Friday, January 30, 2009

Speaking of Music -To iPod or Not to iPod

I've been hearing more and more about couples using their iPods as their wedding DJ.  While this is a great way to save on your music budget, there are some things to consider before deciding to go this route.

First, you always need someone to monitor it - especially for your ceremony and special dances - to make sure that the right song is played at the right time and that the volume level and battery power is fine.

For your reception, it's hard to judge how people will react to music.  Sometimes the crowd is just not getting on the floor and a DJ or band leader will know what to do to get them moving.  As the bride and groom, it is not your job to MC your own wedding.  However, if you have a friend or relative that you think can do the job, feel free to ask him or her to MC your wedding.

But remember this person is not a professional so you should try and ask someone who has MCed an event before to ensure that they know what they're doing.  You'll also have to supply him or her with a list of special dances and do's and don'ts.  (Ex:  Don't start a conga line.)

If you're looking to cut your music budget, consider using your iPod for the ceremony and cocktail but hire a DJ or band for the reception.  You can always limit the number of musicians to save money on a great band.  But music can make or break a wedding reception, and it's important to have someone who knows what he/she is doing and can really get the crowd going.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Wedding Ceremony Processional Music Tip

When choosing music for your ceremony processional, it's important to ask your house of worship if there are any limits on what you can and can't have played. Some churches and synagogues will only allow specific religious songs played.

If you are not limited in your music choices, talk to the musicians you hired about your options.

You can choose a theme so that all the songs are related to another - love songs, the same artist, show tunes (that's what we did and it turns out my parents also chose show tunes). And remember to select songs that have a special meaning to you or the people that are walking down to them. At my sister’s wedding I walked down to the theme from Gone With the Wind because I’m a huge GWTW fan.

There are tons of wedding web sites that have ceremony processional song ideas, but you can really use anything you like. My brother-in-law walked down the aisle at his wedding to the theme from Rocky.

So think outside the music box and be creative with your processional choices. And definitely choose a fun song for your recessional too!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Creative and Colorful Ring Pillows

I received an email earlier this week on this great ring pillow designer, Blanc by SDC on etsy. To be honest I had a hard time deciding which design to run with the post. They are all so lovely. You can choose from a variety of patterns so the pillow works with your color palette.

Wedding Planning Tip: If you are having a ring bearer walk down the aisle carrying a pillow and rings, you may want to consider placing fake rings on the ring pillow and leaving the real wedding bands with either the groom or best man. Why risk losing your gold or platinum bands? And the truth is no one will ever know that the real ones are in someone’s pocket! That's what we did. I wouldn't trust my 5-year-old adorable nephew with gold wedding bands.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Find Out How to Hire a Wedding Photographer and Videographer

Of all the vendors you’re going to hire, your wedding photographer and videographer are the most important decisions you’ll make. Your wedding album and video are really all you have left of your wedding day.

When viewing portfolios for a wedding photographer or videographer, remember that you want to see a completed wedding album and video – getting ready, formal portraits, ceremony and reception. You do NOT want to see a “greatest hits” album filled with their best shots. You want to know that they can cover your wedding from beginning to end.

To learn more about hiring a wedding photographer and videograoher, and you live in the tri-state area, sign-up for the New York Wedding Workshop “How To” series: How to Hire a Photographer and Videographer, this Saturday, January 31st from 10am to 12:30pm at Gina Gallery – 454 Columbus Avenue at 82nd Street. THIS EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED.

At the workshop you will learn the difference between film and digital, flash vs. natural light and candid vs. photojournalistic photography. You’ll also get tips on how to negotiate contracts with potential photographers and videographers. You’ll receive a variety of gifts and goodies as well as enjoy a light breakfast.

To sign-up visit Enter IWILL to receive a discounted rate of $30!

I’m planning on going so I hope to see you there!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Jonathan Adler Registry Service

I spent the last two days at the New York International Gift Fair. The gift show is held twice a year at the Javits Center and the Piers and is filled with every type of product imaginable: tabletop, personal accessories, beauty items, linens, giftware, books and more. It’s quite overwhelming, but a lot of fun.

I stopped by the Jonathan Adler booth and took a look at some of their new items. I fell in love with a turquoise umbrella stand and some orange and blue nesting boxes.

