We’re sharing a little about Irish weddings this month as we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in March. This lovely couple enjoyed creating an Irish themed wedding at the El Caribe that was truly magical. From bagpipers to some fun Irish dance steps for their first dance, this couple created some unforgettable memories. See what the El Caribe can do for your wedding. Take a moment to learn more about weddings at the El Caribe now.
The cork has been popped after replying “yes” to the big question. There are many things to consider as you plan your big day. With more than 35 years experience, and three generations of family operations creating unforgettable memories at the El Caribe, we’d like to share four wedding planning tips, for event planning as well, to help you along.
- Define Your Guest List. You probably have a lot of people who have been a special part of your life. You’ll want to invite them to celebrate this milestone. Take time to sit with your fiancé and put a guest list from your family and friends before you consider your budget and location for the event.
- Consider Your Budget. There are a lot things to consider with your budget. How big a celebration do you want to? Is it simple and intimate, big and extravagant or a destination wedding? Do you have money in investments or savings you’ve set aside and/or do you have time to save for the wedding?
- Quality vs Size. Many hope to only marry once. Since there is a lot of time, effort and stress involved in this celebration, consider choosing higher quality over the size of your event. You have options in choosing to have a small number of guests and spending more on higher quality venue, menu, decor, and celebration than the opposite – mediocre venue, menus, décor, etc. The tradeoff can be huge in quality and creating that special experience for you and your guests with the cost being very similar.
- Vendor Packages. Your wedding is a memory of a lifetime. Many of those memories you’ll keep in photographs or experience with a DJ on the dance floor. As you look at different vendors consider quality vs quantity. While one photographer will give you all day coverage remember it doesn’t mean it’s quality photos. For instance, you can hire a wedding photographer who’s mediocre work will get you pictures all day long or you can hire a top notch photographer to get the highlights of your wedding day. In the end won’t it be the highlights and important moments you’ll frame? Take this into to consider with all your vendor choices, do you want smaller amounts of the highest quality or lots of mediocre.
Take the time to consider these four wedding planning tips, and most importantly, try to enjoy the journey to your big wedding day. Using these four tips will help you eliminate unneeded stress and give you the wedding you’ve dreamed of.
Photo courtesy of Betar Family
While the average length of a marriage today is 8 years, there are just some couples who have great longevity. Many ask how they did it? Since engagement season is upon us, we thought we’d share some secrets of love and long-lasting marriage from a couple with a lot experience.
Introducing John and Ann Betar, named America’s longest-married couple. It all began in Bridgeport, Connecticut. “We were friends. He’d drive me to school,” Ann said. John’s story, “She’s the girl I had loved. Always. And I had wanted to marry her.”
Married in 1932, 21 year old John and his 17 year old bride eloped after her father wanted her to marry an older man. Fast forward 83 years of marriage later, both John and Ann have lived to be past 100, are great-grandparents and all these years later still hold hands.
John and Ann shared their thoughts to long-lasting marriage this past year. When asked what the secret was this is what they said. “It’s a lifelong thing. How do you define love? Through actions, understanding, little things…,” said Ann. “I wish I knew! It’s natural. An understanding,” said John.
They were asked, what are some things you do to keep things fresh, new, and entertaining?” Ann emphasized the importance of touch. “We hang onto one another! Just a few little hugs and we’re fine.”
Probably the biggest question anyone would ask marriage veterans would be, what do you do after you have an argument? Do you make up on the same day? Their reply is quite humorous and endearing. Ann said, “I say, ‘Oh go do what you want.’ Nine out of ten times he doesn’t!” John responded, “We never hold grudges. Most arguments are about food.” Ann added, “Yeah, like ‘You bought the wrong kind of cucumber!'”
In the end, their secret to a long-lasting union is simple. “We struggled in the beginning, but, luckily, we were content with what we had. It’s just important to be content with what you have,” John said.
