Monday, May 18, 2015

Mind your Social Media Manners


Throughout the years there has been many changes to wedding etiquette.  Choosing a more casual environment as opposed to your parents more strict, traditional wedding is one of the major changes. As a new wave of thinking and sharing moves forward with each new generation, so do our thoughts on etiquette.  Much of our new way of sharing can be attributed to social media.  The induction of social media in our lives has made a big splash in all major events and weddings are no exception. However, there are pitfalls to this socially advanced world.  We've compiled some tips to keep you from being sucked into the social media danger zone.

1.  VIPs Come First:  As excited as you may be to spread the news keep it under wraps until you have shared your joy with all the important people in your lives.  Please don't let your mom and dad find out about the proposal via Facebook.  Gasp!  Allow them to share in your happiness in person with a surprise visit or impromptu lunch.  Once you are sure you have celebrated with all the VIPs, share away with the rest of the world.

2.  Beware of Boasting:  Although your ring is gorgeous and you are very proud of it's perfectly clear, two karat, princess cut diamond other's will be less than impressed by all those details. Absolutely share a photo for all to see and a quick story of the sweet proposal.  The ring is an incredible gift and symbol of the love you and your partner share, but keep all the details to yourself unless asked.

3.  Stay Aware of the Over Share:  Going along with number two is the danger of over sharing.  It is so easy to get excited about this upcoming major event in your life and you should get excited.  Just be sure your excitement doesn't give too much away.  Do not flood Instagram and Facebook with photos of your ring, your dress,  your flowers, your invites and all the other details for the day. Instead, wow your guests and treat their eyes to the never before seen details you have put together for your big day.

4.  Don't be a Downer:  When planning a wedding many things can go wrong and inevitably some things will go wrong.  Roll with changes and keep your frustration on the down low.  Posting all your complaints on Facebook will only make people think you've lost sight of what really matters and who wants guests at their wedding that have been bit by their bad attitude bug anyway.

5.  Keep it Traditional:  In some cases, tradition still stands and sending out paper invites and thank you notes is one of them.  We may live in a technologically advanced society, but nothing beats a hand written note or a personal invite.

6.  The "Status" Quo:  There are no rules as to when you should or shouldn't change your Facebook status.  Many like to make the change immediately to announce their new title while other are less rushed to inform the world that they are now a Mrs.  There is no timeline for changing your marital status, so whichever you choose is perfectly okay.

7.  Hashtag your Happy Event:  With so many social media don'ts out there, we like to celebrate this definite do.  Create a fun and inventive hashtag for your bachelor/bachelorette party and your wedding day.  Put up a sign at your wedding that informs all your guests of your hashtag and have them Instagram away.  It is the perfect way to get a sneak peek at some wedding shots before the professional gets them back to you.  Also, your guests will capture many moments that you may have missed among all the chaos.

8.  Stay in the Moment:  The connection you keep on your big day should be to your newly named spouse, not to your phone.  Stay offline.  Allow your guests to create photo memories for you while you keep lasting moments in your mind.  You only get one chance to be in each and every moment, so live it up!


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Bachelorette Party Basics

Everyone knows that the wedding is the big show, but why not have a little fun before the main event.  Give the bride a chance to stop fretting over seating charts and floral arrangements and allow her to cut loose for a night or two with a stellar bachelorette party.  Of course, nobody wants to follow any rules at a bachelorette party, so let's just call these "tips" to a successful night of mayhem and fun.

Hosting:  Generally the Maid of Honor and bridesmaids are in charge of festivity arrangements, but it really could be any close friend or relative that is up for the task.

Guests:  Who to invite is always a good question for the bride.  You don't want great aunt Margaret showing up at a party that is better suited for a lady half her age.  Keep the list short.  It is much easier to manage a party intended for close friends and family when the numbers are small.  We recommend staying under twenty.

Date:  Pick a date that works best for the bride and bridal party schedule.  At least 2-3 nights before the wedding.  No need for a Hangover Holly at the wedding.

Budget:  Depending on your plans for the party, the hostess will often ask attendees to chip in on the cost.  A trip to Vegas is obviously expensive, but a party at home can add up quickly too.

Have a plan:  Lay out the night with activities that are suited to your bride and don't be too strict with your schedule.  Allow everyone (including yourself) to relax and have fun by keeping your itinerary loose.  If you have something planned, like a concert or dinner reservations, that requires everyone to be on time be sure all guests are aware that the party waits for no woman.

