Thursday, December 30, 2010

Your Wedding Priorities

At the beginning of the wedding planning process, make a list of the elements and wedding details that are important to you. Is it important to get married at a specific location? Do you need to have a designer wedding dress? Is a delicious menu at the top of your wish list?

Once you have an idea of the type of wedding you want, ask your fiancĂ© to list his priorities. Remember, it's his wedding too. 

After you have both lists you may want to ask your parents and his if they have any wishes for the wedding too, especially if they are contributing financially.

Pull all the priorities together on to one master list and as you begin to meet and hire wedding vendors, make it clear to them what elements and details you want for your wedding. It'll make it easier for them to see your vision by explaining what you want and what you don't want. 

Monday, December 27, 2010

A Great Bridal Party Gift Idea

Okay, so not everyone is going to agree with me but even if you don't you'll have to admit that it is a useful gift and something that can be used again and again.

Getting stuck home today wasn't ideal but I had my work computer so I was able to get stuff done.  Unfortunately for some reason I couldn't get a wireless network and had to save files to a USB drive and transfer them to my home computer.

I remember when a USB drive cost a fortune but now they're inexpensive and I get one in the mail or at a press event every week.  Most of them are personalized with a company or product name/logo.

I don't know how expensive the personalization would be, but there are themed USB drives that you can get and give each member of the bridal party a character that they would like.  I've seen Star Wars characters, Hello Kitty, M&Ms, colors, patterns and even one that looks like dog tags.

So while this may not be the bridal party gift that you thought you'd give, it is a gift that your bridesmaids and groomsmen will be able to use again and again -- unlike a flask and jewelry that matches the bridesmaid dress.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

If You Get Engaged On Christmas Eve or Christmas...

Don't forget to call the insurance company, if your fiance hasn't already, to add your engagement ring to your homeowner's policy.

With all the excitement of getting engaged making sure your ring is insured is probably not at the top of your list but it's important that this gets taken care of right away.

The January issues of bridal magazines are hitting stands this weekend if they're not already available so pick up a few and start tearing out pages for ideas.  Visit wedding websites and blogs and bookmark your favorite pages.

Don't think you need to plan everything in the next few days and weeks.  Take your time and enjoy your engagement.  There will be lots of fun bridal events to attend and parties to celebrate your upcoming wedding.

And as for your wedding dress, check your local bridal salons trunk show schedule to see which designers will be popping by with their latest collections.  You may want to wait until salons get the Spring 2011 dresses in before making your appointment because you'll have more to look through and try on.  They should arrive between January and early March.  The Fall 2010 and even Spring 2010 dresses will still be on the floor so you won't miss anything if you wait.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


I know Shoesday posts are on Tuesdays and I'm not writing about a specific shoe but the idea of Shoesday in general.

Shoes are fun and they can be fabulous.  Let's face it, how many times have you swooned over a pair of shoes.  I even own a few pairs that I had to have even though they weren't comfortable or were a little too small or too big. (Yes, Dave I'm thinking of those fabulous bubble gum pink Christian Louboutins I had to have and wore maybe once.  They are so fabulous, just a little too small.  And they were on sale!)

Anyway, a lot of bridal salons carry bridal shoes in shades of white and ivory, but your wedding shoes can be in any color.  You're matching them to a white or ivory dress so feel free to add a splash of color to your wedding day look with a colorful pair of "bridal" shoes.  And with a colorful pair you're more likely to wear them again.  I've never worn my wedding day shoes after my wedding day,

I know off the top of my head that the blogs Santa Barbara Chic Blog and Merci New York both write Shoesday posts  but I'm sure there are many others.  Click on the "Shoesday" tags at the end of their most recent posts and you'll find all of their Shoesday content.  You're sure to find some amazing shoes for your wedding day or any day!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Have a Wedding Magazine or Book With You At All Times

I was at the doctor's office today and there was a wait.  A two and a half hour wait.  Boy was I glad that I had a book in my bag to read - William & Kate: A Love Story.  There's no TV in the waiting room and reading magazines that are months old isn't enjoyable after the second one.

While planning your wedding you'll soon learn that there are dozens of wedding books and magazine to flip through for both information and ideas.  It doesn't hurt to keep one on you in case you have time to kill -- on the train, bus, at the doctor's office, waiting for a friend at a restaurant.

You can also download wedding planning podcasts to your iPod and listen to them for wedding planning ideas and tips.  I recommend the Wedding Podcast Network because they have a pretty extensive library that you can download.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Lingerie for Him - Why Not?

Well maybe not something made of lace but satin PJs might be nice.  So many wedding night and honeymoon stories focus on what they bride should (or shouldn't) wear but why can't the groom get dressed in something sexy too?

Either on your wedding night or the night before when you and your groom exchange wedding gifts give him something that you would like to see him wear the night of your wedding.  You can buy him a pair of silk boxer shorts or satin pajamas or a thong if you'd prefer.

