Thursday, February 25, 2010

Quick Tip: Babies in Your Bridal Party

Yes babies are cute - I have one so I know. They coo and giggle and men and women have been known to go gaga over them. But when it comes to your wedding you have to think about the bigger picture.

A baby who can't walk or even one who just started, let's just say anyone under 5, may need to be accompanied down the aisle by a parent or close relative. A child that young may easily get stage fright and freeze halfway down the aisle or worse start crying and screaming.

To prevent either from happening either have an adult walk or carry the little one down the aisle. If he or she is big enough to walk on his or her own then have a friendly face drop him/her off at the start of the aisle and another friendly face near the altar. This way he or she has someone to walk to.

The truth is it won't be the end of the world if your little flower girl or ring bearer doesn't make it down the aisle in the end. Just make sure that there is a friendly face who can either help him or her on their way or scoop him or her up in case of a baby meltdown.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A Wedding Event Grows in Brooklyn


As a native Brooklyner I am a huge booster for the borough. I have talked friends into leaving the city to move into Brooklyn and have pretty much told Dave that there’s no way I’d live anywhere else but Brooklyn. He’s a native too.

Since joining the wedding industry 10 years ago I have met so many amazing Brooklyn-based vendors that a bride doesn’t have to cross the borough’s namesake bridge to find everything she needs for her wedding. And non-Brooklyn brides should consider venturing out of Manhattan to plan their wedding.

A Brooklyn wedding doesn’t mean it’s catered by Junior’s and that your rehearsal dinner is at Nathan’s in Coney Island – though my dad would totally love these ideas.

Great Performances, one of the top caterers in the country – they are the in-house caterer for the Plaza’s Grand Ballroom – is hosting an unbelievable wedding event at BAM (the Brooklyn Academy of Music, 30 Lafeyette Avenue in the heart of Ft. Greene) on Sunday March 7th from 2-6pm When I first saw the BAM event space I was blown away, it really is an incredible venue.

Tickets are available at: and if you enter the code brooklynbride they’re free!

The list of vendors you’ll meet and get expert wedding advice from include:
Nine Cakes, Opalia Flowers, Root Stock & Quade, Xochitl Gonzalez from Always a Bridesmaid, Calligrapher Love, Jenna, Photographer Kelly Guenther and the band Two Dudes Playing Your Wedding.

There are so many other vendors but the list is too long for this post!

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Freezing the Top Tier of Your Cake

The tradition of freezing the top tier of your wedding cake is pretty simple. After you and your groom cut the cake and feed each other, the catering staff will bring your cake into the kitchen where they will slice it, plate it and serve it to your guests.

They will remove the top tier and wrap it in plastic wrap, place it in a box that is clearly labeled (and probably supplied by your baker) and then seal the box and wrap the box in plastic wrap too.

Make sure you tell the caterer or location manager who is in charge of taking the cake home for you, especially if you're leaving for your honeymoon right after the wedding.

You should place the cake on a flat surface in your freezer where the box (and the cake) won't got damaged by other items. The day before your first anniversary place the box in the refrigerator to thaw and by the night of your first anniversary it should be ready for you to cut it and feed each other a slice - just like you did at your wedding. You may even want to play the song the band played when you cut the cake at your wedding.

To be honest, I don't care what any baker says, your cake will probably not be as delicious as it was on your wedding day, so here's what I suggest.

On your one month anniversary defrost and enjoy the top tier of your wedding cake and then when it's about a month out from your first wedding anniversary call your baker and ask them if they can make you a replica of the top tier of your wedding cake and pick it up the day of your anniversary. This way you'll be able to enjoy (it's guaranteed to be) a delicious cake.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Always Have a Notebook With You

You never know where inspiration will strike.  You could be at work, at home or out with friends and you may see something that catches your eye.  Something that give you an idea for your wedding.

To make sure that you don't lose that idea always have a pen and paper with you to jot it down.  I would even keep a piece of paper and pen on your nightstand in case you get an idea in the middle of the night.

You can really use any notebook but I recommend one that has pages that are already pre 3-hole punched so you can easily add them to your wedding organizer.

