Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Eve

In mere hours we'll dismiss 2009 and welcome 2010. I like New Year's simply because it reminds me every year of a restart of things - a new chance to do things differently, a time to reflect and above all, a time to make resolutions. I actually used to think that making resolutions was a waste. Nothing changes, right? But after I got married and realized that things in life can change {more than little changes}, after your wedding day, you've created this little family consisting of yourself and your new spouse. Perhaps you've changed your name, your location, your job. The biggest change I noticed after getting married is that decisions now have more weight to them. You have to consider the welfare of your family when it comes to making decisions, it isn't just how it affects you, its also how it affects your new family.

So where am I going with all this? Sit down today and make some resolutions. Resolve to be nicer to yourself and make time for yourself. Do good things for yourself. During your wedding planning you'll get so caught up between work, planning and managing life that its easy to forget to take care of ourselves - make a resolution that you'll take care of yourself weekly and monthly. Do things that make YOU feel good about yourself. Its okay to not think about the wedding 24/7, I promise. It doesn't make you any less of a bride!

I wish all of you the very best in 2010 - I hope that each of us has a fabulous and meaningful year.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Approaching Parents About The Wedding Budget

At some point {hopefully before any major planning happens} there needs to be a very open conversation regarding the wedding budget with whomever will be paying or contributing to the wedding finances. It's not a pleasant conversation but it is one that must be discussed. If you're asking your parents for money, go to them with either a firm number or specific items that you want them to responsible for. When coming up with these numbers, do your research. Come to the meeting prepared with your thoughts on what you want for the wedding day, places you've reached out to and a rough number of ideal guests. The more prepared you are, the more likely it is that the conversation won't become an overly emotional occasion.

Finances are a sticky subject to begin with, so use the appropriate discretion. Be understanding and supportive of not only what you want but what your financiers can afford. No one needs to go into debt to pay for the wedding. While you may not walk away with your desired outcome, you've opened the door to understanding. Perhaps now your financiers have a better understanding of what you and your fiance envision for the wedding day, or perhaps you've found out something you didn't know was important to your parents or in-laws. Open lines of communication during the wedding planning will lead to a much less stress for all.

Happy Planning!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

New Wedding Planning Resource

If you've been planning a wedding or just starting out in your wedding planning process, you're probably becoming an expert in Wedding Blogs and Wedding Resources. There are so many to find advice, ideas and inspiration that it can be quite overwhelming! But, there's a new resource that goes live on January 1st and its definitely worth checking out. Kate Parker, a fabulous planner in New Hampshire has built a wedding resource site that really is divine. Its got practical advice from wedding vendors, profiles of some of the best and more galleries and images than you could imagine. If you're in need of anything wedding related, check out myKPwedding on January 1st and be prepared to be wow'ed!

{Disclosure: Although I am a paying advertiser on myKPw, I received no financial compensation for this post nor was I asked by Kate Parker to write this post}

Monday, December 28, 2009

To The Newly Engaged

It's the last week of 2009. Wow, what a fabulous year it has been. I've officially been blogging for over a year now. I hope that the advice, tips and real weddings that I offer up is helpful to your wedding planning.

For the newly engaged {tis the season!} CONGRATULATIONS! If you've just began your wedding planning, check out the 30 Days Series that I wrote over the summer. Its focused on wedding planning in a stress free manner regardless of how long your engagement spans. For 30 days I posted advice and information related to wedding planning. There's a ton of helpful stuff in there! Check it out!

Enjoy the last week of 2009 ~ its almost 2010!

Friday, December 25, 2009


Wishing you a lovely day filled with good cheer & laughter


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Wrapping Things Up: Lessons Learned From a Wedding Planner

I wanted to take a moment and recap all the lessons that I've shared with you regarding the weddings that I was a coordinator with. Each post is meant to be reflective, helpful and real - while I aim for a perfect wedding day for my clients, little snafus do arise and its best to be prepared for them. Some could have been avoided on the wedding day, others you should take in stride. Remember: the only thing that really truly matters on your wedding day is that you're getting married to the love of your life. Everything else is just gravy.

Some highlights:

* Sign a contract with EVERY vendor

* When it comes to wedding planning: organization & time management skills are key

* Have a set budget and stick to it

* Let go of all the white noise you'll hear from parents, friends - its your wedding

* If the tradition doesn't fit you, don't include it

* Don't sweat the small stuff - its not important

* DIY if you a natural Martha Stewart - stick to the pros if you aren't crafty

Above all, its your wedding, make it yours

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

2009 Wedding Lessons Learned: War of the Vendors

2009 Wedding Lessons Learned

Throughout your wedding planning, you've met with vendors, evaluated their services and products and ultimately gone into contract with whomever you feel will provide the best service for your wedding day. What you've probably not remembered to do is ensure that they can work with all the other vendors you've chosen. Now, should you have to do this? Most vendors and most couples take for granted that everyone in this industry can work together, right? Isn't the common goal for everyone involved very simple: bride and groom get married and have a blast, right? You'd hope so. You'd hope that your vendors are professional enough to work with anyone.

What if they can't be professional on your wedding day? Whats a gal to do? Firstly, it should become fairly apparent long before the wedding day that two vendors may not see eye to eye. When you and your coordinator have this realization, construct a strategy, then go discuss this with each vendor. The goal is to ensure that neither vendor wages war on the other on the wedding day. Firstly, waging war isn't very classy; secondly, its going to upset several people, and thirdly, it could have been avoided. Make it known to all parties who is IN CHARGE. {This should be your wedding coordinator, but sometimes vendors get different ideas on this topic ...} Whomever is in charge, should be the final decision maker. If the two war'ing vendors can't even speak to each other, use the coordinator as a buffer. Do everything in your power to make sure that A) Bride nor Groom nor Guest are subjected to the war and B) realize that you're being silly. If you can't get along, fine, but its one day, get over it.

I was the so called buffer at a wedding this year between two war'ing vendors {ironically, I could see both their points, but that is neither here nor there} who weren't able to put aside their differences at the wedding and just let it go. While their differences were dealt with privately, there was a ting of hostility between the two in the air the whole night. Not Cool. Had we all sat down and discussed, all the snide comments would have been thrown out the window, instead of plugged into my ear. While their tiff luckily didn't harm the wedding, it could have. The couple got lucky that I was able to intervene appropriately.

Be a lover and not a hater. If you think your vendors can't be civil, discuss this in advance with all interested parties!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

2009 Wedding Lessons Learned: DIY Does Not Equal Do It Yourself

2009 Wedding Lessons Learned

With all the inspiration and ideas floating around wedding blogs and wedding magazines, please keep in mind this: Not all inspiration is created equal and not all inspiration is appropriate for your wedding. If you are particularly crafty and have the time and effort, then by all means if you can fit the projects into your life, then go for it; but if you are really good at finding ideas but not executing them, then please, do yourself a favor and scrap the DIY bent. It won't work out for you on the wedding day.

