Sunday, April 13, 2008

Why Do Wedding Vendors Vary So Greatly In Price?

This is another common question.
Q: Why are some wedding vendors ( photographers, DJ's, florists, etc.) drastically less expensive than others?
A: If a vendor appears to be drastically cheaper than the majority of established vendors,
then this is likely due to one or more of the following reasons:
1) They are cutting corners somewhere in their products and services.
2) They are making up for those initial savings on the back end of the deal .
3) They are not full time professionals making their living on weddings.
4) They may simply be getting established in the market and are willing to accept a smaller profit margin in order to build clientele.
I hope this is helpful information. Remember: if it seems to be too good to be probably is!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Highlighted Wedding Venue: The Briarhurst Manor

A tiny mountain town, a historic Victorian Manor, hundred year old apple trees, a bubbling mountain stream, an immaculate lawn, a view of Pikes Peak, and award winning food. A bride's dream. But, could such a place exist?
Well, it does! The Briarhurst Manor was built in 1872 out of finely grained pink sandstone with artistic chimney pots, stone gargoyles, and numerous architectural details. Inside, the Manor remains much the same as it was originaly envisioned, with 12 unique fireplaces, 12 main rooms showcasing fine woodworking, and an elegantly paneled entrance hall graced by a hand carved staircase of Gothic design.
Outside hosts several areas to say "I do." The Conseratory Patio has a beautiful view of the mountains and deer are often grazing near by. The West Wing Terrace offers a fairy tale setting with its own gazebo, a bandstand, wonderful views, and beautiful trees. The Tea House is perfect for smaller weddings. Its garden gazebo is surrounded by fragrant flowers with a view of the Manor.
The photo opportunities are endless! The Manor itself is perfect for bride's. With the stunning staircase, stained glass windows, pink stone, and fireplaces, it is a bride's dream come true! Outside is just as magical!
Every year the Briarhurst Manor wins the Best of the Springs Place for a Wedding Reception and it is easy to see why. If you are engaged and have not picked your venue yet, you should make and appointment to visit the Briarhurst. Even if you have your venue picked; the Briarhurst can host rehersal dinners and bridal showers.
all photos courtesy: Black Forest Photography

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

And The Winners Are......

Just in case you didn't get a chance to read the Best of 2007 issues of the Colorado Springs Independent. We would like to share with you the winners in the wedding vendor categories. They had over 5,000 votes this year! So here you go:

Best Restaurant for Wedding Reception:

Best Place for a Wedding:

1st Place: Hillside Gardens

2nd Place: Briarhurst Manor

3rd Place: The Broadmoor


1st Place: Platte Floral

2nd Place: Gentry's Flowers

3rd Place: Burghard Floral


Outdoor Place to Pop The Question:

So there you have it folks! Want the best for your wedding? Pick from these vendors and you can't go wrong! The people of Colorado Springs say so!
Photo courtesy Black Forest Photography, 1st place winner! Colorado Springs Independent 2007

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Colorado Springs Wedding Flower Tips

When discussing flowers with a florist, remember that flowers that are not in season at the time of your wedding have to be purchased on the International market, and therefore will cost more. Also bouquets and arrangement prices vary and depend upon the flowers you use, and the number of flowers used per arrangement.Know that flowers for weddings at certain times of the year are more expensive, especially around Valentines Day, (all flowers go up in price then) and sometimes around Easter, and Mothers Day. Substitutions have to be made at times, and your florist can suggest flowers that can be substituted, if the case should arise.

Know that themes can be acquired through color. Brides that want a more expensive flower in their bouquet can order other wedding flower arrangements with a lesser price flower, and use the same color, therefore carrying on the theme.

Be sure to choose flowers in hot summer months that will hold up well in heat, especially for outdoor weddings.

Find a florist who is willing to make suggestions to save you money, and get dual purpose from your wedding flowers.

Remember it is better not to have your bridesmaids dresses match perfectly with the flowers that they are carrying. Their flowers will not show up as well in pictures, if they match the dresses perfectly, and remember (PICTURES LAST FOREVER.) Tell all your bridal party, (men and women) to arrive 30 minutes before you actually need them for pictures. Someone is always late and running behind, and photographers are on a limited time schedule.

Also the florist needs time to pin on boutonnieres and corsages. It is wise to assign a relative who is not in your wedding party, to assist the florist in finding relatives you have ordered boutonnieres and corsages for. Remember the florist does not know your family members and many of the venues, and churches have several areas that guests can come in. Not all family members or friends, meet at the same area, and many start socializing in different areas, before the florist can get the flowers to them. (It is a very exciting time for your friends, and family also.) A great photographer and florist, will do all they can to see that your day is carried out the way you planned it.

Most importantly, breathe, relax, and enjoy this moment you have waited for!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Tips On Finding a Wedding/Reception Location In Colorado Springs

These are some wonderful tips from Melissa at Moonriver Weddings. Melissa is a local Wedding Planner here in Colorado Springs. The photo is courtesy Black Forest Photography from one of Moonriver's weddings.

