Social Media Etiquette for Weddings

cover photo

Yes, there is social media etiquette that extends to weddings. It is quite common to see guests snapping pictures and posting them as fast as their fingers will allow, and some couples encourage this. You have probably seen a sign like the one below at a wedding you’ve been to recently.

Couples create a unique hashtag and ask guests to use it for their posts.
Couples create a unique hashtag and ask guests to use it for their posts. This is a great way for brides and grooms to see all the candid shots that were taken.

Bear in mind however that not all couples are open to having their wedding displayed on social media. Some will explicitly advise you through signs such as the one below.

HASHTAGIf you are not certain of the couple’s feelings towards sharing their big day on social media, err on the side of caution and do not post photos. It is quite possible that the bride and groom want to be the first to share photos.
Here are some additional tips:
Do not post photos of the couple before they even walk down the aisle. The big reveal, especially for the bride is a big moment. Don’t ruin that. Imagine a groom scrolling through Facebook and coming across a photo of his bride-to-be in her hotel room wearing her wedding dress.

Bride

Do not get in the way of the professional photographers. No matter how much you pride yourself on the excellent quality of your photographs, YOU WERE NOT HIRED BY THE COUPLE TO TAKE PHOTOS. They hired a professional to do this and you should exercise courtesy and stay out of the way. The photographer should not be in a competition with you to get a good shot.
Don’t post an unflattering photo of the bride (or groom). No explanation necessary here…
Do not be so glued to your phone that you become a ‘host’ for the event, giving commentary through posts to social media every couple of minutes. It is for this reason that you will see signs such as this one. Remember that you are there to celebrate with the couple.

Unplugged

Brides and grooms, these last two tips are for you. For starters, share the news of your engagement with your close family and friends before posting it on Facebook. It would be insensitive to have your cousin who saw your post bring up your engagement to your mother who is totally unaware that her precious daughter has been proposed to.  Secondly, do not take to social media to gripe about the wedding planning. If you find there is a problem with an invited guest or a vendor, speak to the person directly, versus airing your frustration for the world to see. This will only create further problems.

Lucky Number 14

14 is the lucky number for the couples chosen for MSW Events’ second staging of 14-14-14. Last year the team at MSW Events showed Jamaica a mass wedding in a way never before seen on the island, and is poised to do it again this year. This year’s event took on a twist as the aim was to find one couple from each of the fourteen parishes.  The love stories poured in, with couples hopeful they would be selected.  The islandwide search is now over and on February 14th (that’s right, Valentine’s Day) these lucky brides and grooms will say I do!

These couples are in for a real treat as they will enjoy an all expense paid wedding compliments of the best that the wedding industry has to offer. All the sponsors that have come together to make this event possible are top notch and the couples can be assured that their wedding will indeed be a dream come true.

The 14 lucky couples
The 14 lucky couples

Tips to Ensure You Enjoy Your Wedding Day

enjoy

Plan the guest list carefully
Invite only persons who wish you the best. You should be surrounded by love on your special day. There is no room for negativity at your wedding.

Get a good night’s sleep
It is important that you get enough rest the night before your big day. As such we recommend that festivities such as bachelor and bachelorette parties are not done the night before.

Eat a good breakfast
You’ve got a long day ahead of you. Prepare for it by having a breakfast that is high in protein and complex carbs. You’ll need it! You may not have a chance to eat anything else until much later.
Allow yourself enough time to get ready

getting ready
The last thing you need to be worrying about is not having enough time to get ready. You should be able to enjoy the process.

Wear a dress shirt when getting your hair styled
Brides, wearing a T-shirt is a big no-no. You’ll ruin your hair and makeup. Wear a button-down shirt. A spaghetti strap top works well to as you can pull is down and easily slip out of it.

