10 Things To Do As Soon as You’re Engaged

i said yes

CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR ENGAGEMENT!!

Whether you are recently engaged or well into planning for your big day, it is undoubtedly an exciting time in the life of you and your fiancé and a lot will happen between “Will You Marry Me” and “I Do”.  With each glimpse of your ring finger your settle more and more into the promise of forever.  But, what next?

  1. Breathe. Deeply inhale through your nose….now exhale through your mouth….good, now you’re ready!
  2. Tell your parents.  Give them the honor of hearing the news first.
  3. Tell everyone else.  Before you update your relationship status or instatweet your happy news, be certain you’ve PERSONALLY announced it to everyone who should hear it from you.
  4. Schedule a manicure.  Your hands will be the new focal point as friends and family “oooh” and “ahhh” over the new sparkly adornment so keep that weekly appointment on the calendar.
  5. Guesstimate your guest list.  Before you even begin the venue search, nail down this magic number. Planners want to how many people you’re inviting so they can pair you with spaces (ballrooms, tents, etc.) that can accommodate head count. Banquet packages are also priced in ranges based on guest minimums, so this will help you with the next step: budgeting.
  6. Set a realistic budget and start saving.  It’s easy to get carried away planning for the happiest day of your life, but it is never a good idea to incur exorbitant amounts of debt in order to have the wedding you’ve always dreamed of.   Once you find out who’s going to help you pay for the wedding, decide on an amount that you and your Fiancé can comfortably contribute and STICK TO THAT NUMBER!
  7. Location is everything!  Deciding where you are going to hold your ceremony and reception is a big decision that may require several venues before finding the perfect one.  Creating organizational systems, such as spreadsheets to keep tabs on the venues you visit and their pros and cons, will help you stay calm along the way.
  8. Find inspiration. Having an idea of the type of wedding you want will prove useful in helping finalize decisions.  Sign up for Pinterest to track and pin pictures that excite you.  Attend bridal shows…read bridal magazines…scour the web.  Inspiration is everywhere!  But be careful, the Internet can be an overwhelming place.  Allow yourself a certain amount of time each day to get lost in cyberspace but remain realistic about what your budget will allow.
  9. Relax. Between family, friends, and decisions, this may seem like a tall order but you must do your best to avoid any unnecessary stress.  Planning for your wedding will be no different than planning for any other monumental life event.  The truth is some days will feel completely overwhelming and when this happens, make time to getaway – get a massage, sleep in, read a (non-wedding related) book.  Don’t hesitate to reset and allow time for you and Fiancé to just focus on yourselves.
  10. Ask for help. The average wedding can require as many as 250 decisions and demand over 150 hours of your time.  With this in mind, it is important to consider whether you can plan the entire wedding by yourself (or with limited help)?  If you’re the type of person who’d rather not stress over the details, you may want to consider hiring a wedding planner. You may find there are some areas of your wedding where you require some planning assistance—negotiating with bakers and caterers for the best prices, finding the ideal venue, organizing party favors?  If those are tasks you don’t want to tackle alone and don’t have the assistance of your mom or bridesmaids, you definitely want hire a wedding planner.  Keep in mind that a wedding coordinator will cost money, so make sure the option to hire one comfortably fits into your budget before you give it consideration.

If you’ve decided that a planner is necessary, your decision to place someone in charge of pulling all of the elements and details together on your wedding day is a good one.  After all, you’re the bride and you should be carrying a bouquet, not a clipboard!

If you have not yet settled on a planner to assist with these details, I invite you to learn more about SocialBFly.  We are a comprehensive and stylish special events lifestyle marketing boutique that is comprised of three studios – each offering a unique and inspiring assortment of concierge, imaging, and special event planning services.  We provide an array of wedding packages that are designed to assist couples in any stage of the planning process and are guaranteed to take the pressure of planning and wedding day worry off of you and your Fiancé.  All of our wedding packages are 100% customizable and can be modified based on the full scope of your needs.

