Monday, January 7, 2013

WOW- We Are Engaged - What's Next !!!!


Announce your intention to marry to  BOTH  sets of parents. Arrange to have them meet if they haven't already.

Determine type (formal, semi-formal, informal), style and theme of the wedding.

Make a list of what is important to you for your wedding; this will help you determine your budget. 

 Sit down with your fiance and ALL parents and discuss the wedding budget, and who will pay for what.

Get or make a wedding organizer (a 3 ring binder with pockets works great). Use it to store all your information, contracts, ideas, photos, etc.

Speak with your clergy/officiant and review synagogue/church requirements.
Come up with 2 or 3 possible wedding dates and start looking for ceremony and reception venues. If a venue you like is available on one of your chosen dates, book it immediately; many venues will often be booked up to 2 years in advance, so have several choices in mind beforehand in case they are already booked.

If you are using one, start looking for and book a wedding consultant.


               Start looking for and interviewing all the remaining vendors:
               Caterer (if needed)
               Officiant (if needed)

If any vendor you like is available on your date and is within your budget, book them IMMEDIATELY! Like reception and ceremony venues, many of these vendors can be booked up to a year in advance.
 Together with your parents, begin compiling your preliminary guest list. You can always narrow down this list to fit within your size requirements and budget limitations at a late date.
Start getting ideas by looking through bridal magazines, going to Bridal Fairs and doing research on the internet.

Finalize your wedding colors, theme and style.
Select your attendants (bridesmaids, groomsmen, ushers, flower girl and ring bear) and ask them to honor you by being in your wedding. Make sure they are aware of what their "duties" are.

Choose and purchase your wedding rings.
Begin looking at honeymoon options. Discuss where you both would like to go, and if needed visit a travel agent.

Start looking for a wedding gown, veil, accessories and your attendants attire.


Start planning ceremony and reception music choices. 
 If you haven't already finalize and purchase your wedding gown, veil, and accessories.
 If you are having a prenuptial agreement, take care of that now.
 Finalize attire for attendants.
 Start pre-marriage counceling (if required)
 Start looking at invitations.
  Sign up for your gift registry
  Send save-the-date cards/newsletter


 Work with your florist and finalize your arrangements.
 Place wedding announcement in local newspaper
 Order wedding stationary (invitations, envelopes, programs, etc.)
 Start shopping for bridal party tuxedos
 Book limo/transportation
 Start planning the wedding decorations
 Arrange accommadations for out of town guests (book blocks of hotel rooms)
 Select wedding cake (and Groom's cake if you are having one)
 Start making arrangement for rehearsal and rehearsal dinner
 Book calligrapher
 Decide on wedding favors
 If you decided not to use a Wedding Coordinator, consider asking a close friend not in the wedding party to be your Wedding Coordinator/Personal Assistant.


 Order your wedding cake and groom's cake
 Meet with your officiant to discuss details of the ceremony
  Finalize the guest list
  Reconfirm the rehearsal dinner plans
  Buy the cake knife, guest book, toasting glasses and garter
  Choose gifts for your attendants, parents, helpers.
  Have the male members of the wedding party, including fathers, fitted for tuxedos.
   Reconfirm honeymoon arrangements.
    Start writing your wedding vows, if you are doing them yourself.
   Start addressing the invitations (or drop them off with calligrapher)

Send out invitations
Schedule a hair and make up consultation to do a trial run.
Start making/buying wedding favors
Obtain wedding license
Schedule your first wedding dress fitting.
Write thank you notes for any gifts that may start arriving.
If you are having one, begin putting together your ceremony program.
Meet with vendors (caterer, florists, etc.) to finalize arrangements.
If you are changing your name, complete the proper documents

Finalize music selections for the ceremony and reception and turn them in to the DJ/Band/etc.
Have formal wedding portrait taken.            
Meet with your officiant to finalize ceremony details.
Reserve room for wedding night.


Confirm honeymoon your reservations. Meet with photographer and/or videographer to discuss last minute details.
Start working on the reception seating chart.
Have final wedding gown fitting.
Arrange for a reception babysitter, if needed. 
Finish (and print) the wedding program. 
 Finalize wedding vows 
 Confirm all final payment amounts with your vendors as well as date, time, etc.
 Pick up marriage license.


 Finalize reception seating chart.
 Confirm delivery time and locations with florist.
 Contact any guests who did not respond to the invitation.


Pick up wedding gown, attendants' gowns and all accessories.
Give final guest count to reception venue/caterer.
Reconfirm everything with vendors one last time.
Make sure men get their final fitting for their tuxedos.


