Planning

bride-and-groom

Tying the knot in Goa: Destination Wedding Celebration

Goa is a highly popular destination wedding location in the country. The beautiful beaches, the tropical weather, the way of life, the delicious cuisines and the local culture are a few of the many reasons which many couples choose to tie the knot here. Whether it is a small and intimate gathering or even for a large sized guest-list there a variety of options to suit everyone’s need. Of the many reasons for getting married in Goa it is the experience of it all; tying the knot coupled with a holiday draws many to choose this beautiful location.  If you are considering Goa to get married here are all the details you need to go about it.

A ceremony by the beach is what a majority of the couples plan for.  The setting sun, the sounds of the waves, the golden sands makes a for a picturesque setting that beats a conventional indoor venue.  Having the vows performed by the beach makes for a memorable experience that will be cherished forever.

Goa is also a very popular party destination and you can host parties that your guests will be raving about at the end of the celebration.  Dj’s and live musicians can be arranged to get guests into their dancing shoes and get into the groove.  If your guests love to party then hosting a wedding at a tropical location will have them excited and enjoy themselves to the maximum.

There are a variety of beach resorts that offer attractive packages for destination weddings groups. Many also package their offers inclusive with all three meals and also include venues within the premises of the resort- a very attractive deal.  There a number of starred resorts along the beach-belt to choose from most having an average inventory of 60-70 rooms.

The variety of cuisines available are from Indian to continental menus, Goan food is also very popular.  If the local food isn’t what you want to explore, hotels have Indian delicacies on the menu’s. All meals are served in a buffet style and are available in vegetarian as well as non-vegetarian options. For the reception party live food counters, chaat counters, dessert counters etc can be added as well. To keep the spirits going a well-stocked bar the events can be availed as well.

The perfect time to host a destination wedding is from October until April. The weather is a pleasant during this time and the beaches make for a beautiful picturesque venue. Monsoon weddings are hosted during June through September, the place is full of greenery but downpours are constant and it can rains for days on end.  The peak season is from the mid of November until December. Cost increase during this time and availability of venues and accommodation is very limited. It is best to book as early as possible to avoid last minute disappoint especially if the guest list is expected to exceed 100-150 people.

The cost of hosting a wedding here depends on the type of wedding you are going for and the guest size.  For a mid-size wedding which hosts a guest list of 100-150 guests will cost 35 lakhs on an average.  Accommodation for guests will take a chunk of the budget which accounts for nearly 50-60% of the total cost. The rest needs to be allocated for food, décor, entertainment and photography.  If you are looking to keep costs low a wedding in the off-season would be most appropriate.

wedding-ceremony

Goa has a large coastline range for about 180 kms divided between the northern and southern coastline. Each of these coasts have their own distinct flavours to it. Beaches on the north are a tourist hotspot filled with hustle and bustle, overflowing with restaurants, pubs and shopping. The southern coast on the other hand has a different charm to it as it is a lot more private and scenic. Anjuna, Vagator, Morjim and Arambol are some of the popular locations in the North Goa and in the south of Goa beaches such as Varca, Cansaulim, Mobor and Utorda are highly sort after locations.

A few notable beach resorts are Mariot’s in Panjim, Grand Hyatt in Bambolim, Cidade-de Goa in Dona-Paula and Taj Holiday Village Resort and Spa in Candolim.  In the south of Goa resorts such as Part Hyatt, Royal Orchid, Radison Blu and Ramada Caravela are a few resorts that are excellent venues for destination weddings celebrations.  These resorts belong to the luxury category segment and on an average have a room inventory of over 120 rooms along with 3-4 banquet halls.

