Tuesday, January 25, 2011

2011 Bride's Choice Awards!

Orange County, CA – January 25, 2011 - WeddingWire, the nation’s leading wedding technology company, is thrilled to announce From Ring to Reception has been selected to receive the prestigious annual WeddingWire Bride’s Choice Awards™ 2011 for wedding planning & coordinating!

Recognition for the Bride’s Choice Awards™ 2011 is determined by recent reviews and extensive surveys from over 750,000 WeddingWire newlyweds. Our past clients are among those that shared their experiences on WeddingWire, the largest wedding review site in the nation.

From Ring to Reception stands among the top five percent of wedding professionals in the WeddingWire community, representing quality and service excellence within the wedding industry. Awards were given to the top wedding professionals across 20 service categories, from wedding venues to wedding photographers, and were based on the overall professional achievements throughout the past year.

“WeddingWire is honored to celebrate the success of the top-rated wedding professionals within the WeddingWire community,” said Timothy Chi, WeddingWire’s Chief Executive Officer. “With the annual Bride’s Choice Awards™ program, WeddingWire has the unique opportunity to recognize the best wedding professionals across the US and Canada. We applaud From Ring to Reception for their professionalism and dedication to enhancing the wedding planning experience last year.”

We are happy to announce that From Ring to Reception is among the very best wedding planning & coordinating within the WeddingWire Network, which includes leading wedding planning sites WeddingWire, Martha Stewart Weddings, Project Wedding and Weddingbee. We would like to thank our past clients for nominating us to receive the Bride’s Choice Awards™ 2011.

For more information, please visit our WeddingWire Storefront today at www.WeddingWire.com/FromRingToReception.

For more information on the Bride’s Choice Awards™ 2011, please visit www.WeddingWire.com.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Why Hire a Coordinator

With all the vendors you're hiring for your wedding, is it really all that important to hire a wedding coordinator?

Well... YES! And here's why...

Planning a wedding is a TON of work! You've probably figured this out if you've been through the process. It's such an important day in your life, and there are so many details! You're basically having a gigantic dinner party for a few hundred of your closest friends.

Wedding coordinators do exactly that...they coordinate weddings for a living. While you have one wedding you're planning, they've done hundreds! Weddings are all they think about. They know the tricks of the trade and can assure your Big Day goes as smoothly as possible.

Since they work at so many weddings they have great vendor contacts. They can point you in the right direction of the best venues, photographers, videographers, caterers, florists, invitations, DJs, bands, etc. And, maybe even more importantly, they can point you away from the ones not so great.

Even if you want to handle the planning up until the day of, having a wedding coordinator to check on things like your vendors, ceremony and reception set up, and getting your bridal party wrangled and lined up is quite the undertaking.

Throughout your wedding, vendors may have questions about the timeline or where your second cousin, the vegetarian, is sitting. You don't want to have to hassle with these details during your reception. A wedding coordinator can be the point person, someone you've discussed everything with who can answer everyone's questions for you.

Some brides mistake their venue contact for a coordinator. This person's role is to oversee the venue set up and staff, not to attend to the bride. It's important to have someone there for you.

Every bride I talk to says having a wedding coordinator is the best decision they made. So save yourself some trouble...your day will fly by on its own, you want to be able to enjoy it!

How Sweet It Is

Candy Bars have become very popular at weddings the past few years. It's a great decorative element for your reception and can either be a sweet treat at the reception or double as a favor. Here are some tips for creating your own!

How Much Candy Will I Need?
When the Candy Bar is first set up it will be a beautiful display, then guests will dig in and you'll want to have enough for replenishing at least once or twice throughout the night.

You can figure on 6 ounces per guest, some they'll eat during the reception and some they'll take home with them. So if you have 200 guests that's 1,200 ounces or 75 pounds.

You can have as many different types as you want, but even if you had two or three your Candy Bar can still look full and beautiful.

Usually 5 pounds of one type of candy is good for each container. Keep in mind the type of candy determines how many containers you'll need. For instance, 5 pounds of chocolate covered pretzels will take up more space than 5 pounds of M&Ms.

When to Buy Your Candy

If you're ordering online, place the order at least six weeks in advance. You don't want added stress of waiting for your candy to arrive!

What Kind of Candy?
Your wedding colors are a great place to start! Wholesale candy websites allow you to search by color. Candy Bars look great when they're color coordinated, even if you just have two colors in mind.