Grooms should prepare a checklist of all the things they need to do on the morning of the wedding
Women tend to be great at organizing so brides are usually able to rely on their bridesmaids. Groomsmen may not necessarily be as prepared. We therefore encourage grooms to make a checklist of things that they need to do on the morning of the wedding.

Have a talk with friends about expectations for behavior
Do you have friends who are known to get a little rowdy at parties? If this behavior simply won’t be acceptable at your wedding, be certain to have a talk with them.
Break in new shoes

shoes
Are you wearing new shoes on your wedding day? Ensure you break them in. If your feet hurt, there’s no way you will enjoy your day.

Pack flats for the reception
On the note of shoes, brides should have a pair of flats handy so they can get down on the dance floor!

If possible, use the services of a wedding coordinator
Yes it is an expense, but a worthwhile one. Wedding coordinators ensure things run smoothly so you can enjoy every minute of your wedding.

Get your bridesmaids involved
If you can’t hire a wedding coordinator, assign duties to your bridesmaids (but not in a bridezilla manner).

Prepare a wedding day survival kit

kit
Every bride must have a wedding day survival kit. You never know what will pop up. Be prepared with your kit which should include items such as a first aid kit, safety pins, tampons and sanitary napkins, a Tide To Go stain remover pen, mints, etc.

Take candid photos
Your photographer will have the professional shots covered, but how about candid ones? Take selfies with your friends and family. They’re fun to take and great to look back at.

Loosen up before you walk down the aisle
Relax! Release the tension by doing some quick, light stretching.
Get a quick bite
While guests enjoy cocktails, you’ll probably be off having your photos taken and we can bet you’ll be hungry. Arrange ahead of time to have hor d’oeuvres on hand so you can have a quick bite.
Don’t overdo it with alcohol

Wine
For obvious reasons, take it easy on the drinking.

Appoint someone to save you from talkative guests
Your guests will want to come over and congratulate you, and some may continue talking for longer than you would like. Appoint someone who will look out for such occurrences and whisk you off (politely of course).

Give the DJ a list of songs you want to hear
You’ll be hearing your favourite songs all night long!

Dance!
It’s a celebration, your celebration and you should enjoy it so get on out on the dance floor with your guests!

Remember the reason for the celebration

couple
You’re celebrating the beginning of an amazing journey with the love of your life. Don’t lose sight of this amidst the festivities. Savour the moment and think about the rest of your lives together.

14-14-14 ‘The Search’

14 layoutWeddTV is excited to be a part of MSW Event’s signature event 14-14-14 titled ‘The Search’!  Some of you may be wondering what this is all about.  On February 14, 2014 MSW Events gave fourteen lucky couples a dream wedding held on Valentines Day.  For 2015 it’s going to be even bigger and WeddTV is on board for it!  It will be an island-wide search, hence the title ‘The Search’.  The MSW Events team will select a couple from each of the fourteen parishes and they will have a fairytale wedding on February 14, 2015.  All interested couples have to do is submit their love story along with a photograph.  ‘The Search’ has a twist to it that last year’s event did not have; couples’ families, friends and persons in their community can get involved too by sharing with MSW Events the reason the couple should be selected.  Stories should be emailed to info@mswevents.com.

The selected couples will receive an all expense paid wedding.  All they are required to provide is their wedding rings.  MSW Events with the assistance of generous sponsors will take care of the rest.  That’s right…food, wedding dress, tuxedo, professional photographs, wedding favours, top class entertainment, dazzling decor, hair and makeup…you name it!  The brides and grooms from the first installment of this wonderful event are still raving about their experience.  Since tying the knot two of the couples have even welcomed bundles of joy and another has one on the way!

WeddTV was front and centre at the launch for the ‘The Search’ and can’t wait to share footage from the evening’s happenings with you.  Stay tuned as we bring you behind the scenes action from 14-14-14 ‘The Search’!

Below are photos of some of the couples who walked down the aisle on February 14, 2014 courtesy of MSW Events.  They were at the launch to show their support.  Photos courtesy of Wealth Magazine, Skkan Media Entertainment and SLEEK.

