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New York City Budget Weddings: Elegant And Affordable

  • Posted on January 8, 2015 at 5:57 pm

11+ Secrets From NYC Budget Weddings

New York Budget Weddings: Elegant and Affordable

New York Budget Weddings: Elegant and Affordable

IT’S TIME!!                                IT’S HERE!!!

The book seemingly five years in the making, really it was 3.5 years, but sometimes it felt like five.

The book is scheduled to be published on Saturday 1/24 starting at midnight and is is pre-pub mode. So, yes you can purchase it now via Amazon’s Kindle, but you will not be able to download it until the day of publication. The pre-pub cover a little different, but you can find it at this link:


Before and After the Ring

  • Posted on September 18, 2012 at 10:47 pm
Don’t you just love lists?  They say so much in just the right amount of time.  I am bringing you two I discovered on the internet as I surfing along via Twitter.  Two points of view of the same coin.
The woman’s POV is first and credits follow each article.
Fisrt posted on SEP 4 2012

you want to show him off to your family and friends and throw dinner parties.  and you want him to be the guest of honor

your life is easier because of him.  no, we are not talking just about money here. he is there when you need someone.  we have all had those relationships where we were always on the phone crying to our friends and mom (most of us anyway).  this doesn’t happen with him.

he isn’t threatened, insecure or wants you to be a stay at home mommy (unless that is what you want).  he supports your dreams and goals.

this is a huge one


we all know “those guys” – who wants to be married to one of “those guys”.

we feel that humor is sometimes the only thing that gets us through life.

he takes you out. he wines and dines you. he makes you feel special.

he checks in with you.


Editor’s Note:  We did a little reverse psychology here.  If your guy doesn’t do all of the above – it is time to reassess your relationship.  You deserve better.  We all do.


Ten Signs She Is The One


Happy Couple

Somebody who cares for you wants to you succeed…even if it means tough love.

Another douchey post from me in response to

  1. Your life is better when she’s around. Things start to click. You land that new job. She helps you get your stuff organized. You start cooking again. You start really reducing that debt. She just makes you want to be a better person.
  2. Your close buddies and family can’t help but be charmed by her. Maybe you don’t care what other people think, and that’s fine. Isn’t it nice, though, when your family and friends are just as enamoured with your girlfriend as you are? When you can all hang out and she holds her own? When she can tell dick jokes and listen to grandma talk about Jeopardy?
  3. She’s motivated and handles her business. Motivation is a huge turn-on for me. Somebody who can handle her business (whether that means working hard at her job, or juggling clients as a freelancer, or planning her future) is somebody who you can rely on. Boo co-dependency!
  4. She has your back. Ah, Michelle Obama…what a woman! It means so much to know that your partner is in your corner and you owe it to her to be in hers. When you feel supported, it makes a world of difference.
  5. She calls you on your shit. The flip side. Somebody who cares for you wants to you succeed, and she will help you, even if it means tough love. I’m not talking about nagging (which is THE WORST). I’m talking about somebody who keeps it real when you need her to. She gives you honest feedback on your writing. She plays devil’s advocate. She calls out your messy room. Yeah, I’m mad at first, but I appreciate it later.
  6. You trust her, but you are still a bit jealous. I used to brag that I was never jealous about my girlfriend. Now I realize that a little bit of jealousy is not a bad thing. I like the thought that I have to work to keep my relationship going, and I like knowing that people out there think my girlfriend is hot. At the same time, I don’t want her to actually cheat on me….I just like the idea that she is desired, but I’m enough of a stud that she is gonna stick around. It’s an ego game, I guess. But I think a bit of jealousy (note: I’m not talking insane, angry jealousy here…) shows you care.
  7. She is funny. This is so important. Dating somebody without a sense of humour, or even a wildly different sense of humour, is torture. If she laughs at your jokes, and you at hers, she is probably a keeper. Humour = hot.
  8. She is in the same place as you. In my experience, timing and location can impact relationships more than just about anything else. Does she want to travel the world? Is she stable? Does she just want something casual? Is she interested in having kids? Is she religious? A lot of these questions can be deal-breakers, and the more you have in common (“oh, I just want a casual, no kids relationship where we travel the world and pray to our God the Giant Spaghetti Monster too!”), the better.
  9. You have sexual chemistry. This is critical. She isn’t your friend, she’s your romantic partner. If the sex isn’t happening, and it can’t be saved with therapy and lots of talking, then you may need to DTMF (Dump The MotherF***er — all credit to Dan Savage). To further steal from Mr. Savage, it helps if both of you are GGG (Good, Giving, and Game for just about anything in the bedroom).
  10. She makes you feel…like a natural man. I’m not naturally a terrifically manly man. I play basketball and keep in shape, and I’m (pretty much) straight. Also, I look good in a suit. In a lot of ways, however, I can be pretty effete and/or childlike. Consequently, it is important to me to be in a relationship with somebody who doesn’t constantly emasculate me. Even the most liberal, bicycle-riding, hippy-dippy, skinny-jeans wearing, bi-curious dandy likes to feel like a high-status man sometimes.


