Category: Local Branding

real-estate
Local Branding

Top Branded Real Estate Blogs To Follow

Real estate is one of the most important sectors in the economy – no doubt about that. The affordability of real estate and rental prices and changes in those prices have a direct impact on the wealth of property owners and tenants and their consumer spending. So many countries of the European Union are experiencing big earthquakes in their economy precisely because they were building too many buildings hoping for people to rent or purchase the apartments – which did not happen. Or, at least, it did not happen to the extent they wished to. 

We are sharing with you the least of the most prestigious real estate blogs that you simply have to follow:

Sally describes herself in these 5 words: Enthusiastic, Dedicated, Confident, Proactive, Upbeat and that’s exactly what her blog is! Head over there for some fresh information on the rental prices as her blog never fails to deliver.

Quality over quantity is the way Ohio Cashflow works. This includes their properties, the people they hire, and the investors they choose. They are serious about making their investors profitable.

Their mission is to provide extraordinary savings to heroes who provide extraordinary services to our nation and its communities every day.

A new breed of broker / blogger in Manhattan, this blog embraces transparency, technology and social media. In addition to publishing this blog, Mitchell, the founder, actively contributes to professional and social media networks in an effort to help inform today’s real estate consumers.

Afford Anything is all about making smarter choices and building a better life.

Afford Anything is a movement rooted in one idea: You can afford anything, but not everything — and that’s true not only for your money, but also your time, focus, energy and attention.

Welcome to the world of house flipping.

If you’re looking for a free resource where you can learn how to flip houses for a living or just want to learn how to rehab a house for fun and profit, you’ve come to the right place.

rent-a-house

Follow up Boss is for everyone who needs to get to know how to generate more real estate leads to convert them in a simple, easy to use way.

They have information on their blog about to generate and convert leads.

Paul and Jerri created Moving To Athens and have over 30 years combined experience in the Athens area real estate market, providing services beyond your expectations.  Whether selling your home, buying a new home, relocating to Athens or discovering the perfect property to build on, Paul & Jerri are dedicated professionals here to assist you.  Their goal is to make every real estate transaction a pleasure from start to finish.

This blog specializes in serving the Deep Creek market and provides in-depth videos, photos and market information for the area. Jay has over 20 years of experience in the Deep Creek area and offers everything you need buy, sell, rent or maintain real estate, hassle free. Jay stays on top of modern trends incorporating, video, social media and other different medians to get the best results for his clients.
mortgage

Social network for the real estate investing community. Learn real estate investment, get free tips & education, make deals, and grow your business. Their mission at BiggerPockets.com is to help educate people about all aspects of real estate and real estate investing and to provide tools and resources to enhance real estate knowledge, networking, marketing and dealmaking.

GeekEstate Blog is a resource for real estate professionals who want to get the most from technology and digital marketing. Their mission to provide a transparent platform for real estate professionals to navigate the landscape of re technology and marketing tools.

Established in 2013, Triangle Real Estate Group has achieved phenomenal success in assembling one of the region’s most experienced sales teams. That team of neighborhood experts stands ready to meet the needs of clients throughout the Triangle area.

Utilizing the latest tech tools, Triangle Real Estate Group continually strives to offer agents and clients the most up-to-date resources, ensuring outstanding results. As a result, Triangle Real Estate Group was recently recognized by Inman News for being the first real estate firm in the area to use Periscope, a popular live-streaming app that gives agents and brokers an innovate way to engage clients digitally in real time.

Workplace branding pays off
Local Branding

The Importance of Workplace Branding

Workplace branding or office branding is an important yet underrated element of running a business. Basically, office branding is all about shaping the dynamics, infrastructure, and décor of an office so that it reflects the theme and values of the respective company.

Workplace branding is much more than covering your office in a certain colour or displaying the company logo everywhere. The process is all about creatively designing the office and taking every aspect that can influence the productivity into consideration.

Effective workplace branding changes the entire working environment and can have an impact on employees’ performance, beyond your expectations.

The importance of workplace branding of workplace branding

The Importance of Workplace Branding

Workplace branding is quite important for organizations operating at any operational scale. Here’s how it influences a company.

Boosts Employee Motivation and Productivity

Workplace branding can have a massive impact on employees. A working environment that is not only comfortable but also aesthetically pleasing will be conducive to a more motivated and. therefore. more productive workforce. Simple gestures like providing ergonomic furniture can show employees how important and valued they are, so it’s important when rebranding your office space you take into account the comfortability of the staff and even ask their opinions on the design.

A relaxed environment and a comfortable working experience enhance a worker’s productivity, creativity, and presence of mind. They’ll put in more effort into completing a task, resulting in greater productivity.

Encourages Loyalty in Employees

Workplace branding reinstates a strong sense of pride in the company. It makes the employees feel proud to be part of an organization that is forward thinking and impressively presented. Subsequently, it encourages loyalty towards the company. Employees will start working with more dedication and rigour due to an increased sense of ownership.

As a result, employee turnover decreases. The organization is able to retain their best employees and avoid spending on subsequent recruitment needs. This saving can be invested straight back into the business and into staff development to reward such loyalty.

Attracts More Clients

Effective workplace branding is also important from a potential client’s point of view. An office branded with the company’s culture, brand value, and theme leaves a massive positive impression on a potential client. It amplifies the company’s ethos, and when done well, an office branding that displays prestige and professionalism will entice more potential clients to do business with you.

More clients mean more business, so subsequently, workplace branding can be a good investment after all.

Standardize workplace branding into your office

How to Incorporate Branding into your Office

Obviously, workplace branding doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll have to paint everything in the company’s theme colour. The scope of workplace branding is greater than that.

Initially, you can cover doors, fixtures, and some other pieces in the company’s theme colour. Dependent on the nature of your business you can incorporate quirky, show stopping pieces of furniture, games equipment, impressive lighting, and revolutionary electronics.

Next, you can get the company logo printed on places such as glass, the façade of the building, doors, etc. so clients know where to find you. Keeping your hopes of branding your space in mind when you’re renting a workspace in Shoreditch or its vicinity, an office that can be transformed for workplace branding should be your choice, instead of those where you aren’t really allowed to tweak the décor arrangement.

Toot your corporate horn with workplace branding

Toot Your Corporate Horn

Moving to the more important stuff, highlighting the company’s achievements through award displays, press release posters, or product displays in the building is a great example of workplace branding. You can highlight the achievements and success of the company throughout the business centre whilst also displaying areas of perceived growth and aspiration. World maps showing locations where your business currently trades and highlighting locations of interest are great examples of this.

Apart from showing clients and prospective clients that you mean business, these displays can also act as motivation for the employees and directors to achieve the future targets and objectives.You may also honour the company’s all-time best employees, directors, and the owner of the building as part of your effective workplace branding strategy.

Another brilliant method to incorporate workplace branding into your organization is to highlight the company’s moral and ethical values. It must be expressive enough to convey your organization’s corporate culture and brand value.

