Weddings And Quinceaneras SPRING 2014
This publication is oriented to customers that are looking for the best quality in the organization of their social events. We have an extensive list of more than 100 companies in the social event market. We provide elegant advertising designs geared to attract the customer. Exposing our clients to the maximum so they can reach their expectations is our goal." We are the largest quinceanera magazine in Houston!! Our Passion it's help you to get the best Vendors in the Town. We would like to work with you we promise to be the best in Houston. Our work is going to be the engine for you and your business to reach success.
2014 será nuestro año... Estoy muy agradecida con Dios por todo lo bueno que ocurrió en el 2013, apezar que fue un año dificil para mi cuerpo, sigo aqui y muy feliz porque El me sigue sorprendiendo con todo lo lindo que me da aunque no se lo pido, siempre le daré infinitas gracias por su amor y su cuidado, para mi y para esta revista. Sé, que este año será GRANDIOSO, no solo para Weddings & Quinceañeras Magazine, sino para todo aquel que lo crea, por eso es importante hacer las cosas bien, con excelencia, con dedicación y sobre todo sin mala intención porque donde hay buenas intenciones ahi esta Dios cuidándonos y bendiciéndonos, adémas de hacer lo correcto este año tenemos que tomar buenas desiciones en todo lo que hacemos, por eso quiero invitarlos a reflexionar en donde estan invirtiendo su dinero, lo hacen en tierra fértil? Por eso nuestro mensaje es decirles “NO TE CONFUNDAS” somos Weddings & Quinceañeras Magazine y EXPO, la original no solo porque lo decimos, sino porque mas de 10 años de experiencia trabajando con la comunidad hispana en Houston nos respaldan. Decir que se es “la mejor” es fácil, pero tienen que analizar y meditar quién lo dice y si tiene la trayectoria para respaldarlo. Les deseo muchos éxitos, nos vemos en la EXPO de Marzo 2, 2014, recuerden que como siempre tendremos muchas sorpresas. Bendiciones, Presidente Gladys Carreño Presidente Weddings & Quinceañeras Magazine Cover Photography: Jaqui Photography Model: Mrs. Ericka Mitterhofer Hair: Patty Divas Hair Style Make Up: Patty Divas Hair Style Accesories: Viann’k Mansur Dress: Viann’k Mansur Location: Red. Queen’s Attic Gladys Carreño Vice-Presidente Angel Patiño Asist. de Presidencia Paula Pinzon Gerente Karen Angélica Contreras Asist. Gerente Juan Diego Contreras Asist. Administrativo Camilo Andrés Correa Servicio al Cliente Contador Editor - in - Chief Fotografía de Portada Diseñadora Web Page Diana Correa JJ Multiservice, INC. Karen J. Contreras Producciones Cavazos Karen J. Contreras ERZA WEB Corrección Angel Patiño Distribución La Mision Import 832.274.9109 www.weddingsandquinceaneras.net Información y Ventas: Weddings & Quinceañeras Magazine P.O. Box 421995 Houston, Texas 77242 Tels: 832.277.4282 / 832.419.0608 firstname.lastname@example.org www.weddingsandquinceaneras.net © Copyright 2014. Weddings & Quinceañeras, LP 10 www.WeddingsandQuinceañeras.net El contenido editorial o gráfico de esta revista no puede ser reproducido de ninguna forma por ningun medio, incluido el fotocopiado, sin consentimiento de los escritores. Weddings & Quinceañeras Magazine no se hace responsable por ningún material impreso, oferta o descuento de nuestros anunciantes así como también de textos dudosos o engañosos, ni tampoco por información pertinente a fechas específicas. El editor se reserva el derecho de publicar cualquier anuncio que juzgue inconveniente y de cancelar cualquier contrato publicitario con contenido o descripción de productos o servicios que juzgue inapropiado. Contents... Ten Tips for a Successful Outdoor Party................15 Getting the Best Out of Your Dressmaker...................31 How to: Choosing Your Makeup Artist..........45 How to: Organising Your Invitations................55 Selecting a Caterer...........................61 30 Expert Tips and Tricks......................69 12 www.WeddingsandQuincea単eras.net n z n Choosing/ Rocking Your Ideal Bouquet.........81 Where to Hire a LIMOUSINE?...........85 20 Top Tips for Selecting Your Cake...............91 Livening Up Your Photobooth.............99 Choosing Your Special Day Music............107 www.WeddingsandQuincea単eras.net 13 CONTENIDO Choreography and music are key.......113 z n the Locations... Ten Tips for a Successful Outdoor Party One of the great things about an outdoor party is that the experience is completely unique. Permits: Most councils require permits for the use of public places. Make sure you plan ahead to avoid disappointment! See your specific state’s policy for details. Consider the orientation of your outdoor party and have the sun on guests’ backs rather than in their eyes. If you are having a sunset event make sure that you check the time and plan accordingly! Make Your Guests Comfortable: Whilst you can’t predict the weather, you can do your best to make your guests comfortable. Here are some great ideas for keeping everyone comfy: Preempt bad weather and save your guests from melting/freezing by having heating/cooling on hand. Giant fans/outdoor heaters will provide some comfort in extreme weather. Seat guest where possible. There is nothing worse than a 30 minute ceremony standing uncomfortably (usually with your heels sunk to their base in grass. Ugh.) Provide guests with bottled water in extreme heat. Print your program on a fan so guests can cool themselves. Provide blankets for guests in freezing weather. Provide shelter (a marquee, umbrellas, etc) from sun or rain www.WeddingsandQuinceañeras.net 15 RECEPTION HALLS Choosing a location that is special to you and your partner will set the overall theme and will influence the whole day. There are of course things to consider when organising an outdoor party. The obvious one being weather. www.WeddingsandQuinceaneras.net Decorations: The great thing about outdoor weddings is the natural beauty so there is almost no need to decorate. You still need to make sure that the area is neat and tidy, especially if it’s a public place. Nominate a member from the party to go down and check the location the day before the party. Make sure the area is clear of litter and check for any graffiti. Flowers, chiffon, lanterns, torches, flags, fairy lights and archways can all be added in a trice to enhance your outdoor party- just make sure they’re secured well! Create a Backup Plan It’s a fact that Houston weather is liable to turn rogue at any minute. So whether you know if the weather’s about to change for the worse, or are just caught off guard, it pays to have a good Plan B. These can either be erected or you can simply make use of what’s already available on-site. Some great options include: Marquee, Gazebos, Tarpaulin etc Alternatively, you could book an indoor area facing outdoors or that simply feels outdoorsy (an atrium or greenhouse, for example), so you can circumvent this issue altogether, without compromising on your desired wedding or quinceanera feel. Provide female guests with flat shoes that they can wear to walk to and from the ceremony/ reception, if it’s within walking distance. Creating a Focal Point: It’s easy for a couple to get visually lost in a natural location, and also easy for your guests to miss your exact location! Make sure you have some kind of large marker to highlight where you are. Note: This doesnt necessarily have to contrast against your location- you can easily use an archway covered in flowers if you’re in a park or garden, or things like seaweed and seashells if youre on the beach. Don’t be afraid to get creative and make your party stand out! Think Strategically: The whole party is’nt quite as long as you’d think- it lasts, on average between 4-6 hours. So to save time, try to avoid time consuming tasks like walking to a second location for the reception or “flipping” objects (replacing furniture and decor with another) to make the reception visually different from the ceremony location. A great idea is to simply move to a different part of your location- this could be a few hundred meters away, or separated by natural barriers, such as hills or bush, or even on the other side of your focal point. If this isnt feasible, a great way to smoothe out the transition from ceremony to reception is to have a cocktail hour! This way, most of the work can be done while the guests are preoccupied, and you’ll simulatenously maintain a sense of natural continuity and flow. Note: You can have a cocktail hours to break up your wedding or quince, no matter what your set up! Who needs an excuse? Making Sure You’re Heard: Of all the occassions in your life where it is absoultely imperative that you be heard, this ranks pretty highly. While an outdoor party may be picturesque, you’ve got to make sure the audio matches up. Combat wind or any extraneous outdoor noises by using a microphone and portable PA system (most celebrants have one). Menu Choices: Choose your menu according to the weather. Seafood, dairy and mayo are best left off the menu if you plan on having them left on tables in the heat. A warm bowl of delicious scrumptiousness will be similarly appropriate for an outdoor winter wedding. Your caterer will be able to provide suggestions based on what will and won’t work for your outdoor reception. Pest Control: Provide fly spray, mosquito spay and citronella/bug candles to make sure swatting is kept to a minimum. Viannâ€™k Mansur Vestido y Accesorios Jaqui Photography Photografia Patty Divas Hair Style Peinado y Maquillaje z n the Dress... You’ve worn all sorts of dresses in your life but none will be as discussed, anticipated and photographed as the one you’ll wear on your quinceanera or wedding day. Most girls have very specific ideas about The Dress, which is why they have it professionally made rather than bought from a store. Once you’ve picked the perfect dressmaker, follow these tips to make sure the dress you’ve been daydreaming about is brought to life. Do Your Homework Whether you’ve been planning this dress since you were a starry-eyed teenager or only from your engagement, page through bridal magazines and wedding catalogues and scour the Internet to find some inspiration. Look at fabric samples but don’t buy anything until you’ve consulted with your dressmaker. They are experts in textiles and will have a better idea of how the material will translate (or not!) into your wedding dress. You want your personality and style to shine through, so think about details like length, neckline, waistline and sleeves. www.WeddingsandQuinceañeras.net 31 BRIDAL & QUINCEANERA BOUTIQUE Getting the Best Out of Your Dressmaker Jacqueline Espinoza Representante USA 116 Radio Lane Suite 201 | Rosenberg TX 77471 | 713.239.4158 | email@example.com Jacqueline Espinoza Representante USA 116 Radio Lane Suite 201 Rosenberg TX 77471 713.239.4158 firstname.lastname@example.org Jacqueline Espinoza Representante USA 116 Radio Lane Suite 201 Rosenberg TX 77471 713.239.4158 email@example.com DISTRIBUIDORES AUTORIZADOS: Jacqueline Espinoza 116 Radio Lane Suite 201 Rosenberg TX 77471 713.239.4158 firstname.lastname@example.org QUINCEAÑERAS AND BRIDAL 651NW Loop San Antonio TX 78238 210.913.8315 ESMERALDA BRIDAL 2415 Howe Sacramento, CA 95825 916.649.2056 www.esmeralda-bridal.com NORMA WEDDING 221 W Jefferson Blvd Dallas TX 75208 email@example.com VIANNKMANSUR Mex. D.F. Teléfono : 55742575 j.rico@live .com.mx www.WeddingsandQuinceaneras.net • Are there additional charges you’re going to surprise me with? • Can I negotiate the terms of payment? Compromise is Key Even if you’re quite certain about what you want, banish bridezilla and keep an open mind. The style you love might not suit your body shape and the material you have your heart set on might not work with the style you choose. Your dressmaker may suggest a different cut or alternative fabric that will do a better job of accentuate your assets. You need to find a happy union between comfort and looking drop-dead gorgeous. Speak to your dressmaker about sourcing the material as they may be able to get it cheaper than you. Cover Dress & Accesories Viann’k Mansur OFicina en Mexico: 55742575 j.rico@live .com.mx • The more information you give your dressmaker, the easier it will be to produce your dress. Have Some Fun Now that you have specific ideas, take your bridesmaids and try on a few readyto-wear dresses. It’s fun and it makes your wedding day feel more real. It’s also a chance to see what cuts suit your body shape. Be brave and put on something you wouldn’t ordinarily pick - you may be pleasantly surprised. • Trying on dresses will help you figure out what styles you like and dislike. Consulting With Your Dressmaker Weddings are big events and they take a lot of planning, so make sure you give 38 your dressmaker enough time to finish your frock without having to rush. On average this is between 4 – 8 months but it depends on the details of the dress. Find out what you need to bring to your fittings; the shoes and underwear you’ll wear on your wedding day are recommended as they help with sizing. Designers are visual, so make sure you come armed with all your sketches, photos, magazine cut-outs and ideas. Be upfront and honest about your taste, the style of the wedding and your budget and expect the same frankness from your dressmaker. What to ask: • When will the dress be finished? www.WeddingsandQuinceañeras.net What to ask: • What fabric do you recommend? • What colour goes best with my skin tone? • What style suits my shape? • What do you expect me to supply? Your Dress Fittings Whatever you do, don’t rush your fittings! It’s so important to make sure your dress fits properly, so plan ahead to book your dates. Don’t squeeze the appointments into your lunch break, give yourself time to relax and enjoy the experience. When your dress is on, move around to make sure it’s comfortable, that it stays up and that you can breathe, after all you’ll be doing a lot of dancing on your wedding night! What to ask: • How many fittings will there be? • When is the last fitting? • What if my weight changes and I need final adjustments? Say Yes to the Dress A custom-made wedding dress turns a bride’s fantasy into reality. By making sure you know what you want, you can get the best out of your dressmaker and you’ll walk down the aisle in a dress that’s come straight from your dreams. The Role of the Dressmaker Dressmakers come in two broad categories. Retail stores offer sample dresses and then tailor the dress to suit your measurements, while independent dressmakers can make a dress for you from scratch. The right choice for you will depend on your needs and budget. If you’re looking for something specific and one-of-a-kind, you’ll probably want to go with a dressmaker who can make your dress from scratch. You’re paying for the dressmaker’s time and experience, though, so having your dress custom made will cost you! But if you just want a dress that looks great on your body, your local dress shop should have plenty of options. A dressmaker is an entirely different animal for a tailor. Tailors make minor alterations to clothes to help them fit better, while dressmakers can fundamentally alter the dress itself by removing or adding a train, changing lace, or changing the shape or style of the neckline. At retail stores, dressmakers often act primarily as tailors, making adjustments to the dress to ensure it fits rather than making a completely new dress. How Much Time? If you’re having the dress made from scratch, plan on ordering it no later than six to eight months before your wedding. Whether you have the dress custom made or simply buy and alter an existing dress, you’ll usually have one to two fittings after the dress is complete. Leave at least two months between your first fitting and your wedding day, because this gives you plenty of time to make significant changes to the dress. Your final fitting will likely be a week or so before the wedding. This is the chance to see the finished product, not to make big changes, so don’t count on giving your dressmaker a bunch of new requests right before your wedding! Of course, different dressmakers and stores have wildly different policies, and the time it takes to actually get your dress depends on your dressmaker’s workload and working speed, as well as the complexity of your dress. Rather than relying on blind faith or a general guide, call a few dressmakers as soon as you get engaged, and ask them how quickly you need to order your wedding gown. Choosing Your Dressmaker Before you pay a deposit or sign a contract, you’ll need to do the legwork of vetting your dressmaker. Don’t just go on blind faith or based on a sales pitch, because you only have one chance to get this right. Instead, determine whether your dressmaker meets your needs and is qualified by doing some of the following: • Asking for photos of previous work, as well as the sketches from which the work was produced. This gives you an idea of how closely the dressmaker’s madefrom-scratch dresses match her initial sketches. • Asking for references. • Reading online reviews, and checking the dressmaker’s Facebook and other social networking pages to ensure there have been no complaints. EXPO Girl Dress & Accesories Lucy’s Boutique 4750 B Aldine Mail Rd. Houston TX 77039 Tel: 281.987.1795 • Asking your dressmaker about her training and experience. Dressmakers who have been in business for years usually have a healthy track record of satisfied customers. • Ensure that the dressmaker’s previous work matches your style. A dressmaker who specializes in modern, understated wedding dresses might not be the best choice if you’re hoping for a lace-filled vintage confection. Jacqueline Espinoza Representante USA 116 Radio Lane Suite 201 Rosenberg TX 77471 713.239.4158 firstname.lastname@example.org z n the Beauty... How to: Choosing Your Makeup Artist After all, this isn’t just about what you’re wearing, but to an extent, transforming your face itself. If applied incorrectly, bad makeup can make you both look- and more importantly, feel- pretty horrendous. But if done right, it amplifies your beauty and matches both your internal emotions and the tone of the day (not to mention, will last those long hours where you dance the night away). But choosing the right makeup artist takes research and your personal input. So follow along these steps to find the right cosmetologist and look for you! Decide On Your Style: A good makeup artist will give you what you want rather than imposing her own style on you. But this doesn’t mean that every makeup artist can successfully mimic every style imaginable. www.WeddingsandQuinceañeras.net 45 MAKE UP & HAIR STYLIST Is there anything that can induce an instant case of severe anxiety and bridezilla-nitis quite as quickly as having the wrong makeup? to ask friends whose wedding makeup you’ve adored. If you don’t know anyone who had the perfect wedding day makeup, it’s time to turn to head online. Read reviews of makeup artists, and try posting in makeup-related forums seeking a recommendation. People are often eager to help you find the artist who perfectly matches your needs, and a service provider’s online reputation can tell you a lot about the kind of experience you’ll have. Review Portfolios: After you’ve narrowed down your options to a few choice makeup artists, ask to review their portfolios. This can give you plenty of insight into the kind of work they do, and looking at photos will give you an idea of how your makeup will look when you get your wedding album from your photographer. Cover Make Up & Hairstyle Patty Divas Hair Style 713.922.2724 Some specialize in glamorous, pinupinspired looks, while others prefer a more natural aesthetic. Source some images of made-up women (online, in makeup books and in magazines, or wherever else you can find), and creating a literal ‘look book’ of a few makeup styles you like. Whilst you don’t have to focus on bridal makeup per say, it’s generally recommended that you choose a look that won’t date easily. If in doubt, aim for simplicity, and to emphasise your natural features and assets. If you have a particular look in mind, begin you search for a makeup artist who specializes in this style. Some questions to ask yourself about your personal cosmetic style include: 46 How much makeup do I usually wear? If you’re a makeup aficionada, you’ll probably feel more comfortable wearing more makeup, and potentially wearing a more glamorous look. You also might be more picky. What features do I want to accentuate? Is there anything I want to hide? What’s my personal style? Is it vintage, vampy, or inspired by the girl next door? Choose a makeup artists whose style is evocative of your own personality. Are there any makeup looks I hate? Maybe you loathe red lipstick or thick eyebrows. Steer clear of makeup artists who make these styles their trademarks. Get Recommendations: Your best bet for finding the perfect makeup artist is www.WeddingsandQuinceañeras.net Show your makeup artist candidate looks in her portfolio you love, and if there’s anything you want her to avoid, point this out as well. Reviewing your makeup artist’s portfolio not only helps you decide whether to hire her; it also gives you the chance to give her a very specific idea of what you want. Do a Test Run: Like you wouldn’t pick a wedding dress that you didn’t first try on, you should never hire a makeup artist without doing a trial run first. No matter how nice she is and no matter how good her portfolio looks, what matters is how suitable she is for you and your specific needs. Plan your test run far enough in advance that you’ll have sufficient time to find a new artist if you don’t like your makeup results (usually around 2-6 weeks in advance). Check on Policies: No matter how perfect your makeup artist is, you’ll need to make sure their policies are fair. Ask them about the following: Don’t hesitate to see what your options are – you may discover a wedding look you never even considered! 