Thursday, September 2, 2010
I've received a few emails about weddings at OLV in Lackawanna from both brides that want to get married there and current brides planning their wedding there. I wanted to share some guidance for frequently asked questions.
1. How much does it cost to have a wedding at OLV?
Like most churches, OLV asks for a contribution. Of course, if there are any financial hardships it's best to speak with a priest. The requested contribution is $450 and includes everything (organist, sacristan/altar servers, priest). In my opinion, this keeps it simple, no need to fret over how much of a contribution you give to the priest, organist, etc.
2. How can I have my wedding at OLV?
First and foremost, you need to be a member of the parish (this is typical of most Catholic churches in Western New York). This, in my opinion, ensures that the party getting married is getting married in the Church for proper reasons. To ensure that you are a practicing member, OLV requires that you are a member for at least 9 months prior to setting a wedding date.
3. What days of the week/what times can weddings take place?
Saturdays are without a doubt the most requested day. For Saturday weddings, there are two time spots: 11.30am and 1.30pm. They also have weddings on Friday afternoons and evenings. You can inquire about other days of the week as well, however you cannot have a wedding on a Sunday, per the Diocese of Buffalo's regulations.
4. Is there a bridal preparation or waiting room?
No. You will need to be dressed prior to arriving at the church. You can wait in the basement, where there are some benches, if you're looking for a spot to sit or are worried about anyone seeing you prior to the ceremony.
5. What are the photography/videography restrictions?
Each priest at OLV has their own guidelines whether or not flash photography is allowed. The priests at OLV during my preparation had no problems with flash. Photographers and filmmakers are encouraged to be as discrete as possible, but they are allowed to walk around for coverage. They can also go up into the organ and choir loft for photos/film. In my opinion, they were overall lax in this category compared to other churches I've heard about.
* The floor of the Basilica is quite dirty. The heavier the dress, the more dirt seems to adhere to it according to a few OLV Brides I've spoken with. You cannot use an aisle runner in the church.
* There is a Pepsi machine downstairs. This is helpful in case you need or want a drink after the ceremony to take with you for your formal portraits.
* Getting a phone call in return from a priest or secretary can be difficult. Stay on top of them. The secretaries don't seem to know anything and always defer to the priest -- even down to the question "who needs to be in attendance at the rehearsal?" We had to call our local parish in Washington, DC to inquire about the norms of rehearsal because we never received a phone call back after numerous attempts.
* If there is another wedding taking place the same day you can work with the other couple to share in the cost of flowers, etc.
* If you choose to give flowers to the Virgin Mary during the ceremony, you will be giving them to her in the Lourdes Grotto (where Father Baker is located) and not the Mary behind the altar (and out-of-view from the church). It's important to notify your film crew and photographers because it's behind where the filmmakers/photogs generally cover -- they set up their tripods facing the altar -- and they may not be prepared for this if you don't notify them.
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
We narrowed down the selections to the following and linked the choices to YouTube videos:
considered Trumpet Tune in D Major, David Johnson
selected Holy God, We Praise Thy Name
We selected Holy God, We Praise Thy Name to walk down the aisle together because we met at Adoration, so this song holds a special place in our hearts. Although when I heard that Trumpet Tune, I was stunned! It's beautiful!!
Offertory Hymn (Preparation of the Gifts):
Improvisation/Organ Music (organist just plays something he likes/makes something up)
Sign of Peace:
Prayer of St Francis ("Make me a channel of your peace") -- I'm not sure if this was actually played.
Agnes Dei (Lamb of God):
Agnes Dei (in Latin)
The groom requested the Latin version although it's not typically used wide-spread in Buffalo (and not at all at Our Lady of Victory, but the organist was fine with it)
considered One Bread, One Body [organ-only version]
selected Gift of Finest Wheat
We wanted a Eucharist-related song for communion, as it is a highlight of the ceremony. However, as we were having many non-Catholics attend the ceremony we didn't consider "Taste and See" due to the lyrics, knowing that those non-Catholics would not be able to receive communion (and therefore won't be able to 'taste'). We thought that "One Bread, One Body" may be a bit along the border too.
Post-Communion Meditation (taking flowers to the Virgin Mary):
Hallelujah Chorus, Handel [this rendition wanted me to have a choir]
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Here are the general guidelines from the Diocese of Buffalo.
