Top Five Friday :: Top 5 Wedding Floral Tips

:: Top 5 Wedding Floral Tips ::

MRSter is pleased to present this post from Robin of Bootah Jardin Florists! Robin is VERY knowledgeable about flowers and can help with budget-friendly ideas or full service arrangements in the Vancouver, BC area.

Her family-run business specializes in do-it-yourself event and wedding flowers, so who better to ask for some top tips to keep that floral budget down?!

1 :: Don’t focus on seasonality alone :: Requesting seasonal flowers is the single most suggested tip for trimming your flower costs, but it’s also the most out-dated. This might have been true at one time, but an expansive international floral trade has made seasonality a much less prominent factor in pricing.

There are still flowers that fluctuate in price with the seasons, but by and large, most flower pricing is stable. Rather than seasonality, flowers fall into categories- they’re either budget-friendly, high-end, or somewhere in between. So the flowers you love- despite being in the peak of their availability- may not be the most cost-effective option.

Wedding Floral

Photography :: Andrea Ball Photography

2 :: The influence of colour on price :: Colour isn’t a factor for all flower pricing, but it is for certain blooms. Where we live, particular flowers- like callas, peonies, and dahlias- are priced differently by growers based on colour. This is basic supply and demand, so unless a particular flower/colour combo holds special significance for you, request a general colour theme versus specific combinations.

3 :: The effect of flower holidays on pricing :: The two weeks preceding Valentine’s and Mother’s Day are the busiest times of year in the floral industry, and the increased demand causes a significant spike in pricing. Not only will you feel the effects of this increased demand when you seek a quote, but you may also struggle to find a florist willing to take on your wedding during these busy times.

Red Rose Bouquet

Photography :: Wilson Lau Photography

4 :: Flexibility goes far when it comes to getting the best quote :: It’s great (and fun!) to have a vision for your big day, but the more specific you are with your requests, the more expensive your floral quote is likely to be. Your florist is restricted to buying flowers in bunches and buckets, so to meet your requests exactly, they may have to order more than they will need to use. You will still be charged for those extra flowers, so if you’re flexible on certain details, this may save you some money in the long run.

5 :: Fillers and greens are not cheap :: Adding greens and fillers to an arrangement may bring the cost down, but like all things floral, it really depends on the details. Certain greens, like dusty miller and silver brunia, are more costly than many flowers and have the opposite effect on pricing. In general, adding accents tends to increase the cost of arrangements, as the added fillers provide great texture, but don’t add much to the volume. This is why those wildflower bouquets that look simple and inexpensive are often more costly than a basic rose bouquet. It takes a lot of flowers to achieve that look, and they all add up in the end.

Wedding Floral

Photography :: Alyssa Schroeder Bouquet

MRSter wishes to thank Robin for her willingness to share her expertise on our website. We think she has some great money saving ideas, don’t you?! Be sure to check out her website here!

Wedding Wisdom Wednesday :: Are Photo Booths Still Popular at Weddings?

:: Are Photo Booths Still Popular at Weddings? ::

Personally, I LOVE photo booths. However, our team at MRSter wondered if photo booths were perhaps starting to lose out to cell phones and selfie sticks, or whether they were in fact still a huge trend within the market. We connected with Andy DeLisle of {MRSter Approved} The Self Portrait Station to ask how he competes with today’s technology.

Andy states: 

We don’t compete directly with cell phones and selfie sticks. What we compete for is the attention of the guests. We offer an experience that doesn’t compare to cell phone selfies and is inclusive for all guests. We also offer social media uploads directly from our setup, where we post photos to Facebook and encourage the guests to tag themselves. We pride ourselves in producing a high quality produce; from the lighting we use to the high quality inkjet prints. This sets us apart from the competition and keeps people coming back.”

You know, it’s true! There is really a ton of difference between a selfie and a professional photo booth. Plus, they add so much fun! Andy adds, “Between our high quality prints and fashion lighting, which makes everyone look fabulous, we really stand out.”