And if you really want to get down to details, treat him to a trip to the spa for a mani/pedi and even a wax before the big day.  You can make it a date where each of you get a full body treatment.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Wedding Party Animals

A German magazine just published exclusive photos from Nicole Richie's wedding.  (I found them via Jezabel.)  I'm not commenting about her Marchesa wedding dress or how happy she looks.  This post is about the fact that she had an elephant at her wedding.

Why the bride wanted an elephant at her wedding is something I'm not familiar with but here are some thoughts about having animals or pets at your wedding.

It is not uncommon for a bride and groom to include a family pet - dog, cat, bird - as part of the wedding processional.  No one, I'm assuming, expects their household pets to spend the night on the dance floor.  But it's important that there is someone at the wedding, other than the bride and groom, who is in charge of the pet.  To feed it, walk it, clean up after it and babysit it before, during and after the ceremony.

When it comes to "wild" animals - assuming the elephant at the Richie/Madden wedding sparks a trend - you need to make sure that you have the proper zoning and licensing paperwork to have the animal there and that there are certified animal trainers on hand in case of any accidents or incidents.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Bookmark You Favorite Sites

When surfing the Internet for ideas for your wedding it's important to favorite or bookmark pages and sites that you like so that you can easily find them again.  I can't tell you how many times I come across something online and think to myself oh I won't forget that site and of course I never remember it and can't find it again.

While planning your wedding you'll probably be looking for wedding dresses, planning information, style ideas and a zillion other wedding things online.  With a magazine you can simply tear the page out and put it in your organizer but with a website you have to either print out the page and/or save the page.

Make a bookmark folder and label it by category:  wedding dresses, wedding planning, wedding style, etc... and don't be afraid to bookmark any and every site you come across.  It doesn't cost anything and will take up a minimal amount of space on your computer.  It will save you time and stress.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Multiple Wedding Dresses

I read today that Nicole Richie wore three wedding dresses, all by Marchesa, to her wedding this past weekend.  Reception dresses have been popular over the past year where a bride will change either before her wedding reception or at some point during the reception into a shorter, sexier dress.

While I think you should do whatever you want for your wedding I want to encourage you to forgo the second wedding dress and here's why:

Your wedding dress will be the most important fashion purchase and the most expensive fashion purchase you ever make. You should love the wedding dress you buy so much that you don't want to wear any other dress.  And one of the signs that you found "the one" is that you won't want to take it off at the bridal salon.

You can always wear a short, sexy party dress to someone else's wedding or any party.  How often do you get to wear a ball gown or mermaid gown or even a lace gown?

The wedding dress you buy can be sexy and even short!  You can buy a wedding dress in any style you like and if you want to look and feel sexy on your wedding day then shop for and buy a sexy wedding dress.

Above all it's important that you love your wedding dress and feel beautiful in it.  Take your time, start early and try on any and every dress the sales consultant brings you at a salon until you find your wedding dress.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Just Engaged: What To Do First

I met a woman today who had just got engaged over the weekend and she was very excited but a little confused as to where to begin.

I told her she should register somewhere even if she only registers online and then goes to the stores in a few weeks.  It's important to create a registry because if friends and family want to get you an engagement gift it's better to have a few items on a registry then to receive unwanted gifts that you can't exchange or return.

I asked her if the ring was insured.  It was.

I asked her if she had any idea as to what type of wedding she wanted and she answered that she just knows that they want to get married in the next 6 to 9 months.  They don't want a long engagement.

These are some of the things every just engaged bride should think about.  The next steps should include:

Discussing your wedding budget with your fiance and both sets of parents to determine how much you can afford to spend on the wedding.

Looking at venues and thinking about possible wedding dates.

Subscribing to wedding magazines and start browsing wedding planning websites and blogs for ideas.

While you should wait until you book a venue to shop for your wedding dress, you may want to start searching online wedding dress galleries and designer websites to get an idea of the styles you like.

Draw up a preliminary wedding guest list to have an idea of how many people you are planning on inviting to the wedding.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Engagement Portraits

When you're meeting with wedding photographers ask them if an engagement portrait session is included or if you can add one.  You want to know the added cost, if there is one, for the shoot and the cost of prints or albums from the shoot.  Find out how you will receive them, as printed proofs, on a CD or if they'll be posted on a website to review.

Besides framing a few photos in your home, and maybe gifting one to your parents and his, you can use your engagement photos on your save-the-date cards, wedding website and holiday cards, if you send them.

Engagement portraits are not a wedding must-have, but how many times in your life will you hire a professional photographer to take pictures of the two of you?  It might be worth cutting other areas of your wedding budget to make room for this expense.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Something Sky Blue, Navy Blue, Midnight Blue

I think most brides pick a something blue that's a light shade of blue but you're not bound to that part of the color spectrum.  The proverb isn't specific as to exactly what shade of blue is the one a bride should wear or carry with her down the aisle so pick a hue that feels right to you.

