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

Monday, September 27, 2010

Monday Musings: Frenches Are The Best

Yes, I love our dogs a bit too much!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Fabulous Friday: Its Fall!

While I am definitely a summer gal, Fall is my second favorite season of the year ~ apple picking, pumpkin carving, comfy cozy sweaters and watching the leaves turn are just some of the lovely things to look forward to in fall. That and the crisp weather. Oh, so excited Fall is here again!

A great interview with Abbey from Style Me Pretty by Calligraphy by Jennifer, very insightful!

Good tips on hiring a wedding photographer, a must read!

Some excellent tips on creating a functional registry ~ my bonus tip: if you plan on having children, get enough baking sheets, trays, pans and molds as possible, saves you from having to purchase them in the future!

My biggest pet peeve in wedding planning is the unattainable inspiration for your decor ~ there are so many beautiful ideas and images out there but never any pricing to go along with them, here's the honest truth about your chosen inspiration.

Deciding on where to break your budget down based on priorities? Check this out for some good tips!

Happy Fall Weekending!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Defining Your Wedding Day Floral Style

Once you've gotten your venue booked and your wedding style decided, its time to fuse those two and decide on your décor design. The optimal goal in design is to encapsulate elements from many sources:

Venue ~ what does the room look like? What elements should you play to? Is it formal/informal? Is it light and airy or dark and romantic? How does the location play into the venue? Is there a ton of history or something that the area is well known for?

Wedding Dress ~ is your wedding dress modern or vintage? Beaded or not? Is it body hugging or more princessy?

Bridesmaid Dresses ~ what color is their dress? Are the girls all wearing the same outfit, or different?

Couple Wedding Style ~ are you really into flowers or not? Do you want something sophisticated, elegant, modern or over the top? Do you prefer non floral elements like berries & fruits? Are you more ethereal and into candles to set the mood?

These are all questions that will come into play as you decide on your décor design. Weddings are meant to be cohesive (i.e. have some element that runs throughout from your Save the Dates/Invites through to the end of the wedding evening), therefore, what can you do in the design concept to run throughout the wedding experience?

Amass your inspiration boards, cut outs and other items that you love into a large collection. Spend time with each image ~ what do you love about it? When you start to meet with Florists, bring a list of Flowers you love (and that are hopefully in season when you are getting married) as well as a list of flowers you dislike. Bring your images to show what you like ... even if it's a simple detail like the color of a ribbon ~ your florist can find inspiration in that. Remember that you have time and you can change the elements if you find something better for your taste.

(sorry ~ i scanned these in and forgot to tag where I found them. If you know, PLEASE tell me so I can give full credit ~ thanks!)

This post was originally published on June 9th, 2009

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

You Can Negotiate With Caterers

Depending on the type of venue you have chosen, you may need to find a caterer for your wedding. If that is the case, also keep in mind that no costs are fixed. A good catering company will be willing to give you multiple options in food, beverages and pricing to try and work within your budget. Optimally meet with three caterers: you'll get a wide variety of menu choices and pricing. Then choose two that you would like to have a tasting with (always ask beforehand if there are charges for tastings). Once you've had your tastings, you'll be able to negotiate on a full stomach. Choose the elements most important to you: presentation, quality of food, inventiveness of food, whatever it is. Let the caterer know what you liked about the tasting/menu and what you didn't (perhaps nothing!). Ask where to trim to save. Perhaps you can change the style of dinner service which will free up some serving staff or if you know that your crowd just wants alcohol and doesn't care about top shelf drinks, perhaps moving away from pricier bottles is a smart move for you. Or ask if you bring in your own cake is there a cutting fee. Or, if you just do stations and nothing passed during the cocktail hour, how would that affect the overall price per head. Don't be afraid to think outside of the 'traditional' catering box, be adventurous!

