Thursday, June 30, 2011

How Do I Find the Perfect Hairstyle for My Wedding?

When deciding on your wedding-day look it’s important to keep in mind that you want to look like yourself. You can follow the latest trends and get inspired by celebrities, but that doesn’t mean that you should have an extreme makeover for your wedding.

Schedule an appointment with your hairstylist to discuss what you’re thinking as well as his ideas. Bring photos of styles you want to try. A trial will give you an opportunity to see what a specific ‘do will look like on you.

If you’re not 100% on the first one try another one. Your stylist wants you to feel beautiful. Remember that if you don’t you probably won’t recommend him to your engaged friends.

Since your wedding dress is a lot fancier than jeans and a tee-shirt, plan a night on the town after the trial. Get dressed up. Wear a shirt with a similar neckline to your wedding dress’ and you’ll get a better feel for it.

Once you’ve finalized the style schedule any necessary appointments -- coloring or highlights, trims or cuts and of course time on your wedding day.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Do I Have to Wear a White Wedding Dress?

Whether this is your first marriage or fifth you can wear white to your wedding. First time brides will usually wear white or ivory because it's traditional, but they don’t have to. Bridal designers have created colored wedding dresses ranging from pale pink to celadon green to charcoal grey. Each bride has to decide for herself what she feels comfortable in.

If an all-over colored dress is too daring for you, choose a white or ivory dress with color adornments -- a sash, beading, embroidery, etc…

Or if you are planning on wearing two wedding dresses, choose a white or ivory dress for the ceremony and a colorful one for the reception.

Whatever style wedding dress you choose make sure that you feel beautiful in it.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

How Should We Coordinate the Mother of the Bride and Groom’s Attire?

Once you have determined the formality of your wedding and have chosen the color or color range you want your bridal party in -- your parents are part of the bridal party -- you should talk to both your mom and the groom’s mother about their attire.

The formality of your wedding will dictate the formality of their dresses, specifically the length. A black-tie wedding requires a floor-length gown. Also, the formality of the wedding may dictate the type of fabric and look of a dress.

As the mother of the bride and host of the wedding, your mom gets first dibs on the dress re: color and style. She may want to chose a color and the groom’s color may need to avoid that color, unless you tell everyone to wear the same hue.

Don’t be afraid to take your mom and his mom shopping -- together or separately depending on geography, scheduling and the relationship.

Be clear as to what shouldn’t be worn. If the church requires arms to be covered make sure everyone knows.

If you’re not clear on what is and isn’t appropriate you risk not just bad wedding photos but an embarrassing moment or making someone close to you feel very uncomfortable.

Monday, June 27, 2011

How You Can Win a $1,500 Wedding Prize Pack

One of the great things about being a bride is that there are a lot contests you can enter to win fabulous prizes! I just learned about a joint one I’m sure you’ll want to enter.

Gigmasters, Greenvelope, SmartBride Boutique, The Man Registry and Wishpot are offering one lucky couple a $1,500 Wedding Luxuries Prize Pack including free e-invitations for wedding events, a harpist for the ceremony, $300 towards a wedding dress, a stunning veil and a fabulous groomsmen gift package.

For all the details visit Gigmasters. The contest ends July 13, 2011. 

To enter, simply “like” the Facebook pages of the sponsors involved. You can “like” as many of them as you want -- the more you do the more likelihood you’ll win!

Friday, June 24, 2011

New York Approves Gay Marriage

Tonight, in a historic vote, the New York State Senate passed the same-sex marriage bill with four Republicans joining 29 Democrats in supporting the measure.

Gov. Cuomo signed the bill into law about an hour later and in 30-days same-sex marriage will be legal in New York state.  There is no residency requirement to get married in New York so couples from around the country can say "I do" in any New York county starting mid-summer.

For more information on the vote and the moving speeches on both sides of the aisle, specifically Sen. Duane, Sen. Grisanti and Sen. Saland, visit the NY State Senate official website where the feed from tonight's floor session will soon be updated.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

We’re Having a Semi-Formal Wedding, Should We Use Titles When Addressing the Invitation Envelopes?

I would. Unless your wedding is really casually you should use appropriate titles when addressing the outer, mailing, envelopes. The male guest’s name should be spelled out, but not the female’s.

For example: Mr. and Mrs. John Smith

If he’s a doctor, judge, in the military, the format would be the same with his title being Dr. or The Honorable or Captain, etc… Ex: Captain John Smith, U.S. Navy and Mrs. John Smith.

If the female guest is the one with a career title her name would go first with his underneath: Dr. Jane Smith and Mr. John Smith. But the “and Mr. John Smith” would be written beneath hers.

