Before Hiring Your First Employee

Smiling woman portrait.Making the decision to hire your first employee is a celebratory milestone for your wedding business. Especially if business is booming and you could use a hand with the workload, then hiring some assistance makes sense. Before starting the hiring process, ensure that you are compliant with your state and federal regulations. Read on for tips on what to do before hiring your first employee.

Get an Employee Identification Number

According to Sba.gov, it is advised for businesses hiring employees to attain an employee identification number or EIN from the Internal Revenue Service. The EIN is necessary for tax and administration purposes for the IRS and state agencies. Form SS-4 is used to apply for the Employer Identification Number. You can apply for an EIN online or by contacting the IRS.

Employee Eligibility

Verify employee eligibility to work in the United States by checking for documents that confirm citizenship or eligibility to work in the United States. After hiring an employee, you must within three days complete a Form I-9 to indicate you have examined and confirm the appropriate documents. A list of approved employee eligibility documents is listed on the I-9 form. Obtain a Form I-9 online or from most state or government offices.

Withholding Taxes Records

Record keeping is vital; the IRS requires that all businesses must keep records of employment taxes for at least four years. There are three types of withholding taxes: Federal Income Tax Withholding, Federal Wage and Tax Statement and State Taxes, depending on the state’s income tax requirements.

Worker’s Compensation Insurance

Businesses with employees are required to obtain worker’s compensation coverage. The insurance may be attained through a commercial carrier, self-insured basis or via your state’s worker compensation insurance program.

New Hire Reporting Requirements

Report newly hired employees to your state directory within 20 days of the hire date. Each state offers specific requirements regarding mandatory forms and records that need to be completed, check with your individual state for more information.

Tax Filing Requirements

Take the time to understand the tax filing requirements for employers who pay wages. This instructional information may be obtained by consulting the Employer’s Tax Guide also known as Publication 15 found on the IRS website and certain government offices.

Workplace Posters

All employers are required to display certain posters in the workplace for the purpose of informing employees of their rights and responsibilities under labor laws.

Exhibit at the Great Bridal Expo, the nation’s longest-running national bridal show — nearly 40 years in business featuring both national and local area businesses with the latest in wedding trends. Exhibit to meet with the couples, brides, friends, families and wedding planners who attend who are in need of your business’ product or service. The many benefits for exhibitors include high-quality venues, a comprehensive bridal show marketing plan, complete contact database, post-show advertising and the opportunity to present your business to the wedding market.

Request Exhibitor Information Here

References

Hiring Employees
SBA.gov: Hire Your First Employee
Employer’s Tax Guide
Apply for an Employer Identification Number
Workplace Posters

March 4, 2015 at 5:31 pm Leave a comment

Wedding Dress Necklines

 

Bridal portrait.

From sweetheart to bateau, selecting a neckline for your wedding dress is an important decision. There are several factors to consider when choosing the best neckline for your dress including your body type, face, neck, shoulders, décolletage, bust and body shape. Many pictures will be taken on your wedding day and your neckline will be featured in most of them. Knowing your options for necklines helps with picking your perfect wedding day look. Read this quick glossary about wedding dress necklines.

Strapless

One of the most popular necklines styles for wedding dresses is the strapless, a style that does not have straps or sleeves. Variations include straight across, slightly curved and sweetheart.

Sweetheart

Resembling the top half of a heart is the sweetheart neckline, a flattering style featuring the décolletage. Sweet heart necklines help make the neck look longer and provide an elongated appearance to the torso.

Off-the-Shoulder

The off-the-shoulder style is as the name implies a style that features straps or sleeves on one side whilst the other showcases the collarbone and shoulder.

V-Neck

The V-neck features two diagonal lines that drop down from the shoulders and meet at a point on the chest creating a V effect.

Scoop

The scoop neckline is characterized by a rounded u-shaped that begins at the shoulders. The depth may vary from demure to plunging.

Bateau

The bateau neckline features a linear shape that extends straight across from one shoulder to the other. Other names for the bateau include the boat neck or Sabrina neckline.

Illusion

An illusion neckline showcases a sheer fabric or lace overlay that extends from the bodice over the bust and up to the shoulders depending on style.

Square

The square neckline features a horizontal bodice intersecting the straps creating a box or rectangle shape.

High Neck

The high neck neckline usually covers a small portion of the neck. Types of high necklines include the turtleneck, jewel and crew neck.

Halter

Halter necklines function as two straps that tie or connect around the back of the neck, a great way to showcase shoulders. The halter neckline may feature variations of other necklines such as scoop neck or V-neck.

Queen Ann

The Queen Ann neckline creates a diamond shape across the neck and décolleté connected by two diagonal lines that extend outward then join as a V on the chest.