All of our planning services begin with a 1-hour details meeting with you and your Fiancé to discuss your vision and expectations for your big day and can easily be scheduled by completing our online event request form.

Happy Planning!

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2017 Wedding Predictions [to Ditch], According to David Tutera

wedding-trends-2015

photo credit: google images

When it comes to wedding trends, the rules of engagement are constantly changing.  And for 2017, yet another evolution of wedding planning is upon us.  In a recent interview with Brides Magazine, celebrity wedding planner David Tutera recommended these as the coveted en trend details to incorporate into your 2017 wedding.

David says: Ditch The After-Party
While you might be bummed to hear this at first, Tutera really believes guests should stay put, and you can bring the “after-party” to the party. “I want guests to stay in one location, and keep the energy escalating and flowing,” he explains. The wedding is the main event, so why risk losing the party vibes with a venue change? Tutera suggests couples can, “create movement and energy in one environment with lighting, entertainment, opening up a different bar or dessert station, etc.”

SocialBFly says: LOVE this idea and agree on all fronts!  It’s the reason why we adore one-venue weddings so much.

David Says: Modern & Industrial Vibes will be En Trend
Tutera forecasts a mix of metallics and whites to top the palette charts of 2017/2018, but forget the golds and shiny silvers. Softer, brushed metallic popping from bright white accents are a color combo made in heaven, and will totally help to achieve those “contemporary yet city hip vibes” that will be so on-trend. Combine this color palate with industrial and modern touches for a fashionable yet classy look.

SocialBFly says:  Metallics, when used correctly, can add a romantic edge to any decor motif so we’re heavy metal all the way!!

David says: Stay Connected
Regardless of what trends, themes, or vibes you’re going for, Tutera stresses the importance of remaining connected with your new spouse throughout the wedding day celebrations. “What’s been happening is couples separate to their friends and don’t hang out with their significant other on their celebration. That’s not good. That’s something I am trying to force people to understand is incredibly important.”

SocialBFly says: Noted!

paper-floral-wallDavid says: Incorporate Paper
Whether it’s in floral bouquets, incorporated into your big-day décor, or used as a way to preserve special wedding “memory moments,” incorporating paper into your wedding day is quickly growing in popularity — and for good reason. Economical, potentially eco-friendly and unique in any way you use it, paper isn’t just for wedding invitations anymore. Tutera says, “there’s so many interesting things you can do,” and adds, “People are sort of surprised, like oh my gosh, look what you can do with paper.”

SocialBFly says: Paper can add a variety of depth and texture to your wedding motif so this is yet another 2017 trend we are looking forward to.

David says: Ditch Receiving Lines
“I am not a fan of receiving lines,” admits Tutera. He adds, “I think it creates a large barrier of etiquette for that celebration — it’s too formal.” Instead, opt to greet your guests during cocktail hour, and throughout the night. It may not seem like it, but you will have the time.

SocialBFly says: A-GREED!!!  Goodness grief, we agree!!  There’s nothing that screams old-fashioned more than seeing the Bride and Groom with their bridal party lined up at the end of the ceremony waiting to greet all of the guests who attended.  Like David said, IT’S TOO FORMAL!!  And we like to make sure that the couples has enough time to personally greet their guests during the reception.

David says: First Looks
These are a keeper. Tutera gushes, “I love first looks. I think they’re brilliant. It takes me forever to convince a bride and groom to do that,” but he adds, “They’re more personal — I love them.”

SocialBFly says: I will forever have mixed feelings about the first look trend.  On one hand, it is an awesome way to ensure the couple spends as much time during the wedding and reception having fun interacting with their guests.  But the traditionalist in me (YES! the same traditionalist that does not like receiving lines…)  will always have a heart that skips a beat when a groom sees his wife take to the aisle for the very first time.

What are your predictions for 2017 weddings and brides?  Are there any wedding trends you’d like to see go away? Do you agree/disagree with David (or our) assessment of the future of weddings?