Wedding-specific song sites (please add more to the list if you know of any!):
St. Patrick Cathedral in New York
St. Clement Catholic Church
St. Paul Cathedral in Pittsburgh
Diocese of San Diego [pdf file of guidelines and suggestions]
Regis University [pdf file of guidelines and suggestions]
Catholic Books that address wedding/nuptial mass music:
Celebrating Marriage: Preparing the Roman Catholic Wedding Liturgy [I have personally not used this resource]
Catholic Song Sites in general:
Spirit and Song
Tomorrow I will post more about the music we included in our nuptial mass.
Monday, August 30, 2010
People kept commenting about this so we feel that it was very much worth the effort -- it was a little detail that stood out. However, we created five designs and people at the reception were trying to 'collect all 5' and I'm worried that's a reason why the water ran out (it was a hot day to begin with but with people hording... not a good idea). So if I had to do it again, I would limit the designs to two or three.
Product: We ordered the 8.5" x 2" waterproof labels from Online Labels* (they come in virtually any quantity and various sizes that you could imagine). The labels we ordered fit around Aquafina water bottles. In the end we found Eco-fina (Aquafina's eco-friendly line) at Sam's Club and the labels needed to be trimmed a little bit on one of the five designs for it to fit without overlap.
Design: Online Labels has downloadable templates which were easy to use and we had no troubles printing on them. For the design, we just took a photo and popped it in and added our names, wedding date and a quote/verse. We kept it simple. Here is how they turned out:
These are screen shots of the design which accounts for the squiggly red line. I also added the black border to help visualize what it looks like.
It was super easy to put these labels on the water bottles. We put them on four cases of bottles in under 20 minutes. It's as simple as tearing off the labels and attaching the new ones.
Other options: we also looked into printing the designs on plain white paper using a laser jet printer, and I even tried it to see if the color would run with water....and it didn't. However we decided that it would be too laborious (print out, measure each one perfectly, hand cut out or pay Fedex kinko's to cut them out, and glue them on...and wait for them to dry).
Plus, the price of the labels was very reasonable: 9 cents a piece. Totally worth it!
* Product Number OL1985LP; 5 labels per sheet; weatherproof polyester laser
Friday, June 18, 2010
FYI for those going to a Workshop: I'd suggest you'd wear closed-toe flat shoes, tie up long hair and wear comfy clothes. At the end of the Workshop you get Champagne...but if you don't drink alcohol, Chris (he thinks of everything) has sparkling cider that tastes wonderful!
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Registry Experience #1: REI
I looked into a registry with EMS (Eastern Mountain Sports), a favorite backpacking/hiking store, but they do not have a registry service (and I really needed a 'footprint' for my tent...the groundcloth that goes under the tent to protect it). REI, a similar store, does have a registry feature.
It's been effortless -- we've been building the registry only online (have not set foot in the store). Catholicgauze needs hiking boots and a backpack for our adventures, and I'd like to get some add-ons to the JetBoil I purchased at EMS a few years back. We'd be purchasing these items anyway, so if family and friends would like to give them as a gift, that would be great.
Registry Experience #2: Bed, Bath and Beyond
We decided on Bed, Bath and Beyond (BBB) for multiple reasons. First, they have locations all around the country (important for family and friends that are from far-away lands). Secondly, they have a wide variety of merchandise and options. While we already have most household items that we need, there are a few items that would be nice to have, but we're indifferent if we receive them. This registry is structured more towards those that are inclined to purchase a gift off of a registry than give money.
The folks at BBB were great. They took the time to explain the process, and the associates around the store were quick to say "hello" when they saw us coming with the 'scan gun' and when we had a few issues, they were quick to solve it and eager make it easy on us. They even offered us something to drink. You can build the Registry online as well, but it's nice to be able to touch the towels and sheets in order to select the one you like best.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Doesn't look so bad in the front...
Not sure if I like the back.
There were over 25 bobby pins in my hair!
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Now that we're thinking about signage at the wedding itself, I decided that I would try to find the same fonts for free. I've read (on Weddingbee, etc) of brides/grooms going so far as to pay for fonts -- I wasn't about to do that; if the fonts weren't available, then I would find something suitable.
But don't fret -- I was able to find the main one: Parisian. I found it within seconds on Font Space.
And for the other one, P22 PanAm, I haven't been able to find it (for free/open source). PanAm really brought me back to a style of font used around the turn-of-the-century and I suspected that the font was titled for Buffalo's Pan-American Exposition in 1901. That is exactly what we were looking for, as our reception is in a building that was built just at the end of the 1800s and our wedding is not a black-tie event (we didn't want script font thinking that it would convey that the event was overly formal).