Workplace branding is essential, especially for a growth oriented organization. Not only does it influence the employees, but also the potential clients or business ambassadors.

For more information, click here.

Local Branding

Brilliant Tips for Wedding Invitations

Wedding invitations are a very important part of the wedding ceremony. However, they can also bring a lot of stress. They must be designed, mailed, and RSVP cards must be collected. They announce your wedding and advise you of who will attend and what their food choices are. This can be the difference in preparing food for 100 guests or for 200 guests. The difference is a lot of expense.

Today’s bride is in a unique position. Until recent years the wedding rules of etiquette were written in stone. It was tacky and tasteless to change the standard invitations and you had to include all of the accessories. The family of the bride would be embarrassed. You would be the talk of the town and you’re standing in the community would not get off to a good start.

The modern couple knows their wedding is theirs alone. They have options past generations did not have. Invitations are being customized to match the style of the actual wedding. There is nothing wrong with using a casual design for the vineyard wedding where the groomsmen will wear jeans. You can skip the ivory paper with gold or black print and use colors. The colors should match the colors of your wedding. Like your brand, you should use the same colors on your wedding social media sites.

The wording does not have to be strictly formal. In fact, a very formal invitation to a less than formal wedding is quite confusing for your guests.

Consider the function of the item you are working on. The invitation is to announce your wedding and ask people to join you. It should be in your style and taste and include the necessary information. If it does, then it is “right”. The RSVP card is to advise you of who will attend so you can plan. Make sure they serve their purpose and go with it.

Remember the only people that need be impressed are you and groom.

We will share with you tips from brides, printers, and others who know first hand about the challenges of wedding invitations.

wedding-invitations

Pro Tips

  1. Theo, Development Manager of Eventrii offers this tip.
    “In our experience due to a common problem of lack of RSVP’s to invitations, we have found that giving your guests sufficient time and a simple clear channel to RSVP generates the best response. Typically, no less than 6 weeks allows your guests to make arrangements so they can attend your special day. Using Eventrii allows organizers to send well-designed invitations with a QR code that allows guests to respond at any time using their electronic device and only takes a few seconds to do. It also generates a guest list for the organizer.”
  2.  Demi Mist, creator of Beauty and The Mist gives this advice.
    “Your wedding invitations should be sent to your guests at least six weeks before the big day. This way your friends and relatives will have enough time to arrange a couple of days off work or book a hotel room if necessary. The sooner they know, the better!”
  3. DOM Barnard, of Virtuals Speech, tells us.
    “While it’s important to match the design of the invitation with your personality and wedding theme, don’t get too carried away with fancy fonts. The purpose of your invitation is to provide details of your wedding and where the guest can RSVP so make sure that your font isn’t so elaborate that it’s difficult to read what the invite actually says. It’s best to stick to a more simple font or traditional calligraphy style that everyone can easily read, and ensure that the font colour contrasts enough with the background so that the purpose of your invite is clear.”
  4. Professional, Lizzy D. Lee of DoLeeNoted.com explains money saving techniques.
    “Coming from someone who made all 291 of her wedding invitations on a budget, my best advice for DIY invitations is to create the wording template on Microsoft Word or Microsoft Powerpoint and then print them in bulk at Staples. You can bring your own cardstock to print onto, or you can use the cardstock Staples has available. I also included RSVP links on my invitations in lieu of postcards to further save on postage and printing costs, although I did include printed postcards for guests who are not as tech-savvy and aren’t as comfortable clicking a URL to RSVP.”

 

blogging
Local Branding

Pro Tips For Growing A Bigger and Better, Blogger List

Regardless of the industry you are in, creating and maintaining a blog list is part of your world. If it is not part of your world, you are a little behind, since now literally everyone can work on cloud. Having a blog is step one to introducing yourself, your business, and your services as your brand. It is not just important that you do it, it is critical that you do it well. You have to do it “like a boss”. In this article, you will find pro tips from some of the best wedding expert vendors in the world.

Enlighten people

People are always shocked when they discover what goes on behind the scenes of any trade. This is especially true for professionals who work in the wedding industry. People rarely know the options available to them and the steps to take to make things happen. Enlightening people through the strength of their blog is a powerful way to share the knowledge.

grow list

  • Marcia Hanscome and Barbara Miller, owners of Vacation Rentals of North Myrtle Beach explain. “Keeping a close eye on current trends and upcoming events in the area and writing about it is our strategy with growing our mailing list. Although promoting our own property management business is very important, we believe promoting outside activities and events in the area where families vacation is just as important. Our mission, here at Vacation Rentals of North Myrtle Beach, is to be the “go to” blog site where people go to see what’s going on in the Myrtle Beach area. And as our way of saying thank you to our readers, we attach a rental special to each and every one of our blog articles. So, we believe because of this strategy, growing our list comes very easy for us.”
  • Michael Solomon, Founder of 10x Management offers this: “We pick topics related to technology that we know inside and out because we only want to write about what we know. We are experts in facilitating freelance tech work for major companies and startups alike, so we tailor our content to the growing demand for freelance work in the modern economy. We write about subjects that are topical, engaging and ones that we can ideally form an opinion on. We also like to link our content to great articles that are already out there. We place our content on a select few outlets and the growth has been steady.”
  • Kaitlan Whitteberry, Social Media Manager, and Tiffany Rivers, Director of Marketing of iOFFICE, Inc. offer this. “We have found that while understanding your audience is the ultimate key to success, ensuring the conversation revolves around them shifts the focus back where it belongs. Your job as a blogger is to enlighten your audience with information they haven’t been previously exposed to, but also to ask what they want to learn. You should want to be their ultimate guide. Where they look first when seeking information. If you start by focusing on providing relevant content, that speaks to their needs – your list will grow itself.”
  • Teresa Matich, Copywriter at Clio, says: “When growing an email list, we’ve found it’s most important to keep quality top of mind. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel—we get the best results by consistently delivering quality, on-topic content, as this respects list members by staying in line with what they expect to find. Flooding their inbox with mediocre content simply doesn’t work. Whatever other tactics you use to grow your email list, always put the quality of your content first.”
  • Dana Baardsen is the founder of Agile Trend Media. She shares with us her unique strategy for DynaPro Direct and lets in on her insight: “Growing a brand’s blog is fun, and if it’s not, you’re not doing it right. It’s crucial to be savvy with SEO, feature catchy (not click-bait) headlines, and provide serviceable and accurate information regularly — but it’s even more important to ditch your personal itch to micromanage every piece of content. Here’s why: By allocating energy to public relations and opening up your site to editorial collaborations, you’ll feed new energy into an otherwise one-sided stream of content. What happens when you schedule collaborative blog content regularly? An increase in engagement, views, shares, likes, sales, and fun!”

