Thursday, January 28, 2010

Weekly Round Up: Wedding Advice + Images

What a week it has been and I have to say that I am none too impressed with the frigid temperatures that today has ushered in. If only we lived in warmer climates.

There are some fantastic and informative articles and posts floating around the blogosphere, read up!

Grooms are oft forgotten in the wedding planning process - but for the groom that is involved, here are some great tips on being involved.

When your sales manager at a venue stays in sales and fails to act as your wedding day coordinator - wouldn't you be upset too?

Great post on spelling out why a 'Day Of Coordinator' isn't actually a Day Of Coordinator. I personally dislike the Day Of term since its much more than that ... we call it Month Of Coordination at our office!

And finally, our good friends got married on a Yacht in the Caribbean a few months ago and we were lucky enough to attend the festivities - Table 4 Photography did an awesome job of documenting the weekend - check out the recaps here, here and here.

Business & Wedding Planning: Using Your Niche

Regardless of what you studied in college or what your career is - we're all specialists. Our jobs have made us 'experts' in one particular niche, something that we are beyond efficient at; something that we know inside out how to do and most importantly, something we could theoretically, do in our sleep. We've got a defined niche after all. Or at least that's what our bosses want us to believe.

So how do we translate your career niche into your wedding planning? Simple. Use your specialization to your advantage. If you're a writer, use your words to create carefully scripted programs, invitations, RSVP cards, even your ceremony. If you're a marketing guru, market your wedding to your guests - find a common thread to link through your wedding day that will make your wedding day unique. If you're into finance - take over the budget and do the math. If you're a consultant - use your skills to analyze the wedding planning process into something easy to handle. Use your niche at the office to simplify your wedding planning process and make it your own. Use what you are good at to help aid you through your engagement. Why fight your niche? Work it!

We are always taught to use our specializations - why shouldn't this hold true to your wedding?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wediquette: Technology and Your Wedding

In this day and age, seemingly everyone has access to email and the internet {this includes my 89 year old grandfather in law who loves ebay!}. Thus, its only natural that internet/email savvy folks would want to use the internet to communicate details regarding their upcoming wedding - its fast, its efficient and its definitely less expensive than having items printed.

I have to advise though: think long and hard about this decision before you and Paperless Post or Evite hop into bed together. What if some guests legitimately aren't email people? How will they get the information they need regarding your wedding day? How are you going to ensure that every single person gets your email and it doesn't go into spam?

I love the idea of creating a wedding website that has all your wedding day information included in it - something I've discussed before here. You can put your hotel room block information, activities, directions, anything you'd like. But, I am still a firm believer in the written, printed word. You don't need to break the bank on stationery, but having beautiful printed invitations sets the tone for your amazing wedding day. Besides, its another keepsake for your guests and for your wedding album.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Real Wedding: Kim & Chad

I would have loved to get married at a Vineyard since its no secret that the husband and I love our vino! So when I had the opportunity to help Kim & Chad with their wedding at Duck Walk Vineyards on the North Fork of Long Island, I was thrilled! This outpost of Duck Walk {their home base is in Southampton, NY} is relatively new but has such a beautiful tasting room - filled with rich woods and large open space. If you like wine, tastings and a fabulous venue, this place fits the bill.

Oh and the bride made ALL the floral arrangements, bouquets and boutinnieres herself. Unbelievably fabulous!

Images by Christy Murray

Monday, January 25, 2010

Monday Musings

On this dreary, rainy Monday, I am dreaming of spring and silently signing that "Rain, Rain Go Away" childhood song ...

{via Sara Norris Photography}

Friday, January 22, 2010

Weekly Round Up: Wedding Lovelies

This was a week chock full of networking - I love meeting new wedding industry folks especially they are all so talented and so lovely.

Here are a few of the wonderful people I had a chance to meet with this week, check them out they are simply amazing:

Christopher Duggan - fabulous photographer, love his images!

Maggie Harkov - lovely lovely lovely person, and her pictures are divine!

Poppies and Posies - Siera & Juliet are a dynamic floral design force!