If you choose to go the DIY route for some things on your wedding day - please be mindful that you need to fully prepare each project well in advance of the wedding day. What seems so simple to you to prepare, set up and execute may be a gargantuan task to someone else. If you've hired a wedding planner then be up front with them about all the DIY projects you want them to help with. Don't just skim over things or shove them under the carpet. If your wedding coordinator knows about these projects in advance, they can build their timeline and their staffing to ensure that everything happens as you want it to. But, if you fail to mention all of these "little" DIY projects then your coordinator will come ill-equipped to handle them and yes, your wedding will not be as you envisioned. Honesty is the best policy in this DIY case.

I was the unfortunate planner - victim at a wedding this year where at least 10+ DIY projects were not mentioned to me prior to the wedding day and yes, the wedding day did go off but with many hitches as I was understaffed and ill prepared to handle all of the tasks which meant that the wedding day did suffer. Try as I might, my staff and I cannot become superhuman if we aren't told about things in advance. While yes, I may have experience arranging flowers, do not assume that you can give your planner a bunch of materials and expect them to be able to whip up 20 centerpieces in an hour. Its just not going to turn out as you wished.

Therefore, DIY is a fabulous route if you've got the talent and wherewithal for it, but if you aren't a Martha Stewart wannabe, then it may be wise to leave the DIY at home.

Monday, December 21, 2009

2009 Wedding Lessons Learned: If the Wedding Tradition Doesn't Fit

2009 Wedding Lessons Learned

While there has been a definite shift from the weddings of years ago to the weddings of today, there are still basic pre-conceived notions of how a wedding should be. Everyone expects a Saturday affair, ceremony followed by cocktails followed by dinner and dancing. It's like we've all been trained to think one dimensionally when it comes to a wedding, so anything that doesn't follow that convention is met with apprehension and needs a lot of explaining. What I've come to love is that weddings do not need to be one dimensional or "normal"; in fact, its so much better if they aren't. If you choose not to do all the traditional aspects, its actually quite refreshing. Convincing your guests however, does take a bit of magic, but in every 'non-conventional' wedding I've worked or been a guest at, they always wind up being the best affairs, so trust me, it does always work out in the end.

I had the opportunity to work with a couple this year who were certainly breaking all the traditional wedding rules. They opted for a Sunday morning ceremony followed by a few hours break and then a late afternoon lunch. For them, the importance was getting married and the space they wanted could only accomodate them on a Sunday morning. The late afternoon lunch was perfect as they were able to reserve an entire restaurant and make the space work for them. While I am sure their wedding was met with resistance by fellow guests, the day flowed so nicely and it really was perfect for what they wanted. They didn't want the huge party, they wanted something small and intimate, which is exactly what they got.

So please, if there is some traditional aspect of weddings that isn't working for you - don't bend to make the tradition fit you, bend the tradition to fit you. At the end of the day, it's your wedding and you can do what you want!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Weekly Round Up: Fabulous Finds and Advice

Eeeck, Christmas is in a week! New Year's Eve is in two weeks. Seriously, where did the month of December go? The days keep whipping by and my to do list keeps getting longer, and there's still present shopping to be done.

Check out these fabulous finds and advice from around the web - Enjoy:

Just when I thought that Dana from Broke Ass Bride couldn't get any more fabulous, she redesigns her website and it is much more fabulous. If you want real life 'broke ass' wedding advice, her blog is an amazing resource.

Eco-Beautiful Weddings Magazine debuted this week and its simply delightful. Even if you aren't planning an eco-wedding, there are some amazing ideas and inspiration throughout. Enjoy!

Great little read on how hiring a planner is actually helpful to your budget - click here!

While I can see the beauty and artistry of tall arrangements, unless they are done to perfectly {which sadly isn't always the case}, tall arrangements to me are just cumbersome. The DC Ladies have posted a great article on why tall centerpieces are not the best route to go in your floral budget - click here to read it.

If you're in the NYC / NE area - we're getting snow! How exciting!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

2009 Wedding Lessons Learned: Don't Sweat The Small Stuff

2009 Wedding Lessons Learned

From first hand experience, I can tell you that your wedding day will literally feel like it lasted for five minutes. All the months of planning and effort you've put into creating this lovely day will whip by in mere moments, so, I implore you: Don't sweat the little things. If something does or doesn't happen that you didn't plan for: just roll with it. The day is too short and too important to worry about little things that really in the grand scheme, mean nothing and are irrelevant. You don't want to look back at your wedding day with regret.

One of my brides could have easily gone down the stressed out road on her wedding day, when the transportation company failed to return to get the bridesmaids after dropping off the groomsmen at the church. I had gone over the details with the limo company repeatedly, but the driver chose not to cooperate. Instead of the bride getting upset and letting this setback ruin her moment, she simply said "Gals, get in a cab and get to Brooklyn" - she was so matter of fact and calm, it was refreshing. All that mattered to her was getting married and despite little obstacles popping up, she just went with it and created a plan B. She didn't let this hiccup ruin her day at all.

So please, I know its very easy to get wrapped up in the drama or the small issues, but really, they don't matter. What matters most is that its your wedding day.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Turning One Year Older

Today is my birthday and while this isn't wedding related news by any stretch of the imagination, I wanted to share some personal goals with you as I am now one year closer to a very important big birthday!

I've decided that this next year in my life is going to be about becoming a healthier version of me. A Me 2.0 if you will. I've read an inordinate amount of literature this past year that has got me thinking about all that we consume and do to our bodies. There's some really scary stuff out there. I am a firm believer that how we treat ourselves affects what happens to us down the road, and I for one would rather be kinder to myself now so that years later, things aren't that bad. I'd rather spend the money now on organic items {though more pricey} than hefty hospital bills in 40 years.

Thus, I've decided that this year in my life I will be kinder to myself. Eat cleaner, exercise more, gain much more positivity and basically become a healthier in mind and body version of me. While I may slip up on occassion, I really want 80%+ of this next year in my life to be healthier and more positive.

I wanted to write this note so that you, the reader, would hold me accountable, share your healthy tips with me and travel down this journey with me. I'll be writing sporadically about healthy changes I've found to be beneficial because at the end of the day, we're all still students who want to learn and become better.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

2009 Wedding Lessons Learned: When Your Wedding Funding Disappears

2009 Wedding Lessons Learned

While I would hate for this scenario to happen to anyone, what if during the midst of your wedding planning, the money that you thought would pay for your big day disappeared. Either your parents or other contributors were now unable to give you money that you had been promised {for whatever reason} or you yourself were now unable to pay for the wedding that you have been planning. How would you react?

Unfortunately I had this occur to one of my couples and while it was a very big shock to their system, I was humbled by their reaction and I can only hope that others would react this way as well. Instead of crying, canceling the wedding or getting angry, they simply changed direction in their wedding planning process. They went back to all the contract vendors and explained the situation. Most were amenable to cancelling contracts {we were about 11 months out from the wedding at this point}.

