Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A Veil for Every Season

The veil is one of the most important accessories to a wedding gown, however, most brides aren't aware of all the splendid choices they have. Did you know that there are at least six lengths to choice from and over ten different styles?! So try to find something that fits your personality and gown without sticking to the traditional choices. Have fun with it!

Cathedral: Think Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music.  A long vein to match that long train you’ve been dreaming about. They really complete each other will stun your guests. It’s very formal, but very striking; just make sure you have some flower girls on hand to keep it flowing beautifully!

Chapel: Floor-length, with a traditional touch. These veils work great inside and out and you won’t have to worry about anyone stepping on you!

Waltz: Falls somewhere between the knees and ankles. If you are looking for a veil you can wear all night along, this is the veil for you. It’s perfect for beach weddings and for those Bride’s who like to boogie!

Fingertip: Lines up with the Bride’s fingertips for an asymmetrical silhouette. This is very flattering on a more classical or even vintage style gown and will frame you well.

Elbow: A less formal look that works with any dress that hits below the knee. Elbow says “I’m fun and ready to enjoy myself tonight!” This is a good fit for A line gowns or more slimming styles.

Shoulder: Hits right below the shoulder blades and fits perfectly for strapless or tea-length.

Mantilla: A laced-edge veil that is very elegant and feminine. These veils are gorgeous and work wonders in an up do!
Picture: http://ansoniabridalveils.com/Veils.php

Bubble: Bubbles create a rounded pouf around the bride’s head, perfect for a whimsical look. 

Flyaway:  For the playful and trendy Bride, flyaway veils have several layers of different lengths and work well with less formal gowns. Fit and Flares and cocktail style wedding gowns pop with a flyaway.
Picture: http://youniqueboutique.com/marielle/veils.html

Blusher: For those who want no veil, this style is very trendy, yet classic. These can be any length or shape and can be personalized to any one style. Whether you love a double comb, across your whole face, or just above the eyes, it will be one of a kind no matter how you wear it.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Planning Your Dream Wedding: Where to Begin!

It is pretty common knowledge these days that planning a wedding is hard work! As we have mentioned in other blogs, there are many details that need to be addressed: venue, catering, finding your dress, hiring a planner, etc. With this crazy to-do list looming over you, you might be thinking "Where do I even begin?"

Of course, hiring a planner will help because they will create a detailed timeline for you of all the aspects of planning and when each should be started and completed but what about actually hiring a planner? How far in advance should that be done??

Many wedding websites offer free Wedding Planning Timeline templates but some are better than others. If you stumble across a timeline that includes many details you didn't even want to include in your wedding, it can make the process overwhelming and confusing! Here we have taken some of the basic wedding planning to-do's and outlined the best process for getting started (and finished) with them.

Hiring A Wedding Planner or Coordinator

This is the biggest one to think about because once you have a planner booked, they can help you with all the other details. In most cases, the best time to hire a planner is 8-12 months before your wedding. This gives enough time to space out all of the planning tasks so that you aren't stuck pulling everything together in the last two months. You can begin with tasks such as generating ideas for themes and decor and then move on the the more tangible tasks such as going on site visits or to tastings.

Finding and Ordering Your Dress

Choosing a wedding dress is one of the most fun parts of the wedding planning process and we see women in our shop come in as early as 1.5 years before their wedding and as last minute as a few months before. Wedding gown designers vary in production time but it is safe to assume 6 months for production and delivery and 1 month for alteration. That being said, the best time to order your dress is 7-8 before you need to wear it. If you plan on getting a bridal portrait done, make sure you order your dress in time for the portrait date, not just the wedding date. Keep in mind that you may need to shop around a little before you find THE dress, so start looking a few months to a few weeks before the date that you'll need to order.

Hiring a Caterer

You can begin scheduling tastings as far in advance as you like or as your engagement period permits. Ideally you'll want to have the caterer BOOKED 10-12 months before the wedding to be sure they won't become all booked for that day.  Remember that food is going to be one of the details of the wedding that your guests will remember the most so you want to be sure it is good! Some venues will require you to use their house caterer or one from their preferred vendors list. This can help to narrow down your choices, which can be a good thing, but if you have your heart set on a particular caterer that is not on the preferred list, check with your venue; sometimes they will allow outside caterers for a fee. It can't hurt to ask! In addition to choosing a caterer and menu items, you will need to decide what kind of set up you want; buffet or seated dinner, action stations or butler passed hors d'oeuvres, etc. As far as knowing how much food to order,  caterers usually allow you to change your guest count up to a month or so before the wedding, with a final head count given a few weeks before.