(courtesy of

This post was originally published on June 8th, 2009

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Game Plan on Wedding Vendor Negotiations

After all your hard work and research, you've picked a few venues that fit the bill for your wedding. Perhaps you've already narrowed it down to the most fantastic place for your wedding. How do you go about negotiating with the venue to ensure that you are getting the best pricing and deal for you? Firstly, ask. Even if its the most outrageous request in the world, just ask. The worst that can happen is the venue says no. If that happens, ask for something else. Aim to be reasonable though in your request (i.e. if its $195 per person for Food + Top Shelf open bar, don't say, our budget only allows for $50 per person. Rather, ask where you can trim off the menu + bar to bring costs down). Go into your negotiations with a game plan. What are your must haves (top shelf, lobster, outside cocktails, whatever it is) and work around your must haves with things you care less for (bathroom attendants etc). Once you've gotten a contract that you can live with, take time to read the contract that the venue provides (this is applicable to all vendors), the contract spells out the can do's and the cannot do's of the place and any other requirements that you must be aware of. You want to make sure you are comfortable with the venue's policies. If you don't understand any clause or term, just ask. I read contracts all the time and still ask lots of questions when I don't understand anything. You won't know until you ask. When you eventually sign the venue's contract, you want to be 100% aware of everything related to that location.

(courtesy of

This post was originally published on June 7th, 2009

Monday, September 20, 2010

Monday Musings: Enjoying Life

Let the good times roll!

{taken by me at a Tom Petty concert in August}

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Determining Your Wedding Day Style

Style is an individual experience. Your personal style and your soon to be's personal style may be similar and it may be very different. The one thing that is a definite though, is that you need to find YOUR wedding style. Something that captures and embodies what you want the wedding to be. Whether it is a traditional or modern feeling, a specific theme, something beachy, fun, city like or rustic and charming, spend time with your soon to be and put thought into your wedding style. Start by defining your personal couple style. Next, start to think about how you visualize the wedding day. What does the alter look like? How do you feel when you walk into the reception? What is the goal for the evening? Does the venue or area you've chosen elude to a specific style or theme? Once you've picked a style, start researching that style on blogs, in magazines and in life. Clip images of things you like. All this information will help your vendors enormously when it comes time to design the wedding day.

(courtesy of Martha Stewart Weddings)

This post was originally published on June 6th, 2009

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Creating Your Wedding Guest List

Another important factor into your wedding budget and location is how many of your nearest and dearest will be coming to celebrate your vows. Creating your master guest list takes time, so don't expect to finalize the list overnight. There are essentially three sides (more if you involve Step Parents) to the guest list:

Bride / Groom
Bride's Parents
Groom's Parents

Traditional conventions say that whomever is paying for the wedding gets the larger portion of the guest list. I disagree as the lines of who pays for what are getting blurred in this modern age and while your Father may think that inviting his first boss who has never met you is appropriate, turns out, it may not be. Have an honest conversation with all the parents about what the goal of the wedding is. Is it just family? Is it just family and close friends? Is it not all family, just close family? Or, is it everyone you've ever encountered in your entire life? Once you've created a general "acceptable to invite" list, set a date (within a month) for all parties that get to invite people to give the Bride and Groom their lists. Once the three+ lists are merged, you will get a better sense of numbers. Please keep in mind that you'll probably trim the 'fat' off the list before it is truly final, but this number will be a large indicator on what is a suitable venue for you.

(courtesy of

This post was originally published on June 5th, 2009

Monday, September 13, 2010

Monday Musings: Remembering Summer

Since it seems that the hot weather is behind us and crisp fall weather is here to stay, here's a pic of our Fire Escape Garden from this summer. Can't wait for our plants to begin growing again next year!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Fabulous Friday: Ipad Obsession

The mister and I celebrated our second anniversary earlier this week and I was lucky enough to receive an ipad as my gift. Me, being the slightly non-tech type have fallen in love with said ipad. I have grand plans for the ipad and me. I've been searching through 1000s of apps to see what will tickle me pink. And, my to do list has gone on there already. I swoon over this to do list now. I can't wait to check things off.

If you have any fabulous app recommendations, please share them!

This post on why you need to hire a wedding planner from a photographer's perspective is genius.

Five simple tips to use when planning your wedding from Brides - these are good ones!