Lastly, anyone whose met me knows that Lulu & Max, my french bulldogs are my obsession. Lulu had a lovely feature over on The Sweet Occasion - she was in our wedding and looked adorable! {And she was un-characteristically well behaved too!} And, for those wondering, Max was only 4 weeks old when we got hitched - too little to be apart of our day ... he'll be at the vow renewal in a few years!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

New Weekly Series: Business Concepts & Wedding Planning

One of my not so secret secrets is that I am an avid reader of business books. I actually enjoy them and learning from them not only for my business but for other aspects of life. I know, that sounds totally cheesy, but its the truth. It got me thinking about how many of the concepts and ideas presented in business can easily be applied to wedding planning - especially since most couples getting married have professional experience - this may make your wedding planning easier in general. Or at least break it down so it makes sense. {At least that concept makes sense to me!} Therefore, without further ado, meet concept 1:

Without fail, every job interview we've all ever been on, this question gets asked:

"What are your strengths and what are your weaknesses?"

While I know that we've all been trained to answer this question trying to spin our weaknesses into positives when applying this concept to your wedding planning - don't. Legitimately sit down and ponder what are you strengths and what are your weaknesses and how can you utilize both to ensure that your planning process is smooth and stress free?

Strengths can include anything, for example: organized, detail oriented, love doing research, creative, thoughtful, good communication skills - all of these skills can be applied to your wedding planning to help you be successful. Keeping proposals organized, managing to communicate well with your vendors, being able to creatively think up ideas to incorporate into the big day - all of these aspects play to your innate strengths. Whatever you are strongest at, exploit it to ensure that your planning and wedding day are you.

On the flip side, your weaknesses can be any number of things and the key to making them work for you is to acknowledge them and then work them to your advantage. If you can't handle multiple tasks at once, recognize that you need to enlist your fiance and delegate tasks to him / her. If you aren't an out of the box thinker on design - seek out blogs and websites for ideas and present all of them to your wedding coordinator or florist and let them be the creative force. If you know that you have a tendency to procrasinate - take a wedding planning timeline and break it down into bit sized pieces to work on over time and reward yourself when you can tick things off the list.

Make your wedding planning work for you - not every wedding is created equal, not every wedding planning process need be the same, therefore use your strengths and weaknesses to make your wedding planning process yours.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wediquette: Destination Wedding Do's and Don'ts

When having a destination wedding, there are simple ideas that you should definitely include and some ideas that you should definitely stay away from. Here's a short list to keep your wedding planning smooth and ensure that both you AND your guests have a magical experience:

Do: Get references from your venue from previous couples regarding the in-house wedding coordinator. If the reviews aren't stellar, hire your own - it may just be the factor that saves your wedding weekend from chaos.

Don't: Assume that the Preferred Vendor list provided by a hotel / venue is full of quality vendors. Those companies pay to be on the Preferred Vendor list - do background research on how quality their services are.

Do: Create welcome bags and itineraries for your guests. They've traveled from afar and would like to know where and when to be as well as have a small snack!

Don't: Skimp on decor or design simply because you either need the money to afford the venue fee's or you feel the place has enough going on. If you need to make a last minute switch to a different location, you want to make sure it looks just as good as your original space.

Do: Have a concrete rain plan in place in case of inclement weather. Make sure that you are 100% comfortable with the rain plan, you may need it and you don't want to be unhappy with your secondary choice.

Don't: Get upset if you wind up having less guests than you expected. Everyone's financial situation is different and you have to respect that if someone you thought was coming can't afford to.

Do: Show your appreciate for everyone who traveled to your wedding. Acknowledge their effort and tell them repeatedly how much you appreciate it.

Don't: Forget the sunscreen. If you head down to the destination early, wear tons of sunblock before the wedding day - red and white candy strips are probably not what you want to go with your dress!

Happy Planning!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Real Wedding: Erin & Vince

When I met Erin & Vince, I couldn't help but love them immediately. They were funny, sweet and had a very clear view of how their wedding was going to be. It was a two day affair ~ the wedding ceremony taking place at their home on a Friday afternoon followed by a blow out loft soiree on a Saturday evening with a much larger guest list. We had 4 months to plan so I jumped in as quickly as I could.

