Sunday, February 27, 2011

Tip of the week - Lighting

Wedding reception lighting basics - If you want your wedding site to go from "standard" to "stunning" then turn off the light switches and go for illumination.  Lighting creates a mood and when it is done correctly it can make everything look better. 
1. Find the right person.  There are many people out there that "do" lighting.  I, personally, work only with an actual Lighting Company - this is what they specialize in.  Many of them have theater backgrounds, and this is great!  They get the whole point of dramatic transformation.  Make sure to check with your wedding celebration venue.  Some of them might do their own lighting and some might charge you extra for the extra electricity when hiring outside vendors.  When talking with potential lighting vendors, ask to see pictures of what they've done...Before and After's are perfect!
2.Go with your chosen lighting vendor to your site.  If you're planning a night time reception, make sure to visit the site at least once when it's dark outside.  Ask if the venue has dimmers for their overhead lights and KEEP FLORESCENT LIGHTS OFF!  Assess the site and see where the lighting would give the most effect.
3. Know your lingo.  Here are some of the most common types of lighting for weddings: 
Pin Spot: A focused light that will shine directly onto an object like your wedding cake or a centerpiece to create a highlight effect.
Wedding lighting designer Bentley Meeker
Color Wash: A blanket of colored light used to cover an entire area.
Produced by Along Came Mary; photo by Line 8 Photography

Gobos:  These are circular stencils that are put over a light to create and project a design or pattern.  These could include monograms, dates, any other wedding designs.  These do cost more, and the complexity of the design will affect the cost.
LED's: LED lights are becoming more popular for weddings because they use much less electricity and they don't get very hot.  They also can be wireless.  LED's are great for color changes and can give you a wonderful vibrant color.
4. Use color.  When you are choosing lighting for your wedding celebration think outside of your color palette.  If you have blue table covers, blue dresses and blue in your flowers and cake, blue lighting will be too much.  Magenta and soft rose are wonderful colors to use.  They complement all skin tones and have a tendency to make colors POP!
Also, take advantage of the effect color can have throughout the course of your party.  During your cocktail hour you can start with golden tones, during dinner you can use your soft rose, then for the dancing and partying afterwards go with something more exciting.  Some lighting companies offer light color changes that will change with the speed of the music.  How fun is that?!
5.Outside lighting.  If you are having your wedding outside there are a few things to take into consideration.  First and foremost - if your site has a path or steps that your guests will be using throughout the night make sure to keep it lit up.  You can use lanterns, or luminaries for this if there is not already lighting there. 
Basically, lighting is a GREAT way to use your wedding budget dollars to create an effect that will enhance the elements of your wedding.  Lighting is totally cost effective.  The price can go anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars.  But, no matter what your budget is, this is definately the way to get more "bang for your buck." 

Friday, February 25, 2011

Fashion Friday - Spring

Here are some of my FAVES for some gorgeous spring wedding fashion!  
A little walk down the runway with Carlina Herrera's designs.  Absolutely beautiful!!  Simple, elegant, Talk about adding the WOW factor to your wedding..start with the dress...WOW!!!

Theme Thursday - Spring Weddings

Maybe it's because it's still cold and snowy outside, but looking at bright spring flowers in the flower shop made me dream of spring weddings and all of the fresh looks and colors. 

Here are some ways for you to bring "spring" into your wedding theme. 

  • Use fresh flowers.   Some popular wedding flowers for your bouquets, centerpieces and any floral decor would be - Tulips, Freesia, Daffodils, Irises and Lilacs.  Also, a colorful mix of wildflowers is great!
  • Use birdseed instead of rice or bubbles for your guests to toss after the ceremony.
  • For your ceremony and cocktail hour music, consider using soft soothing music, like a harp or a flute and, if the weather permits, open up your reception to an outdoor patio.  You and your guests have been cooped up all winter long, so get outside and enjoy some warm, beautiful spring air.
  • Use fresh "garden" foods.  Fruits, vegetables, delicious salads.  Offer chocolate covered strawberries and a bright green salad full of colorful vegetables served with a homemade fragrant dressing. 
  • And, for a fun wedding favor, you could offer flower bulbs for your guests to take home and plant, garden tools, or wine glass charms shaped like butterflies.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Tip of the week - Wedding Registries

No matter what the style of your wedding is or what your budget and your friends and families budgets are, people will buy you gifts for your wedding.  They want to get you something you really want and need, so please do your wedding registry. 

This is a shopping trip that would be fun for both you and your fiancee.  This is the beginning of your new life together and it's great to have the things you'll need once you get back from your honeymoon.  Sure, you can register for china, silver and crystal, but while you're out with your hubby-to-be, go to the sporting store and register for those snowshoes or tennis racquets that you both wanted.  Or the hockey gear for him and the sweet roller blades for you.  You will also want to register for the everyday things.  Cookware, silverware, cool wine glasses, appliances, cutlery, sheets and towels fall into this category.  Everyone will want to know your colors of choice and sizes and this way, you will only get one toaster - not 5!

