Sunday, September 30, 2007

Really now, how can you not like Martha Stewart Wedding Stuff?

I stopped at the PO Box today and found the Fall 07 Martha Stewart Weddings! YEA! I know, I'm a bit of a dork, but I really get excited when it comes. I read 1/2 of it in the lobby at the Ritz (arrived a bit early for our meeting) and I was bending down pages left and right. First of all on page 66 there is an article about Tiecrafters. You can send them fabric and they will make you a tie! This is great for those who want the boys to match the girls exactly. Just purchase additional yardage from your bridemaid dress manufacturer. A little out of budget? No fear, I still swear by (hello, $7 per tie, 52 shades of fabulous).

Then on page 70, there's an article called stir things up. This is one of those little details that costs next to nothing, takes a small amount of effort and makes a big impact. Great use of color. Sorry about the crease in the picture...I really do fold down pages I want to go back to!

Wedding Showcase Round up

2 more tabletops showed up this afternoon, so I'm going to extend the date by a day, if anyone else wants to send one in. The 2 I received today, I'll be posting late tomorrow along with my final mock-up. Ciao gang!

I have the BEST clients.

Yes, I understand that there are many a wedding planners who will read this and swear that their clients are the best, but I have to argue- mine are just amazing. The absolute hardest part of wedding planning, besides keeping budgets under control and seating lists is menu planning. When you're planning an average of 4 eating opportunities for the same 50-75 people in one weekend, it is not a simple task. But today, I am in menu planning heaven. Last week we finished planning 3 wedding weekend menus, 2 of which aren't even until late next spring! This afternoon at the Ritz Carlton Naples we had a tasting that blew me and the bride & groom away. Then I get back here to my office and find a wedding menu in my inbox for J's wedding weekend next March. Considering I just asked them to start looking at the menus like 4 days ago, I was floored by this. So to my clients- really- you're all awesome! Now we can move on to the fun stuff, making the dinner look even better with the details; woohoo!

Wondering what's on that plate?
Grilled filet of beef with a Parsley & Horseradish crust
Maine Lobster "3 ways", Tempura Claw, Butter Poached Tail & Lobster Basil Mashed Potatoes
Grilled Asparagus
Roasted red tomato topped with frise

And this one is warm chocolate cake with a liquid Grand Marnier center and a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. The photo isn't from the best angle, but that stick across the center is actaully a baked chocolate spoon!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Lucky Me the have a W!

This morning I was still trying to catch up on all my blogs and I came across these letterpress stickers on Darcy's post and I had to have them and I had to have them now. Especially considering they're only $2.50 a pack!

Yep, that's me super impatient when it comes to shopping. But uh oh, I got there, pulled down the menu to pick W (for weddings of course) and it was missing! ACK! So I emailed Sarah at Lucky Star Press, and she quickly added W to the list. Crisis overted and I now have lots of W's and S's on the way to my mailbox. I'm so excited.

Check out Lucky Star Press when you have a stuff. Oooooh I'm digging these blue & orange notecards.

Showcase #6.5 How cool is this?

From: Mark Kingsdorf, The Queen of Hearts

"These images are representative of an Afro-centric wedding reception.
Items of note are the traditional cloth runner of gold, black and red which accent the long hardwood tables for family style service."

Additionally I chose to include harvest items such as corn, nuts, vegetables and fruit all accented by a collection of candles. Other important elements of the tables are the inclusion of handcrafted items such as the hand made serving containers, ceramic napkin rings and the carved wooden animals used as place card holders…"

For those who don't know Mark Kingsdorf, he's one of the most well knowledged wedding planners there is. Mark is my go-to guy for Wedding Etiquette, catering questions, and a constant source of laughter. The man is ridiculously funny.

Showcase #6 "Ummmm cookies...."

From: Michelle Tortuya of Charning Events

"Here is my favor entry for your showcase. I am in love with Cakesters by Oreo - soooo good. And i'm a number one fan of edible favors. To top it all off, I think the Black/White wedding color combo. is so elegant, and this treat would go so well with that scheme!"

So, I put two cakesters in a cellophane bag, wrapped with ribbon and a black/white tag with a monogram. Yummy!"

