Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Fit Bride: Stress - don't let it ruin your wedding!

One thing is for sure, you will be stressed while planning your wedding and on your wedding day.  If you don't get stressed at all then you are a superhero!  How you manage this stress can make or break your big day.  I am sure we have all seen or heard of that show Bridzilla.  Managing your stress will help you not end up on that show and handle your wedding in stride.

I recently watched a film by National Geographic that talked about stress and its affects on our body.  Some stress can be good for our body's but un-managed negative stress can take a tole on us.  Something that seems to be mental can have a lasting negative physical effect on our bodies.  I believe the correct term is phsycosomatic diseases.  We can literally make ourselves sick.

Their are many ways of managing your stress.  Some may work for you and some may not.  The important thing is to find one that works for you and implement it into your daily routine.  Meditation is a form of stress relief used for centuries.  Different types of meditation may work to help release stress and help you relax about everything associated with your wedding.  Below is a link to an article from the Mayo Clinic that talks about different types of meditation.  Check it out and see if any of these work for you.

Get Relaxed,

Invitations: Design of the Month

You know what frustrates me?  The fact that people will happily open a book, pick an invitation they like, change the wording, and be done.

PEOPLE!!  This is the very first thing all of your guests are going to see regarding your wedding!!

One day, I was thinking about adding invitations to my wedding business.  I looked around at all of the different invitation companies and thought, "yeah, I could do this".  But, then I opened the next website to consider selling their product and saw the invitations I had for my wedding - 16 years ago!!!  At that point I decided that, yes, I am adding invitations and, no, I will not have my customers open a book, pick a design and be done with it.

I am an event designer.  I create unique ways for a couple to showcase who they really are.  I will work with you from beginning to end to make sure your event, starting with the invitation, are fresh and creative and will make your guests say "WOW"!!!

Here are some of my favorite invitation designs.  I will be adding a new one every day for the next 30 days, so keep watching - you might find the one that you'd like to customize.

Do you have a favorite?  Leave a comment and let us know.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Bride's Choice Award 2012!

{Waupaca,WI} – January 23, 2012 – WeddingWire, the nation's leading wedding Marketplace, is excited to announce Signature Events by Shelly has been selected to receive the prestigious WeddingWire Bride’s Choice Awards™ 2012 for Invitations!

The esteemed annual awards program recognizes the top local wedding vendors from the WeddingWire Network who demonstrate excellence in quality, service, responsiveness and professionalism within the wedding industry. While many industry awards are selected by the organization, Signature Events by Shelly was selected based on its stellar reviews from past newlywed clients.

Signature Events by Shelly is recognized as part of the top five percent of wedding professionals in the WeddingWire local vendor community, comprised of over 200,000 wedding professionals throughout the United States and Canada. The Bride’s Choice Award recognizes the best local wedding vendors across 20 service categories, from wedding venues to wedding photographers, based on their overall professional achievements throughout the past year.

“WeddingWire is thrilled to honor the success of the top-rated wedding professionals within the WeddingWire Community,” said Timothy Chi, CEO, WeddingWire. “Since the launch of the Bride’s Choice Awards™ program four years ago, thousands of outstanding wedding professionals have been recognized by the bridal community for their supreme service and dedication to the wedding industry. It is with great pleasure that we congratulate Signature Events by Shelly for their continued professionalism and commitment to enriching the wedding planning experience for engaged couples.”

We are happy to announce that Signature Events by Shelly is one of the very best Invitations professionals within the WeddingWire Network, which includes leading wedding planning sites WeddingWire, Project Wedding,, Martha Stewart Weddings, and Weddingbee. We would like to thank our past clients for taking the time to review our business on WeddingWire. Thanks to their positive feedback we were able to receive the WeddingWire Bride’s Choice Awards™ for 2012.

