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Two El Paso Bridal Shows You Must Attend!

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If you are planning a nice wedding for 2015 or 2016 there are two El Paso bridal shows you must attend.  At this time of year there are many bridal shows to choose from, but if you want to find the best vendors in town then there are only two you need to attend.

The first bridal show we recommend is Selarom’s Open House + Showcase on January 24, 2015.  The vendors here are handpicked.  You will find some of the best vendors in town like Ella Blu, Wedding Xpressions Photography, Fiori the Flower Studio, L3 Coach and many more.Selarom Sweets

If you haven’t found a reception hall for your event you should consider Selarom Event & Ballroom.  It’s a beautiful hall and it has the best owners.  They will make sure your event is a stress-free success.

Selarom’s Open House + Showcase – Bridal Show
Saturday January 24, 2015
11am to 5pm
6633 N. Mesa Suite 400
El Paso, TX 79912
Free Admission

The second bridal show we recommend is the KISS FM Love Affair & Bridal Expo that takes place on March 15, 2015.  This show has traditionally taken place at the Camino Real Hotel, but this year they will be at a new location.  The 17th annual bridal expo will take place at EPIC Railyard Center.

This bridal expo typically showcases some of the best wedding vendors in town.  They also host elegant bridal fashion shows through out the day.

17th Annual Love Affair & Bridal Expo by KISS FM & KLAQ
March 15, 2015
10am to 4pm
2201 E Mills Ave
El Paso, TX 79901
Free Admission

If you are planning a wedding in 2015 or 2016 these two shows are a must.

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Wedding Planning Timeline

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Congratulations on your engagement and upcoming wedding here in El Paso, TX or Las Cruces, NM. We have designed this site to help you plan your big day. You will find many articles that will help you during your wedding planning. More articles will be added soon. We have also added our ‘Wedding Planning Timeline and Checklist” that you can view online or download and print.

Wedding Planning Timeline

Wedding In El Paso’s
Wedding Planning Timeline & Checklist

12+ months before your wedding:

  • Announce your engagement to friends and family.
  • Set your wedding date.
  • Set your wedding budget and find who will be contributing (to help expand your budget).
  • Choose your ceremony site.
  • Get a rough estimate of the guest list.
  • Choose your reception site. Book it.
  • Start looking for your photographer. Book him/her (the good one’s go fast).
  • If you will be using a wedding planner start looking for one.
  • If you have fitness goals before your wedding, contact a personal trainer.

9+ months before your wedding:

  • Look for your dream wedding dress.
  • Meet and select your ceremony officiant.
  • Start looking for honeymoon destinations.
  • Send out Save the Date cards. Shoot your engagement session with your photographer at this time if you will be using one of these images for the cards.

6+ months before your wedding:

  • Choose the members of your wedding party.
  • If you haven’t done so yet, order your wedding gown.
  • Start shopping for your bridesmaids dresses.
  • Hire your florist.
  • Hire your DJ.
  • If you are booking live music, book them now.

4+ months before your wedding:

  • Hire a caterer if not included with your reception hall.
  • Shop for your wedding cake.
  • Book your limo or car for your wedding day transportation.
  • Finalize your guest list.
  • Book your honeymoon. (airline and hotel)
  • Start making hotel plans for out of town guests.
  • Plan your rehearsal dinner.

2+ months before your wedding:

  • Order your wedding cake.
  • Order the groom and groomsmen tuxedos.
  • Go to the county clerk to get marriage license.
  • Meet with the caterer and decide on wedding day menu.
  • Choose ceremony and reception music.
  • Mail your wedding invitations.

1+ month before your wedding:

  • Do a hair and makeup trial.
  • Finalize appointments for hair and makeup.
  • Finalize seating arrangements for the reception.
  • Make a list of all wedding vendors and all of your wedding party with contact information.
  • Final wedding dress fitting.
  • Make sure you let your best man and maid of honor know if you expect them to give a toast.

2+ weeks before your wedding:

  • Write your vows.
  • Write a rehearsal dinner toast.
  • Pay vendors that expect full payment before wedding. Place any amounts due on the wedding day in envelopes for easy distribution.

1+ weeks before your wedding:

  • Arrange who will be in charge of taking the different things to the reception. (cake knife, gifts for guests, champaign glasses etc…)
  • Go get a manicure, facial, waxing, massage, etc…
  • Let your caterer know your final head count.
  • Start packing for your honeymoon.

The day of your wedding:

  • Relax and enjoy your wedding day. Know that not everything will go as planned, but anything is only as bad as your reaction to it. Congratulations!
Wedding Planning Timeline created and contributed by Marcos Martinez; owner and photographer for Wedding Xpressions Photography based in El Paso, TX.

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Should I Hire a Photographer for My Wedding?

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This is a question that every wedding professional would answer with an emphatic YES! In fact, the book The Knot Ultimate Wedding Planner by Carley Roney starts off the subject of photography with this statement: “If you’re going to splurge on anything for your wedding, it should be the pictures. They’ll preserve your memories better than anything else you purchase for the big event”.

Should you hire just any photographer for your wedding… maybe your uncle with a nice camera? Some may say that any photographer is better than none. But we think that your wedding photography is much more important than that. In fact, we don’t even think that just any professional photographer is right for your wedding.

You should take time to interview many professional photographers. You should see that their work is exactly the style you want. Talk to them to see if they have a personality that will aid in you having a pleasant day instead of stressing you out. Do they include an album that will preserve your memories? We think that is very important. Price should not be as big a factor. You should think about saving money elsewhere so that you are able to hire the photographer that you want instead of the one that charges less. This doesn’t mean you should spend a fortune, but remember that a good photographer is a very important investment on your wedding day.