Make it memorable:  The bachelorette party is the bride's last hurrah as a single lady, take advantage.  Create a theme, take lots of pictures, make the bride stand out, play games and leave the bride with a memento from the night.  Do all of these with the brides interest and comfort level in mind.  If dressing in a crazy costume and asking strangers random questions isn't her thing, go for cute dresses and an evening of martinis at a classy bar.  

Be safe:  It is not your job to play mother to everyone at the party, so plan ahead for rides home and let the guests know what time the party will wrap up.

If all of this still seems overwhelming or you just want some fresh ideas to treat your bride to an incredible party, give us a call.  It's fun for us too to let loose a little and help a girl with her "Last fling before the ring".

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Picture Perfect Ceremony Spaces

Hearts pounding, tears flowing, beautiful faces and nervous smiles.  Not much compares to the emotions of watching two people share what is in their hearts for one another in front of all their friends and family.  When planning a wedding, the couple can often jump to the reception and dance portion and just assume the wedding will take care of itself.  Don't be that couple.  Create the mood for your wedding with the ceremony space and allow it to carry on through the night.  With so many creative ceremony backdrops out there, we had to share several that get our hearts pounding.

A tree branch arbor can be dressed up for any application.  Weave it with grapevines, hop vines, flowers, even drapery; it is a beautiful and versatile way to frame your first kiss.

 Or drape AND floral!

Love the draped look, but find the tree branch arbor too square.  No problem.  Try draping between branches for a sophisticated look that still keeps it natural and organic.

A draped arbor is a popular way to create a romantic mood for your ceremony.  The variations of drape design are endless.

This billowy, back lit design with a touch of floral is soft and sophisticated without being fussy. 

A hanging chandelier and floral tie backs let your guests know they are in for a glamorous event.

Want to get creative?  These 8 foot tall letters should do the trick.  Say "I Do" in a big way!

Use the beauty of nature as your backdrop and still create a designated first kiss zone with stacked trunks and wine barrel.

Symbolize opening up to new adventures with shabby chic doors and pennant flags.

No matter how you choose to theme your day there is always a fun and creative way to set your ceremony space and say "I Do" in a picture perfect way.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Creating a Venue

Getting married on a farm, at a park or in your grandparent’s backyard can be just the special touch you want for your wedding day.  A non-venue wedding is always filled with sentimentality and personal touches from the couple.  However, it can be a huge undertaking.  It's reminiscent of the times when kings and queens would go on vacation for the summer and bring along all the comforts of their home, literally.  Basically building a new city wherever they landed, they did not heed the advice of their mothers and pack light.  If you are interested in following in their footsteps, below are 10 factors to consider when creating your venue from a non-venue.

1.  Space:  Consider the number of guests you are inviting, whether the ceremony, reception and dance will be held on the property, the type of reception  you plan on having (ie. plated, buffet, BBQ) and parking.  All are huge factors in determining if your home or private property will be able to accommodate such a big event.

2.  Prep the property:  A landscaping crew may be needed to help with some of necessary tasks, such as leveling ground by filling in holes.  You really don't need someone tripping and getting injured on your property.  Planting flowers, pruning trees and other lawn care all need to be considered with the event layout and theme in mind.  Also, clear the property of potential hazards.  If you are inviting children to your wedding, this step is especially important.

3.  Be aware of the weather:  Just as with any traditional venue, having tents on backup is always a good idea for chances of rain or excessive heat.

4.  Rentals:  A wedding on private property almost always requires more rentals than any other venue. Unless you are in the habit of personally storing tables and chairs for special occasions, you will need to rent.  Along with a dance floor, decor items, linens, lighting, outdoor heaters and much more. Many traditional venues include most of these items in the cost of the space, so keep in mind that rentals are an important place to hold tight to your budget.

5.  Lighting:  If you plan to party into the wee hours of the morning, you will most definitely need lights.  Plan out where your guests will be throughout the night and make sure these areas are well lit.  Do not forget a lighted path to their vehicle either.

6.  Bathrooms:  Some private properties may have enough restrooms to service your guests.  Most likely though, your home will not and it's usually easiest on your home, not to mention sewer system, to just rent a couple of bathrooms.  They even have deluxe bathroom rentals now.  You won’t need to sit in a stuffy, stinky Honey Bucket in your fancy wedding attire.  You can tinkle in style! 

7.  Power:  With all the extra lighting, music and electrical needs, please do yourself a favor and get a generator.  The added power source will ensure the party doesn't stop until you are ready.

8.  Permits/Restrictions/Insurance:  Remember in Father of the Bride when the police show up because of the cars parked up and down the street?  Yeah, don't let that happen to you.  Check with the city and local fire department to be sure you are following all the laws and obtaining proper permits.  Same goes for your music.  Many areas have certain noise ordinances that need to be followed.  Lastly, check with your homeowners insurance about 3rd party liability and possibly adding extra insurance for the event.