Entertain, educate, and give useful tips

Blogging is unlike any other form of communication. The reader does not want to read an instruction book, nor do they want to feel as if the writer does not “get them”. They want to laugh, be inspired, and shake their head in agreement with the author. They want to hear little tips and bits of information that make their lives easier.

blogging

  • Aaron Zapata of Impactprop.com shares: “My best strategy for growing my list has been two-fold) Whenever possible, my content is very personal and I share personal experiences through storytelling. I want people to know me, my struggles, and my successes and find that people come back for more when they find my site. When people want more, they are willing to subscribe. Offer free useful downloads in exchange for an email address. This is a strategy used by most bloggers so it’s not unique but it definitely works.”
  • Karen Cruz of Cloudbric firmly agrees with this approach. She said: “Cybersecurity is a daunting topic for many, but Cloudbric was developed precisely because we want to make a crucial and necessary topic accessible to many. We try to put ourselves in the shoes of our readers by breaking down the jargon and using fun analogies and by incorporating a good mix of informative, technical, and “fun” content. Additionally, we use marketing automation software to see what readers enjoy and don’t, optimizing our content each time to make sure that we’re staying on top of trending topics in the IT security industry.”
  • Emily Jo Jerue of Tuleburg.co explains further: There is no real tip or secret to growing a list from a blog. That is to say, quality writing is key. People respond emotionally to the content. You could be a really solid writer but fail to entertain. Conversely, you could compose a superfluous story but fail to inform your audience. My best advice is to have a mix between entertaining and informing. The most successful blog writers make you laugh and make you think. I have found that if I can make fun of relatable business situations while offering serious alternatives to a problem, I gain more readers.

Quality Content

Mark Monchek of The Opportunity Lab tells us: “Make your content match your values. As a consulting firm, content development can seem forced and insincere. However, when we started posting about topics that our team cares deeply about, rather than content we thought would “perform well”, our readership got larger and more engaged. There’s so much content out there that sincerity, and a values-based approach really stands out. It also indirectly exposes your readers to your unique value proposition, and helps them understand how your ideology sets you apart from similar companies”.

  • Sandeep Singh, Co-founder of InfiSecure, a bot protection platform says: “Apart from having a great navigation, user experience, and prominent opt-in form, the best way to grow lead list is to publish high-quality blog content and provide an insightful resource for visitors to download according to the buyer persona. Building and distributing such content assets builds thought leadership for a brand in the longer run and also gives an opportunity to nurture such leads to become potential prospects. This high-quality content and downloadable resource need to be regularly amplified via social media, online contests, and paid promotions.”
  • Sam Smith, Undernews, shares:  “I started in radio news, including writing nine newscasts a day, and one of the things I learned was to keep it lean and to the point. When I started the blog I worked on the same idea. Lots of short stuff to balance out the longer pieces. And don’t be serious all the time. Readers become bored just like you.”
  • Pamela Sutton, Owner of Pamela Sutton Photography urges people to dig deeper. She states: “Taking time to know my wedding couples personally and listen to their expectations is essential to building a photography business that stands out. By limiting the number of weddings I accept I’m able to do just that. In my experience, people don’t realize what they are looking for is a Photographer to personally connect with as much, or maybe even more, than they are looking for visual artistry. When clients feel cared for, they tell their friends and family which creates organic growth. Also, by offering a referral program, I can thank my clients for their word of mouth while at the same time creating a network of happy, repeat clients.”
  • Olivia Gumienny of Fox and Mint has inside tips to share: “There are many successful ways to grow your list, but it’s the strategic ways you engage with your subscribers that matters most. It doesn’t necessarily have to be with giveaways and competitions (although those are a great incentive to keep people sticking around).Targeting your message to your audience by segmenting your data is integral if you really want your subscribers to connect with what you’re telling them. For example showing your adult and family subscribers content that they can relate to. Personalizing your email marketing also is a super easy and simple way to bring your subscribers closer to you. By using their names in subject lines or by providing discounts on birthdays are just some very easy ways that allow your subscribers to grow closer to you.

Promo’s and Giveaways

email subscribers

  • Ryan Watkins of Ryan Watkins Professional explains: “Most people are reluctant to give away their e-mail and be put on your list. After almost a year of little success in getting people to sign up, I started giving away coupons as incentives for people to sign up. My list tripled after the first newsletter exclusive coupon I gave away.”
  • Kandice Kelso, Author at Green-Eyed Girl Productions, takes it even further. She said. “As an Online Wedding Coordinator, my blogging focuses on our E-Courses and The Project Block System, the cornerstone of our company. I use a 2-tier strategy to build my lists: Amazing Lead Magnets and The Excel Guest List Spreadsheet for couples which calculates their budget. (they download it for free when they subscribe. Once Subscribed, a 3-Email Series introduces my E-Courses. This series provides links to all other lists as well. Once on a list, they are exposed to all other lists and continue to subscribe throughout all my other services. All lists eventually end at my main product, The Project Block System.”
  • Dominic Barrios of the Top Knotters, breaks it down for us. He says: “Provide valuable content for your target readers. In our case, soon-to-weds love to hear our practical wedding tips and real stories from brides. Offer them free e-books, tools or any freebies because people just love getting free items easily, especially if these are of value to them. Don’t make things complicated for them.”
  • Easton Reynolds, founder of The Art of Six Figures lets us in on his strategy: “I have found the best way to grow our list is to host free webinars and reach out to our partners to help spread the word. Consumers want value before they feel comfortable giving you their contact info. A free webinar is a great way to be able to give them that value with real actionable nuggets of information. We drive registrations with Facebook ads which we believe is the most effective PPC lead gen platform on the market today.” LuRey Photography

As you can see, there are plenty of ways to build your blog. These experts and others have crafted strategy that fits will with their business. You can do the same thing. With a little trial and effort and a by letting your true personality shine through, there is a way for you,  

Local Branding

A Guide to Business Energy Contracts

Renewing/switching your business utility contract is highly important in order to prevent paying out-of-contract rates. This used to be a complex and sometimes risky process due to the strict guidelines suppliers imposed. However, in April 2015 Ofgem altered the termination process to make it more straightforward. Businesses can now notify suppliers of their termination at any point in the renewal window and give 30 days notice instead of 90. Additionally suppliers are required to provide customers with information regarding their supply and prices, 60 days before their contract ends. This information will allow businesses to compare rates and find the best energy deal for their needs.

OUT-OF-CONTRACT RATES

Out-of-contract rates occur when a business’s utility contract expires and either, an alternative contract hasn’t been agreed, or a contract has been terminated – in order to switch supplier – but a delay has prevented the new supply from taking effect in time. As a result, the supplier will still be providing the business’s energy, so will charge out-of-contract rates. These rates are significantly more expensive, sometimes more than twice as much, as agreed rates. Switching supplier can often be a lengthy and sometimes complicated process. Therefore, it is vital that you are aware of your contract end date and arrange an alternative in good time.

