Wednesday, May 30, 2007

There's chocolate and then there's Norman Love Confections

Can I just tell you that I still haven't eaten a piece of this. And yes, I want to. But its just so amazing to look at that I have forced myself to wait a week so that everyone who came through the door could see how beautiful it was. The packaging is awesome to say the least, however its the confections inside that are jaw dropping. Each one is like a piece of art.
I received this box as a gift and I couldn't have been anymore excited just when I saw Norman Love on the top of the box. I literally started jumping up and down in my brides suite.
So today we will free the confections! Raspberry is my favorite to eat but I think passion fruit is the prettiest. Wait no, I like the coffee truffle best. I better stop now.
Lucky for me Norman Love is actually based down here in Ft. Myers. But for those of you who aren't so lucky, they ship! And of course, they do have wedding confections. That's about a super special treat for your guests. WOW. Or perhaps a special welcome gift for you soon to be in-laws or guests who have traveled far to celebrate with you.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Fuschia & Orange

No longer do I live in fear of Orange or Fuschia! This weekends destination wedding events were great. Lots of color, great music, fantastic entertainment, and a very happy bride & groom. Click here or on Susan & Jim on the sidebar to go to their wedding blog.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Color takes the lead

Many things "wedding" make me smile. But when I open my post office box and find a collectors edition of Martha Stewart Weddings, I get downright giddy! This latest issue is especially neat because its segmented into color palettes. On pages 4 & 5 there's a fail safe chart and list of year round flowers in each of the natural colors. If that doesn't make it easy, I'm not sure what does! I'll admit that I've never been drawn to Red. But for some reason when I saw the amazing table setting on page 6, I suddenly love red and must have a dinner party with a red theme. I know, any excuse to have a party...
So yeah, I'm up to page 6 and I already have one party in the works. Imagine what will happen by the time I get half way through the issue!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Two Gorgeous weddings

I know! It's been a week. But the wait was worth it; 2 really great weddings for you to see.
Donna & Jim on Captiva Island
Traci & Steve in Naples

A week, the flu, chocolate and 2 weddings later

I can't believe I went a week without writing! Actually, I would have had to give up one of the 14 hours I slept in the last 2 weeks to blog, so just this once- it was worth it. I needed all 14 hours of it. We had a couple of amazing weddings and one more to go before the month is over. Links to Donna & Jim's Captiva Island wedding and Traci & Steve's Naples wedding are over to the right. 2 totally different weddings and atmosphere's, and both wonderful celebrations. During both of them I had the flu but adrenaline kept me up and running. Even when one of my assistants for the weekend got hit by a truck while we were loading up after a wedding! Nope, not kidding. She's ok thank goodness, but needless to say, it was scary.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Welcome Bags

I am giving away one of my favorite secret stashes of resources. Joneses International. I LOVE this website. They carry all kinds of eco-friendly bags, boxes, and stuff that makes weddings great. I love it for the unique items they have and of course, the closeouts. Holy cow, the closeouts can't be beat.
Oh, and if you're doing that whole Green Wedding thing that is all the rage right now, you'll love this site even more.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Alot of "Stuff"

In my last post I mentioned all the "stuff". Just to give you an idea of what arrives at my office for a pretty typical wedding, here's a photo for this Fridays wedding. 17 boxes, with still 2 more deliveries expected.
Yep, alot of stuff.

If I wasn't doing this, who would be?

So last night I worked until about 3am for the 4th or 5th night in a row (I lost track). April and May are the absolute busiest times of the year in weddings down here in Southwest Florida. There are so many weddings happening you can almost throw a stick and run into one.

Anyway, I was wondering, if I was a bride, and I was getting married next Saturday, how would I be up doing all this? Holy cow! I can't even imagine doing everything I am doing: putting together the timeline, calling to confirm times, deliveries, and payments, with all the vendors and site coordinators (13), printing the programs, itineraries, timelines, and menu cards, stuffing welcome bags,confirming the guest list/meal choices are correct, and getting all the "stuff" packed up (all 12 boxes that UPS and fedex have delivered over the last 2 months). This on top of getting myself packed, the fiance packed, my dress ready and transported to the right place, dealing with moms, sisters, and the endless phone calls, stressing that I forgot something, that my wedding planner forgot something (so I'm going to ask her, just to make sure),wrapping gifts, finishing up at work, taking care of the dog...and I KNOW that's not all of it. That's an insane thought.
I wonder this because when I got married, I didn't do half of it and boy did it show. It was a disaster. I'm going to tell you all about it, don't worry. But it's such a long story, its getting its own page. Stay Tuned.

