Monday, May 31, 2010

Happy Memorial Day

Friday, May 28, 2010

Fabulous Fridays: Lovely Events + Images

Since its a holiday weekend, I'll keep today's post light and sweet. I hope that everyone has a great 3 day weekend, wear lots of sunscreen, relax and have fun.

A couple weeks ago, I had the most incredible opportunity to help Cyd {The Sweetest Occasion} and Ami {Elizabeth Anne Designs} on a photoshoot down at Lovely {a new bridal store that really and truly is lovely}. Cyd and Ami did a kick a$$ job with the details and making a truly affordable tablescape, so be sure to check out the images here and here.

J.Crew opened their newly minted Bridal Store yesterday! There's a launch party on June 2nd ~ details below:

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Bridal Gown Sample Sale @ Saks

June 2 - June 6, Saks is hosting a $999.00 bridal gown sample sale on the 9th floor. Some amazing designers are going to be on sale, so make sure you check it out!

{disclaimer: I received no compensation for this post}

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Favorite Find at The National Stationery Show: Drink Me Tags

Ever been invited to a dinner party and at the last minute you remember you need a gift? You grab a bottle of wine and head for your friends house - wouldn't your last minute gift be better presented if it had a delightful tag affixed to it that was both witty and memorable? Enter Drink Me Tags, the perfect gift tag for your wine bottle. These cleverly designed tags are simple yet pack a bit punch. I met Sara Rossi, one part of the Drink Me Tags duo {her mother, Val, is the other part} at NSS and immediately thought of how many I could purchase before my husband began to think that I was hoarding them. Sara mentioned how they saw a need for a sweet way to 'dress up a wine bottle' and thus Drink Me Tags were born. The sayings are hilarious "drinks well with others" "un-wine-ding" and "put a cork in it" are just a sampling. They can even customize the tags {perfect for a wedding or shower} and they have a fabulous holiday collection as well.

Check out Drink Me Tags and make sure no bottle of wine leaves the house 'undressed'!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Monday Musings: Travel Bug

Feeling a bit nostaglic for my home country today ...

{via My South Africa}

Friday, May 21, 2010

Fabulous Fridays: Educating Yourself

The weather here in NYC is finally beginning to act spring like which makes me beyond happy! The cold dreary days were reminding me of when I lived in London and while I love London, the weather was a bit depressive at times.

I had the opportunity to meet Kelli Parker, the genius behind A Deux Bridal - a bespoke stationery company up in Boston a few months ago and she's been writing an awesome series on custom invitations for weddings - its informative & educational and you have to check out Parts I, II and III immediately.

What lovely finds have you come across this week?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Real Wedding: Blair & Matt

When I first met with Blair and Matt, all I could think was Southern Hospitality. Since both are from the South and both are the sweetest people on the planet, it seemed fitting. And there New York City Wedding was just that: full of Southern Hospitality.

They were married in their parish church and the reception was held at the Housing Works Bookstore, a place they've frequented often throughout their courtship. They added in some fun and special touches to make their day their own: Matt's mother handpainted the table names {children's story books}, there was a dress up photobooth, their friend DJ'ed the wedding and Blair's favorite cafe made the cake. It was a day filled with love and I am so happy that I was able to be apart of it!

{Made by her bridesmaids & friends}

{The brides own handwriting! She did all of the escort cards as well!}

Venue: Housing Works Bookstore
Flowers: Verde Flowers
Photographer: Missy Photography

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Hiring a Wedding Planner {Part 1}

As a wedding planner and a wedding blogger, my main goal is to educate engaged couples about wedding planning. To educate them on all the in's and out's of weddings and all the nuances of planning them. It's also a slightly selfish goal, because an educated bride and groom makes the wedding planning process go more smoothly!

For the next few weeks {on Wednesdays}, the posts are going to be focused on hiring a wedding planner: the nitty gritty of the how / why / when / what to expect / how to act ... the everything. We're going in depth on this topic and I hope that we'll all be a little bit more educated at the end of it.

So, first things first. What is a wedding planner and why do you think you need one?

A wedding planner {aka wedding coordinator} is a person who plans / coordinates your wedding. They pull together the logisitcs for your wedding day to ensure that no small detail is left out. As I call it: a wedding planner is your human equivalent to an insurance policy for the wedding - we make sure you've gotten all your ducks lined up and we make sure your ducks have no issues. A wedding planner is different to a wedding designer, so please make sure of which kind you'd like {naturally a planner can also be a designer and a designer can also be a planner} but for arguement's sake, we will keep them separate. A wedding designer is just that: they design the wedding. They are the visual creators of the wedding day - designing all the decor.

Why do you think you need a wedding planner? This is a question that oft goes overlooked because its 'trendy' to have a planner so everyone wants / needs to have one. If you are busy, indecisive, don't know where to start, don't know what you want to spend on each vendor, not creative, or want a helping hand in general, HIRE A WEDDING PLANNER! Your wedding planner will give you a path to follow throughout this process, negotiate contracts, educate you on every aspect of a wedding {pricing, advice, ideas, etiquette} and will give you the honest truth on what works and what doesn't work. In essence: your wedding planner is a one stop shop on how to get your wedding planned without the hassles. Who wouldn't want a professional team mate?

