Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Winter Weddings

I personally LOVE winter and LOVE winter weddings.  I think there is something magical and wonderful about snow.  My favorite wedding of all time is when Phoebe gets married in NYC during the snow storm.  Now of course it isn't something you can really plan for, snowfall or no snowfall.  A few weekends ago it was 50 degrees and sunshine, so needless to say no one has mastered mother nature yet.

Be understanding though if you are looking to book a winter wedding.  Prices from vendors will of course be better but there is always the chance for a huge storm, or last minute guests who can't make it.  As long as you prepare yourself mentally at least that things may change, you will be okay.  It is a risk that I see more and more couples take just for the financial benefit.   Make sure you venue can handle lack of power, and make sure your vendors have some sort of weather clause in their contracts too. 

I had an amazing winter wedding this year, and it included snow on the wedding day.  So everything ran about 1/2 hour late but everyone was safe and took their time driving.  Guests were smart and arrived early and it was a huge success.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

How Pink?

When I was a little girl, my room was wallpapered with different shades of pink and I even had pink tiles behind my radiator.  I had pink sheets, and I think I wore a lot of pink.  This worked for many years of my childhood but then as I grew and my taste evolved.  

Why am I discussing the color pink, well it isn't just about the color.  I know color a lot since it is a huge part of everyone's wedding. We design our flowers off this, invites, napkins, dresses and so forth but I guess I wanted to remind my couples and couples who are just starting to work with a color not over do it.  Pink might be your FAVORITE color in the world but what your soon to be spouses?  Whenever you are sitting there designing through your wedding day, remember to pause and ask how much is too much?  If you have more than your eyes can take in, then it might be time to scale back a tiny bit at least.  Make your favorite color stand out by using contrasting color,  or complementary colors. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Like it

Recently I had a couple who create a Facebook Event for their wedding.  This was a first for me.  They did have invitations but this was a chance to invite people to share in their ceremony and just their ceremony since the venue had a size limit.  
Now while I fully understood this, it did make my heart beat a tiny bit faster when I learned of this.  The venue a different reaction and their heart might have stopped for a second. They were thinking about the food aspect of it all.  We didn't have an issue with inviting people to share in the ceremony but what if some of them came to the reception.  I hate to turn people away and didn't want any misunderstandings of course either.  For a venue to handle and extra person all of a sudden can be done, not recommended of course but I've seen it happen a few times.  My assistant and I have ended up sharing a meal because we gave ours to an unexpected out of town guest who decided to drive up at the last minute.  
In this instance though we could have ended up with about 35 additional people and didn't want any issues.  To avoid issues, we put an announcement onto the program, thanking everyone for coming and about the private reception to follow.  We felt it was the best way to handle it.  We did get 3 additional people who decided to attend anyways and they were super sweet about everything though.  They didn't demand a table and we ended up due to weather having a few people not make it, so it worked it out.  If you are thinking about doing something like this and making it a public event, make sure you let your vendors know before hand, like your planner and venue. Also make it clear to them what they are being invited too, and don't leave reception information onto the event board.  How do you feel about this?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Loving Challenge

Today is my last day in my own 7 day blog challenge. I am going to say I did well, I’m sure I could have done better but at the same day I didn’t falter and I didn’t just not do it.  So I did WELL and I”m gonna be happy with myself.   I didn’t plan on ending on the biggest love day of the year if you happen to celebrate this day but I did.   

As the mother of two boys, I found myself the Valentine’s Eve discussing this day.  Since I’m in the process of the divorce, turns out my oldest had a few questions for me.  Like who was gonna show me love tomorrow, and I told him I was gonna love myself, remind myself that I am a good person, that I am a good mother and that I can do anything I set my mind too.  I said you wanna know the secret to Valentine’s day and he said sure.  I said if you sweep a girl off her feet only on that day, then you will have to continue to sweep her off her feet on just that one day.  If you take the time to show love throughout your life and hers, you may find that one day doesn’t make or break you.  No matter how you plan on treating this day for the rest of your life, just remember to always treat the day the same way you do every year, it will keep you out of trouble.  