Friday, May 11, 2007

The Truth about your wedding menu

The truth about your wedding menu: Nobody cares what it is as long as it's hot and tastes good.
Consider all the weddings you've been too. Is the meal what you remember most about them? Doubt it.
Think about the BEST wedding you ever attended. Was the meal what made it? Doubt it.
Chances are that the best thing about your favorite wedding was the great time or feeling you had there. It's probably the memory of a band so amazing that you were dancing for so long your feet were swollen into your shoes. Or your lack of memory due to a really great signature drink. Or maybe it was how incredibly romantic and intimate the night was. Or perhaps it was how gorgeous the ceremony & reception looked and made you feel. But like I said, chances are- it wasn’t the meal.

My point is this, don't stress about what you put on your wedding menu. It's one of the elements of planning a wedding that I have noticed clients get more stressed about, and they just don't need to. So with that said:
***Feel free to serve chicken. These days, you can get some mighty good chicken! Chefs are amazing with their accompaniments and presentations, let them kick it up a notch and get creative with it. Why chicken? It is almost always the least expensive entree on a catering menu. Those savings mean you can bump up your budget on the things that really do make a huge difference in your wedding memories (the band, the flowers, etc.).
***Have a shorter dinner. Go the 3 course route rather than the 4 course. Again, there is the cost savings. Even better though, the time savings. That 4th course could easily eat up another 30 to 40 minutes of your "party" time.
***Do go all out for dessert. It's consistently a big hit when it’s done, and because it happens later in the evening- guests do remember it.
Cool ideas: add a dessert buffet, candy bar, Venetian table, or fresh doughnut bar.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Subject: Random Question #2516

Toasts for RD and Reception…
I’ve read it’s tradition for the groom’s parents to toast the bride’s parents at the RD, and for the bride’s parents to toast the groom’s parents at the reception…. Is that true?

Oh my gosh, you are so hilarious. I just realized you're numbering the questions. THAT is so funny.
There's tradition, and then there is what really happens. Tradition, yep- just what you said. What really happens...depends on the style and formality of the wedding and the kinds of guests you have. Here is what I will say for sure. Get as many of the toasts out of the way at the Rehearsal dinner. Ask everyone you think will want to say something, if they plan on saying something- before the weekend comes. Then ask them to do it at the event that you feel is most appropriate. This way you'll probably have more time to party/dance at the Wedding. Toasts and speeches on wedding night, on top of the other traditions (cake cutting, parent dances, bouquet toss, pictures, etc.) really cut into the time you actually get to just let loose and have a good time.

I love this and I think you will too.

I got a super fabulous email today from CocoMyles. They asked me to Blog about their product, and I was absolutely all over it after I tried it out. This site ROCKS. On the website you design your own dress: bridesmaid, rehearsal dinner, engagement party, you name it. I say find a reason to buy one. The dress I designed for myself- which I LOVE and can not wait to get, is just $135! GET OUT!
Oh, but there's more. Let's say you were flipping through InStyle magazine or watching the Grammys and you saw a celebrity in a dress that you just loved. CocoMyles actually has a celebrity inspired line. The dresses in this line are named appropriately, so you'll know which celebrity style you are wearing.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

"Jim! I found your tie!"

So remember a few weeks back when I found tie gold mine at Solid Color Neck Ties? Well, here's another way to customize! Each of the groomsmen in the wedding are getting the ties, and since we saved so much on the ties, I was able to do a little something extra.
I took matching satin ribbon to an embroiderer, and had each groomsmens name embroidered onto the ribbon. A monogram would be even better...But I didn't have all the initials. Anyway, once I find my handy dandy sewing kit I'll attach it as the loop on the back of the tie (you know, that little loop that holds the skinny end). Voila! Custom tie, personalized gift!
Wrap it up nice and neat, and it's a cool addition to the grooms party gifts. Make sure you tell your photographer about this nifty little secret. It makes for a cute photo opportunity.

Client question of the week

Will this throw me over budget?

