promote activity; making them great elements for play.

Ideal toys for various ages

0 to 12 months

A newborn baby is just happy observing their new surroundings. However, when they hit three months, they will be keen on touching various items. Toys at this age will most likely end up in the mouth. In this respect, you must maintain top hygiene with toys. They love colored and textured toys that seem amusing. In addition, they adore toys that produce various sounds like crinkling and squeaking sounds. These are the best options for this age group.

– Rattles
– Crib mobiles that come in bright colors
– Small dolls or stuffed animals that are fluffy
– Floor gyms
– Fabric balls that are small
– Unbreakable mirrors
– Activity boards

1 to 2 years

This is a very curious age. Because of their improved motor skills, your child will want something more responsive. They can start to interact with toys such as the ones mentioned below;

– Bath-time toys like rubber ducks and boats
– Stacking rings
– Nesting cups and boxes
– Toys that can be pushed or pulled
– Musical toys such as drums, pianos and tambourines
– Vehicles such as colored buses together with mini figures of humans

2 to 3 years

This is a great age to introduce purposeful toys. Your child will want something that they can fully explore. They like phones and gadgets that fully interact. Toys that engage their whole boy are exciting and below is a list;

– Tricycles and other ride on toys
– Toy mobile phones and play kitchen sets
– Flashy musical instruments
– Bigger dolls and stuffed animals
– Puzzles and construction toys

4 to 5 years

This is a relatively mature age where there is need for more challenging toys. It is an ideal time to have educational toys that stimulate their minds even more. The best options include;

– All manner of balls soccer, basketball
– Bicycles with training wheels
– More complex puzzles
– Action figures
– Barbie dolls
– Art and crafts kits
– Electronic toys and touch-pads
– Costumes to dress up
– Board games

The benefits of buying kid’s toys online

A wide variety of toys

Buying online will give you access to a wide array of toys for your children. You local physical store may not even have the capacity to store the various options available online. This way, you can easily get the ideal toys for your children. From dolls to stuffed animals and musical instruments; you are spoiled for choice.

It is highly convenient

Buying toys online is certainly convenient. With just a click of a button, you will have the right product delivered to you. For busy parents and guardians who do not have time, this is a great method of killing two birds with a single throw.

You access cheaper toys

Buying online will save you money. This is because you can select the best prices that will suit your budget. Also, you can compare the prices from various online sellers to land on the best deal. Online, you can also buy directly from manufacturers; which will naturally save you money.

You get high quality toys

Because you can read user reviews and product specifications, you will be in a position to choose toys that are of high quality. Knowing the various toy components and materials used therein will help you make a decision on preferred quality.

You can buy toys from overseas

If you like a certain toy type from a specific country, buying online will break the physical boundaries. This way, your child can enjoy the most suitable toy sourced from virtually anywhere in the world.

Top tips for buying children’s toys online

Buy toys appropriate for your child’s age

This is the most important buying consideration. This is because you want to stimulate and entertain your child in the most effective way. Toys that are not suitable in terms of age can even be dangerous for your child. Therefore, take time when searching online and filter the age you wish to buy for.

Be extra careful on the toy size

Sometimes, it can be hard to determine the actual size of a toy online. It is imperative to request this information from your online seller if it is not provided. Buy sizes that are first and foremost safe. Secondly, buy sizes that you feel give you value for money. For example, if you are buying a stuffed animal, confirm that it is larger than your fist; making assumptions may lead to disappointment.

Consider the battery needs

Many electronic toys will be powered by batteries. In many instances, you will have to buy these batteries separately. To this end, consider your budget needs. Also, know where to buy compatible batteries for the toys. Buying batteries in bulk is the best way to keep your child happy. Otherwise, you will have to contend with the hassle of buying single units.

Know the shipping details

From the return policies to the shipping fees and shipping time, get informed accordingly. Your online retailer should charge a reasonable fee for shipping. If the toy is broken or is not what you were looking for, you should return it within a short window. The shipping duration will give you an idea as to when you will receive the package.

16 Things a Bride and Groom to Be Need to Ask Their Wedding Venue

Is the wedding venue available on our wedding day?

Sounds like an obvious first question doesn’t it, but you really need to ask it first. There is no point visiting a potential wedding venue, falling in love with the idea of getting married there and not being able to make your dreams happen because another bride and groom got there first.

If you’ve already chosen your special date, then we suggest you telephone the wedding venue ahead of the visit and state you can only make that date, if they are already booked up then get back to the list and find another fantastic wedding venue.