DEEMED CONTRACTS

A deemed contract takes effect when a supplier provides energy to a customer, who doesn’t have a contract in place. This situation usually arises when a customer moves into a new premises and consumes energy, thus activating a deemed contract with the energy supplier. Rates on a deemed contact are considerably more expensive, on average 80% more, than agreed rates. For that reason, it is advisable to arrange an energy contact prior to moving into new premises. If you’re paying deemed rates for your business utilities, negotiate a new energy contact as soon as possible. A supplier cannot prevent any business on a deemed contract from switching supplier at anytime. Similarly they cannot expect a business to give them advanced notice.

FIXED CONTRACTS

A fixed energy contract offers businesses some financial security, as the rates are fixed for a specific period of time – usually between 1-5 years. This allows businesses to budget for their utilities, as they shouldn’t receive any unexpected high bills. A fixed contract protects businesses from price rises in the energy market. However, the downfall is that they won’t benefit from any drop in energy prices. Additionally, fixed rates are often more expensive, to cover suppliers in the event of a drastic price rise in the energy market .

VARIABLE & FLEXIBLE CONTRACTS

Variable and flexible contracts are similar, as neither offers the same level of security that a fixed contract does. This is because their rates fluctuate in line with market price changes. They do, however, both offer flexibility, as you aren’t tied into them for a set period of time. You may leave these contracts at anytime, but will need to provide your supplier with 30 days notice. The main difference between flexible and variable contracts is the reason why the customer is placed on them, rather than on a fixed contract. A flexible contract is chosen by the customer, whereas a variable contract is offered by the supplier when they are unable to provide a customer with a fixed contract. This could be due to a variety of reasons, such as;

  • Low estimated annual consumption
  • Low credit score – this can be for various reasons, even simply being a new customer with no credit history.
  • A landlord is responsible for a premises energy supply.

LENGTH OF CONTRACT

You can fix your energy rates for between 1-5years. Meaning you will be tied into a contract with the same supplier for that length of time, which may seem rather daunting. Your supplier may also offer you attractive, lower rates for a 1 year contract. Consequently, you may be inclined to only agree to a one year deal. However, this may not be the most cost effective option for your business. The energy market is extremely volatile and energy prices can be subject to drastic change, rising as much as 15% in a single year. Therefore, if you only enter into a 1 year contract, in addition of having to go through the hassle of sourcing another deal in 6-12 months time, prices may rise significantly, leading to more expensive utility bills for your business.

WATT WE CAN DO

Watt Utilities is a family-owned utility brokerage located in Manchester. We have a dedicated team of utility specialists, who have helped over 855 thousand business pocket over £120 million in savings since 2000. Our team can help guide you through the process of switching/renewing your utility contract; and as we work alongside a large number of the UK’s leading suppliers we can offer current tariffs at the best rates, that are perfectly suited to your business’s needs. If you are looking to switch or renew your business energy contract today, click here!

Local Branding

Essential Wedding Planning – Tips and Tricks

Most of us dream of our wedding day for years. We have this image in our mind of what the perfect wedding is. However, we have no idea what goes into making that perfect event. There are a million details that must be addressed to make sure everything goes off without a hitch.

In our minds we see bridesmaids rushing around getting dressed, and the groomsmen in their tuxedos laughing on the steps of the chapel. What we do not give much thought to is the florist, caterers, DJ, minister or official, or the videographer. We do not think of the crews setting up chairs and setting tables, the cake being delivered, the limo driver or the bartender. There are so many ways to make wedding planning mistakes, but professionals are here to help. 

There are a lot of talented people that must work together in order to give you that perfect day. We have interviewed wedding professionals from around the country to get some great tips and tricks that you can incorporate into your wedding. So let us share with you advice from the experts.

food-couple-sweet-married

Wedding Planners, Vendors and other pros

We believe in the importance of a good wedding planner. The vast majority of problems and issues that dance on the nerves of the bride and groom are easily dealt with by an experienced wedding planner. If you can only afford one luxury for your wedding day, we suggest you hire a wedding planner.

Karlee Jaramillo from Karlee K Photography shared her opinion about wedding planning:

“You’re engaged! Congratulations! Getting started in the wedding planning process, the biggest tip I can give would be to decide which wedding professional is the most important to you. Maybe you’ve been following a photographer’s work on Instagram religiously, waiting until it was your turn to let them capture your story in the dreamiest way. Perhaps you know that you could never do all the work alone, and having a talented planner who knows the in’s and out’s of making your wedding absolute perfection is your top priority. We all have that go-to vendor who we’ve just been waiting to reach out to ever since we met the right person, the vendor who fills our Pinterest board with our ideal wedding day. Reach out to that vendor before anyone else, and choose your day based off of their availability! I can’t count the times where so many couples have been so disappointed because the vendor of their dreams was already booked, but you can avoid this! And to do so, you may have to compromise somewhere else! Say you envisioned a Fall wedding in October, but the photographer is booked solid through November. You may want to consider a Summer or Winter wedding, and that’s ok! You will not regret making a small sacrifice in one area to work with someone who you know will take the best care of you when it matters most!”

Professionals Scott and Dana Halvorson of Weddings By Scott and Dana explain it best: “Dream weddings come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and to plan a truly memorable wedding can seem overwhelming. Here are a few tips to ensure your wedding will be an event to remember.

  • Know what you want: This is not just any ole wedding, it’s your wedding. Talk to you partner and decide what type of wedding you both would really enjoy. Personalize your wedding to match your personalities. Starting with a solid idea of what your dream is will make all the other decisions easier.
  • Get Help: Armed with your dream in mind, search out the professionals that can turn that dream into a reality.Everyone you hire, from your planner to your invitation designer, should know what your expectations are. Hire people who have experience with your type of wedding, then trust them to do what they do best.
  • Consider your guest: Think about your guest and how they will experience your wedding. Taking time to make sure your guest will be comfortable, occupied, entertained, and appreciated will create an event they will remember for years.
  • Have fun: Plan to enjoy this special day. Everyone will notice and it’s contagious. If you have fun so will everyone else. When everything is over, and you are reminiscing about your wedding, the fun you had is what you and your guest will remember the most.”

Cassandra Key-Lyons of Bridal Magic advises brides on ways to lighten their load and make things run much more smoothly:  

“My advice to couples planning their wedding: once you’ve made a decision, like picking your decor and color palette, stick with it. Don’t cause yourselves stress and confusion by continuing to look at alternatives. There are plenty of options out there but go with your instincts and what you want as a couple. Pouring over wedding websites and magazines long after you’ve already settled on something will only muddle the process. Also, don’t do something because you think you’re supposed to. If you don’t want a guestbook or to hand out favors with your initials on it, then don’t. It’s your wedding, so make it everything you want it to be.”

Courtney Branson from Lovely Little Blog also shares the idea to keep it simple. The internet is flooded by the ‘best wedding ideas’ but what if the brides just stick to what makes THEM happy?

“Pinterest can be your best friend or worst enemy. It’s great for sparking ideas and showing vendors your vision. It’s tempting to let it go past that but I encourage you to plan the wedding that fits your budget and vibe. There’s nothing less magical than realizing you’re in debt day one of marriage or planning a wedding that feels disingenuous to your relationship. You want folks to say, “This feels so y’all”. Don’t let the Pinterest board cloud your instincts.”

