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Serge Gree Photography

 I`m a Wedding Photographer based out of New York, available for national and international travel.

My work is a mix of photojournalism and classic style, which allows you to have the best of everything that modern wedding photography has to offer.

Visit my website at: http://sergegree.com



Wedding Wishes

Hi there,

My name is El, I'm 27 and a bride-to-be. I'm also a web developer and in the process of setting up a wedding community website called "Wedding Wishes" at http://www.weddingwishes.co

I'm looking to get the ball rolling and encourage some communication on the forums before I actually launch the site, and as such, I'd love to invite the community to join for free and even receive a couple of freebies I picked up while doing some marketing for work. There's a fantastic ebook worth $40 that you can download for free that claims to save you thousands. Not sure how accurate that is in practice, but I've read it and it is actually really good... and really very free!

Anyway, I'd love to see all of you over at Wedding Wishes to claim your membership and free goodies. Feel free to add my personal journal or message me if you have any questions or need a hand.

I apologise if some of you got caught in a cross-post or if this isn't an appropriate intro. Mods - please delete this message if you feel it lacks value to the community.

Wonderful to meet you all,

Today's tip 2-21-2010

Todays Tip is about invitations.

If you, like me, are printing your own at home and want more options than just Times New Roman in black on white paper.

I suggest looking at dafont.com, they have a great selection of user-made fonts that are free to download for personal use(invitations count!).

I would first look at the people who are getting married. Are they super traditional and would they love this font

Or are they having a funky retro wedding and would love this font

There are litterally hundreds of fonts to choose from, take some time and dig through the pages they have. Thankfully they are all divided into different themes such as Fancy, Foreign, Techno, Script and Holiday.

Tip of the Day 2-7-2010

Todays tip is about cake. It can be pretty darn expensive for something that will be reduced to cardboard and plastic pillars by the end of the night.

I've recently been given this tip and I thought I would share it with you.

Get your dream cake in a smaller size (enough to feed 20 people) from a fancy bakery.
Like this one from local bakery Xtra Special Cakes:

The smaller cake is just for show, for your pictures and cake cutting ceremony. The majority of the guests can be served from a sheet cake that you purchase at a smaller bakery or even the grocery store bakery that can be decorated with a similar color scheme. The best part is... you can even cut the sheet cake prior to the main cake cutting and it will be all ready to serve when your guests line up. Much faster and can actually save you hundreds of dollars.

Average 3-4 tier wedding cake: about $400*
Smaller 2 tier cake: about $100* plus full sheet cake about $60*

* indicates estimated prices. Contact a bakery in your area for an acurate estimate.

Today's tip 1-30-2010

Today's tip:
Ask Questions!

I cannot stress enough the importance of asking questions.

Asking each vendor atleast 10 questions gets you information that others don't get. If you ask a bunch of questions it shows that vendor that you are seriously interested in what they offer and they are more than likely to spend more time with you. You can't imagine how many times someone stops into their shop, asks "how much are these flowers" and then leaves. If you show interest, they will give you cost cutting tips, they will refer you to people who can do the same thing closer to your area, they can even sometimes make a deal with you on price.

Asking alot of questions lets you know exactly what you are paying for. For example if you go into a flowershop and ask about carnations, they will tell you they are $2 each. Ask them what that entails. You may think you get a carnation in a plastic bag, but what you are getting is a carnation with alot of fillers (ie. ferns, baby's breath, tissue and so on). Ask for the flowers naked. Just the flowers, if you are wanting to do the arrangements on your own. Usually they can cut the price in half. Even if you only get a few bucks off, you are still getting a deal because you asked questions.

Also asking questions helps with timelines. If you want to order your flowers now and the wedding isn't til August, then that's fine. If you ask what kind of notice they need to get you 10 dozen naked white carnations, they will tell you atleast 2-3 weeks. That way if you don't have the means just yet, you have sometime to save up.

Ask questions of the venues as well. Some places don't allow music after ten, others don't allow open flame. Ask to take a tour of the reception hall before you book. If you have plenty of time until the big day, see if you can attend an event in the same hall. That way you get a feel for how a party will function in that area.

Ask about payment plans, deadlines, extras. Don't settle for just paying what the tag says, negotiate, ask if they have free delivery if the venue is in the same town. Most of all make sure you know exactly what you are paying for.

Save the Dates

Today's subject is Save The Dates. Are they really all that necesary? Why do they have to be so expensive?

Well to answer the first question, kinda. They are a quick heads up to people who need extra time to make travel arrangements or just to request the day off from work. They can be as simple as a postcard or an email. They can also be as fancy as a business card sized magnet with your pictures on them with the info on it. Its totally up to you.

The answer to the second question is that they don't have to be. They can get pretty pricy if you order them online. I just got back from a trip to Michael's and I'm making the Save The Dates(STD's for short) for my parent's wedding as I type this.

Here's how I am doing it, step by step...


Cardstock in desired colors and patterns
(I am using the Cape Cod collection from Michaels for 3.99 for 50 sheets)

Rubber stamps and ink of your choice
(Right now Michaels has Valentine themed stamps for $1, I got one that says "All you need is love". My parents are huge Beatles fans!)

