Friday, October 30, 2009

British Planner Mark Niemierko's #1 Tip

On the first day of bridal market I met Mark Niemierko, London's top wedding planner. Mark and I discussed the dresses coming down the runway and I taped his review of market for the tweeter feed, @brides, but I also asked Mark for his top tip for brides that I could share with my From "I Will" to "I Do" readers. Here's what he had to say:

"I think my top tip to a Bride and Groom planning their wedding is to enjoy the planning process as much as the day itself. Remember it's also your engagement period - A time you'll never have again once married! Focus on the main factors of your wedding early on such as booking your venue, selecting the key vendors and then working on the details as you get through. Once your venue is booked for example a lot more comes into place, and then you can really start thinking about the details such as place settings, floral bouquets and so on." —Mark Niemierko

You can learn more about Mark and the weddings he has designed on his Web site,, and don't forget to follow him on his twitter feed, @MarkNiemierko.

Photo Credit: The Satoralist

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Wedding Cake Inspiration

I’m a huge proponent of the wedding cake. To me it’s one of the staples of a wedding reception but of course some couples prefer cupcakes or pies or instead of one big cake they have a selection of smaller cakes on display.

While there is always the classic white tiered bride’s cake, wedding cakes can come in any shape, size or flavor. Don’t be afraid to ask for something you think is untraditional. Your baker will most likely enjoy working out of the box and creating something different.

The best way to get ideas is to click through online galleries of cakes on sites like Martha Stewart Weddings, The Knot and, but you should also click through portfolios of bakers. Your local baker will probably have his or her gallery online but you should also look through sites of bakers who are not in your area. There is no reason why you can’t bring an image of a cake that inspires you from a baker based in California to a baker in your hometown in Ohio.

The images above are from a New York City baker, Liz Shim of Eat Cake Be Merry. Liz can create wedding cakes, cupcakes, cookies and other sweet treats that both you and your guests will enjoy. You can learn more about Eat Cake Be Merry, including view their online gallery at

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Brilliant Tip from Sarah at Brilliant Event Planning

I just got home from the Lion in the Sun event—which was so much fun—and I wanted to share with you one of the tips my co-panelists brought up.

Sarah from Brilliant Event Planning mentioned that you shouldn't wait until the last minute to write and print your programs. And she's right. You probably know your bridal party members and the outline for the ceremony long before your invitations even go out. All that's left is the songs in your processional and there's no reason that the ceremony playlist has to wait until the month before the wedding to be finalized.

You should start drafting the information that will be included in your wedding program: members of the bridal party, ceremony order (with or without descriptions) a thank you to your parents and any other important information—readings, psalms or mentioning a charitable donation—about four months before the wedding so you have time to make revisions and have them printed. You also want to decide on the format: bound booklet, folded paper or printed on a fan. You can even have your program coordinate with your invitation and discuss ideas when ordering your invites. And don't forget that the more elaborate the design, the more time it will take you to put them together.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Real Wedding Inspiration and Event!

Real weddings featured in magazines and on Web sites (including blogs) off beautiful inspiration for couples still in the planning process. Brides-to-be can also learn about talented vendor in their area and in some stories you get some great planning tips.

While flipping through magazines and sites don’t forget to read the copy while you’re glancing at the photos. The couple may be able to offer some wedding wisdom that could help you with some part of your plans.

If you live in the New York area, Brooklyn specifically, you may want to check out the real wedding inspiration and tips event at Lion in the Sun tomorrow evening from 7-9pm. I’ll be on a panel with Vane from Brooklyn Bride, Sarah from Brilliant Event Planning, Xochtil from Always a Blogsmaid and Loren from Naturally Delicious.

Guests at the event will receive a 10% off coupon on their future purchase at Lion in the Sun and if you hire Naturally Delicious to cater your wedding you’ll receive 10% off your menu if you book by the end of the year.

Lion in the Sun is located at 232 7th Avenue. Hope to see you there!

