Friday, November 19, 2010

NYCWEDPLANNER has a new home!

We've moved! Please update your bookmarks, readers and any other place you keep this blog stored. We're now permanently over at We look forward to seeing you over there!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Let's Get This Party Started ... If Only There Was an Emcee

So, when you hire a professional DJ or Band for your wedding, one of the elements of their job that I always ask about is who is the emcee for the evening? An emcee is the person is the designated driver for the night. They make the appropriate announcements, they keep the order of events happening, basically they run the show from the entertainment perspective. And most wedding related DJ's and Bands have a person whose role is not only to play awesome music to also make sure that everything happens on the timeline. This means that they invited Father Bob up to make the toast, the invite the Brides Father George up for their speech, they invite the crowd to join Groom Billy and his mother Ethel on the dancefloor. Basically, the emcee is the one who guides the roles of honor up to the spotlight.

From the point of a wedding planner, one of the biggest mistakes you can make is not having an emcee. {And keep in mind, the emcee doesn't need to be from the entertainment, they can be appointed by the Bride and Groom}. We had a couple this year who opted to have their amazingly talented DJ friend spin at the wedding. And seriously, this woman played awesome music, to the point where I wished I had an iphone and Shazam since I am so terrible with song names, but I digress. The DJ had the whole turntables thing down. She rocked. BUT, she was not an emcee. An element of the wedding day that I believe is crucial. She apparently told my bride and groom that she had "it covered" which really meant she had a microphone for someone else. Who that someone else was, I am still waitng to meet them. As the bridal party entered the room I asked the DJ if she was announcing them into the room {as an aside, when I created the timeline with the bride and groom, I was told that said DJ had the emcee'ing thing down} she looked at me as if I had asked her to eat fire. The response I got was "I spin tunes, not speak". Hmmmm, okay. So your truly emcee'd the wedding that night.

If you want the evening to flow well, you need someone to guide it. You need someone to announce things, plain and simple. Its very hard for your guests to know its your first dance if no one actually tells them. Its hard to tell 200+ people you are cutting the cake if someone with a microphone doesn't let them in on what is happening. So please, before you sign the dotted line with your choice entertainment, please make sure they have a designated speaker for the party. Otherwise, you may as well not have any special moments throughout to share with your guests since they'll miss them anyways.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Real Wedding: Swanky Southampton Affair

I may be a bit biased, since I had a tented wedding myself, but I love tented weddings. I do. I love creating this fabulous experience for your guests literally from the ground up. Adding details throughout the day that make the space truly your own. Kristin and Jarret did just that. They had a truly scrumptious wedding. It was magical. I loved every single day of being apart of their wedding day. I'll let the images speak for themselves:


Venue: Whitefield Estate
Tent: Sperry
Caterer: Thyme and Again
Flowers: Claire Bean
Photography: Craig Paulson
Stationery: Pen & Paper Design
Keepsake: Paloma's Nest
Wedding Planning: Anderson Green Events

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

When Bad Photography Happens To Beautiful Brides {&Grooms}

This first lesson we'll start off this series with is about the extreme importance of hiring a Q-U-A-L-I-T-Y photographer for your wedding day.

Firstly, I will preface this post with the following: I totally get that budget plays a large part in choosing your wedding day vendors BUT there are some amazing photographers out there who are very talented that aren't charging 5 figures for a wedding photography package.

One of our first weddings of the 2010 season had a gorgeous bride and a handsome groom. They were also the nicest people on the planet. Their big day was filled with so much love and family, it was hard not to cry during the ceremony! Their reception was pretty cool as well - the band literally had guests rocking the dance floor the entire night ... to the point were guests didn't want to sit down for their food. It was that awesome of a reception.

But, like everyone getting married - my couple had a budget that they were working within. So, on the recommendation of a family friend, they hired a Wedding Photographer. While this person was extremely nice and carried a fancy camera, a quality photographer he was not. He continuously was absent for major image worthy moments. He also came without an assistant, and used myself and my assistant throughout the day and evening to carry his equipment, help set up shots and generally be his assistant. Not the wedding planner's role at all. And just about every shot he took was completely generic. Nothing creative, nothing exciting and nothing that wasn't just basic.

Obviously everyone's tastes are different but you want incredible images to remember your day. Not mediocre images that you hide when guests come over. There's too much talent out there to use someone who hasn't picked up any tricks of the trade since 1950. You want to hire photographers that create images that literally make your heart stop. Not images that look like they should be on some blog that makes fun of images.

