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Budget Guides

Got debt?

If you’re getting married, there’s a good chance you might. More than half of brides-to-be plan on using a credit card to help pay for their wedding, according to the Brides.com 2009 American Wedding Study.

But racking up credit-card debt is not the way to start your marriage. Here are five tips from Billshrink.com, Redwood City, Calif., on how to save with your credit card:

1. Avoid paying only the minimum when the bill comes. If you go this route, you’ll end up paying 2-3 times the amount (or more) for the purchases in question.

2. Take advantage of zero-percent interest balance transfer offers to combat higher interest cards, but be savvy about it. Avoid offers with high transfer fees that have no max limit.

3. Combating credit-card debt? Always pay the highest rate card first. Every dollar you put toward a high-rate debt will be a major help in the long run.

4. Even if you’re the type to pay off a credit card every month, to create a goodcredit score, paying on time isn’t all you need to worry about. You have to keep old cards active to show your creditworthiness over time while making sure you don’t charge to your limit each month either.

5. If you get those cards for 15 percent off at point of purchase and think not activating the card means it wont count - you’re wrong. Failing to dial in for activation won’t keep it from showing up in your credit score.

Are you using credit cards to pay for wedding expenses? What are you doing to keep your charges under control?

  2:15 pm, by bridesclubComments


The decision to hire a videographer is one area couples fret over

In a financial climate where most people are pinching pennies, it comes as no surprise that many engaged couples seek ways to cut costs with regard to their weddings. Some couples are undecided whether certain components of their wedding are necessary. The decision to hire a videographer is one such area couples fret over. After all, with a photographer snapping hundreds of pictures, having a video may seem like an unnecessary luxury. However, people often find that having a wedding video to cherish long after the day has passed is well worth the price.

There are several advantages to hiring a professional videographer to capture the day. A professionally produced wedding video is not the same as Uncle Fred carrying around his archaic camcorder and catching a few embarrassing dance moves during the reception. A professional video will showcase all moments of the wedding from perspectives not easily captured by photography. In addition to showcasing the images of the wedding, the video will also share the sounds and emotions of the day. Here are some things to think about.

* Choose a videographer who will work in conjunction with the wedding mood and parameters. You probably don’t want a videographer who uses bright lights that can be distracting. Nor do you want a videographer who pushes the camera in guests’ faces for a less-than-candid interview. Today’s professionals are inconspicuous and simply record the events as they unfold.

* The videographer often works in tandem with the photographer. Some photographers have a videographer on staff. But it is fine to bring in your own if you like the quality of the photographer’s photos but not the videographer’s work.

* A videographer will capture the things you may have missed during the busy day. He or she can serve as the eyes and ears for the things you’re not seeing and hearing.

* Although ours is an increasingly digital world where people capture photos and videos on their smartphones and other devices on a regular basis, a wedding video can serve as a family memento. What other time, apart from the holidays, do you have all of your friends and loved ones together in one place?

* Although no one wants to think of a friend or relative passing away while planning their wedding, the fact remains that after a few years some of the people who attended your wedding may no longer be around. Having a wedding video may be the only last moving image and sound of a special person who is no longer in your life.

* Sound is a portion of the wedding that photos simply cannot capture. To relive the music and the words of the day, a videographer is a necessity. Professionals who use wireless microphones will produce a video with the best sound quality.

* You can work with a good videographer so it’s not simply a video with close-up shots of your face or unflattering perspectives. Talk about your preferences and even fears about being filmed (some people just don’t like watching themselves on TV), and the videographer can no doubt find solutions that will accommodate your needs.

* There are many things that you will not see at the wedding but may have liked to, such as the first gasps of wonder upon guests walking into the reception room, or the tears on the face of an aunt who was sitting too far back in the church pews. This is where a wedding video can prove invaluable.

* Modern videographers offer high-resolution, edited movies. These can be delivered via Blu Ray DVD and ensure the best quality for your package.

Although brides and grooms may be cutting costs with regard to their wedding, they may not want to pass on the wedding video.