A popular destination wedding celebration is a three nights, four days event. Guests check-in on day-I which and the are invited to the Mehendi and Sangeet ceremony in the afternoon or the evening.  Mostly held by the pool or at an indoor banquet hall, the mehendi ceremony kickstarts the celebration. Day-II is the day for the wedding ceremony. Most couples prefer to have the ceremony by the beach or near it. Day III is where the reception party is held on the lawns or at an indoor banquet hall. There is also an after party arranged later in the evening which marks the conclusion of the event.  This timeline gives guests plenty of time to relax and unwind and also be completely involved in the festivities.

beach-wedding

A destination wedding in Goa can be planned from wherever that you are located in the world. The best way going about it is to hire a wedding planner to coordinate the event on your behalf. Wedding planners are highly skilful and efficient  reducing the burden off your shoulders.  Event agencies such as Infinity Events are known for their custom-designed events that exclusive cater to the needs of a destination wedding.  Having a wedding planner organise the event for you will cohesively bring the all the details together in an synchronised manner and will save you the stress and trouble to organize the event all by yourself. Ideally a destination wedding requires 3-4 months of planning as putting the event together does require plenty of time and a whole lot of efforts.

engagement

Post Engagement: First Steps To Planning Your Big Day

Post Engagement: First Steps To Planning Your Big Day

 

Once you pass your engagement, everyone would begin asking about your wedding dates, in reality you would not know until your of the venue of the wedding and the availability of it. So, a good way going about it would be picking out a group of dates and working around them. Apart from the venue, you would have to also factor in friends, familiy’s and relatives availabilities during that period, especially if you have many of them living abroad.

Once you have you wedding venue and dates confirmed and before you try on a wedding gown you always wanted or book your favorite band you would have to take a step back and close your eyes to picturize your perfect wedding. The setting, the guest whether big or small, a intimate or a glamorous celebration, the theme and all of that. Look for inspiration over the internet, bridal magazines and similar such resources.

Setting up the budget at this stage would help put  lot of things in perspective as you can beginning your planning around it. Also remember to keep room for an overflow in certain elements where you may feel the need to spend a little more than planned.

Once you have the budget in place, a guest list count from your immediatiate family will help you plan the other aspects of the wedding. You also need to consider whether the venue will accommodate the number of people you have planned to invite.

Now, its time to get the wedding troop in place and asking them to be bridesmaids and groomsmen for the dates you have planned.  Remember, the sooner the confirm the better you can enlist their help to a picture perfect wedding.

Considering hiring a consultant if you the two of you have demanding jobs or have a massive wedding planned that will help you plan and execute the entire event.  There is plenty to do and if you are limited with time a wedding planner would be just right.  Once you have a planner in place you can sit back and relax as he or she would do the heavy-lifting for you.  You can breeze through the high priority vendors such as the wedding photographers and local banks and the other in demand vendors.

Off-course there is so much to do, but if you have most of elements striked-off you have covered good ground. You can get to the other details from here such as selecting your dress and all the fun stuff to your wedding.

Choosing Your Wedding Planner

 

There are plenty of wedding planners around, some with years of experience under their belt and some fresh talent that have been on the block for not too long with are vibrant in the ways the plan and manage weddings for their clients.

A good start would be doing your homework right before narrowing down to a bunch of planner to select from. Almost every wedding planner has websites that showcase their previous work and works well to narrow out a shortlist. Noting their previous work to get a feel of how they have handled elements in the past.  Many planners have their services listed down as well and could have a few services that might not be in their area of service. Pictures and videos tell a thousand words, if the previous wedding he has planned look over the top and glamorous and you plan a small, intimate gathering, you might want to look further.

From here, a good way forward would be to narrow the shortlist and calling your top three favorites.  Checking and conforming the services they offer, whether they have worked on the venues you have selected, their availability for those dates, their fees and the cost of an average wedding they would plan.  If these planners meet your expectations in terms of matching your budgets and overall vision, set up a meeting with each of them.

Before meeting them, it would be a good idea to prepare a list of images, clippings, your inspiration to give the planner something to work with.  When you meet the planners besides qualifying them for the standards of their work,  you would also want to look at their personalities as you will have to works with this person intimately for months.  Through your ideas across to check with they understand your vision and are receptive to your vision with enthusiasm.  Having the right creative talent would mean that your wedding is not mechanical as the other the planner have put together in the past.