Monday, October 26, 2009

For the First Time, Mr & Mrs...

I recently came across an invitation for our friends' wedding from 2007. (I save almost every paper element from the weddings we've been to, don't you?) Overall I have to say it was one of the nicest weddings. The food was delicious, the music was great and we had a good time. The bride and groom made sure that their personalities were part of every detail.

The wedding was in DUMBO, a neighborhood in Brooklyn, and the theme of the wedding was New York, New York. While they didn’t name every table after a famous street (like I did at my NY, NY bat mitzvah), there were a lot of NYC elements including the ceremony which took place in Brooklyn Bridge Park, a New York City picture book served as their guest book and the last song of the night was Frank Sinatra’s New York, New York, and of course all the guests formed a Rockettes-type kick line.

One of my favorite moments was the bridal party and couple’s entrance. They chose Twist & Shout and when each person was announced they did The Twist. If you’re planning on making a big entrance talk to your DJ or band leader about playing a fun and unique song that’s very you. I remember another couple we know made their entrance to White Wedding by Billy Idol.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Making a Destination Wedding Legal

I was doing some research on celebrity weddings and I realized that a lot of celebs get married abroad. But in the details of the wedding it doesn’t mention that if you want to legally get married at an international destination you have to get a license – just like in the States – and that some countries have specific requirements that you must follow. When celebrities say “I do” abroad they also have to follow the law.

Remember when Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes got hitched in Italy? They actually had civil ceremony in California that made their wedding legal. The same thing for Bruce Willis. His Caribbean wedding wasn’t actually legal until he and his bride tied the knot in a civil ceremony after they returned from their intimate ceremony and reception abroad.

When planning an international destination wedding I recommend working with a wedding planner. In addition to helping you find quality vendors, he or she can also help you navigate getting a license.

Some countries are stricter than others when it comes to a marriage license. In France you have to be a resident for 30 days while in some Caribbean islands you only have to be there for a few days to get a license. There’s nothing wrong with getting married abroad and then making it legal in a civil (or religious) ceremony back home. And there’s no reason you need to tell anyone about your second wedding unless you want to.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Quick Destination Wedding Tip

If you are planning to have a destination wedding because you want to keep the wedding small and intimate then don't invite more people than those few you want to include. Never assume that because you're having a destination people won't travel to it. They may have always wanted to go to that location and your wedding is the perfect excuse to go.

The general rule is that you are safe to assume that 10% of your invited guests will send their regrets, but when it comes to a destination wedding I recommend you only send invites to those must-haves and not take a chance on inviting others who you don't really want there but feel that you have to invite them.

The good thing about a destination wedding and guest lists is that your family and friends will probably assume you are only inviting a limited number and won't be insulted when they don't receive an invite in the mail.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Making Your Exit Memorable

If your ceremony and reception are at two different locations a simple idea is to supply guests with flower petals, birdseed, bubbles, flags or sparklers as you and your groom leave your ceremony site and head for the car taking you to your reception.

If you’re planning on having your ceremony and reception at the same location, you can supply these items to toss or wave as you walk up the aisle, as you enter your reception or as you leave at the end of the night.

I know it’s hard to leave before your guests. Every bride wants to savor every moment till the very end, but I’m telling you from experience you’ll have a better memory of saying good-bye and then running through a crowd of cheers. I found it a little sad to be the last ones to leave the ballroom, all dressed up and holding a box with the top tier of my cake in it. All the tables had already been stripped, the band gone and the dim lights switched on to full power. I think the last shot on my wedding video is me sitting on the dance floor in my dress with my groom next to me.

I was so into the party that I never wanted it to end. I didn’t think of how it would feel to be alone in that bare room without our guests and music playing.

So when you’re planning your wedding details think about your wedding timeline and talk to your groom about making an exit – similar to the entrance you made at the beginning of your reception. It will be a great memory and a fabulous photo-op.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Weddings and the World Series

The playoffs are on and that means the World Series is just around the corner. When I got engaged my dad said you can choose any date except weekends in October. Why? Because if the Yankees were in the World Series he’d have a conflict.

