Saturday, February 24, 2007

"So, are you like J-lo? Do you have that little bag?"

Truly, I get asked this at least once a week. To go ahead and get the answer out of the way, no I'm not like J-lo, at least I don't think so, because that is nothing like what my job is like. But I do have a little black bag that would put Mary Poppins big carpet bag to shame. At my last wedding here is what I pulled out for mini-emergencies:
1. Safety pins to keep the ring bearers pants on.
2. Deodorant for a bridesmaid who danced all hers off.
3. Bobby pins for the bride.
4. Double stick tape to a guest to attach a card to a gift.
5. Sharpie to the pastor who needed to make a last minute change.
6. Mints to the entire grooms party, pre-ceremony, post-smoke break.
7. 1 Mylanta, 4 tylenol, 2 advil, 3 bandaids, and a tampon to various members of the wedding party.
8. Hairspray to the flower girl who twirled and twirled and twirled in her dress til her hair fell flat.
10. 4 zip ties on the ivy that wouldn't stay put.
11. 2 AA batteries to a guest whose camera went dead.
12. Lollipop to the screaming kid in the ceremony.
13. 3 battery powered tealights for the kids table. Some crazy person put real ones on there! Hellooooo- kids table.
14. Mace onto the DJ who nearly destroyed the reception. Just kidding. Hee Hee. I wanted to, but that's another post all together.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Hi my name is Kelly McWilliams. I'm a wedding planner, I plan weddings for Brides & Grooms, and I'm addicted.

I can't stop. Yesterday I received a surprise in my PO Box. It was a thank you note with a nice gift from a previous client. A previous client from over a year ago! It had been "lost" in the mail all this time! Gotta love the postal service. Anyhoo, I immediately called the client and explained that it had just arrived and that was why I had never called to say thank you. It was good to talk to her again. Then I sat here for about 15 minutes pondering what to do with this thank you gift. Spa day? Nah. New outfit and shoes for the concert tomorrow? Nah. Take the hubby out to our favorite-yet-way-to-expensive-resturant? Nope. I flew over to the bookstore and loaded up on 5 wedding books that I have been dying to get my hands on. I just about cleared the shelf except for the "How to plan a wedding" books. I've got a small wedding library in my office and it just got a whole lot more inspirational.
P.S. Call me a dork if you want to; But I'm going to the Justin Timberlake concert tomorrow and I'm as excited as all heck.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Oh no! My dress is filthy!!!

Yep. I guarantee you that unless you have a tea length dress (very hip right now by the way) that your dress will get dirty. Why? Because at some point you will walk somewhere in it. And considering that your dress will go where your shoes go, it will make contact with a floor, sand, or grass. Meaning it will be black, brown, or green on the bottom by dinner. Here's the thing though. Nobody will notice except for you, the bride. Yes, I know that you love your dress, and I know that you spent a paycheck (or a couple paychecks) on it. I love your dress too, but there aren't enough Shout wipes in the world to keep it spotless.
So here is what I propose. Cry now and get it off your chest. Then go to see what these brides did (click here). I want to go dig out my dress now and do this. It looks like a blast. Quick, somebody get me a photographer!

Monday, February 19, 2007

A camel, a giraffe, Cinderella, and a pig.

I had the most incredible weekend! Friday I went for a site tour at the most unbelievable, one of a kind, out of this world venue I have ever seen. I am just dying to have an event there. Very pricey I'm certain, but guaranteed to be worth every penny. Now considering I see many a venue, for me to say that my jaw dropped at every turn- that means this place is something else. And it wasn't just the venue- the staff is incredible. I met one of the owners as he was taking his camel for his morning ride. Then I fed carrots to the resident giraffe (I think his name is Shelton) as I talked logistics with the Director of Sales. Even the executive chef stopped by to introduce himself. I have never been so impressed.
Saturday I had a Cinderella wedding. Oh the bride looked just beautiful. It was very much a fairytale wedding, right down to the horse and carriage and handsome prince of a groom. I had such a wonderful time watching them together. They're very much one of those couples who are just so in love. I cried no less than 5 times.
Sunday we co-hosted a pig roast-birthday party at our home. Donna, I know you are freaking out about this, I told you not to read my blog today! It was freezing by Florida standards, but a great time was had by all. I even learned how to play "Cornhole". I think its an Ohio born outdoor game. Something between horseshoes and plinko. If that makes any sense.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentines Day!

