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Click the eZine below to read it in full-screen mode. To visit the Web site any of our eZine advertisers, click on an ad. You can also download the PDF.
Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013
Over the course of the last several years we have been publishing and working on the Montana Wedding Guide and I would like to thank everyone involved in the endeavor, especially all of the vendors/friends who have advertised with us. With great sadness I have to inform all of you that the Montana Wedding Guide will no longer be in business. As all of you know time is finite and I have decided that I can no longer dedicate any time to this project. For those of you who advertised with us this past year on the web please know that the web site will continue to be live until April of 2014 so your advertising dollars will still be working for you though that time although all of the contracts were due to expire in June of 2013.
I will be devoting my time and efforts to my Nashan Photogarphers business and helping my husband with his Montana Watch Company.
Looking forward to seeing you all in town or at weddings sometime in the near future.
Thank you again.
Thursday, June 14th, 2012
Everyone in Montana loves our first national treasure. Yellowstone National Park holds a special place in our history, it was the first national park ever created and spurred the idea of preservation of some of the most beautiful places on our planet. When planning your wedding what better place to exchange vows than one of the most remarkable places in the world.
Yellowstone comes complete with a sweet little chapel and chaplain, currently with a southern twang from West Virginia.
Fran, of Franze Photography just recently posted some photographs of a wedding that she photographed at Mammoth Chapel and some beautiful portraits of the couple in Mammoth Hot Springs. The backgrounds are amazing and are only a couple minute drive from the chapel.
It is one of my favorite places to shoot photographs especially when it is commemorating a wedding. Take a look at some of the unusual and beautiful photos that Franze Photography has on her blog of this most memorable wedding.
Thank you Fran for sharing your beautiful images with us. To see more of her lovely work, please visit Fran at http://www.franzephotography.
Wednesday, June 6th, 2012
Mery Donald just posted this fantastic engagement portrait on her blog. Engagement portrait sessions are a great opportunity for you and your photographer to get to know each other. You can tell by these photographs that the engaged couple shared a lot of tender moments that Mery was able to capture in beautiful compositions.
It is also an opportunity for your photographer to see how you photograph. Sometimes people slouch or squint, while they are editing the photos from the shoot they might be able to give you some feedback that will help your wedding photographs look even more beautiful.
If you would like to see more photographs from the shoot take a peak at Mery’s blog: http://merydonald.blogspot.
Thank you Mery for these beautiful photographs, and I hope you will share the wedding with us.
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Jennifer, owner and artist of Anticipated Creations will present you with the most artistic and beautiful cakes you can imagine. Not only is each and every cake unique and memorable; they are also absolutely delicious. Jennifer was so gracious to answer a lot of ”Cake” related questions we had at the MONTANA WEDDING GUIDE. I hope you find her replies to our questions as interesting and informative as we did. I would like to also thank the photographers for allowing us the use of their images and thank you Jennifer for giving us so much insight. All the images you see in this post are creations by Jennifer. If you have more questions for Jennifer, please feel free to ask her directly, firstname.lastname@example.org or by sending us a quick e-mail at email@example.com and we will do our best to find the answer for you.
MWG: When a couple is just starting to look for a cake vendor what is the first thing they should do?
When shopping for a wedding cake the first thing the couple should do is look at the cake designers previous work to see what they are capable of and if they are going to be the right fit for each other. The most important aspect of a wedding cake is how it tastes. If your cake is gorgeous that is wonderful but if it tastes horrible that is your guests last impression of your wedding cake. Make sure you schedule a cake tasting with your designer to make sure you like the flavors you choose. Don’t be afraid to ask around to other vendors and friends to get any good advice on a cake designer as well. Most of the time other vendors are a wealth of information.
MWG: Are there some resources that would be helpful for them to have while doing their shopping? For example, books, magazines, web sites etc. If so please name them.
I think the most important resource is the internet. Make sure you research the area your getting married and find all the cake designers around your venue. Get in contact with all of them and find the best fit and “taste” for your budget and your style. There are many resources out there and don’t just look at one. Everyone loves wedding magazines but they are so expensive. Go to websites such as “The Knot” to find many cake designs in easily categorized design elements. Another good resource are wedding blogs. Find real weddings to help you visualize your cake in a certain setting.
