Tag Archives: Choosing your Wedding Vendors

How the Date and Times you choose can affect your wedding day costs!

3 Dec

Today I wanted to touch on the subject of your Wedding date.

What is already, for most, an expensive event, can become even more costly depending on the time of year you choose, to the time of day you set your ceremony, but also the  day of the week you choose!

These seemingly minor details, can in fact, hugely effect the outcome of your planning details, from the prices of your venue rental, to which vendors might be available, and more.

As we’ve touched on this subject in a few other posts related to our Budgeting and Timeline sections, many Wedding vendors book about 1 year in advance for dates. With Venues, Photographers and Mobile Makeup/Hair often booking the first and fastest due to high demand.

Today I’m going to break these details down even further for you…So lets get to it shall we?

Time of Year – What month is best?

As we’ve mentioned in a few posts now, there is no such thing as an “off season” anymore!

Many bride’s ask this question to vendors in hopes that magical “discounts” will appear. This is often not the case at all; Just as your perfect wedding day might be held in June or August. Another bride’s prefect day might be in December or January. Some bride’s might prefer a Saturday wedding, where as another might choose a Monday…

The busiest portion of the year for all Bridal related vendors is April through October!

June and September are often very popular, and can cost you more due to the demand for dates available!

Remember many bride’s seeking these 2 months are hoping for sunny, yet “Not too hot” weather options.

June is also GRAD MONTH For most areas (and often starting in May too!), thus service providers like Mobile Makeup/Hair and all Salon locations often see triple the volume of clients, so finding those available is often far more limited. As are venue options and banquet halls due to the grad dinners taking place!

July and August are the BUSIEST Months of the Entire year. They are the first to book/close for just about EVERY Wedding vendor you seek to book, often at minimum 1 year out!!

I can’t tell you how many client’s we sadly have to turn away each season that are seeking Makeup/Hair services, due to us already being booked with other brides, typically from 3-6 months prior. Many of these clients are just starting to contact people in May for an August wedding, then left scrambling, frantic and stressed, once they find out no one is available… Most of us are already closed for the year by around March! Those of us specializing or with higher client traffic, reputable workmanship or awards won, etc. book up very fast, so if you have your heart set on a particular artist, best to book them early!

Months that are often less busy are the months of January, March and November. Vendors than would normally require a minimum booking requirement, may be more lenient to smaller orders and/or booking needs from brides with smaller parties or set-up needs.

However, many PHOTOGRAPHERS specifically, start running their Holiday specials during the fall months, for family sessions, boudoir and more, so dates for them can often be limiting in months like October, November and December.

Months that can often prove challenging for finding low cost options

Months such as February and December can often be far more costly due to Valentine’s day, Christmas and other holidays within.

With that, costs often go up on everything from Cakes, to Floral and more.

Also something to remember, you are now  basically competing with other couples and COMPANIES, For venue rentals due to holiday staff parties taking place!

Bad Timing

The weekend before tax time can often leave you with lowered guest attendance. Many may not have the funds to attend, or may need the extra time to work on their taxes.

Back to school time; Again, those with children heading back to school might be more limited on available time and money.

Around the holidays; Weddings right before Christmas can also have an effect, as many friends might be heading out to visit with family at this time of year.

Day of the Week

Mondays through Thursdays can often be far cheaper in cost! Not just venue rentals either.

We’ve seen a HUGE Rise in “weekday” weddings, especially during the Spring/Summer months.

Many people have holiday time, so taking off a day from work for most people is a totally do-able option.

The past few years we’ve seen a ton of Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday weddings!

Thursdays are gaining in popularity too, as many tend to have evening, cocktail style, or boat cruise weddings. Weddings taking place in the evening or after work – Guest will often take the Friday off and get to enjoy a long weekend too!

Not to mention, for those with out of town guests attending, Hotel and Flights are often also far cheaper during the week!

Yes, I know, most bride’s envision that prefect sunny Saturday afternoon wedding. But for those looking to save some money, the drop in pricing can, for some places, be extensive, were taking like $1500 to $600 type of drop.

