Thursday, January 29, 2009

Do you have that in my size?

Perhaps you are the woman whose always known what her wedding dress was going to be, or perhaps (like me), you have no idea, yet you know what you don't want.

Finding a dress can be a simple or a difficult task, it really depends on fundamentally understanding your body type and what looks good on it. I encourage you to try on many different styles/shapes/colors when you enter into a bridal salon - you really never know what is going to look the best on you. Firstly, stark white just about never looks good on anyone, but there are some really flattering shades of white, off white, champagne and the like that do. Same goes for different cuts - try sleeveless, strapless, with sleeves, ballgown, a-line, empire waist, silk, satin, lace, beaded or plain. There are so many options out there to choose from. Just try a few different things on and find a dress that a) you love and b) that's comfortable (this is important!) and c) that looks amazing on you. I promise, its out there.

Lastly, don't take an entire entourage with you when you are trying dresses - take a select group of no more than 3 people. Too many opinions will give you a headache and confuse you. Also, if the sales people try to push dresses on you that you would rather curl up into a ball and throw on the ground, don't try them just to please the sales person. Ask why they think its right for you and if their rationale doesn't convince you, say no thank you. They aren't going to be wearing the dress to your wedding - you will be!

Happy Shopping!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Where do we begin?

I thought I would take a moment and discuss research and your wedding planning. Fortunately, or unfortunately, we live in an 'information age' and it seems that there are millions of wedding related resources out there. This can work for you, or against you, which is the unfortunate part. There are so many amazing places to look for ideas, inspiration, venues and vendors - where does one begin and/or have the time to take everything in?!

Firstly, limit your resource net - find a few magazines, websites and blogs that emulate YOUR STYLE, don't bombard yourself with every last possible website or magazine that mentions the word "wedding". Stick to the ones that can add real value to your planning process.

Secondly, make a notebook or a file that will house all of the wedding related treasures you will find along your research journey. (I did this for my own wedding and I still do this for my clients) By doing this, you can reference these inspirational bits when you are interviewing vendors, or making decisions related to your overall reception concept.

Lastly, remember that you will come across a multitude of things in your research, but choose only those that you cannot live without. You can always take an idea and use it for another event you hold in your life - 1st Anniversary parties, Birthday's, Holidays etc. I come across things everyday that I would have loved to have used for my wedding, but I either didn't know about it then or it would have been too much. I save these for ideas related to dinner parties, items to decorate my house or other events that I will plan (I just got to use some ideas at a baby shower last weekend!) - so, take note, there's always some other appropriate time to use your inspirational bits! As I keep telling my husband, we can always renew our vows in a few years!

Happy Planning!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Helpful Advice or Not?

I had the opportunity this past weekend to spend time with a very close friend from college, who happens to be getting married this July. I've been offering bits of advice here and there to her along her planning journey, but only when asked. I have a tendency to get overexcited when talking about weddings and give information overload to whomever asked, so with friends I try and keep a low profile and only give advice when explicitly asked for it.

We talked alot about how to manage all the advice that brides receive during their engagement. It seems every time you mention that you are planning a wedding, everyone whose ever been in a wedding or had a wedding themselves has loads of advice and information to offer. Some of it is helpful, some of it is not. How do you manage to listen to whatever they are saying and when none of it is what you want or is applicable, how do you politely get them to stop offering more? I am a big believer in being honest with people, so my advice (sorry!) is to say thank you to whomever it is and then mention that things are coming along and that if you want any more advice / information, you'll ask for it. Its a small hint that you're not going to listen going forward.

How do you all manage to stay sane during the process when everyone wants to give input?

Friday, January 23, 2009

Real Weddings

This is a wedding that took place this past Fall in the Heart of New York City. The ceremony and reception were at Bryant Park Grill. I absolutely loved this couple, they were so sweet, so in love and so amazing to work with! They worked with their florist, Gardens Bloom to come up with a very romantic, ethereal look for the evening, using lots of tealights, orchids and candles, which gave the room a very beautiful ambiance. Their photographer is none other than Spencer from 5West Studios, who never ceases to floor me with his incredible images. Enjoy!

(images courtesy of 5West Studios)

Thursday, January 22, 2009


We are very proud to announce that we recently joined the vendor directory at Brooklyn Bride! Bklyn Bride is an awesome website for anything wedding related - resources, ideas, vendors, and most importantly a ton of Real Weddings. We are so excited to be included in the Vendor Directory. The mastermind behind Bklyn Bride, Vané, has created such a wonderful online source of information for weddings, you can't miss it! I highly recommend checking it out if you haven't done so already.

Click here if you'd like to go directly to the Anderson Green Events listing!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Church Decoration

Check out a fantastic lifestyle resource blog. They recently posted about keeping the cost of church decoration down, and I am quoted! These are just helpful tidbits that you may want to keep in mind when discussing arrangements for your ceremony site!
Keep Church Decor Costs Down

Fanciful Fleurs ...