How many guests can be seated for a meal at the wedding venue?

This is fairly crucial, you don’t want to book a wedding venue that have a seating area for 250 people if you’re only inviting 60 to a sit down meal.

In turn you also want to ensure your guests can sit comfortably without being crammed into a small venue, or even worse, being left to feel as if they’re shoved in at the back, and can barely see the top table. Once you’ve got a rough idea of how many wedding guests are being invited, you need to make sure your chosen wedding venue suits your requirements.

Request to see a sample seating plan, ask about whether they have round tables, maybe even ask to see photos of previous wedding meals and how the tables are laid out. This will give you a good indication of whether you can seat your wedding party and ensure everyone is happy.

How many guests can the wedding venue accommodate for the wedding reception?

Some couples prefer to have a small and intimate wedding ceremony, and then follow that with the mother of all parties in the evening. If this is your plan, be sure that the wedding venue can accommodate this. You don’t want to have 200 evening guests descend on your wedding and find them all squeezed in, or unable to get to the bar. Again, the flip-side is that you don’t want to find out your wedding venue has a separate dance floor and bar area that resembles a barn – the single easiest way to have zero-atmosphere at your wedding reception is to find the wedding DJ or band playing to a half empty hall, with your wedding guests sitting around the edges not mingling.

What time can we access the wedding venue?

“Exclusively yours for the entire day!”… says their website. But what does that mean exactly? Each wedding venue will have their own rules of when you can access the building on your wedding day.

Simply confirm what time you can arrive ahead of the wedding, you don’t want to be left standing outside waiting for the cleaner to turn up.

Can the bridal party get ready at the wedding venue?

Maybe this is something the bride would prefer, instead of rushing around in the morning, why not ask the venue if they have the facilities for the bride to prepare for her wedding day in the comfort of her wedding venue.

Obviously you’ll want something nicer then a conference room, or a ladies changing room at a golf club, but if the wedding venue has a nice quiet comfortable room for the bride to arrive and perhaps have her hairdresser, make-up artist and the rest of her entourage help her prepare for her wedding day then all the easier.

Can we give you a CD of our wedding music for the bride’s entrance?

If you’re having a civil ceremony performed in an approved premises you won’t be able to use any music that has religious references in the song at all. By this we mean, terms like: Angels, Heaven, God etc etc. So no Robbie Williams ballads. The wedding venue will be fully aware of this and may have a CD of acceptable music, which is fine. However, if you want to make your wedding entrance to music of your choice you need to ensure that the wedding venue does actually allow this.

Assuming they are OK with you bringing along your own CD with your favourite song on it to play at the bridal entrance, it’s well worth dropping it off a day or two in advance to the wedding venue and asking them to test the CD on their player. You don’t want for them to try and play it as you’re nervously standing there only to find out your old CD is scratched or your CD-R won’t work on their machine.

The registrar will have to approve the songs you’ve chosen ahead of the wedding, but they should clarify all of this when you meet them.

Can we agree a timetable of the day, or are we set to your times?

Obviously a good wedding venue will suggest times to you, they’ll know how long each stage of the day will take. Ensure you can discuss the day’s timetable, agree when the ceremony will start (you’ll also need to approve that time with the registrar), plan how long the photos will take, agree the start time of the meal, decide what time to invite the evening wedding guests, and when the cutting of the cake and first dance will take place.

Can we bring our own drinks to the wedding venue, if not can we see the bar prices?

This is an interesting one, and well worth asking the question. Even if a wedding venue has a licensed bar available they still may agree that you could bring your own drinks along – even if it’s just fruit juices for the kids, it could save you money.

If you’re hiring a marquee at a venue, they will have a temporary bar for your guests – ask if you can stock the bar yourself, maybe even do a deal with someone who’ll buy all the booze for you and manage the bar for the night.

Should the wedding venue insist that you must use their bar facilities, ensure you ask to see the bar prices first, whether you or your guests are paying, no one wants a huge bar bill. Also check about wine served at the meal, and champagne for toasts.

Do we have to use your caterers, or can we instruct our own?

Some wedding venues insist that you must use their caters. This may be a restriction, however their own caters obviously have the knowledge of the venue and their kitchens, and would of catered for many weddings before – so maybe it’s not a bad thing.

However, it’s worth asking the question as if you are not committed to their caters you can shop around, and enjoy plenty of food tasting along the way.

If it’s raining, where would be the best spot to take our photos?