Mind you he is in middle school and while he likes girls it isn’t something he really wants to discuss with his mother but I did ask if he was set for tomorrow.  He said for me not to worry.  Such a grown up answer.  

My oldest asked what his mother ever got for Valentine’s day in middle school. My responce was simple, that a boy named Jason gave me a potted plant, that outlasted all the roses the other girls got.  This for some reason made my son laugh, he gave me a hug and went to read until bed time.  

I hope this day provides the love and caring that everyone needs.  So while I did say a few days ago this wasn’t my favorite day of the year, I refuse to be a Grinch about it either. I might have baked pink smooshed heart shaped cupcakes for the boys...they weren’t suppose to be smooshed but remember I’m not a baker. :)   Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!  Remember that tomorrow all the left over candy goes on sale.  I think that might be my favorite day...

Monday, February 13, 2012

Sexy Tupperware

Weird title, but it made you look.  Back in the day Tupperware parties were the thing to do.  I remember as a child hearing my mother be invited to them, or having neighbors hosting them but the at home parties have really changed over the years.  I know there are tons, ones that sell jewelry, kitchen items (maybe a little Tupperware) and many many that sell romance. 

Now as a the hosting company for CT Bridal Event, I've had my share of different at home romance companies come to our events.  I've really learned that they aren't all the same.  Three years ago I had the pleasure of meeting Raylene, a woman who has always been full of life, a straight shooter and aware, while running her own Pure Romance company.  I use the word aware for an important reason, Raylene isn't all about selling romance products but also educating the women who attend the parties.   She was also aware that at a bridal show, people might not wish to have EVERYTHING displayed.  Some people attend our shows, with grandmother's, step children and might not be interested in discussing edible underwear with their friends, or if they use lube or not.   If they are, they book a party or spend time talking to Raylene, but as I said she is really aware of how to connect with people in a comfortable, not in your face method. 

I'm a fan on facebook and between the sales pitches, and jokes, she does her best to keep women educated on their bodies.  Her honesty makes her excel at what she does.  I've seen people meet her at the show, tell her how much fun they had 3 months ago and book another party.  That says a lot.  So if you want to check her out, this is the perfect time.  You don't have to host a party, you can just join her at her 5th anniversary party.   Feel free to call her at 860-367-8056 or email her.  Plus find her on facebook and LIKE her. 

Just remember the fine print, babies and children are not allowed.  Men can attend this party by hanging out at the bar and then joining their girlfriends & wives after a little while.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Wrong Impression

In the process of planning and designing a wedding, there are times the venue might not totally meet the vision of what the couple was looking for. They picked the venue due to an open date, price, location or one of another dozen reasons but there might be changes that they want to make.  I notice some venues are very touchy about what goes on in their space, what they are willing to move and change around.  I get this, I do.  It isn't always easy to move around huge pieces of furniture but moving a few plants out is totally doable.  Anyways, more than once I've heard horror stories about planners or designers coming in and taking over the space, nailing things into the wall, taking down art, and overall causing stress for the venue.    I recently witnessed this at a location I was at.  The event planner started sticking things into the windows, hanging hooks from the walls (not the cool, leave no mark ones either) and just not respecting the space at all.  This of course gives all of us planners and designers a bad name. 

Now I will admit, I have moved my fair share of dead plants, fake trees and ugly soda coolers but I've never hung anything permanent on a wall at a venue.  I have attached the 3M hooks that work great.  I have been given permission to pin fabric to fabric that was already on a wall, and I have moved fake fencing out of a space too.  Usually if I go to move something, it is cleared way before the event and I make it clear that we will return the item to the correct space at the end of the night. It is a always a good idea to ask your venue, do they have any rules, a list of things not to do or to do and work within these rules.  I don't like people having the wrong impression about ALL planners coming in, taking over and making huge changes but it isn't like that.  My goal is to keep my couple's wants and needs taken care of during the event but to also work well within the space we are in. 

When walking through a venue, that you may fall in love with, ask the questions.  Ask can I hang things, are these the paintings here year around, do we need to have the fake tree in the corner, is the bar moveable or not??? These are things worth asking before you sign on the dotted line. 

