The National Association of Wedding Professionals

Wedding Services

Looking for a wedding dress, wedding flowers, invitations, wedding cakes, photographers and everything you need to assure a perfect ceremony and wedding reception venue? Start with the services provided by the National Association of Wedding Professionals. It is your assurance of quality and dependability from an organization of wedding professionals you can trust. The finest selection to fit every budget from the simplest to the most elegant of wedding dresses, wedding flowers, wedding cakes, destination weddings, locations, music, photographers, videographers, limousines, wedding planners, wedding officiants, and so much more, is just a mouse click away!

Wedding Flowers

Choosing flowers for your wedding can be a very confusing issue. Most brides are open to any and all ideas. Here are some simple steps to follow:

Have a wedding date set - depending on the time of year some flowers may cost more at one time than another. An obvious one is roses around Valentine's Day are higher than other months.

"Fresh" vs. "Silk" - visit a fresh florist and also silk designers to see what each has to offer in price, quality, and creativity. There should not be a price increase for silk roses around Valentine's Day and today's silk flowers are fooling everyone. Whichever you choose be sure you have been fair to yourself and get prices from both.

Carry a swatch of fabric for your bridesmaids dresses to provide color matches. There are so many shades of colors, each company has their own version of them.
Start a list of all your floral needs - Bridal party, parents and grandparents, any special people that you would want to be recognized on your special day, including someone who is speaking or doing a solo during the ceremony.

Check with your church as to what they allow in decorations. Some churches have limitations such as open flamed candelabras and pedal tossing.

Be sure to call for an appointment with your florist. This ensures less chance of disappointment walking in on a busy florist who may be in the middle of a consultation with another bride.

Check with your florist for all your other needs; such as the reception, bridal showers, or "Thank you" gifts baskets, etc.

Your centerpieces can be gifts after your reception. You can have games played at the reception and the winners get to keep a part of your special day forever.
Also, the decorations that are used at the ceremony, can be transported to the reception. This saves you money! You are not renting or purchasing twice the decorations. Check with your florist to see if this service is available in your package.

There are many creative things that can be done when decorating, if you have an idea, don't think it can't be done, ask first. After all this is your special day and it should be the way you have always dreamed it would be!

Consultants & Coordinators

The first wedding consultants may well have been the minister's wife, the ladies organization at the community church, or the village matchmaker who arranged marriages. Today, wedding consulting is a profession. Many wedding planners and consultants have come from the hospitality and catering field, they can be found in nearly every country in the world.

Wedding consultants are invaluable to brides and their mothers who are concentrating on a career with very little time to spend on the details of a wedding. In this day and age many families are stretched across the country and the wedding may very well be held in a city or town where the family knows very few of the professionals it will take to do the wedding.

A professional wedding consultant knows the most cost effective ways to plan a wedding while staying within the budget you have set for your wedding. Wedding consultants maximize the bride's buying power. Retailers such as florists, caterers, photographers, etc. work closely with the consultant to ensure both quality of service and price, so that the consultant will continue to use them.

Does using a wedding planner mean that you are giving up control of your wedding? No, it is the wedding consultant's job to put your plan into action. Having the knowledge necessary to incorporate the details of your wedding day is an important quality of the consultant.

In selecting a consultant or planner, choose one who has been in the business for at least five years. Call a local wedding organization for a referral, ask the retailers the consultant works with if they feel the consultant is a wedding specialist.

How do these consultants get paid? If they work on your wedding from start to finish they generally charge between 15% to 18% of the wedding package. If you are using them for a specific part of the wedding or for a consultation they generally receive between forty and sixty dollars per hour.

Not only does a wedding consultant ease your mind by seeing to details, you can also save time and money. It takes hours to research and locate services and retailers. The consultant's experience and expertise will find the right merchant who will provide exactly what you are looking for.

Balloon & Decorations

Wedding Receptions can be greatly enhanced by the addition of balloons. Balloons add a creative and unique touch to your wedding reception. providing glamour and sophistication and a beautiful touch that can fit any Bride and Groom's budget. Balloon decorations direct the eye, emphasize colors, define areas, and beautify a room. There are a wide range of colors to match or complement many of today's wedding fashions. For a different idea, have balloons imprinted with your names and wedding date!

Balloons can be used in a variety of ways for a wedding ceremony. A standing heart arch, or a single arch of balloons can be the backdrop for the exchanging of vows. Balloon poufs tied to the ends of pews or chairs decorate the walkway or aisle At the doorway, clusters or balloon topiaries are a creative way to greet and welcome the guests. Decorating with balloons at your wedding ceremony will provide a subtle touch of celebration!

At your wedding reception, you may choose to create a spectacular first impression by framing the entranceway with a spiral balloon arch. For an incredible effect, transform the entry with a tunnel of arches! As your guests enter the reception, guide their eyes to the most important place in the room - The Bride and Groom's table! This table should have special emphasis - frame it with an arch, columns, or the very popular free form heart. Other areas to decorate are the cake table, the gift table, and the dance floor. Imagine dancing under a canopy of balloons - or surprise the guest and put the focus on your first dance with a balloon drop!