Also read Josh Bowman’s Ten Signs She Might NOT Be The One


Image of Happy Senior Couple courtesy of Shutterstock.

Cake?  Who Said Taste Cake?

As you know the October Wedding Cake Taste-Off was cancelled as was the attached seminar.  Stay tuned for our next event, which will be held in Manhattan.  See you soon.


Who’s on the wedding industry professional dais for questions and answers?

Fouzia Elidrissi – My Bridal Budget

Bridgette Bartlette – Black Bridal Bliss

JoAnn Baylor – Make My Cake

Pauline Stoute – P’s Baking & Catering, Inc.

Other possibilities:

OrlandoFlowers by Zenda

Rose JeffriesHouse of La Blanche Couture

Rev. Louis Olivieri or RevDeb (Nardozzi) – Interfaith Ministers



Judges for Wedding Cake Taste-Off:

Ms. JoAnn Baylor, Pastry Chef – Make My Cake

Ms. Bridgette Bartlett, Journalist – Black Bridal Bliss

Ms. Sondra Peeden Esq, Assistant Deputy Council-SE Queens

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wedding photojournalism - 5th avenue socialPreparing a shot list for your wedding day? Keep in mind that a top photographer already knows to capture all the tried-and-true key moments, family members, candids, and personal details for you and works best when given the creative freedom to do his or her best job.  However, if there are any not-so-typical shots you’d like to have, it’s a good idea to meet with your photographer to discuss them. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Your college roommates
  • Dad and his four sisters
  • You and your babysitter
  • Mom and her tennis buddies

Be sure to point out anything unusual that the photographer might not expect. If there are divorces in the bridal party, or members with disabilities or special needs, you’ll want to be conscientious in apprising your photographer so that shots can be scheduled with this in mind.

Discussing your personal shot list with your photographer is a guaranteed way of not missing a single beautiful moment of your wedding day.


How to Hire the Perfect Wedding Photographer

Originally posted on July11th, 2012 by  | Share Blog


Wedding PhotographyOf all the planning and preparation that go into creating the perfect wedding, the most important may be choosing the right wedding photographer.  After the cake has been eaten and the guests have gone home, your photographs are all you will have left to remind you of the day. Here are a few tips that will simplify your search and help you locate the perfect photographer for you.

Get Your Thoughts Together

Set the wedding date and lock down the locations for your wedding ceremony and reception.  Like popular wedding and reception venues, good photographers are in demand, so you will need to book as far in advance as possible, preferably 6 to 9 months ahead and perhaps even more if you are planning your wedding for June or early fall, the most sought-after months.

wedding photographersKnow your budget and the type of photographs you prefer (traditional posed shots, candids, photojournalistic shots that tell the story of your wedding—or a mix).  Also, consider whether you would like engagement shots taken.  Besides giving your photographer a chance to figure out your best smiles and angles, engagement photos also let you see how he or she works and whether you are comfortable with your choice.  If taken at a place that is meaningful to you, engagement photos really let you have fun and be creative, and they’re great for engagement announcements.

Compile a List of Photographers in Your Area

There is an abundance of photographers out there. Nothing beats asking friends and family, event planners and other venue reps for recommendations. Before researching further, though, know your space and needs.  If planning an indoor wedding, make sure to get a photographer who thoroughly understands lighting—photographing you next to a fireplace in the St. Regis Hotel is very different from photographing you outdoors and requires serious expertise.  Do not make a selection based on viewing only outdoor shots.

engagement photographywedding photographers

Freelance photographers, though inexpensive, often do not have anyone to back them up in case they are sick on your wedding day.  This is an easy catastrophe to avoid: look for photographers who do provide backup.  In addition, knowing the types of photos you like will help you get a realistic idea of whether someone else’s photographer may be worth a call. When you have your referrals, go online to check out their work, but remember:  once you narrow your choices to the final contenders, it is important to view their photos off the web as well in order to truly judge their quality.

