Wednesday, November 30, 2011

In Lieu of a Gift Please Make a Donation to...Obama’s 2012 Campaign

I was directed to a couple’s wedding website and there was a menu selection that read: Registries and Donations so I clicked it and the couple listed several links:

REI Camping
A children’s charity
Obama 2012

Politics aside, I have never heard of a couple suggesting that guests donate to a political cause and I was quite amused.

They gave a lot of options for a traditional or charitable gift so guests do have a choice and it’s one step above asking for a cash donation. I don’t think I’d recommend political organizations in a list of places to register but it’s definitely original.

What do you think?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

My Mom Says Our Wedding Cake Has to Be White, Does It?

Traditionally wedding cakes are white but that doesn’t mean your cake has to be white. Many couples are working with their bakers to create unique designs with colorful fondant or buttercream or colorful details on a white cake.

Have your mom go with you to the baker to see his portfolio and what non-white cakes look like. Your mom’s concern may be that a non-white cake would be too wacky for a wedding. A look at some traditional designs in a variety of colors may help her understand that color isn’t a weird option.

If you feel that you need to have a white wedding cake because it’s important to your mom, or because she’s paying the bills, you can always opt for a groom’s cake which is traditionally chocolate but generally accepted in any color, design and flavor.

Monday, November 28, 2011

I Think My Guests Will Say I Copied Kate Middleton’s Wedding Dress, But I Just Love the Style. Is There a Way to Make It More Me?

If your guests are so familiar with Kate’s wedding dress then they’ll know that her dress was inspired by Grace Kelly’s wedding dress. Bridal gown designers are inspired by a variety of things, including wedding dresses worn by celebrities. Many of the wedding gowns at the most recent bridal market mimicked Kate Middleton’s wedding dress, her sister Pippa’s bridesmaid dress and Reese Witherspoon’s pink wedding gown -- so you won’t be the only bride wearing sleeves or lace on her big day in 2012.

If you love the dress wear it and don’t worry about what others may say. Wedding guests will comment on a variety of your details but remember that the only opinion that matters is yours.

To make the dress more personal to your style shop for unique bridal accessories such as a fabulous headpiece or hair pins, a dramatic veil and fabulous jewelry.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

We Want to Be as Eco-Friendly As Possible, Are Emailed Wedding Invitations Okay?

Since a wedding is a traditional event, no matter how untraditional your wedding may be, I would suggest you send your wedding invitations via the post office, but choose an invitation that is eco-friendly.

There are many stationery companies that create invites that are 100% green. A quick Goggle search will bring up hundreds of results. Some companies will offer invites printed on paper sourced from cotton (Crane & Co), while others will use recycled paper. They use inks made from vegetable dyes as well as embellishments, like ribbons and bands, made from recycled materials.

An e-vite may seem like both an eco and budget-friendly option, and while I think that evites are fine for save-the-date cards and the rehearsal dinner invitation, a wedding invitation should arrive in a real mailbox not a virtual one.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

For My Something Blue I Want Something Creative, Any Ideas?

There are a lot of ways to include blue in your wedding-day look. Garters are the go-to option for many brides and it’s no surprise, it’s traditional and easy to hide under layers of tulle. Today’s garters aren’t limited to frilly lace. Brides can shop for modern to retro-inspired designs as well as customize their garter at e-boutiques like The Garter Girl by Julianne Smith and La Gartier.

Other options can be divided into two categories -- private and public something blues. Here are a few ideas for both:

For All the World to See:
  • Blue-hued shoes
  • Something blue tattoo
  • Nail polish in a shade of blue
  • Sapphire jewelry
  • Blue accent or detail on your wedding dress
  • Blue colored flowers in your bouquet or ribbon on the stems
  • Carry a handkerchief with a blue design or embroidery
For Your (and His) Eyes Only:
  • Something blue tattoo, yes this can be in both categories
  • Light blue panties
  • A monogram sewn into the lining of your dress

Monday, November 21, 2011

Does the Formality of the Rehearsal Dinner Have to Match the Formality of the Wedding?