You can accessorize with sapphire blue jewelry or wear navy eye makeup or wear a pair of bold blue shoes a la Carrie Bradshaw in the first Sex & the City movie.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Dramatic Wedding Dress Trains

I've been doing a lot of reading on royal weddings lately and I'm amazed at how long the trains are on the wedding dresses of royal brides.  Princess Diana had a 25' train and Sarah Ferguson's train was 17'.  Now granted it took each of these brides 3 to 4 minutes to walk up the aisle at the church but can you imagine having to bustle that train or removing it after the ceremony and formal pictures were taken?

When you are selecting your wedding dress ask about the length of the train and make sure you have a friend or two at your fittings to learn how to bustle it or remove it for the wedding reception.

You may also want these friends to straighten your train once you reach the altar.  After being dragged along the aisle it may not look picture perfect by the time you stop at the end so ask your friends or bridesmaids to straighten it out so that your guests can see the back of your beautiful dress and to ensure that photos taken from this angle look great!

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Hostess Gift Tip

I went to a holiday party tonight hosted by Colin Cowie for members of the B-List and brought two bottles of champagne as a gift from the bloggers.

I knew well enough not to show up with the bottles in a plastic grocery bag but I was mortified when I realized that I had forgotten to remove the price sticker from each bottle.

Vane from Brooklyn Bride and I quickly scraped as much as we could of the sticker off the bottle, but I still felt horrible that the sticker was there to begin with.

So before you enter the home of someone throwing a party remember to remove any price tags or stickers or other items that you don't want them to see on your hostess gift.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Sourcing Wedding Details

I got an email the other day from a woman getting married next spring and she was trying to find a pair of shoes with a specific design.  She said she did a Google search but she couldn't find anything that fit what she was looking for.

So I did a search of some shoe and style sites and couldn't find what she was looking for either so I told her to ask the bridal salon where she bought her wedding dress as well as local shoes stores.

While Google is a great resource don't forget about the salespeople who know their business inside and out.  They will know everything from where to find what you're looking for to whether or not it's even available. So call or email local stores that sell related or similar items and ask them if they have, can get or know where you can get whatever it is you're looking for.

And this doesn't just go for shoes.  This is for every type of wedding detail, wedding accessory and any and everything else you can think of.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Post-Wedding Photo Tip

After you look through your wedding photos - whether printed proofs or online, you may want to order a few copies of pictures to gift to your parents and his.  They're sure to appreciate the kind gesture.  You can also make these prints holiday or special occasion gifts.

And when deciding to frame photos for your home, make sure you have photos from both sides of the family - your and his - so that one family doesn't feel slighted because there are a dozen photos of the other side all over your walls and shelves.

Friday, December 03, 2010

The Festival of Lights

In honor of Hanukkah Dave inspired me to write a post on lighting.

Do you know how celebs look great in photos?  It's because they're lit well.  Lighting can make a difference in the way you look in a photograph and can also help the mood in a ceremony and reception space.

Ask your location manager what lighting is provided by the venue - dimmers, pinspots, etc...  And then talk to your florist about what additional lighting you may want to bring in via a lighting company.

Of course bringing in a lighting company will add to your budget, but asking won't cost you a thing so get all the information and then make a decision.  It might not cost as much as you think and to cover the additional costs you can pull money from another area of the wedding budget to cover it.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

How Do You Know What to Register For

I'm a firm believer in registering for your wedding, bridal shower and engagement party.  I don't think it makes a couple look greedy and you'll make it easier on your guests if you tell them what to get you via a wedding registry.

Now you could just go to the store of your choice and run around with the clicker and add any and everything to the list, or you can decide to add only the items that you really need and want for your home.

But how do you know what you need and want and really use.  Simple, take an inventory and think about your entertaining style.

If you and your fiance love to cook, register for a great set of pots and pans and cooking tools.  If you love to have people over and entertain, register for a complete set of china, barware and flatware.  If you love to relax in the bath, register for luxurious towels and new bath accessories.  If you haven't bought new bedding in years, register for pillows a comforter and new bed linens.

It's okay if you end up changing your mind and return/exchange some of the gifts you receive.  I wouldn't tell someone that you returned their gift but just know that it's okay to if you need or want to.

No matter what type of gifts you register for, it's still important to register for items that are less than $25 as well as pricier items for group gifts.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

When Your Wedding Vendors are Your Friends and Relatives

Some of your friends and relatives may offer their services as a wedding gift.  A musician may offer to play at your ceremony or someone who likes taking pictures may offer to be your wedding photographer or a baker in the family may offer to bake your wedding cake.

All of these offers are generous and can save you money, but you may want to think twice before accepting their offer to work your wedding.

Friends and relatives who have wedding-related hobbies are not wedding professionals and may not have enough experience working a wedding to deliver the service you require.  Also, if they are a professional and your wedding is a freebie, they may cancel on you if they get a paying gig for the same day.

It's very important that if you do "hire" a friend or relative that you sit down with them well before the wedding and make sure that they understand exactly what services you require and that you understand exactly what services they can perform.

It's okay to say no thanks if someone does offer you their services.  Just explain that you either already hired someone or that you wan them to be a guest at your wedding and enjoy time with family and friends.


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