48 www.WeddingsandQuinceañeras.net 832.317.1788 No matter what look you choose, a good makeup artist means you won’t be wrestling with eyeliner catastrophes or a shiny nose on your wedding day. For many brides, the slight bump in expenses is well worth the piece of mind. Delinearte How long makeup will take. You need to plan your wedding day schedule carefully, so be sure to find out how much time you need for makeup. Expo Girl Make Up & Hairstyle Her specific rates. Will you be charged hourly or a flat fee? What about if you need her to come to the ceremony for touch-ups or travel to your home? Cancellation fees. What happens if you have to change your appointment or no longer need her services at all? Makeup for the bridal party. Can she work with everyone, and how much will it cost? Summer Hair Trends The warmer months can present a challenging time for your tresses. Added heat and moisture can turn your beautiful bridal do upside down if care and planning is not implemented. Here are some common concerns that you need to consider to ensure your hair is picture perfect on your special day… Sun Damage: Most people know about the importance of using SPF on your skin, but what about HPF (Hair Protection Factor)? UV rays are as damaging to the scalp as they are to the skin and can leave your hair completely dehydrated and lack lustre. Protect your hair and scalp now with a simple spray-on product or leave-in conditioner that will protect your tresses from the rays. Fighting Frizz and Fly-aways: Whether hair is straight or curly, it might be hard to style in the summer because of all that humidity. Many brides-to-be are faced with daily frizz, and fly-aways. It’s best to not fight with your hair, but instead treat it with love and care. Smoothing conditioners will seal the hair cuticle and prepare it for styling, while smoothing serums will tame stubborn flyaways. There is no point in piling on product that will leave your hair oily and limp. Less is more is key for maintaining your style throughout the day, and a little hairspray will be sure to keep your tresses in place. Long vs Short Hair: It’s an all too common occurrence that brides-to-be desire a change, and more common than not, resort to the chop without considering the consequences. Depending on the length of your hair, possibilities can be endless, as long as you decide on a wedding hair stylist well in advance of your big day and schedule a series of hair trials so that you’re comfortable and confident that your hairdresser will create the wedding hair of your dreams. A pixie cut can look amazing with proper styling and treatment. If you’re after a quick-fix of longer hair for your big day, then consult an experienced hair stylist in hair extensions. The last thing you want are extensions that don’t match your hair colour and type. If you are confused as to whether you should have hair up or down and have the long tresses to work with, consult your stylist and bring photos of your dress, veil and hair accessories so that your hair will compliment your style. Be sure to check out our wedding hair stylists in your state and book in a consultation well in advance for peace of mind before your wedding day.We also have list of wedding accessories suppliers on W&Q to make your wedding day hair look more gorgeous. Hair Accessories: Depending on your hair length, hair accessories can add a touch of style and sophistication to your overall look. Some brides long after wearing a veil and complete the look with a hair comb or tiara. If a veil is not your thing, and you are after a 1940s wave or long cascading locks, the addition of a fascinator, diamante encrusted headband or hairpins will complete your look. Once again, be sure to take your hair accessories to your hair trials so ensure that you’re happy with the overall hairstyle. www.WeddingsandQuinceañeras.net 49 SAY GOODBYE TO PROBLEMATIC SKIN.. No more acne! PROBLEMATIC SKIN Acne is one of the world’s most common skin aliments. Acne is caused by an excess production of oil in the sebaceous glands. The oil combines with skin cells to clog the glands. Normal skin bacteria colonize the glands and the body response causes the inflammation or reddening of the skin that we associate with acne. With today’s technology, there’s no reason to walk around with pimples on your face or any other part of your body. Acne can be resolved completely or improved dramatically with available treatments usable by anyone at any age under most any circumstance. Omnilux Red Light begins an immediate process of inflammation reduction. New Treatment Options: Light therapy / Omnilux Dual Light Acne Therapy Dual Light Treatments accelerate the reduction of acne pimples and the redness and swelling they cause. Acne patients are discovering faster, more visible response to their acne clearing. Works in conjunction with chemical peels or microdermabrasions prior of using the light therapy. A regiment of treatment will be recommended according to your skin type. There is a new light-based system for the treatment of acne. It involves a short, completely painless treatment regimen with impressive results and no side effects or downtime. ClearLight treatments destroy acnecausing bacteria within the skin. Applied in eight treatments over a four week period, most patients see a dramatic decrease in the number and severity of acne blemishes and lesions; some report significant improvements after only two or three sessions. “On average 70 -80% of acne lesions will clear” FDA CLEARED Omnilux reviveTM for the use of superficial, benign, vascular and pigmented lesions. Omnilux Blue TM for general dermatological conditions and specifically to treat moderate inflammatory acne vularis. Let us help you look amazing on your special event. Healthy skin it’s just a call away. Schedule your FREE consultation today! z n the Invitations... How to: Organising Your Invitations Fortunately, you can avoid the daunting task of getting your invites together for awhile, since most people send them out six to 10 weeks prior to the wedding. If you’re overwhelmed by the seemingly limitless options, have no fear! Brideonline. com.au is here to rescue you from the stress. Invitation Basics: The first step toward getting your invitations ready is determining when you need to send them out. Contemporary brides frequently send out “save the dates” to notify their guests of the wedding date, and if you do this, you can hold off on invitations. If you’re not doing save the dates or have a destination wedding, though, you’ll need to give your guests ample time to plan for your wedding. Aim for two to three months prior to the big day. Plan on spending between two and 10 percent of your budget on invitations; however, if you want to spend far more or far less, make sure you adjust your overall budget accordingly. Choosing Your Style: Before you begin paging through images of invitations, you need to choose your style. Otherwise, you can very easily get overwhelmed by www.WeddingsandQuinceañeras.net 55 INVITATIONS AND MORE... The scramble to design the perfect wedding invitations can leave you overwhelmed, particularly since your invitations will serve as your guests’ preview of the wedding. www.WeddingsandQuinceaneras.net your options! A great idea is to keep some kind of pinboard or look-book of invitations, colour schemes, or styles you love. Another fail-safe option is to take inspiration from elements of your wedding you’ve already organized, such as the colours of your centerpieces or the bridesmaids’ dresses. Your invitations should also match the formality of your wedding. Are you having a black tie gathering? Time to break out the fancy script and letterpress invites. Simple beach wedding? Stick with simple wording and invitations that give out a relaxed vibe. Here are some other things to consider: Invitation wording. If you’re having a formal wedding, stick with more traditional wording in a fancy script. You’ll also need to decide who’s doing the inviting and who’s names appear on the invitations. Traditionally, the bride’s parents are the inviters, but contemporary weddings frequently name both sets of parents or even leave the parents out altogether. Invitation information. Keep it short, sweet, and to the point. Include the date, time, location of the ceremony, as well as any pertinent information about dress codes. If the reception is at a different location, don’t forget to include it! You can attach separate cards with a map, directions, information about lodging, transport, and other crucial details. Paper style and size. Thick cardstock and letterpress invitations are generally more expensive and convey a more formal style. There’s no hard and fast rule for invite sizes. Instead, pick something you like, but keep in mind that larger invitations can cost more to mail. Additional enclosures. Brides are increasingly using invitations with pockets to make it easier to include reception information, directions, invitations to the rehearsal information, and other details their guests need. If there are multiple wedding events, you’ll likely need several smaller cards. If your wedding is a simpler affair, though, you can save cash by making a singlepage invitation. Frills. You can add all kinds of details to your invitation to help set the theme and make your invitation stand out. Stickers, rhinestones, glitter, a small photo, or even a memento of the wedding-to-comd can make your invitation one that your guests will be thrilled to put on their fridges! Doing It Yourself: The DIY world has come an incredibly long way! Gone are the days of shoddily printed photos and invitation card that doesn’t quite hit the mark. With an increased demand for cheaper DIY invitations over the past few years, many manufacturers have made a concerted effort to make creating the invitations yourself far easier and professional looking. Whether you’re looking to buy locally or online, the general process is the same: you need to design the card, have the relevant pages printed, and then assemble the remaining parts – invitation card, accent color backing, any pockets, and any other details – together. 58 Many invitation websites are linked with a professional printer, and will give you a realistic preview of what the invitation should www.WeddingsandQuinceañeras.net look like. Additionally, many sites offer fair policies regarding returns- just make sure you read the fine print and give yourself ample time to get the invitations right. If you’d rather buy your wares in person, check out reputable craft and stationary stores, as well as any paper warehouses, if you’re lucky enough to have one in your area. Again, these stores should be linked to, or at least be able to recommend, specific printing presses according to your specific needs. These are also excellent starting points for DIY ideas, along with crafty sites like Pintrest, Etsy, and Craftgawker. If you’re feeling particularly crafty, try getting a very simple invitation printed on simple card stock, then adding the embellishments yourself. Some easy – and blessedly cheap! -- embellishment ideas include: Adding a pop of bling by attaching a rhinestone or crystal Looping a charm or a simple message written on a tag through a string, then using the string to tie your invitation shut. Using photo invitations to pop in a copy of your engagement photos. Personalizing your invites by dropping a tiny memento – such as a seashell from the beach where you’ll be married or a few rose petals – into the envelope. Doing it yourself means staying organized, so try getting a couple of folders or drawers for each piece of the invitation. Then take a little time each day to design or assemble a few invitations. Pacing yourself means you won’t feel rushed and quality won’t suffer. Paying for Invites: If the idea of spending time designing or even making your own invites sounds like the worst way to spend your engagement, you’re not alone. Paying someone else to make your invitations is an excellent way to save time and ensure you get a great result. When you hire a professional, you won’t have to worry about minor details, and if there’s a printing mistake or other error, you won’t have to fix it. Even better, if you pay for invites, you can get letterpress invites with engraved printing