It’s technically not proper to put The Smith Family on the envelope if you’re inviting the whole family, but no one is going to call the etiquette police on you. When inviting a family put the parents’ names on the outer envelope and each person’s name on the inner. Another option is to send one invite to the parents and the second to adult (over 16) children in the household.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Do I Have to Pay for My Bridesmaids’ Hair & Makeup?

You don’t have to pay for their hair and makeup to be professionally done but you can’t demand that they pay for a stylist either. Remember that everyone’s financial situation is different and one or more of your bridesmaids may not be able to afford a stylist after co-hosting your bridal shower, bachelorette party, paying for a bridesmaid dress and matching shoes and gifts for you and your groom.

If one of your bridesmaids tells you she can’t afford to have her hair and makeup professionally done you can offer to gift it to her as her thank-you gift, or just as a friend, but don’t fire her or treat her badly.

Some brides want their bridesmaids to have a special hair or makeup look and if you feel this is very important than you may have to cover the expense of it.

If this is something that you’re thinking about start pricing salons and stylists in your area to ensure that you get a great deal whether you’re paying or your bridesmaids are.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

My Fiance and I Want to Write Our Own Vows, How Do We Get Started?

First talk to your officiant to find out if you can write your own vows or if your religious service won’t allow you to. Once you get the greenlight you can look for inspiration anywhere: songs, poems, the Bible, the movies, your own love story.

It’s most important that you speak from the heart and share with your fiance, and your guests, why you love each other, what this day means to you and your wishes for the future.

It’s important to remember that your vows will be spoken aloud so you don’t want to say something that’s embarrassing to you, your fiance or any of your guests.

You may want to come to an agreement with your fiance as to the length of your vows and if you want to include or omit anything specific. It’s up to you if you want to write your vows together, write them separately but share them with each other before the big day or surprise each other.

Make sure you write out your vows (or type them) carefully so that you won’t have any trouble reading them. If you’re planning on memorizing them write them out anyway just in case the emotions of the day make it hard for you to remember them.

And save the printed copy in a safe place because this is one wedding detail you’ll cherish.

Monday, June 20, 2011

My Parents, Who Are Paying for Most of the Wedding, Want to Invite 50 People I Don’t Know to the Wedding. How Can I Talk Them Out of Inviting Them?

If your wedding is over 150 people and your parents paying let them invite them. When you’re having a large wedding you can’t use the excuse that you want an intimate one.

Since you’ve accepted money from your parents, and I’m assuming the groom’s too, you have to accept some strings.

Remember that your wedding day is just as important to your parents as it is to you. In fact I’d bet they’ve been thinking of it for longer than you have. Just as you want to share it with your friends, they want to share it with theirs.

Review the list with your parents and if money is not a point of debate because your parents are willing to pay the added cost (catering, invitations, cake, rentals, favors, flowers for five more tables are some of the added costs you can mention), think of the space. Can it accommodate another 50 people?

Go over each name and if you’re not sure who someone is ask who he or she is and why it’s important for him or her to be there. Don’t have an edge in your voice, just speak quite frankly.

If on the other hand you’re only having immediate family and your closest friends explain to your parents that the style of wedding you and your fiance want won’t accommodate more people and maybe when you return from your honeymoon there can be a post-wedding reception: a brunch, cocktail party or formal dinner.

Tune In: The Price is Right's Wedding Special

We grew up without cable so if we were home from school the highlight of the day was watching The Price is Right. My sister became so addicted to the show that before flying to Hawaii for her honeymoon she stopped in LA to try and get on the show.

She wore a shirt which read that she was a newlywed on her honeymoon and she got picked in the second round, won the initial prize, played Plinko and ended up winning the showcase showdown.  (This is the shirt I made with an iron on material and a computer.)

Today The Price is Right is airing a special episode for engaged couples to try and win up to a quarter million dollars in prizes. The show partnered with and the prizes will range from wedding bands to honeymoons to cars and cash.

The wedding-themed episode will air at 11am ET/10am PT on CBS.

Friday, June 17, 2011

My Parents are Paying for the Wedding and My Fiance’s Parents Want Their Names on the Wedding Invitation Too, What are Our Options?

