Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Golden Rule

"Do unto others as you would have others do unto you"

With all the wedding shows that feature brides at their worst, it's important to remember that these shows are produced and I'm hoping these women are asked by producers to be horribly mean to vendors and family members.  You have to assume that they are acting otherwise why would their fiances want to marry them.  

When planning your wedding, assuming you're not being taped for a television show, remember that you should treat people with respect and as you would like to be treated.  Just because you're a bride doesn't mean (no pun intended) that you are allowed to treat people like they are your personal wedding servants.  And this includes your fiance, parents, vendors and bridesmaids.

Nothing happened where I can share a story to get this point across.  I was just watching TV and saw an ad for one of these wedding reality shows and felt the need to write a post on the subject.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Save-the-Date Card Giveaway at Oh So Beautiful Paper

Save-the-date cards are a fun way to let your friends and family know the details of your wedding. They can be as straightforward or as whimiscal as you want. Unlike a formal invitation, save-the-date cards aren’t an essential item that you must have. If you’re looking to cut costs, cutting the save-the-date card is one way to save, but with the fun, informal designs you can create, many couples like them because they are a great way to let your personalities be part of the wedding details.

Whether you were planning on sending save-the-date cards to your guests or not, here’s one way to save money on your stationery budget. Visit Oh So Beautiful Paper to enter their save-the-date card giveaway, where you can win 150 save-the-date cards from Delphine Press. The letterpressed cards will come in two ink colors on Mohawk's beautiful Strathmore Writing Recycled Bright White paper

Here are the details:

Visit the Delphine Press Web site and browse their wedding collection to choose a favorite design. Once you've picked your favorite, create an inspiration board - including the design you've selected - showing how that design fits in with your overall wedding style. 

Submit your completed inspiration boards (in jpeg format, please) via e-mail to beautifulpaperblog@gmail.com with the subject "Save the Date Contest". Include a brief description of your wedding style as well as the two ink colors that you've chosen for your save-the-date card with your submission.

You have until 11:59 p.m. EST on Friday, July 3 to submit your entries. Nole will post the finalists on Oh So Beautiful Paper on Monday, July 6 and announce the winner later in the week.  Good luck!

Wedding Planning Tip:  Don't forget that whoever you mail a save-the-date card to also receives a wedding invitation.  You can't mail out save-the-date cards and then decide that you need to cut the list and half the people who received a card are no longer invited.  Limit your save-the-date card mailing list to guests that you know you will never cut -- close relatives and friends.

Save-the-date image above from Delphine Press

Friday, June 26, 2009

License to Wed -- No Relation to the Movie

When getting married in the United States it’s very important to learn what your state’s laws are regarding a marriage license. And when I write your state, I mean the state that you are getting married in. If you live in Chicago, IL but are getting married in your hometown in Wyoming, you need to get a marriage license in Wyoming.

Every state has their only rules and regulations. Some states have age requirements, others want the bride and groom to take blood tests and there are some states that have waiting periods between the date you apply for the license and the date you actually say “I do.”

The easiest way to find out what you need to do is to search your state’s government Web site or just Google your state and “marriage license” and the information should pop up in the results page. You can ask your wedding planner or officiant if he or she knows what you need to do.

It’s also important to check marriage license requirements if you’re getting married abroad. Some countries have residency requirements. I think a friend who married in the Caribbean had to be there for a few days before the license was valid, while some European countries want a minimum of 30-days residency before a license is legal.

If you are marrying abroad you may want to get hitched legally in the U.S. before flying off to your destination. This way you won’t have to worry about license requirements there.

And when you do apply for a license, make sure that both you and your fiancé are there with the appropriate identification. You may need several forms of ID before the state will give you the necessary paperwork.

One more thing: Check with your officiant if he or she will mail in the license for you or if you are supposed to do that. The last part of the process is having the officaint complete the form and then someone mails it back to the state. Then you’ll receive a marriage license in the mail.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

RIP Michael Jackson

In light of the sad news of Michael Jackson's passing, I felt it was appropriate to post the Triller wedding dance video:

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

NYC Wedding Event: How to Save Money

Figuring out how to save money on the wedding is a very popular topic these days. There are lots of ways to save, but it's important to know how to save effectively and not just randomly cut your budget. (See yesterday's post on using an iPod as your DJ)

Many Web sites and magazine articles have featured ideas on where to cut costs but sometimes you need to ask a professional what would work best for you.