ABCs of Wedding Planning: [A] is for Announcing Your Wedding

You’ve said “Yes” and naturally you’re on such a high that shouting it from the mountaintops with an amplified bullhorn seems the only appropriate way to announce to the world that YOU’RE GETTING MARRIED!! So it’s only fitting that the first step on your journey down the aisle is the announcement of your engagement.

Ways to Spread the Big News

Traditionally, snail mailed invitations were the only method of spreading the good news but with all of the advancements in technology (and creativity) variety is now truly the spice of life when it comes to the number of ways you’ll have to choose from when announcing your engagement.   The Bride’s parents were usually responsible for creating the wedding buzz but we’ve found that the couple is more often than not taking this task into their own hands or delegating to the MOH to help get the job done.  Here we’ve listed a few based on couple’s personality types:

STILL A TRADITIONALIST AT HEART? Announcing It and Wedding Paper Diva are just two of our fabulous twitter friends who specialize in awesome wedding stationary. Pay them a visit and tell them we sent you.

Sweet and Simple: Publish an announcement in your local newspaper.

photo courtesy of newspaper announcements

Writing your love down in history by publishing the details in a local newspaper is a sentimental and cost effective way making your big announcement.   Select and contact one or two newspapers in your area which will accept your wedding announcement submission.  Upon contacting them you’ll want to ask:

  • What forms are required in order to have your announcement published? Typically, you’ll be asked to provide the location and date of your wedding ceremony, the bride’s maiden name, your parent’s names and city of residence and sometimes, where you will live once you are married.  If you’re allowed to provide additional details about your wedding, consider publishing the names of your bridal party, how you and your fiancé met and where you will be going on your honeymoon.
  • Here is an example of a standard engagement announcement:
    • Mr. and Mrs. John Brown of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania announce the engagement of their daughter, Miss Mary Jane Smith, to Mr. Ryan Edward Brown, son of Mr. and Mrs. Ryan Brown, also of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  An October wedding is planned.
      Miss Smith is a 2001 graduate from Drexel University and is a Marketing Director for KPMG.  Mr. Brown is 1999 graduate from Temple University and is a Financial Investor for PWC.

Socialbfly says: There are also many circumstances where the wording must be changed to reflect the situation of the bride and/or groom. There are many different combinations of situations that can occur so if you have a question about how to word your announcement, please contact us.

  • What size, resolution, and quality photograph do they prefer and can they accept for printing? Once you determine whether high resolution, full color photography is preferred over black and white, you’ll need to select a photo that best captures you and your sweetheart happy, smiling and in love.  Remember to include your name and phone number on the back of the photographs and enclose a SASE if you want the photo returned.  If you don’t have a photo that you think best compliments your announcement, consider scheduling a photo shoot.  If needed, the photographs from the shoot can be repurposed for inclusion on your save the date cards, invitations, and wedding programs and even a slide show.

Once you’ve received your publish date, you’ll want to tell everyone to pick up a copy.  What a sweet way to forever capture your wedding moment in time!

 

Tech Savvy and Not Afraid to Prove It:  Create a wedding website

The use of wedding websites as a method of announcing your engagement has become a fast-growing trend for several reasons:

photo courtesy of dex knows

  1. It doesn’t take long to register and create an online wedding profile using pictures, wedding details, and your personal love story.
  2. Most sites like the Knot, WeddingWire and Wedding Announcer, are free making it a cost effective and budget friendly alternative.
  3. Not only can you announce your engagement but it also allows for easy ongoing communication regarding your wedding plans to friends and family with the click of a mouse.

A simple email to friends and family asking them to check out the cool new website you’ve found only to learn that that cool new website is their favorite and newly engaged couple is a plan so simple, it’s Genius! Hit send and watch the congratulations pour in.

 

photo courtesy of your engagement 101

Life of the Party: Throw an Engagement Party

Should you have an engagement party?  Well consider this, gone are the days when couples must have one.  Sure, it’s a great way for both families to get better acquainted but if you are hosting your own, you’ll want to start by carefully assessing your budget.  It is, after all, another party and weddings quickly add up.