I love the Planning Notebook by russell+hazel ($14) because the pages are 3-hole punched and perforated so they can be removed easily and placed in your wedding organizer.  The notebook has 3 small rings on the binding so that you can easily store it in your wedding organizer too.

And if you're still shopping for the perfect wedding organizer, check out the one I wrote with russell+hazel. It really has everything you need.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Do I Have to Send a Bridal Shower Gift if I Can't Make It?

I was talking to a friend who was invited to a bridal shower that she couldn't attend and was wondering if she had to send a gift. My answer was no she doesn't.

Unlike a wedding where you should send a gift if you were invited but can't make it, for a bridal shower and engagement party you don't have to send a gift if you won't be attending the party.

While you don't have to send a gift, of course you can if you want to or you can go in on a group gift just make sure your name is on the card.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

FREE tickets to The Wedding Salon Bootcamp on 2/22

I'll be speaking at Monday's Wedding Salon Bootcamp at Dylan's Candy Bar. The event is from 6pm to 8pm in the part space at Dylan's - the corner of 3rd Avenue and 60th Street.

The event costs $15 for two tickets (bring your fiance and then make it date night for the two of you!) but you can get FREE tickets by using the code IWNY2C when you register for tickets at

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Don't Hire a Cheesy DJ and Other Helpful Tips

Steve Hoffman from GoodNote DJs in Washington, DC just launched a video on 10 Tips for Hiring a Wedding DJ and I thought I'd share them with you because they are extremely helpful.

My personal favorite is "don't hire a cheesy DJ, leave the cheese for the hors d'oeurves." And he's right, a cheesy DJ can keep people off the dance floor by playing songs like the Hokey Pokey -- I heard this one at a wedding.

Below you can watch Steve explain his 10 tips - grab a pen and your planning notebook to jot them down!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Where to Sign-Up for a Wedding Webinar

Are you recently engaged? Whether you're a few days or weeks into your engagement you're probably overwhelmed with your task of wedding planning to-dos and don't know where to start. How would you like to take a quick course on how to plan a wedding? What if I told you it was free AND you can take it from the comfort of your own home!

Sarah Pease, a New York-based wedding planner and owner of Brilliant Event Planning is hosting a wedding webinar (I like the sound of that) Wednesday night, February 24th from 8-8:30pm at

The half-hour class will tell you what you need to do first, how to set-up a wedding budget and share with you the best places to look for great wedding ideas.

Don't forget to have your wedding planning notebook with you!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Would You Twitter From Your Wedding?

Do you remember the groom (and bride) who updated their facebook status from engaged to married in the middle of their wedding ceremony?

Since then a number of discussions have begun on whether it's okay for the bride and groom, as well as their guests, to tweet or update their facebook accounts from a wedding. I'm in the camp of no, because you should enjoy your wedding day with your family and friends who are at your wedding celebrating with you. You can always update your facebook account with pictures from the wedding (and honeymoon) after the big day. Your facebook friends will still see them - it's okay if they have to wait for the pictures. After all, if they were close friends wouldn't they have been invited to the wedding?

Anyway, here's an article I was interviewed for in this weekend's New York Newsday on tweeting and updating facebook at your wedding. There are some examples of how brides use Twitter on their wedding day and the idea of assigning someone as the official Twitter-er for your wedding.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Wedding Planning Advice at Dylan's Candy Bar

I've been asked to speak at the next Wedding Salon Bootcamp, scheduled for Monday, February 22nd at Dylan's Candy Bar (1011 3rd Avenue) from 6pm to 8:30pm.

The event will include a number of local New York wedding vendors showcasing their portfolios and samples of their work (read: free cake!) and giving short seminars on their areas of expertise.

I'll be sharing my top 10 wedding planning tips. Trust me, they're good, and I don't think PIBs are on the list. Maybe it'll be my top 11 tips!

The events costs $15 for two and you can register at

Since the event is at Dylan's Candy Bar, here's a tip referring to candy:

As you know, I think edible favors make the best favors. Most of your guests will love getting a sweet treat as they leave your reception. Since brides are always looking for wedding planning tasks their grooms will enjoy, why not assign your groom candy duty? Tell him what you're looking for re: color, size, theme and have him go shopping, online and off, for the perfect candy favor. You can also make this a two-person assignments and visit local candy stores together, purchase and taste test a variety of candies until you find the right one!