Another professional photographer and photo booth owner Tammie Billey of {MRSter Approved} Social Station, had this to say on the subject: 

We are a selfie nation, we are the generation that loves to kiss our own reflection and make goofy faces to paste to social media. But what happens when someone is behind the camera? We tend to give far less of ourselves, we become much more conservative. It happens all the time. We can be free when we take our own photo, but as soon as someone is holding the camera trying to take a picture, all of those unspoken rules that your mom beat into your head take over: Stand up straight, don’t slouch, smile better, don’t be goofy, etc, etc… So why not get a Photo Booth and let your guests be who they are? You know those goofy sonsabeeches you always knew they were. Having a Photo Booth not only removes the middle man standing behind the camera, it encourages your guests to be comfortable and to be themselves. Free their spirit! It’s absolutely amazing because returning guests always choose their own partners in crime and drag them into the booth to spice up their experience and take it up a notch. Not only does it bring down the barriers, it kicks up the life of the party. The best part is that your guests get to have a keepsake, a physical tangible print that they can leave with from your event: memorabilia, and instant gratification. And in this day and age of social media, today’s photo booths can now instantly upload to that electronic cloud in the sky. Photo booth at an event? YES PLEASE!”

Photo booths are for sure, still very cool and great additions to events, including your wedding! What do you think? Please feel free to share your own photo booth experience with us in the comments below! 

Wedding Wisdom Wednesday :: Registry Do's and Don'ts for the Engaged Couple

:: Registry Do’s and Don’ts for the Engaged Couple ::

Many couples feel like it’s a selfish act to sign up on a gift registry. But the fact is, that most if not all of your guests will want to get a gift for the two of you. So really, you’re helping your guests, and eliminating confusion by signing up at at least one store and indicating the items you’d like to have. This process also helps immensely in curbing duplicate gifts.

Wedding Registry

Gifts” by Selbe Lynn is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

:: Do give some thought to the store or stores in which you register. A nationally located department store is a good choice, especially if guests are traveling in from other states. We recommend registering at more than one store in order to increase choices for your guests. These days of course, mega online stores are an excellent option.

:: Do register as soon as possible after your engagement. This way, people can utilize the registry for shower gifts as well.

:: Do include a range of purchase prices with a number of gifts under $50, some in the $50- $100 range, and a few over $150. Typically, these ranges should cover the buying power of the majority of your guests.

:: Do feel free to include some speciality items like camping gear, for instance, or any items that hold special interest for you and your partner. Since many about-to-be married couples are already sharing living quarters, you probably don’t have a need for typical household items like toasters or blenders.

:: Don’t list highly expensive items on the registry. If you have a need for an expensive item and have a rich aunt, grandparent or parent who would be inclined and have the resources to fulfill a large gift request, ask them directly, or leave hints, or enlist a friend to help share the need. An alternative would be to get a friend to take up a collection among your friends for a large ticket item.

:: Don’t list personal items like clothing or toiletries. However, it is acceptable to register for a couple of gift cards in addition to tangible items. In that way, you can have a little extra buying power to pick up some personal items.

:: Don’t procrastinate about sending out thank you notes. Keep a record of who sent what and send out handwritten notes that mention the specific gift no later than 3 months after the wedding. For wedding shower gifts, thank yous should be sent within 2-3 weeks of receipt. It’s a lovely thing to receive a gracious, heartfelt and sincerely written thank you note, so consider your words carefully. Your guests will be pleased.

Happy gift getting and thank you-ing!

Top Five Friday :: Top 5 Ways to Make Sure Your Guests Have Fun

 :: Top 5 Ways to Make Sure Your Guests Have Fun ::

Weddings are a time to celebrate! Two individuals have found that amazing thing called love and want to share their happiness with their circle of friends and family. Keep the occasion joyful by providing ways for your guests to share in the celebration. Here are MRSter’s Top 5 Ways to Make Sure Your Guests Have Fun…

1 :: Music :: Of course! What better way to celebrate than to ensure you have a terrific upbeat and fun, fun, fun, supply of music on hand. Spend time developing your music list, enlist friends, ask people about their favorite tunes. Add a few slower and romantic numbers. Whether you hire a DJ or a band, make sure you are on the same page when it comes to the music selection. Most music professionals can offer a great selection of wedding appropriate music and can give you some ideas if you get stuck.