From : Danielle at Oh Happy Blog! (One of my favorite reads by the way)

"A friend of mine was having a bridal shower earlier this month. Many of the members of her bridal party are mothers or well into their marital bliss... as she is the baby in her family. She wanted to share in this special occasion with EVERYONE and didn't want to leave any of her loved ones out due to their lack of a babysitter... so she asked if I would come in and save the day. She was having a "Midsummers Night" theme to her wedding and so we created this "fairy tea" tablescape for the younger guests to indulge on cookies and punch at the shower...

We went wild at the local JUSTICE for GIRLS and Target- buying dress-up jewelry and lipglosses... the overall result was so positive - the bridal party was able to relax and enjoy themselves without the worry of rushing home to relieve the sitter... I suppose that I chose to share this because too often I am confronted with brides that do not take the demands of parenthood into account... if it is known that children will be a part of the wedding- be sure to put aside funds to keep them busy ... this will ensure that your guests stay well into the evening and enjoy themselves to the fullest."

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Coffee Anyone?

I was reading a recent entry by Miss Petunia over at Wedding Bee and I realized I've never touched on the subject of coffee at weddings. Although I think I have made it very clear that I am fond of coffee and all things related. You know why? It's hot and forces you to slow down and other words take a short break. Oh, and it tastes good.
Okay, so coffee is your standard beverage of choice after dinner with yummy wedding cake (and/or if your guests are super lucky, a fresh donut or crepe station). Nothing fun about standard is there? Nope. So, how do we make even simple coffee WOW? Instead of serving coffee, have a coffee station. It just takes a few items and some creative containers to really kick it up a notch. Here are a few that I love:

Whip Cream
Chocolate Shavings or Chocolate dipped spoons
Flavored stir-in syrups (try to have at least 3): Monin, Dolce, Torani to name a few brands
Cinnamon Sticks
Vanilla Beans
Chocolate, Caramel, and Raspberry drizzle syrups
Rock candy swizzle sticks

If you wanted to make it a full on coffee bar, you could ask that the station be attended and serve traditional coffee liquors like Baileys, Frangelico, and Kahlua.

For those having a brunch wedding (this is the hottest up and coming trend by the way), a coffee station is a must-do!

Wedding Showcase #5, Oh its a good one!

There is still a week left to submit your photos for the wedding showcase! Remember, you can submit a photo of any tabletop, wedding or shower favor, or welcome bag/guest gift. Here's the latest...

From Martha Browne, a bride of 23 years who has a background in design:

"Although seed packets have been done for bridal showers, they are
often times too feminine for the wedding. But this packet I find to be different. It's a beautiful block print sold at Monticello, Thomas
Jefferson's home and garden. The black and cream color scheme offers any number of possible uses. Here I decided to highlight it against a vintage green plate from eBay. Then I tied it up in simple pink ribbon and tucked in sprigs of Rosemary and Sage."

From: Isha of Isha Foss Events in Chesapeake, VA

These photos are from the open house she had at her new studio last week. Congrats Isha, it looks great!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Ceremony & Reception Sites: Don't be so quick to rule it out!

Often, I'll find that brides & grooms are quick to rule out locations because they see it one way and can't imagine it looking like anything else- most importantly- they way that they want it to look. Looks can be so deceiving.

To provide an example, I called Cynthia at LaPlaya Resort in Naples and asked her to send me a bunch of wedding pictures of the same sites- different weddings. The above beach ceremonies are on the same stretch of beach- 2 totally different vibes.

One casual seaside wedding, one semi-formal seaside wedding

Yep that's the same room. 3 very different events! Quick note (there was a carpet change between 2 of these photos)
Like LaPlaya? I do to. To get more info on having your wedding at LaPlaya Beach Resort in Naples, call Cynthia O'Brien at (239)598-5706

Showcase #4

From Me: A Big Beach Wedding Weekend Guest Gift. This is a super welcome bag, full of all kinds of goodies. This bag I made specifically for a hypothetical Bridesmaid- single, and in town for 4 full days. A note- if you can, customize the guest gifts for each kind of guest (couples, families, single gals/guys, etc.).

What's in it?
Beach Stuff: A hat, flip flops, beach towel, Seagrass beach mat, Market tote
Spa Stuff: Aromatherapy candle, body mist, and lotion and pajamas
Itinerary & Personal Note: A scrap book with the weekend events/times/locations/attire, a handwritten note welcoming & thanking her for coming
Info & Reads: Area map & brochures and a couple magazines to read by the pool
Drinks & Snacks: A bottle each of bubbly water, flat water & soda and a box each of crackers & cookies

Another showcase submission coming in a bit...

