Thursday, June 27, 2013


When you start planning a wedding, you'll quickly learn that everyone around you is a wedding expert: Your mother, your best friend, your neighbor who watched The Wedding Planner and now swears by J. Lo's advice that you can mitigate a self disaster with a "quarter cup of lemon juice, half cup of salt and a loofah. Couples are flooded with unsolicited tips about wedding planning, but what they really need is guidance from a professional.  Wedding Planner Subrina Westberry knows a thing or two about saying "I Do" and can offer a few practical suggestions for couples planning for that big day.

First:  Set a budget before you start planning.
The number one way to spend out of control, is to not start with a number. It's okay to make adjustments, but you should begin with a dollar amount, and then estimate what you will spend in each category (e.g., flowers, catering, attire, etc.).

2. Be honest with vendors…and yourself.
When interviewing vendors, be up front about how much you plan to spend with them. If you don't, you might receive quotes that are significantly higher than your budget permits, which wastes everyone's time. In your initial call to a vendor, ask, "Do you have a minimum price for events?" If a florist's minimum is $6,000, and you only have $3,000 to spend on flowers, it's time to move on.

3. Delegate the small stuff.
If friends and family offer to help, let them. Bridesmaids will be happy to move your overnight bag to the bridal suite. Groomsmen can be tasked with ushering in the guests before the wedding.  There's no need to do everything yourself.

4. Create a backup plan for bad weather.
If you don't like the idea of having your wedding moved at the last minute, then you shouldn't get married outside. But if your heart is set on vows by sunset, consider a venue that has both indoor and outdoor options.

5. Make sure your wedding reflects you.
Traditions have changed. If you don't want a wedding cake, consider cookies, ice cream, or pie. If you don't want to get married in a church, think about a museum or local landmark.  Be sure to add personal touches that represent you, whether it's a puppy ring bearer or a family-filled flash mob.  Your wedding should be celebratory, not stressful.

Happy Wedding Planning!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Worst Things You Can Say To a Bride and Groom on Their Wedding Day

"Can you help me with...?"

When you're at a wedding, it's pretty easy to look to the bride and groom as the ones who are in charge and running the show -- after all, it's their big day. For the same reason though, they're going to be pretty busy (and by "pretty busy," we mean "really busy"). If you've got some minor issue -- the caterers brought you the wrong entree, or you think some of the seating should be switched -- don't take it to the bride and groom. Instead, talk to the wedding planner or coordinator, one of the caterers, or, if you really feel it's something the bride or groom needs to deal with personally, one of the bridesmaids or groomsmen who can pass along the message. The bride and groom already have a lot on their plates, so it's important to respect the difference between an actual emergency and what just seems like one at the time.

"Why wasn't so-and-so invited?"
Word to the wise: If you notice that someone you thought would be at the wedding isn't there, there's usually a reason. Option A is that their RSVP said they couldn't make it, but Option B is that there's a distinct reason they were left off the guest list. Either way, the most tactful approach is to keep mum about it. If the bride and groom have chosen not to include a family member or friend, chances are there was at least one long conversation that went into making that decision -- and the wedding day is definitely not the time to bring it up.

"So baby comes next, right?"

We know, we know -- first comes love, then comes marriage. But you know what? Next comes whatever the bride and groom want, which may be buying a home, working toward a big promotion, or something else entirely. Everyone's got their own schedule and life goals, which may or may not include the pitter-patter of little feet. Most brides and grooms are already pretty overwhelmed by the wedding planning, so the last thing they want to talk about is making another big life change.

"I can't believe you're settling down! I remember when..."

Just because you remember the bride when she was a total wild child or can provide the story behind the groom's fraternity nickname doesn't mean you should. This goes double for any conversation you have with other wedding guests who know the bride or groom from a different time in their lives (for example, a coworker or an older relative). Yes, they might still be the crazy kids you remember -- but given the formality of the day (not to mention the many relatives likely on the guest list), it's not the best time to air out their dirty laundry.

Happy Wedding Planning!


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Costs of Being in a Wedding

Wedding costs can be expensive.  This chart from Dimespring shows some of the costs associated with being a Bridesmaid and a Groomsman, keep in mind there are several factors that will determine the cost of your wedding.

Is this in line with your wedding planning?  Leave a comment and let us know.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Working with Mom to Plan your Wedding