The bride and groom sat down and thought about what was the most important aspects of the wedding: 1. Getting married & saying their vows 2. Being with their closest 24 people instead of their non-closest 150 people and 3. Not going broke over one day of their life. With those as their top three priorities, we started to plan their real wedding, one that was much more true to them. They chose their favorite local restaurant as the venue, decided to do a meaningful ceremony in a park 5 blocks from the restaurant and they whittled down their guest list to the people that truly meant something to them.

Their wedding day was one of the best that I have been a part of. The bride wanted no frou frou fluffiness on the day, so she didn't have any of that. They didn't do any traditions {first dance, parent dances etc} because they felt that those traditions weren't them. Their wedding day was about their love for each other and the group of people there. It was so refreshing to see that despite their wedding day taking a potential turn for the worse, it wound up being so much more meaningful. I applaud them for not letting a monetary setback impede their plans for getting married.

How have you taken a set back in your wedding planning and turned it into a positive?

Monday, December 14, 2009

2009 Wedding Lessons Learned: When Your Wedding Budget Is Out of Control

2009 Wedding Lessons Learned

Regardless of what number your wedding budget is; you've put a budget in place to make sure that you don't start wildly spending here and there and start putting the person who foots the bill in future financial jeopardy. Remember that while the wedding day is a very important day in your life, its one day, while your marriage is forever.

In an ideal world, you'd find vendors that fit into your budget from the get go, rather than booking vendors that begin to stretch your budget, forcing you to start scrambling on where you can cut and delete to reign the spending in. When you are interviewing vendors and gathering ideas, keep in mind that regardless of what you plan for the day - your guests won't know what you spent on the day unless you tell them. So, if there is a way to bring costs down but still be classy: DO IT.

I had one such wedding this year - it was simply a divine affair, but they very much had a budget and they very much had to stick with it. But yet, throughout the planning, the spending started getting out of control and a month before the wedding we had to sit down and go through proposals and contracts and figure out what adjustments needed to be made so that they could actually afford the wedding day {I was the DOC for it}. It wasn't the most pleasant day in their wedding planning process simply because I had to be the non-emotional voice of reason aka "the bad guy" saying that this, this and this had to be cut and this, this and this had to be changed. At the end of our meeting, we had reigned in the spending but the stress of going back to vendors and re-negotiating contracts wasn't exactly what the bride and groom wanted to be doing during their final month of engagement. Had they not spent so freely when they were choosing vendors, they wouldn't have been put in the scramble position. Everything worked out for the wedding weekend - but free spending = more stress in the end. They also decided to cut some labor costs from certain vendors that were passed along to the waitstaff which wasn't appropriate - so please, if you've hired a florist, pay for them to do the arrangements - its a part of their job.

If you've got a budget, aim to stick to it and keep in mind - when you come up with the number - pad it a bit for last minute things!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Weekly Round Up: The Inner Workings of Wedding Photographers

I was fortunate enough to have drinks last night with Missy of Missy Photography {who is beyond fabulous} and decided that this week's round up would consist of photography articles that give more insight into Wedding Photography, so read on to be educated!

I am a firm believer in the Engagement Shoot - it gives both the couple and the photographer the chance to warm up to each other and for the photographer to become attuned to how you are in front of the camera, so that they can prepare to take incredible images of you on your wedding day. Read this by Jason Aten for more insight!

A lot of my clients are always a bit surprised to find out pricing for photographers - they seem to think that photographers show up on the wedding day, take pictures, upload them to a CD and that's it. Their job is so much more than that, read this, from the International Society of Professional Wedding Photographers to gain more perspective on the inner workings of a photographer and their business.

Lastly, check out this insightful article from Seattle Metropolitan - written by photographers about their craft.

Happy Weekend - Stay Warm!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

2009 Wedding Lessons Learned: Making Your Wedding Your Own

2009 Wedding Lessons Learned

I was lucky enough to work with a couple this year who was the epitome of a movie worthy love story - they had met years and year ago, only to go their separate ways to be reunited a few years later and realized that they were deeply in love. When they decided to get married, you could see on their wedding day that their love was very genuine. It wasn't until we were entrenched in the coordination process that I came to find out that this was the bride's second marriage. And, she was determined that the first marriage wasn't going to have anything to do with her "real marriage" {as she called it!}.

Besides the location and venue being vastly different, my bride made a point of being a bride on her wedding day. It didn't matter to her that this was the second gown she was going to wear, she was going to go big or go home. She didn't harp on "but I've already done a first dance, or I've already cut the cake" she wanted to do these traditional aspects with her new husband and there wasn't any reason not to. Too often I hear that second weddings really aim to be the antithesis of the first wedding, so much so that all the fun parts of the wedding are scrapped because 'been there, done that'. I don't see why things need to be that way. It's your wedding day - make it your own. Regardless of whether or not you've already done x,y, and z aspect of a wedding at the first, if you and the hubby want to partake in that aspect - do it. Its not the same as the first time around. It simply can't and won't be. The people are different {even if a few guests came to your previous wedding}, the atmosphere is different and above all: you are different. You've grown and gotten more enlightened, you've expanded your world and you've gained a wider perspective in life. There isn't a possibility that you're the same as you were, so there's no possibility that your second wedding will be the same.

Go ahead and own your wedding day, you deserve it!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Getting to Know This Wedding Planner

I was fortunate enough to attend an advance screening of the new Clint Eastwood movie, Invictus, last night and it prompted me to write a more personal post about my heritage, since it is so important to me and because not many of you within the wedding world know all about me! {Side note, go see the movie, its fabulous and very poignant to the history of South Africa}

I was born in Durban, South Africa into a family whose history is very ingrained in Durban {ps: Durban is the largest port city in Africa, but if you're not from there, don't waste your time visiting!}. Both sides of my family had settled in South Africa long before 1900 from Scotland, England, Wales and Germany. While I don't know exactly why each of my ancestors wound up there, my family has a strong foothold in the local community and would never consider themselves anything but purely South African. I come from an extremely small family given the fact that my father's older brother married my mother's older sister and well that tends to keep things really small. After my parents got married in their early 20's, they had the opportunity to travel the world for a few months before settling down in London in 1969. After a year in London, they moved to New York City (86th and 3rd to be exact) and a year later they wound up in Montreal. They finally moved back to South Africa for 6 years, which during that time, I arrived. Quite a few years before, my families' company had been sold to a US conglomerate {now known as Unilever} and apart of the deal was that my dad got a job in the US. So when I was small, we moved over to NYC for my dad to work.