and elegant designs. This route tends to be more expensive, but there are still options for saving cash. Try purchasing matching envelopes separately, going through a small, independent business, and asking about bulk discounts. If an invitation is being discontinued or is out of season, it might be cheaper, so be sure to ask about clearance items. Generally speaking, the more popular and respected the brand is, the more cash you’re going to have to dole out. If you’re hoping for artful invitations at a discounted price, try a website such as Etsy, where independent crafters can help you design the invite of your dreams. You’ll need to allow plenty of time for a professional to design your invites, order supplies, and provide you with samples. If you’re going the professional route, plan on starting your invites no more than four to six months before your wedding. It’s true that you’ve got plenty of options to wade through, but once you’ve picked a style, invitation-making is relatively smooth-sailing. So sit back, take a deep breath, and start designing those invites. After all, they’re the one thing that makes the difference between the wedding that no one knew about and the wedding that everyone remembers! www.WeddingsandQuinceañeras.net 59 z n the Food... Selecting a Caterer For very small party on a strict budget this effort might be undertaken by some friends or family members. But most people will want to hire a professional. Also, even if a wedding planner or bridal consultant was engaged to take care of things, the couple will still find it wise to be involved in this decision. Tactful questions to the potential caterer should never be resisted or generate hostility. If they do, that’s a good sign to move on to the next candidate. Here are some items that should be covered: Cost and scheduling are the first considerations. The professional selected will have to be able to do the job when you need and within your budget. It isn’t necessary to have an exact date and total cost for the first interview. But at least the month, preferably the week, the party is to be held is important. Good caterers often book up months, even as long as two years, in advance. Having a specific date is, of course, always preferable. Simply ask if they’re available then. Covering cost is critical. It’s important to be thorough and detailed. The level of detail need not be granular during the first conversation. An overall www.WeddingsandQuinceañeras.net 61 CATERING & PARTY RENTALS There are many important tasks involved in wedding planning. But the success of your reception can largely hinge on having the right food, beverage, table settings and serving staff. In short, good catering is key. Cómo nació mi Sueño... Mi gusto por la cocina empezó a muy temprana edad. Recuerdo cómo me las ingeniaba para lograr entrar a la cocina sin que mi madre lo notara y se molestara conmigo, ya que a ella no le gustaba que nadie la observara mientras cocinaba. Muchas veces finjía que hacía mi tarea; la observaba disimuladamente para poder aprender a preparar los platos favoritos de la familia. Años más tarde, al llegar a mi adolescencia, ya preparaba diferentes platos para vender y recaudar fondos para la iglesia San José en Sabinas Hildalgo NL, mi entrañable ciudad donde solía participar en el coro. En el verano de 1996, llegué a Houston con más sueños que el dinero que traía en mis bolsillos (3 dólares para ser exactos). Enfrenté lo que muchos inmigrantes que como yo hemos tenido que afrontar: nuevo idioma, cultura, y todo lo que significa empezar de nuevo. Los primeros meses sobreviví en casa de una tía materna trabajando como niñera, pero al cabo de un tiempo me di cuenta que lo que ganaba no era suficiente para alcanzar mis metas. A diario me preguntaba qué hacer para ganar más dinero. De esta manera, se me ocurrió la idea de hacer lo que más me gusta hacer... cocinar!. En ese entonces , un conocido de la familia me pidió que le preparara y vendiera tamales, “como los de tu abuela” me enfatizó y yo contesté con mucha seguridad ...”¡claro que si!” ....estarán listos para el siguiente sábado. Me gustan los retos y disfruto mucho el conocer y servir a la gente Así es...pero yo no sabía cómo preparar tamales; la única noción que tenía eran las fiestas navideñas en casa de mi abuela. Recordaba una inmensa bola de masa sobre la mesa y muchas mujeres de mi familia alrededor de ella tratando de acabarla con cuchara en mano. Untaban la masa en hojas de maíz con una técnica impresionante. El inconfundible olor del ajo, cominos y pimienta estaban tan impregnados en mi memoria, que me dieron la certeza y seguridad que necesitaba para preparar 30 docenas de tamales por primera vez en mi vida. Llamaba a mi abuela a México para preguntarle sobre cómo mezclar los ingredientes hasta llegar al punto de preparar deliciosos tamales, de acuerdo al comentario de mi cliente... Así pasaron casi siete años, preparando comidas para amigos, compañías y lugares de trabajo. Sin darme cuenta el preparar tamales y comidas para pequeños eventos me colocaron poco a poco en el gusto y preferencia de mis clientes. Los obstáculos no detuvieron mi sueño de superación. La tormenta Allison (2001) me enseñó una lección de vida que nunca olvidaré. Lo perdí todo...el agua destruyó y se llevó consigo: muebles, ropa, utensilios de cocina, ollas, fotos y toda mínima pertenencia, incluso mi último cambio de cheque, lo cual hoy en día me causa risa. Estaba de nueva cuenta sin nada, solo mi hijo de tres años de edad y la ropa que vestíamos era lo que nos acompañaba. Aprendí que no importa quién eres ni qué pertenencias tengas, ni con qué dinero cuentas para empezar de nuevo; lo más importante es estar a lado de quien más amas y nunca dejar de avanzar. Al fracaso o a empezar de cero no le temo, sólo son lecciones de vida. Dios, mi familia y mis sueños están comigo siempre, nunca los dejo, son quienes impulsan mis días todo el tiempo. Finalmente desafios, obstaculos y uno que otro fracaso me han fortalecido y convertido en la mujer de negocios que soy ahora. Nildy León estimate of the number of guests and the type of food and beverage desired will be enough to get a rough estimate. That will tell you if you want to continue the conversation. Take care, though, to advance the discussion to details once you have a caterer you might want to work with. Final costs may differ from the initial estimate by as much as 10-15% and still be reasonable. But if the final bill is 25% or more higher than the estimate something has gone awry. That higher figure doesn’t prove the caterer was a con artist. Honest misunderstandings do happen. To avoid them, list what is to be included in the price. Caterers will base their rough estimate on a per head count. Prices vary from $8-$35 per person or more depending on what is served and what extra services are included. List as much as possible and review the details when you’ve narrowed down the choice of caterer to 1-3 companies. Interviewing Potential Caterers Planning your wedding reception catering can be a frustrating task. You want to make sure that everyone at your wedding reception gets the perfect meal and has a wonderful time, all while staying within your budget. Start out by contacting a handful of different caterers. Have pre-planned questions to ask each of them and pay attention to how they respond to your inquiries. Take notes on what each caterer offers and their catering methods, this will help you to not get the different catering services mixed up later when you go back to review and make you final decision. Have a checklist handy of all the things you know you will require at your wedding Be sure to ask about things like whether linens are included. Find out how much it costs (and how long is required) for pre-set up and post-reception clean-up. Ask how many staff people the cost includes. Compare the cost of sit-down meals with a buffet. There are other common sense criteria to employ, as well. References are important and you should make the effort to ask for and actually talk to some provided by each candidate caterer. Ask whether they’re licensed and bonded (insurance the company pays to protect against accidents by their employees). Once these basics are covered you can drill down to more narrow (but still important) issues. Find out who will be at the actual reception. Ask to meet them. Find out whether they will serve liquor and at what cost. Once you reach the stage of making a final selection, be sure to have a written contract. Most caterers will use one for all engagements. Read it carefully, including the (sometimes boring) fine print. Here you’ll find out about any ‘extras’ that can cost you greatly. Remember: everything is negotiable. 64 www.WeddingsandQuinceañeras.net reception and inquire about all charges and fees. When selecting additional fees and services, it is important to be aware of rates and how your caterer will be charging you so that there are no surprises later on. Find out who is going to be responsible for cleanup after your reception is over and find out if the catering service will be providing their own tableware and wait staff. After you have gone over all the details and fine points and have narrowed your choices down, it is time to set up a taste test. After all, exquisite food will be the determining factor that ensures your guests have an amazing time and enjoy your reception. If you are looking for wedding reception catering services in your area, fill out our wedding catering request form to get quotes for catering services in your area. Buffet Catering vs. The Sit Down Dinner Which Catering Service is right for Your Wedding? At your quinceanera or wedding reception, it is paramount that you provide your guests with the best possible dining experience. This is a day you want all of your friends and family to enjoy and that you want to be able to look back on fondly. However, deciding on how to feed your room full of hungry guests may not be as easy as you first thought. Should you go with the traditional sit down dinner, or would buffet catering better suit your particular reception party? A professional caterer will be able to help you with this decision, but you should know that there are advantages to both setups. If you want your reception party to reflect a more formal atmosphere, then a sit down meal will work better at delivering a more elegant ambiance. Buffet catering on the other hand might imply a more laid back and casual vibe and will likely make guests feel more comfortable. Buffets are usually less expensive than ordering individual plates, because you won’t require wait staff and buffet type foods tend to run cheaper and are easier to prepare. However, with a sit down meal, guests won’t have to work for their food and don’t have to worry as much about making a mess. This can be especially advantageous to elderly guests and those with small children. Also, if you go the sit down dinner route, you will not have to worry about running out of food, however, your guests will not have as many options as they would with a buffet. The buffet catering setup also encourages more mingling amongst attendees. So as you can see, there are a number of pros on both sides, so no matter which you choose, you really can’t go wrong. Contact a local catering company to discuss further the advantages and disadvantages to each, and they will help you decide which will better suit the theme and style of your wedding. Ifyou are looking for catering services for a weddingor quinceanera party check our directory for local caterers in Houston area. www.WeddingsandQuinceaneras.net Jaqui Photography Photograf铆a GEM Events & moe Decoraci贸n z n the Experts... Want to be certain all your wedding planning bases are covered? Read the tips that no bride should be without. When planning your party, there are things that are nice to know, like that mermaid silhouettes are all the rage or that purple is making a comeback. Then, there are things you need to know -- advice so essential that any bride who’s lucky enough to hear it thinks, “I’m so glad someone told me that!” If you’re wondering whether there’s something you may have missed (or even if you’ve got everything under control), check out our indispensable planning secrets. 