What fabulous things have you found this week?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Makings of Your Wedding Budget

Its no hidden secret: weddings cost money. Once you've gotten engaged, you'll need to figure out two large aspects of your wedding planning: whose paying for the wedding and how much you want to spend on the wedding. Keep in mind the following factors when determining your wedding number:

time of year
# of anticipated guests

Read as many wedding planning sites and blogs to get a feel for what "things" cost in your wedding destination. Food in Kansas is bound to be a much different cost to Food in New York City. I know that talking about money can make people uncomfortable, but don't let it. Its good to have your wedding budget out in the open ~ it will help hone in and make decisions on every other aspect of your wedding.

Regardless of what your wedding budget is, you will have a fantastic wedding, you and your fiancé are in it and that is, at the end of the day, all that matters to your friends and family.

(Courtesy of MIT libraries)

***TIP: If you are able to, try and pay for your wedding related expenses with a credit card that amasses miles, hotel points etc - you may just rack up enough points for a free honeymoon!***

This post was originally published on June 4th, 2009

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Engaged? Begin Wedding Planning

Eventually Cloud 9 dissipates and you've got to start planning your wedding. First two items on the agenda: Pick a Place, Pick a Date. While everyone is going to chime in on location and dates, trust your instincts and pick a place and a time of year that is meaningful to only you and your betrothed. Other opinions really don't matter, its not their wedding. When picking a date, think logically about what fits your schedule ~ wedding planning takes time and energy, therefore, make sure you have time to plan your wedding & pick a date that suits your schedule. As for the place ~ pick something meaningful and within your means. Think about where your guests will be traveling from and the location's convenience.

This post was originally published on June 3rd, 2009

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Newly Engaged? Stop and relax first!

Regardless of whether you've dreamt about your wedding your entire life, or you've never given it a thought, take time to let the good news settle in. Don't be swayed by family and friends who immediately start asking about wedding dates, wedding dresses, wedding planning ... even if you are getting married in only a short time, relax and savor the moment! You'll get to the wedding planning process in due time.

(courtesy of Holiday Rentals UK)

This post was originally published on June 2nd, 2009

Monday, September 6, 2010

Happy Two Year Anniversary Mr. G!

Two years ago today, I became Mrs. Green! Two years ago today, Mr. G and I recited the same vows that both of our parents recited to each other {and have kept for 33 and 41 years respectively}. Two years ago today, Hurricane Hanna tried to blow away our tented wedding reception and instead, all she managed to do was cause a minor leak while 231 guests attended the party of a lifetime. Two years ago today, I became a wife and gained a husband. Two years ago today was hands down the best day of our lives. Two years ago today, I married my soul mate, someone who believes in me, loves me unconditionally and who supports all my dreams. Two years ago today, I got married.

Happy Anniversary Mr. G!

{bottom two pix: courtesy of 5 West Studios}

Friday, September 3, 2010

Happy Holiday Weekend!

We hope that you have a relaxing and refreshing Labor Day Weekend!

Our offices are closed Today and Monday for the holiday - we are hoping that Hurricane Earl doesn't do much damage to Eastern Long Island today!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

You're Engaged! Now What?

The feeling that you've had since he got down on one knee and proposed ~ keep it throughout your wedding planning process. The pure elation & happiness of simply getting married will be a good guide throughout your wedding journey. It will quell any stressful moments and ease any anxiety. Just remember, without the amazing proposal, there would be no wedding. Don't sweat the small things in this planning process, concentrate on the happiness of getting married.

(courtesy of Greenville Daily Photo)

This post was originally published on June 1st, 2009

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Re-Introducing: 30 Day Guide to Wedding Planning

This month, I will be re-posting all the posts from our 30 Day Guide to Wedding Planning series that was published in June 2009 so that all of your new-er visitors to the blog have a chance to read them.

The goal of the series was to give you quick insight into wedding planning over the course of 30 days. A primer on wedding planning if you will. Obviously the wedding planning process is an in-depth and detailed one, this guide really is a way to get the most information on each topic quickly.

if you have any comments, please post them! And if you'd like clarification on any topic, please ask for it!

Starting tomorrow: Day 1: You're Engaged!