Thursday, October 23, 2008

Welcome bags+Brides=No room. Oops.

Today was welcome bag day. Since most of our weddings are destination, we have a once a month shopping and assembly day. It's pretty fun until we start pushing 175 bottles of water down the already packed aisles of Sam's Club. As you can see, today was a heavy load.
Then while we were assembling the bags- which take over the place (see photo), many a brides stopped in to look at invitations and browse the library. We've quickly learned that now welcome bag assembly will have to be early in the morning before we flip the "open" signs and that 6 bottles of champagne goes quick. HA!

It was so great to meet some new brides this week. We met brides getting married in Hawaii, Pittsburg, Cape Coral, Naples, Bowling Green, Savannah and Boca Grande. We're glad you stopped in!:
Tiffany I.
Barbara L.
Lesley M.
Jennifer P.
Nicole K.
Tiffany M.
La Lauren

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

"It's your boy Kelly, Rabbi Sol!"

Not kidding, this is how Andrea announces that Rabbi Solomen is calling us. How hilarious! I was cracking up. You see, I'd just had a wonderful discussion with Rabbi Sol, and we really hit it off. We talked a bit about the wedding and a bit about our websites, which lead to blogging. Within minutes of ending our conversation, he called back about blogging- very excited. And now I must admit that I am even more excited for next weekends wedding ceremony and to finally get to meet this charming rabbi.
The beach ceremony at the Ritz Carlton Naples Beach is sure to be a unique one with both Rabbi Solomon and Father Riccardi officiating.
Check back in a couple weeks and I'll update on how this amazing wedding turns out!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Heather Donlan's Gallery Opening

Last night I had the pleasure to attend the grand opening of Heather Donlan's new gallery & studio down in Naples. What an amazing space! If you're in downtown Naples, you'll have to stop by to check it out. The walls are decked out with her photographic art and it is truly breathtaking. I sat down in the client preview room and had a hard time ripping myself away from the beautiful wedding albums on display.While I was there I ran into Lynn Alexander from LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort. Well, i didn't actually run into her, but I did get my foot stuck between 2 chairs and almost spilled my fizze all over the place. oops. Anyway, Both of us were just in awe of what Heather has brought to the area. Its seldom that you find a wedding photographer who has studio space and its in a location where you can literally walk down the block to the beach for sunset photos!
Heather and I worked together on Jenn & Johns wedding at LaPlaya late last year and she was gracious enough to send me back with a few miniature copies of their wedding album for display here at the studio.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Lists of Four

I never noticed until now how manageable the number four always is. I think I'll group everything that way from now on. After you read this post, read the four posts that follow. Its manageable.
Anyway, I was tagged by two of my dear wedding planner friends this week. Isis and Meredith, thank you ever so much for contributing to my to do list. ROFL!
Today I...
1. Worked on the new studio blog
2. Dropped off fabric to be made into runners
3. Stopped by Five Guys for burgers and fries with Andrea
4. A couple hours resource research for linens and event furniture
Still to do...
1. Reply to 18 emails
2. Find a Chicago venue for an upcoming workshop
3. Design Lucky brides menu cards
4. Get a music list to Writer bride
Some of my guilty pleasures...
1. Reality tv marathons (Project Runway, The Hills, Flipping Out etc.)
2. Wiping out clearance aisle items
3. McDonalds french fries
4. Ridiculously expensive dinners out
Random facts about me...
1. I love to send thank you notes and flowers
2. I'm married to a guy named Kelly (he's very cool; you'd love him)
3. I lived in Orlando, NYC and LA, before I made here home.
4. Vitamin water is my newest addiction. But I still adore my chai tea lattes.

Tagged next: I'm going to go in another direction. How about some photographers who blog?
Shari Bare
Krista Kowalczek
Ashley Brockinton

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Favors. Sometimes good, sometimes hideous junk I wish had never graced a table.

These mini Key Lime pies were the favor each guest received when reboarding Lady Chadwick. Captivapalooza brides welcome luncheon included a cruise Cabbage Key. As you might imagine, they were quite the hit!

Yesterday I spent some time on the phone with Lucky Bride talking about almost everything under the sun. Mostly because we have just a few weeks left and there's lots left to do. Also because she's just fun to talk to and if you caught my twitter yesterday, it was for sure a procrastination day.
So the topic of favors came up. I'm on the fence when it comes to favors. This is totally my personal opinion on them. Do you need them? Nope. Are they nice? Yes, they're nice, if they aren't, ummm, junk. Sorry, no other way to put it.

Here's the thing. If you can't eat it, or use it- don't do it. Put yourself in your guests shoes. Do you want a candle with somebody's name and wedding date on it? Are you seriously going to display that in your house? Doubt it. And if you're having a destination wedding- for goodness sakes remember your guests have to pack this stuff up and get it home.
I must confess, I did this at my wedding and looking back now, oh I am so embarrassed. I'd show you a picture of the tulle wrapped mini pot, but I can't bring myself to do it.

