Articles written by non-members of interest to members

PM Point of View: "Managing Stakeholders and Making Dreams Come True" featuring featuring Tara Melvin, President of Perfect Planning and President of the Association of Wedding Professionals


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Capturing Precious Memories Through Your Wedding Video

Capturing Precious Memories Through Your Wedding Video
Julie Bargeski, President, Video Express Production

Preserving your wedding memories that will last and be watched for years to come-- how do you decide on the right video Company to capture them? I still remember how difficult it was for me when I was a bride. Equipment, editing, style, digital, DVD-- it is so high tech today. So how do you get your search started?

Fifteen years ago I joined my husband in his wedding video business. We have videoed all types of weddings-- indoor, outdoor, small, large, civil, and religious ones of almost every denomination in the Washington, DC area. I have been through all the technology changes. And through it all I have found there are three main things to look for when choosing a wedding video company, EXPERIENCE, EQUIPMENT, AND HISTORY. Anyone can video your wedding but not anyone can successfully capture the emotions of your day. You want someone who has wedding experience and a good reputation. A friend whom you know may work for a TV station as a cameraman and have a $10,000 camera but that does not mean that he or she will know how to shoot a wedding. Trained wedding videographers know what to look for, when to capture an emotion such as your parents' faces as you walk down the aisle.

For starters, your company should be a member of WEVA (Wedding Events Videographer Association) so that you can be assured that your videographers are professionals in the field. Review the companies work and be sure you like their style and presentation. Some have lots of graphics, or short cartoons. Some use photo inserts and titles. Some conduct more formal interviews. Make sure you are comfortable with the product you are being shown.

Equipment is a big issue today. But, don't get too hung up on it. Just make sure it will meet your needs and reflects your interests. Again someone can have a $10,000 camera but miss all the important aspects of your day. There are a few items, however, that you need to look for. The company should use wireless microphones on the groom, readers, singers, and musicians. Remember that half of the production is sound. What good is reliving your vows if you can't hear them? Your wedding videographer should also be using digital High Def cameras and editing equipment. Everyone should be able to offer you Blu-Ray DVD.

Lastly, look for a Company's history. It is best to have a personal interview to see the company for yourself and look over their work. They should show you a promotional video so that you will have a good understanding of what your video would look like if you use their services. Don't be afraid to ask questions-even ones that may seem silly to you. How many years have they been in business? Are they a member of WEVA, other local wedding associations, and the Better Business Bureau? Have they been written up in any publications? Do they have some literature on themselves and their work? Are they covered by insurance? If in doubt, ask to see their certificate of insurance. Ask for letters of recommendations and names of past customers to call if they don't volunteer them. What do they give you to take home-- only a rate schedule or a whole packet of information?

Find out if the majority of their work is weddings or something else, such as corporate. Remember whatever the company does the most is what it does the best. If you can see the studio, I would check to see that it is organized and neat. I spoke with a bride once who went to a studio that had tapes in piles everywhere. She wondered how he kept all the weddings straight.

All in all, remember that buying a video is a visual and audio product and you must see the work before booking. Give yourself time to visit about three companies so you can make a sound decision. Your video will be a constant reminder of your wedding for years to come. Don't cut corners. Happy Video shopping.



Entertaining Tips for the Newlyweds

Entertaining Tips for the Newlyweds

Contributed by Myrna Hyman, For All Occasions


You are recently married and might be entertaining for the very first time. Anxiety, excitement, and the feeling that you do not know how to accomplish it all before the guests arrive might be some of your feelings. Sit back and relax, here are a few entertaining tips that will set your mind at ease.


How many guests to invite?  A dinner party for six to eight people is ideal.  A successful party depends really on the right combination of guests, so think about personalities and individual interests when putting together your guest list.


Decide upon the type of party you want t have, formal dinner, casual supper, or a cocktail party with a theme? Have fun researching menus, and now is the time to use all those gifts your have gotten!


Choosing the correct table covering to compliment your dinner style is important. Formal entertaining calls for a linen cloth with matching napkins. Informal entertaining lends itself to color, maybe linen with or without matching napkins.  Sometimes the right placemat, set alone or even layered make for a beautiful and fun tablescape.


