Monday, March 31, 2014

3 Tips for Choosing Wedding Vendors

How many decisions come with wedding planning? 50? 75? 100? Every wedding is different, but the sheer number of decisions can be overwhelming. And with so many decisions to make, sometimes the decision-making process can feel a bit rushed - which is the worst possible thing that can happen. 

Don't rush your wedding decision making!
Taking the time to choose the right vendors can make a huge impact on your wedding day. There are certain things to keep in mind during the process that can help you make better decisions: 

  1. Can they provide references (or do you know someone who has used this vendor)? There are few things more reliable during the wedding planning process that references. Asking friends and family for their recommendations is almost always a sure way to find a great vendor, but if you're interested in trying someone new, don't be shy - ask them for references! Review sites like and can also offer some insights.
  2. Trust your instincts. If potential vendors are slow to respond to phone calls or emails, or they are late to your scheduled meetings, don't ignore your gut instincts. A lack of attention to detail before they've earned your business as a client is not a good sign. Even if you have your heart set on a specific vendor, trust your gut - if you suspect you won't be treated well as a client, look in a different direction.
  3. Diversify. You may think you know exactly what you want for your wedding day, but don't let your view restrict the types of vendors you meet. You may see some styles or ideas that are totally new - and totally perfect for your wedding. Yes, you might find something for your dream wedding that you didn't even know was your dream yet! Especially in the early part of the process, keep an open mind and be willing to meet with a range of vendors before making your decision.
Slowing down your choice of vendors will ensure you make the right choice for your special day. 

Image courtesy of Habbick

Monday, March 24, 2014

Making Your Groom Part of Wedding Planning

When it comes to wedding planning, let's be honest - it's mostly about the bride. At least the planning part feels that way! But speaking candidly, most grooms want to be included in wedding planning. After all, they're the ones who got down on one knee and popped the question! But, in the whirlwind of wedding planning, sometimes grooms can feel left out.

Be sure to include your fiancé in wedding planning wherever possible.
While many grooms like to be included in wedding planning, the truth is that there are definitely some who prefer to leave the details to their brides. If so, no need to worry! But, if your fiancé is like many men, he'd like to be a part of the process too. These tips can help ensure you keep him in the loop and make important decisions together:

  • Schedule important meetings. When your fiancé has important meetings at work, he typically adds them to his Outlook or iPhone schedule. Guess what - that's the same way to get him involved in important wedding planning meetings! Tell him about plans, then follow up by sending him a meeting request - you're almost guaranteed to have him there. If you're still nervous, send him a quick follow up text that morning.
  • Ask him! Your groom realizes that, in many ways, this is your day. He may be concerned that he'd look selfish by asking to be included in the decision-making process. The best solution to this problem is to simply ask him. When you're looking into various aspects of your wedding, ask your fiancé what he thinks. Now the best time to do this might not be in the middle of the football game - be sure you have his attention first. But asking a quick question might be all it takes for your groom to feel comfortable enough to become more invested in the wedding planning process.
  • Assign certain tasks. This one should be handled carefully - you don't want to look like a drillmaster! But, while your groom may want to be a part of the wedding planning process, he also might be a bit overwhelmed if you suddenly hit him with a flood of decisions that have to be made right now. Instead, consider taking one or two aspects of your wedding and "assigning" them to your groom. Let him take ownership of those tasks (asking for your input, of course), coordinate meetings and research options. If your groom isn't the best with details, you may want to send gentle reminders from time to time (especially since so many aspects of weddings are time sensitive), but really let him take ownership of those tasks. You might be surprised that he does a great job!
While it can be easy to get carried away with decision making during your wedding planning process, taking the time to include your groom can make it an even more special time leading up to the big day.

Image courtesy of

Monday, March 17, 2014

3 Keys for Choosing the Best Maid of Honor for Your Wedding

There are many decisions to make when planning your wedding - one of the most important decisions for a bride is choosing a maid of honor. For some brides, they've known who their maid of honor will be since childhood. But for many brides, the decision can be fraught with stress. 

