Thursday, August 26, 2010

Sneek Peek at some real weddings coming up

I can't help myself.
Beach Ceremony.  Simply pretty.

Same room as below!
I'm still dying over this cake wreath

The Italians love to parade after the ceremony!

I love downtown weddings (and blocking off the entire street)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The biggest inspiration board ever

This week the kids went back to school, and so I find myself with a bit of time waiting at the bus stop.  I am forever trying to be as productive as possible (sometimes failing and falling into procrastination). So I am doing a twitter series while I wait called #BusStopShots. You can follow along with the same hashtag.

What I wanted to share with you here though was what I do after I rip all these pages of pretty things out of the wedding magazines.  Introducing the biggest inspiration board you've ever seen, the WBS studio bathroom:
See any of your pictures in here?
Hopefully one day you'll have a chance to stop by and browse our studio library.  And if by chance you need to visit this will hopefully be the loveliest little wedding bathroom you've seen. If you do see one of your pictures here; I love it.
Yes, there are ALOT of pictures!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

You really should ask these wedding planning questions

This spring & summer I managed to see a few weddings, mostly destination weddings, from an outsider perspective, but one who knows better.  Basically, while I was attending tastings, floral consults, and venue site tours, I also saw wedding chaos.  Some chaos that should have never happened and some that there was no controlling but wasn't being handled.  I felt sick watching some of these things happening.  So here are some questions you can ask your wedding coordinator, planner, day-of director, site manager, florist...WHO EVER it is that says they will take care of "coordinating" for you.  This is especially great to ask venue or site coordinators who are included in your package.
  1. Will you help me set up room blocks at another resort?
  2. Will you help me secure and schedule transportation to these other resorts for my guests staying off property?  How about for wedding events not on your property?
  3. Will you help me plan events off your property?  Like a shopping and luncheon and a golf tourney day?  Not just phone numbers...plan it.
  4. Can you recommend anyone outside your recommended vendor list?  If no, why?
  5. Will you tell me if I'm about to make a big mistake hiring a particular vendor?
  6. Will you review all my contracts for me?
  7. Are the subcontracted companies on your property answering to your company, or is there a financial commitment there?  Or if I have an issue with them are you representing me and my best interest?
  8. Will your A/V company work with my band or DJ to ensure that their lighting doesn't interfere with each others?
    Aren't these not-too-nautical welcome bags cute?
  9. Will you research, purchase, assemble, customize and deliver the welcome bags and guest itineraries?
  10. Will you create wedding party wedding weekend itineraries?  How about the guest guides?
  11. Will you track my RSVP changes and make necessary changes to the escort and place cards?
  12. Do you offer etiquette and stationery advice?
  13. Will you schedule and plan our planning visit with all of our vendors so that we can get everything done in 2 days and still go to the beach for at least 2 hours?
  14. Will you give me room design options to see for my reception?
  15. Will you offer me anything other than standard options for linens, centerpieces, lighting, and china? Do you add any cost to these items, or is it the same cost I would pay if I did it myself?
  16. Will you communicate with all the vendors I have under contract to compile a timeline so that they all know whats going on when?
  17. Will you let the florist, photographer, videographer, and hair and makeup people know where I am and my fiance are?
  18. Will you pin all the boutonnières on the grooms party and dads?
  19. Will you make sure both our parents are in the room and have a view of the cake cutting, 1st dance, and bouquet toss?
  20. Will you be on site for the entire set up for all the vendors, available to me and my wedding party for anything that comes up, and there until the reception is over?
I was going to stop here, but I might as well head on just a bit.  But then I'll stop before 100 completely reasonable questions....
I must say, these are really cool along the perimeter of a tent.
  1. Will you find 17 of these chandeliers for me?
  2. Will you convince my mother that its actually okay not to have a receiving line?
  3. Will you schedule the hair and makeup for me and 7 others in the getting ready room so that my fiancées mother is not there during lunch, and so that my sister can go feed her baby after her blow out but before her makeup, and so that I am done just in time for pictures, with 15 minutes to get dressed, and nobody has to be there before 10am?
  4. Will you help bustle my dress and fix it if and when it breaks?
  5. Do you have a bridal room kit and an ER kit? Whats in it?
  6. Will you make sure the room is completely set on time (ask the photographer what time) and the band isn't loading in when the photographer comes in to take shots of the room because I really want to be on my favorite wedding blog?  Also, will you make sure I get to see if before everyone else?
  7. Will you hand out our final payments and tips to vendors?
Please know that I am not trying to scare anyone.  I am saying however, that there is more to a wedding weekend than meets the "our wedding coordination package includes" when you care as much about your wedding; and that you have a priorities:
1. You get to enjoy your wedding weekend
2. Your guests having a great experience
3. Your wedding is being executed as beautifully as it is aesthetically beautiful.

