When Do You Need a Personal Chef?

Have you ever wondered why some people consider hiring a personal chef? There are many reasons why they go with one, and the reasoning can vary. For some, it is because they simply do not have the time to cook meals at home. For others, they are having guests over, and they don’t have the time or energy to prepare for everyone. And for others, too, they are following a specific diet plan that they need to stick to, so they hire a personal chef.

One of the common misconceptions about hiring personal chefs is that it is incredibly expensive to hire one. While it is true that hiring one is more expensive than signing up for meal delivery plans, the benefits can be worth it in the long run. There are many advantages to talk about here, and some of the benefits of hiring a personal chef are the following:

Personal chef just when you need them1. Hiring a personal chef allows you to eat great-tasting meals

If you are perpetually busy with work and family, getting a personal chef can one of the best choices that you can make. It is because preparing ingredients, cooking, and cleaning dishes and utensils are all time-consuming activities. So, if you have a personal chef doing these tasks for you, then you can focus on other things in your life.

Aside from being busy, if you are not a good cook or you don’t know a wide range of dishes, having a personal chef gives you a “restaurant feel” at your very home. You can enjoy French dishes (which are famous for being notoriously difficult to make), ten-step dishes, and gourmet meals as they are freshly made in your home. There is nothing more satisfying than coming home to fresh and great-tasting meals, and this you can enjoy without having to worry about preparing and cooking the dishes.

2. Hiring a personal chef allows you to conduct home parties with ease

If you are having a party at home and you don’t have the time to prepare meals, from starters, mains, to dessert, then hiring a personal chef is your best option. There is a lot of effort that goes into being a host, and if you add in preparing ingredients and cooking into the picture, then you are putting a lot of stress on yourself unnecessarily. So, if you can afford one, it is best to hire Your Personal Chef in NYC to do these tasks for you.

When a personal chef does the job during the party, you are assured that you are serving your guests’ great meals and dishes that everyone would love. You can even tell the chef of specific allergies and preferences, so he/she can accommodate all your guests.

3. Hiring a personal chef encourages you to eat healthier

When you have a personal chef doing the hard yards of preparing ingredients and cooking, you get encouraged to make better healthier choices. If you are trying to lose weight or you are trying to fix your health problems through diet, you can give your nutritionist’s recommended menu, and then your chef can follow the menu for you. So, you do not have to worry about not following through what was recommended, because you have someone who is doing all the cooking for you.

Chef at home preparing meals for a family gatheringThese are the many benefits of hiring a personal chef, and we can talk on and on about the advantages. But then again, how do you know when you will be needing one? Here are some pointers to help you decide:

1. You have enough budget for it

As mentioned, hiring a personal chef is more expensive than signing up for meal delivery plans. However, what’s best is you get your meals served fresh, and you see how exactly your dishes were prepared. If you have the money for it, then it is better to go with hiring one than shopping around for the best meal delivery plan. You end up saving more, in fact, because for some people, they only employ personal chefs when needed (i.e., there’s a party coming). Unlike with meal delivery plans where you often have to sign up for months at a time and you are served food that you may not like, with a personal chef, your personal preferences and even how you want things done are put into consideration.

2. You’re a busy foodie

If you are always busy and you don’t have time to cook, yet you love good food, then hiring a personal chef is your best choice. Chefs are professionally trained to do the job, so if you want the perfect soufflé, you may want to consider hiring a personal chef to give you that gourmet “feel” every time you eat. Hiring a personal chef is more affordable than eating out all the time, so if you would rather starve than ordering take away pizza, consider hiring one.

A personal chef is the best choice if you are always on the lookout for high-quality meals served in your very home. If you have the budget for it, you are a foodie, and you prioritize your health, then why not consider hiring one?