Holidays and/or long weekends can be DOUBLE the original pricing. Much like working your regular job on a holiday. Many vendors due charge a holiday fee!

Weekends: Saturdays can typically cost more than a Sunday wedding date as they are considered a main day, some venues boast upwards of a $3-5,000 difference just between your choice of these two days!

Time of the Day

Breakfast is often the cheapest meal of the day, again of course, depending on how extravagant you like to take things…

We saw a number of couples this year opting for earlier morning ceremony times like 9am, followed by elegant brunch or lunch style set ups with omelet stations, fresh fruit platters, chocolate fountains, pastries and more.

Ceremony times 11am to 3pm are the most in demand time frames, thus limiting vendor options since majority of client’s aim within this time frame.

Where you book

Look into choosing and booking a multipurpose venue. If you are able to plan out both your ceremony and reception at the same location, you stand to save additional costs on everything from site fees, transportation costs, double set up/take down fees and more.

Final tips:

Many vendors and companies do raise rates at year end in preparation for next year’s seasons, inflation/business costs and so forth. Those clients that do their research and connect with their top ideal vendors they wish to have for their wedding day, can often score  pricing/packages before they go up and all switch over for the new year – Saving them even more, but still getting exactly what they originally sought out without having to compromise quality, needs or budget!

Engagement season! – November through February – It’s the holidays, and engagements over Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Valentines day …..well, they take over. Not to mention bridal clients are often off work/school for the holidays and can get some planning done!

This is often when Bridal vendors see close to 60% or more of their bookings set in for the following season! Many of us receive hundreds of emails from newly engaged client’s looking to secure their dates and/or get this years current pricing options. Thus sadly those who wait out to long, by then, often most of the year is now fully booked!

I hope this post helps you out a bit more in finding and choosing your perfect fit for your chosen wedding day.

Happy Wedding Planning!


Don’t let a skin condition ruin your big day!

28 Aug

For those of you out there suffering from any sort of skin condition or pigmentation issues this post will likely hit home for you and I encourage you to read it through. For those of you that might not be primarily suffering  from any skin condition per-say but do feel they have a need for other forms of coverage be that for “dark circles” and so on, this too is a post for you!

Your wedding day is a day when all eyes are on you, a day filled with many pictures and lasting memories…

For those that suffer from such things as  medical level  Acne, Rosacea, Facial Psoriasis, Melasma and other forms of skin conditions the thought of this can often be over whelming and the internal battle with ones self-esteem can be exhausting.

We are ALL critical of ourselves when looking into the mirror, as we will often narrow into what we feel are our ‘flaws’. I tell clients time and time again that it is NEVER as bad as they often think it is and prove this over and over; particularly with clients concerned with ‘dark circles’ as that is often a minor and very simple ‘fix’ over another client who may be suffering from a medical grade condition and/or a more visible and disruptive condition.

I often get emails asking; “Can you cover_____?” this includes many things from Acne, Rosecea and more and the answer is YES.

A properly trained professional has both the knowledge and training to cover many problems that may arise but also the professional level products to do so.

Every year I come across many individuals seeking a coverage application for their conditions. I want my client’s to feel confident in their own skin, the best possible you for your big day!

A visual demonstration of my make-up application skills is posted below for your viewing.

This is a Bridal client of mine. This particular client suffered from body Psoriasis, including about 60% of her face, at the time of services. Having seen some of my work on past client’s with skin conditions, she was very excited and hopeful that I would be able to help make her into the glowing bride she wished to be for her big day. Even trickier yet, This client was also unable to take any medications to help control her psoriasis, so everything I did for this client’s treatments leading up to the wedding were 100% all-natural using ingredients found in most of our own homes!!

Left Image: The client’s “Before” image was taken after a light buffing and treatment of the facial plagues to remove excess buildup on top of the skin before the make-up application.

Right image: The Clients “After” images shows just what the right type of cosmetic products and technical applications of them can achieve.

These images are taken by me on a simple “point and shoot” style camera, no lights, no gimmicks and nothing fancy, just straight off my camera. No Photoshop.