1. Guests Come First: Get a grip on the approximate number of guests you’ll invite before settling on a venue. This will ensure there’s ample space for your crew. As a rule of thumb, allow for 25 to 30 square feet per guest. That may seem like a lot, but it’s not if you count the space you’ll need for the tables, bustling waiters, the band, and the dance floor. 2. Investigate Wedding Blackout Dates: Know ahead of time if your wedding date falls on the same day as a trade conference, charity walk, or other local event that could affect traffic and hotel room availability. 3. Listen to Mother Nature: Heed the weather and other potential annoyances. Guests have been known to skip out early from hotter-than-hot summer tent weddings and improperly heated winter loft receptions. Bugs (gnats, deerflies, www.WeddingsandQuinceañeras.net 69 EVENT CORDINATORS & PARTY RENTALS 30 Expert Tips and Tricks and no-see-ums) also swarm in certain areas during certain seasons. Consider renting pest control tanks to alleviate the problem or including bug repellent in guests’ gift bags. And if you want a sunset ceremony, make sure you know when to say your vows by checking SunriseSunset.com. 4. Check Your Credit: Take advantage of the high cost of quinceanera or weddings and sign up for a credit card with a rewards program. Whether it gives you airline miles or great shopping deals, consolidating all party-related purchases to this card will help you accumulate thousands of rewards points (which could be used for your honeymoon). 5. Pay It Forward: Let one vendor lead you to another. Your photographer can tell you which florist’s blooms really pop, and your reception manager should know which band packs the dance floor. 6. Lighten Your List: The easiest way to trim your party budget? Cut your guest list. Remember, half of your party expenses go to wining and dining your guests. 7. Ask and You Might Receive: Request an extra hour for cocktails or for your band to throw in that Frank Sinatra sound-alike before you sign on the dotted line. Most vendors would rather secure the reservation than nickel-and-dime you early on and turn you off. Later on, though, they may have less of a motive to meet you halfway. 8. Make a Meal Plan: Another unforeseen expense? Feeding your party day crew. Before you sign the contracts, make sure you’re not required to serve the same meal to your vendors that guests will receive. Otherwise, you could be paying for 20 additional lobster tails. Choose a less expensive (but equally hearty) meal for them instead. You will have to let your caterer know a couple of days before the event exactly how many vendors you need to feed (don’t forget photography assistants and band roadies) and what you want them to serve. 9. Get Organizationally Focused: In a three-ring binder, compile all your correspondences with vendors, notes you make during meetings, and photos or tear sheets from magazines you want vendors to see. Set up a special email dedicated to your party, and store important vendor numbers in your cell phone. 72 www.WeddingsandQuinceañeras.net 10. Tend to Your Bar: Typically, you need one bartender per 50 guests to keep the line at a minimum. But if you’re serving a signature cocktail that cannot be made ahead of time (or in large quantities), consider adding an extra server designated to this task. 11. Leave Some Room in Your Wallet: Your party budget should follow this formula: 48 to 50 percent of total budget to reception; 8 to 10 percent for flowers; 8 to 10 percent for attire; 8 to 10 percent for entertainment/music; 10 to 12 percent for photo/video; 2 to 3 percent for invites; 2 to 3 percent for gifts; and 8 percent for miscellaneous items like a wedding coordinator. It’s essential to allocate an extra 5 to 10 percent of your money for surprise expenses like printing extra invites because of mistakes, additional tailoring needs, umbrellas for a rainy day, and ribbons for the programs. 12. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask: Your vendors should be your go-to, most-trusted experts during the planning process. 74 When working with them, you should feel free to really explore what it is you want -maybe it’s serving a late-night snack instead of a first course or doing a portrait session rather than an engagement session. The bottom line is that you should feel like you can have an honest conversation with them about what it is you want. Their job will be to tell you what you can and can’t make work given your event budget. 13. Wait for a Date: Sometimes, lastminute planning can work in your favor. The closer your date, the more bargaining power you have. Since most people book their reception sites at least six months in advance, calling for open dates two months prior to your desired time can save you up to 25 percent. And, Friday and Sunday parties should cost about 30 percent less than Saturday events. 14. Manage the Mail: Of course you want the perfect stamps for your party invitations. But not all stamps are widely available at every post office, especially in large quantities. And be sure to weigh www.WeddingsandQuinceañeras.net your invitation and all the additional paper products before you send them out so you can attach the right amount of postage. Ask your stationer about the need for additional postage for oddshaped envelopes. 15. Prepare for Rejection: Know that as a rule, about 30 percent of the people you invite won’t attend. Naturally, this depends on the location of your wedding (destination weddings are harder to attend), how many out-of-towners are on your list, and the timing of the event (some guests may have annual holiday or summer plans). On the other hand, everyone could accept -- knowing your wedding will be the can’tmiss party of the year! 16. Make a Uniform Kids Policy: You have four choices: You can welcome children with open arms; you can decide to have an “adults only” party; you can include immediate family only; or, you can hire a child care service to provide day care either at the reception space, in a hotel room, or in a family member’s home. To prevent hurt feelings, it’s wise to avoid allowing some families to bring children while excluding others (unless, of course, the children are in your bridal party). 17. Prioritize Your People: Pare down your guest list with the “tiers of priority” trick. Place immediate family, the bridal party, and best friends on top of the list; follow with aunts, uncles, cousins, and close friends you couldn’t imagine not being there. Under that, list your parents’ friends, neighbors, coworkers, and so on. If you need to make some cuts, start from the bottom until you reach your ideal number. 18. Take It One Step at a Time: Put together a wedding planning schedule and do things one by one, in a logical order, so you don’t take on too much too fast and end up with everything snowballing around you. Don’t hire any vendors before you’ve confirmed your date; don’t design your cake before you’ve envisioned your flowers; and don’t book a band before you’ve settled on a space. 76 19. No Ring, No Bring: If your guest list is bursting at the seams, assess the plusone scenario. Do a faux seating chart in your mind, and imagine whom your single pal would sit with. If it’s a table of singles that she knows pretty well, then you’re all set. If it’s a table of couples (making her the odd one out) or if it’s a table of singles where she won’t know anyone, consider bending the rules. If asked why you’re not allowing single friends to bring guests, size constraints or your parents’ never-ending guest list are always good fallback white lies. 20. Release Rooms: As soon as you have picked a date, start to look for hotels in a wide variety of price points. Many hotels allow you to reserve rooms for guests under a special wedding block and a reduced rate. You can then release any unbooked rooms a month prior to your wedding. If the hotels you contact insist upon contracts with cancellation penalties, just say no -- you don’t want to be responsible for rooms you can’t fill. www.WeddingsandQuinceañeras.net 21. Provide Accurate Driving Directions: Make sure guests know where they’re going. As easy as online map programs are to use, sometimes the directions are wrong -- or there’s a quicker, less trafficprone route to take. Ask your ceremony and reception sites for printouts of recommended driving directions, which they often keep in stock for weddings and will give to you for free, and test out the routes yourself. 22. Keep a Paper Trail: Get any nonstandard changes to your agreements in writing or send the vendor a confirmation email saying, “Hello, just confirming that you’ll keep the venue open until 2 a.m. versus midnight.” Don’t take anyone on his word -- by the time the big day rolls around, your contact may no longer be working there to vouch for you. 23. Schedule the Setup: You must make sure there’s ample time for setup. If you’re renting a venue and bringing in outside help, ask, “What time can people come in to set things up?” Preston Bailey, author of Preston Bailey’s Fantasy Weddings, recommends seeing if they can do it the day before, or at the very least the entire wedding day, before the event starts. yours during the final days before your wedding). 24. Learn About Marriage Licenses: You can check your state’s license requirements online, but confirm with a call to the county clerk’s office to see when they’re open. 25. Go Over Ground Rules: Be prepared! Ask the manager of the house of worship or site where you’ll be married for the list of restrictions (if any). For instance, is flash photography or bare shoulders prohibited? Or, if you’re exchanging vows outdoors, are you allowed to plant tent stakes in the lawn (which is often a no-no)? Even if it’s open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., they may issue marriage licenses only during slower times like, say, Thursdays from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Give a copy of your marriage license to your mom or your maid of honor (just in case you lose 26. Classify Your Cash: Wedding budgets are all about balance. Start your budget planning by making a list of the crucial details, like the music, your wedding gown, the invitations, the flowers, and the photographer, and assign a number to each -- one being the most important and three being the least. Invest your money in all your number ones and cut corners on your number threes. (But everything can’t fall into the number one category!) For example, if a designer gown and fabulous food are what really matter, you may have to choose simple invitations and smaller floral arrangements. 