But when it comes to packaging them, I think that task goes on your to-do list.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Wedding Dresses: When to Order Yours

I'm off to meet a friend at Kleinfeld. She's getting married on September 5th and nervous that if she doesn't make a decision soon she won't be able to get the dress that she wants.

It's important that you order your wedding dress at least 6 months before the wedding to ensure that the designer has enough time to manufacture it and there's plenty of time for alterations - you'll probably have three alteration appointments.

But just because you hit the 6-month mark doesn't mean you should settle for a dress that you don't love. There's always the possibility that the salon can rush the dress - though you will incur rush charges.

I honestly believe that when you try on the right dress you'll just know that it's the one. Don't buy a dress that you don't love because you're worried about the delivery schedule. I'm sure the salon and designer will work with you to get your dress in on time even if it's less than 6 months to your wedding.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Quick Tip: Bridesmaid Dresses

Check the ordering policy at the store you're ordering your bridesmaid dresses from. Some shops won't place the complete order for your wedding until ALL of your 'maids send in their measurements and payments.

Once you know the store's policy, make sure all of your bridesmaids have sent in the necessary information so that the order isn't held up.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Vendor Contract Points: Specifically Wedding Photographers

I received an email from a bride today about an issue she’s having with a photographer she’s thinking of hiring. She likes his work and his package rate is fine, but there are a few issues irking her:

1. After an initial package of prints and an album, he wants to charge $9 for each additional print and if a guest wants to purchase a print it’s $20 each. She was also concerned that this rate will go up over time.

2. He wants to use her photos for promotional use, on his site and pitching the images to blogs and wedding sites and magazines

3. He hasn’t been open to answering a number of her questions, including altering the package she’s interested in buying.

Here are my thoughts, which she thought may be helpful to other brides:

1. It’s common for photographers to charge a per print fee after the initial package of prints and your album. But you should find out the quality of the prints you'll be getting. Is he printing them on his home/office printer or is he sending them to a professional development company.

As for the rate, the rate in the contract should be a set rate and you can add a line that reads “rate not subject to change” if you’re concerned – just make sure both you and the photographer initial that section.

2. It’s common for photographers to use wedding photographs they’ve taken to promote their business either on their own site/blog and in promotional material as well as pitching their work to wedding magazines, sites and blogs. They own the copyright. There should be a line in your contract that informs you of this use and states that you grant them permission to use your images (shots that you and your guests are in) in these promotional ways. If you don’t feel comfortable then edit the contract to reflect what you do or don’t want. If he disagrees he’ll tell you.

3. If the photographer, or any vendor you’re thinking of hiring, isn’t cooperative and not answering your questions then don’t hire him. If you’re gut is telling you something’s wrong then you can walk away and keep looking for the right vendor.

Monday, February 08, 2010

How Will You Know It's the Right Dress? You Just Will.

I had coffee with a newly engaged friend this evening and she was telling me all about her wedding plans. They got engaged in early December and the wedding will be Labor Day Weekend 2010.

She's found most of her vendors but her search for the perfect dress continues. She has been to several salons and tried on a variety of styles but the two that she likes - similar in style but there's a big price difference - aren't wowing her, but she likes the way she looks in them.

Since her wedding is in early September I recommended, and so did the salons, that she place her order by early March to avoid rush charges. However, I also told her that she shouldn't settle on a dress.

It's hard to explain but you'll just know when the dress is right. It's instinctual. You won't want to take it off. You won't want to try on other dresses.

I explained this to my friend and gave her names of other salons to make appointments at.

Shopping for your wedding dress is a highly emotional and expensive purchase, don't settle on any dress, it's okay to take your time even if you end up paying rush charges. A few hundred dollars in a rush charge is better than spending a thousand dollars or more on a dress you don't love.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Learn How to Be a Wedding Planner from Bailey & Blum

I get emails all the time from people who want to be wedding planners. I try to give them the best advice I can but I usually suggest that they reach out to wedding planners in their area who they can possibly work for and if a job isn't available they can ask for an informational interview, which will allow them to learn more about the job.