Handy Tips for a Stress-Free Wedding

  • A wedding emergency kit should be handy. This may have makeup, blow dryer/curling iron, pantyhose, baby wipes, safety/bobby pins, sewing kit, and your suppliers’ list with their phone numbers.
  • Have your hair stylist do at least one practice run through with your headpiece, (and have a friend take photos)
  • Only use oil-free matte makeup, well blended, with no high colors.
  • Wedding Day Hair and Makeup: ALWAYS HAVE THE BRIDE’S HAIR and makeup done first. These services always seem to take longer than you are told.
  • The florist should have all personal flowers labeled and know the times and places they are needed
  • Assign attendants/parents to take care of rings, license, and payments to vendors
  • A receiving line will take 30-45 minutes after the ceremony, wear out makeup and flowers will begin to wilt. Instead, visit your guests at the tables during the reception; this will give you an opportunity for candid photographs with some of your favorite people.
  • It takes about 30-45 minutes, depending on requests, for post-ceremony photography
  • Two attendants should know how to bustle your gown
  • Thursday before the wedding all men should pick up and try on their tuxes, count every stud, etc.
  • All fittings should be with the shoes to be worn at the wedding, (watch out for heels catching hems)
  • Use coarse sandpaper on the soles of all new shoes.
  • All participants to be in photographs should know where and when to be for all photography, (remember to include spouses of siblings and their children). Time can then be used to the maximum
  • Make time plans with caterer and music to get the maximum from your reception
  • Reception Hint: Have the first dance and dance “set” immediately following the grand entrance with your family and wedding party ringing the dance floor. This way you won’t be searching for people later on for the dances you want to do; your music can play dance music between courses, and you can visit your guests. It does make for better reception.
  • Modern Bride magazine says “A photographer who can blend posed photographs with photojournalistic coverage of your day is your best value and contract your photographer early.” “Some Black and White photography is a nice added touch.”
  • Having your ceremony at other than a church/temple? You should look at the background for pictures, mirrors, microphones, etc.
  • If you have wine at your ceremony, use white to prevent stains.

Keeping a Wedding Notebook to Keep Tabs of Planning

When we look at the overall picture of a finished wedding, we begin to wonder if becoming engaged was the right decision. Or maybe eloping is the easy way out. Relax! Simplify, and it will all become manageable.

Use the Wedding Notebook Approach

A wedding notebook is a must for organizing a wedding but before you try to put together a notebook, sit down and make a general list of all the different topics starting with your colors and possibly a theme. It’s not necessary to be specific at this point. Your topics will include:

  • LocationWedding notebooks would remind you of forgotten people on your invitation
  • Minister
  • Dress
  • Bridesmaids
  • Groomsmen
  • Reception
  • Honeymoon
  • Cake
  • Flowers
  • Decorations

You may have more and different topics, but try to keep them as simple and few as possible. There is no need to have a heading for Maid of Honor and another for Bridesmaids. Those can be grouped together. When you have a good list put dividers in your notebook with your list as the headings. You can always add more or adjust the ones you already have.

The Wedding Details

Now that you have your notebook and the headings divided up it’s time to have some fun. Put several pages of blank paper behind each divider and start brainstorming. Take one heading and write all your thoughts and ideas behind that divider. Ask for ideas from other people close to you but remember this is you and your Grooms wedding, so yours are the final decision.

When you make a firm decision under a heading, highlight it. As you put your decisions into action, you may have to make changes, but for now, that heading is done. You will not be able to work just one heading at a time because they are all interrelated but some are more important at the beginning than others. The most important heading, to begin with, is the Location.

Write Everything Down

While you are brainstorming on one topic ideas for other topics may come to mind so write those down under their heading. As you work through the headings and decisions are made you will see your wedding becoming clearer and more organized.

Of course, there will be changes because some of the decisions you make just won’t work. For instance, you may have chosen silver, green, and black for your colors but realize when you start looking for flowers it’s hard to find real black flowers. You do find them in silk so decide to go with silk rather than real flowers.

The location you choose may influence the decorations you can use. Some places don’t allow lighted candles so you will need to use another form of light like Christmas strings of lights for a substitute. Being flexible and open to change will make this time of planning more enjoyable. Be creative! You may come up with something that will become the new fashion.

The Most Important Wedding Planning Tip

Plan to do as much as possible early. The more you have finished and out of the way, the more you can relax and enjoy those last few weeks and days before the big event. There’s nothing that causes more tension and stress than last-minute decisions.