Nastassia and Gregory Lewis
Nastassia and Gregory Lewis
Simone and Dwayne Ivery are a picture of happiness. Congratulations!
Simone and Dwayne Ivery are a picture of happiness. Congratulations!
Janice and Christopher Harvey
Janice and Christopher Harvey
When the couples walked down the aisle on February 14, 2014, two of them were renewing their vows. Mr. and Mrs. Fyffe are one of the couples who reaffirmed their love to one another.
When the couples walked down the aisle on February 14, 2014, two of them were renewing their vows. Mr. and Mrs. Fyffe are one of the couples who reaffirmed their love to one another.
Candace and Ramois McIntosh
Candace and Ramois McIntosh

Cutting Wedding Costs

wedding-budget-istockphoto1Weddings can cost a pretty penny, but as seen below, there are ways to control your costs.

Technology is your friend
Send out save-the-dates via email instead of posting them.  There are websites offering stylish electronic save-the-dates.  Be certain to use one that notifies you when the recipient opens the email. Great grandaunt Fay may not be technology savvy so there are some guests you will have to call.

Compare your options
Don’t go with the first quote you receive. Get quotes from a number of vendors so that you can make the best decision.  Pay attention to the inclusions.  For example, one venue may include tablecloths, etc.

Slice your cake costs
Instead of having a large (equating to expensive) cake for the cake cutting, why not opt for a smaller one and serve your guests sheet cake?

Let there be light!
Floral arrangements make beautiful centrepieces, but they can also account for a large portion of your budget.  We suggest using less flowers and enhancing them with candles.  They can really set the tone. Use votives, pillar candles or tapers between your floral arrangements

Step away from the Louboutins
Ladies, we know just how important your shoes are to you, but why spend a fortune on an item that will spend most of the evening hidden away under your dress? Even if your gown is short and they will be on display, it is not necessary to have designer shoes for your wedding.
shoes

Cut down your guest list
This can be very hard to do, and you may end up on a guilt trip as you cross names off your list but keep in mind that you are paying per head and this should help.

Cocktail party reception
This is a less formal setting and allows you to save significantly on food and décor. The use of lounge furniture such as ottomans and bistro tables eliminate the need for elaborate centerpieces. You can also do passed hors d’oeuvres. That will definitely cut your catering costs.

Fruit frenzy
Fruits aren’t just for eating. Use them as part of your centerpieces!
vase

Lower your bar tab
No need to have a full bar.  Beer and wine along with a signature cocktail is perfectly fine. Inexpensive (non-alcoholic) drinks are a great addition to your bar when trying to control costs.   Even lemonade works.  We like this idea (see picture below).
Drinks

Weighing in With Joy Agness

collage

WeddTV was at the Jamaica Bridal Expo in Montego Bay and there was so much happening! Booths to visit, a live wedding, a fashion show and guest speakers at the top of their game. We’ll be sharing tips with you inspired by our experience at the Expo. Today we’ll be talking about a very special guest speaker.

Have you ever been drawn to someone almost immediately? WeddTV felt this way about Joy Agness from the moment this amazing guest speaker took the stage at the 2014 Jamaica Bridal Expo in Montego Bay. Of course this feeling grew even more when we were given the opportunity to meet and interview her. Joy Agness is the CEO of Joy Agness Events. She is a wedding planner extraordinaire based in the United States and has over twenty five years of experience under her belt. It was not just the knowledge that Joy imparted, but the way that she did it. The passion for her craft came out with each word she spoke.