Anybody get engaged today? It's still kind of early, hopefully by tonight I'll start to hear about some exciting proposals. I got engaged on Valentines day 10 years ago. I can hardly believe its been that long. It's been a great 10 years.
Speaking of engagements, let's talk about engagement photos. What are they for, and why do you get them, and should you even bother.
Personally, I think they're great. For so many reasons. You can use them on your wedding website, your mom can put them in the paper with the engagement announcement, you can use them as your holiday card picture, and there are even some wedding invitations that have photos printed right on them. It's also really nice to just have a great picture for your office desk, and somewhere in the house.
Then there's the "wedding planner reasoning". This wedding planner will tell you that spending that hour or 2 with your wedding photographer, months before the wedding will make a huge difference come wedding day. You will know how your photographer works, and your photographer will learn the best ways to get the best out of you. So then on your wedding day, its someone you know taking your photos, and everyone can be comfortable and full of smiles.
Most wedding photographers offer packages that include engagement photos. If not, just ask if its something you can add on.
Photo Credits:
Michelle Reed Photography
Gigi Hamlett Photography

Monday, February 12, 2007

The Newest Trend: Documenting your entire wedding weekend

Not all, but most of the weddings I get to plan are 3 or 4 days of events. Here's the typical line-up:
Usually the weekend starts with the rehearsal dinner, (Thursday)
Followed by a welcome reception (Thursday)
A spa day for the gals and a golf or fishing tourney for the fellas,(Friday)
Perhaps then a sunset cruise, luau, casino night, or the newest rage- Karaoke parties (Friday)
Then of course the wedding ceremony, reception, and after party (Saturday)
And then it all has to come to a close with a farewell brunch... (Sunday)

As you can imagine, there are just tons of memories to capture with all this fun stuff going on. In 2005 I started to notice that more and more of my clients wanted to have all their events documented with professional photography and videography. And really, it kind of makes sense. You figure, when else in your life are you going to have all the people you care about and enjoy the most spending the weekend with you doing nothing but fun stuff? I had a wedding weekend, and I would give anything to have a few really good photos from our welcome reception and video of our best mans speech. One of the neat things I've noticed about these weddings where we've had everything covered is that by the time you get to the wedding, the photographer and videographer visually "know" everyone, and because of that they get amazing shots during the most important 6 hours (ceremony-reception).
Here are a few tips if you're considering going this route:
1. If you're going to have your photographer cover all or few events, make certain that your photographer is a not only a good wedding photographer, but also a good photojournalist. A photojournalist doesn't ask for things to happen, they photograph what does happen and most important, they photograph unobtrusively.
2. Book the whole weekend at once. The last thing you want to do is call your photographer a month before the wedding to ask her to cover the casino party only to find out she's already booked on another wedding for that day.
3. Book the videographer for anything that's going to be big on sound and/or movement- obviously anything where there will be speeches, toasts, or bad singing (ha!).
4. Take advantage of all this documentation- share it. In addition to your wedding video, have the videographer create a 15 minute highlight dvd of the best moments from the weekend to give to your family and wedding party. You can also have your photographer send the videographer some of the photos to add to the video highlights.

One more thing, this is an "extra". Adding something like this can throw your budget WAY off. If you can't swing the whole weekend, maybe just pick one extra event to cover.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Wedding Magazines, what's your favorite?

As you might imagine, I try to read all the wedding magazines, and there are alot. I have 12 subscriptions, and then there are the ones that are special issues that you can't subscribe to. Every once in a while I get behind and end up with 2 foot high stack of issues to read. Which explains the bent center of my bookshelf. Some I skim through, others I read every last page. I was wondering though- what's the big favorite? So I put together this little poll over here. Vote and let me know what you think.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Baby Updates

Just a couple quick photos...these are the twins we were "showering" last spring! Saige & Skylar will be 1 in April. I think its Saige on the left.
The cute little guy is Aiden, Mandi & Andys little soldier.
The photo with me is Skylar (I think).
Sarah & Billy extended their family Trixie. GoGo stole the show at their wedding processional.

Photo Credit: Twins & Baby Feeding by Gigi Hamlett, Gigi Hamlett Photography

Friday, February 02, 2007

The Wedding Party dance of the year

Okay, I'd like all of you to learn this for your wedding receptions.
Click here to see video, make sure your sound is on and you have 3 minutes.

I'll even get in on it. Just don't ask me to do the chicken dance.

Photo credit: Nick Adams, Impact UK

101 Destination Wedding Planning Tips

From the editors of Destination Weddings & Honeymoons