Monday, January 31, 2011

If the shoe fits...

Dawn Binz Photography
If the shoe fits, wear it!!!  Every single bride has a different sense of style and love for their wedding shoes.  It is interesting to see how much shoe style has changed over the years. There seems to be an exciting flair added to shoes, be it color, texture, or a special surprise (like "I do" written on the bottom) and I have to say I LOVE IT.  I find it a way to complete your own look.  My brides of the past have worn cowboy boots (see the shoes to the left, these were my brides but she switched to the boots pretty quickly), everyday kitten heels, and even deep purple UGG boots. 
Val McCormick Photography
My one wish is that my brides enjoyed wearing their wedding shoes a bit more.  These pieces of art should be enjoyed throughout the event, instead of being tossed underneath the sweetheart table and exchanged for flip flops. If you happen to be a  ballet shoes type of girl then stick with what you love from the start. I know us girls love to kick off the shoes and dance. Though I've learned that breaking in your shoes is worth it. (As the planner I do kick off my shoes during set up but once it all starts, the shoes stay on.) Break them in by cooking dinner in them, taking a spin around your home dance floor (any open space in your own home), and wear them while you put your make up on.  This isn't a must-do but it does help you get the most out of your stylish investment. If you do happen to get them a tiny bit dirty BABY WIPES tend to be the answer to getting them clean.

Anything that plays a role in your detail shots for wedding day should be ENJOYED!  There are many clever and creative ways to showcase them.  As you can see due to the talented photography eye of Val McCormick of Val McCormick Photography, who was kind enough to let us share these last four photographs. My last bit of tidbit for the evening is to remember shoes can your something new or something blue...

Friday, January 28, 2011

The Difference...

The hot topic for the week, wedding vs. marriage.  In one form or another, the topic has come up a few times in different settings.  As a wedding planner, of course I'm all for weddings!! I love them, I love the different ideas and styles that can be created. Plus I honestly believe that with the correct type of planning and realistic outlook, an outstanding wedding can be pulled together.  It was upsetting to me that people acted as though I don't know the difference. Yes planning & designing is my job but I'm not blind to the big picture, the purpose or the reason. 
90210 TV Show Wedding
Marriage is the life after the wedding.  This is the long lasting relationship, everyday life, and continuing story of the couples love. This should be the reason WHY you had the ceremony part of the wedding in the first place. The ceremony doesn't take more than the couple, someone to marry them, and a couple of witnesses (or being surrounded by their friends and family).  At times, we've taken part in creating private ceremonies for couples. (This might date me, but I'm sure a few of you just thought of the 90210 marriage of Dylan and Toni's wedding, private ceremony, and party with friends and family after.) I personally feel that a ceremony should be an example of who you are and where you have come from.  A ceremony should be magical, life changing, and very personal for the couple getting married.

Amy Salerno Photographer (and one of our cute cute couples)

 Now when it comes to a wedding, you need to do it right, and what is right for you as a couple!!! To have a quality reception, you first need to figure out a budget, one that works for you.  See earlier blogs on budget, but I'm going to say you shouldn't invite 200 guests & then be upset that you need to feed them and that you can't afford to have the other things you wanted.  In the words of Valeen from Sweetest Days Photography, "Cut the guest list down to a manageable size, say no to the mom's bridge club or the dad's hunting buddies and whoever else it is that really isn't close to you and then do a quality reception where all the guests really love you and enjoy the day with you."  A wedding can be held anywhere, in a backyard, someone's home, the beach, hotel, or a hall.  While location doesn't matter, it is what you do with the location. It is how you bring together your voice as a couple and create a wedding that is an example of the two of you!

Thank you
Plus, it has been my experience (professional and personal) when a person short changes themselves in a wedding, they tend to regret this for years to come. I've planned wedding renewals because the bride missed out on having her father give her away, or the couple didn't get a chance to have their first dance and the reasons keep coming.  

A ceremony is the act of coming together as a married couple, the wedding reception is the party celebrating this fact and the marriage is the years that follow!!  (I will be celebrating 15 years of marriage this April. :)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Monday Model Magic

For the past 3 years, I've been asked over and over again to expand from just our CT Bridal Event. The CT Bridal Event will be celebrating 5 years this fall... wow how time has flown. While I look to improve it each year, I also don't want to lose why and what the show was created for.  This year, due to the wonderful helping hand of Chris from and the support of a handful of returning vendors, we have expanded.  