Hello Beautiful brides to be,

The relationship between you and your mom as you plan your wedding doesn't have to be one of two prizefighters in the ring.  If you follow some of our advice, you might find working with Mom to be a time of closeness and, believe it or not, fun.
Partners in Planning - Think of you and Mom as true partners in wedding planning, almost like a professional party planning team. Partnership is the operative word here, so keep that in mind. You and Mom are equals in this endeavor; treat each other with respect. You’re the bride, not the queen. Acting like royalty is sure to ruffle Mom’s feathers. Don’t make too many demands, especially if Mom and Dad are footing the bill for the wedding. Keep your tizzy fits in check. You’re a grown up now, even if working so closely with your mom reminds you of being 16 again. And if Mom gets out of line, patiently help calm her. If you want things to run smoothly with her, take responsibility for setting the tone of your working relationship.
Listen - This may come as a shock, but Mom may actually have some good ideas. Don’t dismiss them so readily. She really may know which neckline is most flattering to your face, which color tablecloth looks best, that pink tea roses would be perfect in your bouquet. She may have some legitimate reasons why you do or do not need a receiving line. So open your ears. But don’t listen to harsh criticism. If you feel that Mom is attacking your ideas and trying to wield too much power, remind her that you’re in this together.
We Can Work it Out - Communicate openly and honestly. If you really don’t want to serve steak at the wedding because most of your friends are vegetarians, explain that to her. If you really don’t want all of the members of her book group on the guest list because you've never met them, let her know how you feel. If you are swamped at work and don’t have time to visit the florist on your lunch hour, tell her you need another week. By getting everything out in the open, you avoid letting bad feelings and resentments brew. And you will most likely be pleasantly surprised at how Mom responds to your honesty.
Choose Battles Wisely - You don’t want any children at your formal wedding. Mom insists that some pint-size relatives, whom she adores and is close to, must attend. Don’t drive her to tears. Sometimes it’s worth your while to just give in. If Mom hates the way she looks in ivory, don’t insist on it as a color for her Mother-of-the-Bride dress. If you give in on certain points, Mom may be more flexible with your wants, too. But don’t be a total pushover.  When it comes to things extremely important to you, hold your ground.  
Mother Your Mother -  A wedding marks an emotional time for mother and daughter & mom is under a lot of wedding stress, too. So take the time to ask her how she’s doing. Do nice things for her. Make her a cup of tea and sit down to chat. Indulge in a manicure and pedicure session. Go to the movies, or rent one with a wedding related theme, like the remake of "Father of the Bride," and critique the movie wedding together. Compliment Mom on her ideas for the wedding, the way she looks in her Mother-of-the-Bride dress, her good taste. Thank her for the time she is putting into planning your wedding. Be the daughter that Mom can be proud to say she raised.  Reassure Mom that that your relationship is not going to dramatically change after the wedding. If you continue to build on your bond, the closeness will grow and grow as you both move ahead through your lives.
Happy Wedding Planning,

Friday, May 10, 2013

Weddings by the Season

Hello beautiful brides to be:

What time of the year is your wedding going to be held? If you’re at a loss as to which wedding theme it is that you should use, all you need to do is consider the season. You can use the dominating colors of winter, spring, summer or fall and incorporate them in your wedding décor.
For example, if you are going to have a summer wedding, you can use the bright colors of tropical fruits as the main theme for your wedding décor. For end-of-the-year weddings, you can probably go for a Christmas wedding with an elegant silver-and-blue theme which can turn any wedding reception venue into a mini-winter wonderland. For fall weddings, how about incorporating all that lovely gold, rusty orange and other earthy hues on your wedding décor?  

Spring is an especially lovely time of the year to hold your wedding, where you can use pastel colors and incorporate the flowers which are in bloom for the wedding reception and ceremony.
Try these wedding-by-season decorating ideas so that you can have a truly memorable celebration on your big day. 

All the best!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Budget Savvy Bride!

Hello blushing brides to be.  2012 was a busy wedding year, and I finally have more staff to assist so that I can continue blogging on a regular basis and keep you informed of the latest and greatest trends throughout the wedding industry.  Let's begin with the DIY bride or what I like to refer to as:  The Budget Savvy Bride!  

The number one thing that you should always take into consideration when planning a wedding is your budget. As a bride, even if you would like to have this grand, fairy-tale-like wedding, it is still a must to set a budget for all of your expenses. Otherwise, you will end up spending more than you intended to – which is not a good way to start your married life at all.
Paper lanterns as light-up centerpieces.
Inexpensive & beautiful idea!

So how can you plan your wedding on a budget? Take a look at the following tips:  Set a ‘ceiling amount’ for all of your wedding expenses – and stick to it.  Evaluate your priorities for the wedding. Would you rather spend less on the flowers and more on your wedding dress? Or you probably can cut a couple of courses for the supposedly five-course wedding reception dinner and put the money that you will save to add a number of guests that you just can’t say no to.  When meeting with caterers, florists, bakers – be firm about your budget and learn how to bargain. Remember that you are their clients and if they’re good, they will be able to suggest a less expensive alternative without taking away anything from the look that you want to create for your wedding.
Go online and use a free wedding plans budgeting tool – or even print out one of those wedding to-do lists. Sit down and have a talk with your fiancée and wedding coordinator so that you can all work on the budget for the wedding.  At the end of the day, you can still have your dream wedding without having to spend an arm and a leg for it – just make sure to keep your budget within a reasonable range, stick to it and you’ll be all set for your big day.

All the best!

Friday, January 1, 2010


2010 is finally here! - a time of reflections of the past year and a time of new beginnings for a new year. Have you met your goals for 2009? Are you on target with your wedding plans? Even though this may be a challenging and perhaps stressful time, it can also be an exciting time, knowing that your hard work is just about to be paid off. Don't worry! The team at Victoria Marie Wedding Planners and Designers is ready to assist you with the preparations. Whether your planning needs are full or moderate coordination or you just need someone to coordinate the rehearsal and wedding day ceremony, we're here to ensure your special day is filled with love, laughter, and a peace of mind.  No event is too small or too large for us to handle.
At this time you should begin finalizing your guest list and determing the number of invitations and thank-you cards that should be ordered. Picking the stationery for your wedding will be the first "official" announcement to your friends and families of your special day. Therefore, be sure to choose something that will entice the invitees to want to be there, and also something that will be unforgettable for you to treasure for years to come.  Some of your out-of-town guests may wish to stay in a hotel after the festivities. Check with the local establishments to see if they will offer a group rate.  Two more things not to forget: the wedding cake preparation and the honeymoon reservations. Give careful thought to your favorite flavor, style, color and decorations for the cake.  And don't forget, we're also a destination-wedding planner, and can arrange to have your wedding on a remote romantic island, plan a romantic cruise, or a flight out of the country for your honeymoon.  Then, after all is said and done, we can sit back and reflect on all those special moments that took our breath away.

Happy New Year!