Joy presentingShe spoke about presenting yourself in the market place. Ms. Agnes reminded wedding planners to keep calm and to be in control. No one wants a planner who is easily flustered or appears uncertain. She also shared another important ‘C’ with us; creative! You’ve got to keep things interesting. Don’t be afraid to step out of the box. As Ms. Agnes pointed out, wedding planners need to listen to their couples. Get to know them and get a good feel for what they want for their wedding day. In doing so, she advised strongly against allowing a bride to go with all the ideas she may have gotten from a friend’s wedding. Hear her out but steer her towards finding a vision of her own for you to bring to life. This is also important for you as you do not want guests at the wedding to get a feeling of déjà vu because they have seen similar décor, etc. at another wedding. This does not allow you to set yourself apart and be memorable.

During the wedding planning process it is quite common for family and friends to get involved sometimes to the point that it can prove to be a hindrance to the planner. You must learn to put your foot down when necessary, politely of course. Keep in mind that you are employed by the bride and groom, and not their family and friends. When family and friends impede the process, it’s time to have a meeting with your bride and groom. Another thing she pointed out is that event planners should build relationships. Do not view a wedding as a one time thing. Couples come back for anniversaries, birthdays, etc. Also remember that bridesmaids and groomsmen should be able to view their experience with you as pleasant and professional; they could potentially be your next client.

An audience member at the conference asked Ms. Agness for advice. She stated that she is a wedding planner and recently had a couple who specified that their red wine should be served with ice. “How would you handle this?” she asked Ms. Agness. Her response,”Don’t lower your standards for anyone.” I would give her a glass of ice and a glass of red wine and tell her to do it. Quite often as a planner you have demands placed upon you which you know are not proper etiquette or not realistic. You need to know what to give in to and what is simply not up for debate. At the end of the day, everything reflects on you, the planner.

We are quite certain that persons walked away from Ms. Agness’ presentation with helpful tips. We certainly did!

WeddTV with Joy Agness
WeddTV team members posing for a quick pic with Joy Agness

Questions, Questions

engagement

When a woman is pregnant persons feel they are allowed to invade her personal space, rub her tummy and ask all sorts of questions. The same goes for when a woman gets engaged; minus the tummy rubbing of course. On the subject of babies, that is one of the first topics that will be raised. “When are you going to have a baby?” Way to put on the pressure. Try to understand that while it may seem intrusive, the person asking does not necessarily mean to come across this way. It is just that engagements/weddings get people thinking about the plan for babies.

A ‘no beating around the bush’ type of person may ask you straight up, “Am I on the guest list?” Oh my, talk about being direct. This may be particularly awkward if you know off the bat that this person will not be invited to your wedding. How do you tactfully respond to this question? Try this one. “Oh we would love to have you there but we’re having a very small and intimate wedding.” There’s also this one – “We wish you could celebrate with us but our families are HUGE.” Remember to place great emphasis on ‘huge.’

“When is the big day?” is of course a common question.  You may be thinking, “Jeez, give me a little time to soak up my engagement before you hit me with that one.”  Just tell them that you’re discussing it.  The nosy parkers won’t hold back. “Who’s paying for the wedding?” is another frequently asked question. If this person is not close to you then you may find this question to be inappropriate. Don’t feel obliged to answer if you are uncomfortable doing so. You can field this question by jokingly telling the person that if they’re offering, you will gladly accept donations.

Now that WeddTV has prepared you for some of the questions that may come your way, go ahead and show off your ring!

Selecting a Makeup Artist

Makeup

 

On your wedding day you should look radiantly beautiful. While some brides are not fond of makeup, the truth is it can really play up your features. Will you be doing your own makeup, having a friend apply it or will you be hiring a professional makeup artist? We suggest the latter. This is your wedding day. All you should be doing is sitting back and relaxing. We do not recommend that you place unnecessary pressure on yourself by doing your makeup yourself. Nerves are rattled, emotions are running high. Would you really want to throw in doing your makeup too? Another option is having a friend serve as your makeup artist. We are aware that some persons are quite talented when it comes to the application of makeup. We really do advise however that you use a professional makeup artist.