Every photographer has a different style, but we think you should hire one that will capture the day as it happens as well as capture some formal family photos. Make sure you see complete weddings shot by your wedding photographer instead of just some of his/her best shots. Anybody can get good shots once in a while, but only a true professional can get great shots all through out the wedding.

Even though you will spend a lot of money on your wedding, after it is all said and done, all you will have left are your memories. Only a good professional photographer will help preserve those memories for the rest of your life. We invite you to take a look at the professional photographers on our Wedding Vendors page.

Article contributed by Marcos Martinez, photographer and owner of Wedding Xpressions Photography located in El Paso, TX

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Do I Really Need a Videographer?

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If you already have a good photographer, should you also get a videographer? That is completely up to you. But remember that a videographer will preserve your wedding memories differently than your photographer. You will be able to see and hear the action as it happened.

How do you know who to choose? Don’t just go with a Photo/Video package. Most places that offer both photo and video either specializes in one or the other or none at all. We recommend hiring your photographer first and then asking him/her for a referral. But of course, as with looking for a photographer you should also not just hire the first one you see. Interview a few until you find the one that best suits your style.

Also keep in mind that videographers have very different styles. Not only do they shoot in a different style, but they go about capturing your day in completely different ways. For example, there may be a videographer that captures your day unobtrusively without interacting with you or your guests (documentary style). Another videographer may take time to interview you and your fiancé during the day to capture what you are feeling and then go out and interview your guests during the wedding (direct style or reality show style). Some may be very artistic and look for interesting angles to shoot during the day and edit with many effects (artsy style).

Also the final product is important. Will you be getting a long 2-3 hour video that captures every detail of what happened or will it be a fun 30 min. recap of the day?

In any case we invite you to call a few of the videographers on our list of vendors and interviewing them until you find the one that is appropriate for you.

Article contributed by Marcos Martinez, photographer and owner of Wedding Xpressions located in El Paso, TX

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Does it Matter What Reception Site I Choose?

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Yes. There are many reasons why besides the obvious.

First of all you have to know approximately how many guests you want at your wedding. We’ve seen weddings with as little as 17 guests to over 500 guests. There are reception halls available to accommodate all sizes of weddings.

Then you have to decide if you want an outdoor or indoor wedding. If you decide to have an outdoor wedding reception, make sure there is a plan B available just in case it rains. You can also have a choice to have your ceremony outdoors and your reception indoors or visa versa.

Even though those details are important, you should also take into consideration the ambience or feeling the reception hall has during a wedding. Ask to visit the hall during an actual wedding or event so you see how an actual event looks and feels.

We believe that the best locations keep everyone close to the action. The dance floor and the bride and grooms table are at the center of the hall making sure that no one feels too far making even a large wedding feel like a small family event.

Take a look at our large list of reception sites on our list of vendors.

Article contributed by Marcos Martinez, photographer and owner of Wedding Xpressions Photography located in El Paso, TX

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What to Look for When Hiring a Minister for My Wedding?

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Just a few generations ago, the individual performing your wedding ceremony probably would have been a fairly straightforward choice. Your officiant naturally would be the family pastor or, if eloping, a justice of the peace. As a modern couple, you perhaps are among the growing number of modern couples who desire a non-traditional wedding outside of a traditional church setting.

Couples in the midst of planning their wedding face numerous major decisions. You probably are facing the same challenges, such as selecting just the right wedding dress, reception location, florist, and photographer. And yet, perhaps you are like many who tend to overlook what should be one of your most important decisions – selecting the person who will officiate your wedding ceremony. Rather than an afterthought, your choice of an officiant can easily determine if your ceremony will be the dream of a lifetime or a lifelong disappointment.

Your approach to selecting a minister should be much like any employee hiring process. It needs to begin with creating a type of “job description” in which you have clear performance expectations of the officiant. The interview is next step in the hiring process. No officiant should object to meeting with you in person at no cost or obligation and answering any questions to your satisfaction. In developing your list of interview questions, consider including the following:

1. “How many years have you been performing wedding ceremonies?”
Only through direct experience will a minister develop the skill to prepare and present consistently memorable ceremonies.

2. “From what church or religious organization did you obtain your ordination and when?”
Ensure that the organization granting the minister’s ordination has a legitimate religious purpose. In the past ten or so years, the Internet has resulted in an explosive growth of online churches that have as their primary mission the ordination of individuals who only want to make money performing marriages or obtaining IRS tax exempt status. Every minister should show you his/her “letter of good standing” from the church or organization.

3. “Exactly how will you help us create a personal and memorable wedding?”
Every wedding minister should be able and willing to provide you extensive guidance that will give you several ideas and options that you can use. While you are describing your “dream wedding,” is the minister truly listening and asking questions in order to gain a complete understanding of your vision? Do you get the feeling that he/she thinks of you as “just another customer” or as one of the most important persons in the world at that moment?

Your interview with a wedding minister should be a two-way conversation. The minister should ask you several questions – not only about your vision of a dream wedding, but also the type of ceremony you have in mind (Christian, spiritual, civil, etc.), size and composition of your wedding court, and attire (formal, semi-formal, business, or business-casual).

You will have many choices to make in planning your dream wedding, and yet only one opportunity to achieve it. Insist on a minister with whom you have confidence in their experience and ability to guide you to realizing your dream.

Article contributed by Rev. Fred William Graf, certified wedding officiant located in El Paso, TX

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