You can't really see the orange netting at all. :)
As I end this, I will admit to one more thing.  I had a bride getting married with the beautiful ocean as the backdrop to her ceremony.  Between the ocean and the ceremony was a boardwalk that decided to be worked on the months leading up to the wedding.  The morning of the ceremony, the backdrop all of a sudden was orange netting over the boardwalk and then the ocean  I might have cut down the netting, allowed it to drop to the ground and hour before the ceremony and tied it back up right after.  I just couldn't let that be in the photos. :)   

Saturday, February 11, 2012


When was the last time you looked at your contracts with your venue or your caterer carefully?  Did you ask about every single charge on the bill?  Did you read the fine print?  I of course read the fine print over and over again.  Even if I have used the location or the caterer before, I make sure to reread just in case. 

What I've been noticing is an additional 20% fee added to a few venues or caterer's final bill.  Now there are times I totally understand this charge, if the caterer is has to remove all of garbage from the location.  No matter how you attempt to cut waste, there is waste at any event, and this has to be removed.  If you attempted to clear all of this yourself, it could take many trips to the dump and it is worth it to have them remove it for you.  Trust me, you don't want to be in charge of this.  If they say the charge is a linen cleaning charge but you are given a choice of linens for free, double check and clarify for yourself what is part of your original fee covers what.  

The point here is to ask what the 20% covers and if the venue or the caterer can't tell you what it covers then you have an issue.  They should be able to describe it to you and not just say it covers miscellaneous, isn't a good enough answer.  This is a part of the bill that you can attempt to negotiate.  It is worth asking and seeing what they tell you.  It is simple, you should be aware of how your money is being spent and what is covered and what isn't.  It is your money and you should be okay with how it is being spent.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Expressing Tradition!

Giving your wedding a personal touch is a wonderful thing & bringing in a bit of family tradition can be a sweet touch. It doesn't have to be wedding traditions though, like getting married in the same church as your parents or the same wedding date or reception location.
I had one sweet bride (I'm using the word sweet since I know she still reads these)  decide to share her Nana's cookies with everyone and even the recipe. It was a nice personal touch of family tradition that will be remembered for years to come.

Another couple who decided that their candy bar was filled with candies from all their own childhood.  Many people tend to stick to the wedding theme or the colors which is amazing but this couple wanted to filled the jars with their childhood.  Plus they even went as far as to add in their parents favorites.  

One couple used the wedding bands from the family, one from the bride's father who had passed away many years earlier is now being worn by the groom.  It was a sweet gesture, and something that will be forever special to the couple.

When you decide to do something like this, then take the time to share it with your guest.  Add a cute little sign that explains your choices, or add some information into your programs.  You guests want to know and you should share.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Valentine Romance

Organic Photography
With Valentine’s day just around the corner, the big push for what you should be doing for that day has of course already started.  I think the push actually started months ago when Valentine candy was even out before Christmas was over, but anyways next Tuesday is the day.  Do you plan to go out that night, or maybe go out this weekend or the weekend after?  Will you create a romantic dinner at home? Just buy each other gifts? Plan a getaway?  The questions are kinda endless. The biggest question I always have, are you being romantic cause you want to be or cause of the date?

No matter what day you decide to celebrate, let us make a few suggestions.  For the next week, why not use your good plates, the good wine glasses, and real napkins.  Why not light candles throughout your dinning room, or your kitchen table.  Why not add candles throughout the room?   Pick a night to cook together, start with a bottle of wine, and cook together!  One of you can pick up the needed items from the store, and the other one can put the dishes away but take the time to create a meal together.  This works best if you put your phone in another room, don’t turn on the tv, though music is okay.  Why not buy a box of chocolates and enjoy biting into each one and figuring out if it is one you like or you don’t. Or even better feed them to each other and see if you can guess what they are.  Take one night to enjoy your partner’s choice in a movie and then the next night switch.  I also recommend that you both plan a night out and make the reservations and surprise each other.  You don’t have to go out for a huge pricey meal, but instead go out for drinks before or maybe just dessert.  Plus there are plenty of great restaurants that offering amazing deals this month, so do a little research and find the best deals.Have a little fun seeing who can find the best deal in town.   If you don’t have a babysitter, then why not pick up a take out order from that place you both have been wanting to go too.  Maybe just turn on your favorite song and dance around the house together, it doesn't cost you anything. 