Anyway, I found out that Jonathan Adler stores now offer a gift registry. How fabulous!  The complete line has decorative pottery items, furniture, bathroom accessories, tabletop items (dinnerware, glassware) and linens.

There are several Jonathan Adler stores across the country, including: NYC, San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles and Miami where you can register or you can create your registry on line at the company’s Web site,

Friday, January 23, 2009

Wedding (Cookie) Favors

If you’re still debating what type of favor to give at your wedding, remember that edible favors are always a hit. I personally like cookies. They come in pretty much any shape and are a delicious treat your guests can enjoy on the way home.

One of my favorite cookie companies, The Flour Pot in Philadelphia, has an amazing selection of wedding and non-wedding themed cookies that you can choose from. They ship nationwide so if you don’t live near the City of Brotherly Love you and your guests can still enjoy them.

But how to choose your cookie design…

First, think of your theme. Is it possible to make a cookie out of it? For most themes the answer is yes. You could also choose a cookie shape based on your wedding location or choose a very wedding-y design like a dress or ring.

Here’s a link to The Flour Pot Web site to help inspire you. And once you’ve picked your design, talk to the bakers about packaging ideas. You may want to customize a favor tag that matches the rest of your wedding stationery. Your invitation designer can help you do that or reach out to—they have a great selection of tags, packaging and sticker options.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Wedding Fashion & Planning Event in NYC

Whether or not you had a chance to attend last week’s event Always a Bridesmaid event at Pronovias’ flagship store (14 E. 52nd Street) in Manhattan, you’ll definitely want to attend the upcoming event on Saturday the 31st.

Lisa Hoffman of CeCi, Sylvia Weinstock of Sylvia Weinstock Cakes and Thomas Preti from Thomas Preti Catering will all be taking part of a bridal inspiration panel discussion. Additional panel members include: Josh Friedman, owner of Elan Artists, Jessy the owner of Fleurs NY and Christine Merser who is a design expert for Classic Party Rentals. After the one-hour panel, these wedding experts will be available to answer your wedding planning questions.

During the event you’ll be able to sip cocktails, taste Sylvia Weinstock's famous cakes as well as view the new White Label Collection from Ceci. And if you missed last week’s event, there will be another fashion show of Pronovias bridal gowns and accessories.

The event will begin with the panel discussion at 1PM and wrap up at around 4PM. The event is free, but you must RSVP because space is limited! Click here to sign up.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Don't Flub Your Wedding Vows

Since the news of the day was all about the inauguration, I came across an interesting bit of info that relates to yesterday’s blog post.

According to the TODAY show, Justice Roberts did not have notes with him when he administered the oath to President Obama and tried to say the words by heart. As we all know, Justice Roberts mixed up some of the words. The oath is 35 words long and while not as long as President Obama’s speech (18 minutes), Justice Roberts could have easily have a card with the words on it just in case. And no one would have thought any less of him for it.

So, for today’s tip: Whether you are reciting your own vows and/or making a speech at your wedding, I highly recommend having the words on index cards for you to use as a reference. Your wedding is an emotional time and no one – not even your groom – will hold it against you if you refer to a card with the words on them. It will make you feel more comfortable knowing that they’re there and if you don't need them great, but if you do, you'll be glad they are available.

Wondering where you'd put them? Ask your maid-of-honor or officiant to hold them and pass them to you right before you recite your vows.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

When Words Get in the Way

I was watching the inauguration today and when Justice Roberts was swearing in President Obama I noticed that there was a flub in the words. It turns out that Justice Roberts switched some of the words in the oath. The President noticed the mistake but still recited them the way Justice Roberts said them. I think then Justice Roberts corrected himself and President Obama recited them in the correct order. And of course, this made me think of a great wedding tip for your ceremony.

Remember the story I told you of how at my sister’s wedding, the Rabbi mentioned our grandparents: Jerry and Ruth. Phil and Leonard! My grandmother’s name is Leonora.

While the immediate family members noticed the mistake, most people didn’t. If your officiant makes a mistake during the ceremony, let it go. Most people will not notice it and you’ll end up embarrassing your officiant and bringing greater attention to the error - that most people didn't notice to begin with. Even Princess Diana, when reciting her vows to Prince Charles mixed up the order of his names – I think he has about half a dozen.