After you have met with your shortlisted set of wedding planner, do not be in a hurry to choose one.  You could call references of past events or even look at the planner social networking pages over the internet that would have true reviews and testimonials.  Networking would give you a stronger confidence on how they have handled clients in the past, managed budgets,  their work ethics and management skills.

You would now have a better idea of what you can expect of the people you have chosen and you should pick and block the planners as early as you can to kick-start the entire process for you.

Hiring Your Wedding Photographer

Hiring Your Wedding Photographer

We asked brides what really you must have asked the photographer when they looked at their wedding albums. Yes, the standard questions such as the type of equipment they would use or the styles they have short with in the past are typical, we complied a few notes that you could use.

With numerous photographers listed in your area, it is a tough choice to make at the outset, a good starting point would be looking at social web-pages of these professionals. As the communication on these platforms is two ways you can check for reviews, comments and feedback on what previous clients have said and recommended.  Meeting the photographer in person would also give you a better understanding of the person personality and creative perspective of his work. Remember that these memories are going to last you a lifetime, therefore trusting that the man behind the lense gets your vision and style is key.

Checking with the photographer on the number of photos he would deliver would give you an idea of the photographers intent at preserving every moment for you. Generally every client would have been delivered in the range of 400-600 odd photographs. Get his thoughts on the post production process as well, as many pros will deliver  outputs on matt effects  that are pastel shaded outputs or  high contrast that  are make the colors stand out.

Discussing the costs are always a touchy subject but getting a breakdown of it will give you an idea of what you need and what you don’t.  Photographers include the cost of an assistant in a standard quote as well, so you might want to check whether you need the second shooter and feel the need to another more.  Second shooters also help in capturing various angles and different perspectives that otherwise would have missed.

Another aspects of it is the editing of the photos, many photographers decide to simply shoot and burn the images on a disc without any post editing. Editing enhances the look of any photograph as it would correct bad light and add filters to make it stand out.  Editing does consume plenty of time and might delay the delivery of the final product, in case you require the photos in a short period that might not work, so discussing it with the photographer in advance will give you an idea how long would it take.

Booking the photographer in advance is recommended as the pros are in demand and you might loose out on a good photographer that you like due to a delay. Most photographers would request for an fifty percent advance that is a standard practice. At the same time, there could be a cancellation or delay due to an unavoidable circumstance and you should be clear on what the policy is on that as well.  If it is an outstation photographer you would need to check on the details on others expenses such as food, travel and stay as well.

 

 

beach wedding

Handy Tips for Wedding Photography

Handy Tips for Wedding Photography

Photographs are memories captured for a lifetime, perhaps the most important take-away of any wedding. It cant be stressed enough how critical it is to capture them right. This would mean that you have to trust the job to get done with the right talent, skills and most importantly the experience.

You will find professional photographers with several styles but choosing a style that you like and conveying the your vision to the photographer will determine the what is captured by the photographer. A typical style of photo would be candid shots as the photographer sees them. You will have shots of the reception and ceremony venue before you or your guests arrive as the starting point.  These shot are like captured like stills in storyboard when you will not see many photographs of people staring at the camera. The style is meant to capture the moment more than portraits, this style of photography being preferred by most photographers today. The convention style of wedding photography is capturing everything in portraits.  This style of photography is what you will see on old wedding albums. Most of this style reflects images captured with various backdrops, group shots, and formal poses.

Now that you have your style selected you can describe to the photographer your vision and ideas for the entire event. But before you set out to reach a photographer, get a little bit of research done will help you better understand the work of the photographer and whether it matches your tastes. Most photographers have Facebook and Flickr pages where you can browse through plenty of images and importantly review the feedback they have left at  these sites.

You would have a nice shortlist by now to meet the photographer in person in person to discuss the availability and fees.  Looking at their websites you will get a fair idea of their charges and various packages.   Meeting the photographer in person will also familiarize you with his personality and whether he can envision your thoughts in his work.  Setting up meetings for three to five photographers will have give you a better idea on who you can narrow it down to.

