Dec 31, 2010

21a. show me the glitter

I love glitter, sparkles and sequins. And since it is New Year's Eve...what BETTER time to share my personal favorites. Okay so this isn't ALL about weddings...but you can incorporate it somehow.

Consider this my...."if you are going to a New Year's Eve wedding post" here is everything you can wear to make it super stylish and super sparkly.

Dresses:
From Express, this dress is now 40% off making it only$59

Found at Macys, this gorgeous MICHAEL by Michael Kors is only $115

Found on Zappos.com this Tahari by ASL Zack Jason is only $110

Type Z Sequin Sleeveless Dress at Zappos.com at $83


Shoes:


Romantic Soles Dasha at Zappos.com for $69

SM Glitzi Pump at DSW for $99 (comes in a few colors)

Clutches:
 Jessica McClintock Clutch found in Zappos.com for $36

Kate Spade Pouch found at Zappos.com for $75

Magid Sequin Pouchette found at DSW for $35

Jewelry: 

 Crystal Dangle Earrings on Overstock.com for $16




Where to find the look for you:

21. thank you's in the digital age...a sneak peak

How much do we have to stick to what's expected from year's passed when it comes to etiquette?
In 2010 are we supposed to stick to everything as it was? Or are we supposed to rise up and challenge it?

In my next article about "thank you's" I will discover what the next step for this aspect of a wedding is.

Here's a sneak peak of some of the responses I received about digital vs. hand-written thank you's.

Dec 28, 2010

20a. When 2 Photogs Plan a Wedding...

Okay, so if you are super creative - and happen to be a photography (or you are ACTUALLY a photographer) you most definitely need to check out this article...

When 2 Photogs Plan a Wedding... | Ambient Studios




To quote the article...


Guests received their invite in the mail, wrapped in brown paper & ribbon
A few details of the film canister invitation
Pulling the 'film' out revealed all the details guests needed about the day  

A friend forwarded this to me and I must say, it's pretty amazing. I am nowhere near as creative as this couple, but I would love to receive something like this in the future. It not only shows who they are as a couple, but a passion for what they do. Guests who would receive an invitation like this would truly know the effort that they put into this.

I can only hope that they will publish more wedding photos of their big day - as I can only imagine what the rest of the wedding looks like if they are this creative with the invitation.

20. don't do me the "favor"

Wedding favors.

There are definitely multiple points of view when it comes to this part of a wedding. Some think they are an absolute must while others put little or no thought at all to them. For me, I have been to many, many weddings and seen every type of favor you can - and I've come to this realization for all you couples out there...
PS- I'm not trying to be harsh, I am just being honest from a guest's point of view 
  • No. I don't want food/snack/candy as a favor. I'd rather delicious hors d'oeuvres
  • I love the idea that you would choose to donate to a charity over giving me something I probably won't keep
  • I buy my own measuring spoons
  • I have a huge shot glass collection feel free to add to it
  • I won't bat an eye if you don't provide a favor, I will be thankful for the open bar and amazing food instead :)
  • If there is a bottle on my table (not for after the ceremony) with bubbles in it...well there are no words for this waste of money
  • A CD full of love songs, it's really nice in theory - I'm sure we all have a CD of love songs...HOWEVER...most guests will nod and say "aw, isn't this cute" - while gagging over how lame it is
  • I like candles and cute place card holders (my friend Jenn's is using the famous Philly 'LOVE' as a candle holder) but don't make it to lame or to "on point" with the theme...it's a wedding not a 16th birthday party...
  • I have a stationary closet at work...no need for something I can get from there
While it may sound like I completely dislike favors, the truth is - when something is clearly well thought out or it is something I could actually use in the future...I don't mind them so much. I think they are always a nice extra to enjoying yourself at a wedding, but when a couple chooses a favor just to have something, it's always obvious and almost always cheesy.

Ultimately, for our wedding I gave up on favors and couldn't stand the sight of one more web site where anything I liked was to expensive for our 200+ wedding or it was to lame for me to waste money, so we decided to do nothing and it seemed like no one thought anything of it. Looking back I wish we had done a donation, but I'm glad we chose nothing over something I didn't deem worthy of our money. The food was amazing and the bar was just as great - and I think my guests preferred that.


There are many good options out there - as well as many, "cheesy" options. Some couples - and their families do feel it's required of them to have a favor, so in that spirit - here are what I think the best favors are - both worth your money and your guests will like.

all web sites for you to check out will be listed at the bottom of the post as some sites overlap with the favors I will showcase
  • Bottle Stoppers
    • Extremely useful for guests in their home and most web sites where you can purchase them allow you to get something close to the theme of your wedding
    • Can be rather cheap (as low as $1/per stopper) or upwards to $3 or $4 depending on the design you want
  • Glassware Options
    • While the idea of having "Beth & David March 3, 2009" on a shot glass, shooter, or bar glass forever sounds a tad off-putting - a glass of some sort actually can prove most useful and they seem to be the thing that guests will keep the most
    • Shot glasses can be by far the cheapest - and most useful favor out there. Web sites like Logo Bar Products sell regular shot glasses as little as $0.37/per glass (price depends on quantity that you order). 
    • Tall mixing glasses (15 oz.) can also be a great favor as people can use them in everyday life. They can also be found as cheap as $0.49/per glass - both the shot glass & mixing glass provide plenty of room for creativity and personalization. 
 