***To answer LouWed's question (see comments) about the bag- It's a market tote. Apparently I got really lucky because I found a couple at TJMaxx for $9.99! You can buy them at Sur La Table or The Container Store for $29.99. Just do a search on Market Tote. Oh, and I also found some on Ebay for $19.99, but the shipping was $10, so it evens out.

Hello, Kelly, are you there?

I KNOW! I have been M.I.A. for like a week. Thing is...there was a whole lotta wedding planning to do last week, and yes, clients have to come first! Lots to blog about though so prepare for a mini blogathon gang.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Showcase 4.5

These came in this week from Jane Jedlick. A sweet surprise for a lucky bride & groom.
"I love your idea for the showcase so I decided to enter some of my pics…

This is from a wedding I just did at the Hilton in Gainesville, it was a surprise to the bride and groom, I told her not to worry about her sweat heart table… they loved it!!"

Monday, September 17, 2007

Showcase #3

I know- it isn't Friday yet, but this one was too good to wait. This is from Risa at Romanza Events. This woman is uber talented, not to mention hilarious.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Showcase #2.5

Oops, I forgot to post mine. Make sure you scroll down to check out what Meredith sent in!

From : Me :) I love doing dessert receptions for welcome parties. I'll tell you why; for one, dessert is after dinner. That means you can begin the reception as late as 8pm. This gives everyone enough time to get in town, have dinner, and make it to your first wedding weekend shindig.

Secondly, its inexpensive. Well, at least it can be. It's all about the concept of creative catering, which your wedding planner is good at- use her(or him) for it!

And finally...everyone loves dessert. Add a few cocktails and a fancy coffee bar, maybe even a chef attended crepe station and you have a Wow for a Welcome PARTY!

Showcase #2

Sorry I'm a day behind gang. The computer was not cooperating!

From: Meredith of Elegant Engagements (Philadelphia)

"Green brunch – again on my everyday dishes and my grandmothers plates – I used stuff from around my house.

Welcome fall dinner – on my good china, silver and crystal

Out of town bags- we made do not disturb/we survived the wedding of door hangers for the hotel knobs with a weekend itinerary

We also added the standard water but then the b/g favorite snacks – milano cookies and gold fish. VA for lovers stickers, a candle with matches and personalized mm’s

Bridesmaids luncheon – brown and pink with a dash of daisy

Good to have just gotten married."

Thursday, September 13, 2007

I flipped out for these!

I found these handpainted sandals at the Pacific Weddings website. These handpainted sandals are $19, and look like they're worth every one of those nineteen hundred pennies. I know its getting cooler where most of you are reading from, but I'm hoping that you're considering a destination wedding somewhere warm. And if that is the case, you'll want something unique for your feet!

Spa getaway with the girls, golf retreat for the guys

Well if this isn't one of the neatest websites I've seen in a while...
Organize your group trip on I'm in!

Basically, with this FREE service, you can plan a group getaway, and manage everything online.

They have hundreds of locations, itineraries, and budgets to choose from. A cool option they offer- you can have hotels bid on your group trip! You can even order group "gear" like tee shirts and bags. A very funny thing they have- group mad libs. Those always made me laugh.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

You say its your birthday....

It's my birthday too, yeah! Yep, it's that time of year. The day of the year where I completely enjoy a scrumptous pomegrante martini (or 3) and shrimp scampi and cookie dough ice cream all in the same night.
If today is your birthday too, "Happy Birthday"!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Tabletops, Welcome bags, and Favors

Just a reminder...send me your ideas for the Wedding Showcase!

Your mom will sob like a baby

And your dad might too. I gotta say, this is one of those parents gifts that will go a long long way. I absolutely adore digital photo frames and the price has come down on these over the last year and now they are finally affordable enough for you to buy a couple to give as parents gifts.

Here is why I think they're great. 1. You can start working on this way before the wedding, and have it done months in advance. 2. After the wedding you can add on to the gift- give Ma & Pa another memory card with all the wedding photos on it.
I tested it myself of course. It's very easy (technically) to get it set up. Depending on how many photos you load, it'll take you less than 15 minutes. The hard part is picking the photos. That part- took me like 6 hours. Me being the type who is forever taking pictures, I had hundreds and hundreds of photos to go through. I laughed myself to tears looking through some of the pictures, and the memories it brought back- oh my gosh.
I found good selections of the digital photo frames at Target, Best Buy, and Amazon; priced between $60 and $400.