MWG: Once they have narrowed it down to a few options then what? What questions should they ask when doing their comparative shopping? What should they look for as they are shopping to make sure they choose the company or vendor that is best for them?
Make sure you ask about all the hidden charges up front. Once you have a design picked out request a quote with everything from delivery/setup to additional flower charges and even specialty fillings. Make sure you also ask about additional charges for having more than one cake flavor/filling as well.
If you love a certain design but it is out of your budget ask about other less expensive options such as buttercream frosting instead of fondant or fresh flowers instead of gum paste flowers.
MWG: What factors should they consider when making the final decision?
When making a final decision on your cake designer make sure they have done similar designs to yours in the past so you know they have experience with certain products or designs. Also compare you’re your final cake cost for the same design with other vendors.
MWG: Are there ways to shave off some of the expenses to work within a certain budget? Are there particular DIY projects that they can tackle to help save some cash?
Ways to save on your wedding cake are using buttercream instead of fondant. Fondant is gorgeous on your cake but it is not necessary for a lot of designs and in most cases will look just as great. Also, if you would like floral elements on your cake don’t be afraid of using real or silk flowers. There are many silk flowers out there that look just as great as real and nobody will ever know. A great DIY is to shop for a unique wedding cake stand or plateau for your cake to really accentuate your wedding cake. Make sure to check with your cake designer of the size and shape you need.
MWG: Once they have decided upon found you, what happens next?
Make sure you book your date with your vendor of choice. Most great vendors book very quickly so don’t hesitate to put down your deposit and finalize your vendor. Nothing is worse than deciding on a cake vendor then realizing they are booked and you have to settle for your second choice.
MWG: What happens when the wedding date approaches? How much are you in contact with them? What information do they need to get ahold of you?
When I notify the couple of their final payment reminder I will attach a copy of their contract for them to review to make sure everything is still accurate. I am always available if anything arises. My clients can always call, email, or text with questions or concerns about their orders.
MWG: What happens on the day of? What are you responsible for and what do they need to take care of? What is the timeline that usually works best?
The day of the wedding I take care of everything from delivering the cake to setting it up at their venue. If there are fresh flowers, cake toppers, cake stands, etc. that need to be set up or applied to the cake I handle it all as long as it is left on the cake table for when I arrive
MWG: What happens after the wedding?
After the wedding there is usually no equipment that needs to be saved or returned. If you rent a cake stand that will need to be returned with the rest of your rental items. All cake boards/plates are disposable for easy clean up.
MWG: What should they expect in regards to a contract, retainer, final payment, and other information?
Couples should expect to put down a deposit to save their date and finalize a cake contract with specifics about their design, flavors, fillings, and many more details. They will be notified about their final payment 2 weeks before the wedding. Nobody wants a vendor tracking them down for payment on their wedding day.
Monday, May 7th, 2012
How do you start planning a wedding when you don’t know what you want? It seems odd that I didn’t have any sort of vision for my wedding when I first started planning, especially considering my fiancé and I were together for over five years before he proposed. Defining and creating the vision for your wedding is a big task that encompasses every aspect of your wedding planning, so it’s important to determine what you want.
Do you want a summer or winter wedding? Do you want a formal event, something more rustic and informal, or even a destination wedding? Do you want a specific theme? One of the most helpful exercises was something I learned from a bridal magazine: make a list of ten specific words or short phrases that you associate with your wedding. The more concise you can be by picking just a few words to describe a concept, the better. The first few words on my list were easy enough for me to think of, but after that, I had to think much harder to make sure each one was meaningful and specific. You probably won’t think of all ten in your first sitting, or even in your first month or two of planning. I’m over a year into my engagement (about three months away from my wedding) and I still don’t have all ten, but the ones I do have on my list have helped me define my vision.
When you start noticing that you’re continually being drawn to something specific, work on describing it with a short phrase and add it to your list. Bring your list with you when you meet with your vendors like the florist or even the cake decorator-it will help them understand the vision you are trying to create and they may even help you add to your list.