Make sure to register at least 5 - 8 months before your wedding.  This should be enough time for your friends and family to know what to look for by the time any showers and parties arrive.  Most companies will keep your registry for up to one year after the wedding date. 

Also, some places offer a professional bridal registry consultant.  This would be a good idea if you're not sure what you need.  They have the knowledge of the products to help you with your choices.  If you decide that you would like to work with a bridal registry consultant, call around.  Make sure that, wherever you go, your guests will be treated well, make sure the list, and the items on it, are easily obtainable, and the prices, selections and quality are acceptable.

Then, when this is all done, have some delicious dinner and a glass - or two - of wine and sleep well!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Simple Tip #4 - Personalize the attendants gifts

Your wedding attendants gifts can range, anywhere, from extremely personal to very general.  But, if your party includes close friends and family that you have known for a long time, a gift that is personalized to each attendant is a much nicer way to go.  The gifts don't need to be expensive, it is more the sentiment behind this tradition that is important. 

Some gift ideas for different personalities...
  • The athletic friend:  A duffle bag with a personalized towel, water bottle, and maybe a baseball cap or visor.
  • The music lover:  An itunes gift card, a sweet pair of headphones, a pair of concert tickets.
  • The friend that loves to cook:  A large noodle pan filled with goodies and maybe a bottle of wine.

Remember that there is absolutely NO rule that says everyone needs to get jewelry or that they all need to get the same thing.  Happy shopping!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Fashion Friday

Another Friday and another day of fashion!  I love all of the researching I have to do to bring you some fun inspiration, but looking at wedding gowns!  I really don't know if it gets better than that.  Well, yeah, it does, but this is absolutely great!!  Anyways, these gowns are new for 2011 and add some color to the traditional white wedding gown.  If you have any questions about anything you see here please leave a post and I'll help you get the information needed. you have your glass of wine?  Enjoy.

Theme Thursday - Vineyard Weddings

A Vineyard theme for your wedding is perfect for a wine loving couple! You don't need to be at a vineyard to create the feel of Napa Valley cool is that! With some creativity, some good food and really yummy wine you can design your wedding to make everyone feel as if they are at a real winery! I believe the main ideas to stick with when designing your vineyard themed wedding are elegance and simplicity. Look into vineyards, country clubs and manicured gardens - rustic sophistication. Talk with your caterer about a "Tuscan" themed menu.

Any Tuscan menu is going to highlight simple yet perfectly-done combinations of peasant breads, soft cheeses, tomatoes, beans, olive oils and wine. Typically you might find starters such as antipasto, bread sticks, and Tuscan white bean bean paté on crostini.

Also on your Tuscan menu you might find a selection of the finest olives and gourmet tapenades, fruit compotes, and delicious cured meats like Tuscan proscuitto and salami. Or in the European tradition, golden pears poached in a flavorful red wine, then knocked over the top with goat cheese and honey. A Tuscan ravioli filled with grilled eggplant, spinach and a variety of cheeses would draw raves as a main course.

This is also the perfect theme to offer a wine tasting for your cocktail hour (hint, hint). Offer a variety of reds, whites and roses, cheeses, breads, and please don't forget the chocolate!

Keep your music more intimate during your cocktail and dinner hours. A soft string quartet for example. As the night goes on, and you and your guests are ready to hop out of your seats, a great traditional Italian band should get your guests stomping!

Here are two of my favorite Boards for some Vineyard/ Tuscan Weddings

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Wediquette Wednesday - Who's invited to the rehearsal dinner?

The rehearsal dinner list should include the bride and groom-to-be, all parents, the hosts, the officiant and his/her spouse and the wedding party. You could opt for a larger event and include all spouses/ significant others, and any out-of-town guests. The main thing about your wedding weekend is to be a good hostess. This might be a good reason to invite your out-of-town guests to your rehearsal night dinner instead of leaving them to fend for themselves.

Remember, it is all totally up to you, but be considerate of the people that feel you're special enough spend money on, travel for, and give a weekend to celebrate a special time in your life for. You don't need to have a grand expensive sit-down rehearsal meal. A backyard bar-b-que is a a great way to spend the night before your wedding with your closest friends and far away family members.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Tip of the week - Fun wedding vows

When you decide to write your own wedding vows you've already decided to make your wedding more personal and memorable. Most couples decide to go with the traditional vows (minus the "obey" part - thank you very much!), however, there are some that decide to put a unique twist and stray a little from the norm.

Wedding vows can be serious, romantic, sentimental, or poetic, but we are going to focus on the funny vows and how to incorporate them into your wedding ceremony without going overboard.

