Sunday, November 30, 2008

Kind Jestures

As a planner, I feel it's important to make your guests feel welcome and truly invited to your wedding ceremony & reception. This means thought and preparation. I often parallel it to having a house guest. You make the effort to clean your house, making sure their linens are clean, food in the house, have extra toiletries on hand and any little extras. Your goal is to make them feel welcomed in your home - the same for one of the biggest days of your life.
Here are some pictures for your to enjoy and get some inspiration for your wedding - enjoy and happy planning!

Saying thank you in a personal way always makes guests feel appreciated. This sample from Martha Stewart's wedding blog is a great and fun way to say thank you and save on postage too!

This was from Darcy Miller's wedding (Martha Stweart's wedding editor). She had hankies for each of the ladies and butonnieres for each of the men.

Favors can be a great way to express gratitude...check older posts for more favor ideas. This one is from Jean M.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Different flowers for your BM's


If you are looking for something a bit different for your BMs to carry down the aisle, try this look...these beautiful satin handbags with flower are not only elegant and different, they double as a great gift. This would be great for a day-time wedding. Click here for this bag - you get a free headband with each purchase. Happy Planning!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Giving Thanks



A good thank you note is warm and personal, even if you have a hundred to write. Plan to send your thanks within 3 months of receiving a gift. Then buy yourself great stationery (with your new monogram!), find a cozy place to sit, and invest in a good pen -- it will make all the difference in your penmanship.

Be specific about each gift and if you receive a check, don't mention the sum, but definitely indicate how you'll put the money to good use. Above all, remember to speak from the heart. Happy Thanksgiving and thanks to Brides.com!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Your Marriage License


What You Really Need to Get Married
Don’t be caught at the altar without a license! A list of marriage-license requirements by state is available at usmarriagelaws.com. For the Caribbean islands, log on to caribbeantravel.com/weddings, and for Europe, go to marryabroad.co.uk. You can also visit any city’s tourism-board website; the requirements should be posted there. The most basic requirement is to have a copy of your birth certificate. Here’s how to get one: realsimple.com/realsimple/content/0,21770,696350,00.html Tip: Stay on top of timely to-dos.Every state has different marriage-license requirements, but most have certain waiting periods for when you need to apply. Make sure that you have taken care of all your other wedding tasks at the right time. Follow this month-by-month countdown: realsimple.com/realsimple/package/0,21861,1737779-1699738,00.html

Quick Favor Tip


If you are having your party outside in warm weather, make sure to keep treats or any meltable favors indoors before giving them out to your guests. Happy Planning!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Questions to ask your venue?


Knowing what to ask and what to expect will ensure your big day is a big success. Don’t assume anything — ask instead!

I just recently heard of a bride & groom getting left at the reception, after all the guests were gone - the MOH's new date had to take them to their hotel in a Jeep Wrangler - which isn't so accomodating for a wedding gown!

Click here for a listof questions to ask your reception venue. Thanks to Real Simple -Weddings for the list.
Happy Planning!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Beautiful Bouquets from an Unexpected Source

For anyone planning a wedding, you know how easily your floral budget can spiarl out-of-control. Check out these before and after shots from flowers purchased at a supermarket! Even if you are not going to personally do this, due to lack of time and/or patience for this sort of thing, ask your wedding coordinator if they will take this hands-on approach. Plus, the coordinator/planner may be able to get their hands on flowers at the wholesale price. Thanks to Real Simple wedding for the photos.





Wednesday, November 19, 2008

RSVP's with a modern & cost-saving twist

My RSVP Live is an interactive & automated system that collects and distributes your wedding day data via phone. For those of us who love all things paper, this would be a hard conversion, but still a new & tech savvy idea! Thanks Laura L. on Wedding Wire for the info! Click here to learn more http://www.myrsvplive.com/

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

What to read? Check out Amazon Kindle


Nothing beats lying by the pool with your nose in a novel, but bringing a week’s worth of reading material on your honeymoon makes it tough to pack light. That is, unless you have the Amazon Kindle. The electronic reader stores more than 200 books but weighs only 10.3 ounces and takes up less space than a single paperback. You don’t even have to decide what to read ahead of time. Thanks to brides.com for the tip!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Wedding Day Transportation


Thanks to brides.com for offering great ideas & advice on contracting for transportation!

Pitching in
Enlist friends to transport guests to and from the reception, and show your gratitude by buying them a tank of gas and a small gift.

Limited service
Only arrange for transportation to and from the ceremony and reception. Don't have a car on call.

Footing the bill
Ask your attendants to drive themselves to the ceremony.