Make a Wedding Notebook and keep it handy to fill in ideas as they come to mind. Use it to put important names, telephone numbers, and addresses in so you don’t have to try to remember all those details. When all the planning is finished, and it is time to turn it over to your wedding planner or hostess you can give them a copy of the notebook and go enjoy the day.

Be Ready for a Green Wedding

The time will come, if it has not already, that a bride asks you about resources and ideas for a “green” wedding. Here we will look into the elements and ideas that will prepare you for this challenge.

Succulents as wedding favorsTo ensure less of an environmental impact couples now have choices when it comes to their wedding vendors and supplies. It is not just about the “natural” aspect. It is also about the recycling and reusing of these supplies. It is also not just about organics but about locally grown, which means that transportation of the product will not contribute negatively to the environment. According to the Earth Policy Institute in Washington, DC, ‘every little bit helps.’

Let’s consider ways to make these elements eco-friendly:

  • The wedding dress, a bride would want to consider natural fibers such as silk/hemp or cotton, but should also consider the possibility of rentals or reusing a family member’s dress.
  • Consider using a caterer who purchases the necessary elements for the meal locally. Produce should be locally and organically grown. Think about doing a vegetarian menu or if that option does not appeal, ask your caterer if the meat or chicken served has been naturally raised using sustainable farming methods. For the bar suggest purchasing organic wines which should be available from a local winery or in many retail stores and beer from a local brewer.
  • Using fresh flowers, again from a local grower, reuse them for the wedding brunch and then donate them to a local nursing home. Or rent plants from a local greenhouse to decorate. Better yet consider a garden or park setting that is naturally beautiful and requires little enhancements for the wedding.
  • Invitations can be ordered that utilize recycled paper. There are also invitations that are made on paper that has flower seeds blended into the paper and then they can be planted.
  • Seedlings, plants or seed packets can be used for favors. The seedlings can be ordered from the Arbor Day Foundation that are in tubes and personalized with your message. The tubes are made to be recycled as a birdfeeder after the tree is planted. arborday.org.
  • When selecting gifts for her registry, brides should consider items such as cotton bed linens and towels, many retail and fine department stores offer eco options on their registries. Plus she could offer the option for guests to make a donation to her favorite charity. This should be an option that guests are allowed to choose not forced into.

    An inexpensive green backdrop at the weddingThere are so many ways to do things a bit differently and ultimately make a monumental impact. Many creative and eco-friendly ideas are available whether for wedding rings or how to make paper for invitations, all you have to do is look.

Five Steps to an Impeccable Wedding Rehearsal

A wedding rehearsal helps everyone in the wedding party know in advance what to expect during the big day. The rehearsal can be held at the location of the ceremony or even in someone’s living room. The rehearsal doesn’t run in the same order as the wedding, although this may sound confusing the process actually helps everyone see the big picture – where do I stand?

Who Attends the Wedding Rehearsal?

Everyone in the wedding party, both sets of parents, and possibly grandparents should be present at the run-through. Send out invitations to everyone who can be present knows of this practice session. This may be the first time everyone gets an opportunity to meet one another face-to-face; this is important for ushers who will have the task of escorting specific relatives to their seats before the wedding ceremony.

If someone in the wedding party cannot attend, leave a space for them and ask those on either side to help direct that person on the wedding day.

A bride walks to the altar for the processionalStep One: Practice the Receiving Line

Run through the receiving line first. Although this may seem unnecessary, it will greatly speed things on the wedding day when wedding guests expect to move through the receiving line to get to the cocktail hour. Reverend James Wentz suggests the receiving line start with the mothers, the bride, and groom, the fathers, the best man and maid/matron of honor, followed by the rest of the wedding party.

Step Two: Stand in Order at the Altar

The bride and groom face the Officiant; during the rehearsal, this may be a chair. The attendants stand on either side of the couple, facing them so they are in profile to the guests. Ring bearers and flower girls stand in front of the best man and matron of honor. The wedding couple can save time by knowing where everyone will stand before the day of the rehearsal. For additional information, go to How to Practice at a Wedding Rehearsal.