"This font was created to help celebrate the centennial of the Pan-American exposition of 1901 which was held in Buffalo, New York. It is based on a variety of printed ephemera from the exhibition (which incidentally is most noted not for the spectacular electrical illuminations provided by nearby Niagara Falls, but rather for the assassination of President William McKinley)." [cite]One thing that I noticed that P22 was selling their font cheaper (by five cents) on their website than other third-party websites (such as fonts.com) sell them. But, if I were to purchase a font, I would see about buying it directly from the source, as they are the ones that put their sweat equity into designing it in the first place!
Friday, April 16, 2010
I looked for bulk/wholesale/etc. bags and came upon many that were rather expensive (especially if the website was wedding-related).
Company: Tan's Club
Monday, April 12, 2010
An Easter Basket for a centerpiece! So simple!
Close-up of the Fourth of July Centerpiece. Just layer two/three napkins and add a tiny basket with American flags. The napkins in the water glasses also carried on the theme.
Sunday, April 11, 2010
The cost of the pre-wedding trial service is $90 (which I think is a bit high for Buffalo, especially when my "bridal up-do" isn't an up-do at all)!
And this is how it turned out (photos taken without flash...if that makes any difference to you):
The two "horns" are on the right-side (the more defined curls) and became more pronounced as the day wore on (it was a windy day in Downtown Buffalo...but it could also be just as windy on my wedding day)
The total cost of the services for the day-of-the-wedding (or any of their bridal packages, found on their website) do not include a touch-up kit (unlike major metropolitan areas).
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Company that Manufactures: Wasara
Line: Wasara tableware
Materials: Tree-free renewable materials (sugar cane fiber, bamboo, and reed pulp)
Dimensions: 3.1”, 5.9”, 8.0” in square (aka “Kaku”)
3.5”, 6.5”, 9.0” in circle (aka “Maru”)
My Overview: The Wasara collection comes in all-white. The plates, both square and circle, have a little lip on one side of the plate; I suppose it’s in order to help with gripping. The bottom side of the plate is textured and fells/looks like a paper plate. The plates feel thin and do not have the heaviness that I’ve seen in other similar options. The plates are stylish and the collection at-large looks like a Japanese design (they market it that way).
The Bottom Line:
They come in bulk packs or smaller consumer sizes
Medium (sleeve of 100): $90, $0.90 each
Large (sleeve of 100): $128, $1.28 each
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Company that Manufactures: Bambu (located in China)
Name of Product Line: Veneerware Plates
Materials: 100% organically-grown bamboo, peeled directly from the stalk
Dimensions: 7”, 9”, or 11” diameter
My Overview: These are sturdy (heavier than a ‘heavy paper plate’) good-looking plates. I would use these for a wedding or special occasion. Each plate has a nice ~1 inch raised rim around the plate. On the back side of the plate, it states “Bambu.” If you were thinking about using chargers, you could spray paint the 11” plate and have the 9” nestle inside it. The 7” plates would be good for appetizers.
Bulk packs of 100 (they also come in other amounts):
7” -- $65.00, $0.65 each
9” -- $ 85.00, $0.85 each
11” -- $127.00, $1.27 each
Other info: You can order a Sample Pack from Branch's website.
This is the 9" nestled in the 11" plate. The line you see down the 9" looks like a stitch mark of where the materials came together (I think that adds, not detracts, from the plate). All of the plates have these marks.
The bottom of the plate states the manufacturer "bambu." I like this feature, as it distinguishes itself as something more than a regular 'chinet' paper plate. You can also see the grain.
Monday, March 1, 2010
I ordered sample packs from various companies, and will review each set over the course of this week. I will also review other compostable/biodegradable cups, silverware, etc. as well.
After the reception, I will be giving the dinnerware to a friend of the family who composts (a win-win solution: saving money while keeping more garbage out of landfills). For those thinking about having a “green wedding” and/or thinking about ways to save money – it is possible if you think outside of the box.
Sunday, February 28, 2010
Sara, at 2000 Dollar Wedding, recently wrote a post about taking pre-marital counselling after she and her husband got married. They weren't having problems, but instead wanted to gain strategies for their marriage. There are religious and secular pre-marital classes out there, although I assume that the secular ones are a bit harder to come by.
She writes about some topics that her husband and herself are working on. It's a good read!
Saturday, February 27, 2010
The bottom line: 5% discount on flights into/out of Buffalo
and a 5% discount on Avis rental cars
While these may or may not be the best deals out there (I think you can find better discounts for rental cars), it shows out-of-town guests that you're trying to make life easier and cheaper for them!
Contact: Although many companies have online forms to fill out for such group discounts, we found it easier to call and speak with someone (sometimes the forms would go unanswered from various companies).
8:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. (CT)
Monday - Friday
Friday, February 26, 2010
[While we're in a little different situation than the woman asking Miss Manners for advice, it was hard for my fiance and I to decide where to have our wedding. I'm originally from Buffalo-Niagara, and he is originally from the Mid-West. We have family and friends all over the US, including here in Washington. We both have family members that can't travel due to health and financial concerns. No matter what, the wedding would be considered a 'destination' one. Good luck to those brides out there with similar situations!]
Thursday, February 25, 2010
[I haven’t seen a good list of “what to ask a videographer” similar to "what to ask photographers" online, so I wanted to add my two-cents.]
Websites with highlight clips from weddings are helpful at narrowing down the type of videographer you’d like to hire (style, content, overall editing/special effects). However, in order to determine who on your short-list you should hire depends on details and the entire film package. Ask videographers to send you information on their packages, and if it’s within your price-range, ask to see two or three full-length films in order so that you can see [non-]consistency and style (note: not all of them do this; they often want you to visit them in their office).
If you’re getting married in a particular church or religion (e.g. Our Lady of Victory Basilica) ask for a film of that church or religion (e.g. if they filmed at Our Lady of Victory take a look at that film, if they haven’t ask for Catholic weddings). Outdoor weddings can be filmed with different angles than a restrictive church.
Questions to ask besides the normal “what packages do you offer”:
• What videography/film training do you have? -or- How did you get started in the business?
• How many cameras do you use? Any stationary cameras? Do you have options to add
more (get their viewpoint if more is necessary, or what they can do with two cameras that they cannot do with one camera)? Is there a possibility to have two for the ceremony and one for the reception (to save on cost)?
• Do you put a microphone on the groom during the ceremony?
• How much do you charge for overtime?
• Can you describe how you work with photographers on the wedding day?
• Do you shoot in High Definition and provide copies of the wedding film on Blu-Ray (ask if this is important to you)?
• Can the bride and groom provide input prior to the wedding day on what aspects to shoot/are most important?
• Can the bride and groom be involved in the editing process?
• Can the bride and groom provide/suggest/state the music for any highlight segments of the
• Do you “interview” guests? (note: you may not want guests to be interviewed)
While watching the films look for the following:
• Is the lighting and picture quality good and sharp?
• How does the audio sound? Can you hear the bride and groom say their vows?
• Can you see the groom's and the bride's face during their portion of the vows?
• How are the scene transitions and effects? Do they look like it is fresh or from the early 1990s?
• Is there vibration/camera movement jerky or choppiness in the video? Is the video blurry?
• What is the length of the video/film – is it too short, too long, just right?
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
To get an idea of how it works, I stated that we were going to have 130 average drinkers for a 5-hour party with Beer and Liquor (there is an option to include wine). These are the results:
390 cans of beer
20 bottles of liquor
The Green Bride Guide
9 cases of beer
11 bottles of liquor
Perfect Party Planning
62 2-liter bottles of soft drinks
260 bottles/cans of beer
13 1-liter bottles of liquor
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Monday, February 22, 2010
According to CNN's recent travel article: Lovers take fresh look at Niagara Falls, Niagara Falls State Park (NY) issues about 350 wedding permits each year; Queen Victoria Park (Ontario) has about 250 weddings. And it is possible to get married just like Jim and Pam, on-board the Maid of the Mist -- however, you need to bring along your own minister to officiate.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
The US Catholic Conference of Bishops has a website all about marriage, including sections for those preparing for marriage. The tools and information they include can be used for any religion, as they give you just that – tools and information (not heavy lectures).
A good article they have is regarding the thought that once you’re married you’ll be able to change your spouse for the better. It states that “personal change and growth can become issues in marriage because we develop at different rates.” Instead of trying to change your spouse, you should engage them in self-change by asking them to help and support you to change something in your life. Usually this helps to generate change in other spouse too (an example might be: you want them to exercise more, so you decide to start exercising and invite them along).
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Catholicgauze and I took a trip to Buffalo so that we could meet with the priest at my parish, Our Lady of Victory, in order to get the wedding ceremony process started. It was a wonderful experience.
At the first meeting we did a little chit-chat and he went through the guidelines (gave us a nice little booklet and a list of things to check-off before our second meeting). He also spoke about the process of getting married in the Catholic Church at the parish.