Ikebana, the traditional Japanese art of floral arranging, is composed of form, balance and harmony. Fleurs NYC owner, Jessy Wolvek, was trained in Ikebana and these elements coming poring through in her unique and beautiful floral arrangements. Having recent sat down with Jessy over Bellinis, its easy to see where she finds inspiration to create truly magnificent works of floral art. Her personality is full of style, grace and flair – which all resonate in her deeply sophisticated and creative arrangements. She doesn’t stick to the usual suspects when it comes to creating these floral wonders – she delves into little known varieties and hues, giving bouquets and centerpieces a truly uncommon twist. If you’re looking for simply gorgeous flowers for your wedding or for a weekly or monthly subscription (a divine indulgence), I highly recommend stopping by Fleurs NYC and getting acquainted with Jessy’s floral masterpieces.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Venue secured, now what?

You should feel like a big weight has been lifted once you've found a venue and secured it. Its probably starting to really feel like you're getting married! Since you're on such an awesome roll of getting things accomplished for the wedding, whats next?

Finalize your guest list, look for a gown and start thinking about who should marry you.

For your guest list - you typically get a 15-20% decline, so think about this when you are putting your list together. If your goal is 100 guests at the event, invite 115 to 120 (and so on and so forth). Also, try and avoid the A list / B list way of inviting guests - people can find out and/or figure it out (I was the recipient of a B list invite a few months ago - it was obvious too - received the invitation 5 days before the wedding ...). You don't want to upset people by inviting them too late or run the risk of them finding out that they didn't get invited. People shouldn't expect to be invited, but if someone is running around town saying they can't wait for your wedding, yet they aren't actually going to be a guest that day, just tell them. Or, think about inviting them. On the A list.

Looking for a gown - its one of the best parts of getting married! Start tearing out gown pictures and hit up a few salons. Try everything on, even if you think that on the hanger its not going to work. You'll be completely surprised. I also suggest only taking 1 or 2 people with you for these first visits - you want an outside opinion, but not a jury.

For an officiant - if you have a family affiliation, look there first. If you don't, start reaching out to various officiants. You really want someone who understands you as a couple and who you think will be the best person to make your union official. Definitely interview a few officiants - and find out what will be required of you as couple to be their clients. Is there pre-marital counseling? How many times will you be required to meet? Are there workshops you need to attend? I personally loved our pre-marital talks, but for some, they may not have the time or want to delve into the nitty gritty (my favorite question was "in your opinion, what is the role of the husband" ... that really got me thinking), so when you meet with your potential officiant, make sure all of these time requirements are outlined.

Now, relax. Don't forget to spend some non-wedding related time together with your soon to be. Its the most important item on your checklist of things to do!

Happy Planning!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Can we have an open flame?

When visiting venues, feel free to ask any question you like. Don't hold back. Remember, this will be your space for your wedding and you absolutely can ask how many toilets there are for each gender or how they have handled unruly guests in the past. When you walk into the venue, try and picture what your guests will see and feel. Do you like the entry way? Is it easily accessible by young and old? Ask where coat check happens and where escort cards will go. You want to get a good enough verbal description that while you are standing in the space, you can picture what your wedding day will look like when the area is all set up.

As I said, any question goes, so ask it. Be sure to ask if there is a bridal suite, what size tables they have, what the linen and cutlery options are, where bars get placed, how the waiters operate when serving. Also, remember to ask if open flame is allowed, what vendors you can bring in for florals/decor/entertainment/photography etc - do they have a preferred list or can you use anyone? How does the menu work - make sure you fully understand what your options are, and how your choices affect the price point. Get everything in writing - the price per head, any usage or site fees, taxes, gratuity, extras.

Lastly, the most important thing to ask is if they are flexible on pricing. If you fall in love with a space but its a tad outta reach, say that you love it, but you were hoping to spend XXX instead of YYY and see what they can offer you. I'd say that most venues are willing to bend a bit to accommodate you, at the end of the day, they would rather have a happy bride and groom than none at all!

Happy Planning!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Searching for the right venue ...

There are so many amazing options when it comes to venues for your wedding. How will you narrow it down to finding your perfect place? The venue that you finally decide on should be a place that is a combination of a few factors: right pricing, , holds the right amount of guests, right space, right look and right style. Can you picture your first dance in that space? Does the place just simply exude you and your fiance? Will the costs associated with this place fit in with your budget?

Perhaps you've always known where your wedding is going to be held, or perhaps you have no clue. Be sure to visit a ton of places in a wide variety of "categories". You've got the traditional hall, grand ballrooms, lofts, restaurants, gardens, estates, barns, you name it, there's probably a space that can host a wedding.

Take your time, this is probably the first and biggest decision you need to make regarding your wedding. Look at many many places, even if you think that a place won't fit the bill. I've found that lots of places online have images that don't do the space justice, so look at places online with a grain of salt.

Happy Planning!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Budgetary Spending ...