Reviewing the photographers work with a critical eye to know whether he has been able to capture the moment  without missing it or being too  late will give you a better idea of his creative talent. Every photographer will provide you with his portfolio that you can browse which a great way to get started but you will also have to look at complete albums of previous clients to know that you are on the right track.

Discussing with the photographer about a secondary shooter or staff that will be accompying him on the day of wedding is very important.  Most pros include this in their contracts but incase they don’t  would need to discuss how much would it cost you. You will also have to keep in mind the staff present on that day may have varying style, so planning what the second lensman would shoot needs to be a part of the discussion as well.

Comparing pricing based on different packages would be the next step after you have meet with the people you have shortlisted. There is a wide range of pricing you will be presented with ranging any where from $3000 to $20000 and upwards.  Also, the package details such as the time the photographer would spend covering the event or the number of hours included whether included in the quote.

Lastly, you will need to discuss when you would have the word delivered and the output you will receive. Usually delivery would take up a month or so, maybe be more incase the photographer is going to spend longer editing the shots.

The registry etiquette mistakes you must avoid.

The registry etiquette mistakes you must avoid.

Building a  registry is a lot of fun!

Register in time to build you registry as your friends and family want to shop for you and often are in a predicament on whether you would like to have rather than guess and buy something you might not like and use.  Besides it avoids people bringing you stuff you don’t need. And no, it does appear like you asking for things.

Preparing a registry in advance will help you add to it before the wedding. Almost all of your guests would buy just before the wedding day, so if you plan early you can build a registry that is well thought of rather than putting it together the very last minute.  An inventory of both you items that you currently own and would share together would create a strong registry.  Also, if you discuss your inventory together you can avoid stuff that you all own.

Before selecting a store to purchase from you should be well aware of the stores policies. It should be convenient for you and your guests. Your registry being online is a huge plus as guests can easily order at the click of a button and if guests need to place an order by the phone you should try a few test calls to ensure that everything runs smoothly.  Discuss the stores exchange policy and their shipping to your address as you can easily replace anything if required in case of duplication.  There are also plenty of special offers for newly weds that many stores through to incentive their patrons which could be of use to you.

Having a broad category to choose from will make it easy for your guests to from in terms of the price range. A well balanced registry will have a lot of items that compliment each other hence priced in different price ranges.  You can always go back to the store to return the item and club them with a bigger ticket item the two of you like. Setting up the registry on the wedding website will let your guests find it conveniently among other information available on the website such as reception, ceremony and accommodations .

Do not forget to send out the thank-you notes to your friends and family mentioning that their gifts have arrived.  Avoid standardizing the process and add a bit of personal touch to it such as the details of the item and how you plan to use it or the color or model the particular item has.

 

Going about your honeymoon planning with your travel agent

Planning a honeymoon with the right travel agent will everything well planned out with being worried about tickets, reservations and enjoy a great holiday. Yes, it is to research and book a holiday online with a few clicks buy for an outing such as your honeymoon getting the right travel agent to do so has many benefits.  Itinerary options are the most complicated in planning a trip, travel agents do this for a living left in the right hand and enhance your globetrotting experience. Not only that, travel agents have access to the best discounts, hotel reservations and discounts being in the business so, here are a few pointers to help find the right agent for you.

Getting a bit of research done on the country you plan to visit and the type of itinerary you like to have along with what you are willing to spend on it is a good start. You can prepare a shortlist of two to three places before you meet your agent. Browsing online will give you a fair idea of the costs of a particular destination along with what are the must do’s there.

The best agents work as consultants, their experience can be a real asset when planning out your honeymoon.  You can get a lot of insights on the localities the hotels are based on, the best places to go out and dine and also how you can avoid spills in your itinerary.  Agents that have plenty of images and displays in the office is a great way to ask a few questions just to know how much they know about a particular place.

