Wednesday, September 30, 2009
2. Ask for a tasting and design session. Be sure you get what you like. Be aware that some guests will have food allergies (i.e. nuts and nut products).
3. Bring with you some ideas that you want incorporated in the design of your cake (i.e. colors, floral species, pictures of your gown, architectural elements, etc.).
4. Be aware of weather, refrigeration, air conditioning, and make sure you have a sturdy table for the cake.
Visit sylviaweinstock.com to see her amazing cakes!
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
So at the family function this past weekend my cousin told me that she wants to sell her wedding dress. I asked her what she was asking for it and where she listed it.
She bought a Pnina Tornai at Kleinfeld three or four years ago for $4,800 plus alterations and shipping so I think the final total was in the $6-7K range. She wore it once and then had it cleaned. She listed it for $4500 about six months back on Bravo Bride and I think she also said Craigslist. She just lowered her price to $3900.
So what did I tell her? That she was asking way too much money for a used wedding dress –- even if it was only used once. I suggested that she lower her price to $2000 and see if she gets any nibbles and reach out to more Web sites that sell used and sample gowns. I also suggested she reach out to brick and mortar stores, like Vows in Newton, MA that sell used wedding dresses.
A bride looking to buy a used or sample dress for a lower price will probably not want to spend more than $1-3K on a dress and the higher end is only if it’s designer –- like Vera, Monique or Reem. If you can afford to spend $4K on a wedding dress you’d probably shop for a new one, not a used one.
Here’s a listing of some resources for reselling or buying used/sample wedding dresses and if you’re interested in my cousin’s dress, which is gorgeous, feel free to email me. Her dress looks like the one featured in this post without the decoration on the waist and neckline and it’s in white.
Monday, September 28, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
Wanted to share a guest post I wrote for New York caterer Great Performances' blog: The Dish. I was told that I could write about anything wedding related and since it's a caterer's blog I wrote about my #1 wedding food. That's right! Pigs-in-a-blanket. You can read my post here.
Thanks Lonnie for asking me to guest blog!
Have a great weekend and a good fast on Monday!
PS - The wedding at the Plaza I wrote about in April was caterered by Great Performances and I have to say that the food was amazing! And they did serve PIBs. Thanks Dave and Haley for adding them to the menu.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
• An ethnic/regional band – klezmer, Dixieland
• Fun food – pigs-in-a-blanket, mini-egg rolls, popcorn shrimp, potato bar
• Creative décor – bright colors, cocktail napkins with a phrase instead of just your names
• Activities – photo booth, crafting station for guest book
For cocktails, you can have an open bar and still highlight a selection of drinks or a drink that you and your fiance want to have as your signature drink. How do you pick a drink or group of drinks for your wedding? Here are some tips:
1. If your wedding has a theme, look for drinks that fit the theme. For example, my wedding was 1930s retro inspired so we had a martini bar.
2. Color. Can you find drinks that fit your wedding palette? The colors of our wedding were pink, pale green, white/ivory and lavender so I only served martinis that fit that color scheme – Cosmopolitans, Green Apple Martinis, Classic Martini, etc… I ended up buying about six bar/martini recipe books and visited a few bars to make sure the colors worked, but I do realize I was an insanely detail oriented bride.
3. Location. Let your locale help pick your signature drink. Getting hitched in Puerto Rico? Find a cocktail with rum in it. Mexico? Tequila. California? Choose a variety of wines made in Napa Valley.
4. Culture. Where are you and your fiance from? Is there a special drink that fits? Are you French? Maybe you want to only serve a selection of French wines or champagne.
5. Or just choose your favorite cocktail. It doesn’t have to match anything. You can just have it because you like it.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
A groom called in to ask how he should have the year (2008) printed on their wedding invitation as well as the use of British English (honour) vs. American English (honor) on invites.
The general explanation is that we – the American public – tend to think of British English as a more formal language and therefore it is appropriate to use the British English spellings and year on an invitation, when you want to give the feeling of a more formal setting than say an invitaiton to a backyard barbeque.
Click here to read, or hear, what Grammar Girl had to say about correct grammar for wedding invitations. You can download the podcast for free.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
When deciding what you want your guests to toss, think about the season or theme of your wedding. For a spring wedding have guests toss petals or flower heads with the stems cut off. In the summertime hand out sparklers and matches. Colorful autumn leaves are perfect for a fall ceremony, and you can make your own (paper) snowflakes for a winter wedding.
In lieu of a traditional toss, you can supply small bells for guests to ring, bubbles to blow or streamers and flags for them to wave. Whatever you decide to use, place them in paper cones or glassine envelopes, and have them distributed to guests as they enter the ceremony site.
You can personalize the toss holder by sealing them with a monogrammed sticker or write a note explaining to guests what they should do with the package - to toss them while you make your way up the aisle or hold onto them until you leave the ceremony site.
Monday, September 21, 2009
Remember that there are a lot of versions of each poem and you can customize them to fit the bride. If her name, or the groom's name, is the same as a product you can try to add it or if you have trouble finding a specific product just remove the line. For example, my brother-in-law's name is Scott so we added Scott toilet paper to the cleaning products poem. We couldn't find one of the candies mentioned so we just read the line without showing the product.
