Get Hitched without Breaking the Bank

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When thinking of weddings, we immediately think of the damages. It will cost us the venue, guest list, gowns and suits, invites, food among other things. Then, there’s the theme to think about. A whimsical wedding at Blue Gardens, Quezon … Continue reading

Here’s a Mini Checklist Before You Walk the Aisle

This is a simple checklist to keep your head in the game. Preparing ahead of time is key to pulling off anything. Don’t sweat the small stuff and make sure no details are missed on during the big day. Continue reading

Four Things You Can Consider to Have a Budget Friendly Debut

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“Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen.” -Albert Einstein

 

Turning eighteen is one of the most important milestones a girl experiences in her life. For some, it can be considered as the pivotal event that signifies the transition of a girl from a simple maiden into a woman. As a result, many girls would see their eighteenth birthday soiree or debut as a grand event they want to execute flawlessly. With this in mind, they could spend weeks to months meticulously planning every detail to make sure that everything goes perfectly. However, more often than not, budget constraints would set them back from having that dream debut they have always wanted. This should not be a cause for concern however as there are innumerable ways to make sure that you can still have an elegant debut sans the exorbitant expense—the key is to think out of the box and stay within your budget.

From selecting a budget friendly debut package to doing some things on your own, here are a few ways you can stay on budget while still having the debut of your dreams:

 

1.) Opt for an outdoor venue instead of an air-conditioned one

More often than not, an outdoor venue would cost you much cheaper to rent for the night than an air-conditioned one. This is because an air-conditioned venue would require you to pay for the electricity needed to power the air-conditioning systems as opposed to having the natural breeze of an outdoor venue which you can rent at a lower rate. You can save a lot if you book a venue that is mostly outdoor and just has an open tent or pavilion for the tables. Furthermore, this will give your party an enchanting touch of having the natural drapery of the night skies.

2.) DIY menu

You can break the mold by opting to have a tea party or midday brunch theme for your debut instead of the traditional dinner time party. Considering that the time of your party does not necessitate a full meal for your guests, you can easily style your menu to fit the time of the day—one which you can easily do yourself. All that is left for you to do is to find caterers who would accommodate such a request. Alternatively, if you have a lot of spare time on your hands and have a slew of people to help you out, then, by all means, cook for your party. In doing so, not only are you treating your guests to a homemade meal, but you are saving a lot as well.

3.) Make your own décor

Party décor by itself is not too pricey. But for major parties that would need a lot of decorations, the expense can easily accumulate to a hefty sum. To cut some costs, you can always opt to make your own décor. If you have a particularly artistic eye and skill, you can easily execute this—especially since you already know what you want to see in your party. Additionally, there is nothing more satisfying than seeing your vision come to life which is one of the reasons why you should consider this alternative as well. If you are having trouble with décor ideas, you can easily find inspiration online in websites such as Pinterest or several groups in social media that specialize in debut events.

4.) Get creative with the invites

Another way to minimize costs is to get creative with the invites. Besides, if you needlessly spend for party invitations, it would only go to waste seeing as guests are more likely to just glance at them and forget about them by the time your party is over. Instead, get creative and play around with your invites. If you want to go green, you can digitally make your invitations by creating a video and tagging all of your guests in it. Alternatively, if you want to take the traditional route, consider what your theme is and incorporate that into your invitations.

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Caterers 101: Four Things Your Caterer Wishes You Knew

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“Food is symbolic of love when words are inadequate” –Alan D. Wolfelt

We might think their jobs are easy enough and straightforward, but the truth is, a caterer’s job is quite complex. Whether they may be providing the canapes for your daughter’s eighteenth soiree or providing all the courses to your elegant wedding, catering for an event is not as simple as creating a menu and cooking whatever is selected for the menu. The truth is being in your caterer’s shoes can be quite an overwhelming and daunting experience. In fact, there is a myriad of things your caterer would want you to know, so that the next time you are thinking of hiring one, you would have a better understanding of what goes on behind the kitchen doors.

Additionally, it would not hurt to know a few of some insider caterer’s secrets that might be helpful in aiding you make better decisions for the catering of the party you would be hosting next. So, before you start scouring for potential catering services in Bacoor, Cavite or elsewhere, here are some of the things you might want to know:

1.) Guests will drink more than usual

Guests tend to indulge themselves more at parties by drinking in excess and far more than used to. More often than not, this is because celebratory libations are free and of course, parties have an aura of euphoria to it which would prompt guests to drink. As this is the case, estimating the amount of alcohol needed for a particular event can present a challenge, but it is not impossible. Keep in mind that as your guests tend to imbibe more drinks than usual, so if you want them to indulge their drinking desires, buy more than necessary, or you can alternatively avail of cheaper packages.