1. Before looking for a location, determine your priorities and must haves for your wedding. If quality of food is on the top of your list, you need to determine your location first, set aside the budget, then allocate the remaining budget as appropriate. If where you get married is not as important as your photography and d├ęcor, set aside the bulk of your budget for those items and look for a inexpensive location you can work with.

2. Make sure you know your guests list before you go looking (and how many you'll need - depending on number of out of town guests, time of year, a certain % of those invited will not attend. 20% is a good ballpark. Obviously, if most of your guests are from out of town, that ratio will increase). The number of guests you expect will rule out many locations.

3. Know if there will be another wedding or event going on before or after your wedding. Also find out how much time you are allowed for set up/decoration and take down.

4. Make sure to ask what items are included with the site fee - are tables, chairs, linens included? Also ask about whether there is an on-site coordinator and if so, what, exactly does that person do for you and what won't/can't they do? How long will they be at the wedding?

5. Know all restrictions - music, alcohol, decoration etc. Also ensure there is adequate parking, bathrooms, coat check and security as necessary.

6. Finally, ask for a break out of all fees, including service charges and whether gratuity is included or not. Is there a deposit? Is it refundable? What is the cancellation policy?

7. Know that finding a location that fits every single one of your requirements or criteria is rare, make a decision on what feels best and what best accommodates those items that you feel are most important. Wedding Planners can help you work out any issues, such as lack of parking and so forth.

8. Hire a day-of wedding coordinator! Your wedding is the event of the lifetime - be there for it!Happy Planning!-Melissa

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Why You Should Hire A Professional DJ

A DJ does much more than just stand back behind the table and play music. The DJ becomes your MC and ensures all the events are flowing smoothly so you do not have anything to worry about. They are constantly communicating with you, the staff and your guests about what is happening so you and your newly wed husband or wife can enjoy the evening mingling with your friends and family. A professional DJ will provide you a planning form and music request list to fill out. Some DJs go a step further and provide you a login password to their website where you can fill out the planning form and request list online and save it online. The website is very helpful with helping keep everything organized. After all, the DJ will "make or break" your special day. A professional DJ will ensure you they MAKE your special day. In addition, some DJs provide the music for the ceremony as well as the reception. The professional DJs provide a wireless lapel microphone to clip to the officiant so all of your guests can hear what is being said during the ceremony. Also, they provide a wireless handheld microphone fors omeone to use to either read a poem or scripture or perhaps sing a song. Most importantly, a professional DJ understands that they are not the only person at the wedding. A professional works closely with everyone involved to make sure everything flows together smoothly. It is extremely important for the DJ to be able to communicate with everyone especially the photographers. A professional DJ understands that your pictures are whatyou are going to look at years down the road, therefore a professional DJ will help ensure the photographer captures those memories by workingc losely with them. Overall, try not to choose your DJ solely on cost. There is that old saying out there "you get what you pay for". Besides the pictures, the last thing you will remember that day is the music and entertainment. Many brides have regretfully said "if i could do it all over, i would have chosen a more professional DJ and not based my decision on cost."

Thank you,

Bobby Sorden Sensational Sounds Try BEATS Certified 719-233-ssdj (7735) Photo provided by: Black Forest Photography

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Should Digital Wedding Photography Be Less Expensive Then Film

Unfortunately, this is a common misconception. While digital capture eliminates the need for film and developing, the difference is negated when you now add the time it takes for the photographer to process all of the images. When using film, you purchased film, photographed, sent it to the lab for developing and printing where the lab took care of color correcting and analyzing. Now, the photographer is responsible for all of the work that the lab used to do. This added workload is tremendous. It results in more man hours needed to process any given wedding (about 40 hours for an average wedding) or event, as well as the extra expense of hiring people to do so. In addition, the equipment needed to efficiently produce digital photography is of considerable expense. Not only are the cameras and associated equipment to perform digital capture much more expensive than their film counterparts, but
there is a considerable amount of ancillary equipment necessary. Computers are an important part of the digital photography scenario. With files from professional digital cameras being anywhere from 25 megabytes on up, powerful computers are needed to manipulate these files. With the average wedding consisting of 600 images, this comes to a whopping 15 gigabytes of digital images. Plus, these have to be backed up several times to ensure the security of your wedding photos. Oh, and files this size won't fit on CD's... they will only fit on DVD's and physical hard drives. Add in high capacity Flash Cards (4gigbyte
capacity or more) and the devices to read them, plus having a powerful laptop computer to take to the event for backup, etc. This translates to more expense for computers with the proper disc burners and processing power in the 3+Gigahertz range with RAM minimum of 1 gigabyte or more. Software to process these images is also pricey Not to mention the necessity for high speed internet to upload files of this size to online viewing and posting sites as well as to the photo labs for prints. In reality, digital photography should probably cost triple what it does!
Photo provided by: Black Forest Photography