Betsy Tomasello, of Betsy Blue Photography, is in agreement on brides letting the professionals do what they do. That is the only way to get the best results. She says:

“One of my favorite ways to serve my brides is to include timeline assistance with every wedding booking. I’ve witnessed hundreds of weddings and am always happy to share my experience on when the best light might be for portraits, or possibly a more flattering position to angle the arbor in order to allow for the best light on the couple for their photographs.Planning a wedding is a huge undertaking, so why not rely on the experience of professionals around you to help plan your day to be as fluid and beautiful as possible.”

When it comes to wedding vendors, photographers, planners, and other professionals, John Lennon of Lennon Photography had this to share:

“Look for vendors who have a passion for what they do. A typical sales pitch equals common quality. You deserve vendors who dream of the perfect wedding because those are the people who care enough to deliver it to you.”

Trust your event coordinator to have some pretty cool ideas. They are up to the minute on wedding trends and traditions. Be open to their suggestions.

Kristin Rockhill, Wedding Stylist & Floral and Event Designs, has an eye for design and color. She says:

“Grey is my favorite color! When it comes to setting a stunningly styled tablescape my go to linen choice is grey. It pairs perfectly with wood tones, neutrals, pastels and even bright and cheery hues like lemon and tangerine!”

Sometimes we have to ask ourselves if we are creating the wedding we really want. If you want a small, intimate, gathering, then go for it.

As wedding expert, Maria Fernanda Marion of Blog da’ Maria Fernanda points out: “keep it small. Small weddings are more intimate and cozy.”

Lisa Gilbert from Lisa Gilbert Photography added:

“There are so many little details involved in planning a wedding and it can be exhausting. You need to prioritize their importance to you and then LET GO. Think about the last two or three weddings that you attended as a guest. What do you remember? The food? The centerpieces? How great the DJ was? Chances are, the things that stood out to you are the same things that will stand out to your guests, so stop worrying about the details that will fade (is anyone really going to remember the exact shade of your napkins?) and focus on the ones that are are meaningful to you (like keeping the dance floor packed). Then, let the people you’ve hired to take care of these details do their jobs, while you relax and enjoy the best day of your life!”

Bride showing Engagement Ring on Left Hand on Wedding Celebratio

Beauty

On this single day, you want to be the most beautiful you have ever been.

Take these tips from Nina Moran, Cheekadee Makeup Artist:

“Summer can be hot and sticky but let’s keep the hot in our makeup and ditch the sticky! Whether you are doing your makeup yourself or having it professionally done, here are some tips to keep your makeup fresh on your big day!

Tone with witch hazel, we really like Thayer’s, Witch Hazel. This will remove any unwanted oil that may interfere with the longevity of your makeup

Prime your skin- We love Tarte Clean Slate Poreless 12 Hour Perfecting primer. This product refines the skin, is waterproof and diffuses fine lines and imperfections.

If you are super oily you can use a mattifying product like Face to Face Super Matte Anti-shine. Just a bit it the t-zone will do.

Set your makeup with a setting spray! Our favorites are Model in a Bottle, or Makeup Forever Mist & Fix. This will really improve your makeup wear!”

Kelly Brown from lulaandsailor.com added:

“Search For The Dress!

Every Bride is different as is the journey of wedding planning. There may not be a “favorite” part of the wedding planning process but my from my experience last year; it was without a doubt the search for the perfect wedding dress. Most brides wouldn’t take it quite as extreme as I did. Being a fashion blogger and wardrobe stylist I really wanted to document the process, especially because I visited thirteen stores. Yes, THIRTEEN STORES you read that correct lol. If I could give advice to a bride it would be to really take your time finding the perfect dress and take a lot of photos. Only you will know when you have found your perfect dress. Enjoy and savor every moment! “

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Photography

Photography is a major priority for any wedding. This is a day that must be captured for eternity. Some day our great-grandchildren will look back on this day and we want them to see the love and hope we had for the future in our photographs.

Professional and devoted photographers do their best to make the wedding day special for the couple. Some of them even include a complimentary engagement session. Why is that? Angelina from Asterisk Photography replied to this question:

“We do this because it allows for 3 really basic yet crucial things to develop: Consistency, relationship, and trust.

These 3 items are so important to have with your wedding photographer –

First – having the same photographer shoot your wedding and engagement allows everything to be seamless and consistent. Brides usually pick their wedding photographer because they love their style – by having the photographer do both, your wedding style really shines through.

Secondly – Relationship. Hmmm. this is a big one for me! I love shooting weddings because of the relationships I get to form with my couples. The more I know my clients personally, the better I know how to serve them well.

This leads to our final reason: Trust. We all know that every relationship is built on trust. During that engagement session time, you’re able to build trust and relationship in a casual setting, the wedding day pressure isn’t around so you and your fiance are freed up to have fun!”

 Ayyyna Budaeva from Mango Studios added:

“Your day will come and go very quickly, remember to sit back, relax, don’t sweat the small stuff and enjoy the moment. Coordinating a wedding can be stressful but stay calm and focus on the big picture, and your photos! A wedding is a gathering of your closest family and friends in one room to celebrate your love and commitment to each other, celebrate that and live in the moment in order for your wedding photos to look organic, natural and effortless!”

Alicia Williams from Cordele Photography emphasizes the importance of referrals and some research before hiring your photographer. But most importantly…

“First, Relax!  Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is a wedding!  Research, ask friends and use google!  Friend referrals will give you a good sense if you like the vendor because you like the referrer.  Also, take notes at events and weddings you attend. Look at season color palettes Check out Color Me Pretty!  Talk to vendors and see if you jive with them.  Especially the photographer! They may take pretty pictures, but you want to have fun with them, they follow you everywhere!”

 

Bethanne of Bethanne Arthur Photography offers this advice for the couples:

“When searching for a photographer to capture your big day, keep a few things in mind.

  • Can you afford this photographer?
  • Are you willing to expand your wedding photography budget if you find your perfect match, in regards to photography style?
  • Do you feel comfortable with them?
  • Does your fiance feel comfortable with them? Do they seem personable?
  • Does this photographer seem to treat clients and events as just transactions, or do they try to get to know you or find a point of connection?
  • Do you love their work? It is so important to choose someone that actually has a photography style that you love.

 

These are your wedding photographs; these are priceless heirlooms you will have for the rest of your life and beyond, as they are passed down through the generations. Do not just hire someone because they are the least expensive, someone you know is friends with them, or they have 10,000 followers on Instagram. Choose a photographer that shoots images you love and swoon over; choose a photographer that you feel like you can connect with!”