Dunavin, Davis (2016) WSHU
Yagana Shah, (2016) “America’s ‘Longest-Married Couple’ Wants To Give You Love Advice”, Huffington Post
Whether you’re planning a wedding, sweet sixteen, communion, corporate event or a myriad of other events, there are some important things to know. These are the kind of tips you think, “I’m sure glad someone told me that!” While you may have planned events before, here are seven best event planning tips you may have missed that are secrets to a successful event.
1. Be Our Guest
It’s always important to consider your approximate guest count before settling on a venue. This will ensure there’s enough space for everyone. Remember, you need space not only for your guests but a DJ/band, dance floor, tables, and busy servers. If you need to cut the guest list consider prioritizing by tiers. Begin with the immediate family, persons of honor, and best friends at the top of the list. Follow this with extended family; aunts, uncles, cousins and close friends. These are people you can’t imagine celebrating without. Next, list additional friends, neighbors, coworkers and so on. If you need to pare down, begin at the bottom until you reach your ideal number and budget.
2. Securing The Date
Choosing a date can be tricky. While there are several things to consider, here’s just one. Discover if your special event date falls on a holiday, convention, or large local event that would cause conflicts with traffic and hotel availability. There’s nothing wrong with celebrating on a holiday but consider your important guests may have other obligations.
3. Capitalize On The Bonuses
Want some bonuses for spending all that money on your event? Secure a credit card with a rewards program. From airline miles to shopping deals, putting all your spending on one card will help you accumulate thousands of rewards points.
4. Get Referrals
When looking for trusted vendors ask the catering hall and vendors for referrals. They’ve worked in this business a long time and know who can be trusted for the best experience. Your photographer knows which florists flowers last longer and stay freshest. The catering hall can tell you which transportation is always on time.
5. Get Organized
There is a lot to plan and keep track of. Get organized using a digital format, if that works for you, or go traditional with a three-ring binder. Compile everything; correspondences, notes, photos, ideas, things from magazines, etc all in one place. This will save you time and stress. Set up an email address dedicated to the event. Keep a contact list of important people and vendor numbers in a hard copy and on your phone. Break things down into a schedule from start to finish and follow a logical order to get things done. This will relieve a lot of stress, keep you from getting worn down and help you enjoy the event when the day comes.
6. The Signature Drink
Signature drinks are still a great way to celebrate any event. Since signature drinks are custom made, make sure you have enough servers to attend to your guests. You don’t want your guests waiting in a long line to enjoy the celebration.
7. Help Them Arrive At The Event
With all the planning you’ve done, you want to make sure your guests get to the event on time. Providing an accurate directions card, map and address will help them accomplish this. Your catering hall can help you print our driving directions. Having the address allows your guests to use their GPS to find the least congested traffic route. As a safety measure, you can create a private event page on Facebook and post the address and directions there. The Facebook site never goes down and your guests know how to easily access it.
Whether you’re planning a wedding, sweet sixteen, communion, corporate event or a myriad of other events, there are some important things to know. Using these seven best event planning tips will help you have a more successful celebration.
While you’re in the throes of wedding planning there’s so much to consider including the honeymoon budget. Throwing the biggest party of your life and having a fabulous honeymoon vacation can get you into some serious debt. Well, not to worry. Here are five honeymoon ideas real brides and grooms have used to save time, money and get some serious, stress-free R & R after the big day.
1. Take a Cruise It may sound simple and blase, yet a cruise saves time and stress in the planning process. Cruises are all-inclusive, making your planning very easy. The off-season, just before peak season, is still good weather, not busy and the rates are pretty good. Additionally, all the other amenities you’d come to expect are there giving you both a luxurious experience. Cruise lines also have partnership deals with tour companies at each destination allowing for great savings on excursions. Family and friends can gift you upgrades with some of these tours making your experience even better.
2. Dump the Gift Registry How About A Honeymoon Fund?: Instead of signing up for a gift registry and getting plates and toasters you’ll never use, create your own “honeymoon” registry. Friends and family can donate to the honeymoon fund helping you to go to fun and exciting places.