  1:44 pm, by bridesclubComments


by Lauren Frankfort        

Allyson Levine of Bob Gail Events

Photo: Kim Fox

What do real brides have to say about the wedding planning experience? Well, it’s not all happy tears at the bridal boutique and indulgent cake tastings. Over the next two months, guest blogger and Weddington Way founder and CEO Ilana Stern will share the ins and outs of planning a California wedding, running a business, picking the perfect wedding planner, and customizing your dress.

I have my own business (Weddington Way, as you all know!), and I eat, breathe, and dream about my team, our customers, and all things fashion and wedding-related. Unfortunately, that barely leaves me any time to think about my own wedding! A month into our engagement, I was SO excited to marry Jeff and celebrate with our loved ones, but at the same time, I was a bit overwhelmed. It took a little time for me to warm up to the idea of hiring a wedding planner—after all, I run a wedding company—but in the end, I couldn’t be happier to have someone experienced guiding me through the process.

Once I was ready to hire a wedding planner, I started researching all of the wonderful people out there. I read some articles on how to interview potential wedding planners and got a great idea of what I was looking for. I put a lot of thought and energy into selecting the right professional to work with, weighing the pros and cons of each, and taking into account their costs (after all, every dollar counts). But when it really came down to it, I went with my gut. Deep down, something was telling me to work with my good friend, Miss Allyson Levine of Bob Gail Special Events.

Allyson and I met at Engage!, a really special bi-annual wedding industry conference that I attended a month after getting engaged. There are a number of reasons why Allyson and I are a great match. She is the perfect combination of competence, compassion, and style. She’s a straight shooter—a quality I always appreciate. I trust Allyson completely and I know that she will be honest and straightforward with me, but also super fun to work with. The best part? She’ll make sure that I keep my sanity in the process!

Another decision Jeff and I struggled with was picking a venue. It was one task we kept putting off (maybe for a bit too long!). The process seemed daunting—there are just so many venues out there to choose from. We finally decided to bite the bullet, sit down over a bottle of wine, and do some real thinking about the things we cared about most.

For me, it was very important to have my two grandmothers in attendance. This meant having the ceremony in my hometown of Los Angeles. We knew planning a wedding in a city we don’t live in would mean more work for us, but it was worth it knowing my grandmothers (both of whom I’m very close to) would be able to comfortably attend (at ages 87 and 98 traveling isn’t an option!).

We also knew we wanted a venue that was on or near the beach. I’ve always found the ocean to be really soothing, so having the Pacific in sight was a must. We also wanted to stay away from the traditional ballroom and go with something a little outside of the box. Lastly, since friends and family would be flying in from all over the world (New York, Peru, and even Dubai), we needed to be close to LAX to make things easier and more affordable for our guests.

Once we figured out our essentials, our options were naturally narrowed down to a more manageable number. This was when my decision to hire a wedding planner really paid off. Allyson knows the ins-and-outs of nearly every LA venue, so she was able to quickly help us navigate the locations that would work best for us.

When we walked into the last space on Allyson’s short list, Bel-Air Bay Club, something told us right away that we found the one. It was exactly what we were looking for: Right on the ocean, calm, peaceful, and full of natural light and running water. The ballroom was non-traditional with gorgeous panoramic windows overlooking the Pacific. The Spanish architecture was reminiscent of Stanford University, where Jeff and I met. It even had the perfect outdoor space where we could hold our ceremony with waves crashing in the background. We knew this place was right for us.

When sitting down to find your perfect venue, take the time to decide on three to five things that you and your fiancé consider essential before visiting any venues. This will narrow down your options and make the process more manageable. In the end, you’ll find that your heart will tell you which venue (and planner!) is right for you. I promise, you’ll know the place when you get there.