After all is said and done on your wedding day - literally all you will have to savor the memories of one of the biggest days of your life is your photographs and your video {if you are getting a videographer}. Wouldn't you rather spend a bit more on fabulous photography?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Monday Musings: Our 2010 Wedding Season Has Ended

Our final wedding of 2010 happened this weekend and it was beautiful! The couple had the most amazing weather for November, I was so happy for them!

We've got lots of exciting blog posts coming up: Real Wedding images and a new series: Lessons Learned: We will go through many of our weddings from the 2010 season and discuss what we learned as planners and as brides and grooms. We did a similar series last year that was very well received.

I took this image this weekend and I love the colors in it:

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Celebrating Veterans Day

"To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with lots of pride in the heroism of those who died in the country's service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations." - Woodrow Wilson, Nov 1919

Please take a moment today to reflect on everything that America's military has done in order to keep this country free. Take a moment to thank our veterans for their hard work, their bravery and their lives.

Via The Examiner

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Real Wedding :: A Manhattan Soiree

One of my most favorite things about Liz and Matt's wedding is that they had a theme, they stuck with it but they didn't over do it. It was a very classy cocktail reception at Studio 450 this Summer. They created an atmosphere for their guests that was sophisticated, chic and above all, they had tons of room for dancing! Which the guests did a ton of.

Check out some fabulous details, shot by my amazingly talented friend, Trent Bailey:


Venue: Studio 450
Caterer: World Wide Events
DJ: DJ Gaza
Flowers: Opalia Flowers
Rentals: Broadway Party Rentals

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

An Update :: Life Coach Teachings

It has been a few months since I wrote about the journey that I have been on for four months with my life guru. I've made some big decisions in the past four months, all of which have been very positive. A few of the changes that I've adopted into my life, although small, have had big effects and I wanted to share a few of them with you:

1. YOU come first. As women we tend to put everything first: family, work, cleaning, caring, being generous, errands, basically running through our daily lives like lunatics {or maybe its just me that felt that way?}. My guru made me realize that putting everything first before myself was actually doing a huge dis-service to everything that needs my attention in life. By putting me first and my needs first, I can be the best that I am for everything else that needs me.

Putting me first above my family, our dogs, my clients, my home is hard. I have to work on this every single day. I have to remind myself daily that taking 10+ minutes per day to de-stress, zone out and do something nice for myself {even if its just sitting staring at a wall without running my to do list through my head like a bad elevator song on repeat} - by taking a little time for just me, I can be better at every single thing else that I need to attend to.

2. Be positive to yourself. Anyone who has met knows that I have a snarky tone on things, but my snarkiness isn't my overall view on life. I am actually a pretty positive person. I always strive to see the best in every situation. But, I wasn't being positive about myself. Like most women, my internal commentary consists of "i am too fat, my thighs are enormous, this isn't right, that isn't right", which plainly sucks as an attitude. It doesn't help you out in any way. So you have to be positive. I am not thrilled with where I am weight wise, but my big legs are muscular and strong, which helps me ski, run and walk the dogs. I have beautiful eyes that my husband thinks are amazing. It is so much better to focus on positive in yourself than the negative.

I know we are all our worst critics but seriously, stop and take a moment to say "Damn girl, you are hot". I promise, you are and telling yourself that will only help you in the long run.

3. Focus on eating high quality foods. My coach is a nutritionist by trade, so of course a lot of our conversations are about food and consuming food. My husband and I became quasi-vegan in mid-September. A switch I honestly thought my mayo-loving man would never make. I will be completely upfront about this: we didn't opt to stop eating meat and dairy for animal rights reasons, we stopped for our health. I say we are quasi-vegan because to my recent health issues I need some form of animal protein so we are eating fish. {As an aside, we had to consult my GP to discuss this new healthier lifestyle and she okay'd all our changes}.

While I miss cheese on a daily basis, and going out to eat makes things a bit more complicated, I've seen such a glowing effect on my skin, my eyes, my hair and my waistline that its a lot easier to stick with the healthier living. We aren't consuming anything that is processed. I am eating enough fruits and vegetables in a day that I sometimes worry there's a farm growing on the inside!

These aren't radical huge changes, but they've made radical huge outcomes in my life. It's all about baby steps right? Make sure that today you stop and reflect on how awesome a person you are.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Monday Musings: Traveling Fools

Mr. G and I have been on a weekend jaunt marathon these past few weekends and the travel isn't ending until January. Its crazy. We're basically planes, trains and automobiles every weekend. All in the name of adventure, experience and life.