Jillian McQuerrey, the owner of B.O.B. Photography, agrees with Bethanne about that special connection between the bride and photographer. She shared: “One tip I can wholeheartedly recommend is to do your research. I always tell couples I speak with to chat with more than one photographer. After that, choose the photographer you “click with”, love their work and feel comfortable around. If you think about it, you will spend more time with your photographer on your wedding day than your significant other. So you want it to be an enjoyable experience. The more comfortable you are with your photographer, the more natural your photographs will look.”

Many brides try so hard to control everything, for forget that they have hired professionals to relieve them of that stress.

This point was driven home by Betty Simpson, of Betty Elaine Photography, “Trust your photographer and other vendors! Yes, it is your wedding day (hooray!), but you do not need to be burdened with having to control the day or schedule out your timeline by yourself. Once you know what your wedding day is going to look like (location, ceremony start time, etc), it is important to talk to your wedding photographer about how much time they need for pictures. Let them draw up a schedule for portraits and help you figure out when hair and makeup should be finished. Your photographer will know the best time of day for outdoor pictures, how long you need them for getting ready pictures, and if a first look would be more practical for your wedding day.”

There are always little budget busters that manage to show up with weddings. Take care of small things and the big things will take care of themselves. The main thing is to have your day, have your memories, and have fun!

Here is a great tip by Jenna Henderson, of Jenna Henderson Photography “While wedding planning, don’t forget to budget a little money for after the wedding to use for prints of your wedding photos! After all, when the whole day is over, the photos are the only thing that will remain. You want to make sure you have enough cash stashed away that you can give your beautiful memories the treatment they deserve, whether that be in the form of a fine art album or perhaps a gallery of large framed prints. Printed photos also make a great gift for your parents as a way to say thanks for all of their support.”

Brandon O’Neal, of Brandon Oneal Photography, says it like this:

“As a photographer, I see weddings as a dance between preparation and chance. We like to allow the celebrations unfold naturally, but we often manipulate the timing and locations ahead of time so they work out in our favor for great images.Prepping for the day is essential- create timelines, do the meetings, set up the vendors. But, when the day comes, my biggest advice is to enjoy it no matter what. Brides put lots of time and energy into planning the day and it would be such a waste to not enjoy it. I want to photograph my brides and grooms having the time of their life, not micromanaging every detail and worrying about the flowers being just right – that doesn’t make for great images. So plan, then let go!”

Wedding photography is an art. So much depends on the location, timing, lighting, and ambiance.

Leslee Mitchell of Leslee Mitchell Art is an artist and photographer. As such, she has a wealth of knowledge she was gracious enough to share. She says:

“Light is 100% of every photo. It’s not 99%, it’s 100%.

Don’t let family photo time eat up more time than necessary. After all, the most important photos of the day are the ones of the bride and groom. No wedding is complete without the family photos, but family photos do not have to monopolize a majority of photo taking time.

However long your hair and makeup artist tell you it will take to complete hair and makeup, add at least 30-45 minutes. It’s common for hair and makeup to run over on schedule. When hair and makeup run over, you will receive fewer photos due to lost time that cannot be recovered.

Just relax. The most beautiful photos are the candid shots. Make a point to not know where the photographer is every second of the day. Chances are they’re somewhere looking right at you through their lens. Don’t mess up what could have been a beautiful, candid moment of you because you’re scanning the room looking for your photographer or trying to figure out if you’re being photographed.

If you hate being photographed to the point you almost break out in hives have a cocktail and relax. If you can’t relax, you will appear tensed in your photos. Don’t be hard on yourself. The majority of people are uncomfortable when they’re being photographed. Have a plan in place to be able to relax when it’s time to be in front of the camera. You’ll be very glad you did.”

Communication is key when it comes to your wedding. Details must never be left to chance. This tidbit from Leigh Fabozzi of Leigh Elizabeth Photography is right on the money! Leigh says,

“Maximize your photographer’s coverage by creating a timeline in advance. Make sure to sit down or have a phone call with your photographer about a month out from your wedding to finalize the timeline. Ask questions, iron out the details, and get on the same page. This will ensure your wedding day runs smoothly and stress-free!”

Carly Fuller from Carly Fuller Photography shared the idea of picking your home as a location for engagement photos. She stated: “Stay at home and capture your first professional photos in your first home together as a future married couple! One of my favorite places to capture a couple is in their own environment. All your favorite things surround you and even kitties are welcome!” By doing so, the engagement photos will be natural, and they’ll reflect your true personality.

Our Favorite Tip

Throughout the rest of your lives together, there will be issues and situations that monopolize your time. Take this advice from Candice Benjamin of Candice Benjamin Photography. Make this a habit throughout all of life’s challenges and you will always be content.
Candice simply states: ”Have a weekly date night where you aren’t allowed to talk about the wedding. Enjoy your time together!

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The Wedding Of Your Dreams – On Budget!

The price of a wedding has reached an all-time high. The average wedding costs $31,213.00. While couples set a budget for their wedding a shocking 45% of them exceed their budget. We reached out to the experts and got some great tips on how to stay on budget and have the wedding of your dreams.

budget wedding

Make it your own

Many couples feel the need to stay with tradition, even if the traditions do not represent their own likes. This is your wedding and it is your brand. You do not have to stay in tradition that uses up your budget on things that mean nothing to you.

 

Andrea Belle, of Andrea Bell Studio’s, LLC says, “Allow yourself to break free from the pressure to follow some traditions.If something doesn’t feel like an expression of who you or what you want to remember from your wedding, then give yourself some time before you commit to that item or service”.

Michelle Robinson, of Michelle Robinson Photography offers: “When it comes to planning a wedding, but staying on your wedding budget is to first plan out what is truly important to you and your fiancé. Taking your time to research and plan out as much as you can so that you can say at the end of your wedding, “that was worth every penny!”.

Shea McGrath explains another way to break tradition and save money without sacrificing beauty. “Have your ceremony/reception at a family home in the backyard or at a national park. Wedding venues can be extremely expensive. National Parks are another great option if you like the outdoors because wedding permits are extremely inexpensive and the parks provide stunning views! This option allows you to bring your own food, cutting on catering costs.”

Sarah Maren of Sarah Maren Photography, “Forget about the favors! No one wants weird candy or a bottle opener. Chances are, those things will get left on the table or worse, thrown out! Add something fun to your wedding that has a small takeaway – like a photo booth! The images printed that day are a great memento for your guests, a fun activity during the reception, and loads of silly memories for you as well!”

“My biggest tip for keeping your wedding on a budget is to enlist your friends and family to help with the event in lieu of gifts. My husband and I thought it would be more special for our guests to participate rather than say, buy us a blender. I had artistic friends help with the wedding invitations, a photographer friend manned the homemade photo booth, a couple of musician friends played guitar as we walked down the aisle, another friend made a headpiece for me to wear.” Liz Teich , The Brooklyn Stylist.