—Ilana Stern

  6:09 pm, by bridesclubComments


 

I’ve got such a great, fun trend to share with you today… marbleized details! This is such a cool trend that I think might stay around for quite some time. Marbleized wedding decor is a great option for all those artsy, modern, eclectic brides out there! I love how whimsical these details are. They are AWESOME on vases, linens, paper, and BRIDESMAID DRESSES! I love love love the idea of a marbleized bridesmaid dress! How fun and different is that?! Marbleized wedding details are great for a light, fresh spring or summer affair. So, if you are looking to add some unique, fun details, look no further… add some marble-inspired decor and you will have your guests talking about your wedding for years to come. 

  6:02 pm, by bridesclubComments


  1:13 pm, by bridesclubComments


23rd annual Hawaii Bridal Expo

Fun wedding planning made easy!

When preparing for the big day, there are so many options for a bride to arrange, organize and plan the wedding of her dreams. Some brides-to-be prefer hiring professional expensive help from wedding planners to inform them of their options.  Other Brides like to take the reigns of their special day and use the Internet, sites like Pinterests’ inspiration boards to create boards of imagination that give them ideas that are not attainable.

For a fun and practical real hands-on wedding planning experience, the Hawaii Bridal Expo has 200 real wedding professionals that combine the freedom, expression, uniqueness and control of planning your own wedding, the best way to check out all your option in one day under one roof.

With over 200 vendors representing all manner of services—from beauty and formal wear to catering, coordinators, officiants, entertainment and photographers—the 23rd annual three-day expo, held twice a year in January and July, is the best way to research and plan a real unique and personal experience in the islands.

​Ladies, wear comfortable shoes and take the time to explore the array of service providers. With over 5,000 people in attendance per expo, be prepared to spend the day immersed in wedding bliss. Bring the bride’s maids, mothers, fiancées and friends. You can speak with wedding professionals to get ideas or you can book services and hold dates with a deposit. Take advantage of huge savings on wedding gowns at the expo or take home information and materials to review later. The expo is a wonderful opportunity for wedding planning in that bride’s can meet so many vendors face to face, experiencing and connecting with the personalities and brands that resonate with them. Some of the seasoned vendors include:

Men’s Wearhouse, Princess Brides, IMF Visions, Spinning W.E.B. Florist, Wedding Planner 808, Pacific Diamond & Swiss Watch Exchange and Easley Designs.

For the newest vendors in July, check out 808 DJs, A Baked Romance, and Chair Covers Hawaii.

​For those unable to attend the expo, yet looking to take advantage of the diversity of wedding professionals, the Hawaii Bridal Expo’s website, bridesclub.com, is releasing a brand new website this month.

Which offers the same wealth of information as the expansive floor display at the expo, minus the live fashion shows, of course. The website connects local brides with local vendors, quicker and easier than at the expo. Visitors can check out the online eMagazine The Wedding Spotlight, and there’s a section for discounts posted by local vendors called Daily Wedding Specials. Also, don’t miss the tips for brides and for wedding professionals. New to the website, visitors can purchase their ticket to the July expo and get one ticket free.
With all the information on hand at the Hawaii Bridal Expo and on the website, lovebirds have all the tools necessary to plan the perfect wedding. —Joe Davis

2for1 tickets available now for a shirt time

http://m.ticketmaster.com/event/0A004AAD9D442B65

Fact Box:
Hawaii Bridal Expo

Neal Blaisdell Center
777 Ward Ave., Honolulu

Hours
Friday 5:30–10 p.m.
Saturday 10:30 a.m.–4 p.m.
Sunday 10:30 a.m.–4 p.m.

Admission: $9

bridesclub.com



https://vimeo.com/50455478

  7:25 pm, by bridesclubComments


23rd annual Hawaii Bridal Expo

Fun wedding planning made easy!

When preparing for the big day, there are so many options for a bride to arrange, organize and plan the wedding of her dreams. Some brides-to-be prefer hiring professional expensive help from wedding planners to inform them of their options.  Other Brides like to take the reigns of their special day and use the Internet, sites like Pinterests’ inspiration boards to create boards of imagination that give them ideas that are not attainable.

For a fun and practical real hands-on wedding planning experience, the Hawaii Bridal Expo has 200 real wedding professionals that combine the freedom, expression, uniqueness and control of planning your own wedding, the best way to check out all your option in one day under one roof.