Friday, August 20, 2010

The ultimate wedding travel gift & a giveaway!

My clients will often ask what is a little something they can give to their bridesmaids just before they leave to head down to their destination wedding.  I love this pair because its perfectly small, airport friendly, and completely on the mark for sun-shining-get-me-to-the-beach-now weather. I found and immediately fell in love with these Travel Packets. How many times have you gotten off the airplane and just wanted to start all over? Enter La Fresh...
These La Fresh travel pockets are beyond amazing. I keep one in my purse and they're stocked in our Bridal Party ER box.  Yes, they make a combo pack for the guys too.

Some might think matching wedding party tanks or tees are cheesy.  I don't.  When I'm waiting to get my hair and makeup done, I want to look cute some how.

Another great thing, its so light you can mail this cute gift with minimal postage.  Throw in an itunes gift card so that they can buy an audio-book to listen to during their flights, and you have the ultimate destination wedding travel gift. Have a bit more to spend?  Pre-load an ipod shuffle and include that too. Guaranteed giddiness.

Giveaway: Two ways to win a travel pouch (We're giving away up to 5!)
1. Leave a comment with your favorite travel item or tip or
2. Tweet this post (click below)
Grand Prize for the best tip or tweet: A travel pouch, a bunch of Destination Weddings & Honeymoons magazines, and an itunes card.
Everyone (Wedding Industry Pros included!) in the continental US is eligible to win. Winner announced Friday.

Quick tip: Put a weekend itinerary in with the gift.  One more chance to remind everyone in the wedding party what time rehearsal is and what time to show up for hair & makeup and pictures.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The sweetest & most beautiful wedding video: Groom sings to his bride

First let me say that this bride & groom have a huge place in my heart. Second let me say that this directors cut is hands down the best I have ever seen for a few reasons.  I'll let you watch and then read below for an explanation.
The groom is Clint Wiley of None Other.  The bride is Lauren Wiley, an amazing wedding vocalist.  The wedding took place in Savannah.  Besides the fact that two of my best friends are the bride and groom, this directors cut is anything but typical.  This video is what I would consider artwork in its truest sense.  Rob of AMC video, you have outdone yourself.  How you managed to intertwine Clints live serendade into these moments is just beyond me.

For best results, hit play and then pause immediately.  Let it buffer and then start when its all done.
So you know that I like to educate as much as possible.  Here is what I have to say about this video that everyone needs to know:
Giving your videographer time to capture moments is imperative.  This can be in the hours before the ceremony, the day before the ceremony, or perhaps best, the day after the wedding.
Pick the right song for your directors cut.  It has to have meaning, and be powerful enough to capture and highlight all the great moments of your wedding.
Be certain that your videographer and photographer have a working plan so that they don't interfere with each other.
When it comes to wedding video, you do have to ask questions if you're going to compare apples to apples.  Ask about HD, ask who does the editing, and ask how much input you get.  Ask how much live "real" wedding you get and how much audio is laid on top of live moments.