Here's to the craziness of the holiday season!

Can you guess where we were this past weekend?

Friday, November 5, 2010

Fabulous Friday: Happy November!

While I am still in disbelief that it's November but I am definitely excited for the Holidays ... I've already started organized our holiday decor and listening to Christmas tunes. I know, its early but I am excited!

Be sure to check out United with Love, a new wedding site full of amazing tips and tricks for weddings. They had a great article this week about your first invitation consultation - insightful!

Formerly known as my Kate Parker Wedding, Prepare to Wed is an excellent wedding planning resource, with another fabulous article on letterpress invites.

And finally, Ruffled as relaunched with a new layout - be sure to check it out!

Any fabulous finds you'd like to share?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

It's Your Wedding Day: Relax & Celebrate!

Congratulations! All your efforts in wedding planning have paid off and the big day has finally arrived!

Remember to EAT {even if you are so nervous / excited that you don't think you can}, and don't sweat the small things {like if you see a flower out of place}, the day goes by so quickly, you want to make sure that you really are in the moment and enjoying yourself, not worrying about a thing. Let your vendors worry about the details!

{courtesy of Martha Stewart Weddings}

This post was originally published on July 4th, 2009

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Obtaining A Marriage License

Remember why you've been staying up late putting together welcome bags and choosing between gold and metallic gold cushion covers? You're getting married! The ceremony is oft overlooked in the planning part, but its the actual reason that you're hosting a fantastic and fabulous party on the wedding day! So, please keep in mind that without the ceremony, none of this would be happening. Its also the most meaningful aspect to the whole day.

Regardless of your faith or ceremony, your officiant will have done some pre-marital work with both of you {surprisingly enough, my husband and I thought we'd dread our counseling, but it actually was our favorite part out of the whole planning process!}, and you will have gone through the ceremony details during your planning. But, keep in mind that prior to the wedding weekend, you will need to have obtained a marriage license in the state that you are getting married in {not the state that you live in, as this may be different}. Also, if you are having a destination wedding, check with your home state marriage license office to see what requirements you must fulfill {depending on the country you get married in, the US may not legally recognize the union, so you may have to have a civil ceremony to make it USA approved}.

Marriage license requirements differ depending on what state you are getting married in, so you'll want to look into these early in the process. They may have a same day turn around once you've submitted the application, or it may be days or weeks, so you want to make sure you get the license in time for the wedding day! Also, check what forms of ID you'll need when you present your application as well as the cost of the license {most only take cash or money orders, so you'll want to be prepared}. Lastly, almost all states require both the bride and the groom to be present, so plan accordingly. I also suggest not going at lunch or on a Friday ... at least in Manhattan. Its a zoo then.

You'll want to bring your license to the rehearsal and give it to the officiant. The three of you can then decide when you'll want to sign it and have your witnesses sign it. Don't worry, even if the bride and groom sign it at the rehearsal, its not a legally binding document until your officiant signs it ... so you're still single that evening!

This post was originally published on July 3rd, 2009

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Making Sure All Your Wedding Vendors Show Up!

You've hired all the necessary vendors, kept up with payment schedules for all of them, you've gotten everyone attired, your timeline is confirmed, all the details arranged ... what's left?

If you've hired a planner, this normally falls under their jurisdiction, but if not, you'll need to confirm all the details with your vendors. Keep in mind that if the number of attending guests has changed in any way, shape or form, you'll want to notify the caterer and the florist ASAP! You don't want to get charged for food or arrangements for people who aren't attending the soiree. Make sure you confirm guest numbers well in advance of the last possible day you're allowed to. {Traditionally two weeks prior for the Florist, and 3-7 days prior for the Caterer}

You'll want to confirm that your vendors have received the timeline, they have the correct directions to the venue, they know any policies related to load in / load out, and most importantly, who the point of contact is for the wedding day {so when they are stuck in traffic, they can call and assure you they are on the way}. You'll also want to confirm if you are legally obligated to feed them during the event {check your contracts!}, so you can give this number to the caterer {vendors should receive a meal that is not what your guests are being served and is substantially cheaper than the meal you've chosen for your guests}.

This is also the time to speak with your vendors about any other pertinent details of the day {must play / do not play lists, any photographs you must have etc}. Don't wait until the last minute to get these lists / details out to a vendor or think you'll remember on the wedding day. You'll have enough on your mind that day!

