Friday, August 31, 2007

Lovely. Pretty. I want it.

I'm not having a wedding again anytime soon, but if I were, I could say that I found my cake. I saw it on the TODAY show the other morning, and I think I began to druel a little. Ha!

The cake is so simple, but grand at the same time. Truly though, what makes it, is the gorgeous wreath of flowers around it. I just adore it. I love the flowers, the colors, the size, everything. I searched up and down the TODAY show and Martha Stewart Weddings websites looking for a photo of it and couldn't find one. So I vowed not to watch anymore of the TODAY show Martha Stewart Wedding segments. Yeah right. I'd make it like 1 day. Who am I kidding? No I wouldn't. So rather than swear off wedding tv, I commented on Darcys blog to ask her if she could find a photo of it and today she posted it. Thank you Darcy.
Oh, and the designer is Matthew Robbins. He's fabo. I wonder if he's available for the wedding I'm not having.

Thank you notes ROCK!

Isn't it so true? Think about it. The last time you received a handwritten thank you note in your mailbox- didn't it just make your day? Every time I get one my day is instantly better.
Me, I love to send notes as much as I love to get them. Actually, I take that back, I might actually enjoy sending them more. I smile when I think about how happy it might make the person that is going to receive it. After each wedding or event, I send thank you notes to all the vendors who worked so hard to make that wedding better than my client expected. Usually, if I can get a good photo of the bride and groom myself, I'll include a snapshot with the thank you note.
So as you can imagine, I go through a gazillion thank you notes a year. And I have issues with sending the same card out time and time again. For that reason, I buy new cards every month. I do try and keep with my business colors, but every now and again I get wild when I find cards I just can't pass up. Here's the card I am using this week. It's a Crane & Co. card (Roses is the design).
I sent one to Clint Wiley yesterday to thank him for making my summer bash the party of the year (ok, I was the only one who voted. But I had a great time, and so yeah, it was. I'm totally cracking up right now by the way.)

Here is the number 1 question I get asked by my clients when it comes to thank you notes, "What do I have to send one for and how long do I have to get it out?"
Answer: Send a card to ANYONE and EVERYONE who sends you a gift or helps you with your wedding. Mail it within 5 days of receiving the gift or help, if you really want to make an impression. Now, when it comes to actual wedding gifts, that you receive at your wedding, obviously you have a little more time. But try not to go past 6 weeks. However, it is never ever too late. If you realize that you never sent a note for something you should have months ago- send it anyway, it will still make the recipient smile.

If you have a thank you note that you think I would love to get my fingers on, let me know!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Look who's blogging now

I guess the craze has gone big time:
Preston Bailey
Martha Stewart Actually, its Darcys blog. She's the MS wedding guru.

I for one, am very excited.

The Wedding Books

Very often I get asked about where to look for ideas. The magazines are great of course. They keep up with the trends and are usually good about providing the resources. What I love the best though are the wedding books. I'm pretty sure I've blogged about them in the past, but we'll re-visit. The great thing about the wedding books is that you're getting a more complete picture on how the elements are used in the wedding. In a magazine, there may be a spread on invitations that run the gammot from tradtional to ultra modern, but rarely do you see what those invitations translate to a few months down the line at the actual event they were created for. And that is why I just love the wedding books. Here is my current top 10 list (in no order). These are the ones that I have pulled out many times over to complete a "
What if?" or "Could I?" thought.

To have and to hold by David Stark & Avi Adler
Southern Weddings by Tara Guerard
Simple Stunning Weddings by Karen Bussen
Extraordinary Weddings and Weddings by Colin Cowie
Signature Weddings by Michelle Rago
InStyle Weddings and InStyle Parties by the publishers of InStyle Magazines
Fantasy Weddings, Inspirations, and Design for Entertaining by Preston Bailey
The best of Martha Stewart Weddings by Martha Stewart
The Party Planner by David Tutera
Party Confidential by Lara Shriftman and Elizabeth Harrison

Ok, I have issues sticking to just 10 obviously. All these books are available on Amazon and usually they are available at a discounted price.
Happy Reading!
Do you have a favorite I don't know about?

