Thursday, December 30, 2010

Free Wedding Websites

A new trend for couples is making personalized websites for their upcoming events. These generally feature information about their events, photos of the couple, as well as a brief description of how they met and got engaged. This is a great way to get to know the couple before their wedding and builds anticipation and excitement for the wedding. There are many sites out there that provide this service, here are a few recommendations that are free to use:

  • – This lets you create a personal website that offers unlimited photos, events, and RSVP's for your guest list. You can also post directions and registries.

  • -This lets you choose from a variety of different designs to personalize your page. It also has features such as introducing your wedding party to visitors on your site.

  • - This site lets you have a personal web address on You can also add matching save the date designs and shop for matching wedding items. This site also has a lot of unique designs to choose from.

Creating a personalized wedding website is a fun and creative way to share your story and give details of your upcoming events. There are so many types to choose from, and creating one will be as fun for your guests as you!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Local Vendors vs. Bringing your Own

I've done a lot of destination weddings over the years. One of the biggest questions I get when planning from the brides is whether to hire local vendors from their destination or bring their own. While most people would assume hiring local ones are easier and less expensive, it can actually be the opposite. I would recommend bringing your own vendors for the following reasons:

  • You get a chance to meet the vendors face to face in the process of planning your wedding, and have more interaction with them and can see their work/references. If you are planning a destination wedding, you might not necessarily get a lot of time alone with a vendor who is abroad.

  • Having a familiar face in an unfamiliar setting lets you be more assured that everything will run smoothly. If you hire someone local that you hardly know, you might not have this feeling on your wedding day.

  • Some local vendors actually might overcharge you if you are out of country. They might put extra unknown charges on you because they know you are in their area and might not have a choice. It is important to be wary of this.

  • When it comes to services like photography and video, if you hire someone from your own area, you will get your items sooner. If you hire someone local, you run the risk of waiting longer to get these items, especially if you are out of the country

You should consider bringing your own vendors so you have a chance to know them better and can feel more at ease on your wedding day. Just because someone is local, does not necessarily mean they are the better choice for your events. Bringing vendors that you know well and trust will ensure that your destination wedding will be a success!

Wedding Insurance

Not many people know about wedding insurance. It is fairly new to the market and has caught the attention of both industry professionals and couples. Everyone hopes everything will be flawless the day of but some circumstances, like the recent December blizzard, may entice couple’s to purchase wedding insurance.

Wedding insurance guards the couple’s investment from circumstances beyond their control and reimburses expenses incurred, if applicable.

Depending on the type and amount of coverage, costs can range between $150 - $500

Basic Coverage with Wedding Insurance
Any problems with:
-The venue
-The weather, may it be a down pour of rain or a blizzard
-Key people (bride, groom, parents)
-A sickness or injury

Change of heart is not covered under any wedding insurance plan.

Before you purchase any insurance, talk to your vendors, coordinator, and insurance provider to get all the information regarding your event. Each wedding and scenario is different; you may not need any insurance.

Some providers include:

Thursday, December 23, 2010

City Sweets Cakes

One of my favorite cake vendors that I have worked with recently is Deborah Lauren of City Sweets. City Sweets is a bakery located in New York that has exceptional cake and confections. It is known for their variety of wonderful flavors and contemporary designs. I had a chance to chat with Deborah for a few minutes about new flavors and trends in wedding cakes. She infuses a lot of flavors together to make combinations that are sure to be a treat for your taste buds!

Some of the new flavors Deborah features are:

  • Lemon Verbana
  • Chocolate Chili
  • Red Velvet Chili
  • Red Velvet Almond
  • Red Velvet Cherry
  • Lavender Chocolate
  • Butterscotch


Some of the new trends Deborah talked about in bridal cakes are more simple designs. Brides do not generally go for the traditional cake with flowers and bows, but rather, more contemporary ones. Now the cakes are made more artistically, and with more graphic designs and prints, such as one big flower on a simpler cake. Another big trend is using metallic colors as opposed to traditional white. Deborah also says that more brides usually opt for taller and thinner cakes, one’s that look more grand in appearance as the cake really serves as a piece of art at a wedding.

I had a great time chatting with Deborah and learning more about the new flavors she’s featuring. To check out some of Deborah’s delicious work, visit her website at

Happy Holidays SJS Holiday Party

With the holiday season here we wanted to extend warm holiday greetings and wishes to everyone.

We had out holiday party at Japas 38 Karaoke, where old and new SJS members came together to spend quality time. Thank you for all who showed up and participated in the fabulous sing-a-longs. It was a great time!

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to all!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Tipping can be tricky especially when you are getting married. Most people don’t know how much to tip or when at their events. There are certain etiquettes that come from tipping and there are also things to look out for. When signing any contract, it is important to look out for hidden costs. You want to make sure to read all the fine print so that you fully understand how much you are paying before you sign. Some contracts will actually automatically put an included tip amount in their final cost, so you want to make sure you do not double tip on the wedding day.

Why do we tip?

  1. Because it serves as a thank you for a job well done.
  2. It's important to acknowledge that someone's service is appreciated.
  3. Because just paying someone now is not enough. Most vendors EXPECT a tip even if it is nominal.

Having been to so many weddings over the years, I have learned the etiquette of tipping:
  1. All tips should be given in cash.
  2. All tips should be given out at the beginning of an event - Vendors will do a better job! Trust us.
  3. It is best to put the tips in separate envelopes and keep some on hand in case any services come up unexpectedly.
  4. It is wise to designate one person, usually the wedding planner, a trusted friend, or relative, to hand these out.

Who gets tipped:

  1. It is vendors who provide any kind of service on the wedding day. For example, the limo driver should be tipped 10-15 percent of the total bill, the valet would be around $1.00 per car, the waiting staff would be about 15 percent of the total catering bill, the bartenders would be tipped 10 percent of the total liquor bill, the makeup/hair stylist would generally get a 15 percent tip, and the DJ would receive between $50-$100.
  2. You should also tip vendors such as the Hotel Sales person, the banquet captain, and your personal bridal attendant.

Using these guidelines will help you on your big day and let your vendors know how much you appreciate the hard work that they do!