27. Help Guests Pay Attention: Make sure your guests can see -- and hear. If people are seated farther than 15 rows back from your ceremony altar or podium, consider renting a mic and a riser. This could range anywhere from $50 to $100, depending on the equipment used. You’ll need to coordinate the delivery and setup with your ceremony space, so put your wedding planner or best man in charge of this task. 28. Write Down Your Digits: Carry an emergency contact sheet on your wedding day. Keep the paper with names and phone numbers of all your vendors in your purse -- it may come in handy in case your limo driver gets lost or you decide you’d like your photographer to take some behind-the-scenes shots. 29. Call the Fashion Police: Don’t go dress shopping on your own -- all the gowns will start to look the same after a while and it will be harder to recall which style you really loved. But be careful about who you do bring. If your mom or sibling can’t make the trip, ask a friend who is truly honest. This is the time when you really need to know which dress looks best. 30. Be Realistic With Your Time: When it comes down to the last month of your planning (and when you’re particularly harried) look at your mile long to-do list and cut three things. Yes, cut three things. Not crucial things that you just don’t feel like doing, such as picking a processional song or confirming final details with all of your vendors. Eliminate only the overthe-top tasks like hand-painting “Just Married” signs, or baking cookies for all of the welcome bags. Make a pledge to not think about them ever again. www.WeddingsandQuinceaneras.net z n the Flowers... Choosing/ Rocking Your Ideal Bouquet So it’s worth investing the time to find what suits your personality and the wedding, as well as just plain looking great. Here’s how to pick your ultimate bouquet: Match it to Your Dress: The main factor to remember here is to have your flowers complement your gown, not compete with them. So, if you have a particularly intricate gown, you’ll probably need some understated flowers. Similarly, a clean looking gown will probably leave room for an ornate, bedazzled and bejewelled confection to balance the look out. Bring as many pieces of your wedding planning toy your florist- such as a picture of the reception venue and gown, a swatch of the material, and your accessories- to give her an idea of what will look best. Experiment with Shape: Bouquets come in a variety of shapes, each with their own look, and pros and cons. The shape of the bouquet can have a huge influence on how the arrangement looks, so take htis opportunity to play around with different looks until you’ve found the perfect fit. www.WeddingsandQuinceañeras.net 81 FLOWERS AND MORE... The bride’s bouquet is the most significant of all flower arrangements on your wedding day, and can lacheive vastly different looks, depending on your gown, ceremony and reception locations, body shape and season. www.WeddingsandQuinceaneras.net These bouquet shapes available consist of the: ‘round,’ ‘trailer,’ ‘sheaf,’ ‘crescent,’ ‘line,’ and ‘cascade’ varieties. Round bouquets are an extremely popular choice for brides. The size is adjustable, so it suits a number of dress styles. It is usually used for large flowers like roses, peonies, or carnations, and is loosely arranged and tied with a ribbon. Cascading bouquets are well suited to romantic dresses. Keep in mind though that they are rather big, so they’re generally suited to larger dresses. The flowers are usually wired to a handle to keep them in place. This is also the most traditional and formal of all bouquet styles. Tied bouquets have a less definite shape, and are tied with ribbon or wire. This style is best suited to modern, simple dress codes. A posy bouquet is the smallest, most minimalistic approach to the bouquet. Small or big flowers work beautifully, and therefore it is well suited to numerous types of dresses. A pomander bouquet usually consists of just flowers- no additional ‘filler’ foliage and can suspended on a ribbon for the bride to hang on her wrist (more hands for champers!). Alternatively, you can have a simple, streamlined bouquet that forms a ‘line’ of flowers rather than a collected bunch. This also makes a great choice for a slim fitting gown. Consider Less Traditional Options: If you’d like to replace or add to, your bouquet, think about floral accessory options. These arrangements are limited only by your imagination and sense of style. Some more popular floral accessories include a floral boa to wear around your shoulders, a floral necklace (like a Hawaiian lei), a floral crown, as well as bracelets, arm bands, anklets and belts. Bling It Out: An additional option to further personify your bouquet is to include some more glamorous elements( hey, it’s not like you’ll be wearing a diamond grill to the ceremony, so lets take it where we can get it). You can either include these elements in the bouquet itself, or use some to tie the stems together. Some options include: Pearls and crystals can easily be added for a sense of glamour and luxury Faux butterflies add an element of romance and whimsy. Feathers, lace, or even leather can be added to signify a touch of bordello fun And lastly, don’t be afraid to get creative with your ribbon! Whilst satin ribbon adds a rich, luxurious lookFor a delicate touch sheer organza ribbon can be used to create ribbon bows and long streamers. Wide satin ribbon will give a rich, luxurious look. Flowers to Hone Your Figure: Yup, you read right. Holding your bouquet can slim you right down, provided them you hold them in the correct spot- where your hands naturally clasp when you have good posture and relaxed arms (just below the pelvis). Whilst many brides hold their bouquets at their stomachs or chests (generally due to nerves), this is simply the wrong place to hold them, and very unflattering. Your elongated arms will cut off a few extra visual inches from your waistline, making you look taller and slimmer. The Fresh Factor: Flowers are fragile and wilt quickly. Yours should be made as close to the acutal wedding as possiblenormally on the same day. They should then be refrigerated until the last moments before the ceremony. If you have particularly delicate flowers, such as lily of the valley or gardenias, you may want to ask for two bouquetsone for the ceremony, and one for the photos (especially if these events are hours apart). Keep it fresh on the actual day by refrigerating it when you can (like between the ceremony and reception) or misting it with cooled water. Making Memories: If you’d like to keep your flowers as a significant token of your wedding day, you absolutely can. Simply hand the bouquet upside down in a dry spot where it wont be disturbed. This process generally takes several weeks to complete. www.WeddingsandQuinceañeras.net 83 z n the Transportation... Where to Hire a LIMOUSINE? Recommendations from friends and family are great when searching for a wedding car company, and don’t underestimate reviews from previous customers. Go to Weddings & Quinceaneras EXPO and see which companies are recommended by us, as well as looking in magazines and online sites. Alternatively, if youre lucky enough to have a friend or relative that owns a suitable vehicle, ask if you can borrow it. They might even be happy to dress nicely and chauffeur you around, which is a lovely way to make your day personal and special. The downside to this plan is that if things go wrong, you might not have a back up. Contact a taxi company and book a taxi on stand-by in case of emergencies for peace of mind. Once you’ve found a car you like, go and see it in person. It’s worth the extra effort. Photographs on websites can be misleading and it also gives you a chance to see whether your fabulous dress will fit inside. If you’re providing transport for the party as well, bear in mind that some cars advertised as seating 5 or six people might not be taking into account bulky bridesmaids’ dresses, so choose accordingly. www.WeddingsandQuinceañeras.net 85 LIMOUSINE RENTALS Booking through reputable and professional limousine companies is usually the best idea. Larger companies generally have the widest array of options, competitive prices and offer assurance that you’ll get quality for your money. Smaller companies, however, are often more hands- on and may be more flexible in fulfilling your requests. Check out our W&Q Directory. www.WeddingsandQuinceaneras.net z n the Sweeters... 20 Top Tips for Selecting Your Cake After the bride herself, thewedding cake is usually the second biggest centre of attention at a wedding reception (though probably close to equally beautiful). Gone are the days of traditional fruit cake- your wedding confection can be any size, shape and flavour fitting your heart’s desire. Whatever you choose, your cake should reflect your tastes, personality, and complement the food at the reception. Get inspired: A good place to start is to look at bridal magazines and the internet for wedding cake designs that you like. Make a scrapbook of your favourite cakes and write notes about why you like them. Once you have a few cakes collected, start to compare there and you might notice that there is a common element between your favourite cakes. Mention this to your wedding cake designer.Get your budget straight. Once you’ve decided on your budget for your wedding cake, tell your wedding cake designer. This’ll ensure smooth sailing for both parties. www.WeddingsandQuinceañeras.net 91 CAKES Keep your theme consistent: When first meeting with your cake designer, bring as much information as possible, including, but not limited to, details like: the colour of your dress and your bridesmaids dresses, your wedding theme colours, a description of the tone of the event, pictures of the event location, some photos of your flowers, and other pieces of inspiration for the look you’d like to achieve. MEB Cakes is Houston’s hidden gem. We design the best cakes in the City at the best prices! Whatever style or design of cake you want, M.E.B. Cakes can make! Just ask us! Come and taste our cakes at our location off Jones Rd and see why everyone is raving about MEB Cakes. Family owned and operated, we go out of our way to make sure you have the cake of your dreams for your special Event and we do Deliver. Tenemos los mejores pasteles para qual quier evento con el mas rico sabor y calidad tambien trate nuestro Mousses favoritos Para su mejor atención, permitanos diseñar su pastel con previa cita llamando al 832.208.2402 Fever for the flavour: Forget traditional fruit cake- modern brides are embracing their individuality and personal taste by choosing flavours they love. Devil’s food cake? Yes. Cheesecake? Hit me. Peanut- butter sponge with cookies-and-cream filling? Uh, absolutely. If you love a flavour, chances are that plenty of your guests will love it equally. Tier it up: If you’re having trouble narrowing down one flavour, why not make each tier a different flavour? Give your guests some options for a cake to remember! designers work in both buttercream and fondant, but make sure that either they specialise in what you want, or that you’re flexible enough to go with the flow. Check out you local designers web sites and facebook pages before you consult them in person. sugary, or fatty. So do your research and keep an eagle- eye out for any suspiciously low prices! Portions