Despite growing up in America, I've never actually felt that American. Yes, I had my South African accent practically beaten out of me in grade school {but, its still around - especially after a fun night out or when we go back to the home country}, but my core values are very much influenced by my family and my SA heritage. I've been extremely fortunate to be able to return home yearly {and did 9th grade there} to see my family and friends and am really lucky to be married to a Michigander who loves the entire country. By going back yearly means that I have lived through Apartheid {it means apartness in Afrikaans} - and have first hand experience with how the country has transitioned since Mandela's election in 1994. Even if you aren't schooled in South African history, its hard not to be aware of the difficulties that the country has faced for over 60 years {Apartheid was from 1948 to 1994} - the high levels of crime, the political and economic problems - but - to me, its still home. Its the place where I can have a meal comparable to Per Se but at Chipotle prices, the place where I can drink the most amazing wine of all time {personal rec: try anything by Mulderbosch}, the place where I can go on Safari and spend time in the bush, and most meaningful of all the place where I feel the most comfortable in the entire world. I am proud to be South African.

So, go and see the movie. Its a feel good film with three very important messages for not only South Africa, but for life in general: Truth, Reconciliation and Hope. How one man {Mandela} can inspire 43 million people to be better human beings is one gigantic lesson that we can all learn from.

If you are thinking about visiting the country, let me know! I'd love to give you the 'insiders' travel information!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Weekly Round Up: Wedding Goodness

Happy Friday y'all! I hope that everyone has a fabulous December weekend!

Through my internet travels this week, here are some awesome things that I have found and rounded up for you:

The fabulous Laura Hooper of LHCalligraphy, has created several wedding related stamps that are sure to spice up your invitations, I wish these had been around when I got married!

Julianne Smith aka GarterGirl has a fantastic discount going on for the newly engaged. Comment on her blog {in 3 words!} to earn a discounted one of a kind garter!

Found these articles some time ago, but wanted to share them with you!

Take this quiz to find out if you need a wedding coordinator!

Here's a fabulous article on the value of hiring a wedding coordinator - really gets to the heart of it!


Thursday, December 3, 2009

2009 Wedding Lessons Learned: Dealing with Debbie Downer

2009 Wedding Lessons Learned

As a wedding planner, one of my roles is to act as a neutral party on the wedding day - particularly between parents and the couple getting married. Most of the time, everyone is just so happy and full of love that there isn't any issues, sometimes however, this isn't the case and emotions get overwhelming and get the best of people. I know, as a bride, that its very difficult to shut out the negativity that you may receive from a family member, but honestly, you have to. You have to make a concerted effort to shut out words and thoughts that will upset you. Its your wedding day! Be happy and strong! Remember that who ever is lashing out is doing so because their emotions and thoughts are unstable - it almost never actually has anything to do with YOU. Its hard to do, but blocking out the negative will ensure that your day isn't a gloomy one.

I witnessed this at a wedding this year and it simply broke my heart. The mother of the bride was insistent that her daughter had planned the worst wedding ever {trust me, it was quite the opposite}. She stated this over and over to the point that her daughter became inconsolable and miserable. Her newly minted husband tried his hardest to bring her back up to enjoy the beautiful day, but he couldn't. I was devastated at everyones behavior and repeatedly tried to get everyone into neutral corners and to just let it all go. In the end, all the bride is going to remember is how her mother ruined her fabulous day. Please - don't let this happen to you. If you think or know that someone will try and be a downer on your day, tell your wedding planner so they know in advance to keep everyone apart. We can intervene and will intervene, but sometimes the damage is already done.

Seek out positivity on your day, and don't let any negativity bring you down - you're getting married!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

2009 Wedding Lessons Learned: Mr.and Mrs. United Front - Resisting the Naysayers

2009 Wedding Lessons Learned

One would hope that a couple's wedding day is a very true reflection of them as a couple, and not a day influenced by anyone else. It's sad to say, but that's not always the case and I wish it were. Fortunately, I had the opportunity and honor to help plan and coordinate a wedding this year that was 100% couple only. Firstly, they did a two day affair - small intimate ceremony in their backyard followed by a fabulous soiree the next night for their closest 100. For them, this was exactly how they wanted their wedding and no matter how 'untraditional' the whole affair seemed to everyone else, they didn't care. And believe me, they received a lot of flack for the whole experience. The parents didn't get it, there were friends and family that were upset about who got invited to the ceremony and who didn't ... the list of gripes goes on and on. But, the couple stood firm in what they wanted and they didn't listen to the naysayers. It was their wedding and they could and would do what they wanted with it. And you know what, it was an amazing weekend that every guest loved.

So, how hard or easy is it to close off all the white noise that you'll inevitably get regarding your wedding planning? Firstly, be a united front. You're a mini family, the two of you, stay that way. This is probably the first of many battles that you'll face together once you're officially Mr. and Mrs. - this is the perfect time to start working together and be a unit. This may be difficult, but if you trust and support each other, and above all, believe in each other, it will be much easier to stand your ground. No one wants to be bullied into something anyways, right? Secondly, its your wedding. Do what you want. There really isn't any notion of 'traditions' these days as everyone wants their wedding to not be typical and the same. The new tradition is creating your own traditions. Picking and choosing what represents you as a couple, not doing something because someone says you have to. If you find an idea, great! Make it your own. Believe in it. Trust me, any resistance you may get before the big day will be gone when everyone sees how truly fabulous your wedding day is.

How will you be representing yourself as a couple on your wedding day? How have you handled any push back you've receiving during your wedding planning process?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

2009 Wedding Lessons Learned: The Valueless Meaning of the Unlimited Wedding Budget

2009 Wedding Lessons Learned

I know that talking about money is like talking about a dirty little secret. No one feels comfortable doing it, BUT, when it comes to planning your wedding, its a conversation that absolutely MUST HAPPEN! Whenever I have a consultation, its one of the first questions I ask, simply because as a wedding planner, knowing what your threshold is, makes me do my job better. I will recommend vendors that are appropriate to your budget, so no one's time gets wasted. So, please don't think I am being nosy, I am just trying to do my job!

When you sit down to discuss your budget - please be reasonable. There is no need to have a wedding that will start your marriage off in debt. Remember that a wedding lasts for one day, a marriage lasts forever. On the flipside - if you have unlimited funds for the wedding day - set a limit. Its actually not helpful to any of your vendors if you say the budget is unlimited. Unlimited and Wedding mean very different things to each person. Unlimited could mean $50,000 to one vendor, or it could mean $1,000,000 to another vendor. I know those are two extremes, but they get my point across, unlimited does not hold the same value for every person. Set a limit.

I ran into this budgetary conundrum with one of my couple's this year. They were adamant that unlimited meant unlimited, no expense spared. When we started getting quotes from vendors for every aspect of the day, unlimited came to have a very defined number that was near where close to Unlimited. They had quickly realized that if you say "unlimited" to your vendors, they will create very pricey proposals. We had to scale back every vendor to fit into their definition of unlimited - something that could have been avoided if a budget had been pre-determined.

For more budget information, please read this post!