Venue: Ceremony: Their Home Party: Sun West Studios
Photographer: 5 West Studios
Florist: Verde Flowers

Monday, January 18, 2010

Monday Musings

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy"
~ Martin Luther King Jr.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Weekly Round Up

I swear every year the days speed up and go by too quickly - we're halfway through January!

Some fabulous finds this week:

Inspiration Boards are now live on myKPwedding ~ if you haven't signed up for the site yet go and do it now! It is the most fabulous wedding planning resource out there! PS: The inspiration board feature is beyond awesome ~ store your favs from the site - ingenious!

Sunday is the Wedding Party at the Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach ~ Style Me Pretty is offering a few giveaways, check it out here for more information!

Lastly, I simply love this real weddings post over on Once Wed ~ so delightful!

Happy Long Weekend!

PS: Our Day Of Coordination package giveaway ends tonight @ 11:59pm. If you haven't submitted an entry - do so quickly!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Destination Weddings

Very good friends of ours are getting married this weekend in Riviera Maya, Mexico ~ so once again we're off to celebrate their relationship and enjoy the sun! Before they got engaged, they knew that they would be having a destination wedding. One of their favorites things to do is travel and they wanted to incorporate that into their special day. After many trips around Mexico, the Caribbean and Florida, they chose the Fairmont Mayakoba.

For all of those interested in a destination wedding, here are some questions to think about before you chose your locale:

1. How easy is this destination for your guests to travel to?
2. Besides the costs that you'll spend on the wedding - what is the financial commitment that you're asking your guests to make?
3. What is your realistic guest list size? {And keep in mind that some guests may not be able to come for financial reasons - don't hold that against them}
4. What part of the year are you getting married? Make sure that your locale isn't meant to have hurricanes, high winds or other foul weather
5. Seriously seriously seriously consider hiring a wedding coordinator. Someone who knows the ins and outs of the logistics surrounding destination weddings and can take care of them for you. Destination weddings don't need to be a logistical nightmare but you want to ensure that your vendors {if local especially} have a very clear picture of what your vision is.
6. Make sure that you and your fiance have time and money to make a few trips to explore various places to have your wedding and after you've chosen your destination to finalize details and take care of things.

I would also suggest purchasing The Destination Wedding Planner by Alison Hotchkiss ~ its thoughtfully laid out and chock full of very valuable information!

We'll be here celebrating our friends wedding on Saturday!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Wediquette: Your Wedding Coordinator - Managing Your Relationship

Today's Wediquette Topic: Your Wedding Coordinator - Managing Your Relationship

You've decided to hire a wedding planner for your wedding. You've had consultations, picked the perfect match and you're on your way to planning a wedding with some professional guidance! Now what? What is this relationship you've embarked on? You've hired a near stranger and are trusting them with THE most important day of your life ... I'd say that's getting intimate mighty quickly!

Your wedding coordinator is your guide through this process. They are here to steer you in the right direction based on how you envision your wedding day. They are providing you with vendors, references, advice, etiquette and sage wisdom. Most times, they've seen it all and nothing shocks them anymore! They are managing your expectations on budget and managing all the logistics that it takes to ensure that your wedding day is simply delightful. But, is there a point when you begin to take your wedding planner relationship too far? Yes. Firstly, when in doubt about asking your coordinator a question - refer to your package services: is your questions / concern / issue related to some aspect of your services? If so, proceed. If not, communicate with your wedding coordinator and ask them, would you mind doing x,y and z? If its something simple, most likely they will happily help you out, but if you're suddenly asking them to plan the rehearsal dinner when it wasn't included in your services package - don't get annoyed when they mention its an additional fee. Just like you wouldn't do any extra work at your job without expecting a raise or a promotion - your planner should be treated the same way. You want to treat this relationship professionally - yes, you've hired someone to organize your wedding day, but they aren't your new personal assistant.

The relationship between wedding planner and client is a delicate and special thing, treat is as such!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Repurposing Your Wedding Day Budget

During any consultation I have, I ask the same two questions: What are your 'must haves' and what are your wedding day fears. Both are meant to a) make you as the bride and groom think and b) let me know what matters most. 'Must haves' can include anything: we 'must have' my grandmothers rosary beads wrapped around my bouquet or 'we must' have a certain vineyards' wine served or we 'must have' pulled pork sliders. Your 'must haves' are items, ideas, concepts that if they weren't apart of the wedding day, would be a future regret. They are the sentimental aspects important to you as a couple or a family.