 

Photography tips

“Focus on coverage so you have wedding photographs you’re proud to show off. You can always add an album or prints after the big day but you can never go back and be sure you hired your dream photographer for the time you needed.” Jennifer Smith, Darling Photo

“Choose the top 3 vendors who are most important to you and investing the majority of your budget there. In choosing these, think about the way you will always remember your wedding. Weddings can go by so quickly, so having valuable and treasured memories to share and look back on is extremely important to most couples. Whether you’re getting married at little to no cost in a park or a backyard to spending half of your budget on the best venue around, the way your photographer and videographer capture your wedding will be very important, especially since these are usually the only visual memories you have of the most important day in your life! Happy planning!” Katie Guth, Katie Guth Photography  

“Photography is probably one of the most diverse services that you can book for your wedding.

  • Analyze the work of great photographers, so you get accustomed with what style to you like.
  • Never choose a photographer based on his price!
  • Take your time to analyze portfolios of at least five local photographers.

Remember that photography is one of the most important choices to make. A badly taken photo can ruin all the hard work you put in organizing your dream day and your precious memories.” Erdei Rudolf, Erdei Rudolf Photography

 

Priorities

“Make a list of all components that you want for your wedding (e.g. flowers, music, food) and then prioritize them according to your preference. So, if your flower arrangements and other floral decor are the most important aspect of your day, don’t spend most of your money on music. Spend it on what your top priorities are. If you do this consistently, all your priorities will turn out exactly how you dreamed!”: Alina Smith, The Sassy Gator

wedding theme

“When planning for a wedding, I would recommend putting aside some money for incidentals and a splurge. There is going to be at least one item that the couple will want to splurge on. Choose wisely!” Misse Daniel, Honey Bee Weddings

“Not everything can be a priority! Choose your top priorities and be honest about where you’re willing to spend and where you really don’t much care. For some people, the priority is music and the party while the décor is quite far down the list. So hire a live band or a killer DJ and go to the market for field flowers with your family and friends. For others, décor and photography are everything, so the music is a well-appointed playlist”. Teressa Johnson, Teressa Johnson Studio

Tourine Johnstone from Johnstone Studios added: “Everything from DIY details to destination weddings can start to add up financially. No matter what your style and design, ensure the choices you make toward your wedding will add impact for your event. Start planning the budget to allow the most value for the categories that will add impact to your day. Selecting the perfect venue, your favorite cater, a photographer that you trust to capture amazing photos, a band or DJ to keep the party going, and your florist; these will really make the most impact to the day. Once you have reserved these not to compromise categories, rewrite the budget to supplement the day’s design; here is where you can make choices that will keep you in the budget. It is the details that can throw a budget, so have a conversation with your sweetie about how important that candy table may be”.

 

Attire

Taiwan Designer Yu Le of Chou&Y told us, “Hand-made dress, the real value is not material, is your own story.”

“Renting tuxedos or suits for your big day is definitely the way to go. Everyone in your wedding party will receive a complete ensemble that matches perfectly and is tailored to their specific build”. Mark Sarno, President of Tuxedo by Sarno

 

Other great tips

“The best way to stay on budget is to not plan or book anything until you have a budget. Especially when looking at venues – read the fine line and make sure you know ALL of the fees, gratuities, taxes, etc. that will add to that bottom line you are actually paying. Also, it is important to consider what your venue rental fee includes… while $3,000 might seem like a cheap rental compared to another venue that charges $5,000 but if that $5,000 rental includes chairs, tables, linens and more than maybe it’s a steal.” Nichole of Ivory and Beau Wedding Planning and Bridal Boutique

“A tip to stay on budget with your flowers when you are drawn to higher-end blooms like peonies and garden roses is to give your florist creative freedom and use those statement blooms as accents in your bouquets or centerpieces alongside more cost effective blooms. When placed correctly one or two peonies can elevate a centerpiece, while helping with the overall cost. Greenery also gives a lush feel with adding volume, but is far more cost effective than a centerpiece that is completely roses or peonies.”  Tamara Menges of Tamara Menges Designs

“Design your own invitations and have them printed at places like Office Depot or Staples. Sign up for their newsletter so you can watch for coupons on printing. Find your inspiration on Pinterest, and design away. To keep the invites looking professionally designed, you’ll want to use only two fonts and buy thick paper from places like Paper and More.”  Loren Jackson, from Loren Jackson Photography

Jamie Podworski,  the Owner of Jpod Films added: “Hiring a quality wedding planner will pay for itself three times over. The best wedding planners that we work with go above and beyond for their clients offering invaluable expertise, which in the end saves money and reduces the overall stress of the planning process.”

 

By following these expert tips and adding your own creativity and style, you can have a unique and memorable wedding that is truly your own. You can stay on budget without sacrificing the things that mean the most to you.

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Modern Transit Solutions Can Help Establish Your Brand

The Costs Of Air Travel

You don’t have to own a server array to compete with “the big dogs”, as the saying goes. Using cloud computing solutions, you can do many of the same things they do internally for a fraction of the cost. This allows you to compete, increasing profitability, scaling outward, and eventually being able to source internally.

Today, borders are being eroded and distances consumed by the ability of technology to overcome. You’ve heard phrases like “the world is a global village”, and “it’s a small world after all!”. These sentiments are on the increase, and relatively native to modern times.

Before Columbus found the “east Indies”, as he called them, it’s doubtful you’d hear the sentiment “it’s a small world after all”. That is a consequence of developing social and technological development with time. Today, it’s gotten to the point where business executives in America may regularly go to places as far afield as Japan.

Your small business will be expected by many prospective clients to be continuously available, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Additionally, it will be expected that you have transit capabilities. There are many situations where potential clients may be interested in working with you, but will want to meet with a representative personally.

If you only have to make such transits an 11% part of your annual calendar, that’s going to come to between forty and forty-one flights. Should an average flight cost $500 directly, and in total $1200 indirectly (because of the employee time involved), you’re looking at between $24,000 and $48,000 a year on flight expenses.

Solutions

Since many small businesses have to travel regularly in order to become established, playing coastal ping-pong between Los Angeles and New York (not to mention the occasional furlough in Denver), sometimes securing private flight options ends up saving them money.

In America today there are about 211,000 private pilots. That’s not a large number, considering America has 320+ million people currently. What it means, though, is that there is an existing industry in private aircraft, private aircraft parts, and the facilitation of solutions beyond the commercial sector.

You might even say that the industry is ideally sized right now. There’s a lot of room for expansion and innovation. While regulations exist, they haven’t hit that corporate juggernaut level known to be profitably hazardous in the long run.

travel

With these things in mind, for those who’ve crunched the numbers and found private flight is recommendable, there are a few pointers worth taking into consideration. One, you’ll have to do all your own upgrades and maintenance. Two, you’re going to want a solution that can be sourced anywhere; sometimes private airstrips are remote.

A third thing to consider is that you’ll want to source the best possible components for your aircraft, like those developed by aircraft engineers at Lycoming.

One of the reasons AeroInStock.com offers Lycoming carburetor solutions is because of their pedigree; according to Aero’s site: “…carburetors manufactured by Marvel-Schebler Aircraft Carburetors LLC continue with the implementation of modern manufacturing practices and engineered product improvements to ensure delivery of outstanding carbureted fuel controls.”