It won’t rain on your wedding day, surely not. Hopefully not. Maybe.

If the sun lets you down on the most important day of your life, you need a back-up plan. Have a good look around the wedding venue and ask where photos are normally taken during rainy days.

You really want to avoid having an awful backdrop indoors, when you were planning lovely photos out on the lawn. Most wedding venues are beautiful places anyhow, so they’ll be used to the British weather letting down brides before, and no doubt have a proffered beauty spot indoors to act as the back-drop for your wedding photographers to take your photos.

Is there a sound limiter on our wedding DJ or band?

Not a question most brides or grooms would consider asking, hence we threw it in the mix.

The thought is that if you’ve paid up to £500 for a wedding DJ, or potentially even more for a wedding band, then you want to be able to hear them at the back.

Unfortunately a lot of wedding venues in residential areas will be restricted to acceptable noise levels – this may mean your live entertainment loses some atmosphere on the dance floor. If you are planning a huge party for your wedding – check this first.

Do we need to order the full amount of guests for the buffet?

If you have 100 wedding guests in the evening, do you need to book a buffet for 100 people? You know that your mates will be more interested in the bar, most people who ate the wedding breakfast won’t be too hungry, so why not ask the wedding venue if you can just pay for 80% of the expected guests.

This way you’re saving some more money, and potentially saving wasted food at the end of the night.

Is there accommodation available at the wedding venue?

Maybe the wedding venue has a honeymoon suite available? A lot of weddings have visiting relatives from far afield, this means they’ll need somewhere to stay. You need to check in advance where you are going to spend your first night as a married couple, and if the venue has accommodation available then this could be your best option.

Even if you chosen wedding venue happens to be part of a hotel complex, you’ll still need to book accommodation for those who need it, so get your bookings in early.

Do you have a wedding cake stand we can use?

Your wedding cake needs to sit on something, it’s a focal point of your wedding day, and will set you back a fair few quid. No doubt the wedding cake maker will offer you a cake stand and knife for hire, but quite often the wedding venue will have a top quality cake stand ready for you.

If they do, it’s another little saving and one less thing to worry about.

Will there be any other weddings on at the same venue?

Why have we left this one so late? Well, it’s a personal choice whether you want a wedding venue entirely to yourself for the day, or whether you mind having another wedding party on the same day.

Whether it makes much difference or not depends on the size of the wedding venue. A small wedding venue may not have the space, or the different rooms for two large weddings.

You may find yourself sharing facilities, do you mind bumping into another bride?

Large hotels or golf clubs or private manor houses are often designed in a way that they can easily accommodate more then one wedding. Lets face it, weddings are big business so they want to attract as many as possible. If your chosen wedding venue will be playing host to more then one wedding on YOUR wedding day, ask to see where the two parties take place and ensure you’re comfortable with the idea.

How Female Celebrities Affect Fashion and Accessory Trends

The world of a celebrity is a fickle and ever changing one. With trends coming and going faster than your favourite celeb can snap their fingers it is a constant, ever changing source of inspiration for fashion and accessory trends. Celebrities want to make sure that they always look great so their stylists are always on hand to make sure that they’re either the ones wearing the latest fashion trends or that they are the ones responsible for creating them!

With the correct outfit or accessory piece capable of generating a huge amount of buzz in the media it’s no surprise that you’ll rarely see the biggest celebrities wearing the same outfit twice. Becoming influential in the fashion world is all about being a trend setter and some classic examples of celebrities who have pulled this off successfully are below.

Victoria Beckham
She’s always immaculately dressed and styled to within an inch of her life. If this diva so much as changes her hairstyle then the whole world sees it as breaking news. Always a fan of designer fashion and accessories its no wonder she was dubbed ‘posh’ spice!

Vanessa Hudgens
This high school musical star is influential in teen fashion and wears edgy, cool and chic clothes and accessories.

Lady Gaga
This high profile singer is one of the most well known stars for making her own fashion statements and designing her own weird and wacky outfits.

How to Become a Successful Wedding Planner With Inexpensive Weddings

Can you make a living planning weddings? Yes. As a self-employed professional, you can either charge a set fee for the wedding or a percentage of the total cost. Your income can be uncertain when you first start planning these extravaganzas, but as your reputation spreads and you gain more experience, your income can increase dramatically.

Of course, you will make more income on an elaborate, huge wedding, but several smaller and simple weddings will be less stressful when you are starting out and, when the separate income is added together, you will probably make the same amount of money.