What do you mean its discontinued?

I came across these dresses while looking up an email address this morning. There are some really fantastic dresses out there right now. Long and short, strapless, halters, and cap sleeves- so much to choose from. All these dresses are by Amsale.

The reason I was looking up an email address at the Amsale website today was because I have a client who has chosen her bridesmaids dresses, and its a year yet before her wedding. It's important to email the designer (most websites have a customer service email link) and ask if the dress you've chosen will still be available for purchase the date of your wedding. I say email over phone call so that you get the response back in writing. Why? Well, let's just say that 2 of your 5 bridesmaids are also very on top of things and order their dresses as soon as you've picked it out. 2 months later, the 2 dresses that were ordered arrive. 2 and a half months before the wedding the remaining bridesmaids go to order their dresses and are told, "I'm sorry , we no longer carry that style". Uh oh. If you've got the email response, you've got some ground for a good resolution. If you don't have that have 2 bridesmaids with dresses they've already paid for, and not enough time to find and order "perfect for my wedding" bridesmaid dresses. There isn't any easy solution for this mess. There is a solution- but it's probably not one that is going to make everyone happy.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Wedding Central

I just watched The Wedding Planners on the WE network. The show follows 2 wedding planning teams through the last few weeks of planning before two very different weddings. One of which goes from a $10k budget and 110 guests to a $50k budget and 185 guests in 4 weeks time.
The other wedding starts with a big budget and has all the lavish details that a 100K allows, but they didn't prepare for some extraordinary heat that nearly ruined the cocktail hour.
I have to admit, I held my breath through a few of the scenes. And I'm pretty sure I bit my tongue more than once too. Entertaining to say the least!
You can catch more on Wedding Central tonight at 11pm est.

A Baby Shower for Brandi

I was honored to plan Brandi & Julios wedding last summer, and this summer I had the awesome pleasure of co-hosting a baby shower for Brandi. Little Janelle is just the cutest little thing isn't she? Click here to see some of the pictures from the butterfly garden baby shower.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Let's pretend I had the spoon in the right place.

I just read Sarah Dennis' blog, Toast and Tables, and learned that the place setting on my breakfast table below was all kinds of wrong. Oops.
Check out what it should have looked like: Toast & Tables. I printed out her little chart there so I'll never do that again.
I read some of her archives- she's got a great blog!

I just want to wear one for a little while.

Did you ever see that Friends episode where Monica, Phoebe, and Rachael all wore weddings dresses just because they wanted to? Actually, wasn't the one Monica wore her brothers fiance's? Anyway, After my daily blog reads today- that is EXACTLY what I want to do. There are so many gorgeous dresses out there right now.
I just want to put on a stunning dress, pop some popcorn, sit on the couch and watch My Best Friends wedding.

Wedding Showcase #1

I am so thrilled about these! And honestly, I didn't realize so many people read this blog. I guess I'll keep it up; thanks everyone.

Enjoy just looking, post a comment, and/or send me an email if you want more info from the creators. I've gotten mucho grande feedback on this project, so there are many more great photos to come. I hope the showcase brings you some inspiration.

From Misty at Forever Weddings in California:

This is a tabletop Misty did for a recent bridal show. She's re-doing her office at the moment and is planning on sending another photo later this month.

From Vane at Brooklyn Bride:

"I did lavender sachets as favors...I've actually been meaning to try these out for a while as gifts for my bridesmaids, but your showcase gave me the push I needed to get my sewing machine out and start crackin. The fabric was from a napkin I bought on sale at Anthropologie, originally $4.00, I got it for $1.95! (note: 1 napkin made 8 sachets for me) The lavender I've had sitting in my closet for MONTHS since my cousin came back from Provence with 2 bags for me, but I'm sure you could find online as well. I would use them in sets of 3 tied with a pretty ribbon and place at each placesetting...your whole venue will smell like the south of France!"