So before you start looking for a wedding planner, spend a moment writing why exactly you need one. Those needs are very important and will need to be communicated in your consultation.

Next week: Part 2: Researching a Wedding Planner

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Favorite Find at The National Stationery Show: Partners Tea Co.

I was raised by parents of English decent, which means that I like Tea. Ok, I love Tea, there I said it. I drink tea every morning and afternoon, so I like to think that on some level, I am a tea-authority, so I was thrilled to come across Partners Tea Co at the National Stationery Show yesterday.

Partners Tea Co. is a fair trade, organic, tea company owned and operated by women. They have six blends of tea leaves for sale and believe me I tell you, these tea's are top notch. They have a lovely and inviting fragrance and the loveliest of tastes. I sampled the Love Blend which really was one of the best tea's I've ever had. No joke. The packaging is beautiful, the tea sachets were so simple yet sweet and the best part: they have recipes to make cocktails out of their blends. Genius for a bridal shower, you can make Love-tini's out of the Love blend! They have recipes for many tea-tini's and tea-toddy's that sound really yummy.

These tea's also make amazing gifts or favors for your showers or wedding or if you've got a friend who loves tea {maybe a part of a bridesmaid gift?}.

And I am really impressed that the company is giving back 1% to Kiva and the Central Asia Institute.

Check them out and order some tea, I promise its so good, you may not go back to coffee!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Monday Musings: National Stationery Show

The National Stationery Show is happening this week in NYC and I am thrilled to be attending and blogging about it - stay tuned for lots of posts!

{via Blue Pink & Green}

Friday, May 14, 2010

Fabulous Friday: Must Read Wedding Wisdom

We made it to Friday! Its been an incredible week, from meeting Sara Rue & Colin Cowie {we're on the same committee for a charity event in June} to making a committment to myself to stop putting everything first and me last and so I've started going back to the gym full time, to saying goodbye to a dear friend whose leaving NYC - its been a productive week!

Starting next week will be a new series on Consultations & Wedding Planner pricing - I hope you stop back to read my thoughts and comment as well!

To get you in the mood for pricing, check out these great posts on photographer pricing:

Melissa Jill, a talented photographer in Arizona wrote a great piece last week about why she doesn't discount pricing. Its insightful and I encourage you to read it.

Every Last Detail has a blunt but necessary post today on photography pricing expectations - sometimes you just have to keep it real.

The lovely Lisa Barr {@bridalease} has a fabulous series this week {1, 2 & 3}about Montreal, which really is a beautiful place & a great wedding destination!

And last but not least, Missy Photography posted images from a wedding we worked on last month - Congratulations Blair & Matt, you two really are the sweetest couple and I loved working with you both!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Interview with Sara Rue

In one word, Sara Rue is glowing. She’s glowing from her engagement and upcoming wedding and she’s glowing from her fabulous weight loss with Jenny Craig. I was lucky enough to attend an event recently at the Mark Ingram Bridal Atelier where Sara was checking out wedding dresses looking for inspiration for her wedding. We had a moment to sit down and chat about Jenny and about her wedding {and check out her beautiful bling!} and I can say with 100% honesty, this gal is the sweetest and nicest person ever. She described her wedding style as “vintage, antiquey with lots of color and on the more romantic side” with a wedding day that emphasizes "fun, love and no pressure". Since she and her fiance have an affinity for beer pong, it’ll likely be included in the wedding day festivities as well {as an aside, I love this idea – always aim to include a hobby or something you are passionate about as a couple in your wedding day – its your day, do what you want, not what ‘tradition’ dictates}.

She went on to discuss her experience on Jenny Craig and losing 40 lbs in 5 months {girl, you are my role model now!} and she stressed that the program really is a lifestyle, not a diet. She describes it as “dieting for dummies” as you really go back and re-learn the basics – portion control, exercise, and shifting ones thinking away from the emotional eating and more into making smart choices. Sara spoke a lot about her consultant and the constant supply of support that her consultant offers – she said that it has been key to sticking with the program and not getting derailed. As a skeptic when it comes to weight loss programs, I was encouraged to hear Sara say that this Jenny Craig experience has made her “hopeful” and that the program is truly satisfying and easy to include in one’s every day life.

Well, Sara, all I can say is that you are an incredible woman to have met and spent time with – your attitude regarding Jenny Craig and all that you’ve learned is truly contagious and inspiring. I know that your wedding day will be a truly amazing experience for you, your fiance and your guests and I wish lots of love, happiness and success in life.

{images via ABC News & Getty Images}

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Wediquette: Vendor Meals

Right now I am planning on providing my vendors with a vendor meal. My catering company has told us the entree will be chicken with a starch and vegetables of the chef's choosing. At $25 a vendor meal, I feel like this is fine and providing our vendors with a good hot meal. We are providing a total of 8 vendor meals and the cost of providing 8 extra guest meals to our vendors would be expensive - are vendors okay with receiving something other than what we serve the guests?