Some agencies who track salaries report yearly incomes in the $50,000 range for wedding planners. One such agency, PayScale, currently reports these average hourly rates for the profession:

* California $28.00

* Georgia $27.50

* Massachusetts $20.64

* New York $15.00

* Louisiana $14.00

* Pennsylvania $10.23

* Texas $9.00

As with any self-employment, your success depends entirely on your creativity, reliability and marketing skills. There are online courses you can take to teach you the skills you need to plan the perfect wedding for your clients. Some of those courses will lead to certification as a Wedding Planner, which will give you more credibility with your clients and improve your professional standing with your colleagues.

Getting Started

What a professional Wedding Planner actually does is take on the details and responsibility of the event, relieving the bride and groom and their families, from the stresses involved. In turn, this allows them to enjoy the preliminary wedding events, like bridal showers and picking a honeymoon location.

There are lots of details you, as a Wedding Planner, need to know to keep things running smoothly and within the budget available. You will have to have a set of resources you can tap into to get the best service at the best prices, like reserving the church or chapel, catering the reception, ordering flowers, getting the wedding dress designed and ordered, selecting invitations and announcements, booking the music and hiring a professional photographer, among many other tasks.

It would probably be very good advice to start your career on small and somewhat inexpensive weddings. Giant extravaganzas can be very complex and time consuming to the most experienced Wedding Planner and you would be well-advised to start smaller and work up.

Some of the following tips should help you get started on planning a smaller wedding that will save money on several of the more expensive features of normal weddings. The bride’s father will love you for it.

The Wedding Gown

* The wedding gown can be expensive enough to break any budget. You can offer your client several options that are affordable and will still make the bride look like an angel as she floats down the aisle.

Renting a gown is becoming more popular every day. Think about it. The bride is going to wear it once and it was probably worn once before she rented it. It also avoids the storage problem for 20 years if the bride will not be saving it for her firstborn child to wear at her own wedding.

* If a member of the bride’s family is a good seamstress, suggest that she ask the family member to make the dress. Providing all the material and even paying the family member for the service will more than likely be less expensive than buying one from a bridal store.

* Another way would be for the bride to wear her mother’s wedding gown, if she saved it. You might want to check it carefully for any deterioration before the bride commits to wearing it. The mother is probably from a generation that thought saving her wedding gown was an obligation of the marriage and believed for several decades that her daughter would wear it at her own wedding.

The Reception

Another budget-buster is the reception, but some planning with a true reality check can reduce your client’s expenditures here.

* Think smaller. Talk to your clients about how they can downsize the guest list. When the excitement of the coming event takes over, your clients and their parents will many times have a very long list of people to invite to the wedding and the reception after.

Many of the parents’ visions of the reception can resemble an extravaganza with hundreds of guests, munching caviar and drinking champagne all night long in a huge ballroom. If their budget will not cover the considerable expenses involved in their dream reception, your skills as the Wedding Planner will be well served here.

To start with, keeping the guest list small and only inviting close family and friends will save money and still provide the dream celebration your clients want. If your client hasn’t had a close relationship with college friends or neighbors from four moves back, don’t put them on the list.

Instead of renting the largest hall or club banquet room in your town for the reception, you have a couple of inexpensive options that might appeal to your clients:

* Check out restaurants in the area. Some have banquet rooms that they will either rent out or provide free if you use their services for the sit-down meal or the buffet.

* Consider suggesting that your clients hold the reception at their home. The party does not have to include a full meal. Catered hors d’oeuvres and a champagne fountain will set the festive mood your clients want.

* Weddings held in gardens or other natural settings are very popular and beautiful. There’s minimal decoration needed and the only expense might be for the minister, rabbi or Justice of the Peace.

* Not having a full bar will save a lot of money, regardless of where the reception is held. The champagne fountain mentioned above can also be combined with beer or wine if the clients want to provide additional libations for their guests.

The Photography

The formal wedding service requires a professional photographer who will create a beautiful album to record the special day and preserve the memories to relive as they wish. If you create a relationship with several photographers as you build your career, you will know which one to hire for your client’s purposes.

The rest of the celebration can be recorded by all their friends and relatives with a digital camera in their pockets. Some clients put disposable cameras on tables for anyone to use. Have a decorated basket nearby and visible to give your guests a place to leave the cameras when they go home.

The Wedding Invitations

Newly engaged couples can go way overboard on their wedding invitations and your task, as their Wedding Planner, is to suggest ways for them to save money on this expensive item.