Now I don’t think my dad would actually skip the wedding for tickets to the game, but I do think that he would have had a pocket radio in his jacket to listen in. If there was a TV at the bar he would have been at the bar, along with many other guests I’m sure.

Many years ago my parents went to a wedding on Labor Day weekend and while there was no major sporting event scheduled, a perfect game was taking place on the Yankees’ pitching mound. My dad called me several times for updates – he also spent time in the car tuning in. He told me most of the men at the wedding were doing the same thing.

Now while Jamie couldn’t have forseen the possibility of a perfect game – which fell apart in the 9th – you can forsee a possible World Series in the future of your home team.

If you’re not baseball fans, maybe you’re hockey or basketball fans and the same tip applies: Try not to book your wedding during a time frame when your immediate families and most important invited guests may not be able to make it. This also applies to major holidays.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Market Mania and a Tip from Anna Post

Market has been a whirlwind and there are still 2 days to go! I'm sorry but I just got in from the MSW 15th Anniversary party - I worked there for 3 years so I felt I needed to celebrate too - and just too tired to write a post.

I've become a twitpic queen if I do say so myself, and you can follow all the looks and commentary on twitter @brides.

Actually here's a quick tip: Twittering is not allowed at wedding says Anna Post, who I saw earlier today. Why would you twitter the details to people who weren't invited, right? So no tweets at weddings people.

Thanks Anna!

Friday, October 16, 2009

In Honor of Bridal Market: A Wedding Dress Tip

Trains are gorgeous but they don’t look so good with people’s shoe prints on them. Before your ceremony ask one of your bridesmaids to carry your train for you if you can’t hold it up yourself. If you are taking formal portraits before the wedding you’ll want to make sure that your train is clean so while you’re walking around and when you’re not posing keep it lifted.

To prevent wrinkles pack a mini-steamer in your emergency kit to steam out any creases that were created during your pre-wedding photo session. Remember that during the ceremony you will have your back to your guests and you want to hear sniffles at the romance of the moment, not chuckles at the big black shoe print someone left in the middle of your train.

Once the ceremony is over, and before cocktails begin, have your train bustled. You should have brought a friend or relative with you to one of your final fittings to learn how your train should be bustled. And please don’t have this be your mom. She shouldn’t have to get on her knees and wrinkle her dress.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Martha Stewart Weddings + Sandals = A Match Made in Wedding Heaven

I had the pleasure of enjoying lunch and an announcement from Martha Stewart Weddings and Sandals on the Lady Sandals yacht yesterday afternoon. MSWeddings has partnered with Sandals and Beaches resorts in the Caribbean to create Sandals Weddings by Martha Stewart.

At the press announcement we got to see the six (6) wedding designs brides and grooms can choose from. Of course they were all unbelievably gorgeous and one feature I liked was that you can choose to serve a traditional wedding cake or cupcakes at your reception.

The wedding themes start at $1500 and include a personal wedding consultant, officiant and a myriad of wedding details to choose from in a coordinated color palette. Each package starts with a different base price.

The packages include Flutter of Romance (shown below), Beautiful Beginnings, Chic & Natural, Vision in White, Seaside Serenade (shown above) and Island Paradise.

You can begin browsing the weddings at and Sandals Weddings by Martha Stewart can be reserved now for weddings any time after January 1, 2010. There are 18 Luxury Included Sandals Resorts and Beaches Resorts across the Caribbean for couples to choose from.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wedding Registry Tip from Jorge Perez

I was at the Wedgwood/Waterford showroom yesterday for tabletop market and Cari and I got a tour of the Spring 2010 collection. (You can see our four favorite picks at

We were lucky enough to get a personal tour from the company’s national spokesperson, Jorge Perez. I think Jorge is my favorite person in the registry world. He has some amazing tips and what a personality.