If you have a good poem please post it in the comments section or post the link to one that you like.
Friday, September 18, 2009
I’m torn on the topic of honeymoon registries because in some cases the registries actually send the couple a check even though guests think they are actually sending a gift such as a spa treatment or dinner at a local restaurant. I’ll make this your call as the bride and groom – making your decision based on the service you are thinking of registering with.
My feeling is that as long as you are legitimately getting gifts a honeymoon registry is fine. I think it’s nice that your great aunt Tilly is getting you a romantic dinner and cousin Bob is treating you to tickets to an activity at your honeymoon destination. I just dont' like the idea that your guest thinks he's sending you to a spa or activity while you are away but you're actually getting cash and not the gift he thinks he is giving.
Even with a honeymoon registry you should still register for traditional items for those guests who would prefer to send something for your home. And as for which stores to register at, you can select as many different stores as you like, though I recommend limiting it to three stores total – and that could be one honeymoon registry and two different retailers. And these retailers don't have to be home stores. You can register at any store that offers a registry, or check out Wishpot.com which lets you register for any and everything available for sale on the Internet.
Feel free to email me or post a question if you have specific questions relating to your circumstance.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
I love stamps. I don't collect them but I think they add a touch of thoughtfulness to an invite. It's like you really took the time to think of every detail. I'm sure I told you how I actually called the main office of the postal service in Washington, DC two months before my wedding because they pushed the release date of the lavender-hued Audrey Hepburn stamp that I wanted to use for our wedding. I asked them to connect me to the Hepburn estate so I could get their permission to have the stamps released in time for me to use them for our wedding. They didn't and we used Cary Grant in a tux. My dad's high school friend actually called me to tell me how much he liked the stamp - true story. We used Audrey on our thank you notes.
Because of the recent stamp fare hike the USPS has recently issued new stamps at the new rate: 44 cents. I thought these stamps might work for a wedding. You can also go to stamps.com and zazzle.com to customize a stamp with a photograph, monogram or other imagery.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
You may be familiar with calligrapher Laura Hooper’s blog, A Lucky Orchid. I was lucky to have Laura design the invitation for the "I'm Getting Hitched" event in Washington, DC I spoke at earlier this year.
I personally recommend handwritten calligraphy over printed calligraphy when it comes to your wedding invitation and other paper details. I always find that printed calligraphy – no matter what the printer may say – is never as elegant looking.
A calligrapher will have several fonts that they can write, allowing you to select one that fits well with your wedding theme or palette. And of course she can match the ink to any color swatch.
I asked Laura for her tips and advice on working with a calligrapher for your wedding. Here’s what she had to say:
Budget – the first step to including hand-calligraphed writing in your wedding is to be sure that you budget for it! Calligraphy is a much loved art-form, and the intricate details and time associated with calligraphy do come at a cost, so be sure to bump up the invitation line item in your overall budget. Standard pointed pen envelope addressing can run from $2.50 - $5.00 (and sometimes more!) per envelope depending on the calligrapher and font style.
Choosing your Calligraphy Style – there are many different styles of calligraphy, from cute to classic to extremely elegant. You should choose your style after determining the overall theme and feeling for your wedding, and choose your font to further enhance that overall mood. I personally divide the styles I offer into “tiers”. Different tiers require different amounts of effort and will be reflected in your final bill. Visit Laura Hooper Calligraphy to see the styles the 20+ standard styles she works with.
Ways to Use Calligraphy – envelope addressing is the most well-known use for calligraphy, but you should also consider calligraphy for your programs, escort cards, menus, maps and hand-penned invitations. This most often involves mixing calligraphy with type-font, perhaps just featuring key words or names in calligraphy.
Working with your Calligrapher – the number one piece of advice that I could give for working with a calligrapher is to try to submit one complete/accurate list. We have hundreds of brides per year and write thousands of names and addresses any given week. Receiving multiple additions and changes starts to make things pretty confusing. We do understand that changes are often unavoidable, but you should definitely do your best to limit the additions, perhaps saving them to send all together. With that being said, it is also important to remember your calligrapher is human – mistakes will happen. The best way to deal with this is to plan ahead, order extra envelopess (generally 15% overage to be safe), and give plenty of time for your order to be completed slowly and carefully. (Note from Anne: Even if you are having envelopes addressed by a printer you will need to order extra envelopes.)
Laura Hooper Calligraphy offers a wide range of services including: addressing envelopes, custom invitations, seating and place cards, save-the-date cards, announcements, creating maps and monograms. Visit lhcalligraphy.com to view more of Laura’s beautiful work.
Monday, September 14, 2009
Yesterday the family made a Fairway run. For those of you not in New York, Fairway is a fabulous supermarket in Red Hook (as well as other tri-state area locations).
Several food companies were there giving out free samples but of course the most popular one was the ice cream company, SoCo Creamery. I never heard of them before so of course my dad and I had to stop and try a few of the flavors.