This is also the right time to communicate with your bridal party about their roles and responsibilities on the wedding day as well as their wedding weekend schedule. You'll want them to know what time to begin getting ready and where they will be getting ready as well as any details related to transportation. This is extremely important especially if they have a spouse / guest that is not in the bridal party, so that they know what is going on as well and can be organized. Also, if any member of the bridal party is traveling to the wedding, you'll want their travel details as well.

This post was originally published on July 2nd, 2009

Monday, November 1, 2010

Monday Musings: November Already?

How is it possibly November already? I can't believe that the holiday season is just around the corner and that 2011 will be here before we know it. Yikes, I already feel completely unprepared!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Fabulous Friday: Happy Halloween!

In honor of the Halloween holiday this weekend, a quick note to say: Dress Up, Have Fun, Don't Eat too Many Sweets and come Monday, we'll see you in November!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Importance of a Wedding Day Timeline

The wedding day is getting closer and closer! There are three key elements that you should be focusing on at this point:

1) Finalizing the wedding weekend timeline + confirming vendor commitments
2) Finalizing all wedding day details
3) Relaxing and pampering yourself

Creating a timeline is the most important aspect to ensuring a seamless wedding day! You'll want to make sure it includes all your vendor arrival and departure times, the actual wedding day events {including ceremony, toasts, dances, extras!} and any other information that is pertinent to your vendors {special load in / load out instructions, meals requirements, contact person information etc}. You want to have your timeline finalized before the final week before the wedding, so that you can send it out to them that week. Check out our past post about Timelines that goes into much greater detail!

Once your timeline is set, begin to finalize all the day of details: having your escort cards / place cards finished, welcome bags made up, if you're having favors, guest book or any other fun elements, having them all completed and ready to go. You do not, I repeat, do not, want to be dealing with these at the last minute as it detracts from your relaxing and pampering. Being a relaxed bride and groom will make all the difference on the actual wedding day.

This post was originally published on July 1st, 2009

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Have You Rented Everything You Need?

If you've chosen to host your reception in a place that requires you to rent your own 'everything', make sure that A) the rentals are within your budget and B) that you work with the caterer to ensure that you rent everything you need {including trash cans, server ware, coffee makers etc}.

When picking your rentals, be sure to go to the rental showroom and bring your floral proposal {or florist} with you. Your rentals and overall design should all be cohesive. While everything doesn't need to be matchy matchy, it should look like all your choices from chairs to linens to silverware to flowers and vases all work together.

When you receive your rentals proposal, remember that you can always revisit the showroom to tweak your choices and to change quantities. Be sure to find out from the showroom what the final day to change quantities is, so in case your projected number of guests changes, you will have enough chairs and glasses!

This post was originally published on July 1st, 2009

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tracking Your Wedding RSVPs

You've sent out amazing invitations, now its time to get the responses mailed back to you. Hopefully when you created your guest list, you kept an electronic record of it with which you can use to track RSVP responses. If not, there's a bit of typing in your future!

You can either purchase Wedding RSVP programs that will help you track responses, or you can use excel. Either way, you'll want to be organized enough to keep every response recorded and up to date. Aim to update every time you receive a response in the mail, if makes your life easier, which in the weeks leading up to the wedding, is our optimal goal!

Firstly, you want to track yeses and nos {as well as correct name spelling and any guests that are coming for your escort cards or place cards}. After that, if you are doing a pre-selected dinner entree choice, you'll want to keep track of that. And finally, if you are monitoring their accommodations for the wedding weekend, you'll want to note that as well {helpful if you are delivering welcome bags around town}. Your spreadsheet need not be fancy or elaborate, concise, detail led and to the point wins out here. Being able to give an accurate guest count and meal choice to your venue / caterer on the appropriate day will be incredibly helpful.

{courtesy of}

This post was originally published on June 30th, 2009

Monday, October 25, 2010

Monday Musings: Positivity!

I've woken up today with a positive feeling which in turn has led to some positive changes, yay for Monday!

{Different perspective on the Gurkin in London, taken by moi!}

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Creating Your Wedding Day Details

Even though weddings have been happening for ages and ages, no two weddings are the same. Every couple brings their own personalities into the wedding, so don't worry that your guests have seen this or that before. Maybe they have, but not with your unique twist.