2.) There is no need to create a menu around special diets

Some of your guests might be vegan, and there might be a few who might be allergic to gluten, this does not mean however that you have to bend over your back and design an entire menu to suit those preferences. Your caterer can always provide a dish or two for the guests who have particular or strict diets. Remember, you are feeding every single one of your guests—not only a fraction of them with specific diets.

3.) The kitchen at your site matters

One of the major snags a caterer would hit when it comes to catering for an event is a small kitchen—or worse the lack of one. Even if the food for your party is prepared off-site, a kitchen would still be ideal in order to reheat the food or keep it warm. In any case, having your caterers operate in a site sans a kitchen would result in creamy food being congealed and food losing its crisp. While this is not the case all the time (as you can always plan your menu with food that does not necessarily need to be kept warm), having a kitchen on the site would still be a good contingency plan.

4.) Pinterest is not always realistic

Some brides-to-be would come up to their caterers and ask them to imitate a particular food or cake they found off Pinterest and expect their caterers to mimic every detail. While Pinterest is a good website to inspire ideas for an event, not everything on the website is necessarily realistic. Apart from relying on the skills of your caterer, you also have your own budget to keep in mind. More often than not, the praise-worthy posts you have seen on Pinterest were probably created by food stylists who have employed innumerable inedible things (from shaving cream to glue) just to make food look the way it was advertised.

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Kid’s Party 101: The Best Birthday Games That Won’t Cost You a Dime!

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Children’s parties vary tremendously from an adult’s. Unlike a typical dinner soiree an adult hosts, a kid’s party is a myriad of various entertainment shows and of course, games. While an array of appropriate kiddie food should still be served, the party games kids will play are more integral to the occasion. After all, it is how you keep the kids from getting rowdy and bored and entertained as well. So, before you book a suitable birthday party venue for kids, it might be a good idea to come up with a list of party games your kids and their guests can play on his or her birthday party. While there are some games listed below that would require supplies, they are objects commonly found in the house. Furthermore, it is rather easy to improvise if you have another item in similar or opt to play the game in a variation of your own.

The games listed down below can be played by both kids and adults so that each and every single one of your guests is guaranteed to have a good time. Here are some of the best games you can play during your child’s birthday party:

1.) Treasure Hunt Game

The treasure hunt birthday party game is not only fun, it is easy to conduct as well—and you would only need the items you already have in your homes. Give your party guests a list of clues as to where they can find the “treasures” situated in various areas around your house or yard. Another way of playing this game is to lead your guests in several places in your home one clue at a time until they finally reach the ultimate treasure.

2.) Button-Button

If you want a bit more flair to your party games, then perhaps letting your guests play detective might be all you need to let them enjoy hours and hours of fun. Button, button, who has got the button? While this might be an uncommon party game, it is incredibly simple and straightforward that even your young guests will enjoy it. All you would need is a single button. The mechanics of the game are rather easy, just have one child at the center while the rest of the kids circle him with their hands and palms together as they pass the button. The child at the center closes his or her eyes while the children who are circling him pass the button around, then after a while, the child at the center would have to guess which child has the button.

3.) Charades

Charades is a fantastic game to play—whether you are a child or an adult. Think of age-appropriate things to have your little guests guess about. Alternatively, you can have a birthday theme for your kid’s party and think of relevant stuff to include in your game of charades.

4.) Marco Polo

If you have a pool, the mechanics of the game need not change. However, if you do not, this game can be modified to be just as fun on land as it is on water. All you would need is several sets of blindfolds and utilize the same rules the game has on water. Have the children blindfolded call out “Marco” while the child designated as “Marco Polo” should echo back “Polo” every single time.

5.) Dress Up Relay Race

Make your relay races a bit more fun and interesting by adding a bit of flair. Instead of having your guests compete in relay races the usual manner, let them compete for these races where they pile on clothes and accessories laid out. Make sure the clothes and accessories are relevant to the theme of your party.

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Party Planning 101: Five Tips to Creating An Excellent Guest List

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“A balanced guest list of mixed elements is to a successful party what the seasoning is to a culinary triumph.” -Lentia Baldridge

A wise adage about successful parties has one said that, “The most successful event is the one that achieves your goal and exceeds your expectations”. But this sentiment begs the question, how do you plan an event that does exactly two things? How do you put together a party that accomplishes what you want by the time it ends and succeeds spectacularly beyond your dreams? Well, part of it is having a solid plan, a good and appropriate venue and more than enough food. However, your invitees would also play a pivotal role to the success or failure of an event. For this reason, you might want to be a little particular and meticulous about how you create your guest list. You might think that this is a negligible aspect when it comes to party planning, but whether you are throwing a children’s party with a fun ranch party package, or a party exclusive to adults, your guests’ presence would matter as they would contribute to how a party will go.