**Update: The song Clint is singing is Unintended by Muse

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Key West Series Vol. 5: The Pros

I wanted to take this last post to say thanks to the amazing wedding professionals who were involved with this wedding.  It takes an amazing team to pull something like this together (there were over 70 people working on wedding day!), and we were so fortunate to have some of the best venue coordinators, floral designers and photographers in the country.
Thank you so very much to:
Nancy Cohn and Abby Ross Photography

Kaitlin Wright at Casa Marina Resort
Karen and Isabel at Always Flowers

Alejandra of Todo Dulces Cakes
To read all 5 of the the Key West series posts click here!

Monday, August 09, 2010

Apparently you love pretty dresses

Understandable.  It's kind of one of the best parts of having a wedding.  This blog however is more about everything except the dress.  So, I would like to point you in the right direction when it comes to dresses.
I love Style Me Prettys Look Book Hello Marvelous.
Adele by Amsale 
No worries, I haven't forgotten that I still owe you one last post for the Key West Series.  It is coming!

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Anyone looking for a pre-wedding re-treat?

I thought this might catch your eye.  It caught mine!
Email Casting {at}!

The Key West Series Vol. 4: The Decor

Hands down, this wedding was the most stunning truly tropical wedding we've had a pleasure of being a part of.  I can't say enough about how wonderful everyone in Key West was.
One pair of the guys flip flops went missing.  One of my surprise wedding morning missions.
Orchids, there were so many orchids!

Fuchsia, Lime Green, and Mango Orange = Tropical

Bamboo runner

Ashley & Jay's view, pretty spectacular!

The smallest details, like this orchid napkin embellishment really make a difference

Table numbers need not be ugly or be on a stand!

We brought in beautiful wood tables rather than full length linens

This was the dinner ballroom

We used  a second ballroom for desserts and dancing.

Cake by Todo Dulces. It was even more amazing in person.

Jay's Dendrobium and Curly Fern Boutonnière

The outdoor space of the after dinner portion of the evening

The escort card display
The best thing about this wedding?  It was just a really great time.  Everyone had so much fun. Smiles all over the place.  Sunny weather, great food, and great music just enhanced everything 10 fold.

The entire series here (this is 4 of 5)!

I'll spill beans about who besides photographer Nancy Cohn and Always Flowers were a part of this amazing wedding team on the next post!

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

The Key West Series Vol. 3: The Dress. Thank you Monique Lhuillier

 Really, does it get better? My first client to wear a Monique Lhuillier gown was back in 2005.  I've not been disappointed once.  But this one just took my breath away.


I know all of you have now fallen in love with Nancy Cohns photgraphy.  Can I just say also that she is just as much a delight in person as her images are?  We had a blast with her over the weekend!

The entire series here

The Key West Series Vol. 2: Paper Details

The Papers.  Tell me these don't make an impression.  Calligraphy by the impeccable Sarah Hanna

Menu Card

The invitations were all sent in ocean blue boxes with grass cloth lining

Each envelope included a menu card, charitable donation card (favor) and ceremony program

The calligraphy made these escort cards beyond.  That's it - beyond.
See the entire series here (there will be 5 posts!)
Credits: Sarah Hanna, Nancy Cohn, Always Flowers

Tropical Done right. The Key West Series Vol. 1

Let me start by saying that a Key West Wedding does not need to be cheesy and this wedding proves it.  This past March we were so fortunate to plan a truly amazing wedding weekend with one of the most fun and wonderful bride and mother of the brides ever.  I miss them dearly.
I'm not going to say much because these images by Nancy Cohn and Abby Ross tell the story so wonderfully.
Prior to the wedding day we had a surprise Tiffany themed bridal breakfast for Ashley and her bridesmaids.
One of those little details that helped an otherwise blank space

The bridesmaids all gave a recipe to Ashley

Amazing what a little ribbon does to a silverware roll isn't it?

Each guest received a Tiffany champagne flute

Welcome bags

Ashley is an invitation designer, can you tell? AMAZING

101 Destination Wedding Planning Tips

From the editors of Destination Weddings & Honeymoons