Nope that's not the question of the week.
Can my mother wear white to the wedding?

That's not it either.
Should I get a martini bar or a signature drink for cocktail hour?

Ce n'est pas lui.

What size shoe do you wear?

Hands down. This is the winner. And yes, this is for certain getting you on the blog. And I'm an 8 to 8 1/2, depending on the shoe.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

The Wedding Podcast Network

As if this week couldn't get better...The Wedding Podcast Network selected this blog to syndicate their wedding podcasts! There's a link off to the right, in the sidebar. Not just anybody gets to offer the syndication, so I am honored.
Some of you might be wondering what the Wedding Podcast Network is. Well, it's cool, and you should for sure check it out. Basically, its "The largest most comprehensive collection of original wedding talk radio programming for couples planning their wedding. Conversations with newlyweds and wedding professionals sharing their first hand experiences." Yeah, I took that quote right from the WPN homepage. It is the best way to describe it. The content chages regularly, so check back often.
You can listen to podcasts on your ipod, your computer, or --- burn them to a cd so you can listen to them in your car, while flipping through Grace Ormonde Wedding Style as you are waiting in traffic on the way to Naples, while sipping on your Chai Tea Frap. from Starbucks.

You like me, you really like me!

On Newsstands this week- The Knot Best of Weddings 2007. This inaugural issue lists the cream of the crop of wedding professionals across the United States. I'm very excited about this issue. Why? Well, you know I'm a wedding magazine & book junkie, but also because Weddings by Socialites was selected for the event planners category! Totally a reason to celebrate! Thanks so much to everyone who nominated me- I can't tell you how happy it made me.
So there was a little typo, they listed me as a winner from South Florida (Miami)...but I'm actually a South West Coast Florida planner (Captiva, Naples, Sanibel, etc.). That's ok, though, you know where to find me.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

An Army for a Wedding

How many people does it take to pull of a wedding? Well this past weekend, it was a small army:
Besides a father of the bride who planned for a year-
A wedding planner, 3 assistants
A Photographer, 2 additional shooters
A videographer, 2 additional camera people
2 site managers, 3 catering managers, 6 banquet captains, 20 servers, 5 bartenders
A priest and a sacristen (you know, the church lady)
8 drivers
1 dresser, 4 stylists, 1 make-up artist
3 chefs and 2 pastry chefs
A floral designer and a production staff of 5
22 musicians
2 furniture movers
and a partride in a pear tree.
I'm sure I;ve forgotten somebody, but can you blame me?
Check out Vanessa & Gregs wedding at their blog (click here or on the sidebar with the real weddings)
Thanks to Mr. G and Mr. Hurd for sharing some photos!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Dress Shopping

Dress shopping. I rarely get to go to the bridal salons with my clients because they live out of town. But today was different! It was so fun to watch this client finally get her dress on. I say finally because it took forever to get here. The bridal salon ordered the dress months ago, with plenty of time to spare, thank goodness. But the manufacturer still caused all kinds of grief. You see, if you order a dress and say your wedding date is June, the manufacturer knows you don't need it until then. And lets say someone comes and orders the same one for a May wedding. Guess who will get the dress you originally ordered? Not you. Awful huh? So my solution? "Move" your wedding date up for ordering your gown. Give your self an extra month to 6 weeks.
And to Lacey & Ashley at Lace and Roses Bridal- thank you for making my bride happy today!

Oh how I love a great handbag made just for me

Ok, so today I got the bestest surprise ever at my PO box. My very own, made just for me, 1154 Lill Studio handbag. Now, I'm a girl, so of course I have a thing for handbags. But this bag, this is a very special bag.
At 1154 Lill Studio you design your own bag. The style, the fabrics- inside and out (even the pocket lining). I am just beyond excited. And guess what. Not only do they make just great handbags, they even have a wedding line.
To make this any cooler, if you are lucky enough to be in Chicago, Boston, or Kansas City, you can have a handbag party. How fun would that be as a pre-wedding gift to all your bridesmaids? Check out the site, you can design right online. Careful, it's slightly addicting. Oh, and I got the Grace handbag with ruffle and faux hot pink suede inside. So awesome. I need to go get a matching outfit.

101 Destination Wedding Planning Tips

From the editors of Destination Weddings & Honeymoons