No it doesn’t. Your rehearsal dinner can be as formal or as casual as you and your groom (and the hosts, traditionally the groom’s parents) want it to be.

If your in-laws are hosting the dinner and feel very strongly about the style of the event give them some leeway in planning, after all they are paying. But you should feel free to give them your thoughts and suggestions.

As for the rehearsal dinner’s setting, some couples may opt for a formal dinner, while others may prefer a casual BBQ. No matter what the setting the rehearsal dinner should feel relaxed and the entertainment is usually several toasts from members of the wedding. Today, many bridesmaids, groomsmen and even parents may opt for an interactive toast -- which is more appropriate for this pre-wedding even then at the reception.

Don’t make it a late night since everyone will have to get up early to prepare for the wedding. And definitely don’t plan a bachelor or bachelorette party for the night before the wedding.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Should We Be the Last Ones to Leave the Reception Or Should We Leave Early and Have a Getaway Moment?

I understand the idea of staying till the last moment but it’s kind of sad being the last people in the ballroom when the lights are on, the band is packing up and the tables are bare.

A getaway moment is a great photo-op and a lot of fun to walk through -- your family and friends cheering you on to your married life together.

Talk to your reception venue about creating a getaway near the end of the wedding, but not so near the end where you’ll see the vendors cleaning up.

Choose a festive getaway prop -- sparklers, confetti, flags -- and have them arranged near the exit area. Tell your band leader or DJ what you’re planning and they’ll coordinate the best time for you to make your exit and notify guests to head for the doorway.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

I’m Worried That No Matter How Careful I Plan Our Wedding Something Might Ruin Our Big Day? What Can I Do to Make Sure It’s Perfect?

You sound like you’ll be looking for things to go wrong when on your wedding day you should just enjoy the day and let others worry about any mishaps. Ask your location manager to handle all inquires from vendors and guests. Or hire a wedding planner to work with you starting a month before so she knows all the details, players and can handle anything that may come up.

While you can plan for everything you can think of, somethings are out of your control -- the weather, a medical emergency relating to a vendor, traffic.

I would suggest that the day of the wedding you put all the responsibilities in the hands of others and try to enjoy each moment because before you know it the day will be over and you’ll be off on your honeymoon.

If you spend your wedding day looking for problems, that’s all you see. When you return from your honeymoon get together with the bridal party or the point person you chose and find out what, if anything, went wrong. You may be surprised to learn nothing happened or you’ll get a good laugh at what did.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

What’s the Difference Between Having a Wedding Band or a DJ?

Many will say cost, but there are DJs that cost as much as a band. The question you and your fiance have to ask yourselves is: What type of music do you want at your wedding?

A wedding band will play a wide range of songs and can get your guests moving but the songs won’t sound exactly like the original artist. A DJ can play a wider range of songs, can get the crowd moving and their music will be the original recordings.

You can also hire the reception band or DJ to play music during the ceremony and cocktail hour, making it one entertainment company you are working with.

And while I’m not making the case for either one as detailed as a wedding band musician or DJ would, the simple question is what do you want to hear -- the exact song by your favorite artist or can you live with a cover of it?

I’ve been to weddings that had a band and weddings with a DJ and both were great parties. Do your research and try and see the musicians/DJ perform live if possible to get a feel for their sound, energy and how the crowd reacts to them. If the audience is having a great time then your guests will probably enjoy them too.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

What Are Some Places We Can Cut Costs With Out Our Guests Noticing?

There are a lot of ways to save money on your wedding and except for maybe the most popular items -- wedding cake, a wedding dress, food -- your guests won’t know something is missing unless you tell them.

Generally I usually say the following can be cut: save-the-date cards, wedding programs, wedding favors, dessert course if you’re serving wedding cake, a limo, a valet if a parking lot is at your venue.