A professional makeup artist is trained in camouflaging problem areas. They have excellent cover up techniques. They also have experience in working with different skin types. It can be difficult to choose a makeup artist because there are so many. Just log into Facebook and you will see pages upon pages of persons advertising their services. Our advice is not to allow anyone to make you their guinea pig. Comb through the person’s portfolio. This is usually easily available online as most have an online presence. You can also look for testimonials and get referrals. When you find a makeup artist whose work you like, book a trial session. Go armed with an explanation of what you would like your makeup to look like on your wedding day. If you have photos of looks you like, all the better. Do you prefer soft, nude colours, a bold lip, dramatic or soft eyes? Keep in mind that the look you want may not necessarily be the best one for you. You should therefore go with an open mind. A good makeup artist can guide you as to what suits you best.

When going for your trial session, remember to cleanse your face of all products. It is best to book your appointment for the morning so that you will see how your makeup lasts throughout the day. Also, you should wear a colour similar to the one you will be wearing on your wedding day. You would be surprised at how colours can alter the way your makeup appears.

Light has an immense impact on makeup.  Once your makeup has been applied, you should take a mirror outside and look at yourself in natural light. Remember that on your wedding day you will be in natural light at some point. Your makeup should be able to translate well between natural and artificial light. Take photos with and without flash so you will have some idea of how your makeup will photograph on your big day. These photos will also serve as a reference point for when your makeup is being applied on your wedding day. If you are not totally satisfied with your makeup we urge you to speak up. Do not be afraid to point out any areas that you are not pleased with. It is all about getting the perfect look. Do not worry about offending the person. Your input is required for the artist to truly understand your vision for your makeup. Do not lose hope if this person does not ‘wow’ you. You have the opportunity to book another session with someone else. Do not however hop from person to person. Do your homework before booking a session to save yourself the time, frustration and money.

Be certain that you feel a level of comfort with the person you select. Once you decide on a makeup artist, book him/her immediately! Imagine finding the perfect person, only to hear that he/she is unavailable on the day of your wedding because someone else has booked them. Don’t let that happen to you. Will this person be doing the makeup for your bridesmaids as well or will your bridesmaids be responsible for getting their makeup done? Think carefully about this. They are not your ugly stepsisters. They are a part of your bridal party and as such you should ensure they look great. Remember that not everyone is skilled in makeup application. Your bridesmaids may try their best but unfortunately it may be a failed effort and this is not the look you want for your special day. Another important question; where will your makeup be done on your wedding day? Will it be done at your home, the venue or the salon, etc? Also, will your hair be styled at the same place? On your wedding day don’t forget to wear something that can be easily removed to put on your dress. Do not wear something that will mess up your hair or makeup. Another point to note is that while a facial can be great for the skin and not to mention relaxing, it is best that you schedule your facial to be done at least one week prior to your wedding. You should also ensure that it is a facial you have done before; a few days before your wedding is not the time to be trying something new that your skin could possibly have a bad reaction to.

If your makeup is badly applied, having the best photographer in the world will not help. Cameras capture what is presented to them. Ensure what you present to be captured is beautiful.

Let’s Eat!

caterer

 

What’s one area you shouldn’t skimp or compromise on when it comes to your wedding? We would say food. On a normal day, we are particular about what we eat and how it tastes so of course for a day as important as your wedding day, the stakes are even higher. It will not be just you consuming the food; your guests will be eating it too. Finding a good caterer is key.

A good caterer does not have to be expensive. A good caterer also does not have to be well known. At the end of the day, high cost or a famous name does not necessarily equate to great taste and quality. Have you ever gone out to eat and thought to yourself, “I would have done a better job if I had cooked this myself” or “My mother’s chicken tastes so much better than this”? You see the point we are trying to make.