Those engraved invitations with the ribbon attached or the edges cut into curvy designs are expensive. The same effect can be achieved with a good card stock and one of those edge cutters used for scrapbooking. The necessary items can be found in any good craft store and some stationary stores. They come with matching envelopes, too. The actual text can easily be printed with a good inkjet or laser printer.

One way to make homemade invitations special and very personal is to order stamps from the US Post Office with the couple’s engagement picture on them.

Consider suggesting that your client include making her own thank you notes and, even the place cards, if you are including a sit-down reception for their wedding. Once again, a good laser or inkjet printer can do the fancy fonts and include a picture of the couple to make them personal. The thank you notes would stand out if they were sent with a wedding picture on the stamps.

The Flowers

It is not necessary to buy fancy floral arrangements and pay for the floral designer’s time and expertise. Simple flowers arranged beautifully in clusters or cascades can be created by either the bride’s family or a crafty friend. They can be delivered to the church by you or by friends.

If you are building your business, create some relationships with flower vendors and provide that service to your clients. They will be delighted at the savings and the vendors will love you for the business.

Depending on the time of the year, the flowers can be picked from the bride’s own backyard or from a friend’s yard. A few inexpensive vases, some ribbon and both the wedding and the reception will be beautifully decorated while not breaking the family’s budget.

A few flower arrangements can attractively set off a buffet table or on the tables at a sit-down dinner. Think about several weddings you have attended as a guest. How many flower arrangements do you really remember? During the entire wedding ritual, most of the guests were focused on the bride and groom; weren’t they?

A simple floral bouquet can be easily arranged from flowers out of a garden with the stems wrapped in a ribbon that complements or matches the bride’s gown. When you toss the bridal bouquet before you leave the reception, you will be tossing out a truly personal memento of your wedding and not one that was exorbitantly priced.

Any flowers left over can be scattered in the bride’s hair to make her even more beautiful as she walks down the aisle.

The Wedding Cake

There’s lots of tradition around the wedding cake, including saving a piece to be eaten on the first anniversary of the wedding. The top layer of the cake is normally put aside before the cake is cut and frozen to preserve it. Some bakers have been making a top layer that is a light fruitcake. It freezes well and thaws better a year later.

Wedding cake history can be traced as far back at the Roman Empire and the traditions have gone through so many changes between now and then that there is no comparison.

Today’s “traditional” wedding cake practices can be anything the couple wants them to be. Some have abandoned the white wedding cake and substituted frosting colors and decorations that reflect the bride’s choice of décor or the color of the bridesmaid dresses.

The multi-tiered cake is not an obligation and can be a heavy drain on a limited budget. Friends can make the cake for the reception or something else can replace the cake entirely, like a wedding cake made of frosted cupcakes stacked in layers. The cupcake wedding cake is becoming very popular, not only for economy, but for it’s novelty and the range of cupcake flavors that can be offered.

As the Wedding Planner, you will need to have a list of different and affordable wedding cakes to give the couple choices. If no one in the family or set of friends can make the wedding cake, you will also need a list of economical bakeries.

Lists – How To Plan A Small Wedding

When you first begin to work as a Wedding Planner, you will be buried in details that can only be managed if you know how to make ordered lists. Over time, you will probably create your own templates on your computer and be able to print out a complete set of templates whenever you book a new wedding.

Your templates will be your “spare brain” and will keep you informed of what needs to be done and when, along with favored vendors, the services they provide and what their fees are.

Your templates should include the following information:

* A reasonable timeline for all activities concerning the wedding from start to finish. That should include preliminary details, like scheduling the bride’s appointments for fittings, reserving the banquet room or restaurant for the reception, booking the chapel and anything else that needs advance scheduling.

Waiting too long may require rescheduling that might interfere with the travel arrangements made by the out-of-town guests or make finding a caterer difficult, to name only a couple of serious possible problems.

* After your templates are printed and initially filled out, you need to make a preliminary wedding budget and include the fees for your services. As the director of this event, you will be spending the money and have a responsibility to provide records when requested.

* The actual wedding ceremony should be painstakingly detailed to ensure that all aspects are taken care of in advance. Leave nothing to the last minute.

o Have the bride and groom choose their wedding date as soon as possible. Everything needed to be in place for that date has to be scheduled and confirmed before any other plan can be completed.

o Decide upon the wedding site, church, chapel, garden, park, etc. Make that decision specific. Get the details of the church or chapel, the address of the garden and the phone number of the relative or friend who owns it or permission of the agency controlling the park.

o Book and confirm the minister, rabbi or Justice of the Peace who will be performing the wedding ceremony.

o Start selecting the music with the couple for the actual ceremony. Include the music for the reception and book who will be providing it…disk jockey, small band, etc.

o Send the couple to get the marriage license. For their book of memories, see if a friend or family member will take a few photos of this necessity.