You’ll also want to consider your timing.  In terms of the wedding timeline, engagement parties should be planned about 3 months after the official proposal and about a year before the actual wedding date.  If your budget and timing can accommodate an engagement party, then let’s plan a party!!  If your timeline doesn’t allow for that you can also consider celebrating it 6 months before your wedding date but we tend to sway couples away from this decision – there will be several future opportunities to toast to your love leading up to the wedding ceremony.

If you decide to plan a party, you will again be faced with options as an engagement party can take the form of a backyard garden party, formal dinner, intimate home gathering and anything in between.  Regardless of your location, have fun!  The most important goal of your engagement party should be to create a friendly, warm environment that inspires conversation and celebrates you and your fiancé as a newly engaged, soon-to-be-married and super in love couple.

Sidebar: As with formal announcements, the engagement party was the honor of the bride’s parents but today, it’s no longer a faux pas to have a best friend or godparent fulfill this role.  If someone other than the Bride’s parents are planning the engagement party, she should speak with both sets of parents to ensure they are available for the event date.

The Etiquette Behind Announcing Your Engagement

There are some rules of…pardon the pun…[announcing your] engagement!

  • Whom To Tell First and When? If you or your fiancé have children from a previous relationship, you’ll want to start here and you’ll want to handle with care.  After all, imagine how daunting learning that there’s a new daddy in town or that all of a sudden you have older siblings can be.  You’ll want to allow plenty of time for the children to adjust to the change and often times, the old saying “time heals everything” will apply itself as long as there is unwavering love from the biological parent and unconditional support and an genuine attempt to bond from the new one.  Next up are your parents. Traditionally, the bride’s parents are notified first and the groom’s immediately thereafter.  There is no “right” way to tell your parents however whenever possible, face-to-face is always the best policy – it just adds that extra oomph to the excitement factor.  Regardless of how you announce it, the both of you should be present.  I usually recommend that Grandparents, siblings and anyone else who you know would be emotionally devastated at the idea being the last to know be notified. This includes close friends.  Once you’ve completed this roll call, my dear Bride, you are free to tell the world.
  • Who to Invite to the Party? If you decide to host an engagement party, take extra care with your guest list and never invite anyone who will not be invited to the wedding.  It’s just bad social relations.
  • Gifts NOT Required. Not only is it a bad idea to ever mention your requests for gifts on your invitations but it’s important to know that gifts aren’t “regulars” at engagement parties.  If you do, however, receive gifts, wait until after the event to open them and always send a thank you card.

Tell Us How You Announced to the World That You’re Getting Married.

From the moment you said I do you’ve been busting at the seams with the excitement that you’re getting married.  And for good reason – you’ve been fantasizing about it since you were a little girl marrying Barbie to the latest Ken doll (wait…was that just me?). So, don’t you think you should tell us all about how you made the big announcement? Did you throw a surprise engagement party for your guests?  Was a large fireworks display your way of telling the world you said “yes” (don’t laugh…it’s been done)? We want to hear your story.

Other Online Resources: Announcing Your Engagement at Work

Back to School Night with David Tutera

You’ve seen him on WEtv’s, “My Fair Wedding”.  He’s been lovingly crowned ‘Wizard’, ‘Godfather’, ‘Fairy Godfather’, and ‘Prince’ by the brides who’s wedding dreams he’s made a reality.  And last night I had the pleasure of being taken back to school by event planner extraordinaire, David Tutera at a Learning Annex event held at the lavish Hilton Hotel in Downtown Manhattan, NYC .

What can I say besides…He was fabulous! Throughout the course of the night we learned little DT Gems like he doesn’t belong to any associations, which is especially ironic considering he’s starting one in 2011, and he’s never paid for any form of advertising (thanks David!! I finally have an answer to my, To Advertise or Not to Advertise, question!). Just to give you an idea of how much information was covered, I went home with 8 pages of notes but because this is not a book report (remember those?), I’ll bestow upon you a few of my [paraphrased and in my own words] favorites, which I’ve categorized below:

Learn your Client. David urged us as planners to learn how to listen to the client and to learn what they want and who they are.  “Become emotionally connected to your client…” He suggests that 75% of the conversation, during the first hour spent meeting with a new client, should be about them and as you’re listening jot down five adjectives that are a recurring theme in the discussion.  Include those words in the proposal so they feel like they’ve written their own proposal.