dictate size, not the other way around: Of course, if you’d like your cake to look bigger, you can always have part of your cake made of styrofoam, but this will still come at a price. Also, consider how realistic it will look- a 7 tier cake at a 50- person event probably won’t fool anyone. Planning a DIY job?: Practice makes perfect. Take any opportunity to put your baking skills to use- from a friend’s movie night to a planning session with your bridesmaids. Taste the goods: In the name comprehensive research, of course. of Getting a helping hand (or five): Before agreeing to have a friend bake your cake, treat them like a professional potential baker: ask to see some visual samples of their work, and ask to taste their goods. Be clear about your wedding budget or what the cake will ‘cost’- for example, you could accept their cake as their official wedding gift. Be honest, open and kind when coming to your decision: better to tell them now than have a cake you know you’ll be unhappy with on your wedding day. The set up: Before you sign anything, find out who exactly will be delivering and setting up the cake, as well as narrowing down a precise time. Consider how the cake will look in photos: Although you may love the idea of a glittering pink mound of mouth-wateringly delicious cake, your husband may look a bit silly cutting into it with you. Try to choose a fairly timeless cake that compliments you both, and that you’ll be proud to show in photos in years to come. Personalise like nobody’s business: Some have decided to take it a step further by simply having tiers of different varieties of their favourite food, like pies, sushi or pizza. We say the more you can personalise delicious food, the better! Have an idea of what you are after: Do you want a tiered cake or does a simple layer suit your wedding? Remember that the right cake for you will be a combination of your style and the number of guests. Choose your designer carefully: Like any other art form, each designer will have their own specific style and signature looks. If you’d like a traditional looking cake with tiers, pillars and flowers, don’t visit a designer who specialises in modern minimalism. Same goes for the cake’s medium- some Consider your venue: Like every other element of your wedding, everything should fit as seamlessly in terms of style as possible- and here, your venue is the main factor around which every other element will need to conform. A large ballroom will require a more dramatic and taller cake, whilst a modern location will require a cake with strong lines, and a small, vintage-y location will suit a delicate, ornate cake. You get what you pay for: A well known saying in the cake industry states that “cheap cake isn’t good, and good cake isn’t cheap!” This could not only lead to the cake having a bad icing- job, but internal structural problems (and the last thing you need on your wedding day is having your cake collapse), or problems with the flavour itself. Bad cakes often taste overly salty, Serve the cake as dessert!: Save on money and make your cake the centre of attention it’s created to be. This way, your cake won’t lie half eaten and forgotten on the side of the dance floor. Get your lighting right: Much like making sure we look our best with the right lighting, your cake needs the exact same treatment. Make sure it’s positioned in a sunny spot or somewhere where it’ll have a bit of spotlight. This is one step to make it even more wowworthy, as well as set you up for some incredible photos. Saving the top tier: If you’re planning on saving the top tier of your cake for your anniversary, christening, or a similar event in the near future, make sure your top layer is fruit cake. All other cakes will become inedible long before their fruity counterpart. z n the Momenst... Livening Up Your Photobooth The photos are there to remind you of your magical day, long after you’ve forgotten the taste of your cake and how much you laughed at Uncle Dave’s dance moves This party trend has become increasingly popular over the years, for obvious reasons: it’s an economical and hugely fun way to keep your guests entertained, and as a bonus you get hilarious, quirky, sweet and downright odd photos of all your guests. Whether you rent your photo booth or create your own, customise it so that it fits in with your wedding or quinceanera theme or personality. Renting a Photo Booth: If you’re short on time (or motivation) then you can hire the photo booth along with all the props, the camera and the photographer. Ask the company if they personalise the booth by adding your names, a monogram or the wedding date to the backdrop. You can of course contribute your own props if you have specific ideas of what you want. Creating Your Own Photo Booth: The perks of this option are that it’s a whole lot cheaper and you also create a one-of-a-kind booth. www.WeddingsandQuinceañeras.net 99 PHOTOGRAPHY & VIDEO You’ll “ooh and aah” at the romantic pictures of you and your partner, or parents and you’ll chuckle at the awkward, posed photos, where you had to stare longingly into each other’s eyes without giggling. But the photos that you’ll undoubtedly love the most, will come from your photo booth. 100 www.WeddingsandQuincea単eras.net www.WeddingsandQuincea単eras.net 101 This is what you’ll need: - Digital camera - Camera tripod - Remote shutter release - Spotlight - Laptop/monitor - Backdrop - Props The Camera Equiptment: Leave the professional photographs to the experts, all you need is your trusty point-and-shoot camera. Attach it to a tripod and use a remote shutter release so that your guests can take photos without having to touch your camera. Lighting is important and you need enough natural light if you’re having an outside wedding, but you’ll need a spotlight or lamp if your wedding is indoors. All your guests will be innately curious to see what their photos look like, so set up a viewing station where your laptop or monitor is connected to your camera. You can ultimately create an online album where everyone can download their crazy pictures. The Backdrop: It’s time to get creative! Use a large piece of fabric or paper and pin it to your wall or frame, and then decorate it any way you like. You can go wild with paint, glitter, streamers, ribbons, flowers or balloons, or you can keep it simple and stick to your wedding colour. Think about personalising it with your names or using a phrase like: Wedding of the Year. The Props: The best way to liven up your photo booth is by having a great selection of props, and you’re only limited by your imagination. Search through your own cupboard or buy cheap items from thrift or vintage stores. You can choose to match your theme or you can be as outlandish as you want, but photos work best when you have a wide variety of props available. Here are some ideas: - Bright cut out lips - Moustaches - Oversized glasses - Hats and gloves - Eye patches and fake noses - Bowties - Musical instruments - Large ornate frames - Wigs and masks - Feather boas - Speech bubbles or small blackboards where guests can write messages Making Your Photos Fun and Fabulous Have your photo booth close to the bar, so that your guests can have a drink while they wait their turn. It’s also sure to lead to more, erm, entertaining photos as the night progresses. You can also give your guests some ideas of what to do when they’re in the booth, such as The look on the groom’s face when he first saw his bride, or What the newlyweds will look like tomorrow morning. A photo booth is the perfect way to capture the silly side of your wedding, and it provides you with priceless pictures that you will look at and laugh at for years. This might also be your only chance to see your grandmother sporting a moustache while playing a blow up guitar, and your dad in a tiara, earrings and a pink feather boa. Happy snapping! Photo Booth Glossary Backdrop: Not to be confused with the wedding decoration, this is traditionally a coloured, painted or printed cloth which is hung in front of the camera and behind the wedding guests being photographed. Usually, a number of backdrops are available, and you can choose the one you’d like. However, modern technology allows the use of green screens which are versatile and allow you to have any pattern, design, picture, image or cartoon displayed behind the photographed guests, so you can have a lot of fun with your pictures. Cover Photography Jaqui Photography Tel: 979.635.0477 www.JaquiPhotography.com Batteries: Here, chemical energy is converted into electrivcity and used as a source of power for the cameras (along with thousands of other household items). Ensure you have charged the batteries of any photographic equipment. If you use the item regularly, charge it the night before. If you rarely use it or have hired it especially for the event you can charge it sooner and leave it turned off to ensure it’s fully prepared for your big day. Rechargeable batteries are handy as you can bring along your charging unit along with your other chargers (See below). Booth: This is the physical structure containing the camera, equipment, photography area and backdrop. Sometimes this may be a tent or a gazebo for outdoor weddings, or it may simply be an area of a room if you’re opting for an open air or DIY booth (see below). If you’re hiring a photo booth, this will usually be a large rectangular shape that is portable. Check with your venue before booking a booth, as they may not be able to accommodate you and your needs. Branding: Many photo booth companies have provided big brands with the option to personalise their photo booths by adding their logo, brand or current advertising scheme on the sides. This has been so successful that many of these companies will provide the same service for your wedding photo booth, so your booth can be designed by you personally. Browse online and make comparisons to find the best deal for your budget. Camera: This is the device used to record the photographs. Modern technology has made it possible to take high quality pictures on smartphones, cheap digital cameras, laptops, webcams and tablets – if you have a professional photography camera, that’s brilliant. You can rent them for your wedding day, though you may want to hire a professional photographer with the booth as they can utilise the technical aspects of such a camera. However, this is entirely up to you – there are plenty of options out there. and the wait for the photographs is longer than with a digital photo booth; this is why such booths are becoming rare. However, it is available for a reason, as many people enjoy the process and the pictures produced by the chemical booths- what’s the pictorial difference in between chemical and modern photo booths? . It could serve as a beautiful addition to for a retro fancy dress themed wedding, or a wonderful surprise for a groom who’s mad about oldfashioned photography techniques. Charger(s): It is vital to bring any chargers for your laptop, camera tablet or smartphone for your DIY photo booth as and where required. Ideally, you will have already checked that your venue has conveniently placed plugs (or you’ve brought extension leads to compensate) so that such equipment doesn’t lose its battery at a vital moment. Chimping: This is a lovely piece of photography slang, which describes the crowds of guests you’ll inevitably have swarming around the camera. This term arose from the noise of photographers peering at the pictures on a digital camera and saying ‘ooh’ with delight, like a chimp(?)