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}