One of his registry tips to brides and grooms is: Don’t forget to register for rimmed soup bowls. In addition to soup, they’re great for serving pastas and salads.

Not all of the four and five piece place settings will come with a rimmed soup bowl but you can add it to your registry along with matching platters, creamer and sugar bowl.

You can meet Jorge at a Bloomingdale’s event tomorrow night at 59th Street in NYC. The Event is at 6pm on the 5th floor. I’ll be there along with Ron Ben-Israel (and his cakes!) and the Countess from Real Housewives of NYC. The Countess will be discussing her new social etiquette book. Click here to get more details. I wrote a post on Wedded Bits with the event details.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Two Blogs to Add to Your Favorites List

I received two emails this week about two new blogs – well actually they are new looks not new new blogs – and they look fabulous!

Ruffled was formerly known as Vintage Wedding Glam. The new site has some great new features including a photo gallery, navigation bar and free (and exclusive) downloads. The site is sure to be a must-visit Web site for brides looking for wedding inspiration.

The Sweetest Occasion also re-launched this week and offers readers beautiful inspiration for all types of parties, including weddings, birthdays, casual dinners and any other event Cyd can think of. She’ll also offer detailed DIY projects so you can recreate some of her exquisite party details at your own soirees.

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Waiting Game

Cousins of mine went to a wedding this weekend and told me the guests were locked out of the reception site - for a limited time.

The ceremony was held at a nearby church and the couple provided transportation to their reception venue, but when the bus pulled up with their guests they were told that they had to wait outside.

My cousin said they all arrived at 8pm and were not allowed in until 8:15. She said the only reason they were upset about the wait was that it was freezing outside and not everyone had a coat over their tuxedos and evening gowns. The busses dropped everyone off and left before the guests realized the doors were locked.

I don’t know why there was a wait but if your guests will be arriving at your wedding venue – for the ceremony or reception – you should make sure that there is someone there ahead of time – your wedding planner, or someone from her team, or a relative or friend (not mom) who gets there a little ahead of schedule to make sure everything is in order.

After this snafu my cousins say that the wedding was a blast and they had a great time.

Friday, October 09, 2009

A Real Quick Tip

When working with your florist, instead of naming the few flowers that you like, why not name the few flowers that you don't like. By eliminating the ones you don't like and not limiting your florist to the several that you do, you are giving your florist more options to be creative.

This doesn't mean that you can't use the flowers that you like, but there are a zillion flowers that your florist is familiar with, when face it maybe you can name a dozen or two. And by eliminating the ones you don't like, your florist can design arrangments using your faves as well as other beautiful blooms you didn't even know of.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Oh So Suite

The reason you choose a color palette and theme for your wedding is so that every element of your wedding compliments each other.

When it comes to your wedding stationery you want to do the same thing. Work with your stationer to create a complete stationery suite. The suite includes all of your paper elements: Invitation, reply card, program, menu cards, seating and place cards, favor tags and any other paper detail you are planning on including.

It’s important that you bring your stationer your wedding inspiration and ideas. You can even bring a swatch and photo of your dress, the design of your cake and other finalized details to help them start designing.

The stationery suites shown here were designed by Kate Capone, owner of Oh So Suite, a design company specializing in custom invitations and complementary event essentials. Oh So Suite offers a variety of services, including: graphic design (creating monograms, stationery suites), Web site design (Wed-sites) and gift and favor design and production. They also offer letterpress, silkscreen, offset and digital printing options. In addition to designing stationery suites, the company also provides a “go-to” service where Kate can help brides and event professionals source items they are looking for. Visit to see Kate's complete portfolio and talk to her about creating your stationery suite.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

DIY Centerpieces, Bouquets and Other Details

If you're planning to create your own centerpieces, bouquets, bouts, favors and other wedding details it's a good idea to do a dry run first. A dry run will give you an idea of how much each item will cost and how long it will take for you to complete one item, then you can multiply the cost and time needed by the number you need to make.