! This is perfectly understandable, and your hired professional should accommodate. They may provide an extra screen just for viewing the images for this reason. Chemical photo booth: This is an increasingly rare form of photo booth, but they can still be hired from some vendors. The chemical photography process is much slower, the equipment is heavier If you’re creating your own photo booth, you may want to prepare for this yourself. You can either set up a viewing system, which can be as simple as a queue, but a much more fun idea is to use your computer or laptop to use as an alternate screen. You can even use computer software to create a slideshow of the images over the day so guests aren’t waiting around. Costumes: A quick and easy way to provide a fun atmosphere in the photo booth, having a range of costumes available for your guests will liven up any picture and give your guests a laugh. Costumes could include Star Trek suits for sci-fi fans, a pirate hat, cowboy jackets, rainbow wigs, sailor outfits, a top hat or silly glasses, anything that’s bright and fun that you can think of! They can be bought and hired cheaply in advance. It’s a great idea because little details like this can really make your wedding day memorable. Crazy Booth: This refers to open-air booths that allow room for tens of guests, and incorporates the equipment of a professional photography studio with the portability of a digital photo booth. Most of the photographic elements remain the same as with other digital booths, apart from the extra lighting equipment, high quality handheld camera and the large open space required. A backdrop, costumes and props may also be provided (see above and below for more details on each of these items). This type of photo booth is an ideal model for your DIY photo booth. Digital photo booth: The vast majority of modern photo booths are digital, allowing for high quality, quick print outs and high numbers of pictures being printed over your wedding day. Your guests can print out the pictures for themselves and receive them in an email after the reception, and you’ll get to have a copy of every single one too. They are immensely popular, portable and increasingly inventive in terms of matching your bridal needs and desires. DIY photo booth: Brides can easily and affordably create their own photo booths with a few essentials. A backdrop (see above), a camera (see above for the various types of cameras available) and space are the main requirements. If you’re outdoors you may need a tent, if you’re indoors you’ll need extra room. Using the technology you probably already have in your home, you can create photographs that’ll you treasure forever without breaking the bank. Gazebo: A structure, usually erected outside, to house your photo booth in. Ensure the entrance can be sealed in case of unfortunate weather. Open air photo booth: This is photo booth minus the actual booth: in other words, you have a sturdy structure in which the camera is placed. This essentially means that all you need is a stable, flat surface for it to stand on whether you’re indoors or outdoors, though you caould always opt for additional backdrops. 104 With these essentials, you can hire this handy, portable device nearly anywhere. You may also want to hire an instant printer with this booth if it isn’t provided; you can opt for an inventive printing option, such as one add-on which allows your recorded videos to be transformed and printed instantly into flipbooks! It can www.WeddingsandQuinceañeras.net record pictures containing approximately 10 to 30 guests. Props: Sometimes these will be provided with hired photo booths or they’ll be available as an add-on. If this isn’t for you, you could have fun choosing your own props for guests to use in their photographs. These could include…? And will ideally match the clothes in your costume box, if you’re having one of those too. Rechargable batteries: Also known as a ‘storage battery’ or ‘accumulator’. Here, electrochemical reactions are chemically reversible, allowing the same battery to be charged and used multiple times over. Rental time: This refers to the hourly cost of the photo booth. Sometimes you can hire one for a set rate over one or more days, but they are usually charged at hourly rates. Many companies offer the opportunity to have idle time (usually when the wedding party is in the ceremony or at dinner) before and during the wedding day, though you may have to pay more. EXPO IMAGES Photography VisionC Pthography 281.818.0655 www.VisionCPhotography.com www.WeddingsandQuinceañeras.net 105 z n the Diversion... Choosing Your Special Day Music Sure, you’ve probably nailed down a handful- or, if you’re lucky- one song that you’ve envisioned you and your partner dancing to for the first time as a married couple. Ceremony Music: Ceremony music welcomes guests and is played gently in the background whilst guests are seated. Generally these songs lasts for 20 to 30 minutes prior to the wedding ceremony. Whether you prefer a festive, elegant, or religious ceremony, the songs you choose create a unique and memorable occasion as well as add to your individual wedding style. Having live music for your wedding ceremony is now more popular than ever. Live wedding songs means you have a level of atmosphere that can’t be replicated. Whether it be a string quartet, harpist, guitarist or singer, live www.WeddingsandQuinceañeras.net 107 entertainment But have you thought about the rest of the accompanying music needed throughout the day? We’ve put together a list of periods of the day typically requiring music, along with popular music suggestions. Feel free to use our fail-safe suggestions, or treat this page as musical mad libs and an opportunity to showcase your personality as a couple. www.WeddingsandQuinceaneras.net 108 www.WeddingsandQuincea単eras.net songs create a warm, inviting and stylish atmosphere. Live bands (including those of the string variety) can often learn new songs, if given enough notice, which is a great way to personalise and liven up your wedding’s atmosphere. Popular ceremony song examples: Pachabel’s “Canon in D” The Wedding March by Mendellsohn or Wagner Handel’s “Water Music” Ave Maria Because the walk down the aisle won’t take as long as an entire wedding song, make sure you trial how long it will take you to get to your destination and have your wedding songs timed appropriately. Signing Song: Whilst you’re signing the bridal register it’s an ideal opportunity to have a wedding song played that’s close to your heart. This part of the service can sometimes take some time – so it’s good to have a “back-up” song on standby! Some contemporary examp include: Meditation (from Thais) – Jules Massenet Unconditional – Will Ackerman In This Very Room – Ron & Carol Harris Let the Bright Seraphim – George F. Handel A Simple Song – Leonard Bernstein Adagio – Felix Mendelssohn Your Song – Elton John “It Had To Be You” - Harry Connick Jnr And I Love Her – The Beatles By My Side – Ben Harper The Scientist – Coldplay Wedding Songs for the Reception: You may need to consider songs that appeal to both the older and younger generations who will attend your wedding reception. Your wedding songs may also be affected by your setting and theme. For example an intimate beach wedding may call for laid-back, acoustic style songs, whereas a formal wedding of many more people may best be accommodated by a more conservative choice of music that appeals to a wide audience. When you discuss weddings songs with your DJ or musician they should have many examples of what would work well for your particular taste and wedding style. First-Dance Songs: First-dance songs are ususally the one exception to the above mentioned rule. This song can be of any style or pace- the only proviso is that it is significant to the couple. Check out our article of first- dance song suggestions for popular and classic choices. Personalised Wedding Songs: A trend that’s becoming increasingly popular is to have your own wedding song created and produced by specialists. Some take part in a professional recording of the song which can then be autotuned and mixed, and then played back on the day, and can become a musical centerpiece of your wedding day. Additionally, your song doesn’t necessarily have to originate from sigining- it can be taken from a poem or speech and turned into music. This also makes for a unique and heartfelt gift for bride or groom. 110 www.WeddingsandQuinceañeras.net the perfect songs for a quinceanera doesn’t have to be complicated… If your musical taste doesn’t stretch far beyond reggae or indie rock, then selecting a good song list might become a challenge. This list of fun songs for a quinceanera spans across both generational and cultural lines. Entrance into the Dance Hall “I Saw Her Standing There” The Beatles “De niña a mujer” Julio Iglesias “I’m Coming Out” Diana Ross “Sueña” Luis Miguel “Quinceañera” Thalia “Lullaby” Billy Joel Father/Daughter Dance “You Are So Beautiful” Joe Cocker “Mi viejo” Vicente Fernandez “Unforgettable” Natalie Cole, Nat King Cole “Hero” Enrique Iglesias “Hero” Mariah Carey “I Hope You Dance” Lee Ann Womack “El privilegio de amar” Lucero “Butterfly Kisses” Bob Carlisle “Ribbon in the Sky” Stevie Wonder Court’s Entrance “Got to Give it up” Marvin Gaye “I’m Coming Out” Diana Ross Waltz “Danubio Azul” “Tiempo de Vals” Cheyenne “Caribbean Blue” Enya www.WeddingsandQuinceañeras.net 111 z n the Dance... Choreography and music are key Traditionally, the quinceanera’s first dance is with her father, who typically chooses the song to which they dance as well as the type of dance; which is typically the waltz. On another note, creating a playlist for the rest of the party is like the soundtrack to your memory of this special night. Make sure you add in enough songs you enjoy hearing so as to establish a sound bookmark! Also, add some tunes for the more seasoned generations who will be attending. You want them to be happy too! Consider the fourteen Damas and Chambelans of a Quinceanera A quinceaneras may contain a court of young men and women to support her throughout the celebration. Traditionally, a full court is comprised of 14 of the quinceanera’s closest girls (damas) and boys (chambelans) as well as an escort for the quinceanera herself. However, it is common to halve this number for the sole purpose of keeping things easy. Customarily, girls will be asked to wear, and purchase matching gowns, and boys will be asked to wear and purchase tuxes. It is important to note that when asking someone to join her court, you inform him or her of what to expect when purchasing or renting a gown or tuxedo. Remember to thank them for helping you on your special day with a gift of some sort and a thank you card. www.WeddingsandQuinceañeras.net 113 CHOREOGRAphER’S Something to keep in mind is that learning to dance can be tough; there will never be an average time in which it takes one to learn a dance, regardless of what the casts from Dancing With The Stars believes. Although this may be a minor detail, and if at least the father/guardian knows the waltz, you will probably be fine just following along, but learning the waltz ahead of time is assuredly a reasonable idea. TOTAL z n the Sources... 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