So if you do want to give your guest a favor, give them something they can eat right after the wedding (i.e. cookies, chocolate/candies, donuts, popcorn, coffee) or give them something they will use (i.e. beer/soda koozie, flip flops, stamped postcard & pen). Interactive favors are also great. They are truly my favorite because they create another active memory for the evening. Interactive favors are things like candy buffets, photobooths, donut stations, etc.
Have a cool favor idea? Click the comment link below and tell us all about it.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

5 reasons to get wedding video

I am forever telling clients to get wedding video. First response: I'll never watch it. I'll bet you $10 bucks you will. And even if you only did watch it once, you will be so glad you have it. 2nd response: They're cheesy. Not anymore they aren't. In the 80's and 90's, yep, they were bad. Now though- holy cow. The cheese has left the building. Technology has caught up and boy is there a huge difference. 3rd response: They annoying and they follow you around with that bright light, and the interviews are stupid. First question I hear post wedding, "Was the videographer there? When do we get the video?" Every single time. So much for obtrusive and bright lights responses. Ha!

Here are the top 4 pieces of feedback/favorite things I get from clients who do get wedding videography:
1. Getting to hear dad's/Best mans toast one more time is priceless.
2. Actually seeing and hearing how excited groom/bride was just before leaving to walk down the aisle.
3. Hearing us take our vows, because we don't even remember it, it happened so fast.
4. Seeing myself walk down the aisle and the actual progression of groom seeing me.
5. Watching everyone party on the dance floor together. Friends and family, the music makes all the difference.

And on the other end, there are the others who will want to see it. Think ahead. First hand I can say that if you have kids, the night you break out your wedding video is bound to be a family movie night that you will never forget. I know my kids haven't stopped laughing yet. We might have to break ours out again tonight come to think of it.

So anyway, yes, Arnie from A/R Video sent me Sugar Brides wedding video this week. They had a tradtional Jewish wedding that incorporated nearly all of the Jewish wedding customs and traditions into their day. Because the Tish, Veiling and Ketubah signing happened privately, while the wedding guests are being seated for the ceremony, I didn't get to see attend these events. I was so excited to see how wonderfully they turned out! Hearing everything their families had to say was just awesome. Everyone was so excited.

Here are links to some highlight clips of our weddings that a couple great videographers sent out way.
They're directors cuts (mini highlight videos online):
Donna & Jim
by First Sight Pictures
Sarah & Ben
by Luxe Films
and also
Vanessa & Greg
Jenn & John
Melissa & Chad
Julie & Phil
all by AMC Video

Brides in the Limelight, South Beach

Brides Florida & Limelight Photography

Limelight Photography
A couple weeks ago I headed over to South Beach (Miami) to attend and speak at the Brides in the Limelight event for elite wedding professionals. The Catalina hotel provided an amazing venue for the event that was better than phenomenal! It's truly amazing to be in one location with so many of South Floridas elite wedding professionals. Very inspiring to say the least.
The evening was arranged by Stephanie Bosco-Luca of Brides Florida Magazine and Ela Raveling of Limelight Photography. Ela photographed all the photos above as well as the "singing" photos below. As you can see from the photos below, these ladies truly know their stuff. Over 200 wedding professionals were invited and attended the event. And I have to say, if brides could have the list of attendees they'd have to look no farther for the best recommended vendor list in the state.
I did have a little trouble writing my speech for that night. Actually, I had major trouble. Writers block as I have never experienced. Me? Writers block? And to think the topic of my speech was blogging of all things. Ugh. It came down to writing the speech at the rooftop pool of the Catalina just hours before!
These 2 pictures I had to put on here because they cracked me up. Doesn't it look like I'm singing?
This is Marina Mougios from Ambiance Studios. What a lovely girl! I checked out her blog and website after meeting her and boy am I glad that I did. She is very talented.
Here's some more photos from my iphone and Dara's camera. Ummm, yeah, Ela's are better. My newest interns, Dara & Andrea, came to the event as well. They learned about how important networking is and they introduced me to my new favorite snack, Edamame beans. After the event we had dinner at the Catalinas sushi restaurant, Kung Fu Sushi. Yum.
Here is Nikol from Fresh Beauty Studio. Love her, love her work! She just opened a new boutique- check it out when on the East coast.
This is Carlos Baez. Six degrees: I met Carlos at this event. Yesterday I was down in Naples and picked up the latest issue of Gulfshore Life at LaPlaya Beach Resort. Featured in the issue was a wedding that Carlos photographed. Also in this issue, the Hot 100 of the Gulf shore social scene, which included the Crowns. We planned their daughter Jenn's wedding just last year. Seeing his wedding photos reminded me that I still needed to post about this event. So thanks Carlos!
Donut Divas. Please oh please will one of my clients ask for this? I can not even begin to tell you how incredible these donuts were. They were the hit of the evening. Hot fresh donuts made right there before your eyes. So good.

101 Destination Wedding Planning Tips

From the editors of Destination Weddings & Honeymoons