With over 200 vendors representing all manner of services—from beauty and formal wear to catering, coordinators, officiants, entertainment and photographers—the 23rd annual three-day expo, held twice a year in January and July, is the best way to research and plan a real unique and personal experience in the islands.

​Ladies, wear comfortable shoes and take the time to explore the array of service providers. With over 5,000 people in attendance per expo, be prepared to spend the day immersed in wedding bliss. Bring the bride’s maids, mothers, fiancées and friends. You can speak with wedding professionals to get ideas or you can book services and hold dates with a deposit. Take advantage of huge savings on wedding gowns at the expo or take home information and materials to review later. The expo is a wonderful opportunity for wedding planning in that bride’s can meet so many vendors face to face, experiencing and connecting with the personalities and brands that resonate with them. Some of the seasoned vendors include:

Men’s Wearhouse, Princess Brides, IMF Visions, Spinning W.E.B. Florist, Wedding Planner 808, Pacific Diamond & Swiss Watch Exchange and Easley Designs.

For the newest vendors in July, check out 808 DJs, A Baked Romance, and Chair Covers Hawaii.

​For those unable to attend the expo, yet looking to take advantage of the diversity of wedding professionals, the Hawaii Bridal Expo’s website, bridesclub.com, is releasing a brand new website this month.

Which offers the same wealth of information as the expansive floor display at the expo, minus the live fashion shows, of course. The website connects local brides with local vendors, quicker and easier than at the expo. Visitors can check out the online eMagazine The Wedding Spotlight, and there’s a section for discounts posted by local vendors called Daily Wedding Specials. Also, don’t miss the tips for brides and for wedding professionals. New to the website, visitors can purchase their ticket to the July expo and get one ticket free.
With all the information on hand at the Hawaii Bridal Expo and on the website, lovebirds have all the tools necessary to plan the perfect wedding. —Joe Davis

2for1 tickets available now for a shirt time

http://m.ticketmaster.com/event/0A004AAD9D442B65

Fact Box:
Hawaii Bridal Expo

Neal Blaisdell Center
777 Ward Ave., Honolulu

Hours
Friday 5:30–10 p.m.
Saturday 10:30 a.m.–4 p.m.
Sunday 10:30 a.m.–4 p.m.

Admission: $9

bridesclub.com



https://vimeo.com/50455478

  7:23 pm, by bridesclubComments


Win a free booth and $100 as a Vendor in the Hawaii Bridal Expo

Social media is a sure way to let people know where you can be found on July 26th, 27th, and 28th! At the Hawaii Bridal Expo! So start tweeting, texting, pinning, tagging and posting right now into a free booth and $100 dollars cash!

To thank you for your support and participation we are setting up a HAWAII BRIDAL SOCIAL MEDIA CONTEST!  From now until the Hawaii Bridal Expo show time (July 26th) we will be watching the web for the wedding professional that uses social media to the fullest and lets people know about the Hawaii Bridal Expo! Take a screen shot, tag bridesclub or just email

caitlyn@bridesclub.com to show us your efforts.

At the Expo we will present the winner with one credit towards a FREE 10x10 booth space in any upcoming show PLUS $100!

At Bridesclub.com we are focused on helping brides find you and meet you not only as a wedding professional but as person!  

  10:50 pm, by bridesclubComments


How To Design Great Trade Show Display Graphics

Michael Flavin - Skyline Exhibits

Walk around your next trade show and you’ll see a lot of great designs.  They look good, attract your attention, engage and tell a story.

You’ll also see a lot of bad designs!  Too many pictures, confusing messages and, what does that say?  It’s so small and there is so much text, I can’t even read it!

When it’s time to design your trade show display graphics, consider a few important points:

  • Who you are:  Obviously you want to be easily found in the show hall.  An effective way to accomplish this goal is by not only placing your logo & branding at the maximum height, but also repeating it in several different locations throughout the design.

