Friday, March 23, 2012

How to easily gather your guest list contact information

Last week Jesse, one of the creators of contacted me after reading my blog.  He wanted to let me know about his site that just launched.  Now here is the thing, I probably receive 15 emails like this a day. But when it comes direct from the creator/owner and its an email that I can tell they actually invested a bit of time to find out something about me and our clients, I figure its nice to give a moment of my time. Boy am I SO GLAD I GAVE THEM A MOMENT. You are going to be glad too. Introducing Postable, an online guest list and contact information gathering site.

Basically, you send a link out via Facebook, twitter, instant message, email (I used my auto-responder to ask for contact updates), even text message. Your guests fill in the super easy (and rather cute) contact information form in like 30 seconds. It collects everything: Phone, email, mailing address, spouse's name (mucho importante for escort cards and invitations), and birthday.  It even has a little note field.
So, before I shared this with you guys of  course I tested it and it works!  Not only does it work, it works really well. The best part- your contact list can be exported to address books, outlook, gmail, excel - for goodness sakes you can even print labels from it. I was nervous about the privacy part of this and I'm sure you are too.  Here's all the answers you're looking for : Postable FAQ

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Wedding Reception Alfresco (a.k.a. outside)

Are you considering having your wedding outside?  Yes, they are more difficult to pull off logistically and typically they cost a bit more, but the benefits can be better than outstanding.  No matter what though - you must have a back up plan in place.  That means preparing for a tent.
Aly & Mike's Wedding at South Seas, Captiva Island
I came across a great article on tents on, its a good short read to give you some starter knowledge on what is available to you. Martha Stewart weddings also has a wonderful article on things to consider and question when planning for a tent.
Angela & Joe's Wedding at Gasparilla Inn, Boca Grande
This is Angela & Joe's wedding, we had cocktail hour just outside the tent.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

How to have a Florida wedding that isn't about seashells

Most of the destination weddings we conceptualize and plan are at tropical and or beach locations. However, its quite often that our clients want their guests to enjoy what the islands and beaches offer, but they don't want the aesthetic of their wedding to reflect that.  At least not at every event.  Rather, they're looking for something that is true to them and their personal style.  Nicole & Steve's wedding is a perfect example of this.  I'm so excited to share these videos with you & showcase this pretty wedding at Hyatt Coconut Point.  This was one of those weddings where everything just fit perfectly...

Thank you iheART films for sharing this trailer you produced. It brought back so many memories and I love that I got to see things that I didn't get to see that day.
You may have noticed that I said videos in the last paragraph. That's because we have a foto video produced by Luminaire Foto (who took amazing photos too)! You'll notice right off the bat that foto video is really different than traditional wedding films.  Its made from individual photographs, so it doesn't incorporate the sounds of the day.  Its unlike anything I've ever seen.  This is my first time being able to share one of their foto videos and I have been anxiously awaiting! I can't wait to hear your reaction, so be sure to leave a comment.

Monday, March 19, 2012

I heard you hate photo booths and you think they're stupid.

Tell me you don't want a photo booth after seeing this.

Not gonna lie, I kind of want one for my studio...permantly. We got one for our annual holiday party and it was the hit of the night (with the Chinese fortune sticks and the sweet tea mason jars with mini vodka bottles following in a a close 2nd and 3rd).
To book your Bash Booth for your rehearsal dinner, welcome reception, farewell brunch, engagement party, bridal shower, because its Monday party, or Hey I want a picture party; contact Gracey at one of these 53.7 ways:

TAMPA AREA: 813.444.2378
ORLANDO AREA: 407.476.6223

Friday, March 16, 2012

How not to do a Seating Chart

Can we please stop the insanity.  I honestly can't take it longer.  If you have more than 20 guests (or 3 tables) at your wedding, it is not appropriate to post table assignments by table and not alphabetically.  Put yourself in your guests shoes.  Do you want to have to go through every table list looking to see if you are on it?  What if you were at table 14?  Can you imagine how long that takes and how mad the people waiting behind you are?  Going down 14 lists of 10 people each before you come across your name?

I love the look of this chart.  It is a great concept.  Now, obviously this one is set up for a photo since you'd have to lay down on the grass to read the bottom panes after you move the luggage out of the way to see that your sitting at table 16. But looking past those minor details - couldn't the same effect have been made by dividing the guest list by the number of panes and then spreading the names out evenly and using alphabet headers?

What I do, Where I work, Who I am

Get a true look into some of what goes on behind the scenes; before, during and after weddings. You can hit any of the pages above or just click these links below to see the videos.
What I do & where I work
Who I am

Andrea getting ready with her mom & bridal party
while we were getting everything ready.
Then there's of course the good old fashioned type "about me" that you can just read.  I hope to do more video blogging this year. They probably won't be professionally produced like these (thank goodness for the talents of iheART film studios for producing all these projects). But you know, the iphone fancy kind. Until then, enjoy!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Pronovias 2012

Hello glamour, won't you come in? Pronovias. These are the gowns that you watch how they move.  They have such a graceful but high fashion impact, don't you think? I can not get enough.  Especially after watching this 2012 collection.

This is the Pronovias 2012 fashion show. I loved the ballerinas in the black to start the show! There is a trunk show at the NY flagship store on March 23, 24 and 26. You can request your appointment online.