 
  • Mini-bottles of...
    • Couples can really fill in the blank with almost anything - and you can match it your theme, location or just general love of something
    • With this option you can choose to do-it-yourself (as in buy the bottles, labels and material) or you can purchase wholesale online or in a store
    • Options to fill the bottles include: alcohol (wine, champagne, liquor), jams/jellies, cider, oil & vinegar, spices 
    • Note: should you choose to purchase online make sure to do your research - cases of 24 were sold on one web site for $60 - and another web site almost double that




  • Coasters
    • These are useful for everyone - and you can pick out fabulous ones and avoid personalizing them to much. I know, it's your day and you want to give something people will love and think of you BUT sometimes, it's overkill. A coaster can be just as beautiful and useful without being "to much."
    • These can be found on the majority of favor web sites. Found in sets of 2 or 4 and can be as inexpensive as as $0.40/set to around $2/a set - which is relatively affordable


 


 
 
  • Candles 
    • While it seems the vote is split other whether or not these are cute or lame...personally I happen to like them
    • Gel candles - for example - can make a great little decoration anyone can add to their home or office
    • You can decide whether or not you want them lit on the table or not - if you want your guests to take them home and use them (or their holder) more than likely I would suggest not lighting them so guests can take them with them
  

  • Other great favor options...
    • Lottery tickets (hey, if I won $200 at your wedding it would be the best wedding ever)
    • Two Peas in a Pod Salt & Pepper Shaker (never seen this in person but love the idea of it)
    • Personalized playing cards 
    • Luggage tags
    • Heart-shaped measuring spoons (okay, I know I said I don't like this BUT it seems to be a very popular option on most web sites)

In conclusion I think that practical gifts that a guest can use afterward is the best way to go. There are plenty of things you can buy if you are looking for something inexpensive that you can buy a ton of. There also favors out there if you are just looking to buy something, but I think the best advice I can give you is to put a little though in it - and you just may find something amazing just for you as a couple.

Web sites worth checking out

Dec 27, 2010

19. let it snow, let it snow...

In the spirit of the "state of emergency" declared in NJ yesterday, I thought what better time than to cover having a winter wedding and fabulous ways you can enhance your wedding by embracing the winter in it.
 


First, a few ways to make your wedding theme, colors, etc... to work with the weather.

Pick wintery colors. The truth is, we all love hot pink and lime green but it just doesn't work in say...December the week before Christmas. So it's a must to choose colors to go with the winter surrounding you.

Black and....White, Silver or Gold -- personally, these color themes can be used anytime through out the year and in the winter (especially the black & silver), but I think the truth is they would be the best for a New Year's Eve wedding. 







Blue...and Silver or White




Other favorable theme colors:
  • Deep red & white
  • Emerald green & white
  • Periwinkle
  • Purple
Seasonal flowers

You can make the most of your flowers but using this time of year to especially do-up your decor. For example, if you are getting married in a Christian church, Poinsettia's will most likely be available already at the location.

According to Theflowerexpert.com - Winter flowers are:
Acashia, Alstromeria, Amaryllis, Carnation, Chrysanthemums, Cyclamen, Evergreens, Gerbera Daisy, Ginger, Helleborus, Holly berry, Lily, Asiatic Lily, Casa Blanca Lily, Narcissus, Orchid, Pansy, Pepperberry, Phlox, Protea, Queen Ann's Lace, Roses, Star of Bethlehem, Statice.



Drinks & Favors

Provide a signature drink starting in cocktail hour and throughout the reception. Also, at the end of the reception include hot chocolate with marshmallows along with coffee for the guests!
          
 Just a small piece for my thoughts on favors...you can make things extra special by providing chocolate-covered cranberries or roasted chestnuts in a theme-matching container to end the night. Check out these create online places to scoop your favors.

You can also do mini-bottles of sparkling cider to tie in the entire winter theme.

And now for some serious stuff...what if Mother Nature is against you? With my wedding being in April, the truth is - I didn't give Wedding Insurance a second thought...I knew the worst possible conditions we would have would be a lot of rain and gusts of wind. In my mind, I had no reason to get it. disclaimer: I'm sure there are many, many reasons to get wedding insurance and each couple needs to decide for themselves if they need it, those involved with planning our wedding deemed it unnecessary to have. 

From the weather I have seen in the Northeast over the past few years, I've learned that no month is safe from the winter blasts we've had. Talk to your venue - they actually may require it or if you feel that you may be the unlucky one who gets buried in 2 feet of snow, investigate it. 


The Knot "Weather: Any weather conditions which prevent the bride, groom, any relative whose presence at the wedding is essential, or the majority of the guests from reaching the premises where the wedding is to take place. Insurance covers rescheduling the wedding and all the details involved -- such as ceremony flowers, tent rental, and reception food"

Here are some of the insurance companies and articles for you to checkout. Make sure to do all the investigating and there is no such thing as to many questions, each wedding and each company is different.