Step Three: Practice the Recessional

The bride and groom leave first. The flower girl(s) and ring bearer(s) follow behind. The maid/matron of honor and the best man walk down the aisle together, followed by paired bridesmaids and groomsmen. The attendants who were closest to the bride and groom leave first, followed by those who were farther from the couple.

Step Four: Practice the Processional

The groom and the attendants move down the aisle to the altar, standing in place as previously practices. During the recessional, the groomsman furthest from the groom leaves last; during the processional, he will be the first groomsman to enter. The bridesmaids enter in the same pattern, the outer bridesmaid entering first, positioning herself so she mirrors the groomsman with whom she is paired.

Next is the ring bearer, followed by the flower girl. The bride and her escort wait until everyone else is in place and the music changes before walking down the aisle. The groom may step toward the bride and offer her his arm for the last few steps to the altar. The bride’s escort sits.

Step Five: Practice the Wedding Service

Although it isn’t necessary to run through the wedding service word-for-word, it can be helpful to mime the actions of the unity ceremony, have the bride practice handing her bouquet to the maid/matron of honor, have the attendants practice holding a costume jewelry ring, and allow small children to know when they can and can’t move.

After running through the wedding ceremony, the wedding party can again practice the recessional. Repeat any part of the processional/recessional or ceremony that seems necessary so to make everyone feel comfortable. The entire process can take an hour or two, depending on the size of the wedding party.

Picking the Right Wedding Venue Minus the Tears

Every young woman grows up thinking about, planning, and longing for the day that she will be looked upon as, and feel like, a princess at her dream wedding. Part of this dream is due largely to the Disney movie princesses that they grew up watching. The rest, as every man should know, is because on your wedding day, the most important day of your young lives, your bride should absolutely feel this way – like a Fairy Tale Princess.

Choosing a wedding venue can be an overwhelming and nerve-wracking experience. This is how it should be. Don’t fret. Bask in the stress you are feeling and turn it into positive energy. Remember that you and your fiance are in it together. Support each other and be open to concerns and wishes. This can only add to the experience as well as the decision-making process.

Every bride wants to feel like a princess complete with a castle backgroundHow Soon is Too Soon To Pick A Wedding Venue?

Answer: It is never too soon. If you are planning on having a long engagement try to pick the venue right away. Other couples who have been engaged longer may take the date that you want to act soon. Set the date a year or a year and a half away. Just having the deposit set for the date that you choose will be a burden off of your back and you can focus on planning without stressing about where you’ll be married.

The internet is your friend in terms of venues. It is nearly impossible to visit all of them in person. With an extensive list at your fingertips, it is easy to whittle it down to the handful that you both love that you can visit. Most websites should have an idea of the pricing available to you. If it is exorbitantly out of your range, don’t bother. If it is slightly higher, they can work with you depending on when you choose to be wed.

Picking A Venue: Minimizing Cold Feet Through Compromise

While some wedding dates take place mere months after the engagement, others are a year to upwards of two years removed from the proposal date. That is a long time into the future to plan where you want to be on your big day. It is hard to picture for anyone, especially if you visit your venues in a different season than the wedding will take place in.

In trying to choose, there are several things to be concerned with, namely price and value. As you make your rounds to see several venues (anywhere from three to six is more than sufficient) always ask yourself, and the person hosting your first visit, what you are getting for the price that is different than the previous venue no matter if it is higher or lower. While some venues may charge more per person, you may get less food or amenities, and vice versa.

Some of the charges that you incur may be based on the time of year that you choose. May and June, and September and October are peak times for wedding season. The rates tend to be significantly yet reasonably higher across the board. Other charges may be the amount of wait staff on hand for your event. While it may cost more, it also provides for more attention to be paid to your guests and gives you a way to avoid unnecessary headaches the night of the wedding.

Also, decide before you step foot into any venue if you are going to hold the ceremony there or at another venue like a church and return afterward for the reception. This will lower the price of the venue by a bit but it does put your guests in a position of waiting for the wedding and the party. This is something to consider if you have family and friends who travel long distances to your event as they may not have anywhere to go in between.