  • What you do:  Great, your prospect has found your booth.  Now, can they quickly understand what your company does?  A tagline or short sentence should be near your logo, so that the attendee can relate who you are to what you do.
  • How you can help them:  Now that we understand you’re the “Acme Anvil Company” and you make “The most durable, USA-made and reconfigurable anvils” in the world, it’s time to explain why this is important and how it will add to their bottom line.  For example “Our anvils will increase your productivity by 37% and cut down-time by 1/3rd.”  Short bullet-points are another effective way to share this message, but don’t get too carried away.

In addition, consider the following items in your design:

  • Photos:  Not too many.  Make sure the resolution is good.  Should they show your product in action?  Does a photo help relate your service to a solution? Think about these questions as you start your design.  Do you need photos at all? Maybe an illustration instead?

  • Text:  Think billboards.  Keep editing.  Less text = more readable, quickly.
  • Lighting: How will lighting affect your graphics?  Exhibiting in Vegas?  Did you know halogens are banned at a few locations? Should you use spot lights to accent?  Or, maybe backlighting? Just like in your living room, lighting will set the tone & mood for your trade show booth.  How about some specialty lighting?

  • Technology & interactivity: An easy way to gain more attention is to add motion and technology is very cost effective these days for making that happen. Add some monitors, loop a video or pictures and you’ve easily attracted more people.  Now, make those monitors or iPads part of your lead qualifying process by turning them into an interactive game and you’ve hit a home run. Don’t forget about social media too; Tweet some pictures, upload a video to YouTube and share on Facebook.

  9:44 pm, by bridesclubComments


Choosing The Right Trade Show Promotion
Samantha Heyden - Skyline Displays

When meeting with clients during trade show display discovery sessions the topic of booth promotional activities or at-show promotions often comes up.  Like most things, at-show promotions are most effective when tailored to a specific client, brand, show or message.  Here are some tips that will help you when planning your at-show promotions.

Your Trade Show Promotion Should Tie In With The Rest Of Your Trade Show Messages

Before you start brainstorming your promotional ideas keep in mind that consistency in all of your trade show messaging increases attraction, retention and memorability and should help with the overall qualification of your leads and prospects.

So please consider whether or not you can create a promotion that reflects the key messages you are trying to communicate at your show. Some simple examples:

  • If you are promoting a unique product or service would  your promotion be considered by others as unique.

  • Is your key message quality – would your promotions or giveaways be considered quality by others

Where To Look For Promotional Ideas

I could provide you a list of the most popular promotional products, trade show booth entertainment or competitions but these lists tend to outline fads or the standard staples of any trade show like pens or mouse pads.  Instead I would suggest that you look around and see what others are doing well, tailor it to your needs and do it even better!  Some places to look include:

Attend trade shows and other events: Attend events both in and outside your industry to see what others are doing and how they are doing it.

Social media: With the increasing popularity of social media into marketing plans there are so many organizations creating promotions to increase their likes, followers and overall exposure across various social media channels.  Take a look at these promotions and think how they could work for you in a trade show environment.

The oldies: I am talking about radio, television and print.  They have been around for a long time; there is conjecture as to whether they will survive the digital age regardless, they are still a great place to look for competition ideas for your next trade show.

Retail: The next time you go shopping keep your eyes open, particularly towards the aisles in a shopping center where companies take casual leasing space.  These “exhibitors” often have a tough audience to try to attract and have to think of unique ways to draw people in (sound familiar?)  Maybe you will find something here that would suit your organization at your next trade show.

Promote! Promote! Promote!

The most successful trade show promotions are the ones that are well thought out, reflect the overall messaging of the company in question, and are leveraged and promoted to hilt.  What do I mean?

Promote your trade show presence and promotion before your show, at your show and after your show.  Here’s some ideas:

  • Use Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and other social media to announce your show promotion before the event, remind them of your promotion during the event and outline the results or outcome of your promotion after your event.
  • Outline and promote your trade show presence and promotion in mailers or brochures pre-show, at-show, after-show.
  • Promote your trade show presence and promotion on your website.  Don’t forget to post photos and comments after the event too!

  9:31 pm, by bridesclubComments


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