Choosing the best maid of honor for your wedding
Consider these three keys when choosing your maid of honor and you'll be well on your way to making the right decision:

  1. Will she have the time needed for maid of honor duties? Being a maid of honor can be a bit time consuming. For starters, there's planning showers and bachelorette parties, then there's the parties themselves! Then, there's the biggest duties of all - being there for the bride. From dress shopping to lending an ear, she'll be at your beck and call for a year or more - will she have the time free to be there for you?
  2. Can she afford it? Being a bride can be expensive, but so can being a maid of honor. From buying the dress to hair and makeup, the costs can add up quickly. Then depending on your specific situation, you may end up traveling for your bachelorette party (weekend getaways are an extremely popular option). If your first choice for maid of honor might have a hard time paying for the expenses associated with the roll, you may make it awkward for her by asking. Better to consider someone else close that wouldn't put an undue hardship on your first choice.
  3. Will she make it "all about you?" There are few times in your life where you are as much the center of attention as when you're getting married - enjoy the time, you deserve it! But, sometimes even the closest friends can make it...well, all about them. Your BFF might be the first person you think of for maid of honor, but if she's also sometimes a drama queen who gets jealous of others who are the center of attention, it might be best to choose someone else. Better to make the harder decision now than to be upset down the road when your maid of honor makes the wedding about her instead of you!
Think carefully about these factors and which maid of honor will make your day the most special. You'll surely have a wonderful wedding celebration!

Image courtesy of Habbick

Is a Destination Wedding the Right Choice For You?

When it comes to planning your wedding, there are many decisions to make. And let's face it: Planning your wedding can be stressful. It's the most important day of your life, after all!

Here or there? Should I plan a destination wedding?
One of the most important decisions is where to have your wedding. If you've stayed in your hometown your entire life, or if you've built a solid foundation in one city, having your wedding there may be a no-brainer. But, sometimes people consider getting married out of town. Whether family is spread across the country, or perhaps a couple wants a more intimate ceremony, there are a range of reasons that may influence whether or not couples decide to have a destination wedding. But, when you're considering which decision is right for you and your wedding, there are a few things you should consider:

  • Will a destination wedding work within your budget? This ultimately affects just about every aspect of your wedding, but when it comes to location, it's key. If your parents are footing the bill, would they object to a destination wedding (and/or decide not to pay)? Conversely, intimate destination weddings can also end up saving money in the long run - would it make sense for you to have a destination wedding (sometimes combining the honeymoon and wedding) to save funds?
  • How many people should you invite? Sometimes relatives who cannot travel are offended by invitations to destination weddings, while others still are offended if you assume they cannot come and don't invite them - it can get tricky! Talk to parents or other trusted relatives to ensure you're including the right people on your invitation list for a destination wedding, to minimize any hurt feelings. Budget, location and venue can all impact the length of your guest list, so give it careful consideration. There are few things worse than inviting people to a wedding, then turning around and uninviting them because your location doesn't have enough room!
  • If you have a destination wedding, will you have another reception at home for friends and family who cannot make it? This is an important aspect to consider, as your family and friends who may not be able to attend your destination wedding will likely still want to celebrate with you. And ultimately, the responsibility for that celebration falls upon you. Think about the best way to celebrate with the family and friends still at home, then be sure to include it in your budget when planning.
  • Can you afford "extra" activities that come along with a destination wedding? Destination weddings also tend to include some "extras." When people travel - sometimes across the country - for a wedding, they tend to expect more than traditional wedding guests. A welcome party and farewell breakfast are the minimums you should consider in your planning. 

Ultimately, it's your wedding and your day - do what's best for you. But considering these factors in the early planning stages can help set expectations for your family and friends and ensure your celebration goes off without a hitch.

Image courtesy of Kiatying-Angsulee

Monday, March 10, 2014

Welcome to the Samuel's Grande Manor Blog

Thank you for visiting our blog! You may have noticed that we started sharing some wedding content in the past year. We have renewed our commitment to sharing original content here regularly.

* For those of you looking for wedding tips, trends and more - you’re in luck! We’ll be sharing a range of content here to help you plan your dream wedding.
* For businesspeople looking to maximize their productivity and hold more efficient and productive business meetings, we’ll have some helpful tips for you as well.
* Lastly, we’ll be highlighting some of our incredible team members, who work each day to provide our customers with truly superior service. We are so proud of our team, and we can’t wait to show them off to you!

Is there a topic you’d like us to see cover in our blog? Let us know! Feel free to contact us or at (716) 634-8425.