For more information, please visit our WeddingWire Storefront today at

To learn more about the Bride's Choice Awards™, please visit

About WeddingWire, Inc.
WeddingWire™, the nation's leading marketplace serving the $70 billion wedding industry, is the only online wedding planning resource designed to empower both engaged couples and wedding professionals. For engaged couples, WeddingWire offers the ability to search, compare and book over 200,000 reviewed wedding vendors, from wedding venues to wedding photographers. WeddingWire also offers a comprehensive suite of online planning tools for weddings, including wedding websites and wedding checklists, all at no charge. For wedding professionals, WeddingWire is the only all-in-one marketing platform for businesses online and on-the-go. WeddingWire offers one simple solution to build a professional network, improve search visibility, manage social media and reach mobile consumers. Businesses that advertise with WeddingWire appear on, and other leading sites, including (NYSE: MSO), and

Wedding Reception Seating: Have a Seat Please

It's been a crazy week, and I've had passing thoughts on what to blog about next, but after spending an extremely fun night with a couple I'm working with, the light bulb in my head lit up - SEATING CHARTS.  

The seating arrangement for your wedding reception dinner is, quite possibly, one of the most stressful things when it comes to wedding planning {you thought it was finding the right dress, didn't you?}.  And, I hate to tell you, but this part of your planning really cannot be avoided.  Some people are very adamant about "letting their guests decide where to sit", but this doesn't work.  Too many times people end up shuffling around trying to sit with their spouse, or finding the right space for their children.  Cliques start happening {AHH!  High School nightmare!!}, and your quiet, reserved out-of-town friend is stuck sitting with people she doesn't know.  Not good!

So, with that being said I am going to help you figure out how to put together a perfect seating arrangement for all of your guests. Ready?

1. First, you have a couple of options as far as seating. You can do a Seating Assignment or a Table Assignment.  Either way, people will feel organized and relaxed - not anxious trying to figure out who to sit with.

2. Consider where to sit your elderly guests and those with disabilities.  Away from the music speakers, yet close to the fun and near the front are some things to keep in mind.

3. Figure out where to put the head table ~ if you're having one.  I am not one for the "traditional long head table on a stage" look so my couples always start their seating assignments with themselves.  A few options for my couple's and their set-up are:
  • a sweetheart table, usually positioned near the dance floor
  • a long banquet table in the middle of the room that can include everyone from the couple, bridal party and dates, parents, siblings, grandparents, officiant, just to name a few
  • a series of round tables ~ this works well if there is an extremely large party
  • a large square table including the two of you and your parents
4. Typically, both of your parents would sit at a table together along with the officiant and guest, grandparents and any siblings not in the wedding party.  Again, some options... You could decide to let each of your parents "host" their own table with close family and/or friends.  If your parents are divorced this could mean that you have 4 parents tables.  Not an issue, just keep this in mind.  And, if you're not sure what the best way to do this is, ask them.  You don't want any uncomfortable situations arising...and neither do they.

5. Aside from parents, keep your other family and friends relationships in mind.  If people aren't speaking due to past problems, don't try to make this day the "make-up day".  Let them do that on their own time.  Keep them as far apart as possible ~ trust me, they'll appreciate it.

6. Your high school and college friends will be excited to be sitting at the same table together.  It will give them all an opportunity to catch up, but, this is also a great time to mix and match both of your friends.  Seat some friends that don't know each other together, but who you think will get along exceptionally well...and who knows what might happen.

Remember that your seating chart takes time.  There are a number of on-line templates or you can draw tables on a large piece of paper and use post-it strips {that's my favorite!!}.  As you receive your responses back, write the names down immediately ~ on your computer template or your post-it.  Create a spreadsheet and write the guests names and their relationship to you {bride family, groom's cousin, dad's business partner...}, this will help you keep to easily sort the list and break it down into more manageable table assignements.

Try to have this finished, at least, a week before your wedding.  I try to have my couples get it done two weeks beforehand, then, since you've spent the time to make sure your 250 guests will have a remarkable night, show it off in your own style. 