This coming Saturday, June 27th, The New York Wedding Workshop is hosting How to Design on a Dime. This workshop will teach couples how to maximize their wedding look and style no matter what their budget is. Starting with invitation design right through to tabletop and every decorative element in between, you'll learn what is worth splurging on as well as where you can save.

Brides and their guests will leave the workshop with a list of New York City and online decor shopping resources, how-to guides to create breathtaking paper products and referrals for decorators and florists who will actually give you a proposal that is within your budget parameters.

The event will be held from 10 am to 1 pm at Sharon Schuster Photography Studio, 147 West 15th Street, and will feature the following vendors: Double Happiness Creations, Sharon Schuster Photography and Seth David Cohen Videography.

There are still some tickets left and to help you save money, I'm giving away some! Email your name and wedding date, along with how many tickets you want to fromiwilltoido@gmail.com.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

iPods and Your Wedding

With all the talk on how to save money on your wedding the idea of a bride and groom being their own DJ is not so surprising. However, there are some things to think about if you decide to go this route.

As the bride and groom, no matter how much you like the idea of being a DJ, at your wedding you should not be managing a playlist. Let someone else oversee your iPod so that you don’t have to be running back and forth to make sure a good song – or in the instance of special dances, the right song – is playing.

Putting together a playlist for your ceremony and cocktail hour is easy, but a reception playlist for dancing is a little more difficult. A professional DJ or band can feel the crowd and know when to play certain songs to get the crowd on the dance floor.  The playlist you create may not get the job done and you don't want to be surfing through to find a better song.  

As for sound quality, your at home iPod speaker is probably not sufficient enough to fill a hall, so research larger speaker systems to ensure that the music is loud enough.

I would limit the iPod to the ceremony and cocktails and then spend the money on a professional for your reception.  It's still less than hiring someone for the whole wedding.  Maybe he or she will let you use/rent their speakers for the ceremony and cocktails.  

And if you're not sure what to put on the ceremony, cocktail or reception playlist, there are plenty of wedding Web sites that offer suggestions.  Or you can hire a company to create a unique playlist just for you.  AudioStiles is one company that can create a playlist for you. You can talk to their music experts about what you're looking for and they can either give you the names of songs or upload a complete playlist to your iPod.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Wedding Day Hairstyles: Using Flowers

Thinking of wearing a flower in your hair? Here are some tips to ensure that your wedding day ‘do is picture perfect:

1. Tear photos of hairstyles with flowers that you like out of magazines and print out images you find online to show your hairstylist what you want.

2.  Schedule a trial to see if the style  you want looks right and make sure to use the same flower that you plan on using at your wedding.

3. Don’t forget to take photos of the final ‘do you decide on so the day of the wedding there is no question as to what your hairstylist should be doing. Remember to get photos from every angle: right, left, front and back

4. Determine if you are going to use a real flower or a silk flower and who is supplying it: You, your stylist or the florist.

5. If you are choosing a delicate flower, like a gardenia, ask your stylist to stick around to replace it after family portraits and the ceremony so you have a fresh bloom in your hair for the reception.

6. Don't just buy one bloom for your wedding day. Buy or order several just to be safe.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Showers Require Planning Too

A friend just told me a story about a shower she not only attended but was involved in planning.  The bride's sister arranged for the party to be held at a friend's house and then asked other close friends of the bride to take care of decorations.

Too make a long story short, basically the sister didn't check what supplies were available at the house where the party was to be held, so when the women with the decor showed up to set up there were no tables or chairs or even a place to put the food - which by the way only half of the order showed up because the caterer said that was all that the sister ordered.

Anyway, my point is that planning a shower involves a lot of logistics: a place to hold it, seating for all the guests, including tables, decor (can be as limited or as extensive as you want), entertainment/activities and food for your guests.  It's obviously not as involved as a wedding is but whoever is hosting/planning a shower needs to make sure that the basics are available.  

It's okay to delegate responsibilities  to bridesmaids, moms and anyone else who offers to help but make sure that whoever is "in charge" is really overseeing all of the other tasks so that you don't have guests showing up with no place to sit.

I suggested that they could have thrown blankets or sheets on the floor and made it a picnic style party since the wedding will be outdoors on a farm, but the sister ended up driving by a garage sale a few blocks away on her way to the shower and after realizing they didn't have any place for guests to eat she drove back and picked up a table and chairs for the party.  

