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!