I've been thinking a lot lately about budgets and wedding budgets (in this economy, its not hard to!). When I meet with potential clients one of the first things they mention is that they don't want to overspend because a wedding is one day and the marriage lasts a lifetime. I agree, but there are ways to make your budget (regardless of size) work to bring your amazing and personal wedding to life, without overspending.

Firstly, there are lots of elements that contribute to your wedding and your budget needs to account for all of them, including any miscellaneous, last minute items (for my wedding this included an extra tent for the cocktail hour as the lovely Hurricane Hannah decided to join us that evening ...), so make sure that your original number includes any last minute, forgot about items. Here are the elements that your budget should include (and remember, just about everything gets taxed and if its service related, factor in gratuity, and if someone is delivering something, its going to have a delivery fee as well)

Ceremony Site - check if being a member of the congregation gets you a discount, otherwise you probably will be paying for usage, music, clergy people, programs etc

Venue - this could include a site fee, a per head cost, valet or parking fees

Catering - food, staffing (service), gratuity for all those servers, and the possibility of insurance / permits (always check to make sure your caterer can actually legally serve food and drinks)

Bar - alcohol, mixers (fruit juices, lemons, limes, mint anything that makes drinks even more yummy), ice

Florals - flowers that are out of season = imported from Holland which means that there will be a higher cost per stem (I always suggest sticking to what will be in season, there are amazing florals out there that are always in season), don't forget that you'll be charged a delivery fee and possibly a pick up fee if they need to return at the end of the night, and you could pay for the truck rental

Photographer / Videographer - what is expensive is everything you get once the wedding day is shot. If you don't think your grandparents want 1000 images in wallet size, remove this from your package. Shooting a wedding is not where the price comes in, its the product you receive afterwards

Entertainment - if you go the band route, you pay per piece, DJs just for the DJ himself, you'll have to tip everyone again at the end of the night, so factor that in as well. This goes the same for anyone you hire to play during the ceremony and cocktail hour. If they are traveling to your event, you probably have to pay for travel too

Wedding Planner - some price on a flat fee, some on a percentage of your total expenditure. Go over the package details with your planner during your consultation and make sure everything you want is in there and take out items you don't want. Your contract should include the price and any other related fees i.e. travel or lodging

Transportation - gratuity for the limo or bus driver

Dress - check if alterations come with the price of the dress, shoes, undergarments, hair accessories - should all be accounted for

Miscellaneous - umbrellas, extra champagne for the limo, bridal magazines (yes, this should definitely be in your budget!), hair and make up trials, rings!, if its a destination wedding - your travel costs during the planning phase, site usage fees (i.e. using elevators for load in/out, security guards, list goes on and on!)

Tented wedding - building a kitchen, all serverware,

Rentals (linens, tables, chairs, cutlery) - do these come with your venue or must
your rent them yourself?

This is just a brief list, but as you may see, there are a ton of elements that contribute to your budget, so make sure you cover as many as possible when you are putting together your budget.

If you have any questions regarding putting together a budget, or want to know more factors to include in your budget, just email me and ask! I'd be happy to answer any and all questions!

Happy Planning!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Couture Custom Creations ...

What first struck me as unique about Elana and Julie, the duo behind Mélangerie, was that they are simply just creative and thoughtful. These two elements seep through their custom design creations. They really take the time to get to know their clients in order to create invitations, event memorabilia, favors and packaging that is unique to the couple getting married. I absolutely LOVE gift baskets and the mélange ("a thoughtfully curated group of items accessorized with distinct design details, and no cellophane wrap, thank you") that Mélangerie creates are by far the most chic I’ve seen in ages. They will create 'custom wedding weekend guides' that not only provide wedding weekend details, but that will include anything unique to the couple – where they met, where they fell in love, where they love to eat, spend their time, just about anything. Beyond the sophisiticated map, items included range from “something green” to books to Not For Tourist Guides, to really yummy bites to eat! Since each mélange is custom created, it really is all about you and what is important to you, what a fantastic way to welcome your guests to your wedding!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

2009 ...

The wedding season of 2009 has "officially begun"! I am back in the USA and have been catching up on emails, bridal magazines and have been brainstorming on what sort of information I want to keep posting about. Later on this week we will feature a fantastic 'stationary' (they do more than stationary, but I am still jetlagged from Africa, so bear with me!) firm, and a wedding from our 2008 season. I can't wait to share it with you. Going forward, I will presume on my tidbits regarding wedding planning and in between feature anything amazing that I stumble across.

I can't believe 2009 is already here, but I have a wonderful feeling that it is going to be an amazing year for all of us!

Congratulations to anyone who recently got engaged!

Happy Planning!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

2009 and Almost Back!

Happy 2009! I hope that the holiday season was fun and relaxing. My husband and I are currently in the midst of flying back to NYC to get back to work. I spent a big portion of our trip working on ideas related to upcoming weddings and wedding planning and have a ton of information to share with you, which I am really excited about. Back to regular (and daily) posts tomorrow, so check back to see what Anderson Green Events has in store in 2009.

Happy Planning!