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Philly Event Recap Clip

In case you couldn't make it to the Wedding Inspirations event in Philadelphia earlier this month, wedding videographer Dave Williams created a short film featuring the vendors involved. It was such a fun event in a really cool section of Philly, Liberties Walk.

I really enjoy doing events like this one because it's great for me to get to know vendors in local areas, and I always love talking to brides.

Here's the clip:

And if you're a vendor planning a wedding event I'd love to learn about it, and possibly get involved!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Preventing a Wedding Day Hangover

If you're looking for the perfect movie for date night then The Hangover is what you want to see.  This hilarious story of a bachelor party gone bad will have both you and your fiance rolling in the aisles.

Now since this film revolves around a wedding I watched it for both enjoyment and for blog research.  I don't want to give away anything so here's the one extremely important tip that I took away from it that you definitely want to follow: Do not have the bachelor/bachelorette party the night or two before the wedding, especially if it will be out of town.  In fact I would say the closest you should get to the wedding date would be the weekend before, but I recommend two weekends before.

You would think that most people would know not to have a wild night the day or two before the wedding.  Who wants to risk a hangover the morning of their wedding or worse, if you're planning an out-of-town party you could be delayed by traffic or a cancelled flight.  (Don't worry I didn't give anything away.)

While I'm pretty sure the crazy events that take place in The Hangover will not happen at your fiance's bachelor party, you don't really want to take a chance that the groom (and his groomsmen) may not make the wedding because of one wild night.

PS - I don't usually rate movies, but I have to say this one you definitely want to see.  

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Now Open: The Bridal Bar Atlanta

Attention Atlanta-area brides:  Hollywood's one-stop wedding resource, The Bridal Bar, is headed your way!

With an amazing eye for detail and a long list of A-list wedding vendors, Rebecca Hansmann and Harmony Walton have created a one-stop shop for brides and grooms getting hitched in or around Atlanta.

The Bridal Bar is a complimentary service that allows couples to browse wedding vendor products and services, which have been pre-screened and edited to ensure a diverse group of the most talented vendors in the area.  

Brides and their guests (mom, bridesmaids, even the groom) are invited to lounge on a couch, sip champagne, view videos, flip through albums, taste cakes and ask The Bridal Bar team your specific planning questions.

When you visit, ask about their new VIB³ Program: The Pink Card, which offers couples discounts, special offers and freebies at wedding venues and vendors, including thank you cards with custom invitation designers, complimentary cake toppers and complimentary prints and album credits.

You can also visit the Bridal Bar Atlanta Blog to learn about local wedding products and services.  And if you're not getting married in or near Atlanta, you should check out the blog for ideas that are sure to inspire you!

Photo Credit: David Murray Weddings

Monday, June 15, 2009

A Must-Read Wedding Registry Blog

I've written before about blogs that create inspiration boards for weddings but I just learned about a new blog, Feathering a Pretty Nest, which creates inspiration boards for wedidng registries. Really!

Nicole Ossola, the owner of Kireina Paper, recently started a blog where she posts inspiration boards focusing on decorating your new home.

Every day she focuses on a different part of the house -- bath, bed, dining, kitchen -- as well as favorite finds and creates a board with stylish items within the same color palette or theme. The board above is Kitchen Board No. 4: Mellow Mint. Each boards is accompanied with a credit list so you can easily buy it or add it to your registry.

If you're looking for ideas for your home or are already married but thinking of redecorating , I'd definitely add Feathering a Pretty Nest to your list of sites to research.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Post from the Past: Bridesmaids Makeup

Here's one of my all-time favorite beauty tips for bridesmaids:

As you probably know, you can visit almost any makeup counter in the beauty department of a department store and the sales staff will apply not just one product, but make you up for the night. And the price for these makeovers? The cost of one product.

If you’re getting married near a shopping mall – or your bridesmaids can get to one well before the time you need them at the wedding location – send them to the mall to have their makeup done.

Each girl can pick whichever counter she likes – MAC, Prescriptives, Bobbi Brown, Clinique, NARS – and ask the sales girl to apply makeup for her. She should specify if the wedding is a formal black-tie affair or something more casual.

The cost of lipstick is probably around $20-$30 – much less than the cost of a professional makeup artist. She can always use the lipstick to reapply it at the wedding, and unlike her bridesmaid dress, she will use it again.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Don't Let This Happen To You

I just went for a walk and saw a bride and groom get out of a car and walk into the Brooklyn Municipal Building to get married. How did I know they were getting hitched? She was in a mini-white dress, he in a suit and she was carrying flowers.