The wording of a wedding invitation is broken into several parts:

Host Line (who is hosting a/k/a paying)
Request Line (the invitation to come to the wedding)
Bride and Groom Line (the name of the couple)
Date and Time Line
Location Line (where the ceremony will be held)
Reception Line (where and when the reception will be held or a separate card)
R.S.V.P Line (on the lower left corner or a separate card/envelope)
Attire Line (lower right corner, optional)

Since the groom’s parents are not hosting or co-hosting the wedding you can put their names under the groom’s. Example:

Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Jones
invite you to the wedding of their daughter
Samantha Louise
John Smith
son of
Mr. and Mrs. Matthew Smith
Saturday, June 18, 2011
at six o’clock in the evening
Tribeca Rooftop
reception immediately following

If your parents don’t really care you can add the groom’s parents names to the host line if it’s a bigger deal to them. Remember, it’s important to not have World War III break out as it gets closer to your wedding day so try and accommodate your future in-laws if you can.

The invite with the co-host line would read something like:

Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Jones
Mr. and Mrs. Matthew Smith
invite you to the marriage of their children
Samantha Louise
John Smith
Saturday, June 18, 2011
at six o’clock in the evening
Tribeca Rooftop
reception immediately following

Thursday, June 16, 2011

We’re Having a Formal Wedding Reception. Is It Okay to Serve Beer?

Yes, you can serve beer at your cocktail hour and wedding reception but you may want to serve it in glasses and not bottles. There’s something about people walking around in tuxes and evening gowns holding bottles of Corona (or any other brand) that I think is tacky.

Simply ask the caterer to serve beer in glasses. There shouldn’t be an extra charge for this.

If your reception site is planning on serving beer in glasses, but via a keg, that’s fine but I’d keep the keg out of site behind the bar if your wedding is more black tie than backyard.

Karen from Grapevine, a stationery company based in Boston, designed really cool labels for beer bottles that read “I Do Brew” and the couple slapped them on beer bottles -- they owned a brewery -- so serving bottles of beer felt right even at their formal affair. If your venue is set on serving bottles of beer than think about customizing a label. It will add another personal touch to your big day.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I Want to Share My Father-Daughter Dance With My Dad and Stepdad. How Can I?

Well you have two options. You can dance two separate dances and choose a special song for each one or you can begin dancing with your dad and have your stepdad cut in about half-way through.

Talk to your band/DJ to find out what they recommend. Two special dances plus the groom and his mom’s dance make about 8-10 minutes and to be honest after about the first 30 seconds no one is really paying attention. To keep your guests in the party mood you may want to choose one song.

But if you’d prefer two, break up the dances. Share the first dance with dad between the first and second course and the second dance with your stepdad between the second and dessert. Or vice versa.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Do I Have to Carry a Bridal Bouquet?

As with any other wedding detail you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do, but you may feel awkward walking down the aisle without something to occupy your hands. Have you noticed that Kate Middleton always carries a clutch? I read it’s so that she always has a place to put her hands. Some sort of royal style tip.

Bridal bouquets come in all sorts of shapes and sizes so if you are trying to avoid a large cascading or round bouquet you can carry a posy (small, tight bouquet) or a single flower with a long stem like a calla lily.

You can talk to your florist about carrying smaller flowers such as lily of the valley which won't weigh much and can make a very romantic and lovely looking small bouquet.  Click through bridal bouquet galleries on wedding planning sites to get ideas and talk to your florist about your concerns.  He or she will be able to help you find the perfect style for you, your dress and your wedding.

Monday, June 13, 2011

What Do We Do If a Guest Shows Up With an Uninvited Date or Their Kids?

Make them feel welcome.

On the day of your wedding you don’t want to focus your energies on arguing with a guest so just let it go and let the caterer figure out the seating issue. If you want to say something you can but unless you ask them both (or the family) to leave you’re probably going to get into an argument with the end result that they’re staying. Why not enjoy your wedding and say something after you return from your honeymoon.

As for costs, the caterer will probably tack on an extra fee for the adult guest but kids will either eat free if they are under 3 or pay a reduced rate.

This situation is also ideal for your wedding planner (day-of or full service) to handle or designate a member of the bridal party or close relative/friend handle any situation that arises.

Remember this is your wedding day. Don’t let anyone ruin it for you.

And if it’s an RSVP card that comes back with uninvited guests listed as attending you can call the invited guest and tell him or her that you’re sorry but they can’t bring a date or their kids because the space doesn’t allow for it.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Preview WEtv's New Show Amsale Girls

I just came back from a party celebrating the launch of a new series on WEtv, Amsale Girls. The show is centered around the Amsale bridal salon on Madison Avenue. The salon sells Amsale, Kenneth Pool and Christos wedding dresses.

They showed a different clip than the one below and it was hysterical. I have to admit, while I work in weddings I don’t tivo every wedding-related show but I definitely want to catch this one!