As you can see just about anything is possible with make-up and a professional Make-up Artist at your side, so whether you suffer from Facial Psoriasis like the client above, acne or just some dark circles, be sure to seek help and answers from those trained in this form of coverage for your big day!

***A big thank you needs to be shouted to this AMAZING client for allowing me to post this to my client’s!

For more information on my Bridal Services offered, please visit my site at: www.brides-by-felicia.com

You get what you pay for!!

28 Jun

Sadly this season, we are seeing more last minute requests come through for services than any other years, COMBINED!

This week alone, we’ve seen over a dozen emails come through from frantic brides, some mere weeks out from their wedding day, seeking services.

Why? Two main reasons seem to be the front runners:

#1 – The makeup/hair artist that they booked, many found on “Craigslist”,  just canceled on them, Some mere days before the wedding.

#2 – They procrastinated or just didn’t feel that how they were going to look in photos was really that important, but had a change of heart the week before the big day.

Now, in regards to #1 – I have a few concerns that immediately spring to mind when I hear these stories, over and over, year after year…

Sadly, 95% of these client’s we are unable to help due to already being booked. That just breaks my heart.

As covered in a few of our posts already, most PROFESSIONAL Vendors, book at least a minimum of 1 year in advance, with the  spring/summer months booking out and closing the first and fastest. Long weekends dates are in extremely high demand, seeing usually double or more the requests.

This also being the time when most last minute requests come in…. why? because that “person”  they originally booked is now “going to be away then” and just let them know.

Now, I don’t know who these artists are, but what I can tell you is that they were likely “a friend” or some hobby style  “weekend warrior”  Makeup artist/Hair Artist that the bride found offering $40 services, or even worse, less than, or often it’s a friend that’s offered it as a “gift”…

It is imperative that as a bride, you do your homework on the artists and vendors you plan to hire or to those doing your makeup/Hair services. Friend or otherwise, paid or free. Just because they may “do makeup” does not mean they are qualified for photography ready make-up and hair styles nor specialize in Bridal. Remember that these images now become your memories of that day. It’s a one shot deal.

Take time to go through their website, do they have one? If not well, that’s your first warning bell right there… If they are a serious artist, they would have a Website! With all the free website services available now, there’s just no excuse.

Looking at their online reviews  or their testimonial pages from clients, that’s at least a starting point.

Also, a good clue; Take note of response time to email replies back to you and/or  phone calls.  Is the artist responding within a reasonable amount of time?  Are your questions thoroughly answered or are they met with 1-2 sentence replies?

Most artists are out working Fridays through Sunday, providing services on weddings, thus majority of replies will be returned starting on Monday. However, if it took them a week or more to even reply to your initial inquiry, you need to look at that. What if there was a change in your day or something important, and you can’t even get a hold of them for over a week? No good…

Prices….The big hitter. WHAT are you getting for that cost?  You don’t always get the best value for your dollar.  Compare the services you are receiving with the cost.  Those that have had the experiences will tell you hands down after experiencing what they have, don’t go for the cheapest.  Those with higher levels of experience, specialized skills, Award winning services, etc. are of course going to cost you a bit more, this should be factored into your decision. You’re likely to get way more from a professional artist that focuses and specializes in the area of Bridal, as they know all the details about to go on behind the scenes to, that in most cases, a client may not have even thought of yet!!

Here’s a key hint; Most of us ladies have been to a makeup counter, we see, we know the prices on brands like Chanel, MAC and others, or the mascara that might run you $30!  My sanitizers cost more than $40, so I would be worried if their not even charging enough to cover their sanitizing products…The question then becomes, just what are they using on you to be running on those prices offered? Really stop and think about that.

Here’s a quick few  tips and examples to help spot a “Fake-up Artist” you might be about to hire:

Do they Have a Website? Is it informative or bare – leaving you with many questions?

Portfolio? Or do they just post an ad on craigslist that says they “do makeup” and “email me for pictures!”?  Someone who is committed to their business and sees it as a real career will spend the time to develop some kind of web presence where brides can view images, pricing, service information, reviews and more.