Your 'must haves' also give your wedding planner insight into where to potentially repurpose your wedding day budget. If a 'must have' is going to stretch your budget disproportionately in one direction, think about where you can put less money in elsewhere. Perhaps you know your guests really aren't into favors, but they would love a late night snack. Forgo the favors in favour of sliders and mini milkshakes at midnight.

Repurpose your budget to make your budget work for you. The greatest thing about weddings these days is that anything goes. The newest tradition is that "traditions" are out the window and its up to the couple to make their own traditions. With that in mind, your budget doesn't need to be cookie cutter - just because so and so did x,y and z doesn't mean that you have to. Make your money work for what you want, not the other way around.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Monday Musings

{via Swiss-Miss}


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Scheduling Your Wedding Weekend

After you've decided on a wedding date, the next date that should be determined is your wedding rehearsal date and time. The obvious choice is the late afternoon / early evening the day before your wedding day, but sometimes depending on your ceremony venue you may have to hold your rehearsal in the morning or a few days before. Whatever you do, DO NOT NOT SCHEDULE A REHEARSAL! Perhaps many of your bridal party are married or been in enough weddings that they 'know' the ceremony drill - it doesn't matter. Every ceremony is different, every officiant is different and your bridal party plus you and your fiancee need to do a trial run so that everyone is on the same page.

Your rehearsal shouldn't take too long {normally depends on how late your bridal party arrives} and all you are doing is a run through of the processional, ceremony and recessional. You want to determine your line up and who will stand where during the ceremony. Your wedding planner or coordinator will take notes so that nothing is forgotten for the ceremony.

If your ceremony venue is giving you push back on a rehearsal because they have events happening, stress the importance of doing a rehearsal. If you are unable to get into the space to practice, then gather the entire bridal party and officiant elsewhere for a run through. You want everyone to get a feel for what will be happening during the ceremony.

Have you thought about your rehearsal?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Wedding Inspiration Overload

I've written several posts about finding your wedding style and wedding inspiration, but I want to revisit this topic. There are a million and one fabulous wedding websites and blogs to whet the appetite. So many ideas, images, colors, thoughts ~ so overwhelming! When you're pulling together images that you love and would love for your wedding day - par down. Remember the saying, less is more? I recently went through a business development exercise that I am convinced would work wonders for wedding planning. The exercise was to show what you wanted your business to look like through images. Pick 10 to 15 images that represent how you want your business to look like. Much easier said than done BUT the limitations of 10 to 15 made it so much easier to discard the images that didn't connect or that really didn't have a place in my business inspiration board. Not every image or idea is applicable to my business, just like not every image or idea is applicable to your wedding.

Take the concept of the 10-15 images and create your specific wedding inspiration board. The more specific you can be with your images, the more put together and cohesive your wedding will look on the big day. Remember, less is more, and while you've probably pulled 100's of images, go through and really note what you like about the image - if its only a simple aspect of it {the color, one item etc}, write it down and pull the image out of the pile. Your finalized 'board' should tell a specific story of your wedding day.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Introduction to This Wedding Planner

As the first week of 2010 rolls on, I thought I would take a moment and write an introduction post for the newly engaged and possibly new readership to my blog. A little "get to know me" if you will ... without further ado:

Favorite Non Wedding Blog / Sites:

Two of my non-wedding passions in life are cooking and interior design - I check out a ton of different interior design / lifestyle blogs: The City Sage, Coco + Kelley, Apartment Therapy and Habitually Chic. I long for the day when we purchase a home and I can finally put all my ideas into use!

Favorite Magazines / Books:

I read a lot of business books {I actually enjoy learning!} but I also love non-fiction books - Eat Pray Love is one of my all time favs, and I can't wait for Elizabeth Gilbert's new book. I also really enjoyed Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortensen and anything by Frances Mayes.

I am a total work out magazine junky - Shape, Self, Fitness ...