Friday, March 09, 2012

The difference 2 seats makes

Making the best of your budget.  How to stretch a dollar to get what you really want.  Have you thought about how many seats to place in each row at your wedding ceremony?  Have you thought about how many seats to place at each table at your wedding reception?  No? Well let me show you a little something that could potentially make a big difference to you.
Let's say you have 150 confirmed guests at your wedding. You have $175 budgeted for your aisle runner and $4,350 budgeted for your tabletops (flowers, details, and linen).  What difference does 2 seats make?
The Ceremony

On each side of the aisle you'll need 75 seats. With 6 seats to a row you'd need a 75 foot aisle runner.  By increasing the number of seats by just 2 seats per row, you would only need a 50 foot aisle runner.  Which means you could upgrade from a basic aisle runner to that patterned runner and matching vow book you were just dying to have!

The Reception
You have the option to have 8 or 10 seats per table. With 8 seats, you would have 19 tables to dress.  By increasing by just 2 seats per table, you now only have to dress 15 tables.  That means your per table budget goes from $230 to $290.  Imagine the difference in the centerpieces, details and linens $60 per table makes! It could mean adding those peonies that you were just dying to have or upgrading the linens from the basic that are included by your venue to the seersucker linens you really really wanted.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Fashion. Its coming to wedding tidbits!

Last fall I attended New York International Bridal Week. For as much as I love fashion and weddings, I rarely blog about dresses or all the the accessories that go along with your wedding weekend ensembles. Until now.
  I'm not sure where this new avenue will take me, but I am so looking forward to it.  I figure the best place to start is with where it all started for me, at the market & runway shows.
Let me say thank you in advance to Krista from Impressions Photography for accompanying me to so many of the shows and capturing the amazing designs we were seeing. The pictures above are from the Junko Yoshioka showcase.  It was my first time seeing her designs in person and I was was immediately enthralled by the textures and treatments she had in each dress.
This wasn't the finished design...but it turned out amazing!
While I was in New York, I met with one of my clients at her fitting with Christian Siriano.  I will confess, I would have paid money just to play dress up in his studio.  I love his designs.  It was really quite inspiring to see him at work; it was obvious that he really does know what he's doing and he has such a dedication to his craft.

Kleinfelds hosted the Pnina Tornai show.  Prior to the show starting, guests (including the likes of Colin Cowie and Housewives of Atlanta's Kim Zolciak) were offered a great signature drink made with Pearl Wedding Cake Vodka.  I for one loved it, yum.  The dresses were incredibly dramatic.  You could see how much thought was put into each and every inch of them.  Amazing is an understatement.

I could post a hundred images of all the gorgeous dresses we saw at the shows.  Here are a few more of my favorites.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Destination Wedding Invitations (Gorgeous ones)

I just felt like sharing some pretty.  I confess to stalking the Ceci New York website. But do you see why?

Oh, and of course, there's also the love for pretty much everything on the Martha Stewart Weddings website too.

Quick tip: Put as much information in your wedding invitation as you can or (I like this idea best) send a "looking forward to seeing you" package when you receive a yes rsvp from your wedding guests. The package can include more details about the events you're hosting, as well as local places to shop, dine and tour during their time away.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Styled Shoot on crack.

Most of the people I work with in the wedding industry will agree that I can never do things small.  I love to push the envelope.  Its always, ooooh I wonder if we could...
Last summer I gathered nearly 30 of some of the most talented and creative people I work with and we just went crazy on a styled shoot.  Over the next few weeks, I'm going to share what we came up with.
Here are the talented people behind this series and the companies who contributed:
Floral Design
Cake Artistry
Bridal Gowns
Stationery Design
Linens & Chargers
Makeup Artistry
Hair Artistry
Jewelery Design
Styling & Production

Here's the behind the scenes video of our styled shoot. I think you'll get an idea from this that we weren't looking to do your standard pretty shoot. In fact, rather than just show everyone the results of our hard work on Vimeo, I went all out and planned a big screen Premiere at Silver Spot Cinema in Naples. It was the perfect way to celebrate.  Enjoy!
Quick tip: Renting out your local movie theatre and then heading to a local restaurant or swanky cocktail spot is a great and unique way to share your short wedding film, trailer or directors cut. Especially if you had a destination wedding and want to share with friends and family who weren't able to attend your celebration.

If your wedding was in a magazine, which would it be?

When I'm working with my clients on the design concepts for their weddings I have always asked questions about their personal aesthetic, style and likes.
What movies do you love, television shows you watch, celebrities you like, stores shop at, designers and lines you love to wear...
None of these questions have anything to do with a wedding - but it has everything to do with who they are.  This is important because your wedding should very much be a reflection of you and I want to make sure that we can easily be on the same page. For instance if you said you loved Breakfast at Tiffanys, The Great Gatsby, and Mad Men, Kate Spade and Calvin Klein; instantly I know that we have a connection.  Of course, at some point its great to know where the two of us can find likely sources of wedding inspiration and this is when I turn to the wedding magazines (print & ezines) & their websites (and of course pinterest and blogs).  If someone asked you what wedding magazine or blog was your style, what would you answer?

* We've had recent featured weddings or editorial contributions in these magazine publications, websites, and/or blogs

101 Destination Wedding Planning Tips

From the editors of Destination Weddings & Honeymoons