One thing you might consider is using your own digital camera and recording most of the less dramatic events of preparing for the wedding, like getting the marriage certificate, making or addressing the invitations, trying on wedding dresses.

A CD or DVD given to the couple after they return from their honeymoon will serve two important purposes.

1. They will have something to remember all that went into the ceremony that will not be included in the normal wedding album.

2. When they share the CD or DVD with their friends, some of whom might be contemplating their own wedding, your name and contact details will be prominent.

Referrals are what will build your business. Subliminal ads, like on the CD or DVD label and at the beginning and end of the photos might bring you some business. At the very least, your unexpected gift after the excitement that goes with any wedding, will be remembered by the bride and groom.

The wedding ceremony rehearsal needs to be scheduled as soon as possible. It normally takes place a night or two before the actual ceremony (after work) and can be easily forgotten in the rush of last minute details. Additionally, the church or chapel might be previously booked by another wedding party.

Some have a small dinner party in a restaurant after the rehearsal. If your couple is planning one with their bridesmaids and groomsmen, make the reservations as soon as possible and confirm a few days before the rehearsal.

Make sure that everyone knows who will be in the wedding processional and the recessional and what to do. Practice it with the actual music, if possible, so it looks graceful during the actual event. Never forget that you are creating life-long memories for the couple.

The wedding reception has its own set of details to schedule and set in motion.

1. You need to determine the time of day for the reception. Be sure to allow enough time for the photographer to take the album photos after the ceremony and for the newly married couple to travel from the church to the reception.

2. Make sure the place for the reception is set up, decorated and stocked. It would be a wise decision to check with the restaurant or hall about a week before the wedding to check details and to discuss any changes in the menu or times with the manager. A phone call the day before the event wouldn’t be a bad idea.

3. Normal wedding reception activities need to be scheduled and coordinated so they feel like a natural progression before the couple leaves the reception.

Those activities can include the receiving line, the first dance, cake cutting, tossing the bouquet, speeches and toasting from the best man, parents or friends.

How To Find A Job In The Wedding Industry

There’s over a dozen different industries that might be interested in hiring Wedding Planners or consultants, if you were interested in working with companies.

Resorts in popular vacation spots are becoming sites for destination weddings and would have the need for a Wedding Planner. This would be a way to work and enjoy all the amenities available in some of the world’s most beautiful spots.

Hotels almost anywhere, even in your current location, are always sites for weddings or receptions in their banquet rooms and many might need a Wedding Planner or Event Coordinator to keep their wedding parties from becoming a disaster.

Churches and synagogues might be on the lookout for someone to handle the weddings being scheduled at their churches and temples. Distributing a well-designed flyer at each facility might get you referrals, if not an actual job. Make sure to include some business cards with the flyers.

Finally, do not forget to leave your business cards with local bridal shops, caterers and florists. These businesses handle some aspect of the wedding preparations every day. They would be good reciprocal referrals for your services. If you, in return, used their services in the wedding planning, it would be a Win-Win situation for all involved.

The Internet Offers Customizable Fashion and Accessories

Those of us with particular tastes may have a hard time finding the type of things we like in the mega-stores that have taken over. It can be difficult for a small niche store to generate enough business even in the largest of cities, especially when those small businesses are producing items like handbags and diaper bags that are typically kept safe and treasured more often than they are worn out or even with daily use.

The advent of the Internet has changed the game for people who have something artistic, beautiful, or unique to offer to the world of fashion and accessories, allowing them to offer their products to people all over the world from the comfort of their homes. This ability to produce from home without the need to maintain an expensive storefront has allowed some of the quirkier and more unique designers to form their own customer base online, and helps place some wonderfully creative things on the market.

Buying a personally designed and handcrafted purse or handbag online is a dream come true for some people, and allows you to show off your personal style in public with something that is simply not for sale at the store around the corner. Even better are those rare and wonderful designers who create a lovely style of handbag or a whole line of bags, and then let you customize the details for your own unique self.