Funny isn't enough
One of the most important tips I can give you for writing your funny wedding vows is to make sure your vows are also meaningful. When you look back at the moment you both promised yourself to each other, you want to be able to smile with love, not just humour. Vows that come straight from the heart will have this desired effect. You want your vows to be memorable and sentimental.

Please, no inside jokes
Funny wedding vows should be able to be appreciated by the majority of your guests. The use of inside jokes can tend to make some feel uncomfortable, and why would you want to exclude people that took time out of their day to celebrate with you?

No surprises
Before you get to the altar and proclaiming your love for one another, you should discuss your vows. You don't need to share word for word what you want to say, but you should discuss the nature of them. If you'd really like to have some humour as part of your vows, talk about what sort of humour is okay. You should make sure there will be nothing (and I really really mean nothing) in the vows that will make either of you uncomfortable or embarrassed in any way, shape or form! Because, again, you want to look back at this celebration with a fun, happy, light heart.

Be appropriate
And, at last, please take into consideration the guests that will be celebrating with you. Your vows should NEVER include sexual innuendos or any sort of vulgar language.

Oh yeah, and always always always write your vows down! It will not matter how often you practice (though you definately should), there is a good chance that you will forget something. Besides, that piece of paper is a sweet little momento to add to your scrapbook.

Have fun and happy writing!!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Tip of the week - The Groom -to-be's checklist

The Groom's Checklist
From The Beginning
The Engagement Ring: Know her ring size.
- Pop the Question: Make it a memorable moment.
- Choose a wedding date
- Pick out a reception location: Places get booked up very early. Especially if your wedding is in the summer months.
- Choose your Best Man, Groomsmen and Ushers.
- Start working on the guest list.
- Meet with a Priest, Rabbi or Justice of the Peace, the choice is yours.
- Choose the music: a band or disk jockey. Get references from friends. Meet with these candidates so you feel comfortable with their personality.

6 Months Before.
- Plan for your honeymoon: Apply for a passport if needed
- Shop for wedding rings
- Finish up the guest list
- Check state requirements for blood tests and the marriage license
- Secure transportation to the ceremony and reception

3 Months Left.
- Tuxes for the Grooms, Best Man and Groomsmen.
- Book your honeymoon.
- Get wedding band inscriptions, if desired. Order them.

2 Months Left.
- Meet with the person performing the ceremony to finalize details.
- Rehearsal Dinner: Plan it with your parents
- Work with your bride on flower arrangements.

30 Day Countdown.
- Buy your bride a wedding gift. Make sure it's personal and memorable gift.
- Schedule final fittings for tuxedos, and make sure all wedding attire has been ordered.
- Purchase gifts for Best Man, Groomsmen and Ushers.
- Take care of business and legal affairs. Add Bride's name to insurance policies, medical plans and checking accounts.

2 Weeks.
- File for your marriage license with your bride-to-be.
- If moving, get a change of address card to the Post Office. Arrange to have utilities turned on in your new home. If you're not moving, continue with cleaning and reorganizing your home and help your fiance with the moving of her things
- Bachelor Party (see below)

7 Days.
- Pick up the tux
- Make sure Best Man and Ushers get their wedding attire
- Reconfirm all honeymoon reservations. If flying, make sure you have the plane tickets
- Make sure your attendants are at the rehearsal and know their duties
- Make sure your Ushers are aware of special seating arrangements
- Bring your wedding license to the official at rehearsal. Be sure it is filled out properly so it can be signed and returned to you after your wedding.
- Attend your Rehearsal Dinner. Relax and enjoy yourself!

The Wedding Day. Congratulations!
- Eat a a good breakfast with carbs, fat and protein to keep hunger at bay.
- Make sure your luggage is in the car or Hotel where you'll stay on your wedding night
- Get dressed. Start at least one hour before the ceremony.
- Give the Best Man the bride's wedding ring.
- Prepare the official's fee or gift in an envelope, and hand it to the best man so he can present it after the ceremony.

Source: Text from

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Simple Tip #3 - Wedding Inspiration

Simple Tip #3 - Wedding Inspirations. When you're planning your wedding and your head is spinning around, sit down, close your eyes and take a slow deep breath. When you open your eyes again, go grab your car keys and run to the store. Grab some magazines, a poster sized sheet of paper (or better yet, a project board), some glue or tape and a sharp pair of scissors. When you get home, start cutting out the pictures that you really like. Cut out pictures of cakes, shoes, jewels, gifts, flowers, clothes, pictures that you like the "style" of - everything! Group the images together, all cakes in this pile, all flowers in this get the idea! Then start weeding out. You will find the color palette you like, the style of flowers, cakes, attire, jewels and maybe you'll find the perfect pair of funky shoes! Put all of these on your board and voila! You have your Inspiration Board to keep you on track. Here are some samples for you. Good luck and have fun!!