In addition to her white dress and shoes she also had on white underwear. How do I know? Because her dress was so sheer that I could see them. She needed to wear a slip and I can't believe that no one who saw her in the dress at the store or at home told her that.

Please do yourself a favor and make sure that your undergarments are not seen at all either by wearing a slip or having a lining sewn into the dress. You can easily have your seamstress sew cups into the bodice so you don't need a bra but panties are a separate item that you will need to buy and ask someone if they can see them through the skirt fabric.

I was too far away to get a picture to run with this post, but take my word for it - she had on white briefs and all of Downtown Brooklyn saw them.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Get Creative: The Rehearsal Dinner

Dave and I went to a birthday party last night with a really fun theme: Wine and Candy Pairings.

The host selected City Winery, a new wine bar in Manhattan, and worked with the guests to choose some favorite candies of the birthday girl (or the guest) and had the restaurant pair the candy with a wine. We also enjoyed several appetizers/entrees with each pairing.

Our group was on the small size - 16 people - but I thought it would be fun for a rehearsal dinner. I think it would encourage interaction between the families, especially if you ask guests to get involved with the pairings and create a menu where people can see who picked what and why.

Your rehearsal dinner can be as creative as you want it to be. It doesn't have to be a sit-down meal only. You can have it at any location, serve any type of food and ask your guests to be part of the event. I've been to rehearsal dinners where the bride's brothers created a video montage of the bride through the years. I've seen dad's sing a song they wrote for their daughter or brother's/friends of the groom read a funny speech about the groom that you probably would not want read at your wedding reception.

So think outside the box when it comes to your rehearsal dinner and have a great time at it!

PS - Since we had a kosher wedding we couldn't serve pigs-in-a-blanket and since we couldn't have the wedding at my grandmother's house, which is where I really wanted it to be, we had a BBQ at Grandma's for our rehearsal dinner. We had burgers, dogs, fried chicken and my favorite sides. For dessert we served small servings of ice cream - the kind in the little cups with the wooden spoons. And my brother-in-law read a speech that I would have died if he read at the wedding. His best man's toast was great and afterwards he told me that he wrote the other one to freak me out. It worked.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

How to Pick the Perfect Palette

My wedding tip regarding how to choose your wedding palette is quite simple. Go to your local paint store - or Home Depot or Lowe's - and pull the paint chips that you are attracted to.

Paint chips are free and at the larger stores the sales help won't usually bother you while you pick out colors you like. If you're nervous just tell them that you're redecorating and looking for color ideas.

Once you get home place all the colors on the kitchen table. If your table is not white then use a white sheet or white paper for a neutral background. Once they are all out in front of you group together colors that you like and toss the ones you no longer like for your wedding.

When you've narrowed down your choices go back to the paint store for a few extra copies so you can give them to your vendors: florist, planner, baker, etc... and they can help you finalize your wedding's colors.

But how do you use these colors in your wedding details? They can be used in a myriad of ways: In your stationery design, calligraphy ink, flowers, linens, bridesmaids' dresses, groomsmen's ties, cake decor and favors.

If you're still not sure what colors will work well together check out the blog, The Perfect Palette. The blog is dedicated to creating color palettes and inspiration boards that will inspire you when you're planning your own wedding. I think you can also hire them to create a specific board for your wedding.

The inspiration board above is from The Perfect Palette's Shades of Pink (hot pink, coral and fuchsia), Board #256.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Save-the-Date Card Basics

The idea of a theme and color palette is to help you tie all of the details of your wedding together, but you may not finalize your wedding's theme and palette until the final months before the wedding.

While your wedding invitation suite should reflect the theme, colors and style of your wedding, your save-the-date card doesn't have to. And if you don't know your wedding's theme, colors and style at the time you are selecting and mailing your save-the-date cards then don't stress about it.

Talk to your stationer or search stationery sites for a save-the-date card that reflects your personalities, and you can include some of the style you've already decided on for the wedding. For example, if you've booked a reception site by the beach you can have a beach feeling - icons, colors - or if you know that your wedding will have a modern or vintage feel, look for cards that reflect that in the font and design.

Save-the-date cards can be as creative and fun or as formal and to the point as you want them to be. So keep an open mind and go with something that you love because it feels like you and your groom.