Not all of us have the creative and technical ability that it takes to create a work of useful art that is both wearable and durable, but anyone can now have a purse or bag that reflects their own personal sense of style as well as their personality. At the best of these sites, choose from a handful of different designs and then customize your bag’s color and pattern design, straps, and accessories from a list carefully chosen by the designer.

Once you have designed your own bag, all you have to do is wait while it is lovingly and skillfully stitched together exactly the way you want it, crafted by hand and mailed to you as a one custom designed item. You will love the way that your handcrafted bag looks and the quality that will allow it to last and last, and since it is the perfect expression of your personal style, you will want to wear it for years to come!

Fashion and Accessories Home-Based Business

If fashion is what your language is, then you can be good at fashion and accessories making home-based business. The world is thrilled with the enhancement that fashionable items and artistic outputs can do. Life could be dull without fashionable clothes, creative beads and pieces, beautiful shoes, nice costume jewelries, and modern bags. Young and old individuals are more open-minded in carrying what’s in. Women have become trendier while men have started to dress for the day-with or without occasion.

To start a fashion and accessories business, you must be aware of latest trends in dress and apparels. Be aware that your competitors are malls and shops that are mushrooming everywhere but be challenged to provide what they cannot which is house-to-house transaction. Your clients need not spend money for gasoline just to travel to the shops to get a new pair of accessories or dress. There are two options you can choose in venturing into fashion and accessories business. First is that you can get good deals from wholesalers and producers of signature and non-signed brands that are sellable. Second is that you can create your own line of jewelries, accessories, bags, shoes and watches. Whatever products you will be specializing on, you must zero it down to establish a more specific identity as a company.

If you will be creating your original clothing pieces and costume jewelries, you must be largely creative in terms of fashion and jewelry designing. This could be a greater challenge and test as to what extent you are capable for producing. You might need extra hand to create multiple products to suffice multiple orders. Always be ready to set reasonable prices for your customers.

Ballroom Dance Clothing and Shoes

Dressing for ballroom dance is a lot like getting ready for the prom. You have to find the perfect dress (or suit and tux if you’re a guy), perfect shoes, and coordinate your hair and makeup for a complete look. However, getting ready for an evening of ballroom dance is slightly more complex than dressing for the prom. While the concept is the same, a lot of factors need to be taken into consideration when choosing ballroom dance clothing and shoes.

First of all, there is really no set dress code for ballroom dancing, which leaves you with the freedom to choose your attire to your comfort and practicality. Whether you are dancing a slow dance such as the waltz or an upbeat dance like the jive, you need to choose attire that you can move easily in and won’t get tangled up around your partner. For example, consider choosing a dress made of silk; it flows easily and doesn’t tangle.

Remember that although ballroom dancing is a formal and elite event, your dress doesn’t have to be covered in heavy sequins, jewels, or feathers. Choose a dress with a moderate amount of accents, as overbearing decorations can easily get in the way and cause discomfort to both you and your partner. Fashion is definitely an important factor, but not as important as your level of comfort while dancing.

Choosing shoes for ballroom dancing are just as important as choosing the dress. However, the shoes you wear largely depend on what type of dance you will be performing. There are special shoes for jazz dances, jive dances, swing dances, etc. Therefore, advance preparation is the key for choosing the right shoes. Most ballroom dance shoes are lightweight – heavy-soled shoes can greatly obstruct your dancing and leave you with extremely sore feet. The maximum height for ladies’ shoes is three inch heels, whereas men’s shoes are around one and a half inches.

Like choosing a dress, shoes for ballroom dancing should not be based on appearance alone. Again, you will have to jump, twirl, and kick in these shoes, so you need them to be comfortable and supportive of your feet. Most ballroom dance shoes are open-toed, although this may not be the best choice. This easily exposes your toes to be stepped on, so consider going with a close-toed shoe. If you find that the heel is too uncomfortable, you can purchase insoles designed specifically for women’s high heel shoes. The last thing you want to do is damage your feet, legs, or back because your shoes did not fit properly.

Finally, beware of shoes with tight back straps or are heavily decorated. This can cause undue rubbing on your feet, which in turn leads to nasty blisters. Shoes that are too busy could easily damage during dancing, so try to keep accents to a minimum when choosing your ballroom dance shoes.

Save on Kids Clothing and Shoes

Kids grow fast and that means they go through clothing sizes rather quickly. As adults, we can wear some of the same sizes year after year if we want, though not everyone does. You can’t get away with that with kids because the clothes simply won’t fit for more than a year or two at the most until they are well into their teen years. Some grow in height into the late teens. Kids clothing and shoes can be expensive, but there are ways to save on new and almost new items if you want to spend less, keep them in good items, and even keep them in the latest fashions.