As the date rolls closer, you'll want to start working on the little details ~ from guest book ideas to favors to how to number your tables. The creative ideas are endless, so be sure to brainstorm and come up with a big list to narrow down off of. Perhaps you are known for your different travels ~ try to incorporate that into your table names but using postcards from places you've been together. Or, instead of a guest book, use a wishing bucket {take a wish, leave a wish}, or set out a Polaroid camera and have guests take their own Polaroids to add to an album. There are endless ideas. When it comes to your escort card table, use different mediums to hold your escort cards {for example, my husband loves artichokes, so we had each card placed in an artichoke}. There are tons of wedding websites and magazines that showcase thousands of amazing ideas ... just be sure to choose some that have meaning to you both {i.e. if neither of you drink wine, don't give out personalized bottles of wine as favors ~ your guests won't get it}. When it comes to favors though, edible is best, especially since your guests can have it as a late night post wedding snack.

Be sure that during the week leading up to the wedding that you've already got everything you need in place, you don't want to spend your last few single days cutting wine corks in half for the place cards or making labels for your aunt's strawberry jam. Plan in advance so that you can relax before the wedding day.

{courtesy of Martha Stewart Weddings}

This post was originally published on June 27th, 2009

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Deciding on your Wedding Registry

One of the first things a couple is inclined to do after getting engaged and setting the date is creating their gift registry. You're spending a ton on your weddings all for you guests sake ... they should repay you, right? Wrong! The wedding registry shouldn't be viewed as a 'tit for tat' spending experience. It should however, be viewed as a place where you can communicate with your guests all the lovely new adult things you'd like to have as your start your life together as Mr. & Mrs.

Before you even consider what you want, consider what you have and what you need. Really take time to go through your kitchen, dining, bedding, bath and general house needs, otherwise you are going to wind up with gift overload and waste a lot of weekends returning presents for store credit and gift cards. If you are starting with a relatively 'unfurnished' kitchen, this is the time and place to ask for all those nifty gizmo's that will turn you into Martha Stewart in mere moments. Seriously though, if you don't cook now, you probably aren't going to cook because someone bought you a $300 mixer in green. Keep your registries realistic. If you've never hosted a dinner party or don't think that china will ever be hand washed in your house, perhaps don't register for some overly expensive plates. But, if you are into cooking and do think that you'll be the go to home for holiday dinners, then by all means, all these items to the list. The same goes for all the bedding / bathroom stuff you ask for: if you are asking for all new stuff, pick a theme and let it run through all the elements.

Remember that despite all the hard work you'll put into scanning items onto your wedding registry, some guests will purchase off list, so be prepared for those one of a kind items ... that you usually can't return.

Lastly, you'll be getting presents long before the wedding and perhaps long after the wedding, but Thank You notes must be sent out immediately!

{courtesy of Martha Stewart}

This post was originally published on June 26th, 2009

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Choosing Your Wedding Jewelry

One of the vendors that you shouldn't leave to the last minute is your jeweller. Rings can take several weeks to personalize, customize and make their way to your hands. You want to ensure that you have ample time to search for the appropriate ring to complement your newly married self. Take time to try all sorts of bands on {both you & the husband to be ~ for the men that have never worn a ring, this is a big step in life ~ comfort is key!} and be open to trying on anything, as you never know how it will look & feel. If you want to incorporate some part of an heirloom or family jewel, take time to meet with several artisans before selecting a design. These rings are forever {or until an upgrade!}, so you want to be sure that it is a design that is timeless.

Make sure that once you've received the rings that you add them to your insurance and keep them safe until their big debut!

This post was originally published on June 25th, 2009

Monday, October 18, 2010

Monday Musings: Apple Picking & Baking

We went apple picking and pumpkin picking over the weekend, which means my kitchen has turned into a mini bakery!

Did you have any fun adventures over the weekend?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Fabulous Friday: Holidays Already?

Has anyone else noticed that there are Christmas displays already out in stores? Its October people! Halloween hasn't even happened yet! Speaking of which, any good costume ideas floating around?

McDonald's in Japan has started offering 'wedding packages' to couples ... yay or nay? Oddly, I am intrigued and slightly disturbed by this concept.

I've got a few ideas ruminating and I'd love your opinion: would you prefer wedding planning advice that is honest and realistic or wedding planning advice that is sugarcoated and unrealistic?