If you're thinking of becoming a wedding planner, or are one and looking to grow your business, here's my advice to you: Consider taking the Bailey & Blum weekend mentoring program in New York City next month. I had breakfast with Marcy earlier this week and she was telling me all about it. It sounds amazing!

A select group of wedding and event planners will get a behind the scenes look at what Preston Bailey and Marcy Blum (both celebrity wedding professionals, as I'm sure you know) do to create an amazing event. The interactive workshop will be held at Preston Bailey's studio and includes a networking event with some of the event industry's top talent.

To learn more and to register visit And by the way, the fee to attend is $5,000 but if you're serious about wedding and event planning it's well worth it.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Hotel Blocks for Your Guests - Book 'em Early

Wherever your wedding is being held - in your hometown or at a destination - you will probably need to block a number of rooms at a hotel nearby for out of town guests. It's very important that you call local hotels as soon as you set a date and confirm a venue, you don't want to risk the chance that there won't be enough rooms for your party.

While you may think your wedding is the only event in town that weekend, hotels get booked months in advance for family vacations, business travelers, business conferences and social events. It's better to book your block early so you don't run the risk of not having rooms for your guests because a hotel is sold out.

And you may want to block rooms at a budget and moderate or luxury hotel if there is more than one option in the area.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Making it Legal

I was watching an old episode of How I Met Your Mother last night and the story revolved around Marshall and Lily eloping to Atlantic City. They just decided that morning that they wanted to get married immediately and rush off to AC to say, “I do.”

When they got to the wedding chapel they were asked to present a marriage license, which they didn’t have. The clerk at the chapel (not the court) explained that Atlantic City is not Las Vegas and to get married anywhere in the state of New Jersey you need to apply for a marriage license at a courthouse. And in addition to the license there is a waiting period, so you can’t get a license and married in the same day.

It’s very important to find out in advance of your wedding – months and weeks, and not days before – what the license requirements are in the state you are getting married in. Every state in the United States has its own laws and policies and you need to get a license in the state you are getting married in, not the state you live in. This is very important to remember!

And if you are having a destination wedding you have to follow the marriage license laws in the country you are getting married in. Some countries have waiting periods and/or residency requirements. If either are more than a few days you may want to consider a civil ceremony in your hometown before you leave or when you get back.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Long Island Wedding Event: Feb 21st

Attention New York area brides: Thinking of getting married on Long Island? If so, you'll need to research locations and vendors who will help you create your dream wedding.

The Garden City Hotel, one of -- if not the only -- luxury hotel on Long Island is hosting the Bridal Art Showcase featuring Ron Ben-Israel Cakes, gowns from Bridal Reflections and event design ideas from Karyn Michael Events. The Bridal Art Showcase will take place on Sunday, February 21st from 12noon to 5pm.

The event will include a fashion show, delicious food and a meet & greet with a variety of the Island's top wedding professionals.

The fee to attend is $25 per person, but you'll receive a $25 gift card to dine at the Garden City Hotel's restaurant, Rein, at the event.

Visit for event details and to register.

FYI - Dave and I stayed at the Garden City Hotel the night of our wedding along with close family and out-of-town guests. My grandfather hosted our post-wedding brunch at the hotel too. It really is a fabulous location for a wedding and pre/post-wedding parties.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Lost & Found

I was at the New York Gift Show today and saw tons of cool products for weddings. I came across a journal, notebook and planner by Ecosystem. Besides being eco-friendly each journal, notebook and planner has an ID number that you can use to find out all the manufacturing details and track your book if it's lost.

If you lose your book (of course you'll have to write down the number somewhere) you enter the ID number into the company's Web site's "Lost" section and if someone finds your book they can enter the ID into the "Found" section and they'll recover your book for you.

I think this is a great idea and highly recommend you have your contact information in your wedding organizer or planning notebook. You don't have to put all of your personal info in it but your email should be fine and in case you leave your wedding organizer at a vendor or a store someone will find it and be able to email you that they have it.


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