Keyhole

With origins in the 1940s, the keyhole neckline features a slit or opening at the neck. It may take the shape of a key, raindrop or u-shape.

Cowl

Distinguishing features of a cowl neck include draping unstructured fabric gathered or layered at the neck and collarbone area sometime resembling an oversized floppy turtleneck.

Engaged to be married and looking for ideas or suggestions for your wedding? Attend the Great Bridal Expo, a national bridal show tour featuring both national and local area businesses with the latest in wedding trends, 2 New York style fashion shows, live orchestra and DJ performances, valuable giveaways and prize drawings, and lots of wedding-related products and srvices with wedding professionals ready to meet face-to-face with you to make your dream wedding come true. Click HERE to register and use code BLOG for 2 FREE tickets!

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March 3, 2015 at 2:39 pm 1 comment

7 Website Tips for Wedding Businesses

Woman working.Say “I do” to a website that makes a significant visual impact and is user-friendly for visitors. Online opportunities abound for savvy wedding businesses seeking to optimize their online presence. Convey a great first impression for your potential clients and provide essential information about your company’s products or services. Read on to learn more about website tips for wedding businesses.

Keep it Simple

 Offer visitors to your website a clutter-free visual environment that delivers consistent and concise information about your wedding business. One way to achieve this is to show your headers, footers, sidebars and navigation menus represented in the same position on every page. Ensure that all site links are in working order and lead to the correct information.

Easy to Navigate

 Make your wedding business website easy to navigate for visitors. Provide good site navigation by including a home page link in the navigation menu, make all fonts on tabs and links readable, link your home page to all logo images, add a site search feature and offer a text-based site map.

Color Choices

 By using color effectively and choosing a suitable color palette, you may increase your visibility and reach more customers. Gain a basic understanding of color theory and choose hues that are in line with your wedding company’s brand and message. Limit the use of color to 3-5 selections, anymore might lend to an unprofessional appearance and create visual imbalance.

Spell Check

 Double check the spelling on your wedding website for grammatical errors or mistakes. This is important for effectively communicating with potential customers and makes your website more readable and accessible for visitors.

Contact Information

 Ensure that clients can get in touch with your business by providing your professional contact info on your website. Basic information includes your company name, address, phone number, fax and email address. Create a designated Contact Us page displaying your contact information and include a link on all navigation menus such as headers, footers, site map and About Us page.  

Search Engine Optimized

 Enhance traffic to your wedding website with search engine optimization or SEO, a way to increase your search rankings. Tips include improving the effectiveness of your title tags, writing interesting meta description tags and providing quality content. Hire a professional or learn to do-it-yourself.

Connect to Social Media

 Integrate your social media channels on your wedding website by strategically placing buttons and links on your home page and navigations menus. Benefit of linking to social media may include improved sales, more leads, increased exposure and improved traffic.

 Exhibit at the Great Bridal Expo, the nation’s longest-running national bridal show — nearly 40 years in business featuring both national and local area businesses with the latest in wedding trends. Exhibit to meet with the couples, brides, friends, families and wedding planners who attend who are in need of your business’ product or service. The many benefits for exhibitors include high-quality venues, a comprehensive bridal show marketing plan, complete contact database, post-show advertising and the opportunity to present your business to the wedding market.

Request Exhibitor Information Here

February 25, 2015 at 3:14 pm Leave a comment

About Wedding Ceremony Music

1049540_65661251Congratulations on your upcoming nuptials. Celebrate your joyful day with the perfect match of wedding ceremony music. Create a festive atmosphere with your music selections from preservice to recessional. Choosing music can truly add a special dimension and depth of emotion to the overall atmosphere of your wedding. Read on to learn more about wedding ceremony music.

Prelude Music

 Decide on the type of preservice music you would like for your guests to listen to as they take their sets for your wedding, this is known as the prelude. Allow 25 or 30 minutes for the prelude which equals to about 6-8 pieces of music. An established quartet or ensemble will offer a repertoire of standard selections and play special requests.

 Seating of the Mothers

 Music played for the seating of the mothers often signals that the ceremony is soon to begin. This music is played after the prelude or before the processional. Popular music choices include Pachelbel’s “Canon in D” or “Ave Maria”.

 Attendants Processional Music

 Most weddings feature a processional of the attendants including the maid-of-honor, bridesmaids, ring bearer and flower girl. Sometimes, this may also include the groom, groomsmen and officiant. Music for the processional helps set the tone for the ceremony and may be elegant to regal. Favorite processional music choices include Clarke’s “Trumpet Voluntary” or Bach’s “Air on G String”.

 Bridal Processional Music

 When the last attendant has reached the altar, the music for the bridal processional begins. This is the music announcing the entrance of the bride who is generally escorted by the father while everyone stands. Traditional wedding processional music includes Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March” and Wagner’s “Bridal March.”