To this day - almost six years later - we sometimes tease Grammy and call her Leonard and it's a great family joke/story.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Photo Tips from Get Married

I caught an episode of Get Married this morning and they featured a photographer's tips for great wedding photos. I wanted to link you to the video but I can't seem to find them on their site. Here are some of the tips I remember:
  1. Have a photo taken of the bride and groom with an interesting backdrop such as a colorful mural. The bride in white and groom in black will really pop.
  2. Make sure to add a photo of your send-off to your photo shot list.
  3. The moment before you and dad walk down the aisle will also make a great picture for your album.

I'm sorry I don't remember the others, but here's a link to if you want to search their video archives. The show aired this morning, January 19th.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Washington, DC Brides: Upcoming Trunk Shows at Carine’s

If you live in the DC area, add these dates to your calendar now! Carine’s Bridal Atelier on Wisconsin Avenue is holding two Monique Lhuillier trunk shows: January 22-24 and March 19 – 21.

Each trunk show will feature 30 dresses from the collection and brides who purchase a dress from the show will receive a 10% discount on their purchase. Appointments are a must so call Carine’s Bridal Atelier asap to make one – 202-965-4696.

To celebrate the launch of Washingtonian’s new wedding magazine, there will be a special bridal show – Washingtonian Bride & Groom: Unveiled – which will feature many of the area’s top vendors as well as an exclusive fashion show, sponsored by Carine’s Bridal Atelier, featuring the best Monique Lhuillier Spring 2009 bridal and mother-of-the-bride designs.

This bridal event will be held at The Park Hyatt on Sunday, January 25th from 11:30 to 3pm. For more information and to purchase tickets visit

Click here to view the Spring 2009 Monique Lhuillier Wedding Collection

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Real Simple Weddings on Stands Now!

Real Simple has just published their annual Wedding issue and I have to say it is really fabulous. Filled with worksheets, real weddings, pages of inspiration, great resources and the 10 most commonly asked questions by category, the magazine is really like a condensed wedding book.

My favorite feature is the flower glossary. In the Flowers section, there is a great chart of about 50 flowers and all the details you need to know including availability and colors. A real must-have to tear out and carry in your wedding organizer. (Real Simple’s wedding blog, NearlyWeds, had some great things to say about the russell+hazel Wedding Organizer!)

Real Simple Weddings is on stands now, and if you’ve registered at Crate & Barrel – or been to one lately – you’ll probably see it in their stores too.

Click here to check out the Real Simple Weddings Web site.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Vendor Contracts

It’s very important to make sure that every detail relating to your wedding, and not just the wedding date, time and location, is included in each of your vendor contracts. You also want a list of the total cost, the deposit amount/due date and when the balance is due.

Each vendor’s service will require a different set of details. Here’s a list of vendors and the contract details you’ll need. This list is not 100% of everything you’ll need so do some research online for a more detailed list.

  • Delivery time of cake and contact information of baker/delivery service

  • Cake flavors, fillings, number of tiers, decor

  • Dietary restrictions/allergies that you want the baker to be aware of

  • Number of people the cake will serve

  • If a separate “top tier” will be supplied

  • Number of bouquets, boutonnières, centerpieces, ceremony décor, etc…

  • Set-up details

  • Number of, type and names of all musicians, especially if you requested specific people

  • Start time and hours of service at the wedding

  • Details of break times:  number of, live or canned music played during breaks

  • Name of photographer/videographer and any assistants

  • Start time and hours of service at the wedding, including getting ready times

  • Date of when proofs, album and video are due to you - both pre and post-edit drafts

  • Details of service – type of film used, number of proofs, copies of albums, videos

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I (Finally) Got My Wedding Album...

and it's gorgeous!

For those of you who have read this blog for some time now, you probably know that we were married in 2003 and I never got my wedding album. It’s not my photographer’s fault at all. The album was not part of the package we signed up for and since we were paying for it I took my time getting the money together.

Well, I just picked it up today and it was so worth the wait.

Meg Matyia (my photographer) and I had each gone through the proofs separately and picked out our favorites and then went through them together and picked our top 60 – yes 60 pictures. After creating the perfect layout, Meg and I visited Judy Ivry Bookbinding in Manhattan and discussed how the album should be bound.