He told us that the second meeting will be more focused on planning the actual ceremony and said that the parish uses "Together for Life" as a guide for couples to choose and customize their wedding (contrary to what most people think, the wedding ceremony is highly customizable) and that we would receive it on our next visit. Well, we're both so excited and eager Catholics whose number one priority throughout this (wedding planning) process is the sacrament itself. So, we bought the book (only $3.95 and free shipping from Amazon prime) and are spending time reading and praying about the choices we have.
Friday, February 19, 2010
The Buffalo Hyatt Regency recently had a tremendous makeover. I decided to stop over there to check out the guest room potential for our many out-of-town guests. The lobby is gorgeous with a huge globe right in the middle. The atrium bar and restaurant area was large and inviting. The guest rooms were beautiful, clean and the wallpaper is unique. The sizes of the rooms are average.
Internet, parking and breakfast are not included in the room rate. Valet parking is currently not available, and the parking ramp is located a half a block away, but the hotel is currently working on that detail and they hope to have a solution in place before the summer. The staff is extremely friendly --from the bellhop that showed us around the hotel, to the person that worked with me on blocking the rooms and the front desk staff.
Overall: We have a block reserved for our guests
The Bottom Line: $119 a night (the going rate on the travel sites is $179) - a substantial savings
Thursday, February 18, 2010
We will be having wedding guests that originate from around the world (over 13 countries) and around the US (I can count at least 6). It's been interesting describing the region and answering their "what is there to do" questions. Many are surprised at the ample amount of attractions.
I'm proud to show-off the Buffalo-Niagara region (that's my favorite name to use... it's the best of both worlds and unites the best things we have to offer).
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
I wonder if those that left deposits with Park Lane received them back, and what those brides and grooms are doing in the meantime (are they looking for a new venue on the same date, did they have to change their date, or postpone in order to accommodate their wedding)?
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
What we are NOT including in the budget:
Category 1 --- includes anything that "lasts a lifetime"
-marriage license, marriage prep classes/pre-cana
-visiting the Priest (we need to fly into Buffalo in order to meet with him) for wedding ceremony prep
Category 2 --- includes anything that is or will be considered a "gift"
-the photography parent albums (their Christmas gifts, and therefore goes in a different budget)
-the photography album for ourselves (our Christmas gift, see above)
-my bouquet of flowers (I will be offering them to the Virgin Mary at the Church, and therefore is considered a tax write-off)
-Church offering (again, a tax write-off)
Category 3 --- includes anything that will be "re-purposed"
-our pairs of shoes
-any jewelry that we may buy
-the centerpieces to the tables (we're not having flowers)
-the woman's bathroom supplies basket
Things that are IN the budget..... but we hope to recoup the costs (by reselling):
-silverware (if we decide to buy instead of rent)
-linens (if we decide to buy instead of rent)
Monday, February 15, 2010
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Wow! Great job on this cake! Love it!
Would you like Buffalo Chicken Wings on your wedding cake? The Nickel City Wedding Cake Challenge took place on Saturday in Buffalo. Similar to what you can see on the Food Network's cake challenges, the Buffalo chefs had two hours to make a cake with the theme: “Buffalo Wedding”
The winning cake from Panaro’s on Delaware Avenue included wings, beef on weck (with horseradish of course!), and pizza. The two other contenders were Zillycakes and Pumpernick n’ Pastry Shop. There was also an amateur competition and food demonstrations.
The winning cake from Panaro's
Pumpernick n' Pastry
We were engaged for over a month before we started to plan the wedding. After speaking with my Buffalo parish to secure a date, the very next thing I did was email my favorite photographer (I had stalked out wedding photography blogs, especially of those photog's in the Buffalo-Niagara and Rochester areas. Unfortunately at the time, the photographer I loved was booked.)
I looked around, emailed around some more, and found a really great photographer, Deanna Wallace, from the Rochester area (studio name is Visually Deelicious). While her main trade is as a successful self-employed website designer, she has a great interest in wedding photography, and possesses a real eye for detail and the creative elements that many of the top (and way more expensive) photographers exhibit. We're both excited for her joining in our day.
What main things did we look for while selecting a photographer?
We both wanted a dynamic photojournalist-type photographer from the Western New York area. It's important for us to have photos that will showcase our personality.
We looked for a photographer that was able to take really great shots as well as a cohesive set (don't just look at 5 "best shots" they post on their blog, ask to see entire portfolio of one particular wedding -- not the "best shots" of all the weddings -- the quality you see there for that one particular wedding is what you should expect for your own).
Since photographers of this caliber charge more for their talent, it was important for us to find a photographer that has customizable packages and features (what may work for a majority of clients may not work for all!). We wanted an album, two parent albums, and reproduction rights (which is included in all of Deanna's packages). She put together a great package for us.