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Art of Choosing Your Wedding Cake

Wedding Cakes have come a long way since they were very traditional in look and taste. Now you can practically get any size / shape / design / taste that you desire. When researching your cake baking options, this can be terrible for your waistline, but so amazing for your taste buds. You want to sample enough cake that you are confident that it tastes amazing, but more importantly, you want to do enough research to find a baker that can bake what you envision. Some bakers are better for more classic & elegant design, some for more funky & edgy. Decide which baker fits your needs.

Be sure when you go in for a meeting / tasting that you bring your ideas and possibly some images in. Bring swatches of your dress, bridal party outfits, linens etc. This is so helpful to the baker. Anything you can tell them about what the design of the day is going to be, can help them ensure that your cake fits in with the overall scheme of things. Keep in mind that cakes are priced per slice and that sheet cake should cost less than your regular cake. The only time doing the smaller tiered cake + sheet cake situation gets sticky is if you are doing a multi flavored cake. More in depth designs will cost more {because of hirer labor} than something more simple in design. Also, if you are bringing your cake into your venue make sure to ask if there is a slicing fee ~ some have this and some don't {same goes with caterers, check first}. Sometimes the slicing fee can make bringing an outside cake in not worth it.

Happy Caking!

via Martha Stewart Weddings

This post was originally posted on June 24th, 2009

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wedding Day Hair and Make Up

Pregnant women hear this all the time: "you're glowing!". I think the same applies to brides on their wedding day. Its one of the few days in life when our natural, inner beauty takes over and seeps to the exterior in a warm glow. I haven't met a bride who wasn't just simply stunning when the big day arrived. Which is why you want to be sure you hire the best hair and make up people to enhance your look.

Just like every day life, you don't want to look overdone or unlike yourself, so be sure to do lots of research when it comes to hiring a hair stylist and make up specialist. I find that brides leave this to the last minute, but please don't! Out of all the wedding planning, hiring a fantastic hair / make up vendor should be up there with scoring an incredible wedding gown. So, look online for reputable artists and check out their portfolio's. If you use a particular brand of make up that has a make up counter, go and ask if anyone there does bridal make up. More often then not, someone there does. Ask your former bride friends for recommendations {particularly if you thought they looked amazing on the wedding day}, talk to your salon for recommendations.

Be sure to schedule a trial with your appointment hair and make up artist{s}, this is non - negotiable! This is the time to experiment with different looks and decide what suits your face, gown style and overall wedding day. Discuss your gown and goals for the wedding. Share details on the wedding design. These are all very helpful to your artist! Once you've decided to go ahead with this particular person, sign a simple contract with them {this ensures that they will come and provide services on the wedding day}. I am a huge fan of having the artists come to wherever you and the bridal party will be getting ready {its fun + practical, easier for 1 - 2 people to come to you instead of moving way more than 2 people to a salon}. You can also get your photog to stop by and take some fun getting ready shots as well.

As far as a beauty regime goes prior to the wedding {which helps your skin look amazing}: eat healthy and drink a ton of water. If you are going to hit up the spa the week of the wedding, be sure to test out whatever facial / procedure you are going to have months before to ensure a smooth run.

{My own hair and make up on my wedding day! Hair and Make Up done by the ultra amazing Jodi + Heidi of Damali NYC}

This post was originally published on June 23rd, 2009

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Wedding Day Transportation

One of the last-ish details that any couple should be thinking about is transportation. If you are all in one place {getting ready, ceremony, reception etc} that this detail isn't for you, but if you have to travel from place to place on the wedding day, you need some mode of transportation.

Firstly, write down everyone that is going to need a lift {I've included ALL possibilities, some may not be applicable to all}:

Photographer / Videographer

Once you've compiled your list, be sure to add everyone up to determine numbers.

Then decide your pick up and drop off locations for everyone on the list. By doing this, you are figuring out exactly who needs transportation and where they are coming and going. Think of where you can re-use limos/cars so save money. Also, think about your guests: are they at a central hotel or staying all over the place? If they are all over the place you may actually be better off letting them drive or providing telephone numbers to taxi's rather than trying to get numerous shuttles/buses organized. Know your group of guests: are they the type to want to drive themselves, or take a group bus?

Once you've got the details down, contact local transportation companies to get pricing. Keep in mind that most have a set minimum of hours and that anything beyond those hours is considered over time. Also, find out how you communicate with the drivers {is there a central dispatch, or do you get a drivers cell #?}. Are you allowed to celebrate in the car with a little bubbly or not? When would you need to supply directions? When you've found the appropriate service: GET EVERYTHING IN WRITING! Pick Up / Drop Off locations, pricing + overtime, times and what the waiting policy is.