Sales are the most common ways to save money on kids clothing and shoes. You don’t have to buy what you need right now to make good on sales. You can buy for the future. This can be hard, but you can try to guess what size your child will be next summer to take advantage of end of summer deals this year. If you find a good sale on shoes that your kids like, you can buy a few sizes so that they have them as they grow in shoe size. You have saved money, you know they like them, and you won’t have to rush out and pay full price when they suddenly need a bigger size or they wear out.

Some bargains on kids clothing and shoes are always bargains. It really depends on your tastes in clothing. You may not like to buy clothing from discount stores, but this is where the savings are for the smart shopper. You can buy them play clothes and shoes while getting good clothing from other sources if you wish. If you can get a pair of shorts and a t shirt for summer play time for under ten dollars, you are saving a lot on your clothing bill. It won’t matter if they are not of the best quality because they can be play clothes, will wear out anyway, and will not fit six months from now.

Gently used kids clothing and shoes are a great deal too. If you can find the right shop, or if you find the right set on an online auction, you can save quite a bit of money. Though there are some clothing and shoes that get ruined fast, some children grow so quickly that they barely wear a lot of the clothes they have. When this happens, these items are practically brand new and sold at great savings. People find great deals on amazing kids clothing selections this way, and even get items they could not otherwise afford for designer clothes.

Don’t dismiss hand-me-downs when it comes to kids clothing and shoes either. Shoes are harder to pass down, but some go unworn. If someone offers you clothes, see what they have to offer. Some people can go years without buying items because they have been offered so many great items from relatives and friends that have children just a year or two or a size bigger than their own. Some used items are no longer any good, but if you are offered some, it never hurts to look them over. You may be surprised at what you find.

Helpful Online Shopping Tips for Buying Cheap Designer Clothes and Shoes for Women

The ability to find cheap designer clothes for women is essential to those who want to look fashionable when they get dressed, not just because prices on authentic, name brand clothing are always expensive, but that buying affordable clothing allows shoppers to easily build a large wardrobe. Smart shoppers can get a lot of nice, authentic, name brand outfits, and the footwear to match simply by knowing where to look. Looking good does not have to be considered a luxury.

Know What It Really Means to Buy Discount Designer Clothes

It is not always easy to buy cheap designer clothes online because many shops sell cheap knockoffs instead of designer originals. Sales of low quality clothing should not be considered real discounts at all. This is because those who buy these cheaper items do not get the same benefit or enjoyment as they would from the real thing. Customers need to beware of online shops offering trendy women’s clothes for less. The real savings is when the prices of real brand name items are brought into a price range that is more affordable. That is what designer clothing liquidators are all about. Customers get to find cheap designer clothes for sale that are truly authentic and on the leading edge of fashion trends.

How to Find Cheap Designer Clothes Online That are Authentic

Many consumers do not have time to get out to a store and shop around for discount brand name clothing, which would make it easier for them to know the quality of the items before purchasing. Moreover, some local outlet stores lack the selection needed for customers to find those trendy, affordable dresses, jeans, shoes, or that perfect top they had in mind. It can be hard to catch sales at department stores, but having a trusted online resource for trendy women’s clothes can make staying in fashion an easy task. Shoppers are able to get clothing from all the best brands, including Coach, Michael Kors, BCBG, Armani, and several others at a steep discount. Best of all, placing an order is easy because of the ability to use PayPal.

Why Shop at Those Expensive Trendy Women’s Clothes Shops?

It is not always easy to find cheap designer clothes for juniors, or affordable maternity wear that is high quality. Many stores that specialize in selling trendy women’s clothing and shoes do not care about how burdensome their prices are, but there are some that do. Shoppers can learn how to always find low prices on new and like-new authentic brand name women’s clothes and shoes. All they need to do is find the right website. The best sites for buying designer clothing at a low price have a selection is updated on a regular basis, so there is always some great new clothing item to discover. Plus, these reliable stores offer lightning fast shipping and excellent customer service.

It is possible for those looking for a place where they can get discount shoes online to find a place where there is an enjoyable selection of quality merchandise available. Thanks to online stores that offer cheap designer shoes and clothes, shoppers can easily build a very nice wardrobe. Many of those who love to shop for discount designer clothes find such sites addictive, because getting cheap trendy clothes from real brand names is a thrill.