As you begin exploring the options and creating your list of ten words to describe your wedding, take a little time to imagine the ideal experience for your wedding. What stands out as the most important part(s) (food, cake, music, venue, flowers, etc.)? What do you want to be able to say after your wedding, or what do you want your wedding to say about you and your fiancé? What do you want your guests to say about your wedding when they leave at the end of the night? Think about the answers to these questions and go from there to develop your vision.
I have gained inspiration along the way from many sources, including magazines, vendors, friends and family. I did lots of browsing-I highly encourage you to do the same! As you’re browsing, make a note when something catches your eye or figure out the reason why you love a certain detail-you’ll start to notice a common theme (whether it’s a certain shade or style for your color scheme or outfits, or a certain decorative detail like flowers in mason jars). Also look through pictures of other weddings to find flowers, décor, or color combinations that speak to you. Magazines are also helpful resources, but don’t just limit yourself to bridal magazines-also look at publications for gardening, home décor, etc. that might seem outside the box.
When you find something you like in a magazine, mark the page. For me, it was helpful to use small sticky notes or colored sticky tabs to mark something I liked. You can even use color-coded tabs for each different area of your wedding-flowers, bridesmaids dresses, centerpiece concepts, seating charts, invitations, etiquette, etc.
(As a side note, don’t feel obligated to buy every brand new bridal magazine on the news stand-borrow older ones from friends who are already married, or check with the local library to see if they have copies that were donated. You will still find lots of great ideas even if the magazine isn’t filled with today’s latest trends. If you already have tons of magazines, don’t throw them away after you get married-donate them or pass them on to the next bride. It saves everyone money-bridal magazines are expensive and when you’re on a budget, you want your money going toward the actual wedding, not the magazines!)
Anyway, back to sources of inspiration…watch wedding shows on tv-it’s free access to creative concepts you might otherwise have to pay a wedding coordinator for. There are also great local resources available as you search for elements to incorporate into your wedding vision. Attend bridal events in your local area to meet vendors in person and see their work. Look at photo galleries on the websites for venues and photographers-you’ll probably find creative ideas from photographers, wedding coordinators and other local brides. What better way to visualize how your event space will look than to find photos from other weddings at the same venue?
The vision for your wedding will continue to develop throughout the planning process, so don’t worry if you don’t have an exact vision right away. I am still about three months away from my wedding, and my scattered ideas are just starting to come together to form a cohesive vision. As you meet with and/or book each vendor, you will get additional ideas that enhance and move your vision forward. Eventually, the fragments of ideas you’ve collected during your planning will all come together in perfect harmony to create the vision for your ideal wedding.
Until next time, best of luck creating your ultimate wedding vision!
Friday, April 6th, 2012
Last April, after only one month of dating, my boyfriend surprised me with a ring in his freezer presented on a plate that said “Will you marry me?” We tossed around wedding dates ranging upon one month to a year. Thankfully we settled on a date that was just over a year. I say thankfully because I am a frugal person. I shop around until I know I have the best deal. I was also happy because I would have the time to put a personal touch on many areas in my wedding. Pinterest and Etsy came in hand to figure out what “areas” these would be. The main item that caught my eye was an elegant brooch bouquet. After reviewing the price on one of these I knew I couldn’t take the plunge and buy one. I was lucky enough to receive several brooches at my wedding shower. In turn, 25 hours later, I created my very own brooch bouquet, which will not wilt after the “I dos.” I also created a mini version for a toss away bouquet. I have created a personal touch by adding labels to items our groomsmen and bridesmaids will wear. I also sewed a ring bearer pillow out of fabric from my dress. We saved up to have a photo booth at our wedding as well. With this in mind, I printed off items like mustaches and lips, pasted them to foam board, cut them out with an xacto knife and glued them to wooden dowels for folks to use in the booth. I cannot wait to see the pictures! To be a DIY bride takes patience, but I think by the big day it will all pay off . I would like to thank Billings, Montana Photographer Brittany Putnam for allowing us to use her images and also a big thank you to Halley. I know your wedding will be so much fun and you will enjoy each and every minute.
Thank you to Billings Montana Photographer Brittany Putnam, for allowing us to use your images.
And thank you Halley, I know your story will inspire a reader to DIY. Your wedding will be beautiful and memorable. Enjoy each and every moment.
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