Choosing and Booking a Venue

 Venues are more busy during peak wedding months so if you are getting married between April and October, you will find that venues are booked several months or even over a year in advance.  It is best to have the venue booked as early as possible because other vendors will need to know the venue set up for their purposes, for example a caterer needs to see what kind of kitchen and prep area is available. If you can book 8 months before your wedding date, that is ideal but it is best not to wait any longer than 6 months before the date. Keep in mind that popular venues and dates will book very early so it may be necessary to book much earlier.

Hiring a Florist

You can begin thinking about the types and colors of flowers that you may want as soon as you begin your planning process. However, you do not need to meet with and book a florist until about 4-5 months before your wedding. If you plan on visiting several florists before you make your decision, allow yourself an additional month for choosing time. Be sure to ask if the florist is available for your wedding date before you even see them for a consultation. You don't want to be disappointed if you love their work but they already have 4 weddings on your chosen weekend! Like with any vendor, if a florist is very much in demand, they may be booked very far in advance.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Fun and Easy Wedding Decor DIY Ideas

When it comes to wedding planning, there are 2 very different kinds of brides.

 You have the bride  who knows her style, likes and dislikes, and the general theme she is trying to achieve but prefers to leave the specific decor and detailing to planners, stylists, florists, and the like. These woman have a creative vision but they would like to focus on other details of the wedding than actually choosing or crafting small decor touches. They are more BIG PICTURE brides.

On the other end of the spectrum, you have the bride who knows her style and just what she wants to do to portray that style. She may hire a planner or florist but she still wants to play a hands-on role in the planning process. This kind of bride is interested in designing and crafting every small detail of her wedding and reception. From a custom flower girl basket to handmade table numbers, she has a vision! These women are more DETAIL brides.

Which category do you think you lean closer towards? Most often, we see brides who are a mix of BOTH. Like many things in the wedding world, there isn't just a black and a white, but a huge gray area where most things tend to fit in.  That is what makes working with brides so fun!

So, regardless of your being more of a BIG PICTURE or DETAIL bride, you are most likely interested in having a stunning final product for your wedding day. That being said, here are some fun (and EASY!) DIY ideas to easily incorporate into your big day decor. And hey, no one ever said you couldn't pass these ideas on to a planner, bridesmaid, mother, or friend to help you out! (hint, hint...)

1. Signature Drinks

Signature drinks are a fun and tasty way to personalize your wedding! It is super easy to create a nice display to grab the attention of your thirsty guests. Use Microsoft Word to create a description of the drink and list the ingredients. Play around with different fonts, spacing, italics, etc. to find something to match your style. Wedding Chicks is a  wonderful  tool to use for this because they offer FREE custom monograms that you can insert into your document. Below is an example. 

Just print out on a good quality ivory card stock and put in an antique or vintage style frame. 

2. Seating Chart and Escort Card Displays

It can't get any easier than this. If you can find an old chalkboard, snag it! If not, find an old frame at the antique store, or even in you parents' attic, and use a few coats chalkboard paint (available at any hardware store) on a thin piece of wood to go in the center. Use chalk to write out table numbers and guests and place on a cute easel at your reception. 

For individual place cards, choose three nice card stocks, on for the backing,one on which to print the text, and one for your die-cut design. The backing paper can have a print but the other should be solid color. Choose a simple and easy-to-read font and print out each guests names. You can make a template on most newer versions of Microsoft Word to create a template with 8 rectangles on a standard 8.5" x 11" sheet. Cut rectangles a little larger than twice the height of the name cards. Fold the card stock in half hamburger style a and use a good quality glue stick to past the name card onto the front center. Now for the fun part! Choose a fun die-cut (available at Michael's, AC Moore, Hobby Lobby, or any similar craft store) that fits your theme. Use the die-cut to punch out one design for each place card from  a contrasting card stock print. Finally, glue the die-cuts onto the name tents.

