Posts Tagged ‘alaska weddings’

Busy, Busy ~ Seven Years in Alaska & Running Strong

Posted on: November 2nd, 2011 by admin 1 Comment

Wedding Guide Alaska had a very busy October, with the High Tea Wedding Event of the Year at Millennium Hotel Anchorage and the Wedding Expo ’11 at O’Malley’s!   We had such a fun time with all you Brides-to-Be (& Grooms-to-Be!) and our favorite wedding professionals.  PLUS, Wedding Guide Alaska’s very own Sara Swanson was “Judge Sara” for the Cake Challenge at O’Malley’s.  Good thing we love cake!

Wedding Guide Alaska is also proud to be starting our 7th year in Alaska (just wait till our 10 year…PARTY!)!  We have been blessed to work with the best of the best in Alaska’s wedding industry and are looking forward to continued success and relationships within the community!  We are also in the process of updating our Alaska Wedding Workbook, to be published in January.  If you’re a wedding professional, make sure to give your company the most you’re signed up with Alaska’s #1 online wedding resource!


Forget Your Phone & Manage Day-Of Stress

Posted on: July 14th, 2011 by admin No Comments

Your once-in-a-lifetime dream wedding will last in your and your guests’ memories forever.  Don’t spoil the fun by answering your phone throughout the whole day.  Not only will it add stress, but it will interrupt conversations, interfere with pictures, and make you regret the invention of the cellular phone.

Wedding Guide Alaska‘s suggestion is to keep it simple and decrease your stress by turning your phone OFF or handing it to a designated person who knows what’s going on.  That way it’s out of your sight and out of your mind!  It’s your turn to enjoy all the hard work you’ve put into planning your wedding!
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Want another suggestion?  Hire a wedding planner to take care of all your Day-Of details.  This is the best way to take the stress out of your life for a few hours on your wedding day.  Wedding planners are able to jump right into the middle of the chaos and keep you focused on having fun.  Click here for our recommended Alaska wedding planners

Want more anxiety relief for your Big Day?  Check out Wedding Guide Alaska‘s Stress-Free Essentials Checklist and these local Alaskan wedding professionals.

WGA’s Stress-Free Wedding Essentials Checklist

Posted on: June 22nd, 2011 by admin No Comments

Photo Courtesy of Cody Swanson

Your wedding day should be as stress free as possible.  You don’t want to wonder when your event designer, florist, or caterer is going to show up.  Make sure to connect with all your vendors one to three weeks prior to your wedding to set out the specifics.  Then RECORD the details in your wedding workbook and merely flip to the correct section for your answers and to feel the peace of being in the know.

Making an appointment doesn’t necessarily mean that you actually have to meet up with a vendor.  A phone call and chat with the correct person will suffice in many instances!  Below is Wedding Guide Alaska‘s Essentials Checklist for final “meetings” with your vendors.

Three Weeks Prior

Confirm Final Measurements:

**Make sure you have applied for your Marriage License at the Department of Vital Statistics office.

Two Weeks Prior

**Make sure you have picked up your marriage license at the Department of Vital Statistics office.

One Week Prior

Final consultations with:

Using the this checklist and delegating tasks to those helping plan your wedding will help your Big Day turn out beautifully with less anxiety and better memories!  Check out this week’s local e-Newsletter!

Local Alaskan Bridal Trends ’11: Engagement Parties!

Posted on: June 3rd, 2011 by admin No Comments

If you have checked out Wedding Guide Alaska’s Facebook page or follow us on Twitter, you already know that Wedding Guide Alaska is featuring a local Alaskan couple, Jonathan & Sara.   So before we get into Wedding Guide Alaska‘s favorite new trend, we just HAVE to tell you about Vanessa

Wedding Guide Alaska loves a beautiful couple’s engagement photo shoot, but there comes a time when you just have to recognize that the photographer is phenomenal!  Jon & Sara’s engagement session with Vanessa Powell of A Thousand Words Photography absolutely proved this.  We just can’t rave enough about how incredible Vanessa’s work is, how much fun she is to be around, and the extreme talent that her photography boasts.  If you have never heard of Vanessa Powell, you truly won’t want to miss out on seeing her artistic flare, whether you are interested in wedding photography, family photos, event photography, or graduation pictures!  Click here to see her fabulous blog…

We are also in love with Alaska’s latest “Engagement Party” trend!  A local floral and event design studio, Works of Art Flowers, has already participated in two local, Alaskan engagement parties in the last month alone!  What does that say for Alaska?  Brides-to-Be need ideas for their engagement party and Wedding Guide Alaska is here to provide just that!!  Check out the details from Jon & Sara’s Engagement Party below ~

Details

Wedding Date: June 11, 2011
Engagement Party: May 15, 2011

The Engagement Party!