Monday, November 30, 2009

2009 Wedding Lessons Learned: Being a Smart Bride

2009 Wedding Lessons Learned

I was fortunate enough to be trusted with the wedding planning of a dear friend's older sister. My friend called me just after Christmas last year and said "My sister just got married and she wants to get married in eight months. Please tell me it isn't possible!". Much to my friend's horror, I said yes, its possible. For some couples a shorter engagement just works better. But, it only works well though if you are a decisive bride and a decisive groom. Since you have less time to gather information and ideas, you need to be willing to act quickly to make decisions. {That being said, never ever rush a decision or act impulsively, just recognize that you can't mull over things for months on end}

We did plan their wedding in just under eight months and it was fabulous. The lessons that I learned from this bride have forever changed the way that I will plan weddings - her organization of time management was simply incredible. She is a busy woman with a very fast paced career and she knew that out of the roughly eight months we'd be planning the wedding that she would be away at trial for two months {two separate trips of one month each} which meant that when she was in town that her focus needed to be on her job and the wedding. Her fiance also has a busy career but she stressed to him how helpful it would be to her if he could pick up some of the slack whilst she was away. She trusted his judgement completely and for the aspects that the groom and I worked together on, he was a delight!

What this bride taught me was that time management skills really are an art and a lifestyle. We made appointments very far in advance, I kept her on track with extensive to do lists and cut information down from vendors into slices of concise and to the point offerings. By keeping each task small and manageable, she was able to plan the entire wedding with 3 months left to spare before the day. As we got closer, all we had left to deal with was details that were dependent on RSVP's. I was thoroughly impressed with her ability to look over information, process it and make a decision and stick to it. No waffling, no wavering - just trusting herself and her groom that the day was going to be fabulous no matter if they did a candy bar or not {we did!}.

As my mother always tells me "The early bird catches the worm" ... when it comes to Wedding Planning - have a clear timeline, keep focused and remember to trust your decisions and your vendors.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

A very thankful Thanksgiving this year

Despite my mild shock that 2010 is only five weeks away and that my birthday looms ahead, I want to wish you, dear readers, the Happiest of Thanksgivings. I hope that you have a relaxing and yummy holiday.

Since it is the day of all days to show your gratitude and thankfulness, I thought I'd list a few of things that I am thankful for this year:

My family {and that fact that we're all relatively healthy}

My amazing Frenchies, Lulu & Max who teach me everyday not to take life too seriously

My wonderful friends who are always there to listen

My amazing clients who allow me to be apart of one of the most important days of their lives

And lastly, I am thankful have lots of love in my life - from many different sources!

{via Martha Stewart}

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

2009 Wedding Lessons Learned: An Effective Day Of Coordinator

2009 Wedding Lessons Learned

I will start this post off with a bit of clarity - a Day Of Coordinator isn't just for the Day Of. It is the worst description ever. If I was truly just a Day Of Coordinator - I would literally know nothing and show up on the wedding day and try to figure out what was going on. So, since that isn't the case, I refer to "DOC" as Month Of Coordination, as we would together for the month before the wedding to educate the planner on what you've planned, create a timeline, do a site visit to ensure that your "Day Of" Coordinator is clued into everything that you envisioned happening.

I find that most brides that hire a Month Of Coordinator do so because they want a smooth, flawless day. They realize that they want an insurance policy that has their best interest at heart {trust me, the in-house coordinator at your venue does not have your best interest at heart - they are on the side of the venue} and who will go above and beyond to make sure that your wedding day goes off without a hitch {or at least hide the hitches}. Therefore, in order to make your Month Of Coordinator work effectively - please give them all the information they need for your wedding day. Every contract, every bit of expectations, every vendor {no matter how insignificant} should be handed over for your coordinator to run through and get educated. To be honest, I am not reading your contracts trying to figure out how much money you spent, I am reading them to make sure that I know what has been promised to you by the vendor.

The lesson learned here is that you, the bride, need to tell your coordinator everything! I had a near unfortunate incident this year when a bride failed to mention that she was having an ice luge delivered for the wedding. Well, not that an ice luge was a big deal, but she never told me, the venue, the catering firm and the irony of all ironies, she had chosen a beverage package that didn't include vodka {apparently the ice luge drink of choice} ... which meant that the waitstaff had to scramble to rustle up some vodka and we had to re-arrange the room layout to accommodate the ice luge. Obviously everything got sorted out, but it set the vendors back in their timeline. Had I known about this element, I would have prepared everyone for it. Clearly, the bride didn't appreciate what else went into having an ice luge. So please, inform and educate your Month Of Coordinator.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Green Family Photos!

The husband, dogs and I were so lucky that Spencer Lum of 5West Studios had some time to do a family photo shoot with us a few weeks ago in the West Village. Check out some of the family:

I know that I completely biased, but seriously, my dogs, Lulu & Maxwell are insanely cute.

2009 Wedding Lessons Learned: The Out of Control Guest

Series: 2009 Wedding Lessons Learned

Weddings are a joyous and celebratory occasion ~ its only natural that drinking and celebrating have become two peas in a pod. I've encountered many a overzealous guests in my time and nine out of ten times, they are completely fine and harmless, just enjoying themselves and the open bar. The times though when a guest has one too many and becomes a liability, it puts your vendors in a very awkward position of being bouncers.

The particular wedding in which I am referring to, one guest made it her mission to be incredibly inebriated {at one point I thought she had been hazed, that's how bad it was}. She was seen in the hotel bar drinking for two hours prior to the ceremony, which meant that she was trouble from the beginning. {Don't get me wrong, I am all for having a few drinks here and there, but being sloppy and slurring before 3PM is just well, sloppy) She proceeded to spend the entire wedding either drinking more or harassing all the vendors. The bride kept insisting that she was fine, but her behavior was actually very detrimental to the service providers, never mind that we were on a rooftop and I kept having the most horrible visions ... the final nail in the coffin came when she made an unsolicited speech during dinner that was well, a once in a lifetime experience to hear. The bride was so hurt she left the dinner and I was put in the position of having to remove this guest from the wedding. Its not a role that I want to put in, but I will when the guest is ruining the celebratory atmosphere.

If you know before the wedding that certain persons are going to take things too far with alcohol, give your vendors the heads up. We have seen it all, but if we know who to watch for in the beginning, we can cater things so that theirs and yours night doesn't end up badly.

Monday, November 23, 2009

2009 Wedding Lessons Learned: Post Wedding - Dealing with Issues

Series: 2009 Wedding Lessons Learned

Every bride assumes that her wedding will go smoothly and seamlessly. And almost all do. Some minor snafu here and there may arise, but its normally dealt with very quickly and has no lasting affect. I, myself, endured such a thing on my own wedding day when our cocktail tent which was attached to the side of the house, came crashing down 1 hour before cocktails and pulled off most of the side of the house. I was very lucky to only find out about this weeks after the wedding and even luckier that my day of coordinator dealt with it and got the issue fixed before guests arrived.