A secondary portion to the portfolio, do they show a good range of work? Brides, Mom’s, ethnicity ranges…soft looks, dramatic looks, and so on. Yes, there are some people that ONLY focus to one area of services/client’s (Example; Asian Weddings, South Asian Weddings, etc.) their portfolio may only be 1 sided.

If you are unsure, ask to see images relevant to you. Say, as an example you are a Caucasian bride, if the artist you are looking at has only South Asian client’s posted, don’t hesitate to ask to see their work on Caucasian client’s. Contrary to belief, some artist may NOT be able to apply the same on a select type of client, nor have experience in a certain area and as such do better and focus to one area only. So if in doubt, ask.

Are you required to sign a contract/Mutual Service agreement?

If not, that’s red-flags all over the place. How can you Protect yourself  if the artist doesn’t even  know how to protect themselves? Contracts are for protection of both sides!

Are they working straight out of a container? Double dipping that brush right into that concealer or foundation? Are they using DISPOSABLES!!!! Things like Mascaras and lip-glosses particularly should always be used with a disposable and never from the container’s original wands…. Are you watching them clean their brushes between client’s too?

There is no question you can find Makeup artists/Hairstylists out there who are offering you cheap services or even those willing to provide makeup and hair services for free.  But do you really want to take a chance on your wedding day?  You are going to be photographed more on your wedding day, than any other day in your life!  When the day is all said in done, these are the images people are looking back on 10 or 20+ years from now, you want to be confident knowing you looked your absolute best in them.

Time and time again,  we’ve seen horrible images, even sites dedicated to this very ideal showcasing  how a $2,000 dress and a $3,500 photography package won’t make a difference if you skimp on your Makeup and proper hairstyling and look like a hot mess!

Vendor Spotlight – JMB Photography

2 Nov

Today I’m featuring Jen of JMB Photography with her Fun, Relaxed and Fashionable Portraiture…

“Jen, we love our photographs & so do our guests. Everyone loved how you got along with all the guests”

These are words that Jen hears frequently from all her clients. She’s got a great knack for mixing into a crowd of guests and becoming one of them – as if they’ve been friends for ages!  This allows her to capture the real moments of a wedding!

Sessions are always fun, laid-back & creative – no fake smiles necessary with JMB Photography! During a session Jen is usually performing balancing acts & unusual stances all the while cracking jokes & making you smile naturally! She will do everything she can to get the best images for each & every image she takes. She wants her clients to be as excited about their images as she is about capturing them!

“Photography is not only my career; it’s my passion. I love what I do and that is evident in every image I capture.”

Jen started JMB Photography in the winter of 2007 with the encouragement & support of her closest friends & family. These people are the ones who kick started the weddings for her – offering their weddings as “test drives” for her skills. With everyone loving the  photographs, thus JMB Wedding Photography was born.

Since then she has started her business; shoots weddings each summer with a few spread out through fall & winter months. She offers engagement sessions for all her clients to help them get to know each other before the big day.

Jen branched off into a new type of photography in early 2010 – Boudoir. Her clients are crazy for these sessions with her and have become a regular addition to a Wedding client’s package! Her boudoir work is sexy & sophisticated with a touch of fashion infused into each session.

“A boudoir session is an amazing way to empower yourself & boost your self esteem. Your partner will also really enjoy the benefits of this session as well!”

JMB Photography offers Wedding, Engagement, Boudoir & Maternity sessions. Jen is available all throughout the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley for sessions outdoors and she also offers her home studio for sessions.

Be sure to stop by Jen’s website www.jmbphotography.ca to check out her portfolios as well as her blog  that is constantly updated with the latest & greatest sessions she’s been doing! She’s also an avid Facebook user & you can find JMB Photography there too!

“I don’t just want to take your picture today; I truly want to build a friendship and photograph you and your family for years to come. You’re not just a client – you are a friend.”

Vendor Spotlight – Whitening on Wheels: MOBILE Teeth whitening services.