The girls are hilarious and smart and have a great time and you’re sure to enjoy watching the antics that take place while they’re at work and out and about in Manhattan.

Here’s a preview of the show:

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Do I Have to Serve Wedding Cake? And If So Can I Serve Another Dessert Too?

Sort of and absolutely! The wedding cake is a wedding tradition, makes a great photo-op and is a showpiece/centerpiece for the reception. After the wedding dress it is the most popular item at the wedding guests want to see.

If a large tiered cake isn’t for you order a small three-tiered cake and cut it for the tradition of it and then either serve a sheet cake or another dessert you like.

If you just don’t want a cake at all then don’t have one and serve your guests any dessert that will complement the main course.

Another options is to create some type of dessert buffet -- bakery bar, cookie bar, ice cream sundae bar, pie bar or candy bar, though a bar candy is more as a treat or for guests to put in a bag as a wedding favor.

As for a tier of cupcakes, ask the baker if they can make an extra large cupcake for the cutting ceremony or cut into one of the ones on the tier.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Do I Have to Hire a Second Photographer for Engagement Portraits?

Most wedding photographers will list an engagement portrait session under their services. Some photographers will throw in a “free” engagement portrait session when you book them for your wedding.  I put free in quotes because while the shoot itself may not cost anything you’ll have to pay for any prints you order.

An engagement session can be shot any time before your wedding and many couples will use these photos on their save-the-date cards or wedding website. If that’s what you’re thinking of doing you should book the shoot at least six to nine months before the wedding so that you have time to order save-the-date cards with the photos on them.

An engagement shoot is also a great way to get to know, and get comfortable with, your photographer. Remember that he or she will be with you -- literally in your face -- all day on your wedding day so it’s important that you hire someone who doesn’t annoy you.

If you are expecting your wedding photographer to shoot your engagement session make sure those details are in the contract, including if the shoot is in a studio or on location, how much it will cost to do the shoot and how much print orders will cost.

Friday, June 03, 2011

I’m not having a big wedding but I want to invite a lot of people to my bridal shower. Can I?

Yes and no. Technically if someone gets invited to the bridal shower they also get invited to the wedding, but if you're having a small destination wedding or it’s well known that your wedding, held locally, will be limited to immediate family you can have a bridal shower with uninvited wedding guests.

It’s not appropriate for a bride to host her own shower so have your closest friends, or your mom or his, host it in your honor.  It is common for his mom to host the bridal shower if she lives in another area and the guests are her friends and relatives.  The mother of the bride should be invited too.

Also, if you’re having a small wedding and want a bachelorette party you can have one. And unlike a bridal shower, the bride can host her own bachelorette party.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

So You Want To Work in the Wedding Industry

If you love weddings and want to work as a wedding vendor the best place to start is as an intern to see if this is really something you want to have a career in.

Whatever your current job is, and past positions, see how those skills and experiences can translate to wedding-related position.

Email or call companies that you want to work for and ask if you can set up an informational interview to learn more about the day-to-day tasks and what it’s really like to do that job. Remember that wedding jobs shown on TV or in the movies are not what it’s like in real life.

Since most weddings are held on weekends see if you can find an internship or shadow a vendor to see what the job entails without having to quit your current job.

Once you’re ready to either find an internship or part-time/full-time position check out Wedding Industry Jobs, a new job board site that only lists wedding-related positions from across the country.  You can search by job title, company, location and type of position (full-time, part-time, internship, etc…)

Above all remember that planning other people's weddings is not like planning your own. You are not the star, the client is. If you want to be in the wedding industry because you loved planning your own wedding then start planning another party for you and your new hubby, such as an anniversary party or a vow renewal.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

An Easy Way to Save Money on Your Wedding Dress

Did you know that many bridesmaid dress designers offer their dresses in white or ivory? Ever since Pippa Middleton wore a stunning ivory dress to her sister Kate’s wedding (you remember, she married Prince William at Westminster Abbey in April) brides have been picking white or ivory for their bridesmaids’ dresses.

But why not choose one for yourself?

Bridesmaid dresses can be short or long, strapless, embellished and are available in a number of fabrics, including organza, taffeta, satin and jersey, and cost a few hundred dollars at most.

The ordering process will work the same as a wedding dress in most salons. You have to have your measurements taken and the dress will take 6 to 8 weeks to arrive. Once it does you’ll need to find a good tailor to ensure a perfect fit. Unlike bridal salons bridesmaid dress stores usually don’t offer alteration services but will be able to recommend one in the area.

As for some ideas for bridesmaid dresses in white for the bride I think it’ll make a great story and will try and pull one together this week!


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