The American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) is a great place to get started if you are looking for agents that have the right credibility associated with them as the ASTA does look at complaints registered with them and further investigate it even revoking memberships if found at fault. Since you are planning your honeymoon trip here, an agent with the experience of being in the business for years  along with the right credentials will be in a better position to plan the entire trip for you than someone who is not.  Many have certifications as a Certified Travel Counselor or even as an Destination Specialists for a pre-defined set of countries will help to know the agents background.

Travel agents do charge a fee for their consultation more so to avoid ‘window-shoppers’ that visit them just to plan and put at itinerary together and then go-ahead and book the tickets themselves.  You will see agents that waive off this fee once you are ready to book the trip with them, nevertheless if you find value in what the agent is providing you with, making room for an small fee for a well planned honeymoon is worth it.Many honeymooners work with a work for their trip and being upfront with the agent will help him to plan and make the necessary adjustments as required depending on your priorities.  You might be keen on living in the main city area and don’t mind comprising on the size or quality of the room, informing the agent in advance will help accordingly. The dates of travel also make a difference on the  trips spending due to seasonal pricing or discounts during a particular period.

reception-party-ideas

Wedding reception Ideas

Looking for reception ideas, here are a few to get you going

Add a few details to your wedding isn’t a expensive affair, it is all about adding the right touches to it so that your wedding isn’t just another wedding.

The Lounge Area

If you have finalized on your venue you can discuss with the vendor about setting aside a small space that guests could come and take a break whenever they felt like. Some nice cushy pillows and chairs. If it is an outdoor area you can enclose the space to make it look exclusive.  It is a great way to have you guests just throwback and relax and mingle with others between breaks.

Adding users to your reception party will give your guests a warm welcome to the event and taken care of.  Escorting the guests personally  to their assigned seating  is a nice touch to the party which everyone will appreciate. Talk to the staff at the reception venue or even the waitstaff can help in the ushering.

Guest transportation to the venue can be a lot of fun to get everyone in the mood and together for the party. If you plan to shuttle everyone together ensure that there is someone assigned that will keep the crowd entertained. You can play some 70’s music that everyone can sing to or even a few wedding games. Decorating the bus with signs of funny quotes or even a cool old 70’s bus or even the old yellow school bus is an unique way of mixing things up.

To enlightened the mood at the ceremony you could serve a few cocktails or light beverages  as a welcome drinks along with a few bar snacks.  Iced teas or fruit mocktails go well and a few dry snacks to go along with it. You would also need to inform the caterers or the waitstaff to clear the soiled glasses to keep the place ready before the processional begins.

There is nothing better than personalizing the escort cards of your guests which would wow them as soon as they look at them and would want to keep them.  Ditch the paper if you can, try out personalized cake pops or engraved glasses or even customized mementos for gift stores that you can order in bulk. Similarly, gift bags can be customized as well, you can add personalized welcome notes addressed to each individual rather than at everyone. Slip in small items with your customized style and color that guests can take back with them.

Keeping the guests comfort in mind would require you to take a small step in ensuring tiny-little things are taken care of that will be well appreciated than you can imagine.  Arranging for transport for the out of town guests to their hotels will not have them worried as to how they would get back after the ceremony as over. Outdoor locations can be sometimes a bit too hot or sometimes even cold. Having a make-shift indoor area could keep your guests warm just incase they cant bear the chilly weather or a small tent with cool water and sunscreen when in an hot environment.  A child care area is or a small space where kids can simply be kids can have the parents relaxed knowing that they kids need be give a lot of attention.

A ‘do it yourself station’ can get a lot of attention and a lot of interest. You can a small station when guests can mix and match their wedding accessories for the day or even a small flower counter where they can have someone pick and assemble a corsage or boutonniere. There are plenty of guest book ideas you can choose from as well. Instead of the traditional guest book you can have something unique that guests would be inquisitive about. You can have a pieces of the guest book assembled indivually and them assembled into a larger image with messages on them.

bride and entourage

Going about finalizing vendors for your wedding

Going about finalizing vendors for your wedding

From the large varieties of vendors to choose from budgets and costs have a significant influence on when you finalize the right vendor. Talking money with these vendors can be a bit tricky, so put together a few tips to get you to know everything before finalizing one.

