Monday, January 24, 2011

You've got a lot of friends!

The most recent Wedding Report news is that there are over almost 542,000 businesses serving in the wedding industry, including yours truly. On average, a single business will serve 77 weddings in a year!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Long blog...

Sorry it's been so long since the last blog but so much has occurred.

If you haven't been to the site lately, we've done a site re-design and re-skin. We think it's better looking and provides you with more information. It took a bit of time to come up with the look, test and test and test and deploy the new stuff.

More importantly, we were able to find a few extra hamsters so the site is faster. The pages are loading faster, the searches and transactions are quicker, too!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Should you write your own vows?

Three reasons to write your own wedding vows
  • Committing your life to the person you love in your own words adds a personal touch to the ceremony
  • Writing about the love and commitment you have for one another is bound to lead to new discoveries about your relationship
  • Writing will help clarify your vision of marriage

Three reasons not to write your own wedding vows
  • Finding the right words can be nerve-racking. Do you want the added stress?
  • If your fiance is not as excited about the project as you are, problems are bound to arise
  • There are lots of beautifully written wedding vows available that have withstood the test of time. Vows do not have to be original in order to be personal.
Let me add my two cents to this. If your vows aren't original and is a plagiarized version of something else more eloquent, then what's the point, just use theirs?

There's a lot to vows being written in your own voice and coming from you but that doesn't mean that it can't go through a few versions and some editing, especially by someone who has some experience in this area.

And practice. Practice a lot, to the point you don't need the card any more, to the point that it comes naturally and with meaning, even to the point of considering not marrying because you'd have to utter them one more time. The general rule for pubic speaking is that you'll spend about an hour preparing and practicing for every minute you're speaking.

It's one of the most important days in your life and the start of a new life - do it right. It might be on video, too! :)
- k

Monday, December 14, 2009

What 2010 Looks Like...

The following information is from a wedding industry consulting firm:

Estimated number of weddings: 2.16 to 2.18 million
Estimated spending per wedding average: $20,000 to $22,000
Estimated number of guests: 135 to 145

- Couples will want simple yet elegant events at a lower cost. They will choose DIY (do it yourself) and thriftiness as a way to cut cost
- DIY is bigger than ever and will continue to increase on items from Invitations to flowers
- From the dress to shoes, vintage will be in big demand
- June 2010 will be busier than normal. Couples that put off their 2009 June wedding, because of the recession have booked for June 2010
- Candy buffets will be very hot
- Warm, bright, bold, and vibrate color tones are in for 2010
- In vintage style, black and white photography shots will be in higher demand
- While it hasn’t gone mainstream, video streamed live weddings will continue to gain interest
- Tungsten is the hot metal for 2010, couples are looking for both engagement rings and wedding bands in tungsten
- As with 2009, couples will continue to want package deals over a la carte
- As with 2009, couples will continue to rely on family and friends to save money
- As with 2009, we will continue to see smaller weddings with fewer guests

Some comments from what they've reported:
First, I think the theme is a move away from the more elaborate and extravagant pre-recession days and a return to more conservative budget and fashions, guest lists, etc.

I'm not sure I see tungsten carbide as an alternative to engagement and wedding bands...not for women anyway. The metal is heavy and dense and a shiny metallic grey. While I think it's great for men, I'm not sure if women want something like that. And if you're interested, make sure the tungsten carbide has no cobalt is the mix is toxic. Also, while it is very resistant to scratches, it will shatter if hit hard enough...and you do have to hit it pretty hard.

Of course, in the financial vein, you an save your guests some money and get the most from their wedding gifts by registering - no sales tax, no shipping charges, and receive the funds to invest in your future.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I'm so Blue...

The Wedding Report, Inc. (, a wedding industry consultancy just published a report on what will be 2010's color trends. This report provides a look at color themes, color tones, color shade with tones, and color parings demand for 2010 to be married couples.

  • Color Demand looks at color interest for the primary color theme and is based on 14 specific color shades; Black, Blues, Browns, Champagne, Gold, Greens, Ivory, Oranges, Pinks, Purples, Reds, Silver, White, and Yellows.
  • Color Tone Demand looks at interest in specific color tones and is based on 6 tones; Warm Tones, (Bright, Bold, Vibrant Tones,) Light Tones, Cool Tones, Dark Tones, and Pastel Tones.
  • Color Shade with Tone Demand looks at interest in the specific primary color theme in comparison to tone choice.
  • Color Parings look at primary color theme choice in selection with secondary color choices.