Simple chic

If your reception site is close to your ceremony site, opt for a less flashy vehicle since you won't be in it for long. Forgoing an antique Rolls Royce for a classy town car, for example, could save you a bundle.

Skip the amenities
Unless you plan on taking the car out for a whirl afterward, resist the bells and whistles such as a hot tub and stocked bar.

What to include in your contract

State the date and time and all pickups and drop-offs. Also, note the name of the driver and get a cell-phone number.
Create a repercussions clause (such as a partial refund) in the event of snags (like the driver arriving late).

Include a refund policy that states what you will pay if you cancel services and what the rental company will pay if it cancels services.
State the agreed upon price and everything that fee includes. Don't forget gratuity, overtime rates, and cleaning fees. Note all of the details of your vehicle(s): model, make, year, color, license number, amenities and how many passengers it seats.

Specify the chauffeur's dress code, be it a powdered wig and breeches or standard black uniform.

Note whether you will be insured through the rental company or through your credit card or personal car insurance.

Can you see their business license? Look for the National Limousine Association logo.
Do they own all of their rental cars? Companies that sublease are more likely to leave you stranded on your big day.

What kind of training do their drivers receive? Be sure to sign with a company that places a premium on optimal service, such as chauffeurs with etiquette training.

Is it possible to hire a car on an hourly basis?

What kind of insurance coverage do they provide?

What safety measures do they have in place?

Can you interview your driver?

Do drivers have uniforms? If not, ask whether you can specify the type of attire you'd like him or her to be wearing on your wedding day.

Is gratuity included in the total cost?

Do their rates cover any extras? (Think red-carpet rollouts and a bucket of Champagne.)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Lighting


Lighting can change the entire mood of your ceremony and reception. Gold and pink hues will be flattering for your guests, oranges and reds bring excitement and energy, while cool tones bring clamness.
Use lighting to enhance you wedding experience & memories. Happy Planning!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

DIY favors & a few money saving tips





Distributing favors
If you're opting for a favor like almonds or candy, provide one per guest. Pricier items like votive candleholders can be distributed one per couple.

Add to the decor
If you're having a theme wedding, offer a favor that echoes the motif. Think strawberry-flavored lobster suckers for beachside bashes, or personalized corkscrews for winery weddings. Check out blissweddingmarket.com (vineyard fetes) and shellsaplenty.com (beach bashes) for favor-making materials.

Making scents
Avoid setting scented favors on the table as they may interfere with the aromas of the dinner. Have them distributed by the waitstaff after dinner has been served.

Good cause
If you don't fancy the idea of favors, you can make a donation to your favorite charity in your guests' names. For a list of global charities, check out careusa.org.

Traditional touches
Celebrate your culture through your gifts. Think maracas or pewter chopsticks.

Hands on
Draw guests out of their chairs with a candy buffet or bakery cart. These interactive stations allow guests to fill favor bags (or pastry boxes) with the treats of their choice.

Doubly duty
Choose favors that also serve as place cards, or even centerpieces, to save money. Think small wrapped boxes of chocolate that you can stack as centerpieces, or labeled Champagne bottles that double as place cards.

Classic favorite
Cookies. Think cutouts that match a blossom in your bouquet. In many cases, these sweet bites can be designed by your confectioner.

Bridal bucks
Give your guests one more reason to be thankful for your friendship—slip lottery tickets into customized envelopes placed at each table setting.

Eco-friendly
Choose a favor that will help the environment. Think evergreen-tree seedlings. Visit greenworldproject.net to place your order.

Family bonding
Bake cookies with mom, enlist bridesmaids to help fill clear boxes with Jordan almonds, or craft Christmas stockings with grandma.

Win-win favors
You can never go wrong with chocolate. But don't forget less traditional (and less expensive) sweets that can make a lasting impression, such as taffy sticks or caramels. Buy the sweet stuff at candywarehouse.com. You can also customize just about anything these days. Check M&M's and you can also add your photo to other traditional chocolates.

Musical memories
Share your love of music by making customized CDs for each guest. (Download music from iTunes, itunes.com)

Dashboard departures
Ask the valet to place a rose on the dashboard of each guest's car with an attached thank-you note from you and your groom. This parting gift doubles as a favor.

Home cooking
What's better than mom's signature apple pie? Give each guest mini pies for a tasty treat.

Green thumb
Give guests a growing favor, such as potted herbs, to cook with at home.

Practical present
Shield guests from the sun, if you're marrying outdoors, with pretty parasols that they'll be able to use long after your wedding day.

Thanks to brides.com for these great ideas and tips. I hope they inspire you!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Favor Display Ideas...All About Presentation

You can create fantastic favor displays without busting your budget. Whether your wedding is fancy or casual, Martha Stweart Weddings has provided a look you can be inspired by. Love is in the details!