 Music During the Ceremony

Considered optional, music during the ceremony typically does not occur while vows are exchanged. Exceptions are made for denomination or cultural reasons such as a soloist singing a prayer or reading or lighting of the unity candle by parents.

Recessional Music

 The recessional music begins after the introduction of the newly married couple. Recessional music is frequently jubilant and invigorating in nature. Popular classic choices include Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” and Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons.”

 Postlude Music

As the guests leave the wedding venue, they are often accompanied with postlude music. Postlude music may last from 15 to 30 minutes. The music played may consist of special requests from the newlyweds or left to the discretion of the professional musicians.

Ceremony Music Advice1078254_27683698

Your wedding music choices should reflect your personal preferences and style. Details such as music are the finishing touches to your special day, make it your own.

Engaged to be married and looking for ideas or suggestions for your wedding? Attend the Great Bridal Expo, a national bridal show tour featuring both national and local area businesses with the latest in wedding trends, 2 New York style fashion shows, live orchestra and DJ performances, valuable giveaways and prize drawings, and lots of wedding-related products and services with wedding professionals ready to meet face-to-face with you to make your dream wedding come true. Click HERE to register and use code BLOG for 2 FREE tickets!

Subscribe to Great Bridal Expo via Email

February 24, 2015 at 11:14 am Leave a comment

Choosing a DJ for Your Wedding

30320782Music adds a special dimension to your wedding day and may be the most important consideration after food and drink for your reception festivities, particularly for dancing and creating ambiance. One way to get your guests grooving on the dance floor is by obtaining the services of a DJ or disc jockey, an individual who mixes recorded music for an audience. Select your DJ with care as they are an important and influential part of your ceremony celebrations. Read on to learn more about choosing a DJ for your wedding.

Budget

Before you begin, make a budget for hiring a DJ for your wedding reception. Costs for hiring a professional DJ will vary according to several factors including your location, time, date, length of time booked, emcee skills, equipment and music expertise. Expect to pay a deposit to retain services.

Types of DJ

When searching for a DJ it is helpful to be aware of your choices. Radio DJs are on-air personalities that work in broadcasting at radio stations. Club DJs work for clubs, bars, discos and private parties. Hip hop deejays specialize in adding the use of mixers and turntables to sample or remix music. Mobile or event DJs oversee special occasions such as mitzvahs, parties and weddings, the popular option for receptions.

About DJ Equipment

Typical DJ equipment includes a music source such as an iPod or computer, mixers, microphones, speakers, amplifiers, and headphones. Ensure that your venue is able to accommodate your chosen DJ’s equipment including important considerations such as availability of electrical outlets.

Where to Find a DJ  

Ask for recommendations from friends and family. Attend a bridal show and meet DJs face-to-face for consultations. Enquire with your venue for endorsements. Contact a DJ booking agency. Search on the internet and read reviews. Let your wedding planner do it for you, they have abundant connections.

Questions to Ask

Ask if the DJ is available on your wedding date. Request references from former clients and inquire about current experience. Think about the variety of guests attending your wedding and what kind of music everyone might enjoy, then ask if the DJ can oblige your requirements. Ask if the DJ offers a written contract. Will the DJ play your list of favorite songs and honor your “no-play” list? How often does the DJ take breaks and is a meal requested? What does the DJ do to motivate the crowd?

The final decision is yours: ask yourself do you feel comfortable with your choice?

Engaged to be married and looking for ideas or suggestions for your wedding? Attend the Great Bridal Expo, a national bridal show tour featuring both national and local area businesses with the latest in wedding trends, 2 New York style fashion shows, live orchestra and DJ performances, valuable giveaways and prize drawings, and lots of wedding-related products and services with wedding professionals ready to meet face-to-face with you to make your dream wedding come true. Click HERE to register and use code BLOG for 2 FREE tickets!

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February 17, 2015 at 11:55 am Leave a comment

Receiving Line Etiquette

vineyardweddingphotGreet and meet your guests after your wedding ceremony with a receiving line at the reception. The receiving line is a wedding custom where the host, couple and certain members of the wedding party line up to say thank-you and welcome all guests. Although optional, it is not a requirement. Receiving lines create an opportunity to briefly interact and mingle with your guests as you might not have time to visit with everyone during the wedding reception activities. Read onto learn more about receiving line etiquette.

When and Where to Have a Receiving Line

Make a plan in advance of your receiving line logistics. Prime location choices for a receiving line include as guests leave the ceremony or enter the reception. Choose a place that offers easy access for all your wedding guests. Consider the comfort of your guests by offering refreshing beverages as they wait in line.