3. Use a Travel Agent Have someone else do the work while you worry about the wedding. Give the travel agent ideas of where you’d like to go. They’ll take care of the rest. And, since you’ll be exhausted from the celebration, arrange to have the honeymoon experience all-inclusive. Get yourselves pampered for great R & R. Travel agents have amazing deals to unique, secluded places. A good travel agent will save you time and money.
4. Live and Eat With the Locals Disappearing from the busy resorts and taking in the local culture of your honeymoon destination can create a unique experience you’ll treasure for years to come. AirBnB has quality destinations globally and the local eateries, restaurants and pubs will give you a true flavor of the culture your visiting.
5. All-Inclusive For some an all-inclusive resort offers brides simple to luxurious choices for their honeymoon getaway. Transportation, dining, drinks and entertainment are covered. You’ll even find some resorts that include such things as scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaks, sailboats and tennis. Also consider resorts where the airfare is less. Locations like Dominican Republic or Mexico are less airfare allowing you to enjoy more at the resort.
Set your stress about the honeymoon aside. Use these honeymoon planning tips to save you time and money so you can focus on what matters most, your big day and the vows to each other.
Let’s face it, being married is work. Good work, but it’s work. There are many plans and decisions to be made so you can call yourselves “married”. One of them includes whether or not you change your last name. For some this isn’t a big deal. They expected the change. For others there is much uncertainty as they ride the fence considering the pros and cons of a name change. If you’re looking for some reasons to keep your name here are 7 reasons, from cultural to personal or business, why women choose to keep their own last name.
1. It’s Trending. According to a New York Times survey reported in 2015, the number of women keeping their last name is again trending upward. Approximately 20% of women choose not to take their husband’s name while another 10% combine it with their own using a hyphen. During that same period in 2015, wedding announcements in the NYT showed nearly 30% of the brides keeping their last name.
2. Professional Reasons. If you’ve built a name for yourself in your industry, starting over again with a new name and rebuilding that reputation may not be wise. Your work and reputation could be forgotten and all the work you’ve done vanish.
3. The celebrities are doing it. Why not you? You see it in the tabloids and media. Many of the married stars are keeping their last name. Just because they marry doesn’t mean they give up their name.
4. Oh the paperwork! Changing your last name is a legal process not to be taken lightly. Depending on the state in which you live it could be a time consuming, arduous process to navigate and finish. Keeping your last name saves weeks and sometimes months of clerical headaches and nightmares.
5. Spell Checker Anyone? You spent years in grade school, college and now the working world to hear names slaughtered, misspelled and mispronounced. If you’re partners name falls in that category, and people never seem to get their name right, you might be better off keeping your own name.
6. Deep Meaning. You feel a deep and rich heritage in your name. It’s a legacy to you and your family. You wouldn’t feel the same without it.
7. The “End” of a Family Name. You may come from a family of girls. You could be an only child. Giving up your last name ends a family name. It prevents you from passing on your family name to your children and generations.
Whether you keep your name, change it or hyphenate it it’s important you feel comfortable with new arrangement. In the end it’s about working with your significant other to reach something you both are happy with. After all, marriage is about spending happy years together.
Happy Valentines Day and welcome to our new website at the El Caribe!
With the introduction of our new El Caribe website we wanted to to point out a few things. First, our site was designed to better visually showcase all we have to offer to make your event unforgettable. The interactive photos and videos gallery allow you to immerse yourself in the experience of others celebrating their day or special occasion. Secondly, while this site is mobile friendly, there are some special features you won’t see on mobile devices, only on a laptop or computer. Third and most importantly, while we know all these visuals are enjoyable to see, the most important thing is you. It’s the weddings, social events and corporate events we help you celebrate that is most important to us and you. It’s what we’ve done for more than 35 years and the reason we work hard every day, to create unforgettable memories for you, our clients, friends and family. Let us know how we can make memories for you.
Happy Valentines Day! The El Caribe