Glue stick


My example is going to be super simple and straight to the point.

I need to make about 100 STD's. I figure I can make at least 3 postcard size pieces per page.

  • Fist off I need to open my word processor I use Microsoft works because that's what came with my computer. Open a blank document and go under tools and click on envelope. You will get a small menu that has size options. Click down at the bottom where it says custom size. Set the size for 6" width and 4" height.

  • Now you have your postcard size document! Remove the text boxes and creat your postcard. Make sure to include your names, the date, city and state and the words "Formal invitation to follow".
    If you are not sure how to put it all in there, do a quick google search and look up Save The Date wording.

    This is the wording I am using:
    Save the Date!
    Roy and Maria Chaires'
    25th Wedding Anniversary
    August 7th, 2010
    Mount Vernon, WA

    Formal invitation to follow

  • Don't forget to spellcheck! When you are done will spell check and gramar check, print off a test run on plain paper. When you've made all the corrections you can and are satisfied you can do a test run on your cardstcok.

  • I cut the words out of plain paper and glued them to the bottom portion of the post card.

  • I then stamped a monogram that I made(instructions below) on the top center portion of the post card and waited until they were dry to put addresses on them.

I used the 4 different blues that came in the pack.

Another reason why postcards are ideal, postage is 28cents! You don't have to buy books of stamps, just take your stack of postcards to the Post Office and have them put the postcard stamps on. You'll save 16cents per card and If you have to send 100 cards thats a savings of $16.00. It may not seem like a lot, but believe me you can use that extra $16 for something else that comes along.

If you want a monogram for the Save the Dates an easy way to make one is in Paint or Photoshop. If you are like me and don't trust your computer skills too much you can do what I did.

  • Take the letters for your monogram from a set of rubberstamps that can be purchased anywhere from $1 to $15 depending on the size of the letters.
  • Tape the letters together when you are sure that they are centered.
  • Ink pads are available from the dollar store or from Michaels for $1.99.

Jan. 26th, 2010

The wedding I am planning this very second is actually 25years in the making. Its my parent's 25th anniversary/slash/wedding they never had.
The color sceme is blues, white, and silver. It is after all their silver anniversary and they chose blues because its easier than trying to match one shade of blue. Be flexible! That's my first tip.

My mother saw a picture of a Hollywood Wedding reception that had cobalt blue glass dishes for the guests to eat off of. As much as I love her, we both decided that that was a little crazy to try to achieve on our budget, so we comprimised. We decided to use blue glass dishes for the centerpieces. Easier said than done right?!?! Actually it was kind of easy. I scoured everythift shop with in a 20 mile radius. I set a budget of $30 for the centerpieces not including the flowers. I went to 2 different shops and came out with 2 small blue glass votive candle holders for 50cents each. I felt I needed to step it up so I wandered over to Goodwill and noticed that they were having a pink tag sale. I went to the aisle that had the drinking glasses and voila!

Some of the taller vases were $2.99 with pink tags making them only $1.49 all the rest were 69cents and 49cents. I purchased 18 pieces for only $18.00!!!

The flowers in the picture aren't real, I made them out of paper to show my mother how the flowers would look in the glasses. They are super simple to make using white tissue paper and floral wire or pipe cleaners depending on what you have laying around the house. We decided on white carnations because they are always in season and clean and simple.

I also found a blue glass plate for 99cents and put some flameless candles that I got at the dollar store (2for$1). I am normally not a huge fan of flameless candles as they can be highly overpriced at some of the bigger stores and even walmart.

I know that some reception sites don't allow open flames for saftey reasons and this is a great alternative to real candles. Always check before you buy tons of real candles for the tables as you might not be able to take them back.

My second score was really a two day endevour. I went to a smaller thrift shop in the downtown area and was drawn instantly to this beautiful set of vintage light blue glass dishes. There were over 50 pieces dinner plates, cups and saucers with a simple design. I was not 100% on the price ($29.99) for the amount that I was getting that was less than $1 each, but still $29.99 was my whole budget for the center pieces. I asked an employee if they had been there long, she said since November. Some thift shops will be a little flexible with prices if an item has been in the store for a long period of time. Atleast we do at the thrift shop I work at. The employee then said those 5 magical words I was hoping to hear. "It goes half off tomarrow". I risked it, I left that pretty set and made a mental note of when they opened the next morning. At 9:30 am when the doors opened I made a dash for the dishes and walked out having paid $14.99 for over 50 pieces of beautiful vintage blue glass dishes.

Inaugural Post

I have been planning weddings and wedding related parties as a hobby for friends and family members for the past 3 years. I have purchased every bridal magazine known to man, several times a year. The whole time looking for just one thing. A clue as to what to do, what to buy and how not to spend a fortune on it. I am always lured in by the same things most people are: the pretty pictures and the hope that some how I too can have a hollywood caliber fete without having to marry a millionaire.

Believe it or not, it can be done! I have spent most of my life being not wealthy and have mastered the art of the coupon. It can be done!

This journal will be about suggestions on how to cut costs for your upcoming wedding. Ask questions, share you're stories and tips if you'd like.