There are some things you will need but there are still ways to save money:

  • Food. Even if it’s just appetizers and cocktails you have to serve guests food and drinks.
  • Music. A DJ is less expensive than a band and if you aren’t planning on having guests dance then an iPod is acceptable for background music.
  • Photography. You should have someone capture the ceremony and special moments at the reception. If it’s a friend make sure you like their work and have an agreed upon number of shots they will take.

Once you know your wedding budget put set amounts on the areas that mean the most to you and meet with vendors who are in your budget. Don’t be afraid to ask vendors what their prices are during your initial phone call or email, and don’t be afraid to tell them what you can afford. It just wastes your time, and will also make you feel bad, if you fall in love with a vendor who is out of your price range.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Our Wedding Photographer Didn’t Capture Some Key Moments at Our Reception, What’s Our Recourse?

Check your contract before you do anything. Did the time on your contract end at a certain point and therefore the photographer left when he was told to/said he would? Or did he not fulfill his contractual obligations by leaving early?

If you feel the contract was broken you can ask for a refund or take him to small claims court to recover some money, but that’s the most you can do. (Though a bad review on Yelp is another option.)

Of course the bigger issue is that you don’t have those once in a lifetime moments for your albums. If you hired a videographer ask him if you can make some still photos from parts of the footage he shot. You can also ask your wedding guests to send you their photos to see if there’s a great photo one of them took you can frame or add to your album.

Friday, November 11, 2011

I Have Eight Bridesmaids, Should We All Go Shopping for a Bridesmaid Dress Together?

While you do need everyone to try on dresses to see the fit I would suggest taking your maid of honor and maybe one other available bridesmaid for the first round of shopping. This should give you a chance to see the styles and colors available, and night fight with seven people over what they each like best.

After your maid of honor and one additional bridesmaid try on a few styles you can get an idea of what style dress you want and maybe even the color and fabric too.

Once you’ve narrowed it down to three possibilities bring the rest of the group with you to the bridesmaid dress shop, or send them some options to see on -- an e-bridesmaid dress store.

Trust me, fewer people mean fewer opinion, and that equals less stress for you.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Free Tickets to The Wedding Salon Event in New York City November 14th

Want to get expert wedding planning tips from the industry’s top vendors? The Wedding Salon is holding its semi-annual showcase in New York City next Monday, November 14th at Manhattan Center Studios (311 West 34th Street) from 4-8pm.

This season’s show will feature Colin Cowie, the Cake Boss, Shawn Rabideau and brides will have the chance to audition to appear on Say Yes to the Dress!

Brides and their gusts will also get to enjoy cake tastings, reception menu tastings, a couture fashion show and meet with the tri-state areas top talents in photographry, stationery, floral design, beauty and more.

Tickets are $50 for a bride and her guest (register at , but if you email me at I have a promo code for 10 FREE sets of tickets.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

We Want to Get Married Abroad. Should We Hire a Wedding Planner in the States or from the Country We’re Getting Married In?

If you can’t find a wedding planner in the States who has experience working at the destination and who doesn’t speak the language you should search for a planner at the destination.  Someone who also speaks English. You have to be able to communicate clearly with the planner and vendors.

The Internet of course is a great search tool but just because a planner shows up #1 in a Google search doesn't mean they’re the right planner for you. If you’ve decided on a venue ask them for recommendations.

You may also want to look online and in magazines for destination weddings in your area and if there is a credit for a planner search them out.  Another great resource is Destination Weddings & Honeymoons magazine. They should have both real weddings from around the world and advertisements for planners you can research.

And if you do hire a planner in the States know that you will have to cover their travel costs to the destination and accommodations, so get all of their costs and responsibilities in writing.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

I Really Love My Bridal Consultant, Should I Invite Her To My Wedding?

While it’s natural to grow close to your bridal consultant you don’t have to invite her to your wedding, though you can if you want to.

When it comes to creating your guest list you’ll find that your list may grow and grow as you become friendly with fellow brides-to-be and mom and dad feel the need to invite everyone they know, along with relatives you’ve never heard of, to the wedding.