17 Oct

Today’s feature is one of the greatest mobile service options I have come across to date.

Meet Andrea Vawda, of Whitening on Wheels, a mobile Teeth whitening company servicing Vancouver and all surrounding areas.

Your wedding day is going to be YOUR special day with all eyes on you! With all the work that has gone into your gown, veil, jewelry, Hair and make-up, shouldn’t your smile also sparkle?

Andrea can make sure you have a whiter, brighter smile for your special day.

With a background in Acting, and as a spokesperson and model, Andrea knows firsthand just how important it is to feel confident and that your smile is looking the best it can be!

The process is safe and effective, producing a natural-looking smile with instant results.

Best of all, this stress-free treatment is provided at your convenience in the comfort of your home!!

For more information on services or to book your appointment that will whiten and brighten your smile for your big day, please contact Andréa.

Email: the604@blueicewow.com

Website: http://www.blueicewow.com


Myth Busters: Mascara (Part 1)

17 Oct

Today I am covering the first of a few postings I will be doing pertaining to the use of Mascara, as this is one area that holds alot of very important information that many do not know about. This area is also one of the most important in the Make-up field both for general application knowledge but also health and safety!

This question was sent in to me by Ann, “I’ve been told I should never apply mascara to bottom lashes as it casts a shadow, what is your take on that?”

Though this statement can be considered true in some cases (Example: Like under select high end professional studio lighting on a photoshoot)

For most average persons ‘day wear’ make-up this is Fiction.

If you apply mascara to your top lashes, you should apply it to the bottom ones also. This adds balance to the eyes and the make-up done, but also helps shape your eyes. Otherwise the eyes can tend to fall flat when they have a heavy application above and nothing below to balance it.

This will often create a visual ‘line’ for the upper portion but leave a blank canvas on the bottom, which can cause some individuals to look tired and draw attention to any “under eye flaws”

Mascara will typically only cast a shadow if it is smudged or runs, or in some cases, is applied in such a heavy manor that it clumps predominantly on each individual lash. To avoid this, try using a waterproof and smudge proof mascara that can stand up against things that cause these problems such as sweating and tearing up.

Another option that can be used is a lighter mascara on the bottom lashes to define them gently without taking away from the presence of the upper lashes!

Myth Buster: Age and Shimmers

13 Oct

I often hear this comment from some of my mature clientele.

“Ive heard Mature ladies cannot wear shimmery/frosty makeup”

This is false!

Shimmery makeup can be worn at any age, but what’s more important is how you wear it!

True, you may want to wear a little less as you get older, but that doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t. It should also be noted that there is a difference between “Shimmer” and “Frosty” make-up products. Shimmer is typically smaller is sizing, similar to a dust and more of a light wash, where as Frost is typically larger particles that can appear more grainy in textures….You’ll usually see this if the make-up flakes or breaks apart easier when you swipe it with your brushes.

The reason behind this comment is:

If a shimmer and/or Frosty make-up is used incorrectly and in the wrong areas, it tends to ‘age’ you more, regardless of how old you may actually be! This is mainly due to the fact that often shimmer/frosty particles will ‘settle’ in fine line areas such as the eyelids, outer eye areas and deep lines around the mouth. The particles then settle and reflect light drawing direct attention to areas that many wish not to exaggerate…basically acting like a direct visual flagging to the areas in contact with the shimmer!

Helpful tip:

If you love the shimmers, try using small hints of it in selected areas rather than an all over wash, or yet, even more distracting when paired with other shimmery products amongst the face such as a shimmery cheek and a frosty pink lip!

Ideas of use could be in areas such as the corner of the eyes to brighten,  lightly dusted across the cheek bones to add a soft and sexy glow, or even placed onto the center of the lips for a little extra alongside your lipstick or gloss.

The key thing to remember at ANY AGE Is that too much shimmer will have you looking like a disco ball and draw direct attention to all the areas in which you are trying to cover and/or hide.   Worse yet it can photograph terribly causing you to look shiny and sweaty as it reflects light, as well as exaggerate acne, dark circles and fine lines.

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