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Wondering what to put in the welcome bags?

A wedding planner friend of mine asked the other day about what I put in welcome bags. I've never put 2 of the same together. Just as each wedding is unique, so are the bags. First of all, I don't always use a bag. Sometimes we use a box, sometimes a basket, even a bath robe we used once (it looked really neat).

There are a few staples that go inside:
Bottled Water, Map, Brochures, and guest itinerary

Then there are the things that are unique to your wedding. Here are some of my favorites:
Stewart sodas or those fancy lemonades- can't remember the name, wine & opener (or a champagne split) with 2 glasses, pashminas, parasols, flip flops, beach towels, koozies, regional magazines, sunscreen wipes, chips/pretzels/popcorn, local food goodies, candy, cookies (photo cookies are huge hits), battery powered fans, off! wipes, pre-stamped postcards & pens, room key chains (those kind that go on your wrist), drink tickets (pina colada by the pool?),spa gift certificates, scented candles, cd's of your favorite songs, robe & slippers...

I could go on, but this is a good start right? Oh- and don't go thinking you need to put all this in there! The most important thing is that your guest who is spending 2 days travelling and maybe $1000 or more to attend your celebration feels welcomed. Put in what you like and what your budget affords you. These gifts can range from $7 to $175 each, depending on how lavish you want to get.

Quick tip: If you can attach a personal note to each bag- it speaks volumes. And its a task you can start as soon as the RSVP comes in. Also, if you do a welcome bag for each guest, a favor a the reception is certainly not necessary.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Didn't hit your minimum?

Most venues require that you spend a minimum amount of Food & beverage in order to retain your function space. What happens if you book the space thinking that for sure you're going to have 80 guests and then when all the RSVP's come back you only have 72? Hopefully you've set up your RSVP's to come back early enough that you can still decrease your guest count without a penalty (read the fine print!). So let's say your price per person is $160, and that price includes 4 passed items and a 3 course dinner. Suddenly, you have $1280 that you have to pay to the venue, no matter what. Well, rather than lose it- spend it! Add something extravagant that you only didn't order because of the additional cost. How about a sushi bar? Maybe a fresh donut station? Ooooh- a lobster tail to each plate? How about making that 3 course 4, add an intermezzo of sorbet, a champagne toast served to each guest with a strawberry, Dark and White Chocolate fountains...oh the possibilities!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Thank you WE.

I was catching up on the wedding shows early this morning and I happened upon one of the neatest weddings ever, Amanda & Ray. The show was Platinum Weddings and the wedding took place in Nashville. What I found so cool in particular about this wedding was the Bridal tea that they had. Each guest received a custom made tea hat upon their arrival! I don't know how they did it, but they managed to have everyone's hat match their outfits. It was incredible. I wanted to be at this tea party. WE is really good about running repeats, so I'm sure you'll be able to catch the episode soon. When you do see it, you'll want to have a tea party too. I called the hat designer, but he only does hats for Derby (as in Kentucky Derby). Figures. But I'm sure there are many other hat designers out there who would be more than happy to design some hats for your bridal tea. Etsy might be a good start.

Oh, one other thing- no 2 things. I thought the billboard was so completely over the top and cool. What a neat thing for all your guests to see as they arrive into town. And the choir! Oh the choir! "Oh happy day! Oh happy day!" Love it, love it, love it.

By the way, I also love that the WE website now lists all the vendors used for each of the weddings featured on Platinum weddings. Its a great resource.Check it out! New episodes air Mondays at 10pm.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Here's the new office!