2 :: Dance :: I know, I know, kind of obvious, but well thought out dance themes are loads of fun for the dancers and the onlookers. Make sure to include participative dances like the Hokey Pokey, The Chicken Dance and the Bunny Hop. Throw in a couple of line dances. Go a little crazy with period dances like The Charleston or The Stroll. Go wild with ethnic dances… There is a ton of choice! Have some friends who know how to boogie? Enlist them to do a demonstration and engage the audience by teaching them a few steps.

3 :: Feed Them :: Even if you are serving a full meal, having a nosh station filled with simple snacks will keep everybody happy. These don’t have to be super expensive or elaborate. Veggie sticks, chips and dip, cheese and crackers are some simple ideas. Food makes people happy!

4 :: Beverage Them :: Yes, I know this seems obvious too, but I’ve been to too many weddings where the booze has run out far too quickly and the party poops out. If your budget is tight, offer a champagne toast on you and a no-host bar on them. Cheers!

Now that we’ve mentioned the all-important staples, there are a variety of unique additions to your wedding on the market that provide ample entertainment; everything from carousels to fireworks. One of our personal favorites is a photo booth, they are TONS of fun… 

5 :: Think Photo Booth! :: FABuLIST vendor Tammie Billey offers {MRSter Approved} Social Station; a fabulous and fun “sexy little machine” that produces wonderful photos as keepsakes of, and for, your guests. The Social Station provides a fun, simple and amazing addition to your event. Tammie says…

“We are a sleek modern booth per say, that has one of the simplest set up’s yet! We have been known to accommodate up to 14 people in one photo!  With an amazing quality, the Social Station brings out everyone’s photogenic side. We want to help you capture the energy and create some fun memories. The Social Station is an experience, that every event needs! The Social Station is NOT a typical photo booth! There is no box. There is no dark space. It’s an open fun space that allows many people to come together and capture memorable moments in time! It’s creatively artistic with colorful backdrops, props and most of all, a great time! Guests are easily & happily drawn to the Social Station because every picture ensures a party! It encourages guests to let loose and socialize! That is how the name, The Social Station came to life! Smile! Click! It’s a party! It’s that easy!

Have any tips of your own to share with us? Let us know in the comments below!

Wedding Photography Tips :: Part Four // What Wedding Moments Are Overlooked The Most?

Wedding Photography Tips :: Part Four // What Wedding Moments Are Overlooked The Most?

We hope that after your wedding day when you sit down to look at the beautiful photographs, you don’t have regrets over certain significant memories being overlooked. It is a great idea to discuss any of those must-have moments with your photographer ahead of time. 

MRSter :: What kinds of shots are often overlooked during the wedding day?

Parker :: Every photographer has their favorite parts of weddings to capture, and for me it’s the details. I know some wedding photographers aren’t interested in photographing all the beautiful details, and when I view their work I feel they are overlooking so many beautiful shots! Always make sure you hire a photographer who is prepared to capture what is the most important part of your day, to you. That’s just my personal two cents. I am also a huge believer in capturing images of the venue. A lot of photographers automatically grab these shots, but rarely do I hear couples requesting them. If you’re spending money on it and putting time and energy into it, make sure you’re hiring a photographer who is going to capture it! I’m a huge fan of images of parents seeing their child that’s getting married all dressed up for the first time. Basically, a parental first look. There is so much emotion during this time, and setting up a specific part of the day right after getting ready to capture this makes the moment even more special. Other frequently overlooked on the wedding day, are portraits of the couple! During the hustle and bustle of the wedding day, as the couple gets tired and just wants to relax at the reception, the romantic portraits of the two of them can feel less important in the moment. These are the images that you’ll be putting on your wall, the images that you’ll be showing to your children and grandchildren, and are the single most important portraits of the whole day… Don’t overlook them! In addition, a lot of couples will include very special details into their wedding day, (heirloom jewelry, engraved rings or watches, etc.). Always tell your photographer about these items and anything else that is special to you about your wedding so they can capture these items in a way that helps tell the story of why you included it. These are the images you will still treasure in 15 years because they’re all the more meaningful.