Attend rehearsal.
Attend rehearsal dinner. Give attendants their gifts.
Have a manicure and/or a pedicure.
Put together the tip envelopes (for the vendors) and give them to the designated "tip person" (generally the best man).
Confirm wedding day transportation.
Reconfirm hair and make up appointments.
If you have access to the ceremony and/or reception venues, bring everything over there that you may need (decorations, guest book, etc). 
 Layout everything you need for the next day in a safe place (marriage license, dress, shoes, etc.).
Speak with everyone in the wedding party and make sure everyone knows where to be at what time.
Try to go to bed early and get some sleep.


Eat breakfast, even if you think you aren't hungry.
Share a private moment with your fiance.
Have your hair and makeup done.
Give the best man the groom's ring.
 Begin dressing two hours before ceremony is scheduled to begin.
 Spend a quiet moment looking at yourself in the mirror before you walk down the aisle.

Friday, January 4, 2013

"Budget Bride"

A ruthless discussion of the term ‘Budget Bride’ and wedding decision making 

by:Andy Ebon
The Wedding Marketing

I only have $500. Will you take it?
A couple of days ago, I posted an item about the differences between money (price), value, budget and result. It generated lots of traffic, a comment or two, and plenty of direct email.

It also caused me to consider the phrase, ‘budget bride.’ Along with DIY Bride, these are two of the most annoying and poorly used descriptors in the wedding industry. To a great degree, I lay that at the feet of my friends in mass media for the wedding industry. Mass media tends to be a popularization tool as much as an information source. If you repeat a phrase, such as ‘budget bride,’ often enough, it becomes part of the wedding lexicon, for better for worse.

The problem with these phrases is they paint the bride’s resources with the grayest of brush strokes. So, at the risk of being more precise, I’ll break it down from my experience.
  • DIY Bride: (Budget: under $5000) Someone who probably doesn’t have the resources to get married just yet and is likely to turn most of her wedding into an Arts and Crafts project.
  • Low Budget Bride (Budget: $5000 – $14,999) Has the resources, but will have to make some tough decisions on the reception. The big conundrum is whether to economize across the board or cut in specific areas, and not others.
  • Statistically Average Bride: (Budget: $15,000 – $34,999) Has the resources to do a nice job on the reception. Her biggest decision should be ‘How many guests can we invite to have a nice reception?’
  • High Budget Bride (Budget: $35,000 – $60,000): Has more than enough money to do great things. Her biggest challenge is not to make bad choices among wedding vendors, irrespective of money.
  • Luxury Bride (Budget: more than $60,000): Daddio has wads of cash and she wants to be awash in greenbacks. Not all brides in this financial category are Bridezillas, but the risk and tendency is greater than in any of the lower tiers. Bridezillas almost always make bad decisions. It’s in their DNA.
A budget is not:
  • … is not throwing a dart at a target.
  • … budget is not the total amount in the parent’s bank account or your bank account.
  • … budget is not what one or more girlfriends spent on their wedding.
  • … is not necessarily what you see on Platinum Weddings or Get Married TV (those are inspirations)
A budget is:
  • A study of the range of what wedding products and services cost in your area, balanced against your tastes, inspirations and fantasies.
  • Factored by the number of guests you choose to invite.
A line budget item is not:
  • “I only have $750 left for videography. Will you take that?”
  • “Oh, my third cousin, Oscar, is going to take the photos.”
A budget is:
  • $1 Million
  • $50,000
  • $25,000
  • $7,500
  • $3,000
Budget does not necessarily mean low budget. A budget can be…
  • A specific dollar amount or less
  • A specific dollar amount or more
  • A range from $X to $Y (this is the preferred budget)
  • Money is no object (must be the truth)
The Wedding Report publishes ongoing data about spending in the wedding industry. It consistently reports that brides spend close to 50% more than they had budgeted for the wedding, with an average wedding expense running  just under $30,000. This shows a major discrepancy between the original money allotted, from reality of their desires.

I would assert the reason for this is that their original money allotment was not a budget at all. It was dart throwing at a bank book.

Here’s the challenge from every wedding professional, wedding media outlet, and industry trade association:
  • Clearly delineate what it means to be a professional in your category of the wedding industry, from the standpoint of ‘benefits to the bride.’
  • Explain the relationship (if any) of your business category to others. Such as the interactions between entertainer, photographer, videographer and caterer/venue. Or flowers and cake.
  • Explain the Truth or Consequences and effect of making a sub-standard choice.
The naked truth about satisfaction vs. money spent: When a wedding day is over, either the bride and groom are happy with a particular product or service or they are not. A vendor is not wearing a price tag around their neck. There is not a dollar cost at your place card, showing the price of each dinner. There is not a little flag in your slice of cake, showing its cost plus a cake cutting fee.

In retrospect, most wedding couples can point out decisions they made, that were off-the-mark. There are hundreds of decisions, big and small, involved in a wedding. Amazingly enough, it only takes one or two really bad decisions to create an unhappy outcome. And, amazingly enough, a really bad decision is often not related to money.