Favorite Restaurants:

In NYC: The Place, Spotted Pig, Tournesol
In LA: El Cholo
In Cape Town: Balthazar in the V&A Waterfront

Dream Vacation Spot:

Even though I've traveled to Southern Africa more times than I can remember, being on Safari in the Sabi Sands area of Kruger National Park is where my heart truly lies ... I am a huge wildlife in their natural habitat fan and every time we go on safari, I can't get enough! If anyone ever needs advice on safari, just ask - my fav place on earth is Notten's - no electricity and seriously romantic!

Random Facts About Me:

*I was a very dedicated figure skater until I went to college - used to be on the ice by 5AM most mornings!

*I am an over planner when it comes to vacations - I like having set itineraries and know exactly what there is to do before we get to a new location

*I loathe peas and will never eat them

*I am an incredibly fast reader - in 2009 I read over 150 books! {And I take notes in every book that I read!}

What are some random facts about you?

Friday, January 1, 2010

2010 Starts with a Wedding Planning Giveaway

I've decided in the spirit of the holidays and the new year, to give away one Month Of Coordination package to a special couple.

Here's the details ...

Month of Coordination entails finalizing all your wedding day details & logistics, developing a comprehensive timeline for your wedding weekend and Lisa Green, the owner of Anderson Green Events and one of her fabulous assistants executing your dreams on your wedding day.

While based in Manhattan, this giveaway is open to any and all weddings in the United States. For those outside of a 50 mile radius of Manhattan, the chosen couple must be willing to pay for travel and accommodations for the wedding weekend.

How to Enter:
Email: and use GIVEAWAY as the subject. Each entry form must answer the following questions:
• Your Name:
• Fiance’s Name:
• Street Address:
• City, State, Zip Code:
• Email address:
• Phone number:
• Wedding Date:
• Wedding Location :
• Total wedding budget:
• Total # of guests expected:
• How did you choose your wedding venue? (250 words or less)
• Describe why having a wedding coordinator will make your day the best (250 words or less)

The Fine Print:
Entries will be accepted until January 15th, 2010 @ 11:59PM. Please don’t forget to include you name + valid email address! Incomplete entries or entries received after this time will not be considered. Duplicate entries will also not be considered.

Contest is not open to previously contracted Day Of clients or potential clients that have already contacted Anderson Green Events for coordination packages.

A winner will be chosen at random by January 20th, 2010 and notified by email before having a post written about them on the Anderson Green Events blog.

The Legal Stuff:
By entering this contest, you grant permission to Anderson Green Events to use your first names only, photo, love story, and dream wedding description. Winner must also consent to having a blog post written after their wedding date has past. Contact information will remain private. The chosen winner must be willing to sign the Anderson Green Events contract in order to move ahead with the coordination package.

Exact Package Details:
*Complimentary Consultation {phone or in person to discuss wedding day details}
*Unlimited Phone and Email Contact
*Determination of the following:
Handling of logistical issues
Venue / Vendor coordination
*Review of vendor contracts
*Development of a comprehensive event timeline
*Confirmation of wedding day details with all vendors the Monday before wedding day
*Day Of Coordination:
Be a calm source throughout the day
Attend Rehearsal prior to Wedding Day (Organization of Rehearsal)
Attend to Bride and Bridal Party while getting ready
Oversee set up of ceremony site and reception site
Ensure proper placement of escort card table, favors, other memorabilia
Oversee all vendors and ensure they are set up and ready to begin
Ensure timely arrival of bride & groom to ceremony venue
Cue ceremony (processional/recessional)
Facilitate Receiving Line
Organization of Pre / Post – Ceremony Photography session
Ensure timely arrival of bridal party to reception venue
Orchestrate cocktail & reception flow:
Guide Bridal Party and Guests – ensure everything happens on time
Organize Grand Entrance of Bridal Party into reception area
Cue toast/speech makers
Cue Bride and Groom: special dances, toasts, cake cutting, etc
Be point of contact for any issues or emergencies that arise
Take care of issues before they escalate to bride and groom
Keep wedding day on schedule
Distribution of final payments/tips for vendors (day of)
Pack up any items, gifts, envelopes and return to designated place/person
Arrange end of night transportation