(Note: The venue that does not include an open bar is a sign that you should run the other way. The cost will outweigh any benefit that may arise.)

The Color And The Shape: Focusing On The Seemingly Minor Details

It may seem over-the-top, but it helps to come up with a preliminary idea of color schemes and a theme, if any, that you want. (They may seem minor so far in advance but that is a misnomer, they are utterly necessary.) This includes tuxedos for the groomsman and dresses for the bride’s maids. Guys, take some chances with this one. While we all aren’t fashion experts, throwing out color ideas can only enhance the thought process of your fiance. It will open a world of possibilities. The pictures you take will be with you for a lifetime so make it count.

When you enter venues, if your color scheme, theme, or a general idea for seating arrangements won’t fit the room it may mean changing them or walking out. This is for you to decide. Is the place that much better than what you envisioned aesthetically?

Now, the greater majority of the details should be picked by the princess bride but, gentlemen, make sure you speak up. This is the day she has been dreaming of and you are the man of that dream. It is okay to have a voice. Do not harp on the things that you do not like though. Bring up the beautiful and enchanting details that you liked, i.e. the dance floor, the all-inclusive sushi bar, the layout, the placement of the bar, et al.

When it comes time to discuss the parts you loathed or simply disliked be open and honest even if she loved them. It may lead to heated debate, but it can also lead to a great compromise. Make a mental checklist of all of the pluses that you both have. It is doubtful that any venue will have a one hundred percent success rate for either, or both, of you. If you are unsure if it is the right place, just look into your bride-to-be’s eyes and you will have your answer.

How to Plan for the Perfect Wedding Proposal

Preparing for a wedding proposal can be one of the most nerve-wracking moments in any person’s life. While both men and women can propose to their partner, it is most often the man (or the one who is taking the lead role in a same-sex relationship) who does it. Some take months to prepare for the proposal, and some even chicken out the last minute.

Perfect mood when popping the questionAlthough many couples have been together for years, proposing can be a challenge for many because of all the emotions that go with this one-time event. There is the feeling that your partner might say “No,” or the impression that you have not prepared enough for the event. If you don’t know what to feel about the whole proposal idea, you are not alone. Many feel the jitters even up to the last minute. And no one can explain why it is how they feel.

Some keep it simple, like the classic ring in a gift, that when your partner opens the package and sees the ring, you pop the question. Some are a bit adventurous with placing the ring in their partner’s food, which is, by the way, dangerous. How do you do an emergency response to your partner should he/she accidentally choke the ring?

Kidding aside, there are some who do over-the-top proposals through serenading after you book your wedding band, renting out an entire estate, putting up fireworks, and putting up a billboard advertisement among others. These ideas don’t come cheap, but some opt to do it. While some proposals are meant from the heart, others are just for show. Social media has been influential on this one, with many couples posting photos and videos of their proposals. The more over-the-top it is, the more likes it gets.

If you’ve been egging to ask your partner for his/her hand in marriage, how do you plan for the perfect wedding proposal? Here are some tips to help you get started:

1. Select a location that’s meaningful to the both of you

The significance of the location makes the job easier for you to propose. First off, go to a site that has a special place in your relationship. It can be the area where you first officially became a couple, or where you had your first kiss. The site does not have to be spectacular because what’s important is how the area is memorable for you and your partner.

Getting hitched smoothly starting with a proposal2. Get some music going

If you need a confidence booster, you can get some music for your background. It can make a big difference in setting the mood of the moment, and in helping you even out gaps when you feel nervous or out of words.

3. Practice your speech

You don’t have to prepare a long speech for the proposal. What’s important is for you to get an idea of what you want to say on that particular day. You need to get a rough draft that you can picture in your head to help you tell the things you want to say. Your partner will understand for sure if you end up being out of words, but what’s vital is you get to tell the gist of your proposal message.

You don’t have to splurge big time to propose to your partner. The genuineness and authenticity of your feelings will lead you a long way and can help you get through the nerve-wracking thought of asking for your partner’s hand in marriage.