Design: Wedding Guide Alaska; Theme: Vintage-Glam; Colors: fuchsia, chartreuse, black, white, damask accents.
Venue: Bayshore Clubhouse
Photographer: Vanessa Powell, A Thousand Words Photography
Flowers: Works of Art Flowers
Cake (Cupcakes!): Cupcake Delight (flavors: chocolate mocha with fudge filling & lemon coconut with lemon curd filling)
DJ: David Brown, Peak Entertainment
Guest Entertainment~PHOTOBOOTH: Alaska Photobooth Company

The engagement party turned out beautifully!  Here are a few ideas for YOUR party details…

The best guestbook ever! Photo by Vanessa Powell.


Looking for more local Alaskan wedding and engagement ideas??  Check back on Wedding Guide Alaska‘s wedding, engagement, and favorite local Do-It-Yourself blog every week (and email me!)!

“Do We Really Need It?” ~ Choosing Reception Entertainment in Alaska ~

Posted on: May 24th, 2011 by admin No Comments

Of all the things a bride budgets and plans for, many don’t even consider a DJ.  Now, a fabulous party is exactly what a bride wants, but often seeking a professional’s advice is pushed to the wayside.  Is there a good reason why you should hire a professional DJ?

Biggest Reasons a Bride Doesn’t Hire a Professional DJ:

  • “I’m a DIY bride and I cannot afford to hire a professional DJ”
  • “Good parties just happen”
  • “A DJ will take over my wedding reception”

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These are valid concerns, however, one of Wedding Guide Alaska‘s favorite DJ’s, Martin of Alaska Professional Entertainment, has a statistic for you:78% of Brides have regrets regarding their choice to not include professional entertainment at their reception within one week of their wedding.

Here’s another: 81% of wedding guests say they remember the entertainment at the reception the most.  (check out page 145 of the Alaska Wedding Workbook)

WGA‘s goal is to help you make an educated decision regarding your reception entertainment, so click here to read our very own Alaskan Bride-to-Be’s decision to hire a professional DJ.

After making a decision, you need recommendations!  Here are Wedding Guide Alaska‘s suggestions for local, professional entertainment:

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Best-of-the-Best Alaska ~ Alaskan Events & Catering, LLC

Posted on: May 6th, 2011 by admin No Comments

As summer approaches and wedding plans continue to fall into place, Wedding Guide Alaska is again here to help!  This time we want to show you how you can make your wedding day perfect…beginning with your summer wedding catering!

Our focus for this topic is to help you create a menu to suit your wedding theme as well as your budget.  Here are a few of our recommendations:

1)  Consult your budget.  The more options you offer your guests, the more expensive your reception catering will be.  If your budget is tight, you might consider a cocktail reception, afternoon tea, or dessert reception.

2)  Talk to your caterer.  Are there particular dishes your caterer is known for or could recommend?  Don’t forget to let your caterer know what your budget is so that they can help you create a custom and affordable menu.  If you’re catering your own wedding (please note that Wedding Guide Alaska strongly recommends you consider the level of stress catering your own wedding will add to your wedding day), stick with crowd-pleasing recipes.

3)  Time of your reception.  First things first…decide the time of year you will be married.  This will help you determine the time of your reception, especially in Alaska.  For example, a summer meal should start earlier in the day than a winter reception.  Also, winter wedding dinners are typically more formal than summer dinners.

Keep your budget while you get the best of Alaska’s caterers, Alaskan Events & Catering, LLC, one of Wedding Guide Alaska‘s top picks for catering.  AE&CLLC is a perfect choice for local seafood, produce, unique presentation, eclectic style, innovative menus, and catering throughout Alaska. Plus, Alaskan Events & Catering, LLC has a special Wedding Workbook offer for Alaska’s Brides-To-Be!

Also, you won’t want to forget to ask the most important questions of your caterer (as well as a worksheet to write the answers and your menus).  Check out page 65 of your Alaska Wedding Workbook, or email me for a free .pdf version of the “Top 10 Questions to Ask Wedding Caterers”.  Cheers!

~ Photographs courtesy of Nathaniel Wilder Photography.

Engagement Party Plans Are A Movin’ Along ~ Choosing a DJ

Posted on: April 27th, 2011 by admin No Comments

You know, of all the things I’ve budgeted and planned for, I’m one of those brides who honestly didn’t think much about a DJ.  Now, I know I should have; I really should have since a couple of my favorite DJs in Alaska advertise right on the Wedding Guide Alaska website.  I am, however, not a wedding planner.  I am a DIY bride and I’m trying to cut corners with my budget.  Let me explain why I decided this aspect of our engagement party was important after my initial dismissal, and how I managed to stay within my budget while handing the music over to the professionals.

