Monday, May 29, 2006

Thank you to all the men & women who have served our country. Where we we be without you? Thank you, thank you, thank you.
I had the great honor of planning Mandi & Andy's destination wedding, which took place earlier this month. It was without a doubt the most emotional wedding weekend I've ever been a part of. The groom is currently serving in the Army, and as I write this entry, he's back in Baghdad. We didn't know when Andy would actually arrive for the wedding until the day before he got here. His arrival was the most touching moment I've ever witnessed (look back a few posts). Many of the family members from both sides of the families also served in the armed forces.
For the rehearsal dinner, we planned it as a welcome home soldier party. We decked the place out in Red, White, and Blue. The brides mom also added "support our troops" yellow ribbons, and each guest wore a yellow lapel ribbon. The room looked great and was the complete opposite of the pink and crystal themed wedding the next day.
My tip of the day: Don't be afraid to go out and do something totally different for your rehearsal dinner. Host a casino party (these are SO much fun), have a luau, have a dessert only party, have a tailgate party, host a wine tasting... the possibilities are endless!
Todays picture: A snapshot of the Welcome home party decor. Sometimes piling it on is great!
Todays link: Here's a website I found if you would like to send the troops a message.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Usually the first item on a to-do list when planning a wedding is the budget. Having a budget from the get go will enable you to put money in categories that are a priority to you, ensures that you're calling on vendors and venues that are right for your wedding (high quality, reputable, and in your budgeted price range) , and that you're going to have enough money at the end (2 weeks prior to the wedding) to pay for them all. So what's the 1st thing brides & grooms usually cut? Videography. What's my 1st response to this, "I suggest we hold off on removing that category for now". Here's why:
Out of all my weddings, the couples who do get videography, tell me it is the one thing that they are most glad they did. Why? They didn't get to see everyone "oohh and aaahh" at the 1st site of the reception. " The whole thing was a blur, it was over so quickly"
Out of all my weddings, the couples who did NOT get videography, tell me it is the one thing that they wish they did. " I wish I could have seen my nephew walk down the aisle, he was so excited" "I heard my 90 year old Aunt Dottie was dancing to Eminem, I wish I could have seen that" "I wish I could hear my best mans speech one more time"
A professional wedding video is not the same as cousin Joe's. That is unless cousin Joe has 2 cameras, a wireless lapel mcrophone, capability and 40+ hours to edit 12 hours of video down to 2, and add your favorite music, and won't mind working through your entire wedding ceremony and reception rather than enjoying it. Oh, and you'll be sure to forgive him for missing your 1st dance while he got a drink at the bar.
Tip: provide your videographer with everything they need to provide you with an awesome document of your big day BEFORE the wedding. This includes your song choices, your invitation, the wedding day timeline & floorplans, photgraphers name, and details/notes sheets.
Todays photo: This is the cover of Bonita Living. It's the annual wedding issue of a regional magazine here in SWFL. Many regional magazines and publications do wedding issues in May & June. They can be a great resource, so check your local newstands. Weddings by Socialites was featured in this issue (click to read: )!
Todays links: See what wedding videography is these days. Also growing in popularity, wedding cinematography

Saturday, May 20, 2006

It's been a few days! I had a mid-week wedding and it made for a weird schedule. It was such a beautiful wedding though.
I received a wedding invitation today. It was obviously a do it yourself invitation gone terribly wrong. The ink had smeared, there were typos, and well, it didn't make me very excited about the wedding. Please keep in mind that DIY invitations can be amazing. A couple tips:
Invest the time and money into to them to be sure that you are giving the impression that you want to be received
Make sure you cover all your bases (who, what, when, where)
Have clean fingers when assembling
Think outside of the box
Customize and personalize
The most amazing invitation I ever received was an actual flip flop with little cards (had all the wedding info) tied on with raffia. The response card was a postcard from the wedding location. The flip flop came to my mailbox in shrink wrap! It was the neatest invitation, and I can't wait to go to the wedding.
So today I have spent some time cleaning my office. Not enough time, but enough to share the above picture with you. That's the pretty part of the office. Notice there isn't a desk in view and you can't see inside the closet. There is good reason for that.
I also spent some time chatting with some other wedding planners across the country. It's amazing the differences in weddings between here and Philadelphia, Denver, and Williamsburg. If anyone plans on getting married in one of those cities, feel free to send me a message- I know a great wedding planner or 2...
Okay, I don't have too much to say today. So ciao for now.
Todays link: Great invitations!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

To all the moms out there, I hope you've had a wonderful Mothers Day. I spent the day with my family and friends...another beautiful Florida spring day.
Today the mother and father of the bride for the next wedding arrived into town. Not too much hoopla surrounding their arrival. However, this past Monday, when the bride saw her groom for the 1st time in 5 months, and he finally had the opportunity to formally propose, it was a moment like nothing I have ever experienced. The groom has been serving our country in Baghdad all year. The below link (cut and paste!) will remind you of why we have weddings, why we marry, why we celebrate love.
Special thanks to Photographer Gigi Hamlett for providing the incredible photos (

Todays Picture: That's me!

101 Destination Wedding Planning Tips

From the editors of Destination Weddings & Honeymoons