Firstly, check each and every contract you've signed for your wedding day vendors - all of them should have a clause regarding a meal - which means you are legally required to provide them a meal. The clause should say something similar to this:

A meal is required for each attending member of the team. If no meal is provided, it is understood that the members of the team will have a one {1} hours leave from the event to purchase a meal.

Its obviously beneficial to you to have your vendors remain on site for the duration of your event, as they don't miss anything major, so enquire with your catering company about vendor meals. The meal that your vendors receive should be priced well below the price per head for your guests meal - typically $25 to $45 per vendor. While some caterers provide more of a 'boxed lunch', some cook a full entree - its really the caterers choice. If your vendors have any food allergies or restrictions, they must be communicated to the venue / chef when you provide them with the number of vendor meals that are required.

Keep in mind that you aren't responsible for feeding or paying to feed the waitstaff - that is normally the responsibility of the catering company itself.

And lastly, a hungry vendor usually means you aren't getting the best out of them, so make sure you feed your vendors!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Monday Musings

I simply love Peonies ...

{via Judy Stalus on Etsy}

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

To all the mother's out there - today celebrates all the advice, wisdom and understanding you've instilled in your children, not to mention all the 'stuff' you've put with over the years!

Happy Mother's Day!

To my own mother - thank you for believing in me and supporting my every endeavour. To driving me to the rink for skating practice at 4AM every morning for years, to letting me wander all over the world in search of experience and for all that we have taugh each other: thank you. You're love is truly unconditional and I hope that one day I'll be as fabulous and stylish a mum as you have been with me:

And as an aside, today is also my parents 41st wedding anniversary - Happy Anniversary Mum & Dad!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Wanted: New Employee's!

I am looking to hire an intern and an event assistant for the 2010 wedding season! The application process is standard and has been posted on my website under the employment page. Ideally the candidate would be awesome and excited to be working in wedding planning. Previous wedding or event management experience is preferred but not a dealbreaker. I will be interviewing potential hires starting next week, so be sure to pull together your resume and application soon!

We have two positions available {pre-requisites listed on website} and here's a blurb about what I am looking for:

We are looking for fun, energetic, fabulous, and creative individuals with an acute attention to detail {bordering on OCD} and outstanding customer service. We are looking for dynamic people who truly care about our firm and our clients. Our staff has an unrivaled dedication to providing the very best for our clients, ensuring they have the most incredible wedding day.

We are looking for skilled, committed and experienced individuals looking to share their creativity to produce beautiful events and are currently accepting resumes for our 2010 season.

All applicants should currently live within Manhattan or Brooklyn. Applicant must be able to work from a home office {with dedicated internet and phone} and be available for meetings and projects as well as wedding days. Inability to commit to wedding days will not be considered. Applicants must be able to calmly deal with clients. Applicants must be proficient in technology programs such as Word, Excel, Acrobat, Outlook and internet applications.

Happy Job Hunting!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Moving Mess

I'll be back to wedding blogging on Monday - this move is kicking my bum! We {I mean my husband} have way too much stuff and there are still many boxes to be unpacked and stuff to be organized. I am very happy to report that whomever swiped our leather chair returned it last night, so at least there's one chair to sit on in the living room while we wait for our new furniture to arrive in eight weeks!

This is how the apartment currently feels:

And this is what I wish the apartment felt like:

{via Cococozy}

I suppose in due time, it will!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Tips on Tuesday: Taking Back Control Of Your Wedding Budget

I've said over and over again on this blog that once you're engaged and you set a date, figure out your budget. I know, I am beginning to sound like a broken record BUT, there's a reason for it. A budget is going to help keep whomever is paying for the wedding out of debt and won't give them sleepless nights. Who wants to lose sleep over one of the best days in a persons life? Not me!

Once you set your budget {and be sure to give it a bit of cushioning for last minute necessities}, make an active effort to stay within your budget. Don't hire some fancy band because you love them and use a huge chunk of your budget - be mindful of your spending. Be realistic in your spending. If you think you've gone overboard, be prepared both mentally and emotionally to sit down and trim items off with each vendor. Your vendors want to work with you and be as helpful as possible but in order to bring the cost down, you have to let something go. You can't have it all for nothing, it just doesn't work that way. You must be okay with letting something go, if you are really passionate about having the budget not get blown out of proportion. I know its hard to trim, but in order to regain control of your budget, it must be done.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Moving Day + Martha Stewart

It's moving day for the Green Family, so our offices are closed until Wednesday, when hopefully all the boxes have been unpacked and everything has been organized!

I wanted to also share with you that the episode of Martha Stewart that my parents and I attended the taping of a few weeks ago airs today! Check your local listings for the time. We had a blast being in the audience and I am secretly hoping that they really show the clip of my dad dancing with the audience entertainer. I snapped some pix from my camera which really is the world's worst, so please don't take offense!

Before we entered the studio, getting some general instructions - we were also told about the cookbook we were given written by the guest, Alice Waters

Prepping the set for filming - tons of activity!

During 'commercial break' - the oven didn't want to work and the pilot light for one of the stoves was being noisy, but the show much go on!

A little Q + A after the taping with Martha and all the chefs

We had a great time going to the taping - it was very interesting and really fun!