3. Centerpieces

Table set ups are a big component of your wedding reception decor. Linens and florals can also be pricey so if you are on a budget, it is good to have some tricks up your sleeve to pad out your decor!  Buy some small clear glass vases. You can usually find these at a dollar store, a craft store, or even some thrift stores. Go to the farmers market and buy a few dozen Gerbera daisies, cut the stems very short, place in the vases to float on about 2" of water, and voila! 

These are great for an elegant evening wedding! Buy 1 or 2 dozen roses in a color that matches your decor. Remove the petals. Fill several glass cylinder vases with water. For interest, you can vary the water levels. Add a small handful of petals. Place a white floating candle on top. Wait until shortly before guests arrive to light the candles. 

Happy DIYing! 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

FALL in Love With Autumn Events

As summer begins drawing to a close and the promise of cooler weather hangs in air, we are reminded of all the beautiful things fall has to offer. Brisk mornings, comfy sweaters and scarves, the changing colors of foliage, football, warm drinks, more pumpkin flavored treats than you could ever consume in one season, COOL weather; all these things make fall a wonderful time to enjoy time with family, friends, and community members. It is the perfect time to hold an event too! Just imagine a gorgeous orange and red foliage landscape at your annual fundraiser event or a delicious hot chocolate bar at your company party. It is not hard to imagine a fall wedding but fall is also great for other events such as company picnics, a neighborhood pig pickin' , or fundraiser events. Here are some ideas for a fall event ranging from kid-friendly fundraiser festivals to high-end business dinners.  I can smell the pumpkin pie already!

Fall Fundraiser Event Tablescape

Rovers in a Hollowed-Out Gourd Vase

A Bright and Colorful take on Autumn Tablescape

Casual Centerpiece

Pumpkin Bowling for Children-Friendly Fall Festival

Potato Sack Race: For Children and Adults Alike

Dancing at Fall Fundraiser, Live Music is Always a Good Choice!
Classic Pulled Pork

Roasted Chicken with Root Vegetables

Caramel Apple Cake Pops

Glazed Butternut Squash

Pumpkin Ravioli in Butter Sage Sauce

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
Hot Chocolate Bar

Hot Apple Cider Bar

Traditional Mulled Wine

Fall Beer Assortment 

Friday, August 17, 2012

A Sweet Tooth's Dream

Your wedding is a day to really go all out. Of course in the traditional ways of having a beautiful dress, a nice meal, and a GIGANTIC cake but now there are even more ways to have really awesome and really fun details that you probably won't have an excuse to use on any other day but your wedding. Renting an ice cream truck to serve your guests? Buying a large scale ice sculpture of your initials? Yes, these things may be a bit over the top but YES, it is your wedding day and if you have always dreamed of such extravagances at your wedding, then why not? Have fun with your big day, as long as you just stick to one or two BIG details, your wedding (and your budget) won't end up going too far over the edge.

Since there are unlimited ways to make a big splash at your wedding (decor, food, drink, bands, etc.), I am going to focus just on desserts today. There are truly so many wonderful and innovative ideas and more come out every year. These sugary and decadent wedding ideas are for the serious sweet tooth!

Chocolate Fountain
This classic dessert display is always a crowd-pleaser. You can choose dark, milk or even white chocolate which can come in many colors. Guests will love dipping fruits, cakes, and other treats into this decadent flowing dessert fountain.

Candy Bar or Desserts Bar
Can't decide on just one dessert? Why choose? Full spread dessert tables are HUGE for weddings right now. You can include cake, cake pops, brownies, cookies, candies, fruit, and any other favorites you have. Bonus points for coordinating with your wedding colors!

Dessert  Shots
After eating a big tasty main course, some guests may be too full for a big slice of cake so why not offer them bite (or sip!) sized desserts in the form of a shot. Milk and cookies are a popular choice but the possibilities are endless. Also pictured are chocolate pudding, cookie, and whipped cream shots and strawberry shortcake shots. 

Ice Cream Truck
If someone had told the 5 year old you that you could rent an entire ice cream truck for all your friends and family for an evening, you would have probably thought that sounded like a dream come true! For the young at heart, that very option is not only available but also gaining popularity for wedding receptions. This will give you some great photo ops as well!

Frozen Yogurt Station
You really can't go wrong with a dessert that is so easy to customize. Many of your favorite frozen yogurt shops offer catering for events such as weddings and rehearsal dinners. What a light and refreshing treat to top of your night!