Collect Basic Information

Ask about basic packages and prices, including the availability of and cost for additional photographers, depending on the size of your wedding.  Make note of the cancellation policy, any additional expenses, coverage if the chosen photographer were to fall ill, and repercussions of either you or the photographer canceling.  You will also need to ask questions about post-production and delivery, such as how soon and in what format the photographs will be delivered, and who holds the negatives and for how long.

5th Avenue DigitalPhotographers charge anywhere from nothing to $25,000. Those who charge nothing or modest fees typically have little or no experience and are looking to use your wedding to build their portfolio. Consider what you are getting and the risk of getting stuck with pictures you hate and no option of ever redoing them.  The way in which photographers arrive at their pricing structure will vary, and one may seem more attractive because of lower prices, but in the long run, you may be sacrificing quality and peace of mind.  It is better to spend a little more to get better quality and service.

Interview Your Top Choices

Keep it consistent: ask the same questions of all candidates, beginning with whether they are available on the date you’ve chosen. Ask to see samples of their best work, and put personality at the very top of your list. This person will be working closely with and around you and your guests at arguably the most important event of your life. He or she should bring out the best in everyone, be nothing less than a joy to work with and someone whom you feel completely understands you and knows exactly what you are looking for.  Accept nothing less.

Check Reputation

It goes without saying that you must verify that the photographers you are seriously considering are reputable.   Request three references from each photographer and check them all. Refusal to provide references is a red flag.  Always check with the Better Business Bureau or any of the online forums on weddings, but in the end, good reviews prevail.

5th Avenue Digital


Tips on Gratuities For Your Wedding Services – Part 1

  • Posted on February 17, 2012 at 4:17 pm

I found this article when I was deciding on a Podcast host and thought you would love to know about tipping. I know I’d forgotten about this until the day before our wedding. Here are some great tips even though Bill is specifically talking about Orlando weddings. I’ll follow up next week with New York tipping, but you probably know them anyway. Also I am starting the article with the less expensive way of tip or the budgetary way so as to avoid sticker shock.  It’s a long article, so I have decided to break up into three segments over the course of the next week. Enjoy it.

Gratuitous Tips on Gratuities and Tipping Your Wedding Services.

By Bill Parkison

Published by: Orlando Wedding Professionals Bridal Directory Magazine – Fall 2011 October 17, 2011 @ 3:50 pm


What if your budget prohibits you from affording a tip?

During these difficult economic times, couples from coast to coast are cutting back on their wedding expenses. If a simple wedding and modest Staycation honeymoon is all you can really afford, consider these suggestion as a way of showing your appreciation for outstanding services when funding is tight:

This is the era of individual mass communication. Send your message of delight with your wedding services providers in a message released on Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Twitter, Digg, and the endless social networking services available online. All it takes is one “Like” on Facebook for everyone you have befriended to get the word on the great experience you had with a vendor.  Referrals, referrals, did I mention referrals?  A referral contract makes everyone’s day! One good word goes a long way in the wedding industry. Even if you don’t know anyone getting married in the near future, most wedding vendors provide services to corporate and other social events. What a great surprise to your vendor if they were hired to work a holiday party due to the referral from your wedding. One of my favorite non-monetary tips is a big basket of home-made cookies. Home-made inexpensive chocolate chip, oatmeal or the family’s secret cookie recipe for a holiday favorite, you can’t go wrong.  And cookies are guaranteed to bring smiles to the faces of everyone in the room.  For the officiate, or business owner that went above and beyond, you may consider sending something personal, like as a restaurant gift certificate, or tickets to the theater.  Flower arrangements or plants are very nice and widely appreciated as well. Remember, a simple handwritten thank you note is always greatly appreciated by everyone.

Nothing can ever make you wedding day more memorable than the moment you stand holding hands with your best friend promising to love and care for them the rest of your life. However, when special moments arise due to the efforts of your vendors, don’t forget to let them know it.