First of all, Jon and I are having a small wedding.  Even though it’s in Alaska, it’s a destination wedding being that it’s about two hours away from where we live.  Since we are having an invitation only wedding that is mostly family and a few close friends, we are going all out for an engagement party in Anchorage that is set up reception-style so everyone feels like they are a part of our lives.  We want to make sure that all our friends and family know how much we appreciate their support.  This is basically why Jon and I changed our minds on our guest entertainment.  We have decided to have a photobooth, dinner, dancing, cake (in the form of cupcakes!), and a themed party to make it more exciting and as much fun as possible for our guests.

Martin James of Alaska Professional Entertainment (aka APE) gave me a little insight on brides who did not focus on their wedding entertainment: 78% have regrets within one week of their wedding and 81% of wedding guests say they remember the entertainment at the reception the most (check out page 145 of the Alaska Wedding Workbook).  This greatly affected our idea that a good theme and food would be sufficient to please our guests.

Fortunately, Jon has a good friend that happens to be a professional DJ and works for Peak Entertainment.  After meeting with the company, we decided to purchase the Deluxe Package because of the price and all the little add-ins.  We are going to have a customized play list and “mood” lighting.  Our engagement party theme is vintage-glam, so our music will begin in the 1920′s upon arrival at the party and progress to current music by the time dancing is scheduled to begin.  In addition to the customized list, Peak Entertainment is setting up lighting that will encourage our guests to dance and not be intimidated by the fact that Alaska’s sunset will not be until much later in the evening.  No one likes to dance in daylight, so our dance floor lighting will provide the illusion of being after-dark.

So how did I save money?  That was the easy part!  Jon and I are helping our DJ by gathering together song lists for our engagement party to help him customize our play list.  We also chose a local DJ service that has a great reputation in the community and that is known to be a professional company.  As far as packages are concerned, we carefully scanned which package gave us the most of what we wanted for our buck.  We didn’t end up going with the most expensive package because we just didn’t need everything that came with it.  Also, we took into account the fact that we won’t have to bother with decor on the dance floor.  We were worried about that and were planning a piece of our budget around the fact that we needed to close off the dance floor to give it a better feel for dancing.  Peak is taking care of all that, and it’s INCLUDED in our package!

I’m quite confident that we will never regret adding the DJ into our budget and I really think our guests are going to LOVE it!  Hey, if you have any music suggestions, email me!

Dress Shopping Rule #1: Keep Your Friends Close

Posted on: April 8th, 2011 by admin No Comments

Guess what?! I got my dress!

I have to admit that I’ve been rather moody lately.  So when my sister flew me down to Portland as a surprise to go wedding dress shopping, I was worried.  But the trip was a success!

What did I learn about buying a wedding dress?  It’s very complicated, but it can also be quite entertaining!  I thought I found a dress that in my mind “would do the job”.  It was pretty, flattering, but it lacked any “WOW” factor for me. I even put a down payment on it.  It was rather nice to go dress shopping again, however, knowing that if I didn’t find anything better, I still had a dress to use for my wedding.  Where did I go wrong?  I was nervous and I settled.

I mean, I’ve watched “Say Yes to the Dress.”  I know that you want to look gorgeous and the dress is one of your most difficult decisions.  But until I tried on my personal perfect wedding dress, I didn’t quite understand that it is extremely important that you find a dress that is exactly what you want…as a bride, your dress needs to “WOW” you!  When I was finally wearing my perfect dress, everyone in the room held their breath, including me.  I could only smile, mom cried, and my sister and friends just kept saying how beautiful it was…it was the one!

I used the worksheet on page 9 of my Alaska Wedding Workbook to help me choose  my wedding dress.  It was very helpful while we shopped because I was able to write down the designers I liked, the style of dress and details I wanted, as well as shoe and accessory ideas.  I especially found useful the “Tips to Remember” section next to the worksheet.  It gives you suggestions to make your shopping experience more successful, such as taking pictures of dresses you like, wearing nude colored undergarments, bringing people you trust along with you, and setting your budget BEFORE walking into the bridal shop.

Also, on page 7, there is a fabulous little section called “Dressing Your Body Type.” It’s an editorial that lists the different kind of styles that flatter a variety of female shapes.  It was super helpful because my instinct was to try on dresses that I thought were pretty but didn’t necessarily flatter me.