Centerpieces for the tables can be very unique with balloons. Your choice of helium or air-filled balloons can depend on the reception room, whether it's a ballroom, a restaurant banquet room, or a country club. The centerpieces can be combined with tulle, silks, chocolates, glitter, candy, or other creative accents.

The ideas and possibilities are endless for balloon decorating at a wedding. They will create a truly elegant and exciting atmosphere for a most important and special occasion - your wedding.

Choosing A Wedding Photographer

  1. BOOK YOUR WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER EARLY! Most weddings are held on Saturdays. There are only 52 Saturdays a year - dates book early. Don't miss out getting the wedding photographer you want!
     
  2. Shopping by phone for a photographer can be confusing. Pricing methods may be as easy to understand as the Federal Income Tax Code! Schedule a consultation with the photographer so you can get a clear understanding of their pricing structure.
     
  3. When viewing samples of the photographer's work, be sure you are seeing the work of the photographer who will be shooting your wedding.
     
  4. Make sure the wedding photographer is using professional equipment with equally professional back-up equipment. You want to be sure he can do the job!
     
  5. Discuss with the photographer and perhaps make a list of photos you would like in your album. Do you want predominantly posed pictures or do you prefer more candids. The more explicit your instructions to the photographer, the better the odds your wedding photography will meet your expectations and misunderstandings will be eliminated.
     
  6. Personality is important! You will spend more time with your photographer than any other professional involved in your wedding. During your consultation, did you feel comfortable with the photographer, do you feel that you are a good personality match.
     
  7. Check out the photographer's credentials. Make sure they have the proper governmental licenses and are members of professional organizations which maintain high standards of ethics and professionalism.
     
  8. Schedule a pre-bridal photo session. It will enhance your album and provide beautiful wall portraits.Panerai Replica Watches
     
  9.  Your wedding photos will provide you years of memories of this very special day - you want to look your best. Consider using a professional skilled in photography make-up to do your make-up. They can enhance your natural beauty.

Hiring Your Major Services

Avoid the pitfalls that can arise from using non-professionals for your wedding. The consequences of hiring non-pro's is that you don't know of the bad news until it's too late. For example: the reception is starting, but nobody chilled the champagne or no one brought the ice. The videographer's battery quits halfway through your procession, or the photographer runs out of film just as you cut your cake. The list goes on and on.

The most important thing for you to do on the day of your wedding is to relax and enjoy. Just rely on the wedding professionals listed in this guide, as they are acknowledged leaders in their areas of expertise, to help you plan ahead and to know "your day" will be problem free.

Questions & Answers

I have received a wedding invitation with a card included that says "within the ribbon"? What does this mean?

Lucky you! "Within the ribbon" cards are usually enclosed in invitations for an honored guest or relative of the bride or groom, so that they receive preferential seating for the ceremony. At the church you will find the first three or so rows in front cordoned off with ribbon or tulle. Take the card with you to the ceremony, show it to the usher and be will seat you in one of these rows.

My fiancé and I are planning to marry in a year and a half. Is it too early to begin looking for my bridal gown?

The sooner you begin the better. By shopping early, you have the opportunity to thoroughly check out the market and possibly find the wedding gown you want at a discount. Take into consideration that it will take approximately four months from the time you order your gown until it arrives. You will want to allow a minimum of three weeks for alterations. If you are planning to display your bridal portrait at your reception, you will want to have the dress fitted and ready to wear at least six weeks before your wedding. To avoid stress, it is best to place your order at least seven or eight months before your wedding day.

My Fiancé and I are trying to plan a nice wedding but we have limited funds. Our caterer suggested a "cash bar" for our guests as a way to save money. Is this considered tacky? What if my fiancé and I buy the first round of drinks, then let our guest pay for any other drinks they want?

A cash bar is never considered proper etiquette. Neither is the "partial cash bar" which you are suggesting. However, you could have an open bar for a "cocktail hour" before the meal is served thus limiting your expense. Additional ways you can cut your alcohol expenses and still have an elegant reception are: First, serve only "soft" liquor such as beer, wine and champagne since these are less expensive than "hard' liquor. Second, you might consider having an afternoon reception, since people tend to drink less during the day. Third, ask your caterer to close the bar 30 minutes to one hour before the end of your reception.

Preserving Your Wedding with Wedding Videography

Those beautiful sights and sounds, the flowers, the smiles, the music, the vows, and the tears are memories worth saving and reliving.

It is so important that the video taping be done well. All the effort and expense of that special day can be appreciated forever, through a professionally produced video. When deciding on a professional videographer, use this checklist to determine if they:

  • Are experienced with wedding video taping
  •  Use professional cameras and equipment
  • Have multi cameras and editing equipment, if you wish multi camera angle coverage
  • Have support equipment such as fluid head tripods, wireless microphones, lights, monitors, dollies, plentyof extra batteries, etc.
  • And most importantly, view samples of their work and get references from satisfied couples

If a friend or relative offers to tape your wedding, feel free to accept. A "home movie" version can be a great deal of fun. However, if they forget to charge the battery, use an old tape, or forget it's on and tape the ceiling and floor, you may regret not using a professional. A professional tape would contain everything you wanted to preserve, and be a pleasure to watch and relive anytime you like.

Remember the old saying " you get what you pay for". The disappointment of a poor tape lasts long after the joy of a great deal.