It’s important to create guidelines to help you keep your guest list to the limit both the space allows and your budget.

Now, back to your bridal consultant. If you don’t socialize with your bridal consultant, meaning your time together is limited to the dressing room at the bridal salon, don’t add her to your final guest list.

Monday, November 07, 2011

I Bought My Wedding Dress Online, It Never Arrived and the Site is Down. What Do I Do?

Whenever you shop online you have to check out the site and not just its return policy. While customer reviews are important you never know who those reviews have been written by. And always use a credit card or PayPal so that if you do get ripped off you can get your money back.

But now that the sale has been made, assuming your purchase was made with a credit card or via PayPal, contact either the credit card company or PayPal and explain the situation. They should be able to credit you the amount.

Friday, November 04, 2011

My Mom Wants a Parent Album of Our Wedding Pictures But the Cost Puts Us Over Our Budget. Can I Tell Her She Has to Buy It?

If your parents are paying for part of your wedding then it’s a moot point. Get them the album. If you are covering all costs don’t be afraid to tell mom that you need help paying for it.

It is probably less expensive to put the cost of a parent album in your photography package then to order it after the wedding, but ask the photographer to be sure. You could also limit the number of photos in the parents album to help cut the final cost.

And remember, it's customary to give your parents (and his) a thank-you gift at the wedding.  You could make the parent album the gift.  Or gift it to them for their anniversary or for the holidays.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Do We Put Our Wedding Bands on the Ring Pillow, Leave It Empty or Get Fake Rings?

I would not put your real wedding bands on the ring pillow, no matter how “responsible” your ring bearer is.

It’s up to you if you want to put fake rings on the pillow or leave it empty. If you can find a pair of cheap rings then buy them but if you can’t then just tie a nice bow at the top of the pillow and send the ring bearer down the aisle. No one is going to know if the rings are there or not.

Now, if you want the photographer to shoot the rings, the real rings, on the ring pillow then make sure someone you trust is there to place them on the pillow, remove them and return them to the groom or best man for the ceremony.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Not That I’m Planning on Divorcing My Fiance, But Does the Couple Keep or Return Their Wedding Gifts If the Marriage Lasts Less Than a Few Months?

While I hope you are not going into marriage with the though that divorce is on the horizon – calling off a wedding is a much better idea than going through with it and then calling divorce lawyers a few weeks later - but in the instance that you and your new husband decide you made a mistake, it’s only appropriate to return all of your wedding gifts.

Etiquette dictates that if the marriage lasts for less than six months, though some will say less than a year, it’s appropriate for the couple to return the gifts they received – cash and products – unless the product has been used.

Each returned gift should be accompanied by a personal note stating why you are returning the item to the gift giver (ex: you’ve separated).

It’s important to remember that there will be life (with your fiancĂ©) after the wedding, and you should be focused on your married life plans as well as your reception details during your engagement.  It's easy to get caught up in the excitement of planning a wedding, but you want to make sure the person you're marrying is right for you.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Do You Have Any Suggestions for New Places to Find Wedding Ideas?

I recently created an account with and I have a small obsession with it. I have been able to find great ideas and products through various searches, wedding related as well as non-wedding related. I highly recommend creating an account and doing some searches, both vague and specific terms, and you’ll find some creative results that are sure to inspire.

Another site to sign-up with (it’s free) is This site is basically Google Images for weddings. The editors of the site have curated wedding images from a myriad of resources and, while I haven’t used the site, I’m looking forward to testing it as I’m sure the search results will be very detailed.

Colin Cowie Weddings ( recently launched with both new editorial content as well as a gallery of images from Colin Cowie’s library of event work.  And is a great resource too.

Remember that you can find inspiration from anywhere so another option is to use Google Images.  Just search for something and scroll through the results.  Maybe an image you find could come from another good inspiration resource that's filled with exactly what you're looking for.


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