Hmm, did I miss anything? Oh well, time to dig out my car.  

Dec 22, 2010

18. think outside the "cake"

Ah the dessert. Whether you are a sugar queen or not - most would say the cake is an important food detail few overlook. And these days, you in no way have to do the traditional 3 or 4 tiered cake (I mean you can if you want to, they are still awesome looking) but you definitely get super creative with the cake...or forgo it all together and do something alternative.

Personally, I really wanted a Carvel Ice Cream Wedding Cake....but when reality set in of how much extra it would probably cost us...I opted to stay with cake option that was included in our package. A beautiful 3-tiered cake from Clay's Creative Corner Bakery...

Photos by: Lewis Rinaman


The truth is, it was beautiful! The people were super easy to work with and we loved going to our cake tasting. BUT...I'm a bad bride...I cannot recall for my life what the inside flavor was because the only piece I actually ate...was across my face. So perhaps a super fancy over-the-top cake would have been lost on me...but I would have definitely eaten my ice cream cake.

Okay, back to topic.

If you are not one to stick to the norm, there are so many alternatives (or additions, why not?) for dessert for the reception that all guests - and yourself - will definitely include.

But before I go all into that, I must interject one little opinion. Even if you opt to have one of the alternatives in lieu of cake, I think you should still have a little tiny cake (hey, your mother could make it) for you and your finance to do the "cutting of the cake" and then feeding the cake to each other...or smash it. Okay brides before you freak out let me explain. I was hardcore against the smashing cake in the face thing up until about 3 days before the wedding and had a change of heart and was like "what the hell...we might as well" and it turned out to be hysterical. My husband was very careful to not get it in my hair or on my dress and the photos were hilarious. I am definitely glad I changed my mind. Okay done ranting. On to the alternatives...

When deciding what you would like to do, you should consider the following...
  • Season of year the wedding takes place
    • With summer you can do lots of fruit and in the fall you can do lots of things with cranberries and apples (hey...you can even go apple picking...with your mouth)
  • Region of venue
  • Each of your cultural heritages 
    • If you are Italian, you can do a full table of cream-filled cannolis, biscottis and Amaretto cheesecake (mmm that sounds divine)
  • History together as a couple
    • Say your fiance proposed while on vacation at Hershey Park...you could do a Hershey Chocolate theme ending with big bars as the favor!

If you are having a summer wedding, there will be plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables at your disposal. Found on an Austin Wedding Blog...you can do a very colorful and refreshing table of fruit and veggies for your guests to munch down on. You can get super creative with the actual choices and make it look very modern in it's design.




If you are interested in doing a candy table, well, there are some fabulous ways to do this as well. If you don't know who Amy Atlas is, you need to go to her site and droll over her amazing designs. Had I found her during my planning I would have easily tossed whatever money she wanted at her to design amazing candy tables like this...

warning: no matter how delicious this looks, do not lick the computer screen






Okay, how awesome is this??

Let's come back down to reality. Do you want to make this happen, but are in a pinch? There are plenty of ways to make an amazing dessert table within a reasonable price. Ask your venue if they have any of the materials you will need to hold and showcase the candy. If not, you have a few options. Figure out the style you want and then go from there...it could be as simple as checking your cabinet to going to your local Bed, Bath & Beyond to pick up the plates. Check out these web sites to get all sorts of goodies for your table.

Cupcake stands. Okay so you can't devote a lot of time for the candy tables and cannot hire Amy Atlas (sigh) you have the fabulously creative option of doing a stand with tiers for different cupcakes. There are many benefits from doing this...to name one, say you and fiance wanted 3 different flavors - that would be so expensive if you wanted the 3-tiers of your cake all different. You can do multiple stands - of different sizes and shapes and as many - or as little as you need.




By having some many different options and well, cupcakes to use - you can let loose the creative side via dessert....

With the freedom of the cupcakes, you could really bake them all yourself (if you are that freaking brave) or you can have a specialty cupcake bakery doing them. An average size cupcake runs $3-5/per cupcake and mini-cupcakes can be$1.50-3/per cupcake. So say you wanted to purchase 200 cupcakes at $3 a piece you are looking at around $600 - which isn't completely ridiculous.








Before deciding on anything like this be sure to discuss with your venue or caterer and see what your options are for dessert. You may even be able to change out (at an additional fee) the cake for a cupcake tree.

If you would like to do something like this on your own - first be sure to test out that you can make 200+ cupcakes successfully on your own without killing a bridesmaids! You will also need plenty of time to do this - most recipes on the web (hey, I do wedding planning advice I'm not Martha) recommend a week before because I don't think you're that brave to do it the day prior. You can get the tier stands a lot of places online at reasonable prices...simply "Google" search and you can find tons of web sites selling these; however, I thought I'd breakdown some of the better places to check out.


eHow.com provides a great tips & warnings list for us if you plan to make it yourself...