The owner suggested we try Dirty Chocolate which he claimed was the best chocolate ice cream ever, and you know what…it was! The other flavors (here's a complete listing) we sampled were good too: Espresso Cookie and Mint Chocolate Chip.
Since I featured the ice cream sundae bar last week I thought it would be appropriate to mention this delicious ice cream company, which makes over 100 flavors.
Friday, September 11, 2009
Food can also be used as fun favors and as part of guest room gifts.
But here’s an interesting way to combine both the bar and desserts: Swirl Events, a fabulous wine tasting event company based in New York, is co-hosting a Wine & Dessert Tasting with Six different (and delicious) dessert artisans on September 23rd in New York City. Here are the details:
WHEN: September 23rd, 2009 from 7 to 9 PM
WHERE: AVEvenue at 15 West 28th Street Suite 10B New York NY 10001
HOW: Tickets are $36 per person and can only be purchased online, at SwirlEvents.com.
The co-hosts/dessert artisans include: Roni-Sue Chocolates, Sweet Muse, Gotham Cookies, Liddabit Sweets, WannaHavaCookie and Gourmetibles.
At the B-List Conference in April the bloggers enjoyed a wine tasting by Swirl Events which was very casual and a lot of fun. Anu (owner of Swirl Events) has done wine tastings for engagement parties, showers and even paired foods with wine for weddings.
If you and your fiancé are wine connoisseurs or you don’t know your chardonnay from your champagne, you may want to hire a wine expert to help you pair foods with wines for a wedding-related or any type of social get together. With all those wine glasses and serving pieces you received as gifts you’ll need to start entertaining and using them. Why not throw a casual wine tasting in your home?
To be honest, I was pregnant at the B-List so I couldn’t enjoy the wine but I loved the event format Anu put together for us. And of course I loved the pairings – different cheeses and truffles.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Candy buffets evolved into dessert buffets and I just saw a new iteration on the theme: an ice cream buffet. The blog Eat Drink Chic featured a very detailed and stylish Make Your Own Sundae Bar that ice cream connoisseurs would fall in love with.
If you and your fiancé are ice cream fans, or if you’re having a summer wedding and think your guests would enjoy a frozen treat to cool off after dancing the night away, you should talk to your caterer and wedding planner/event designer about creating this type of dessert buffet for your wedding reception or even your after party.
I agree with Amy’s (Eat Drink Chic’s blogger) thoughts on having someone serve the ice cream for guests. As you know defrosted ice cream can get messy and you don’t want guests dirtying their clothes and it will also speed up the line if guests aren’t struggling with the scooper.
While this buffet is beautiful, remember that you can use this sundae bar as inspiration. Choose colors that will match your own wedding palette and your favorite flavors and toppings. I know I always say not to worry about guests' food allergies but you may not want to have nut toppings included in the topping choices just to be safe.
Visit EatDrinkChic.com for more detailed shots and sources.
Wednesday, September 09, 2009
I've said before that you don't need to worry about your guests' food allergies but when it comes to kids you should find out if there is something they won't or can't eat. You don't want parents running to a local market or diner to get food for their kids. And unlike a bar mitzvah where half the guest list is under 15, you are probably only dealing with a limited number of children so reaching out to parents shouldn't be too difficult. Especially over email.
Tuesday, September 08, 2009
Here are some tips on putting together a ribbon bouquet:
1. Have three (3) paper plates stapled/taped together in the shape of a triangle and cut out a whole in the center.
2. Bring the following supplies to the shower: scissors, stapler and staples, tape and extra ribbon
3. Assign one bridesmaid or close friend to collect the ribbons as the gifts are unwrapped and attach them to the plates.
4. Use the scissor to add an extra curl to the straight ribbons
Thursday, September 03, 2009
Wednesday, September 02, 2009
During the ceremony, she incorporated members of their family and friends into the ceremony, even having all of the guests in attendance announce them “husband and wife” at the end.
While most of the planning elements will revolve around the reception, it is important to remember that it is the fact you are getting married that is truly important. The ceremony should not be an afterthought.
If your officiant has known you or your fiancé (and the respective family) for years than it should be easy for him or her to incorporate personal details into the ceremony. But if the officiant is not that familiar with either of you, schedule a few appointments with him or her and share the story of how you met and fell in love. It’s okay to ask the officiant how they run a wedding ceremony – what they include, what they don’t – and be open about what the two of you want to include and what you don’t. Take the time to plan the details of the ceremony just as carefully as you’re planning the details of your reception.
Tuesday, September 01, 2009
The main dilemma was if she could tell her job, which she started a week ago, that she would need Sunday off. (She works in retail in NYC.) But my advice to her on this subject doesn’t matter to this post as much as the way she was invited at the last minute.
While many wedding-planning sites will mention an A-list and a B-list as it relates to your wedding guest list your B-list invites shouldn’t go out later than 4-6 weeks before the wedding. I’d recommend sending these invites 6 weeks before the wedding with your a-list going out between 8-12 weeks before the big day.
No one should feel like they were an afterthought.