You have to decide if you really have the time to create all of these items or if it's worth the expense of hiring a vendor or buying the products. Remember that time is money and you may be saving on the cost of each item but you may also be spending 10 hours a day for a few days putting them together.

And when it comes to flowers, remember that they need to be watered and should be refrigerated. They will start to wilt in a few days so you can't make them that far in advance. When you do a dry run on anything flower related, make sure to note how long they look fresh - 1 day, 2, 3, etc...

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Crazy (and Sad) But True Story

My aunt came to town last weekend and told me this story. She was talking to a vendor who was creating a slide show presentation for my cousin’s wedding:

Vendor: You know your photographer is gone?

Aunt Jill: Gone. Where did he go?

Vendor: I think Heaven.

Unfortunately, the photographer was in an accident and passed away and no one at his company let his clients know. I know this is tragic and I’m not making light of the situation but Jill was in need of help and I thought if anyone else is in a similar situation they should know what I told Jill and Kimmy.

Jill had paid 50% of the photographer’s fee upfront – the wedding is a few months away – and she paid it in cash. Thank g-d she got a receipt but she’s now working with his staff on getting her deposit back and since the photographer didn’t have another shooter working with him they are shopping for a new photog.

Here’s where the wedding planning tip comes in: Always get a receipt, even if you pay in cash! While of course this is a very unusual and rare circumstance these things do happen. If you pay with a credit card your credit card company will probably be able to help you get your money back but cash is different. The vendor you are working with may have a backup for you so you can still work with them but if not, you are entitled to get your money back and if the company refuses you can make a claim against the estate, but you should consult with an attorney if it comes to that. You may not need the lawyer to file the actual claim but you should confirm what the laws in your state are before filing.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Wedding Dress Shopping Tip

I just got back from working the National Bridal Market in Chicago and I'm exhaused. Dozens of wedding dress, bridesmaid dress and accessory designers are all there to show editors and buyers their latest collections. The dresses and accessories we saw are for Spring 2010 and will be in stores starting in January.

Since your dress will be ordered to fit you and there will be a 4-6-8-12+ week wait time for it to arrive, I suggest you buy your dress six months before the wedding day to ensure delivery and time for alterations.

If you're getting married next spring you may not be able to wait to see these new dresses and will have to make a decision soon. If your wedding is after May 2010 I think you'd be safe to wait till these collections being shown to editors and buyers are in stores.

Remember that the more details on your dress the longer it will take for it to arrive and you should estimate 4-8 weeks for alterations. Of course your dress can be rush deilvered and rushed through alterations but you'll pay rush charges for it.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Cute with a Capital C

I was clicking through Amy Atlas' blog earlier today and came across her post referencing a post on Bakerella and just had to share it! Lollipop Workshop created two lolli dolls and a mini-Amy Atlas dessert buffet as a gift.

It is the CUTEST thing I've ever seen.

After clicking over to learn more about Lollipop Workshop on etsy I came across their custom wedding cake toppers. How fabulous are these:

They are priced at $135 and are completely customizable.

While I'm not getting married, I think I have to order the kid birthday toppers for RB's birthday!

Thursday, October 01, 2009

To See or Not To See

I met a friend at Kleinfeld this evening for her fitting. She kept taking on and off her glasses and made a comment that she should have worn her contacts.

Even though I took a picture of her with her glasses on and off for this post she asked me not to run the pics until after her wedding.

Anyway, her comment makes a great tip for brides who wear glasses or contacts. You want to see what you'll look like in your wedding dress sans glasses but if you don't have your contacts in you don't get a great image. It's like shopping for a new pair of eyeglasses. You have to squint to see the new frames on your face because without your glasses on you can't see very well. At least this is the problem I have.

Thank you so much Stella for this great piece of advice. I know I had that problem during my fittings.


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