 

A little research  online will not only give you the vendors website details but also their social profiles that work as a great starting point to understand the vendors work and most importantly what people are saying about him.  Getting to know what his pricing packages are is an added benefit before you pick-up the phone to call, there are a few that place their pricing packages on their website and a few would give it to you after your meeting with them. You can also take it a step ahead and reach out to a few that have used his services and have commented about it. Having a ballpark figure in mind will have you well prepared for meeting the vendor in person.

 

Being upfront about your budget with the vendor will save you plenty of back and forth time on quotes, negotiations etc. Most professionals will tell you upfront whether they can work within the budget or not. Well if not, you can always ask for a reference  if someone that can do so. Showing a bit of flexibility in your budget also helps and can also sometimes work in your favor.

 

Getting a detailed breakdown of how much your choice of preference cost would give you a better idea where you can trim down on one aspect and add to another to balance your budget. You may want to spend less on the tables but are ready to go up on the costs of a photographer. Details such as choosing between choosing wooden tables could be much more the the standard round tables or the photographer could be much more experienced with a great perspective for wedding photography.  Details will also help you in knowing what has been added to the quote therefore you can decide in what you need everything that is there in it, a second photographer or delivery charges on the tables and such similar cost would be revealed in an itemized quote.  You need not get intimidated in doing so as these are professionals doing business and are part of a large network of similar vendors. If they cant match your price range they will refer you to people that can.

 

After you have gone past the details, draw up a written contract that is in easy to understand language and details everything you have discussed.  Two copies are to be signed so that it binds both legally and you might also want a lawyer friend look at it once before you sign it.Once you have narrowed down to a vendor of choice, the payment options are next on the list to be discussed.  Here is when you can discuss whether you can pay an advance for now and the remainder after the event, not forgetting cancellation fees just in case. An upfront fee of 50% is a standard practice and are usually non refundable, a few vendors also make room for a refund in the case of a unforeseen circumstance.

 

what to expect of a professional managaging your big day

What you can expect of a professional managing your big day

What you can expect of a professional managing your big day

Most wedding begin with a budget in mind and that really is the starting point for almost all wedding planners.  Budgets wary from locations, preferences, styles and likes of a couple that works as a good outline to start with. From here a master plan is chalked out for all the ceremonies to finer details such as the wedding favors.  Selecting the right venues, color themes based on your vision for the wedding is the next step. Wedding Planners would accompany you to the many locations providing you with alternatives, suggestions and solutions.

 

Now that we have the base shaping up, the next on the list would be the vendor lists. You would be present with a narrowed down list of florists, decorators, musicians, caters etc depending on your price ranges. This remain quite a critical task as each there each vendor needs to be shortlisted, working on the pricing and keeping with your choices and styles of the wedding.

 

Wedding today are far customizable than earlier and many couples like to have their big-day as customized as they can. From customized stationary, accessories, clothing and even personalized deco, if you need it, the planner will have it organized.

 

With all these elements looked into and planned, wedding planner would go about creating a timeline of the sequence of events and ceremonies and how to go about it. Keeping in mind the many traditions and cultures experienced wedding planners will guide you through each step of the timeline.

As you can see,  the little bits and pieces are now coming together as your near the wedding. Wedding invitations are planned for, with alternatives in color, styles and wordings and also getting them printed along with addressing , mailing and managing the RSVP’s.

From the planning stage to the actual day of the wedding, wedding planners would supervise the vendors, organize the flow of events with the emcee, toast-master and handling any emergencies that come your way. Importantly serving as your spokesperson to convey your whims and desires, keeping you away from the stress of doing so.

 

Lastly, wedding planner also would guide you and arrange for your honeymoon destinations as a part of their service (yes they do!), it is all about you and it is your wedding planers job to guide you with all they can to ensure your wedding is a grand success.