9.  Vendor needs:  Do not forget to ask your vendors if they have any special needs for the day.  Most are used to working in traditional venues and you don't want to have a caterer with not enough food prep space.  You may also consider adding security or an OLCC server to your vendor list to help with crowd control and underage drinking.

10.  Clean up:  One last thing to think about is hiring a cleaning crew or enlisting some reliable friends and family to help with the aftermath.  If your wedding is outdoors, be sure to get a group together that evening to take care of trash and anything else that would attract wildlife.  You will be surprised by all of the places people find to hide their wine glass or empty appetizer plate. 

There are so many great things about having a wedding on private property, but there is also a lot to consider.  Keep in mind that a non-venue wedding isn't always cheaper than a traditional venue wedding.  Hiring a planner is especially important for non-venue weddings because of their detailed nature.  A planner can help with all the aspects above and keep that budget where it needs to be.  So go forth, be bold, and build your city, just remember this is not the time to pack light.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Thinking Spring

Flowers are blooming, sun is shining, and wedding season has begun.  Much like on Bambi, we seem a bit twitterpated this time of year.  Pastels, fresh colors, new life, we just can't get enough of spring and all it has to offer.  Here are some of our favorite designs that have us thinking spring.  

Still obsessed with the Royal Wedding and pretty much all things British?  Yeah, us too.  The garden party and afternoon tea themes still top the list of 2015 wedding trends.  Give an extra nod to spring with a darling Let Love Grow sign.

Of course, you cannot think spring without flowers.  Whether you opt for loosely arranged bouquets, the farm to table trend or fresh, light colors, the newness of spring will shine brightly during your new beginning.

Who's ready for a hike to explore spring blossoms?  We love this make your own trail mix bar and it's pop of bright spring bouquets.

A gorgeous ruffled cake adds just the right amount of class to a spring wedding.  It's almost too pretty to eat.  Almost.

Not sure if there is a more perfect way to welcome spring than with a wedding ushered in by these adorable little ones and their perfectly springy outfits.  Dress your party to be comfortable and fresh for your perfect spring wedding.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Styling with Vintage Furniture & Decor

Vintage has been an up and coming style in the wedding world for some time now.  It gives purpose to all those great antiques many of us love and allows them to assist in creating the perfect atmosphere for your wedding day.  However, styling with vintage furniture and decor can be tricky. You don't want people walking into your venue thinking they just stepped into grandma's hoarder filled attic.  Below are some of the ways we avoid the vintage decor overload.

Start with the big pieces.  Create cozy, romantic lounge areas for guests to relax during cocktail hour or rest their weary, dancing legs.  Stick with a themed color palate and let the furniture do the talking.

This sweet little seating area makes for a great photo op as well as a great place to chat with guests.

Go monochromatic in an area that is so full of green space.  The contrast will really make the furniture shine.
Focus on the furniture by only adding a few accents.  Rugs, small floral pieces, and a phonograph are great compliments to this jewel toned seating area.

Need tables?  Think outside the box with other large pieces.  Buffets or even large wood planks on logs are great for serving up your tasty treats.

Create depth and more serving space by adding height with vintage cake plates, wood crates, drawers, and log rounds.
Vintage door knobs with themed cards work great for labeling flavors.
A piece with a built in chalkboard for sending a message to your guests couldn't be sweeter.

After that, move on to the details that speak to you.  Add pieces that represent a part of your personality or past.  Little bits and bobs that really make you smile, will make others smile too.  Just remember not to overdo it.

Do double duty with a cool, vintage bicycle that also gives your guests a heads up of where to find the party.
Welcome guests with an adorable custom sign and a unique vintage piece like this child's fire truck wagon.
Trunks are great pieces to use when styling with vintage decor.  Stack a few at the entrance with a beautiful bouquet, a typewriter, and a card basket to add a special touch of old romance.  Bonus if your typewriter works, invite guests to type love notes for the new couple.

A vintage themed wedding can go in many directions.  Romantic, rustic, rock and roll, and simplistic to name a few.  It's versatility makes it one of our favorite styles and an incredibly large part of our rental collection.  

Side note:  All the pieces shown above are available for rent (along with many others).  Gives us a call to check them out.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Bridal Emergency Kit Must Haves


For all the DIY brides out there this kit is a definite must for your big day.  Filled with items to pull you out of a disaster and pieces to help you get through your day with ease, you won't want to miss this one.