Here are a few of those “tips” I found very helpful while I was trying dresses on.  I only realized they’d be issues after beginning to fill out the worksheet in my book, but fortunately before we set out on my wedding dress excursion:

1) It’s okay if you’re a couple sizes bigger in a wedding dress than in your jeans.  Most women are!

2) A dress will very likely require tailoring to fit your shape perfectly.  The other wonderful thing is that a tailor is able to make any number of changes to your dress.  For instance, I’m having cap sleeves added to my dress because I prefer sleeves and it gives my dress a more vintage-y feel.

3) Make sure to keep your friends and family close.  This is a requirement!  You NEED people to honestly critique how the dress looks and if it matches your theme.  You want to look your best and if you feel beautiful, your pictures will be gorgeous and you will have a happy memory of your perfect dress at your fairy tale wedding!

We had a photographer snap a few shots of our adventure and I was SOO happy when I looked at the pictures after!  If you want to flip through a few, click here, but bear with us, Jon is NOT allowed to see the dress before June 11th, so there aren’t any pictures of my perfect dress!

I Have the Power!! To Organize Our DIY Alaskan Wedding ~

Posted on: March 23rd, 2011 by admin No Comments

In my last post I mentioned that we are putting our Wedding Workbook to good use.  It was a life-saver when Jon and I went to check out venues for our ceremony and for our engagement party.  Here’s why ~

I am a bit of a perfectionist.  I love organization.  Whenever I get too stressed, I begin cleaning and putting things away, getting rid of junk and organizing my desk, bedroom, kitchen, bathroom…nothing is off limits to become orderly.  So, being a rather organized person myself, it would seem that I should be all put together, right?  Wrong…

When I begin interviews with vendors that I need to make my wedding perfect, I begin to stress and I forget half my questions.  Fortunately, the wedding workbook that Jon and I chose has all the questions written down and all I have to do is write the answers in the spaces given on the worksheet.  I won’t have to find my note pad(s) later and try to remember where I scribbled all my notes.  It’s truly brilliant!

I used the venues worksheets 1st because our whole wedding design depends on our venue.

We decided on a country-vintage wedding theme and Alaska Heavenly Lodge is our PERFECT small wedding ceremony and reception site.  We’ve also decided to forget the traditional idea of wedding colors.  Instead, we are keeping browns and neutrals dominant with splashes of color in flowers and decor.  I am wearing pearls with little diamonds for earrings and necklace and we’re encouraging everyone to dress to our theme.  I love the idea of a mis-matched vintage-y wedding that is all our own!

Have any suggestions?  Email me at Sara@WeddingGuideAlaska.com.

Workin’, Workin’, Workin’ at Planning Our Wedding!

Posted on: March 18th, 2011 by admin 2 Comments

This has been quite the adventurous year for me!  I’ve quit a 6-year job as a paralegal, moved up to Alaska, and now I’m engaged and planning a wedding, IN 3 MONTHS!!  June 11th is our date…just finished up contract negotiations today!  Jon and I are beyond thrilled to be having our wedding ceremony and reception on June 11th in Cooper’s Landing, at the Alaska Heavenly Lodge!  It’s the perfect spot for a gorgeous Alaskan, almost-summer wedding.  Katy and Brian are our newest favorite people.  They are SOOO awesome!!  Check out the Heavenly’s website! Here are a few pictures from a wedding held at Heavenly last year:

Jon and I have decided not to elope (my suggestion!) and have compromised on having a small wedding with just our close friends and family.  Because of that, Amber, owner of Wedding Guide Alaska, has been busy with Elizabeth, creative designer and rep for Wedding Guide Alaska, planning an engagement party in Anchorage on May 15th.  What’s the theme?  Peacock!  It is going to be fantastic!  They are setting it up wedding reception-style so that all our friends (Jon has lived in Anchorage his whole life) are able to come and celebrate with us!

After touring a few places in Anchorage, we decided to have the engagement party at the Bayshore Clubhouse.  We made this decision once we realized that the kitchen is huge, tables and chairs are included, we have deck access, can bring in our own alcohol and caterer, and the dance floor is already set up.  It’s a beautiful venue and Cherie is fabulous to work with!  Check out Bayshore Clubhouse…

I also just chatted with Coral Howe, owner of Alaska Photobooth Company, and guess what??!!  We’re having a photobooth at our engagement party!  I am THRILLED about this because it is the BEST entertainment and makes the perfect guest book!

We are also putting our Wedding Workbook to good use.  It was a life-saver when we went to check out venues for the ceremony and for the engagement party because I didn’t forget any of the questions I needed to ask and everything went more smoothly.  Plus, since I can write right in the Workbook, I don’t have to figure out where I scribbled my notes.  Makes for much less stress!

I am extremely happy that everything is working out so well!