Friday, December 17, 2010

a "TIP" for you...

While tipping your wedding vendors is not mandatory, I personally feel that it is humane to reward someone for a service well done by money in addition to a simple thank-you card! With so many tipping myths around, how do you decide the right dollar figure?  Here are some “tips” that can help you out!
Wait staff: Most reception sites add gratuity fee to your bottom line.  In such cases, you are not obligated to tip the staff on the day of your event.  If however, you opt for a sit-down/ family style meal plan vs. a buffet, then you should tip the wait staff just as you would at a restaurant.  15% typically of your total catering bill is a good amount. 
Hair/Make-up Artist: 15-20%
Valet staff: $1.00 per car [if the guest count is really high, you can consider $.75 per car.  Similar calculation applies for restroom / coat-room attendants
Officiant: $50-$100
DJ:  75-$150.00 is recommended and yes, you should tip the DJ even if he owns the company!
Limo Driver: 15% is a good amount and most of the time this is already added onto your final bill, so don’t hesitate to check your contract again.
Horse for Baraat: 10%
Wedding Planner: 10% of their total bill
Here are other tips for you:
  • Always plan and prepare ahead:  Pre-label and place the tips into security envelopes per vendor.  Then give these to either your Maid-of-Honor or the Best Man to distribute at the end of the night to distribute. 
  • Tips are always in Cash
  • If you have an outside caterer, ask them before hand the tip they recommend for their services

Monday, December 6, 2010

Everything is fair in Love n' War [Fun games/ traditions]

Indian weddings are known around the world for their elaborate and flamboyant celebrations, the colorful outfits, jewelry, enormous guest list and groom’s procession on the horse or an elephant.  While these notions remain, I thought it would be a great idea to also share some insight on the fun games/ traditions we may witness at a South Asian wedding.  So here they are:
Shoe-Stealing: As soon as the groom enters the ceremony site, the bride's cousins and siblings attempt to steal the groom’s shoes and hide them.  The only way for the groom to have it back is to “buy them back” from the bride’s family.  There is a great deal of tussle between the Grooms men and the Bridesmaids.  Sometimes, family members also get involved to make sure the opposing team losses the game.  This tradition is a perfect example of excellent planning, team work and in the end leaves everyone laughing.
Varmala [Garland Exchange]: After the groom is welcomed by the bridal party, the bride joins them at the entrance to exchange the garland with the groom.  As the bride approaches the groom, his family pulls him away or raises him from the ground so that the bride has to hop or sometimes be lifted too by her family to get the garland on him!  This is usually to tease the bride and groom and make them feel more relaxed.  This ceremony is ends with a winner –so who would that be at your wedding? You or your groom?
Musical Chairs:  Immediately after the last phera, the bride and groom have to rush to their seat. The first one to make it back to the chair is believed to rule the house!  During this time, the guests and family members surround the Mandap supporting either the bride or the groom. 
 Sangeet Parties: This is a great pre-wedding tradition occasionally held in Punjabi families.  This is an evening dedicated to lovers, music, dance and a great way to break the ice between the families on both sides of the families together.  The guests sing songs describing the couple’s love story, their future and mostly tease them.  This happens to be my favorite tradition.  

So the next time you are wondering how to keep your guests entertained, try one of these traditions and you will not only keep your guests amused, but also make them smile and laugh throughout the day.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

What Is Your Style

Don’t get carried away by the title, I wasn’t hinting towards Prada or Gucci; I mean What is your preferred style of photography? With thousands of photographers and techniques available in market today, how do you know what style reflects you best as a couple?  Which photography techniques will give you “The Kodak Moments” that you have been planning for?  To help you decide and choose your photographer, here are the most popular photography techniques used today:
Photojournalistic Approach - Easiest way to describe it would be, real memories of real moments captured without the posing, stress, and orchestration of “say-cheese”... This approach allows the photographer to take a back-seat to directing a shoot and gives you more room and liberty to be yourself!  This technique interpretes pictures in a story format.  I highly recommend this for couple(s) who may be camera shy.  
Fashion and Glamour Photography - Now this happens to be my favorite! Especially when you spend all this time customizing every little detail from your day, why not capture them in photos- the couture outfits, jewelry, shoes, tux, makeup/ hair – the whole nine yards! And with Glamour – the focus is on you! so pose as if no one is watching, bring out the vogue in you on your wedding day
Candid Approach - Photography that focuses more on spontaneity rather than a staged photo shoot.  Photographers enjoy shooting this approach more than portraits/ traditional shoots.  Simply put, these Images are what photographer captured, not created
Traditional Approach - this approach is a 360 t.urn from the photojournalistic approach.  This is also a good technique to use when you want to capture some family portraits- after all- wedding can’t be just about you two! Who’ll give the over-dramatic aunty the attention she deserves? This technique will.  The photographer is mostly in control of the shot.
So the next time you visit a photographer, audit their albums, what kind of technique do you see them use the most?  What technique do you relate to the best and what technique suits your personalities the most.  Once you have your style! Just remember to relax, smile and enjoy your photo-shoots- by the way, it helps if the photographer is energetic, funny and makes you feel at ease…

Monday, November 1, 2010

Wedding Day Survival Kit

Preparing a "day of kit" can leave you puzzled and packing inadvertently.  Don't feel embarrased as you are not the only one! Packing for a vacation is a walk in the park compared to the "Wedding Day Survival Kit", at least during vacation if I forget something, I can just do without or go to the hotel gift-shop and pick it up! But what would you do, if you need something just minutes before your ceremony or the reception ? So how can we get you packed and "in-control", for your speacial day ?  By following these simple tips, that's how!

Other Items                        Got Money?                   Hair & Make-up Accessories
Gift for Hubby                   Limo Driver                   Bobby Pins   
Phone numbers               Hairstylist                      Hair Spray 
Vendors & Bridal Party  DJ/ Band                        Blotting Paper
 Sexy Lingere                                                             Makeup Remover

First Aid Supplies           Seamstress Kit                 Personal Hygiene Kit
Aspirin                              Safety Pins                       Toothpaste & Brush
Assorted Bandages         Sewing Kit                        Floss & Mouthwash
Antacid                             Scissors                            Deodorant & Perfume