Feel Better Fast
1.  Advil
2.  Benadryl (The fresh air and beautiful flowers can often leave you sneezing.)
3.  Tums (Don't let nerves get the best of you.)
4.  Band-Aids
5.  Eye drops
6.  Tampons (Timing isn't always on your side.)

Keeping Clean and Feeling Pretty
1.  Toothbrush and toothpaste
2.  Floss
3.  Chapstick
4.  Kleenex (Catch those tears before they ruin your make-up.)
5.  Nail file
6.  Nail clippers
7.  Lotion
8.  Deodorant
9.  Straws (Keep your lipstick on point by sipping through a straw.)
10.  Q-tips (Not just for the ears, you know.)
11.  Razor
12.  Wet wipes or hand sanitizer

Energy Boosters
1.  Granola bars or trail mix (Many brides forget to eat.  Don't be one of them.)
2.  Chocolates
3.  Water (Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.)

Last Minute Touch-ups
1.  Mints (K-I-S-S-I-N-G)
2.  Lint remover
3.  Wrinkle release spray (Especially important if you don't get ready on site.)
4.  Bobbi pins
5.  Shoe polish (The guys have emergencies too!)

Fast Fixes
1.  Safety pins
2.  Sewing kit (A quick stitch can save a button or a loose shoulder strap.)
3.  Hem tape or double sided tape
4.  Stain remover pen
5.  Chalk or baby powder (For those stain remnants mentioned in the last blog.)

Emergency Extras
1.  Sunscreen (Don't spend the day looking like a lobster.)
2.  Bug spray (Maybe the smell isn't pretty, but neither are 100 mosquito bites.)
3.  Umbrella (Because mother nature has her own agenda.)
4.  Ipod with playlists (Refer to Wedding Day Drama Averted blog.)

Put it all in a cute make-up bag or travel case and pack it with your day of goods ahead of time. Add the cute Keep Calm sign above to remind yourself of what is really important during those meltdown moments.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Wedding Day Drama Averted

We would all love for the only hitch in our wedding to be at the alter between the bride and groom, unfortunately, that isn't always possible.  (See what I did there with hitch???  Anyway...)  Many disasters can be avoided with a little planning ahead.  So before you morph into Bridezilla, stopping around ripping the heads off innocent flowers, take a moment and arm yourself with a few of our favorite tips.

Make-up on your Gown:
A little touch up here and a little touch up there and suddenly, make-up on your dress.  Resist your instinct to rub it off.  I mean it!  Press some club soda on the spot and then sprinkle with salt and let dry.  If you have a white dress, you could cover up any remnants with some chalk or talc. You'll be picture perfect again in no time.

Weather Worries:
No matter what part of the country you live in, there will always be a chance of unfavorable weather. Don't sweat it.  Literally.  If the heat of the day is making your make-up melt and your hair become droopy and sad, just ask your stylist to stay on hand for touch-ups. (This is actually a great tip for any kind of weather.)  For rain or excessive heat, plan ahead and reserve a tent complete with mats for muddy feet. Keep your guests cool and dry and they'll be able to dance the night away.  If outdoor pictures were part of your plan, grab an umbrella and some cute rain boots plus a sheet or pillowcase to place under your dress. It'll keep your dress from looking like you mopped the floor with it.

Liberal Libations:
Drinking and driving is never a mark a new couple wants to make on their wedding day.  Arrange for buses or shuttles to transport guests from the reception location to their hotel.  Still can't get a stubborn guest to hand over the keys?  Assign some reliable non-drinking friends or family members to act as personal drivers.  Your overly intoxicated guest and their vehicle will make it back home safe and sound.

Vendor Communication:
Many, many details can be lost in translation and the last place you want to deal with it is the morning of your big day.  Remember to get everything in writing and keep records of your communication.  We suggest a Bridal Binder to hold all your contracts and communication. Designate a responsible party to bring it with them to venue.  Complete all your contracts ahead of time and confirm all arrivals at least one week prior.  Did all that and still have a no show?  Get creative.  A missing DJ can be replaced by a iPod in a pinch.

Bridal Party Troubles:
We all have that friend that we completely adore, but isn't really the most responsible person you know. Between showing up late and missing key ceremony items, you're never sure what you're going to get.  Call in some reinforcement on this one.  Ask another party person to give them a ride and call them in the morning to be sure they haven't overslept.  If catastrophe strikes and they fall ill or have another emergency, just rearrange your processional and nothing will look out of place.