On the note of your mother, she may be an excellent cook (as most mothers are). This does not necessarily mean however that she is able to cook for your multitude of guests. It is possible she may do an excellent job and leave you and your guests licking your lips, but the truth is that cooking a small dinner as your mother is used to doing, is very different from catering for a big event. Even the food of the best caterers sometimes falls off as the numbers increase. Not everyone can cook well in mass quantities. Apart from the concern about quality, you also do not want a situation where there is misjudgment of the quantity of food required, leaving you with an embarrassing situation where you run out of food to serve your guests.
When choosing a caterer, do your homework.  Give the caterer a guide as to the type of food you would like and have him/her provide you with sample menus.  One of the most important things you should do is arrange a tasting. You should let your taste buds get a taste of what they will experience on the big day. You need to know that the food will be up to the standards you expect. In some cases, a caterer serves up absolutely amazing dishes but it may just be that he/she is not skilled in the preparation of the particular dishes that you want on the menu. This is another point to note.

Once you have selected your caterer be sure to ask if there is anything he/she requires of you. For example, you should be advised whether or not you are to provide wait staff or if this will be taken care of. Quite often, a family member to prepare a special dish to be included on the menu. You should advise your caterer of this beforehand; one, as a general courtesy and two, some caterers are not keen on the idea of food not prepared by them being served along with theirs for fear that the dish is not tasty and is mistaken for their work.

We leave you with this.  Put effort into selecting your caterer. Don’t have your guests leave your wedding commenting on how lovely the décor was, how great the DJ was, the beauty of the wedding dress…but how terrible the food was…

She Said Yes…Now What?

delete bride vs groom

Hey there fellows. We know that sometimes in the wedding planning process you get left out. This is the day your bride to be has dreamed about since she was a little girl and it isn’t unusual for her to get swept away in the process and forget the day is about the BOTH OF YOU. That means suggestions from both parties.  We’ve seen a few cases where the groom was far more vocal than the bride and was not shy about his preferences in any way, shape or form…a rare case, but it happens.  We do realize however that most gentlemen seem to have no qualms about being left out of the planning and don’t mind just being told what time to show up and where. We’ve put together a few tips for grooms. Let’s get to it. The effort doesn’t end after you buy the ring.

• Get involved. There are so many aspects. Share your ideas on food, venue, music, bar (favourite aspect of the wedding for many grooms it seems). Remember it’s your wedding too. Don’t back out of meetings with vendors. These are important and as most men are primarily concerned about the budget, it is vital that you go to these meetings as costs will be discussed. Selection of items for the wedding registry is also something you should be a part of.

• Make a list of the persons you would like to invite. Don’t expect your fiancé to read your mind. While she may know some of the persons you will definitely want there, she may not know them all. Don’t assume this is covered.

• Be understanding. Wedding planning can be very stressful and there is no doubt that at times your fiancé will feel overwhelmed. She may even become (dare we say) a bridezilla. Offer your assistance where possible and a listening ear. Hear her out with her ideas, any problems she may be having, etc. Why not do something special for her? Cook dinner or take her out to eat. Have a date night.

• Keep your groomsmen abreast of important details. Don’t leave everything to your fiancé. You can inform them about fittings, the details of the rehearsal dinner, etc.

• Grooming. This is oh so important! Get a haircut two days prior to the wedding. You may not opt for a manicure but ensure your nails are clean and throw some lotion on your hands too. Remember your hands will be a focal point of photos because of the wedding ring.

• How about a surprise on the day of wedding? It doesn’t need to be anything over the top. It could be a note or a special gift. Things like this would be sure to give her one more reason to smile on this special day.

• Put thought and time into writing your vows. You may not be an expressive person, but this is one time that you really need to be on point. Your fiancé is sure to appreciate the effort you put into making your vows special.

• Grooms are often given the responsibility of planning the honeymoon. Combine your fiance’s wants for the trip with yours so that you will both enjoy it. After all, this is one of the most special trips you will ever go on together. If you will be traveling overseas and need help, enlist the assistance of a travel agent. Ensure everything is in order with the reservations and the flight times.

All the best!