It would be outstanding if all wedding industry professionals would embrace educating the bride to realistic and exciting expectations, rather than than just fanning the flames of fairy tale dreams. It is true that if the wedding budget is spent disproportionately, bad things usually happen.

A bride with $12,000 to spend, should be able to experience as much happiness on her wedding day as one with $50,000. But that supposes she has enough information, common sense, and critical thinking to make consistently good decisions, and then does so.

Come to think of it, that’s a pretty good operational mission statement for the wedding industry.
Don’t you agree?
Andy Ebon
The Wedding Marketing

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Wedding Insurance 101


Not just for bad weather (but that may be covered), this protects your deposits, attire, photographs and much more.

An Event insurance Policy is designed to protect you from financial loss in the event one of the major elements of your wedding covered under the policy is lost or damaged prior to your event, to reimburse you for a deposit made to a vendor who goes out of business before performing contracted services and to cover rescheduling costs if your wedding must be cancelled or postponed due to various circumstances beyond your control. Wedding insurance includes specific coverage for your wedding photography and video, special attire and attendant clothing, special jewelry and gifts, and will respond for a cancellation or postponement resulting from causes ranging from such common concerns as adverse weather and illness to lesser thought of events such as unemployment, damage to your venue, withdrawal of military leave and, in many cases, terrorist acts.

Whatever your situation, there is an event insurance coverage level that is suitable for your needs.

What is covered?

Weather - If the policy is purchased more than 14 days before the wedding and adverse weather prevents the celebration from taking place or a majority of your guests from attending, the costs of rescheduling the event are covered. Be aware that dark skies and light rainfall alone won't qualify as reason enough to cancel your wedding.
Key People - If people crucial to the wedding are unable to attend due to illness or injury, the cost of postponing the event is covered. This also holds true if the officiant fails to appear on your wedding day.
Military - If the wedding must be postponed due to the bride or groom in the military having their leave withdrawn.
Photographs & Video - If your photographer fails to show, if the film used for your photos is defective, or if the negatives are lost, destroyed, or improperly developed, this coverage allows you to reunite the wedding party for a re-shoot to capture your wedding memories.
Special Event Gifts - This coverage is designed to protect you against the theft, damage or loss of your special event gifts.
Special Attire - If your special event attire or one of your attendants is lost or damaged, this coverage will provide for repair or replacement.
Special jewelry - This coverage is designed to replace special event jewelry that is lost or stolen prior to your wedding day.
Loss of Deposits - If one of your vendors goes bankrupt or ceases doing business, this coverage will respond to reimburse you for any deposits you may lose as a result.

For more information visit

Pablo Vazquez, PBC
Bisli Event Services

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Bryan K. Osburn Fashion Designer at The NY Wedding Affair Bridal Show

Our Fashion show will feature our specialty Designer Bryan K. Osburn Collections.   Bryan K. Osburn Collections combines hand selected bridal gowns from Chicago.  

 Our runway show with detailed information on how you can purchase the gowns featured.  Book your appointment after the fashion show with our Designer Bryan K. Osburn.

Bridal Designer, Evening wear, Cocktail Dresses, Prom, Custom Made Designer, Couture Fashion


Designer Bryan K. Osburn started his fashion career in his hometown of Chicago, Illinois in 1985. Realizing his passion for bridal and evening wear, Bryan made the decision to move to the fashion capital of the world, New York City. His gifted hands and luxurious designs landed him his first job on 7th Avenue in the bridal district with Vera Wang. He worked with Vera Wang as a designer in 1987 for 2 years. After making the decision to leave Vera Wang, Bryan took his expertise to other bridal designers such as: Galina, Jim Hjelm, Lazaro and Alvina Valenta.

In 1993 Bryan decided to go out on his own and design under the name Bryan K. Osburn Collection. He sold bridal gowns to high end specialty boutiques throughout New York City, made custom designs for private clientele and later moved into designing for celebrities like Miss America (1994) Kenya Moore, Natalie Cole, Phyliss Hyman, Patti LaBelle, Diana Ross, Opera singer Kathleen Battle, Actresses Sheri Headley, (Coming to America) Valerie Pittford (Half and Half) and Erica Alexander (The Cosby Show).

In 2000 Bryan moved to Province, France where he spent a year and a half designing and participating in fashion shows for international interior designer Paul Mathieu. His time in France expanded his inspiration and he returned to New York City where he decided to move to Charlotte, North Carolina to experience southern culture.

While living in Charlotte, Bryan became the in house designer for various bridal boutiques throughout the metro. Soon after he decided that he wanted to work with private clients and create custom gowns. He designed for eight years in Charlotte and in 2008 he made the decision to move back to the city of Chicago where he started his career.

With 25 years of custom design experience Bryan is back in Chicago doing what he loves, designing custom made bridal and evening wear. Returning to Chicago has reignited his love affair with the people and places that originally inspired his dreams of becoming a designer. His current and past collections can be found at the boutique Borrow A Dress Couture.