Enough about my wedding, getting back to a 2009 lesson learned - at one of our weddings this year, the bride had carefully chosen with the florist these beautiful silk lamps to complement the short centerpieces. When the room set up was complete, the room did look amazing and the lampshades were lit up with candles. Unfortunately, right before the first dance, several of these silk lampshades went up in flames. It wasn't out of control or dramatic, but it did ruin the look of the table since we had to pull the burnt ones off the table and extinguish the candles in the ones that hadn't burned yet. The bride was not fussed and glad that we were able to remedy the situation quickly. The issue only really got out of hand when the florist arrived at evenings end and claimed that we were lying. It was evident that the shades had burned, but she still refused to believe us. In fact, she charged the bride to replace them. It became a match of she said / she said and it left a sour taste in both my mouth and the brides mouth.

The bride and I were left with repeatedly calling and explaining what had happened. We checked with the videographer in the hopes that they had caught it on film {sadly, not}. It took lots and lots of persistence to finally get the florist to see that it was simply just an accident. My bride was left with a poor impression of the florist because of the way she had handled the situation. Not exactly how she wanted to end things.

The lesson learned here is that things will happen on your wedding day that are out of your control, but that dealing with them quickly post wedding will give you a better lasting impression of that vendor ~ positive referrals speak volumes versus ending the relationship with a spat.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

2009 Wedding Lessons Learned: Contracts & Honesty

Series: 2009 Wedding Lessons Learned

Our 2009 wedding season started out with a huge lesson to be learned. I've discussed this topic frequently here on the blog, but it needs to be said over and over again. GET CONTRACTS FROM ALL YOUR VENDORS! No matter how involved your vendor may or may not be on the wedding, get their services and pricing in writing and have it signed by yourself and the vendor. A contract, above and beyond making things binding, is a guaranteed way to ensure that you get the service that you believe you are paying for on the wedding day, from the person you believe it is being provided by.

This lesson learned was learned by my client the hard way, when she learned 3 days before the wedding day that whom she believed was her hairdresser for the big day actually was scheduled elsewhere. I had insisted to the bride that she get a contract from the salon, but she assured me that the salon was professional and had everything together. Turns out, they just wanted her money and were prepared to leave my bride and bridal party out in the cold. We were fortunate enough to have time to fix the situation once we found out that the salon was backing out, but what if we hadn't had time?

Please please please, get contracts from everyone involved in your wedding day. If you've hired a coordinator, we want to see every last contract {including, yes, the ice sculpture being delivered} to ensure that you get what you paid for.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Series: 2009 Wedding Lessons Learned

As promised, over the next few weeks I'll be posting a new series called "2009 Wedding Lessons Learned". After each wedding that I am apart of, I sit down and write a debriefing. This debrief includes what I thought went well, what I thought went poorly, as well as reactions and feedback from my clients. While it would be naive to say that every wedding goes 100% smoothly and that there are no errors, being behind the scenes means that I get to see the good, the bad and the ugly. I decided to write this series to help you, the brides and grooms and vendors out there as a way so that we can get closer to 100% perfection. Vendors see ALOT in this industry and every idea that's out there that you may want to include may not always be the most successful or appropriate for your wedding. I will aim to deconstruct as much as possible from what I have seen at each of the weddings I was apart of this year to ensure that you get the big picture!

If you have any comments or questions, please do ask!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

St. John Wedding

For those that follow me on Twitter know that yesterday we flew down to Puerto Rico to board a cruise ship for 3 days to celebrate our friend's wedding in the Carribean. Today is the day that our friends, Adam & Kim are tying the knot! We are so excited to be sharing their wedding day with them.

{via Island Style Weddings}

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wedding Etiquette Wednesdays

Every Wednesday, I will try to shed some light on a Question that I find floating around the wedding'sphere.

Are couples expected to send thank you cards to guests who don't send a gift or bring a card to the wedding?

While you'll assume that everyone you invite to your wedding {and particularly those that actually attend the wedding day events} will give you a present, its not always the case. I've found that its not out of spite, its out of forgetfulness. Since guests have a lot of time to get you a present {pre-wedding day and then up to the 1st Anniversary} there's ample room to simply forget.

For every gift you receive {even if it is multiples from one guest} - they in turn must receive a thank you note for each gift they've given you. Your thank you note doesn't need to be some huge long letter, just a simple note {handwritten} thanking them for the gift + your intended use of said gift and that's generally enough. If they went above and beyond, let them know.

But, if a guest at your wedding simply attended the wedding but failed to give you a gift, there's no reason to send them a note thanking them for coming to the wedding. Ensure that throughout your reception, you stop at each table or group of people and thank them for coming. That personal attention to your guests is all that you need to do.

From Emily Post regarding thank you note etiquette:

•Anyone who gives you an engagement, shower or wedding gift, even if you have thanked them in person. Individual notes should be written to people who contributed to a group gift.
•Anyone who gives a gift of money: cash, checks, contributions to savings accounts and donations to charities. Mentioning the amount is optional, but it does let the person know the correct amount was received. You should mention what you plan to do with the money.
•Your attendants. A warm personal note attached to your gifts to your attendants will let them know how much you appreciate their efforts and support on your behalf.
•Anyone who hosted a party or shower for you. Ideally these notes should be written within two days of the event. Each host or hostess should be thanked individually with a note and a thank you gift.
•People who house or entertain your wedding guests. A note and a small gift should be sent to anyone who houses or entertains out-of-town wedding guests.
•People who do kindnesses for you. The neighbor who accepts delivery of your gifts when you are at work; the cousin who supervises the parking at the reception – anyone who assists you before, during or after your wedding.
•Suppliers and vendors. You don’t have to write everyone you hire for services, but anyone who exceeds your expectations will appreciate a courteous note of thanks.
•Your parents or whoever is hosting your wedding.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Real Wedding: Victoria & Vijay

We were so excited to plan and coordinate Victoria & Vijay's wedding in Saratoga Springs. They chose to have their ceremony at Victoria's childhood church, The Church of Holy Trinity, which was so beautiful and touching. The reception took place at the gorgeous Hall of Springs, which originally was a water bottling facility turned now into an event space. The wedding was a great combination of Victoria's home roots and Vijay's Indian heritage. My favorite part was the impromtu appearance of a popular Mumbai DJ who got everyone to Jai Ho throughout the hall.

Father and Daughter entering the Church

Simple and elegant bouquet - Victoria wanted an elegant and streamlined look

Love the reflecting pool on the Hall of Springs grounds. During their photo session, we witness some random people taking a swim to cool off - probably not the intended use of the pool!

The entire reception area

We had a combination of large arrangements and then smaller arrangements with candles. The bride's mother sewed the table runners to match the invitation suite which was made in India

We ended the evening with a fun candy bar - which the adults seemed to love more than the kids!

Venue: Hall of Springs, Saratoga Springs
Photographer: Seth from Niki Rossi Photography
Flowers: Sunflowers

Monday, November 9, 2009

Monday Musings

Paris, je t'adore ...