I'm officially all moved in now and I think it turned out pretty well. Except for the 6 boxes of stuff that still don't seem to fit in here even after I finally gave in and got rid of 4 years of wedding magazines. I did keep the Martha Stewart Weddings, Grace Ormonde Wedding Style, and Inside Weddings. I just couldn't part with those.
What do you think?
Okay, office, the website.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Something new on the blog

I just installed a nice little tool on this site called Snap Shots that enhances links with visual previews of the destination site, interactive excerpts of Wikipedia articles, MySpace profiles, IMDb profiles and Amazon products, display inline videos, RSS, MP3s, photos, stock charts and more.
Sometimes Snap Shots bring you the information you need, without your having to leave the site, while other times it lets you "look ahead," before deciding if you want to follow a link or not.

Should you decide this is not for you, just click the Options icon in the upper right corner of the Snap Shot and opt-out.

"See this? This is what I like."

Quick tip for those heading to their design consults soon.
What are you talking about Kelly? You have me confused."
You'll have design consults with your florist, cake baker, stationer, hair & makeup stylists, lighting & decor designer, etc. When you go, of course bring all the photos you've been ripping out of the magazines and printing off the websites. Better yet, set up a blog of what you like and send them all the link a couple days prior to your appointment. Your vendors will thank you and your meeting will be totally productive!
Click here for an example: This is what I like blog.
It's a 20 minute investment that could really save you and your potential vendors some frustration!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Hello Pacific Weddings!

This morning I opened my email and found a nice email from one of the editors at Pacific Weddings Magazine. First, I have to say that I was thrilled that she liked my blog. But more importantly, I was ecstatic that she introduced me to the digital version of the magazine! It ROCKS! Really, you just have to actually go and try it out. Its really like a big bold version of the printed magazine that is interactive. For instance, on the cover page- I saw the subtitle mentioning cakes. I kind of love cakes and so I clicked on it. Voila, I'm there...the cake page. Oh, and the icing on the cake (ha ha), that click lead me right to a Kate Spade inspired cake. Just so happens that one of my clients just registered for the Kate Spade china that was the inspiration for this cake. So what did I do? I clicked on the "share" link at the top of the page and emailed it to her. Unbelievable. I am so excited.
I also loved that I could zoom in on certain parts of the pages, that I could look at the entire magazine laid out in large thumbnail formats, and that I was able to click on any of the advertisers to be instantly connected to their website or send them an email.
Here are the links everyone- I really hope you'll check it out. I think you'll be impressed.
Pacific Weddings and the digital version

Sunday, August 12, 2007

It's time for a change!

Hi all, I'm gearing up for a website re-do. I know weddings, not web design. Does anyone have any suggestions or referrals?

Friday, August 10, 2007

"Wait, did someone get #17?" : The Bustle

You've got the dress of your dreams. And you've got the perfect bustle too. I have to admit, bustling, after all these years, still makes me nervous. Why? Have you seen some of these creations? There is a science to it, miss one and the whole thing is screwed up. Now, it's not so bad if there are only like 4 ties or two hooks. But when there are 27 - yes, TWENTY SEVEN, you can have issues. 27 little tiny white bows underneath 5 yards and 6 pounds of duchess satin requires at least 2 people who know what they are doing and 1 groom with some really strong arms. Why strong arms? It can take 20 minutes to get all those little ties done, and all those yards of satin need to be held at least shoulder height so that the people tying the little bows can read the little numbers on the underside of the dress. Nope folks, it ain't pretty.
So what to do? Have your designated bustle buddies (your bridesmaids, mom, or sister) go with you to your wedding dress salon or alteration shop and learn the best way to bustle the dress and to know exactly what it's supposed to look like when its done. The last thing you need is your grand entrance into your reception to be held up for 45 minutes while someone figures out your bustle DNA or for it to all come undone during your 1st dance.
This Ulla-Maija gown had a great looking bustle, and yes, it was the 27 tie kind that took 3 of us. But it looked fantastic didn't it?

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Real Weddings Online

I do my best to get a few photos at each of my weddings so that I can share some real weddings with everyone. I think showcasing these weddings is fantastic because you can see what's going on in the real world. Well, the wedding world anyway. Anyhoo, during my fit of insomnia last night I realized that there are so many wedding magazines that now have real wedding sections online! Here's a short list for you...for when you get insomnia or need a wedding fix.