Now as we wait for spring (some more than others; I happen to be a winter lover, though -8 degrees is not the way I like to start out my day), I wanted to be able to share the exciting news.  As you may or may not know, the extremely talented Sara Faella, Artist~Designer~Stylist  will be creating a one of a kind, well two of a kind fashion shows.  One geared to be Vintage Glam Show (think glitzy/glamorous vintage accessories and dresses) and then a Couture Fashion Show (one of a kind/handmade accessories and dresses only)! To top off this excitement, we have added a famous CT model to our the show!!!  

 Let me introduce you all to Samantha Sojka, the crowning Miss Connecticut Teen USA 2011!  I did a little dance and squeal of happiness when Samantha first emailed us and it is possible Sara might have done the same thing. 
Samantha describes herself as ambitious, confident and
genuine, which are all wonderful traits to have. In her own words "I am an 18 year old freshman in college, who has been able to stay away from negative peer pressure, drugs and alcohol. I want to help teenagers learn that they do not have to turn to drugs and alcohol and show them through leading by my example. I am also a very active member throughout my community. I am part of a young women’s empowerment group, promote healthy lifestyles, fund raise for cancer research, and am very involved in dance. I hope to travel throughout Connecticut promoting community events, meeting new people, and learning more about the state of Connecticut. My goal, for this next year, is to be the first young woman from Connecticut to become MissTeen USA."  

Runway Ready
I can hardly wait for Sara to put the touch of her style for the fashion show! If we have a wonderful perfect spring day, then the fashion show will be taking place in the courtyard.  Make sure to reserve your front row seats by registering for your bridal event tickets now. Reserved seats will be limited, just so you all know.  

Thursday, January 20, 2011

coming soon

I think this says it all, for right now at least. 

Monday, January 17, 2011

Photo Booth Fun

Just a month or so ago we had the pleasure of working with Connecticut Photo Booths at Stephanie's & Steven's wedding.  The photo booth was a huge hit, providing the guest with a photo strip to keep and one strip for the guest book, and overall it was fun! 

Our bride and groom insisted that all the vendors take a turn in the booth and the challenge was born.  The two videographers were in first and they did bring a clever creative touch to their photos.  They grabbed all of their gear and see what they created...

As a planner, I could have brought in my folders, copies of all the paperwork, our centerpiece designs, our table card numbers, escort cards and more but that would have been a bit difficult to carry into the booth.  I decided, along with my staffer Robyn, that we should grab the bride and groom.  Of course Stephanie and Steven were up for it and a pretend fight broke out.  

I want to make it clear that is the husband's hand on his wife in the last photo, just saying! :)   The last ones to enter the booth were the talented photographers from Studio Foto.  There was a lot of happiness in the booth since all four were newlyweds.  Plus the cameras were able to take part in the photographs too. 

Now I know the awesome DJ, Kurt from Fun Factory, did have his photograph taken, but the only copy I have is the one in the book.  It is a little hard to see, but it is a great photograph. At least you are able to see a quick look at the guest book.  The guest book was a custom created book, staying true to their winter wedding theme and colors.  A nice touch that the Connecticut Photo Booth staff does is display the pages before putting them all in the book.  While guests were in line, it gave them a chance to check them out.

We have worked with many different "photo booth" companies and have to say that Connecticut Photo Booth is in our top three of them.  They send an experienced employee to work the booth throughout the event and they are there to handle the entire system.  This is important because if there is an issue with printing, or the color of the photos, they are on top of it right then and there.
The set up of the booth is top notch too.  This isn't a bunch of PVC pipes held together with  duct tape and a curtain that needs 2 or 3 people for set up.  You wouldn't want a booth that looks like it could fall over if someone brushes against it, and you feel comfortable putting  more than 2 people into it.  Connecticut Photo Booth provides a great set up, and it doesn't take away from your event.

When interviewing a photo booth company, it is important to ask about their rates, how many photographs you will receive, how much space they need for set up, how much time they need for set up, and if someone will be on site for the entire event that knows what they are doing.  

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Midnight surfer

The snow came and kept coming for sure yesterday!  It was amazing how much we got, since I feel like it has been a lifetime since I've seen that much snow. Granted it did halt a few things we had in the works for yesterday, it wasn't the end of the world. It gave me a chance to sit back, review and answer emails.  It also brought something I've noticed many times to my attention again.

We tend to have more traffic to our websites, facebook, blog and more inquires.  I get the feeling many of brides were stuck at home and this was a great way to spend the day. Surfing and seeing what is out there.  Just like I notice between the hours of midnight and 1 am and lunch time tend to be our other highest traffic times.  I admit that I am a midnight surfer.  Something comes to mind, and I have to go check it out which leads to looking at more and more things.  