MRSter would like to thank Parker of {MRSter Approved} company The PK Photographs for joining us in providing his professional advice to some common questions regarding wedding photography. He is pretty awesome, huh?! Don’t forget, you can check out his {MRSter Approved} photography company here. And, don’t miss part one, part two, and part three of this blog special.

Psssttt :: MRSter is proud of the dynamite team of experts that we have assembled on our ever growing FABuLIST, and are so happy to have offered these professional tips from one of our seasoned professionals. Be sure to check our website regularly for expert advice and inspiration as you plan your wedding, and remember that MRSter is a leader in wedding equality!

Wedding Photography Tips :: Part Three // Proper Lighting During Wedding Pictures... Does It Really Matter?

Wedding Photography Tips :: Part Three // Proper Lighting During Wedding Pictures… Does It Really Matter?

As we already mentioned, wedding photography is one of the biggest investments for many couples on their wedding day. You are likely to spend thousands on hiring a professional wedding photographer, so believe us when we say they certainly know best… This detail is truly one best left to the professionals.

MRSter :: How important is proper lighting?

Parker :: Proper lighting is the most important aspect of photography. Very few couples think about it, and it’s the aspect that the photographer has the least control over during a wedding. I’ve seen so many couples fill Pinterest boards with bright, daylight images, but their portrait time isn’t until after the sun has gone down… The images will look completely different. If the ceremony is taking place at noon (when the sun is the highest in the sky and produces the most unflattering shadows), it will have a huge impact on how the images look. If the ceremony is under a tree where light is shining through some of the leaves, it will often produce an unattractive pattern of shadows on everyone in the shade. With regard to indoor venues, some churches have a lot of natural light, while others are quite dark, (and generally it’s difficult to incorporate flash in a church during the ceremony). If having an indoor reception that the photographer can light well is important, choose a place with a white ceiling that isn’t too high. This gives plenty of options to direct and bounce light around. 

MRSter :: Ditto what we said about the timing of your photo shoot… When it comes to the intricate details of photography, it’s best to trust in the professional you hired.

Check out Parker’s {MRSter Approved} business The PK Photographs here.

Don’t miss Parker’s professional wedding photography advice part one and part two.

Wedding Photography Tips :: Part Two // Timeline Question! When Is The Best Time For Formal Pictures?

Wedding Photography Tips :: Part Two // Timeline Question! When Is The Best Time For Formal Pictures?

MRSter :: What is the best time to have your formal photo shoot?

Parker :: Personally, I love being able to do formal images of the family, bridal party, and couple before the wedding ceremony, (this typically involves the couple doing a first look). As a general rule, you want to be able to take these images in the daylight. Morning and late afternoon are two ideal times, and with the average wedding timeline, late afternoon seems to work best. Not only is this typically a great time for natural light, but everyone is looking their best. Bridesmaids haven’t lost their flowers, groomsmen haven’t accidentally headed off to the reception yet, and people are typically less drunk than they might be later in the evening! There are still a lot of couples who do not want to do a first look, and want to see their spouse for the first time during the wedding ceremony. In these situations, I ask my couples to inform everyone ahead of time who will be needed for these portraits and that they’ll need to hang back at the end of the ceremony, and then also have the officiant reiterate this at the end of the wedding ceremony. This helps everything flow smoothly and we stick to the timeline much better.

MRSter Tip :: You two have enough on your mind on your special day. So, when it comes to memorializing your wedding day, trust your professional photographer to take care of the details… That is what you invested in them for, after all.

Check out Parker’s {MRSter Approved} business The PK Photographs here.

Did you miss part one of Parker’s professional wedding photography advice? You can find it here.

Wedding Photography Tips :: Part One // Is It Rude To Ask Guests To Not Take Photos At The Wedding?

Wedding Photography Tips :: Part One // Is It Rude To Ask Guests To Not Take Photos At The Wedding?

Photography has been rated as one of the top investments when planning a wedding, so we understand the value and importance of it. It holds that moment, that memory, for a lifetime, and those photographs become everlasting moments captured in a flash. You may find yourself with questions regarding this aspect of your wedding, so it is a good idea to brush up on some basic wedding photography tips, and of course, be sure to talk it over with your chosen wedding photographer before the big day.