My hope here is that I’ve given you a little food for thought on how to be romantic for more than just one day or at least how to make the one day really count.  I personally am not a huge fan of Valentine’s day, believe or not.  I don’t even own anything red, (someday I will share a photo of my cool walk in closet and you won’t see red. I do own a few pink items but I’m sure my mother bought them for me).  I am a huge fan of romance though, maybe that is why I love weddings.  While there are so many wonderful details to a wedding, my favorites are always the simple acts of love the couples share.  That first moment they see each other, be it during a first look or when one is about to walk down the aisle.  I love the moment when a couple is first married, and have a few seconds after the ceremony before anyone else hugs them or congratulates them. My favorite of all time, is when I see a couple both talking to other people look across the room, filled with friends and family and mom’s co-workers and they share an entire conversation with just a smile.  Those are the things I wish most for my couples, that they don’t lose that special connection, that they take time to still enjoy each other and love all moments, good and bad with each other.  So if you find yourself thinking of what to do this holiday, then make an effort to honestly take time to spend with each other and be a tiny bit more romantic.

Also do your best to shop local, (buy flowers from a local place)  & eat at locations that aren’t chains, and  support the places around you if you can. That has nothing to do with romance but just a nice reminder for you.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Things to consider for an outside ceremony

Last wedding season I was lucky to have a range of different ceremony locations.  I had a good chunk of them be outdoors, I think it is something many of us enjoy but there are always a few things to take into consideration when deciding on an outdoor ceremony location. 

Set the ceremony away from the sunshine.
Lots of sunshine!
SUNSHINE:  Make sure you figure out where the sun will be during your ceremony. Try to ensure that your guests and your wedding party isn't squinting throughout the service.  You want people to focus on the ceremony not on the fact that they can't see you. Try to pick a time for your ceremony that works with the level of sunshine if you can.

Two Roads Photography
SOUND:  Since you are outside, it is important to figure out how to make sure you are heard.  There are ways to hook up a sound system, this is a great thing to discuss with your DJ or musicians for your ceremony.  Your planner of course knows ways to help too.  If you decide not to use a sound system, make sure everyone speaks clearly, a bit louder than normal and have your guests sit closer together.  As the wedding couple, make sure you are looking at each when you exchange your vows instead of having your back to your guests.  Don't have your wedding party block you either.

BUGS:  It is a great idea to have bug spray available around the ceremony site.  Stick them in a basket, with packages of tissues and you are good to go.  Another product beside spray are bug spray wipes, they are easy to use but remember to have a trash can close by for people drop the wipes into after use.  You can fog the area a few hours before the ceremony, set up bug traps, or have a professional bug spraying company come out usually the week of the wedding.

SEATING:  What will work best for your style of wedding, budget and number of guests.  You don't have to have everyone sit if you plan on a short and sweet ceremony.  Though it is important to have some form of seating for certain guests, you don't want your grandmother standing for the whole ceremony.  Rented chairs, benches, blankets, hay and there are always clever choices to be made in seating.  Just remember, not everyone is going to want to sit on the ground and find the best solution that works for the space and your style.

Always be willing to work with the space you are in, remember to have a back up plan or even two or three of them!  Outdoor ceremonies can be amazing and taking the time to work out the details is important. 

Meeting both needs, chairs and blankets for a freestyle wedding.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

I admit it...

Okay, I admit it, I've been lacking on the blog posts.  It is very easy to spend my late night hours checking out Pintrest, or creating a one of a kind cake stand for one of my couples.  I look at the blog, I even start them but then I have about 3 different topics to cover and well you get the picture. I'm going to spend one whole week posting in my blog. (Don't mind the fact that I'm starting this on Tuesday. :)  I have a few topics to cover and I may cover one or more a day but until next Tuesday there will be a new post every day. 

We will be covering Valentine's Day, our upcoming bridal show at the Mark Twain House & Museum. Feature a few of our favorite wedding vendors, cover a few pressing issues like Facebook Eventing your wedding, creative tips and more.