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Helping Wedding Hand

The diagnoses of cancer can be life altering, and while fighting it, many people have to put certain things on hold. We don’t feel that your love for each other should be affected.  We have pulled together with other wedding professionals to be able to provide one lucky couple a wedding.  While you are busy getting well, we are busy putting together your wedding.  Submit your story to by Valentine’s Day.   Tell us about how you met, the engagement, why we should pick your love story, and anything else you feel like sharing.  Please keep your submissions to 1200 words or less. 

I will be blogging more about his shortly..just needed to get the word out!!!   

Monday, January 3, 2011


Finally, 2011… and I welcome it with open arms.  While 2010 was filled with joy, there were some difficult times too, which is why I can’t honestly be sad to see it go.

I had such a mix of events & weddings, my first Cassidy Hill Vineyard “PLANNED” wedding. (I was told by the owner that a couple rode up on their bikes with a JP, said a few quick vows, enjoyed a glass of wine and left. This was their real first wedding, and they prefer people book the place in advance.)  My first destination wedding was to Boca Raton, FL where I was able to take my family and it was nice to mix pleasure with business. I also reassured myself that I am a New England type of girl.  The hot Florida sun doesn’t mix well with me.   I even had the pleasure of enjoying a wedding where guests were encouraged to play bocce ball, and the family dog joined in for the first dance. Oh yes, they even had guests play a drawing game.  It has been such a great mix of different styles, colors, themes and events throughout the year. While I did continue to grow by adding estoPrints to our services, I also had the pleasure of having an intern for about 2 hours. Once she started to do some work, and she realized that party planning isn’t just socializing and attending parties all the time, she quit. I grew and shrank at the same time. J

We took part in 2 different charity events and while Firefly wasn’t all I had wished it could be, I’m still glad I put in all of my efforts. I’m thrilled to see how a community came together to give the camp a great event.  Now I wish they had invited more people but at least all who attended had a wonderful time.  We followed it with Comedians Conquering Cancer Event for the CT Children’s Medical Center. All the funds went to their oncology/hematology ward’s family assistance fund, and this helps parents purchase fuel and food, pay their bills, and helps out in everyday life.  Having a mother of a sick child hug me and thank me was a moment I will never forget.  Plus it was nice to see everyone come and just sit back and laugh.

I feel like for the most part, 2010 wasn’t that bad of a year.  So what if my husband is still unemployed. We could mope and linger in this. Instead, we look at the good from it. He is able to spend extra time with our boys, fixes up the home and overall has been a great support.

We did have our one weekend from hell. It was a crazy mix of stormy weather, my first car accident, a verbally abusive client, and a bit of failure on my end.  While I’m thankful my car wasn’t damaged a great deal on the outside (unlike the student Matt’s car), I did have broken items inside the car and when it happened, I just did the right thing.  We exchanged information, and waited for the cops.  I realized shortly after that I was hurt, even though I attempted to ignore it. Forward we went to the weddings, where we did our best to make sure everything was done, recover damaged items and move forward.  While we had a few shortcomings for sure, we owned them and continued on.  I’m thankful my crews remained calm and did their best to handle it all throughout the weekend. 

I followed it up with our 4th CT Bridal Event, Thanksgiving decorations for a few of my past clients, and an amazing sun-filled winter wedding (missing the snow) at the Lake of Isles.  Then came holiday parties, winter bashes, holiday decorations and then I suddenly found myself in the new year. 

I have seen the best and the worst in people this year, including in myself, and to be able to know how to do the right thing is a blessing. I am thankful for all of the talented vendors I have worked with. There is a core group of you that I enjoy seeing even outside of a wedding setting. J  I’m most thankful for my clients, who continue to allow us to assist them in creating their dreams. It is wonderful to remain friends with my couples after the fact and I am thrilled to announce that 2 of them are expecting their first children this year.  YIPPIE!!

I wanted to add that, I love what I do, and I know I am talented at what I do, but I am still human. I may forget my pen in the car, I may allow someone to talk down to me so they don’t talk down to my bride, but I remember what my clients want and I do my best to get it for them.  I listen to rants, vents, and cries along with the bursts of laughter and tears of joy. I don’t mislead, I attempt to keep everyone happy and I do not control the weather (at least not yet, but give me time). These are little things that come along with being a planner and I wouldn’t have it any other way. So needless to say,  I’m ready for 2011 and all of the exciting weddings, events, our first Spring Bridal Event, our 5th CT Bridal Event and more!