Traditional Receiving Line

Traditionally, the first person in a wedding receiving line is the individual or individuals hosting the wedding. According to etiquette expert Emily Post, the order goes first with the bride’s mother, bride’s father, groom’s mother, groom’s father, bride, groom, maid-of-honor and bridesmaids. The best man and groomsmen are off the hook for this wedding activity. On a similar note, fathers are not required to participate but if one chooses to stand in the receiving line, etiquette requires they both line up.

Contemporary Receiving Line

In the spirit of love, contemporary receiving lines offer an alternative to the traditional receiving line as a way to greet and thank guests for attending your wedding. In the case of divorced or remarried parents, sensitivity may be applied and the receiving line order may be altered depending on their relationship. Emily Post suggests positioning the bride’s mother first, then the groom’s mother and father followed by the bride’s father.

For an unconventional approach, forgo the receiving line all together and mingle during dinner or write each guest a personal note of thanks placed at each person’s place setting, a great option for smaller weddings. It is your special day, personalize your receiving line as you wish.

What to Say

Keep sentiments short and sweet in your wedding receiving line. Most of your guests will offer ‘congratulations’ and ‘best wishes’. Reply with genuine heartfelt responses and say each guest’s name. If you should not know a guest’s name, be gracious and thank them for coming or create a subtle signal beforehand for your parent to jump in and offer introductions.

Engaged to be married and looking for ideas or suggestions for your wedding? Attend the Great Bridal Expo, a national bridal show tour featuring both national and local area businesses with the latest in wedding trends, 2 New York style fashion shows, live orchestra and DJ performances, valuable giveaways and prize drawings, and lots of wedding-related products and services with wedding professionals ready to meet face-to-face with you to make your dream wedding come true. Click HERE to register and use code BLOG for 2 FREE tickets!

Subscribe to Great Bridal Expo via Email

February 13, 2015 at 9:53 am Leave a comment

Overview of Wedding Industry

Bride and groom embracing.The wedding industry consists of a variety of small to large businesses offering wedding related products or services. According to the Library of Congress on Wedding Industry Research, the wedding industry is huge in terms of dollars spent but challenging to extract exact statistics due to the nature of commerce as divided up amongst a wide range of various wedding-related components working full to part time. However, it is possible to take a bird’s eye view of basic industry information and review the different sectors that compose the wedding industry. Read on to learn more about a general overview of the wedding industry.

Wedding Industry Summary

As reported in USA Today, estimates for 2014 indicate 2.2 million couples married in the US, which averages to about 6,000 weddings per day. The median age of couples getting married for the first time ranges from their mid-twenties to early thirties. Current trends indicate many couples are paying for their own wedding out-of-pocket combined with significant financial assistance from parents or relatives.

Wedding Costs

In 2012 according to a Reuters report, the most expensive weddings took place in New York with budget amounts slightly toppling over $65, 824 and the least costly affairs occurring in West Virginia with an average of $14,203. The wedding industry as a whole generates roughly $40 billion per year with the average wedding costing well over $25,000. The total cost of a wedding is dependent on several factors including setting, venue, number of guests, date and time and style.

Breakdown of Costs

 The majority of a budget allotted for a wedding often goes toward the reception and ceremony followed by attire, photographer/videographer, flowers, entertainment, jewelry, stationary, gifts and miscellaneous. The reception is almost always the most expensive costs consuming 45-55% of the wedding budget. This is due to many factors such as venue fees, catering and food, wedding cake, decorations, rentals, beverages and entertainment. When breaking down the cost of an individual wedding it commonly boils down to a matter of budget and personal choices.

Vendors meeting these needs may include wedding consultants, beauty suppliers, transportation services, site and venue rentals, wedding attire, photographers, wedding favors and gifts, florists, tailors, caterers, officiants, DJs, entertainment and honeymoon providers.

Honeymoon Information

 Many couples choose to go on a honeymoon after their wedding from local to faraway destinations. Costs associated with a honeymoon include transportation, accommodations, meals and activities or entertainment. Wedding industry contributors include airlines, hotels, resorts and travel websites.

Exhibit at the Great Bridal Expo, a national bridal show tour featuring both national and local area businesses with the latest in wedding trends. Exhibit to meet with the couples, brides, friends, families and wedding planners who attend who are in need of your business’ product or service. The many benefits for exhibitors include high-quality venues, a comprehensive bridal show marketing plan, complete contact database, post-show advertising and the opportunity to present your business to the wedding market.

Request Exhibitor Information Here

References

Wedding Industry Research – Library of Congress

Marriage Rate May Be Low, but More Weddings Predicted

Average Cost of U.S. Wedding Hits $27, 021

US Census Median Age of First Marriage

In U.S., Proportion Married at Lowest Recorded Levels

February 12, 2015 at 4:21 pm Leave a comment

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