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Marryoke


You learn something new every day if you’re lucky. Today was my first exposure to the concept of ‘marryoke.’ Well, okay, then.

Most of us know about karaoke, that staple entertainment of drunks who can’t sing everywhere. Yes, I have heard a couple people who really were good belting out a great song, but let’s face it, the vast majority of karaoke is sung by people who could barely keep the tune inside the bucket when they were sober… three shots ago.

I must admit the worst karaoke experience I ever heard wasn’t someone who was drunk, but a young boy attempting to sing all parts of Bohemian Rhapsody while in the throes of his voice changing. He didn’t know from one note to the next whether he was going to be a counter tenor or a basso profundo. Yeah, that was kind of the last mental straw for karaoke and me.

Then again, marryoke doesn’t involve anyone actually having to be able to sing. So what is it? I thought you’d never ask!
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Is It Okay to Haggle With Wedding Vendors?

Weddings are expensive, amirite?

Most wedding vendors post package prices on their web sites – and if not, a photographer or caterer or florist will usually have a brochure listing a sort of menu of various packages and options. And it’s easy to balk at those rates when you’re newly-engaged. I’ve been asked a few times by brides-to-be whether it’s okay to haggle with wedding vendors, i.e., say something like “Are you willing to give me Package B for $1500 instead of $2000? How about $1800?” My answer? I don’t think so. As much as I like to talk about the “wedding tax” and how overpriced so many wedding accessories are, I also like to think that most wedding vendors are good, honest people and thus price their services accordingly.

A wedding vendor is not a weekend flea market hobbyist or a homeowner hosting a garage sale, and the payment they receive for the services they provide to brides and grooms are often their sole source of income. Maybe it’s just that I’m a freelancer, but the idea of treating a specialty service like a secondhand stairmaster seems a little weird to me. So no, I would not recommend haggling with wedding vendors.

What you can do is negotiate based on your needs. Let’s say the aforementioned Package B is for wedding flowers and you think $2000 seems a little steep BUT you love the florist’s work. AND you don’t actually need or even really want every last little thing in Package B. There’s nothing at all wrong with approaching the wedding florist you’ve fallen in love with and telling her that Package B makes the most sense for you, but you only need five centerpieces, not eight, and you’re having bridesmen not bridesmaids so you won’t need any bridesmaids’ bouquets. I don’t think I’ve ever personally encountered a wedding vendor who was unwilling to make adjustments to prices when making adjustments to packages.

In other words, negotiating with wedding vendors is usually as easy as asking to order “off the menu” and there’s nothing wrong with simply inquiring as to whether a vendor is willing to lower their package prices when you’re not asking for everything in that particular package. (And you should never feel obligated to take everything in a package when you don’t want it!) That way, you and your wedding vendors can work together to create something that’s exactly what you need at a price that you can both live with.

What do you think of negotiating with wedding vendors? How about haggling – would you do it?

This and That About Weddings and Marriage

Swine flu has been big in the news of late. What does this have to do with weddings? I’m sure it’s factored into at least a few couples’ plans…but I know for certain that it’s altered Seal and Heidi Klum’s annual vow renewal ceremony. Each year since they married in 2005, they’ve gone back to the site of their marriage in Mexico to renew their commitment to one another. This year, however, with worries about swine flu, three small children and another on the way, they’ve decided to play it safe and stay home. They will hold their annual ceremony in Los Angeles rather than skip the festivities.

Yearly vow renewals: what do you think? Me? I think I would prefer to save up an idea like that for a major milestone, but if it makes Heidi and Seal happy (which it seems to do), I say more power to them.

Changing plans for a vow renewal, however, is not nearly as traumatic as calling off an entire wedding, as Megan McAllister and Phillip Markoff did two days ago. The reason for the change in plans? Phillip is preparing to stand trial in the infamous Craigslist murder of masseuse Julissa Brisman last month. McAllister maintains her belief in Markoff’s innocence, but her lawyer, Robert Honecker said in a public statement on her behalf that “…she has to take steps to do what she has to do on her life.”

Whatever the truth in the legal case now pending, I wish McAllister well. This is obviously a difficult time for her. She has my sympathy.

On a more practical note, I’m loving a feature of the website Project Wedding. They feature a vendor review section. Simply choose the area closest to you (choose from urban centers throughout the US as well as several major cities in Canada, England, Australia, and the catch-all section ‘other’), pick the service you’re looking for, and read promotional materials and reviews from customers both satisfied and un.

If you’re looking for a vendor, you might want to read up on how different ones in your area do. If you’ve recently used a vendor who is listed, take a moment and let potential customers know how you felt about the services provided.

Super 8: Modern Nuptial Nostalgia From Cake and Lemonade

We’re always looking for holes in content here at Manolo for the Brides, and I just realized today that a search for videography produced zero results. We didn’t even have a category for it until just last weekend! Wedding videography is one of those things that people have strong opinions about, like whether charitable wedding favors are rude or wedding cake is a must-have.

This is due in part to the fact that many people can’t think of wedding videos without thinking of those grainy, badly lit VHS tapes from the 80s. But the fact is that today’s wedding videography can be lots of things, from slickly produced journalism-style wedding documentaries to old school Super 8 films with serious retro flair.

Cake and Lemonade is one of the companies working with Super 8 to produce bright, saturated (and, yes, grainy) videos that are mercifully short and sweet. And silent, though they do set their films to music after editing.

Present day nostalgia doesn’t come cheap, however. Packages start at $3,500 for a video much like the one above.