If your photographer offers a wedding album as part of your package get a good look at what he or she is offering—leather or fabric, prints printed or mounted on the paper, coffee book style.

If you like what is offered sign up for the album when you finalize the term of your agreement. If you don’t, the price may go up by the time you are ready to make your album.

If you don’t like what he or she offers, find out what your other options are. Will they give you a CD or the negatives for a one-time fee? Will they help you create the perfect layout even if you use an online or a bookbinder to produce the final album.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Food Allergies and What (Not) to Do About Them

So many people deal with food allergies as well as dietary restrictions. Nuts, shellfish and gluten are a few common allergies. And diabetic, kosher and vegetarian are common dietary restrictions.

When planning your wedding menu you do not have to think of every possible allergy or restriction. Plan your menu to fit your needs/wants and your fiance’s. Of course if your family is kosher you may choose to have a kosher wedding instead of kosher meals for a specific amount of guests.

Every caterer will offer some vegetarian dish for a small percentage of guests who are vegetarian. You do not have to take a headcount ahead of time of who is and who isn’t. Your guests know their eating habits and will ask their waiter what the vegetarian option is. You will usually have a few options to choose from – a pasta or grilled vegetable plate.

If you know that some of your guests are kosher, you can ask your caterer to provide kosher meals for them.  If half of your guests are kosher you may want to hire a kosher caterer for the entire wedding instead of X amount of kosher and Y amount of non-kosher meals.

As for specific food allergies, like nuts and shellfish, guests with allergies will ask the waiter if these items are in the recipe and will either pull them out or ask for an alternative.

I know you want to please each and every guest, but it is virtually impossible to know every single guests' specific food needs. They’re adults and they know what will and won’t hurt them.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Dave's Favorite Wedding Planning Tip

I asked Dave for his favorite wedding planning tip and without a second thought he said, "scoring your shoes so you don't slip during your first dance."

I'm always surprised with all the wedding details he notices and remarks he makes at and about weddings.  So in honor of my loving hubby, I'm reminding all brides that it's very important to score the bottom of your shoes and your grooms.

To score your shoes take a sharp non-serrated knife or scissor or ice pick and make a lot of horizontal and vertical lines and don't forget to make a "x" on your heel.

And remember to break your shoes in too - both of you.  There's no superstition about not seeing the bride's shoes before the wedding!  Practice your first dance in your wedding shoes and walk around the house in them as well to make sure they aren't to tight on your big day.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

NYC Event: Pronovias Glamour Night

It’s that time of year again: Wedding Season. After the holiday season, you’ll be hearing about more and more wedding events happening in NYC and in other cities across the country. (If you know of any please email me the details!)

Brides still looking for their wedding dress, fashion accessories and the perfect hair and makeup for their wedding must RSVP for the Pronovias Glamour Night on Thursday, January 15th from 6:30 to 9pm.

The event, co-produced with Always a Bridesmaid, will feature an exclusive fashion show of the latest Pronovias collections. Brides will be able to browse the latest gowns, accessories and meet with top hair and makeup stylists for bridal beauty tips.

In addition to fashion and beauty experts, you’ll be able to meet with other wedding vendors in the tri-state area, including: Elan Artisits, Fleurs and Classic Party Rentals. Wedding consultants from Always a Bridesmaid will also be available to give you expert planning advice.

This event is free for brides and their guests (one per bride) but you still have to RSVP to attend. Click here to learn more about the Pronovias Glamour Night event as well as to RSVP for it.

Acronyms, Part II

You know, I just remembered what got me on this acronym thing.  I just got an email about a stationery sale that read: BOGO in the subject line.

At Carvel over the weekend there was a sign for BOGO Sundaes and I asked my sister what a BOGO Sundae was and she told me:  Buy One Get One.  She was surprised I never heard of BOGO before but I never did.  Have you?

And I do agree with the commenter re: STD for save the date.  Dave and I make STD lists which sometime freaks people out.  STD:  Shit to Do.

I just learned about a great event coming up on the 15th in NYC - I'll write about it later today.  And if you know of an event anywhere in the US please email me the details so I can share it with everyone!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

What’s With the Acronyms?