"The arms of love encompass you with your present, your past, your future, the arms of love gather you together."

by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Friday, November 6, 2009

Weekly Round Up

For the past week or so, Emilie Duncan, a wedding planner, has written a series on information that vendors wish brides knew. I implore you to check it out. There is a ton of HELPFUL information in here that will make your experience with your vendors a million times better.

Paloma's Nest, a fabulous creative firm that invented the original ring bearer bowl has got some incredible holiday gift items for sale - check them out for unqiue gifts!

I hope that everyone has an amazing weekend!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Poll: What does Today's Bride Want?

Most of the advice that I offer up on this blog comes not only from my professional experience of wedding planning, but also from my experience as a bride. I aim to share insight that is practical, realistic and most importantly ~ applicable to all. Having been a bride I can relate to the stress, drama, excitement and pure elation that each of you feel.

I would like to take a moment to hear from YOU, on what you think Today's Bride wants. Is it calm during a sea of tulle? Is it assurance knowing that the awesome vendors you've picked will create and execute all your wedding day desires? Is it knowing that your day of coordinator is the best money you spent? Or is it the feeling that no matter what happens on your wedding day, you get to marry your best friend and that's the only important aspect?

Share your thoughts / wants / needs ... the advice I write is meant to be helpful to you, so I want to make sure that it is!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Notes from a Wedding Planner

Firstly, I am in total shock that it is November. What happened to this year so far? It zoomed by. Since we're now headed into Holiday madness, all I can think of is Turkey, Christmas Tree's and being wrapped up in a scarf, my new hat from Land's End and walking around Fifth Avenue in the freezing cold while sipping hot cider. Let the Season of Good Tidings begin!

Before all the holiday craziness gets everyone riled up, a few announcements and such:

If you're planning a holiday party, please consider hiring us to help make the process and event go smoothly. Want to be a guest at your own affair? We can ensure that is what happens

Our 2009 Wedding Season is drawing to a close in the next few weeks ~ the weddings have been AMAZING this year and we are so proud to be involved with them and the fabulous couple's who hired us. In honor of the 2009 season, I will be posting a Series on "What A Wedding Planner Learned from 2009" which will encompass all the takeaways I learned from this year - the great, the good, the bad and the downright ugly. What worked and what failed, what drove the bride and groom nuts and what made them ridiculously happy. Series will begin on November 15th, so stay tuned!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

We hope you have a ghoulish and garish halloween weekend!

{via Martha Stewart}

Monday, October 26, 2009

Tips for Honeymoon Planning

I had a chance this past weekend to sit down and catch up on the pile of magazines that have been calling my name while they sat unread. I was flipping through Travel+Leisure when I came across an article that got me thinking about Honeymoons.

As a wedding planner, I get asked alot about my thoughts on where to go on a honeymoon and how much money to save for it. While I think the honeymoon is a very personal travel experience for each couple ~ I do have a couple thoughts that may be helpful:

*keep your wedding budget and honeymoon budget separate: they are separate activities and thus the funds for them should be separate

*when thinking of a locale for your trip think about where you want to go and what you plan on doing once you get there. If you aren't the type to go hiking, ziplining or do anything outdoorsy, then don't pick a place that mainly caters to those activities, as they aren't relevant to you

*try to amass hotel points through a credit card so that you can get some free nights at some fabulous hotels ... paying for the wedding? hint hint!

*drop the H word {honeymoon} when making your reservations ... you may get some extra perks or deals because of it!

Check out this article about affordable & fabulous hotel deals in the caribbean while checking out places to head to for your much deserved vacay!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Exciting Times for Wedding Planning!

After months and months of brainstorming and researching, I am finally ready to unveil our new packages of services that we offer! Essentially, we've upgraded the "Full Planning" package to something a little bit more full service {rehearsal dinner planning + coordination, RSVP management, DIY projects all now included!} which will let us get even more hands on in your wedding weekend planning process. We've kept our "Full Planning" and "Partial Planning" packages and upgraded our "Day Of Coordination" to "Month Of Coordination" ... and finally, we've given each package a nifty NYC-esque name, just to give them a little bit of polish! If you are interested in further detail on any of our services, please email me @
lisadee {at}!

In other fab news, check out these links:

The fantastic ladies of Masterpiece Weddings & Swoonoverit were kind enough to add me into their Be A Planner series. Check it out here to see how I got started in wedding planning and to see another lovely picture of my french bulldogs!

Julianne Smith, the genius behind Garter Girl, has written an excellent post for brides and grooms alike. Before you sit down and plan one second of your wedding, read her post! It will be a life saver in the wedding planning process.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Mini Announcement

Just a quick note to let you all know that on Friday, I will be announcing our updated coordination packages! I've spent a long time doing research and tweaking what we offer to give you the bride & groom MORE services to streamline your wedding planning.

Our website will be updated in the coming weeks with a nifty new services section as well to reflect the changes.

Stay Tuned!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Wedding Decluttering 101

While most people do a gigantic Spring Cleaning during the actual Spring, I find that I get restless around this time of year and always feel the need to purge my home and mind of unwanted clutter and excess. There's something about the colder weather that makes me want to be undone of all the junk. Perhaps its because the holidays are near and its always a time of reflection. I find that the end of the year always signals thoughts of a renewed spirit and mind and home!

How can we apply this de-cluttering to your wedding planning? Very simply it turns out. Its so easy to get bogged down by all the details, inspiration, ideas and guests who inevitably will drive you crazy {"seriously, just mail back the RSVP card and yes, for the 1000th time, we have a wedding website that outlines everything you need to know ..."}. Regardless of how close the wedding day is, TAKE A BREAK! Decide to spend some week nights and weekends entirely wedding free. Don't think of anything wedding related. Forget the diet. Do anything else {perhaps whatever it was that you did before the wedding planning began ... if you can remember those days!} that will renew your mind and clear you of any undue stress. You can't think clearly and rationally if all you have is stressful thoughts that are taking up mental space. Treat your brain like a valuable piece of real estate ~ if it ain't paying rent, evict it.

How do you unwind and declutter?

Friday, October 16, 2009

Weekly Round Up: Advice + Good Things

While it appears that we've skipped right over Fall and gone directly into Winter here in the Northeast, I am hopefully that the rain will subside and the lovely Fall weather will come back before its too late!

There must be something in the water this week when it comes to wedding planners ~ both Leila from Be Inspired PR and Melissa from Masterpiece Weddings wrote posts about the value of hiring a wedding planner. Check out both posts here and here. There's lots of goodies packed into both posts, so read carefully!

Two new announcements around the blog-o-sphere as well! The blog formerly known as Vintage Glam has transformed into Ruffled and is simply delightful. And, The Sweetest Occasion is up and running. Check out both for inspiration and divine wedding related everything!