Grace Ormonde
Together In Style
Inside Weddings
The Bride & Bloom

The interview. The whole interview. And nothing but the interview.

Several months ago I was interviewed by Budget Travel Magazine Online. The article turned out really well. I was extremely happy about how close it was to what I actually said. That's rarely the case. I was even happier when they used the same interview for their CNN segment and still stuck to what I said. There were a few things that I mentioned in the original interview that were left out though, and I think they could be helpful to anyone planning a destination wedding. So with that said, here's a link to the entire interview.

Seriously, how did I not know about him?

So I just watched the Tonight Show. The last 4 minutes were the best 4 minutes of the show. I have never heard of Jon McLaughlin before, and I feel way disappointed in myself for this. I just loved the song he sang, and I just listened to about 5 others and I now have a new favorite cd. The cd is titled Indiana. Buy it. Buy it now. It is so good.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

WPJA. What a great site; with or without insomnia.

I can't get enough of weddings pictures. Which of course somewhat explains my addiction to wedding books, magazines, and blogs. I have a bit of insomnia tonight and so I spent the last hour on WPJA just looking at pictures.
ALRIGHT! I CONFESS! I am also currently making a huge dent into a quart of Espresso Chip ice cream. Oh it is so good.
Back to cool wedding photos. Here are a few of my favorites.
You can see these and many many more phenomenal photos on the WPJA website. Check out the latest contest winners section. That's where I spent the last hour. Oh, and there is of course a tab up top just for brides & grooms.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Yes, that's Kelly.

Okay already! I got 4 voicemails and 11 emails today asking if that guy is the general contractor or my husband. Yep, that's my husband Kelly, and this week he played the role of general contractor as we remodeled the office. He did teach me how to use the chop saw. I cut exactly 2 pieces of the new floors, and then, well, he took back over. I did help paint and install the floors though. Ha!
I'm happy to say that the office is now complete, and I am absolutely ecstatic with the results. I suppose I ought to change the office photo on my website now.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Friday, August 03, 2007

Double Duty

Sometimes you have to find a reason to splurge on that one thing that will make you smile big at your wedding. Double duty is my favorite "excuse". For instance, in the case of the Boca Grande wedding last month, our stunning bride really wanted some great arrangements for the church. And well, you're only at the church for 30-45 minutes. So, it was a bit hard to justify; until I mentioned that we could use all the ceremony arrangements at the reception venue too.

Being that we had an hour between the ceremony end and when guests would enter the reception venue, my staff had enough time to swindle all the arrangements from the church and get them staged for ACT II (a.k.a reception) at Boca Grande Club. The entry arrangement became the centerpiece of the candy table, the altar arrangement flooded the ladies room with the sweet smell of lilies, and the church door welcome hearts later adorned the doors into the sweet surprise room. Check out The Wedding of Marguerite & Tripp to see what the Sweet Surprise was!

Neat idea for a placecard holder

Every once in a while I come across something neat in my junk email folder. Today I noticed these small jeweled boxes in the Pier 1 Imports ad and they immediately screamed, "Click me, click me". So I did. I clicked. Turns out they are only $10 for a set of 3. How pretty would these look on each place setting at your rehearsal dinner or wedding dinner on top of a beautiful rich colored napkin?

In this picture I paired an eggplant lamour napkin and saffron bichon linen from BBJ Linens. I think they would compliment all the jeweled boxes well. And then for the placecard, perhaps a very elaborate deep red ink calligraphy with gold embellishments.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Lucky Lyndsay!

We have a winner... Casey picked card #7 which corresponded with the 7th comment, and Lyndsay wins! Email me so I can get your contact info to Kelly at Telliegrams for your gift certificate! CONGRATS! For those who didn't win, you can still use the discount code...

Oh and you're getting a sneak peek at our new office color. It's coming along well! Paint should be finished tonight and the floors go in Friday. It is a huge mess right now, but by this time next week it will be so great!

101 Destination Wedding Planning Tips

From the editors of Destination Weddings & Honeymoons