I’ve been meaning to write this post for months. I understand that we type in codes: LOL (until last week my dad thought it meant lots of luck and not laugh out loud), BTW (by the way), LMO (laughing my @$$ off), G2G (got to go – thanks Cari!) and BRB (be right back).

In the world of weddings it’s much quicker to type or write MOB/MOG (mother of the bride/groom), MOH (maid of honor) or BM (bridesmaid) but to speak it? Is our world going so fast that we can’t say three simple words, or even just one word?

I guess it’s weird for me to complain about it but I just find it so odd when someone says, “I called my MOG the other day and she is driving me crazy!” Or something like, “I’ll ask my MOH to do that.” And what I find really strange is that people don’t always speak with the initials. They sound it out.

If you’re going to use wedding acronyms when talking to people say the initials, don’t sound out the word: It’s M-O-H, not moh. It’s M-O-G, not mog.

I think what set me off is that I’ve been hearing the terms in the media lately as if they are part of the English language and they’re not. But then again, I’m probably one of the few people that text messages in complete sentences.


Tuesday, January 06, 2009

BFF Bridal: Best in Bridal Event in NYC

Are you planning a destination wedding? Still trying to find the perfect spot for your honeymoon? If you live or work in the tri-state area I highly recommend attending the upcoming BFF Bridal event: Best in Bridal Honeymoons and Destination Weddings.

The Editors of BFF Bridal have a great eye for the latest and greatest in weddings, and their local NYC events attract some of the top vendors and wedding-related businesses around.

The January 21st event will be held at the Jumeirah Essex House in the Grand Salon from 6:30 to 8:30pm. Brides and their guests will be treated to makeovers and beauty treatments while they meet with vendors to learn about great discounts and upgrades at some of the best hotels in the world as well as get planning tips for their destination wedding and/or honeymoon.

Some of the participating vendors include: Rock Resorts, Nantucket Island Resorts, Ritz-Carlton Caribbean & Mexico, Four Seasons Costa Rica and Mayflower Inn & Spa. Brides will also be able to start a lingerie registry with Cosabella or pick up a few items for the honeymoon and learn how to create their own beach hairstyle from Paul Labreque stylists.

Ticket holders are automatically entered to win one of several unbelievable prizes including several all-expenses-paid vacations and spa treatments. Every ticket holder will walk away with a gift bag overflowing with goodies.

Tickets are $75 for one, $125 for two. Visit for more info and to purchase tickets.

I think you can leave your fiance at home for this one and grab mom or your maid-of-honor for some pampering. You can fill your groom in on the travel details when you get home.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Enter to Win a $5000 Wedding Photography Package

Pink Initiative is a non-profit organization made up of wedding industry professionals (and private donors) dedicated to funding awareness, outreach, education and research for breast cancer.

Emilie Sommer, the founder of Pink Initiative and the owner of emilie inc photography, is hosting a raffle where the winner will receive $5000 worth of wedding photography coverage. You can use the photo coverage for your wedding up until 2012 for a wedding anywhere in the United States. Raffle tickets are $50 each and all proceeds benefit Pink Initiative.

Here’s the link to the Webpage where you can purchase raffle tickets and enter to win, and to learn more about Pink Initiative visit their Web site,

Thursday, January 01, 2009

My Resolution: Sell all my wedding books and wedding magazines

Happy New Year!

Dave and I have each made one New Year’s Resolution. Mine is to clean out the den, so last night instead of attending a wild party I went through the shelves and found about a dozen MORE wedding books and did a complete tally of my wedding magazine collection.

I just posted the books and magazines in separate posts on craigslist – here are the links: wedding planning books and Martha Stewart Weddings magazines.

I sold about two dozen books already, but because there are multiple copies of some of them you’ll still see some titles on the list. But I just added: Signature Weddings, The Wedding Book, Jo Gartin’s Weddings and two books from the knot.

As for the magazines, OMG! I have multiples of EVERY Martha Stewart Weddings issue up until the last one. PLUS: several copies of special issues – seasons, 10th anniversary and color.

Check out the links and let me know if you’re interested in any books or mags. You can always email me at if you have any questions. Everything’s in great condition!


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