Today, MRSter is so excited to present a four part blog post with Parker Radbourne of {MRSter Approved} company The PK Photographs. Parker will be offering us some professional wedding photography advice to some of the most common wedding photography questions…

MRSter :: Why and when is it important to ask your wedding guests to refrain from photo taking?

Parker :: I truly hate the idea of asking guests to completely refrain from taking photos. This is a huge, emotional event, and when people who rarely see each other are together, it only makes sense for them to be taking photos of themselves, with others, and of course of the couple getting married. That being said, as a professional wedding photographer, I always advise my couples to consider having an “unplugged ceremony”, where the guests are asked at the beginning of the ceremony, (some couples include it on their invitations), to refrain from taking photos, to sit back, and enjoy the event by being present. This usually sets a precedent for the rest of the event, as well, by just making the guests aware of the fact that professional photography is important to the couple.

There are two reasons for an unplugged ceremony. The first is flash, and the second is guests accidentally getting in between the professional/s and the couple… Causing missed shots. Occasionally, guests will use flash at the same time as the photographer is shooting. The photographer’s camera is set for a specific lighting situation, so the guest’s flash will completely ruin the image, and most wedding ceremonies can’t be redone to recapture images that were ruined by external factors. In addition, most guests at weddings, (even those who bring expensive cameras), aren’t used to having to work around, and constantly be aware of the location of hired photographers. When they get in the middle of the aisle to get a great shot of the couple during their first kiss, they don’t even realize that they stepped between the professional wedding photographer that the couple hired, and the couple. Then the photographer just has an image of the guest’s back… And that’s not what most couples are paying thousands of dollars for! Most guests stay seated and are quite polite during wedding ceremonies, but by asking guests to refrain from taking photos during the ceremony altogether, it rules out a lot of potential issues. Same idea during formal portraits and events during the reception. I don’t think guests should necessarily have to put away their cameras/phones during these events, but it’s very important to be respectful of the fact that the couple spent a lot of time and energy hiring a specific professional photographer.

Be sure to check out Parker’s FABuLIST listing here.

MRSter Tip:: Letting your guests know when they can take photos themselves is quite acceptable. Ways of doing so could include; having the officiant let everyone know, have it written in your ceremony program, a sign at the entrance of your ceremony, or asking your reception entertainment to announce when it is okay to take photos.

For more suggestions as to how to politely inform your guests that you are having an unplugged wedding, check out our blog post here.

Psssttt :: If you are searching online to find your wedding photographer, of course we hope you have checked out the badass MRSter Approved vendors on our FABuLIST!! Let us help connect you with the PERFECT wedding photographer!!

Wedding Wisdom Wednesday :: Modern Wedding Guest Book Alternatives

:: Modern Wedding Guest Book Alternatives ::

Guest books in which guests sign their attendance at the wedding and maybe add a sentiment, are fine and make a nice keepsake, but they are not the only way to collect guest names and well-wishes from your guests. If you and your spouse to be, want to step outside the box, here are a few ways to do so:

1 :: How about gathering advice from your guests? The advice can be written on practically anything. Wine bottles, note cards, tags of any sort, old records or a guitar, plates, a wooden plaque, puzzle pieces, stones, globes; virtually anything that can be written on. Just let your imagination take over.

Guest Book

Photography :: Poppy Seed Photography

2 :: Have your guests write their messages to be used in a time capsule. The capsule can be any receptacle that can be sealed or locked and opened years later on a special anniversary, like five or ten years from the marriage date.

3 :: How about finding a treasure box and supplying guests with cards on which to write their thoughts about the two of you. You can even add some colored pens to allow for more creativity. I have one of these from a milestone birthday party from several years ago and I take it out periodically to remember how much I am loved. You will too.

4 :: Create a spontaneous photo album. Supply a polaroid camera, plenty of film and an album. Ask guests to take a photo, stick it in the album, and write their message beside the photo. You can even assign a guest to be in charge and help with the photo taking.

There are truly endless ideas on collecting guest names and well-wishes. Just take your thing (musician, techie, artist, cook – whatever), and run with it for ideas that are uniquely you. We would love to hear some of your favorite wedding guest book alternatives… Simply write them in the comments below!