Monday, November 10, 2008

For a Garden Wedding


We thought this would be adorable to incorporate into a garden wedding. You can find this and more folk art at http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=14140854

Fabulous Fabric Flowers

In lieu of your traditional corsage or buttoniere, try these fabulous fabric flowers that can be used again and again becasue they will never wilt away. They will do custom orders and have several other items that could serve as great gifts. A modern and beautiful work of art! Visit gochemoche for more!




Saturday, November 8, 2008

Tips for a Glamorous Wedding on a Budget



Whether you're angling for all-out extravagance or looking to add just a dash of drama, there's no reason you can't make your wedding into a swanky affair. We asked New York City wedding planner Michelle Rago for tips on turning up the glamour -- no matter your budget.

Tips for a Glamorous Wedding on a Budget
1. A monochromatic color scheme ups the glam quotient. Try a bold, bright hue like red to make a major statement.

2. Don't have the budget for full-on chair covers? Weave wide grosgrain ribbon through the backs of reception chairs for a softer, polished look.

3. All it takes is one standout glass to make a specialty cocktail, well, special. Ditto the glassware on the reception tables. Choose a rental company with lots of options, and add a colored glass to each place setting as an easy way to bring depth to your tablescape.

4. Give out-of-town guests a little goodnight treat by arranging for hotel staff to leave a small token on their pillows each night of their stay.

5. Take a cue from the silver screen with dramatic black-and-white photography. Black-and-white shots make everything -- and everyone -- appear more chic.

For even more inspiration, see the Spring 2008 issue of Martha Stewart Weddings, where the following ideas appeared.

6. Bring on the bubbly! After all, nothing says festive like Champagne. And it can serve a dual purpose, too: A vintage wine bucket with a bottle of the French fizz can make an inexpensive centerpiece, and a tower of coupe glasses lends drama.

7. Let balloons rise to the occasion as a simple yet stylish way to fill a big space. The secret to a grown-up look? A simple color palette. Attach them to ribbons to make garlands for the ceiling.

8. What could be sweeter than confections that sparkle? Dim the lights, then fire up the night by topping cakes and other desserts with sparklers.

9. If you have the budget, do away with the deejay and opt instead for a live band to give your party a spontaneity that can't be bought with canned music.

10. Bid farewell in style with a candlelit path leading from the reception site. It lends just the right amount of romance, and simple glass containers holding candles are affordable as well as safe.

Thanks Martha!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Economize!

Create an impact on a budget with one showstopping floral piece, like a flowering chandelier, then top your tables with a forest of candles.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Holding your bouquet


Make sure to hold your bouquet just below your waist in pictures. This way it won’t block your dress details or dangle by your hips.

DK Designs...These are made of clay!




The flowers are all handcrafted by the artist featured on the Martha Stewart Show, utilizing Claycraft by DECO soft clay, which enables the artist to create lifelike flowers one petal at a time. Diane’s work has been featured in For the Bride Magazine, In Style Weddings Magazine (via http://www.estiloweddings.com/) and Pacific Rim Weddings Magazine. The bulk of the Diane's work is in custom bridal bouquets, corsages, boutonnieres and other floral decor.Visit to see more of DK's Designs!

Something for the Men (Did you cast your vote today?)


If it were left down to the men to organize, many weddings would
get planned in the last week.

So I've put together a list of sites and resources for everything
that the boys need to do and have on the day.

WEDDING BOUTONNIERES
Check out this page for the low down on how to choose and wear your
wedding buttonhole

http://www.wedding-flowers-guide.com/wedding-boutonnieres.html

WEDDING SPEECHES
They fill every Bestman (and many bridegrooms) with fear. Here's
the smart way to the perfect speech. There's even help for brides
that want to make a speech.

http://www.weddingspeech4u.com

GROOMSMEN GIFTS
Looking for ideas for gifts to give the Bestman and Groomsmen?
You'll find a stack of ideas here

http://www.myweddingfavors.com/groomsmen-gifts.html

http://www.onthefly.com

GROOM ATTIRE
The popular choice for guys is to hire a suit. But have you
considered having a bespoke suit tailored to fit? Paul's thinking
of having one for our wedding, and using this company

http://kingandallen.co.uk/

I guess you would sum up their offering as a quality bespoke suit
at an off-the-peg price.

BATCHELOR PARTY
The dreaded stag night! If you want an idea for a great party that
doesn't involve being tied to a lamppost naked, then try this

http://www.bachelorpartysuccess.com

Quick Allergy Tip


To prevent wedding day drama, check to make sure that no one in your bridal party is allergic to the blooms you’re putting in bouquets.