They found:

  • Most couples choosing blues as their primary color theme
  • Couples looking for warm, bright, bold, and vibrate tones
  • Couples using blues as their primary color first want cool pastel blues
  • 13.6% of couples choosing blues as their primary color look to pair with white

BTW - we'll be at the Great Bridal Expo in San Francisco on 11/14 and in San Jose on 11/15!

- keaton

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Conde Nast to close Modern Bride and Elegant Bride...

Yesterday, Conde Nast, on the advice of consulting firm McKinsey & Co., decided to close two of their wedding magazines - Modern Bride and Elegant Bride. (They also closed Gourmet magazine as well.) Brides, also a Conde Nast publication will continue to be published.

I spoke with someone at Brides who told me that Brides was first published over 75 years ago and has been a strong brand. Modern Bride and Elegant Bride were offshoots to service specific demographic segments. Brides Northern California will continue to be published. They're going back to the original brand and consolidating their readership. I also understand that Brides will become a monthly publication.

While I don't know the underlying numbers that lead to this decision, on the face of it, I can't fault them for the decision. It also means it's a couple fewer magazines for me to read.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Some wedding budget money saving tips...

OK, these aren't all my tips; most of them are from this month's issue of Bride magazine. They broke it down into three sections - Save up to $250, $500, and $1,000. I'm not going to list them all out but some some that I thought would really help and interesting ones.

Save up to $250
1. Invitations - list the ceremony and reception details on a single invitation instead of separate cards. Also, make your reply card into post cards which will save on printing as well as postage.

2. Having a relative or friend get ordained to serve as an officiant. This sounds like a decent idea if you're not getting married in a church. If you do this, make sure s/he is a good public speaker because you don't want someone to freeze up or start stuttering.

3. Wedding Favors - They suggested making custom candy favors or making a donation to charity in lieu. I'm a bit luke warm on these ideas because who's got time to make custom candy favors and the gift to charity is nice but not that memorable. Besides, I can't help but think of that Seinfeld episode where George makes a donation to The Human Fund.

My wife wanted to do the labeled champagne bottle but I got her to let me give away a CD with some chosen music as well as concert t-shirts with our names done like ACDC - so it's KN/HN with the dates of when we met, got engaged, etc on the back like a concert tour. The t-shirts made it pricey but the CDs were less than a hundred bucks; you just have to choose your music, burn them, and even label them.

Save up to $500
1. Select a venue that's already decorated. They listed places like a garden, museum, acquarium, and the like. I think they missed the mark on this because it can be pretty expensive as well as the additional cost of insurance and you still have to get all the tables, chairs, etc. Hotels make more sense but can be pricey as well.

If you're Asian, what you usually end up doing is having your reception at a Chinese restaurant. You get the banquet room with no site charge or anything. You just pay for the dinner itself which many offer a number of choices. They also let you supply your own soft drinks, wine, etc so you can avoid the restaurant mark-up. I'm not necessarily suggesting this but it's an option.

2. Skip the unnecessary food and drinks. You can certainly skip the champagne toast if you want and just have everyone toast with what they've got. Even if you wanted to have the toast, choose the cheapest champagne the restaurant offers because most people will only take a sip from it and frankly, few people know enough about wines and champagne/sparkling wines to matter. Another option is to go with either cava or proseco. Cava is sparkling wine from Spain and proseco is sparkling wine from Italy. I'll catch flack from my wine friends but they're basically the same thing, just from other countries and much cheaper.

Skip the dessert bar. It's nice but no one will notice if there isn't one. By the end of the meal, they'll be happy to have a slice of the wedding cake. And you can easily skip the groom's cake - most people don't even know a groom's cake exists.

3. Go simple on the centerpiece. There isn't a real need to go nuts on the centerpiece cause it's usually more of a distraction. Too big and people can't see to the other side of the table.

Save up to $1000
1. Choosing the right time. Choose the off-season (Nov and Jan-Mar) and you can save a significant amount of the venue. You can also choose Fridays or Sundays instead of the more popular and expensive Saturday nights.

2. Keep the wedding small. I know this is hard but you don't need to invite everyone at work or your second cousin.

3. Skip the DJ. With an iPod or a laptop and a speaker system, you can easily have music going all night long and with music you've chosen. If you need an MC, then ask a family member or close friend to take on those duties. Our band and MC ran us something like $1,500 or $1,800.

4. Drinks. First, if you can, find a BYOB venue where you can buy your own alcohol instead of the restaurant's huge mark-up. Second, skip the full bar and just go with a white wine and a red wine. It's cheaper and will limit your liability of drunk guests.

5. Skip the professional videographer. It's not as important as you think it is.

Hope some of these tips are helpful in relieving the stress of that day!