Your theme (if you have one) can dictate the candy choices. Saying "I Do" on the beach? Serve tropical Starbursts, coconut or pineapple Jelly Bellies and chocolate sea shells.

Is your groom's name or your new last name Clark? Serve Clark bars! Hershey Kisses or Hugs are an obvious choice, as well as M&Ms with your names on them--or if you're really lucky and your name starts with an M you can use the regular ones!

Keep in mind the location of your reception. If it's an outdoor wedding in the middle of August, you probably want to stay away from chocolate. Check out these websites:

Candy Warehouse

Groovy Candies

Oldtime Candy

Bulk Foods

How Should Guests Take the Candy?
The easiest is a favor bag with a 10-12 ounce capacity, available at any party or craft store. Chinese take out boxes are really cute, or small square boxes. You don't need to give each guest a ton of candy, just enough to appease their sweet tooth. You can personalize these bags or boxes with your new monogram, or just the first letter of your last name.

Set Up
Your life will be easier if you do a trial run at home. Play around with the arrangement of your jars until you get it just right. Once it's perfect, take a picture so set up is a snap.

Some venues allow you to drop off items for your reception the day before. If they're not booked the night before, you might even be able to set up the table early, leaving just the candy to be put out the day of. Your wedding coordinator can set this up for you (if it's part of your arrangement) or you can assign a friend who isn't in the bridal party to set it up. Whatever you do, please do NOT leave this on your or your mom's list of things to do on the Big Day.

Clear apothecary jars, wide-mouthed fish bowls or vases work great for displaying candy. Silver scoops add elegance to your Candy Bar. Consider adding the following elements for decor:

~Engagement pictures, childhood pictures of the bride & groom, a floral arrangement (add this to your list of arrangements from your florist), candles, flower petals, a linen or runner in a corresponding wedding color, a cute wooden sign (like "LOVE"), wooden letters (the bride & groom's initials), stacked books or boxes to add height to the display

If you're serving chocolate, don't put it out until the very last minute. During your cocktail hour would be perfect, if it's at a different location from the reception. You don't want guests digging into melted sweets.

A candy buffet is a great do-it-yourself favor that your guests will love. Everyone likes to feel like a kid in a candy store!

Photos from The Knot

Vendor Organization

Ever feel like there are just too many details to keep track of for your wedding? It's hard enough to keep track of them yourself, let alone trying to explain things to your bridal party, like that particular shade of pink in your bouquet, or the length of your bridesmaid dresses.

Friend Feed
is a great website where you can upload your vendor information and share it with friends and family, like an out of town maid of honor or an inquisitive mother. Guests can comment on your posts and feel a part of the planning process.

Happy Planning!

Dress Preservation

Your wedding dress is probably the most expensive dress you will ever buy, and whether or not you think your daughter or granddaughter will want to wear it someday, chances are you'd like it to be in good condition for years to come. Here are some tips on what to do with The Dress after your Big Day.

DIY Wedding Dress Details: How to Preserve Your Wedding Dress
The big day's over and your wedding gown, the most expensive item of clothing you've ever bought, is hanging in your closet. What do you do with it now?

After countless hours spent searching for your dream wedding gown (not to mention the dollars spent), you're not going to say goodbye to it as it lays crumpled on the floor of the honeymoon suite, right? Take a moment to remember why you chose this dress in the first place: the daring neckline, the fur-trimmed cuffs, the perfectly plump bustle -- all reasons to save it for posterity (and maybe even so your daughter can enjoy it when she struts down the aisle.)

What Is Gown Preservation?
The special cleaning and packaging techniques called gown preservation ensure your gown maintains its beauty. A professional preservationist will survey your gown: the materials used, ornamentation, and various stains, then formulate a specialized cleaning procedure. After cleaning, your gown is wrapped and placed in a box. Preservationists recommend having your gown cleaned as soon as possible after your wedding because if you wait too long, some stains can set permanently. Keep in mind that if you wait a while, certain materials, such as silk, will be harder to treat -- as will particular stains such as red wine and mud.

Finding a Preservationist
A few weeks before your wedding, you'll need to investigate where to take your gown for cleaning. Ask family members, friends, bridal shops, or your wedding consultant for preservationist referrals, or check out theknot.com/local to find a specialist in your area. Though many dry cleaners claim to clean wedding gowns, most are not specialists. Unless the dry cleaner you are thinking about using processes more than 100 wedding gowns a year, consider going instead to a professional gown preservationist with a noted track record. Keep in mind that if you wait a while to have your gown preserved, certain materials, such as silk, will be harder to treat -- as will particular stains such as red wine and mud.