Happy Weekending!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

"I Did It My Way"

I had the pleasure this past weekend of helping to coordinate a wedding that was so full of love and personality that I can't stop thinking about it. When I had originally met with the couple 18 months ago, they were planning a much more elaborate affair with a sizable guest list, but then the economy tanked and well, they needed to revisit their wedding day concept. And revisit they did. They scrapped most of the guest list, changed venues from a vintage theatre to their favorite restaurant in their neighborhood. They chose this place as it has a private back garden that they could tent and have for the afternoon and evening - no time limits, no hassles. They invited only their closest 30 family and friends and they chose to hold their ceremony 5 blocks from their apartment. We met on Friday evening to share a bottle of wine and decorate the tent - LED candles, Japanese lanterns and we used cupcakes as the centerpieces on the tables. On Saturday, it was windy but sunny but the wedding was fantastic.

What I loved most about this couple and their wedding is that it was truly them. Nothing over the top or pretentious, just like them. The guests there really and truly cared about them getting married. They were handed an unfortunate twist of events and they made the wedding work for them. They cut out the fluff so that their day was their day and not some big overdone affair that didn't reflect them as a couple.

I think its important during your wedding planning to step back and reflect ~ is the affair that you are creating really and truly about you and your soon - to - be? Does it reflect who you are as a couple? Or, are you doing things because someone else is dictating your style? Remember that its just one day {albeit one of the biggest and bestest days of your life!} and you want that day to be only about YOU.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Happy 1st Anniversary!

One year ago today, the extremely lovely Kristin and Mike became man and wife! I had simply the best time working on their wedding and I still can't believe its been a year!

{courtesy of the fantastic 5WestStudios}

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Blame it On The Rain

I will caveat this post by saying that I unintentionally got married in a Hurricane. While every summer there's always warnings that hurricanes can and do hit East Hampton, I think I was like 6 the last time one hit, so as you can imagine, not many people take the warnings that its hurricane season seriously. While the week prior to our wedding we did know that our tented affair was going to be a wet one, my husband and I didn't get upset. You can't control the weather, so why get upset? I think our vendors were surprised that we just went along with it. I didn't cry or scream, what can you do? Just go with it and have some fun.

{view from our tent with the rain}

If you do choose to get married outdoors - PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE have a solid rain contingency plan in place. While obviously your rain plain is going to pale in comparison to your amazing outdoor plan ... keep in mind that there's nothing you can do short of doing the anti - rain dance with your bridal party to entice the rain to shove off elsewhere. If you have to enact your rain plan - just go with it. Besides the fact that you picked it, make sure you are really 100% comfortable with having whatever aspect of your day there.

And, pretty please, keep in mind that no one has any control over the weather. Not even a meteorologist.

{courtesy of Sandor Welsh Photography}

Friday, October 2, 2009

Weekly Roud Up: Fantastic Wedding Finds

With it being the start of decreasing temperatures et all, this weeks round up is full of lovely things that will chain you to your computer for ages - perfect since not many want to be outside while the temps dip low.

Firstly, I totally forgot to post this last week. A wedding that I coordinated in June was taped as the pilot episode for a new TV show called In Full Bloom, which follows the amazing Shawn Rabideau as he transforms rooms and spaces with flowers. Check out the promo clip for the show here and see me in action while I help out!

If you haven't been following along Broke Ass Bride's Wedding in a Week, you've been missing out on some awesome giveaways. So head on over here, to check out all the goodies!

A truly talented friend of mine, ABCD of ABCD Designs {Bespoke Stationary} is giving away a personal custom stationary design set to a very lucky winner in honor of her two year blog-i-versary! Her creations are simply a delight, so get yourself over to Pretty Lovely to enter in the contest. I promise, if you win, you'll be pleased as punch.

And lastly, while its a tad early to be thinking about all the upcoming holidays ... you may just want to since Paloma's Nest as added some nifty handcrafted holiday items and gifts to her etsy shop. Check them out before they are all gone!

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Welcome Fall!

Having been born in South Africa, my inner self is only happy when its hot outside. I don't mind heat, humidity or the stickiness that summer brings. So, when the thermometer dives south below 70 degree's - I'm not the happiest of campers. BUT, I have learned to love Fall, particularly in the Northeast when the leaves change colors, you can pull out your warm sweaters and riding boots and bake and cook lots of hearty delicious meals. I love that October means pumpkin and apple picking, spending time outdoors with family and above all, that nesting mode that the month seems to put me in.

Another reason to love the month of October is that it's Breast Cancer awareness month. Like so many others, this disease has taken away many loving and important people in my life, but I am hopeful that some day, we can find a cure. With that in mind, be sure to get your monthly self exam checks in and try to partake in as many breast cancer related events. So many of the magazines have great items for purchase that support breast cancer research - be sure to make purchases that can save lives!

I recently saw a blurb about this website: Yogabear - a website that connects cancer survivors with free passes to local yoga studios. I thought that sounded like a brilliant concept. Also, check out: Pink Initiative, a non profit organization made up of wedding professionals who collectively fundraise for breast cancer. If you're a bride, consider making a donation {perhaps in lieu of favors for your guests?}

Have a wonderful and healthy Fall Season!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

What I made at Flower School

It goes hand in hand with working in the wedding industry that I absolutely LOVE flowers. I love the amazing things that florists can do with flowers, I love the smell that each stem gives off, basically I am a nut for flowers. But, I also consider myself creationary challenged - I am fantastic at visualizing but conception to creation {when I do it} never turns out the way I envisioned. So, in order to rid myself of this affliction, I went to Flower School last night.

The amazing duo, Bess & Ivie of Celadon & Celery, opened their studio for me to learn from the masters. Besides being so much fun, these ladies run an eco-friendly flower studio ... a rare find in Manhattan. Most all of their materials and flowers are eco-friendly or sustainable, which I just think is brilliant.

Ivie, my flower guru for the evening started off teaching me how to make a boutonniere ... I completely shocked myself with actually being able to follow along and produce one that actually looks pretty attractive!

(Any guesses on which one is mine and which is Ivie's?}

We then moved on to making a floral head wreath ... things got a bit more complicated here, but mine turned out okay. Its a bit disjointed on layout, but the rosemary smells amazing ~ just what you want from a flower girl going down the aisle - a rumbling tummy because the rosemary has got her hungry.

Next up was a bridal bouquet. I totally impressed myself here - I think mine is quite beautiful. Its romantic, asymmetric, loose and natural.

{We did a french braid down the stems with pearl pins on each braid}

Lastly, we made an awesome centerpiece. We started by putting kiwi branches into the bowl for character and then added in hydrangea leaves, millweed, rosemary, gigantic dinner plate dahlias and lastly, persimmons. I think it turned out so well.

I got to bring home my creations and I laid them all out diligently for my husband to see, when he got home he actually thought I had bought them from a florist - not made them myself! {I did have help though!} Perhaps I've been cured from my creationary challenge?!

Thanks Ivie & Bess! I had such a fun time learning!

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