The vinatege-inspired save-the-date card pictured above is from Minna Designs, a fabulous stationery company I recently learned about. You have to click through their portfolio. Their designs are quite unique and stunning. Here are some of my favorites:

Friday, June 05, 2009

Wedding Cake Tips: Flavors & Fillings

It’s unfortunate that most guests — and brides — assume that while a wedding cake may look beautiful it will not taste good. Over the past few years amazingly talented bakers have been creating wedding cake masterpieces, that not only look gorgeous, but taste delicious too.

So here are some wedding (cake) planning tips that will help ensure that you and your guests are pleasantly surprised at your wedding:

  • Attend wedding shows in your area, so you can taste a variety of cake flavors and fillings from different bakers. This will help you narrow down the choice of bakers you want to schedule formal appointments with.
  • Realize that you can’t please everyone’s taste buds. As long as you, your groom and your parents — siblings, grandparents and best friends can have a say too, but you know what they say about too many cooks in the kitchen — think the cake is delicious don’t worry about every single guest. There is no way you will be able to please the palette of over 100 people. This tip goes for planning the wedding menu too.

  • Find out what the baker is known for. He or she may be famous for their chocolate or carrot cake recipe. It’s important to work with his or her strengths.

  • Once you’ve settled on a cake flavor try the different fillings they offer to find the perfect combination.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Must-Attend Wedding Event in Brooklyn (and Philly)

One of my favorite blogs (and blogger) is hosting an amazing wedding event next weekend in Brooklyn.

Open to brides everywhere, and hosted by Brooklyn Bride, the event will be held next Saturday, June 13th from 6 to 10pm at 303 Grand Street.

Red Hook-based Nine Cakes will be passing out delicious sweets -- trust me you don't want to miss their cakes!

A $5 fee - donated to the I Do Foundation - will enter you in several raffles and contests for some cool wedding-related prizes. And the first 25 brides will receive an amazing goody bag!

To RSVP email BrooklynChapelRSVP@gmail.com by June 10th.

And don't forget to join me at the Wedding Inspirations 2009 event this Sunday, June 7th, in Philadelphia. Click here for details!

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Washington, DC Wedding Event -- Tomorrow, June 4th!

Carine's Bridal Atelier is having to must-attend events:

For those of you looking for a gorgeous gown at a fraction of the retail price, mark your calendars for Carine's Bridal Atelier's Bi-annual sample sale. June 21st - one day only - from 9am to 3pm, designer dresses will be marked down to $999, $1299 and $1499.

The second event is this Thursday, June 4th from 6-8pm at Bloomingdale's in Chevy Chase, MD. The "Pre-Wedding" Wedidng Party is a registry event which will include informal modeling of some of the latest gowns. Every attendee will receive 10% off a bridal gown purchase at Carine's Bridal Atelier. At the event you'll meet with other local area vendors, enjoy delicious appetizers and enter contests to win some cool prizes.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Wedding Planning Help for Southern California Brides

Seattle-based wedding planning Web site, Junebug Weddings, has just launched a Southern California division covering San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange County and Santa Barbara.

The site offers recommendations on wedding vendors in every planning category: reception sites, photographers, bakers, caterers, gowns, stationery, rentals, music and more.

There is no fee for brides and all of the vendors featured have been selected by brides, fellow vendors and the Junebug team.

And don't forget to check out the company's blog, What Junebug Loves with daily planning advice. And here's a link to a recent post where Junebug owner, Christy, interviewed me.

Monday, June 01, 2009

A Comment About Weather and Your Wedding

No matter how lucky you think you are...

No matter what the Farmer's Almanac says. ..

No matter what the weather man says...you always prepare for the worst case scenario when it comes to having an outdoor wedding.

A friend told me about a wedding in New Hampshire he went to recently. The wedding was in early/mid-May so the couple -- who had a tent wedding -- decided that they didn't need to rent heaters becasue they assumed that in May the weather would be nice.

Well, unfortunately for them and their guests it was quite a chilly night and their guests ended up hanging out in a house (with heat) on the property because it was too cold to be outdoors without heaters.

Whatever your budget is you do not want to skimp on tents, heaters and flooring for an outdoor wedding. You'll risk a chance of your guests leaving early or ducking out to some place warmer.

Another tip is to plan for nice weather but to have a plan b just to be safe. Your plan b will require that you put a hold on everything from flooring to tent flaps and heaters (or AC units if it's too hot) and then you have to let your rental company know several days before the wedding date if you want to use those items.

And remember, it's good luck if it rains on your wedding day.


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