Adding a special centerpiece reflects your personal style, but a few important tips on this topic would be:

  • A centerpiece should never block a guest’s view.
  • The Size and shape should be in proportion to the size of your table.
  • Make sure if using flowers, that they are not fragrant and overpower    the food.
  • Be creative with your centerpiece and it does not have to be expensive to look beautiful.


Candles on your table add a romantic touch to the dinner.  Using ivory candles are best used when setting a classic table; a bit more formal in nature. If you keep your candles in the refrigerator they will burn evenly and more slowly.  Make sure the wicks of the candles have been charred and are at least two inches apart to prevent melting into each other.

If by chance you have forgotten to extinguish the candles on the table and wax has melted onto your cloth, you can remove the wax by scraping off the excess and run boiling water through the cloth.


Even if you are having a formal dinner, keep the menu simple so you can enjoy your guest’s company, and don’t worry about the clean-up.  It can wait until the guest’s have left and hubby can lend a hand!


Happy Entertaining!





What to Expect at the Makeup Trial

by Barbara Hill, Bridal Artistry


Let's be real, when you hire a makeup artist for your wedding, you not only want to look fabulous but also feel comfortable with the look. To de-stress your wedding day prep, NEVER skip the makeup trial to save $. You want to know that the look you worked out in advance and loved will be the same way you look on your one special day...

Should you expect to do a "free trial"?
Time is a premium in the wedding business. With only 4 weekends a month, the really great makeup pros cannot afford to give "free trials". If a no charge trial is advertised, you might expect to feel some pressure to either buy product or definitely book them. At Bridal Artistry we include the trial in the total price package, but allow brides to opt to just pay for the trial, if they aren't ready to book right away. A makeup artist who doesn't value her time may not value yours!

Should you come alone to the trial - bring a friend? your mom?
Up to you. Some know the look they want and come alone confident in judging the experience themselves... others value the input of their mom or a trusted friend to help in the decision. Just consider that the more opinionated people you bring for input, the greater the possibility for a confused bride. You know your friends and mom and how this might play out. Consider what sort of input you need.

What should you bring to the makeup trial?
Ideally, you should wear a white top so you see how the makeup looks with white! A scoop neck or cami top is best to simulate the gown neckline, too. Bring pics of makeup looks you like from magazines as well as pics of your gown, the bridesmaids' dresses and your floral colors. Even a print out of your inspiration sheet is helpful. Getting a "feel" for your wedding style should be important to the makeup artist before doing your makeup. One more suggestion: Plan something fun that evening, so you get the most out of your trial makeup!


What to look for in your wedding make-up artist

by Barbara Hill, Bridal Artistry

Chances are as a bride-to-be, you have never had to hire a professional makeup artist yourself before. Maybe you've had your makeup done by a pro at a friend's wedding, but how do you decide which makeup artist to trust with YOUR once-in-a-lifetime bridal look to be captured in photographs for all eternity?

Once you've decided to go with a professional makeup artist and checked out their website, set up a trial consultation so they can work out the bridal look you will love and feel comfortable with on your own special wedding day. Here are some things to consider as you decide who to hire.

Does the makeup pro:

1) Ask you what look/makeup style you are comfortable with and would like to try for your wedding day? Working out your look step-by-step, showing you progress in the mirror at each point to be sure they are on track with what you want is comforting to you and saves a potentially unpleasant "surprise" if they wait until the end.

2) Ask about your wedding plans, colors, hairstyle choices and flowers to get a "feel" for your wedding style? Your makeup should make you look and feel gorgeous in the flow of the whole day.

3) Arrive on time for the appointment and stay pleasant? The lack of either will be a red flag for the actual wedding day!

4) Use good hygiene standards? Clean brushes, disposable sponges/applicators, a fairly organized makeup kit -- all indicate the artist takes pride in protecting their clients and their reputation.

5) Have a professional demeanor? They should be friendly and relatable but maintain a professionalism that will stand up to the often fast-paced and sometimes chaotic wedding day prep time atmosphere.

6) Really listen to what YOU want and not try to force you into any look you are not comfortable with? It's your big day to feel special and happy. When YOU feel pretty, everything is good!

When you like the artist and the look - book it!








PM Point of View: "Managing Stakeholders and Making Dreams Come True" featuring featuring Tara Melvin, President of Perfect Planning and President of the Association of Wedding Professionals


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