Looking for ways to motivate (or rejuvenate) your creative edge? Opening up your client base and vendor base were two of David’s simple suggestions.  In both cases, lack of variety can quickly lead to stale and cookie-cutter ideas.   Creating a story also has many benefits to ensuring each event experience is unique.

Keep the Party Going. “Weddings are about the Bride and Groom but more importantly it should be about the guests.  Something different should happen every 30 minutes putting guests on a journey and preventing boredom.”

With plans for 2011 that include the launching of a new jewelry line of wedding and engagement rings, the David Tutera Wedding Certification Course and the launching of a line of bridal crafts, it’s hard to not think of him as some kind of super wedding action hero so imagine how great it was to learn that he isn’t impervious to things like burnout, planners block, and annoying clients.  Yes, annoying clients get on his nerves also! Here are some of his tips to help cope and better manage Life as a Planner:

  • In order to avoid burnout minimize the amount of time spent socializing with people in the business because what you end up doing is talking about work all of the time!
  • “Never under price yourself.  When you do, you’re under pricing your confidence”.
  • Take baby steps.  Don’t leap.  Become good in one section and segue way into another.
  • Networking with organizations such as MPI, ISES, and ABC to build your contacts is good but also branch out and make your own networks.
    • Your network mix should be 70% social and 30% corporate.
  • “As event planners it is important to create a team of vendors who you are confident can deliver and are willing to support (even if something goes wrong)”.
  • Reforecast yourself every 3 years and in that time, always move prices a little higher.
  • Breaking even on a project is fine but losing money is never good!
  • You are a Mediator, Therapist, Counselor, and Wedding Planner Last. Know when you switch hats”.

There were also valuable little tidbits about destination weddings and the real story behind the Joan Rivers scandal but you had to be there.  Overall the learning experience was priceless and even though his manager came across as more of a sharpshooter for the CIA thus preventing me from getting a picture with David, I will still continue to be a faithfully loyal My Fair Wedding watcher til death do us part.

Hello world!

(That was the default title WordPress assigned to our first blog and it worked…so we’re sticking with it.)

Hello World and welcome to our little piece of the blogosphere. Behind the Veil…Beyond the Vows is the new official blog for Socialbfly and in case this is the first time you’re hearing of us, Socialbfly is a special events and lifestyle marketing boutique geared to enhancing every aspect of our clients lives through three unique and trendsetting studios:

  • The Imaging Studio provides assistance to individuals and businesses looking to alter, enhance, or maintain any and all aspects of their lives.  We work with a sassy lineup of indie stylists, motivational speakers, and designers to provide personal services, seminars and workshops that successfully enhance our clients’ definition of love, life, look and luxury
  • The Publicity Boutique specializes in providing premier marketing and publicity services for businesses, brands, and personalities anchored in arts, entertainment and womens health and beauty
  • The Event Design Studio is actually comprised of 4 Boutiques geared to our most popular client types: Charities and Small Businesses, Children, Girlfriends and Blushing Brides-to-be

We also host an annual calendar of events throughout NJ, and the surrounding areas, that are used to raise funds and awareness about charitable causes.   Stay tuned because the  “Behind the Veil…Beyond the Vows Bridal Expo” is in the works and we’d love to see you there.

For much more information on our services visit our website, http://www.socialbfly.com.  In the meantime, stick around and see what the fuss is about as we explore all of the ins and outs of the wedding experience and beyond (Yes, there is life after marriage…lol).   They’ll be a lot of housekeeping taking place in the weeks ahead so pardon our dust but we promise to keep you entertained in the meantime. We’ll be launching with a 26 week series on the ABCs of Wedding Planning very shortly as well as profiling our first feature vendor so make sure you don’t stay gone long.

Hello World!  We’re Here!!!

Cheers!