To create a good guest list, here are some tips you should keep in mind:

1.) Consider the mix

In creating your guest list, be extra mindful of the guests you invite and take into account what their interests are. In the same vein, try to invite guests who are within the same age group—after all, you cannot expect your teenaged guests to blend in and get along well with adults who are well into their fifties. Choose guests who you know would appreciate your invitation and actually make a conscious effort to contribute to the overall success of your party.

2.) Send your invitations the traditional way

While sending invitations through email or social media’s event invites might be a lot more convenient, and faster, there is a likely chance it will get ignored. Additionally, sending it digitally can cause a myriad of headaches as guest-list management is a lot more complicated when you do it over social media. Inviting your friends digitally would cause some of your uninvited friends to question why they were not invited and may hurt their feelings. Avoid this by using paper invitations.

3.) Do not let others bully you

“But, are you not going to invite all your cousins?”, “What about my friends from the health club? Are they not coming?”, These are just common statements from people who bully you into inviting more people—particularly people who are in the social sphere and not yours. This is especially true for weddings. However, if a relative or friend is pressuring you to invite more guests, politely tell them that it is your party and not theirs. In any case, you should not yield to any kind of pressure to supersize your guest list—whether it comes from a relative or your friends. After all, at the end of the day, you are the one who is going to be paying the event—not them.

4.) Give your single guests the option to bring dates if they have partners

While you are not obligated to extend the invitation to the romantic partners of your guests, you should at least be consistent. Do not give one guest that option while denying it to another. If you grant this option to one guest, make sure it is an option available to all single guests. Remember to include “and guest” in the designation of their invitations should you decide to let your single guests bring their plus ones.

5.) Beware the snowball effect

There is no rule in etiquette dictating that you should invite all the guests of your wedding to your kid’s christening party. If your budget dictates otherwise, invite only the people who you want to be in your party.

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Five Things You Should Never Say to A Bride Before Her Wedding

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“Happy is the bride that the sun shines on” -Robert Herrick

Weeks prior to a wedding, there is no one more stressed than the bride herself. For someone who has been dreaming about walking the aisle ever since her husband-to-be proposed, she wants every aspect of her wedding to be perfect, and the way she envisioned it—anything less than stellar would be unacceptable. Considering how she has meticulously planned every detail of the big day, from scouring the best catering services in pasay (or wherever she might be) to the wedding souvenirs, it would be no surprise if some brides would be near breaking point days or even weeks before her wedding.

Knowing all this, it would be unwise for any of her guests to say something insensitive to her that would cause her to either get uncomfortable or riled up. Unfortunately, not all of her guests have enough tact to practice it, and some may be none the wiser. So, if you are attending a wedding anytime soon, here are some things that you should never say when you are conversing with the bride-to-be:

1.) “Why are you not inviting (name of your brother, a roommate of yours in college, a common friend, the bride’s ex)?”

It may sound like you are just curious, but for some brides-to-be, this can be a rather touchy and sensitive subject. Remember that everyone is accounted for during the wedding reception and more often than not, the couple pays per guest. Seeing as this would be the case, most couples would opt to invite only their closest family and friends to avoid exorbitant fees. Stay out of this, and just be thankful you even made it to their guest list instead.

2.) “You should be able to get whatever you want. It is your big day after all.”

While you probably mean well, the bride might not exactly feel that way. Consider that one of the most private and incredibly delicate matters of planning wedding is the budget, so it is best if you do not get involved. At all. Do not suggest something more expensive than what she has chosen as she likely has her reasons for choosing them (and you will only sound like an insensitive friend when you do). Besides, if she could afford them, she would probably be getting them.

3.) “When are you starting a family? Will you be having kids?”

Again, you may sound like you are naturally curious, but it may come off as if you are prying. This is none of your business. Comment about the wedding decorations or the food, but stay away from something personal to the bride and groom. Who knows? Even they have not even figured the answer to your question just yet.

4.) “Are you pregnant?”

No, just no. Of all the questions you should never ask the bride, this one has to be the most insensitive of them all and more often than not, you would be indirectly insulting the bride. You may have heard it from the other guests gossiping or so, but if the bride does not offer this information to you herself, do not ask confirmation from her.

5.) Do not mention anything about divorce

If you are a married guest, you may just want to shed some wisdom, and if you are unmarried, you may just want to offer a little insight. Regardless of what you are, however, you are going to sound resoundingly bitter to the bride, and it would seem like you are raining on her parade. Remember that this is her big day, so any gloomy talk about divorce, separations and general unhappiness should be avoided. Do not even try to joke about this if you do not want to be at the receiving end of the bride’s or her her other guests’ death glares.

 

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