Uninvited Guests:
When it comes to wedding crashers, it is rare that the attendee is an unrelated party.  Most often your invited guests bring a plus one or two without an RSVP.  Don't let a few strays ruin your day. Ask for help. Lean on the venue coordinator and/or cater to pull up some extra seats and put together a plate for your new friends.

Toasting Nightmare:
Maybe it's nerves, maybe it's liquid courage or maybe it's just a personality trait.  Regardless, toast makers can sometimes make you cringe, cry or be looking for the nearest exit.  Some toasters may ramble on or worse, make an inappropriate joke that grandma finds slightly displeasing (to say the least).  Whatever the case may be, get prepared ahead of time.  Talk with the toast makers about inappropriate topics or create a signal to get them to wrap it up.  Redirection is key during those awkward moments.

So many unexpected events can occur on your big day that's why we always recommend hiring a planner to deal with any last minute emergencies(totally unbiased opinion, of course).  However, the key is to keep calm, breathe deep, and roll with it.  Remember you'll always have a good story to tell in the years to come.

Stay tuned for our list of must have items for your Bridal Emergency Kit.

Friday, January 30, 2015

12 Creative Personal Touches for your Wedding

It can be so easy for a couple to get lost in all the ideas and possibilities of planning.  You'll find that everyone has an opinion, ideas are endless, and your wedding Pinterest board suddenly has 511 pins on it. Yikes!!  Keeping your sanity in tact and your love story at the forefront can be as easy as sharing bits of your personality in meaningful and special ways.  Below are our 12 favorite ideas for not getting lost among the idea overload.

1.  Share your interests:  Whether you want to share a piece of your love story or a common interest, remember to be bold and not shy away from what makes you two so darn great.  If it's your love for rock music that brought you together, than why not make it a common thread to the day.

2.  Family heritage:  As important as it is to share what brought you together, it is just as important to share where you came from.  Share your heritage with guest through food, music, or decor.  Plus, it'll make your grandma real happy!

3.  Remember your loved ones:  Getting married is an emotional experience, made even more emotional when someone dear to our hearts is no longer with us.  Remember them in a big way with a memory wall or chair.  Both are great ways to keep the important people close on such a special day.

4.  Old, new, borrowed, blue:  So maybe wearing your mother's wedding dress isn't really your thing.  That's okay.  Incorporate other parts of it into your big day with a charm pin that holds all your old, new, borrowed, and blue.  Still not your thing?  Try getting creative with cocktails.


5.  Signage:  There are many, many signs out there that can reflect a couples personality.  There is no right or wrong in the signage game.  Share your favorite quote, vows, or even a silly one liner. However you may be feeling on your big day, say it with words.

6.  Seating charts:  Seating arrangements can be a daunting task for many couples.  Aunt Sheila won't sit by crazy uncle Larry because he's a little 'handsy' when he drinks.  You know the one; we all do.  Relieve some of that stress with a fun and interactive seating chart that corresponds with your table centerpieces.  Favorite fairytale books, like the ones below are a great way to share a piece of you.  Bonus: They are excellent conversation starters!

7.  Food:  Now that your guests are seated, they might as well eat.  If a formal dinner isn't your thing, don't sweat it.  Serve up something more casual or have the dinner catered from your favorite restaurant.  Don't forget the options for signature cocktails or late night snacks like these mini tacos and margaritas.  YUM!


8.  Favors:  The possibilities for favors have become endless.  From sharing your favorite candies or treats at a candy bar to handing out wine with your photo on it, favors can really express the kind of couple you are together.  Try wrapping your guests in these cozy blankets with an embroidered reminder of your big day.


9.  Cake:  Besides picking the flavor(s) that most appeal to you, show some personality with your cake topper.  Whether you are goofy, serious, classic or rustic there is a cake topper for you.  Think outside the box on this one.  Most anything can serve as "the cherry on top" of your perfect cake.


10.  Guest book:  In the whirlwind of your big day, it is often hard to remember who was there to share it with you.  Forego the traditional book that will sit in a storage box never to be seen again for an inventive "book" that can double as art for your home.

11.  Instagram hashtags:  With social media at a high, take advantage of it to share your day with people near and far.  Create a hashtag on Instagram for all the iphone photographers at your wedding to share their experience.  It's always fun to see another persons point of view and you'll get your photo fix while you wait for the professional pictures.  #savvysistersincrockedmywedding


12.  Schedule to your likes:  Amid all the possibilities and fun ideas, don't forget to schedule the day to what suits you best.  If you aren't up for cocktail hour, skip it.  If an afternoon ceremony in your back yard followed by lawn games and fun music is more your thing, then go for it.  There are no rules.  The day is yours to be made 'marry'.