Protecting Your Investment

Finding known solutions in parts supply for your private aircraft represents an investment in the plane’s future, and potentially a cost-saving endeavor for your small business. When you can reach more diverse clients more quickly, you have a greater chance of establishing a strong brand whose influence isn’t limited to local clients.

The world is a global village continuing to expand, intermingle, and conduct business. If you can establish your brand with such a mindset, you have a good chance of maintaining it for years to come.

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15 Tips for Keeping Your Wedding on Budget

We already know that choosing bridesmaid dresses from Azazie is one great way to stick to even the tightest of wedding budgets. We asked wedding pros for their top suggestions for keeping costs in line, and they gave us 14 great tips!

Don’t Skimp on Photography

1. If you hire an amazing photographer he/she will be able to capture everything to look like you spent a lot of money even if you didn’t! Aaron Huniu, Aaron Huniu Photography

wedding-photography

2. It’s easy to go over budget on the photography. Try to barter. If you have a service the photographer might like ask them if they are willing to do a trade. Caroline Ross, Caroline Photography

Research Your Vendors

3. Wedding services can significantly increase the cost of your overall wedding budget. Do your research, you will find the perfect vendor that will compliment your special day and most importantly stay within your budget. Karissa Petrellese, NJ Wedding Pro

Discuss Your Priorities

4. When you’re really struggling to get your wedding spending on track, prioritize what truly makes the two of you happy. By saving, you’ll look back on your wedding day and remember how perfect it was. Justin Miners, Destination Wedding Directory

5. “Use your wedding as an opportunity to bring family & friends together. Sit around the table and do DIY projects together. Prioritize items on your checklist and stay on top of your budget. Ash Metry, Inspired Bride

 

Be Creative and Try DIY

6. Be creative when it comes to centerpieces: use an array of artfully mismatched cake stands to display dessert in lieu of expensive floral arrangements? Jutta Lammerts, Wedding Woof

7. DIY your Seating Chart! There are so many easy options that will add a personal touch, let you contribute something to the decor, and are simple enough for anyone to do, even if they have no craft skills. Amy June, Amy June Weddings and Events

8. Save money on your flowers by DIYing your centerpieces! Check out whether there are any flower markets near you, and willing wedding party members, and the morning of your wedding you can have a fun flower arranging party! Tracy Osborn, WeddingLovely

wedding-diy

Understand Your Budget

9. Set a range of amount instead of a solid amount. This will give clients room for flexibility as well as negotiation. Also, be realistic. If your number of guests goes up, know that your budget goes up as well.” Jo Ann, Apropos Creations

10. Couples need to know the big picture of how much money they have to spend so I can recommend vendors that will fit into their budget as well as their personality and style. Tracie Morris, You’re The Bride

11. Some of the smaller things that we forget to budget for could end up potentially costing a sizable amount – that is where you can stray from your initial expectations. Annie Cording, Wedding Ideas

Make Great Choices

12. Be sure to have your gown cleaned promptly after the wedding. The sooner it is cleaned, the better the chances for removing all stains and soil. Wait too long and you will pay extra for the special care required to remove set-in stains. Sally Lorensen Conant, Ph.D., Wedding Gown Specialists

weddings

13. Hiring a day of wedding day coordinator is seriously one of the best investments you can make for your big day. Not only can they help keep you on track budget-wise and save some serious dough by providing ideas on how to cut cost on items like flowers and decor.. they also help you keep your sanity while planning your big day!
Hosting an open bar at your wedding is a huge expense. Cut cost by offering beer and wine plus one or two “signature wedding cocktails” in lieu of a full bar. Carla Friday, Details Made Simple

14. Open bar seems like a good idea until you rack an almost $1,000 bill. Have a cut off time for the bar. This will help lower your cost on alcohol. Autumn Mae M, City Girl Desert Doll

15. Couples who have a positive attitude and seek professional and relevant advice have a better wedding planning experience. Camille Abbott, Ceremonies by Camille

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Money Saving Ideas For Parents

Having children is the most rewarding, enriching, and exciting thing a person can do, It is also one of the most expensive.  According to the United States Department of Agriculture, the cost of raising a child to the age of 18 is roughly $300,000, (and I doubt that even considers the costs of the latest iPhone they think they need by the time they are six). Needless to say, that is exactly the reason why a great number of people turn to financial plan solutions – to get prepared for the little ones. As the experts from My Wealth Solutions would say, it’s a series of well-planned investments that would help you reach the financial stability much needed when expecting.
We all want to provide for our children but it is not always easy to make ends meet. However, there are ways we can save money and still enjoy the life we are creating for our families. Below you will find a few tips that will help.

Money Saving Ideas For Parents

Car seat

It has to to safe, not stylish   

Parents tend to think they have to have the best and latest of everything for their little ones. Manufactures know that and put every bell and whistle they can think of on their products. The fact is, your child is going to outgrow many of the things you purchase, long before you even try out all those options. Take car seats for example. Your child will go through at least three car seats (or more). Your car seat needs to be safe and installed correctly. Spend your time researching the car seat and not your money on options.For ideas on what you really need to travel with baby, visit sites like bottlesandbanter.com.

Stroller

Strollers

Did you know some strollers cost hundreds of dollars? They recline, lock, have reversible straps, umbrellas and come with HBO. (Okay, no HBO) Then they fold up and “fit” into the trunk of your car. When you get to the mall, doctor’s office, or the park with your screaming baby in their car seat, you struggle to get this stroller (which is much like a Volvo) out of the car and then fight to set it up. By now your child is having no more waiting and the minute you strap him in, he goes into a melt-down that makes every mother in the area wonder if he is being kidnapped. You push your child, his diaper bag, your purse and the Volvo into the mall, where the fit continues. You end up pushing all that back to the car with one hand and a worn out baby on your hip. The next time you venture out, you grab the $20.00 umbrella stroller that you keep in the backseat and just go.

Money saving ideas

Buy, Sell, Trade

Use consignment shops, shops that buy and sell baby clothes and save a bundle. It is shocking how fast a kid grows. They often outgrow something before they even wear it. Sell it at a shop like Once Upon A Child or on EBay. Take good care of the clothes your child wears. You can trade them if they are in good condition. Co-Op with other parents and have swap meets. Get the most out of your child’s clothes and the things they need.

Support Groups

Make arrangements with friends to trade off babysitting, mother’s day out and other things that cost you money. The group I was in even cooked double meals once a week and traded. That way we always had a meal in the freezer that we had not had the day before. Take turns taking the kids to dance class, practice, or the park. You save money and find a little time just for you.

For more ideas, visit www.femmefrugality.com. This site is a great go to site for just about anything parent/ money related! There are a lot of ways to save money listed on the internet. Use common sense and remember one rule.  Just because you did not have it as a child, does not mean your child needs it.