{courtesy of}

This post was originally published on June 22nd, 2009

Monday, October 11, 2010

Monday Musings: Columbus Day

Happy Columbus Day y'all!

Friday, October 8, 2010

happy friday

this week I have been on a search for interesting and cute ways to stay organized. I found this wedding organizer that makes me want to be a bride all over again!

You know you see a bride when you see a woman waking with a huge binder or notebook stuffed with checklists, calendars, photos, and magazine clippings! For all you super organized brides here is a trendy binder I found on Russel + Hazel's website to keep you organized. It's a little high priced but a stylish alternative to plain rubber and plastic.

Have you heard of any of these seriously untrue "wedding rules"? A fabulous article found on TheKnot explaining the top ten wedding planning myths that you can ignore.

Money can be a sensitive subject to some people and everyone deals with spending and saving differently. Some of us, like myself are spenders, and others would rather have a large savings at all times. As an almost newlywed couple it is important to talk about this really boring but really necessary topic. Here's a great article I found that had been published in Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine about some of the money mistakes newlyweds make, read this so you don't do the same!

enjoy your weekend everyone

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Choosing Your Wedding Invitations

When compiling your wedding budget, please do keep all your printed items in mind! Printing Save the Dates, Invitations, Direction cards, Reception cards, RSVP cards, Menus, Programs, Escort Cards / Place cards, Thank You Notes does add up, so make sure you've left some room in the budget for them all.

Keep in mind that the first bit of insight into the wedding that your guests will encounter is your Save the Date or Invitation. It sets the tone for the actual wedding and gives your guests a glimpse into the style/theme of the wedding. Whatever you've thought up for the printed items that get mailed, remember to keep the same style/tone in the printed items to be used on the wedding day.

Whether you prefer custom or pre-designed items, there are literally 1000s of choices to choose from! Cruise around the web looking at different stationers sites and save images (or clip from mag's) of materials, styles, wording, ideas that you love. Bring all of these with you when you meet with a stationer ~ it gives them great insight into what you are looking to create. Once you've picked a stationer or stationery company to work with, be honest with your feedback.

Lastly, keep in mind that you'll need to put postage on your Save the Dates and Invitation Suites + postage on your RSVP cards (this is a non negotiable {sorry} it must be done!) ~ these costs certainly do add up, so keep in mind when you are designing the size and weight of your suites.

{courtesy of the fantastically amazing ABCD Designs}

This post was originally published on June 19th, 2009

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

HIring a Wedding Videographer

It seems that brides and grooms have very firm opinions when it comes to hiring a wedding videographer ~ some are adamant that they want the video {"for their kids"} and some are adamant that they don't want any video. Personally, I fall into a different camp: while I don't necessarily want the whole wedding on DVD, I would love to be able to relive the vows, toasts and speeches. That said, hiring a wedding videographer is much the same as hiring a wedding photographer: do your research, meet in person and view lots and lots of past clients work. You want a videographer that isn't going to be too intrusive, but someone who gets the best 'scenes' and does fantastic editing.

When it comes to pricing, similarly to photog's, videographer's price is normally dependent on the final products that you receive from them plus how much editing goes into creating those final products. Decide on what you actual want / need and then discuss this with your videographer. Be sure that you are getting what you want and most importantly, will watch in the future!

{courtesy of}

This post was originally published on June 19th, 2009

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Thoughts on Choosing a Wedding Photographer

The wedding day will fly by in a blur (seriously, I felt like my day was 5 minutes long!) but you'll have all these amazing images that will last a lifetime, so please, choose wisely. Photographs, video's and memories are all that you will physically walk away from the wedding with, so make sure you do plenty of research on your photographer and *try* to not skimp on the budget here. You want to look back at your images years later and fall in love with the whole day over and over again.

Luckily, with the Internet most photographers have a wealth of images for you to check out online. But, don't hire site unseen (this is applicable to all your vendors, meet in person first, if circumstance allows), since this person will be following your every move on the day of, you want to make sure that you are comfortable not only with their images, but with them as well. Decide what elements of photographs you want: more candid, more details, more 'artsy' angles/poses etc. Do you want 1,2, or 3 shooters? How long do you want your photog on the wedding day? Standard packages are 8 hours which would include getting ready through the reception (either end or close to ... I suggest close to, pictures of drunk guests are not pretty). Do you care more about the actual images or albums? Do you want an online gallery that friends and family can purchase images through? Or, would you prefer to get all the proofs? What kind of album do you prefer? Make sure that the package you decide on holds everything in it that you want. Some photographers will negotiate, and some will not. Keep in mind that you want QUALITY over QUANTITY in this case. These are images you get to look at for years and years.