Cleaning Techniques
Some gown specialists use the wetcleaning method, which consists of gently washing the gown by hand with gentle cleansers that remove noticeable stains and unseen stains, such as champagne and sugar, as well. If left untreated, unseen stains can oxidize and turn yellow over time. Other companies use a more traditional dry-cleaning method, which involves pre-treating the stains and then placing the garment in a dry-cleaning machine. Solvents such as perchloroethylene (perc for short) or petroleum-based cleansers are used as stain removers. Petroleum-based solvents aren't as aggressive as perc, and they're also not as powerful in stain removal, but, due to its high oil content, petroleum nourishes certain fabrics and can give them a lovely sheen.

Wrapping It Up
The correct packaging materials are utterly imperative for guaranteeing the life of your gown. Most gown preservationists highly discourage packing your dress in plastic, because it can cause permanent wrinkles and trap moisture which promotes mildew. Most preservationists agree that white acid-free tissue paper or unbleached muslin are the ideal packaging materials. Ordinary tissue paper contains acid which can literally scorch your gown. Don't use colored tissue paper either. If the box accidentally becomes wet, it could stain your gown.

Packaging for Posterity
To protect your gown, many professionals recommend it be placed in an acid-free or pH-neutral box, such as sturdy paperboard boxes which allow the gown to breathe and adjust with changing temperatures. Some boxes feature a viewing window: a clear panel designed so you can see your gown without opening the box. If your box features a window, look for acetate rather than plastic, and keep the box out of direct light, which can yellow the fabric over time. Some companies utilize boxes with Coroplast, a specially designed plastic known for its durability.

Sealed With a...?
While some companies choose to seal the box to keep out insects and vermin, others say sealing is unnecessary, if the gown is packaged correctly. If you do open the box, remember to use discretion when handling the dress. Don't bother with white gloves. Just make sure you have clean hands, to prevent body oils from invisibly transferring to the gown and causing yellowing over time. Many brides want to include items such as shoes and jewelry in the box, along with the gown. Some preservationists believe these objects may emit damaging fumes and ruin the gown, but others find these can be added if they are cleaned and wrapped separately; for instance, invitations and programs can be placed in acid-free envelopes. Talk to your preservationist who will have an opinion based on the types of materials you'll want to include.

Money Matters
Materials, ornamentation, and degree of stain damage usually determine the preservation price of a gown. Costs vary across the country, with higher prices in metropolitan areas. Expect to pay $200-$400, though prices can go as high as $800 depending on the gown and location.

Know It All
Before choosing a preservationist, do a little detective work. First, find out if the company in question does the work on location or if they ship gowns elsewhere to be cleaned and packaged though don't rule out a company soley because it doesn't do the work in-house, especially if the company has a good, clean record. Second, ask them whether you must sign a release or disclaimer because these documents sometimes state that the company isn't responsible for any damage done to the gown during the cleaning process. You will want to find someone who will guarantee every last bead and sequin. Next, ask if the company offers a warranty and how they will reimburse you if you find the gown to be damaged after a certain number of years. Read the fine print of the agreement: some companies will refund the preservation cost -- not the replacement value of the dress. And consider it a red flag if they claim the warranty is void if you open the box. Finally, beware of companies that give quotes over the phone -- different materials and stains require specialized care. Your gown will receive the best care if it's individually inspected before a price is given.

Before & After
To help maintain the integrity of your gown, there are some things you should not do before sending it to be cleaned and preserved. First, don't wrap your dress in plastic. This can seal in off-gassing vapors and trap moisture, inviting mold and mildew. Don't hang your dress on an ordinary wooden or wire hanger -- the weight of the dress will stretch and distort the weave of the fabric -- try a plactic or padded hanger instead. Don't try to clean the stains yourself -- you risk setting them in the fabric. Once your gown is back from the preservationist, pay attention to storage. Most professionals agree that light and heat play the most damaging roles when it comes to gown preservation. As a guideline, store your preserved gown in a place where you would feel physically comfortable. That rules out a hot attic or damp basement. Under your bed or in a dry closet are your best bets.

But I'm Broke!
If your bank account is dry as a desert post-wedding it is possible to preserve it at home, though it won't be perfect and may retain stains. For storage, professionals recommend wrapping the gown in a white sheet or pre-washed unbleached muslin, and then placing it in a sturdy box under your bed. That way, if you decide to preserve your gown down the road, it will be right there waiting for you.

Source: The Knot