From me:

I thought I would pull together a pre-wedding breakfast or brunch table. Perhaps something for you and the girls as you wait to get your hair & make-up done. A couple things I want to point out- it doesn't have to be dark to use candles. They always look pretty. Don't be afraid to use a few colors, but don't go overboard. Three is usually a good visual. If something looks flat, layer it for dimension. The napkins looked dreadful just laying there, so I added a tiny bloom set on top of each and it was a 100% improvement. Everything came out of my house except the scones & flowers. The table turned out so pretty that I emailed a couple nearby gals over for coffee tomorrow morning. I'll probably have to replace the scones though. I couldn't help myself.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Been tagged so many times I'm on clearance.

Like that? Get it? Sale tags... Okay, maybe not. But I giggled..
I have been tagged like 5 times in the last 2 months and I haven't responded. I'm sorry. I couldn't think of 8 things. Here's what I've managed to come up with:

1. I absoutely love to get dressed up.
2. My friends call me Kelly girl. Because I'm married to Kelly boy.
3. The reason I have a bezel cut ring is because I lost the diamond out of my pronged setting once. Never again.
4. My drawing ability is limited to stick figures.
5. I like to watch live sports live- not on tv.
6. I clean my wardrobe out twice a year of anything that hasn't been worn in a year.
7. I type really fast.
8. Good: I have fantastic sense of direction, Bad: I can't grasp the concept of weights and measures. Weird huh?

Honestly, I don't know who to tag. How about this- Does anyone want me to tag them?

Monday, September 03, 2007

Wedding showcase: By you.

I had the best idea this afternoon as I was catching up on all my favorite blogs. Half the reason I love to read blogs is for the pictures. I find them very inspiring. Inspiration boards I DO love. But how much fun would it be to show a bunch of tabletops, welcome bags, or favors that you come up with yourself? Let's do it! But you'll have to give me until Friday to post mine, because it'll take me that long to do one and my current to do list is ridiculous.

Here's the info:
1. You don't have to go out and buy everything. Feel free to get creative with stuff you have and save a few bucks.
2. No copycats. Going to West Elm and taking a photo and then just changing the colors won't fly. The whole point is to be creative. Be inspired by- but don't copy. Don't be scared to try. Go way over the top- or don't. I'm always pleasantly surprised by how awesome simple can be on occassion.
3. It doesn't have to be "wedding". Yes, this is a wedding blog, BUT, there is more to getting married than the wedding. There are lots of dinners, showers, parties, etc. So a tabletop or favor for something like that would be fine!
4. No winners. This is a showcase- I'll post every one that comes in. If you can send a few shots of your designs, I might make a board out of it. But 1 or 2 photos (jpeg please) would be fine too.
5. You can do one in each category (tabletop, welcome bag, or favor) or you can do two, or just one- whatever you like. Just be prepared for a rash of questions if everyone loves what you came up with- I might email you for a resource list.
6. In your email, tell me a bit about whats in it and why (if applicable) and if you are a bride, wedding pro, or...

I'll post pictures thru the month of September. Oh I am very excited! My email address is over on the left sidebar. Email me if you have any questions.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

My Friday

On Fridays during the summer I close the office. But I don't take the day off. It's the day I use to run around and get things done that I can't do from my office. Most of my work week goes towards meetings and sitting at my desk for 10-12 hours, so Fridays can be fun. Here's a visual of this past Friday. I left off a few photos because when I looked back at everything I actually did- it was crazy and I thought for sure none of you would believe me. Anyway, here's the highlights:

Left to RIGHT, Top to Bottom (not in the order I did them):
1. This is the new DVD wrap that I designed for a local photgrapher. I dropped it off to to her and found out she had a housekeeper. I am jealous. Anyway, they turned out really great. Get this- the dvd wrap includes a thank you note in the pocket. I thought that was a nice touch.
2. I was looking for one of those digital photo frames for a client. I found a great new source for candles instead.
3. I did a site tour for a new venue. Very cool outdoor space, great for a 50-75 guest wedding.
4. Stopped at Starbucks. I love to read "The way I see it's". They always seem to make sense.
5. That's me. Don't worry, I was at a stop light. But I am sure someone thought I was a lunatic anyway.
6. While looking for lanterns for SD's wedding, I found these fantastic fabric wrapped boxes with a grosgrain ribbon. I bought the store out of them. They'll make for great end of season gift boxes. Now I just have to think of what to stuff them with.
7. I worked on 3 wedding dinner menus and 1 dessert reception menu.
8. I updated 4 budgets and started 2 new ones.

It was a great day.

101 Destination Wedding Planning Tips

From the editors of Destination Weddings & Honeymoons