This post was originally published on June 16th, 2009

Monday, October 4, 2010

Monday Musings: Mini - Vacation

I left NYC this weekend to spend some time with Mr.G whom out of September and October I will only see for a total of 10 days since he's a traveling machine for work! As always, I am on email if need be!

{via Shutterstock Images}

Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Must Do For Wedding Planning

You've been on such a productive and awesome roll getting venues and vendors lined up, doing research on fantastic design, its time to take a break everything wedding related. The key to stress free wedding planning is to make sure that you take breaks and timeouts along the way. Don't worry about things not getting done on time ~ they will. Everything will come together as you've imagined and your wedding day will be incredible. But, if you don't stop to smell the proverbial roses along the way, by the time you get to the wedding day, you'll be wedding'd out and we don't want that at all.

Make sure during your planning process that you and your soon to be are spending time together and NOT talking about the wedding. Make sure you get some relaxing and fun beauty treatments, go and take some exhilarating exercise classes and spend time with your gals NOT discussing the bridesmaids' shoes/hair/accessories. Make sure you tell your parents that certain nights/weekends whatever are designated wedding free so they know that its not the time to discuss whether or not some long lost uncle gets to bring a date. By giving yourself some breathing room from the wedding planning, you're ensuring that you will have a relaxed approach to the entire day and process.

(courtesy of Grand Hyatt & Tap Natural Remedies)

This post was originally published on June 15th, 2009

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Hiring a Wedding Planner

I will start this post off with a disclaimer: I am biased towards hiring some version of a wedding planner, simply because I am one! But, I will try to hit on key points to prove how valuable a planner is in your wedding planning process.

Regardless of when in your wedding planning you are, hiring a wedding planner can simply be one of the best investments made in your budget. Even if you want to plan your big wedding singlehandedly, please do entertain the idea of hiring a Day Of Coordinator, merely so you can actually be a bride on your wedding day (and your mother can actually be a mother on the wedding day etc). On one of the most incredible days of your entire life, I doubt you want to be getting phone calls while you are trying to get ready from the officiant saying "I am stuck in traffic, I am not sure when I will be there" ... why add to your stress when you don't have to.

Take your time when looking for a wedding planner/coordinator. Read wedding blogs, check out wedding directories, get friend referrals, read wedding magazines ~ wedding planners are listed everywhere. Check out their websites, read their blogs, follow them on Twitter. By doing so, you'll get a very good sense of who they are and whether or not they are someone you'd like to work with. Arrange consultations with a select few and bring as much information to the meeting regarding the wedding as possible. Be open to what the planner has to say and keep in mind (this applies to all vendors) that the wedding planner is interviewing you just as much as you are interviewing them. Your relationship with your wedding planner should be a positive experience ~ you want to mesh well with them and look forward to communicating with them. You want a planner that will listen and understand your every desire and then find a way to make it happen.

Most planners are willing to negotiate (within reason) on pricing/services. The number one thing I hear all the time is that services are too pricey and clients can't understand why a wedding planner is so expensive. Trust me, regardless of what your planner charges you, the value of your planner is basically priceless. They are your insurance policy that your wedding will be the best that it can be.

{me in action on a wedding day, shot by Sarah DiCicco}

This post was originally published on June 11th, 2009

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Notes On Hiring a DJ or Band for Your Wedding

Firstly, let's dispel a myth. Wedding Bands aren't necessarily more expensive than Wedding DJs. I've seen fantastic DJs that cost lots more than a Band. So, before the pricing scares you from one end of the entertainment spectrum to another, decide which appeals to you more. Do you prefer live music or do you prefer hearing the actual artist singing? Do you want an Emcee for the evening? Once you've narrowed down those factors, get pricing from both sides. Also, talk to your venue about what sounds better in the space - some acoustics work better for bands not DJs and vice versa. Whomever you hire, you obviously want them to sound incredible.

When interviewing your entertainment, ask the following:

What is their speciality?
If you have specific songs, will they play them?
Do they allow guests to make requests or not? (also, is this something you want?)
Can you give them must play and do not play lists?

You want to hire entertainment that you enjoy and that plays great music ... whatever the form.

(courtesy of

This post was originally published on June 10th, 2009