Are you doing a Table Assignment or a Seating Assignment?  We would love to hear what you do with it!  Leave a comment below and tell us how it went.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Fit Bride: Nutritional Tip

Nutrition tip: Eating colorful food offers numerous health benefits. Green produce offers immune-fighting properties. Red & blue fruits & veggies promote healthy circulation. Yellow & orange foods strengthen your heart & purify your blood. These foods provide anti-aging properties, encourage weight loss & help ward off disease including cancer & diabetes. Pretty cool, huh?!
Eat Well!!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Fit Bride: Get Educated

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when it comes to nutrition is to follow the mass of drones at the grocery store.  Buying boxes and cans and frozen food that can be put in your pantry and left there until next Christmas!  Food was not meant to sit on a shelf, it was meant to be eaten in a fresh state.

Processed foods are killing us as Americans!  I recently talked to a friend who was having trouble with their weight.  They decided to try eating without bringing processed foods into the mix.  Low and behold they lost 30 pounds with there new found way of eating. 

The best thing we can do as humans is educate ourselves on what is and is not healthy when it comes to our food choices.  We can not go around blindly believing the advertising geniuses just because they tell us that weight loss bar is a great breakfast.  Guess what, it's not even close!!

One of the most educational films I have ever seen is Forks Over Knives.  Forks Over Knives examines the profound claim that most, if not all, of the degenerative diseases that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting animal-based and processed foods.The major storyline traces the personal journeys of Dr. T. Colin Campbell, a nutritional biochemist from Cornell University, and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, a former top surgeon at the world renowned Cleveland Clinic. Inspired by remarkable discoveries in their young
careers, these men conducted several groundbreaking studies. Their separate
research led them to the same startling conclusion: degenerative diseases like heart
disease, type 2 diabetes, and even several forms of cancer, could almost always be
prevented—and in many cases reversed—by adopting a whole foods, plant-based diet.
Despite the profound implications of their findings, their work has remained relatively
unknown to the public.  Bringing these scientific concepts to life, cameras follow “reality patients” who have chronic conditions from heart disease to diabetes, and are taught by their doctors to adopt a whole foods plant-based diet as the primary approach to treat their ailments. The film features leading experts on health and  tackles the issue of diet and disease in a way that will have people talking for years.

Please go out and educate yourselves about what really healthy eating is all about.  It will make a huge difference in achieving your goals for your wedding as well as leading a healthy lifestyle in your new life afterwards.

For more information check out!!

Get Healthy!

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Fit Bride: Challenge Yourself

As your wedding nears I know it will be hard to think about much else.  All the errands, phone calls, and meetings to make sure everything is just right.  It will be important to stay focused on your fitness goals through this turbulent time.  One way of doing this would be to challenge yourself to do something you have never done before.  Give yourself something that will push you to keep up on your health and fitness. 

This year I have decided to challenge myself as well, by signing up for the short course in the Waupaca Area Triathlon.  I have never done anything like this so it will really help me stay focused and push myself to get ready.  The excitement of a new challenge will do the trick in keeping me on track.  Try something new and challenge yourself to keep moving forward to achieving your goals.

Below are a few links to races and different ways to challenge yourself in the new year!

Get out and be fit!!

The Fit Bride: Meet Your Fitness Guru!

My name is Andrew Whitman and I have been helping people reach their fitness goals for 5 years now.  I am a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association.  My favorite part about being a fitness expert is showing people that they can achieve things they never thought would be possible.

Being newly married I understand how important your wedding day is to both the bride and groom.  It's important to have confidence in how you look and feel for such a big occasion.  Over the next few months I will be posting information on The Fit Bride blog that will help you reach your goals and feel confident for your big day!

I work as a personal trainer through TNT Personal Training which offers personalized training for any situation including a wedding.  I also specialize in helping people achieve their nutritional goals.  I am a firm believer in clean eating and staying away from processed foods.  You will see that trend in my blog posts to follow.  If you would like to contact me with questions or would like to meet with me, my contact information is below:


Thank you and goodluck achieving your goals!!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Theme Thursday: Hot Pink Inspiration

I have seen a lot of weddings that incorporated a number of different shades of pink into their decor.  I have to be honest and say that hot pink/ fuschia was never really one of my favorites...until now.  As I was looking at Pantone's wedding colors for 2012 I thought I'd give it a go with Cabaret {which to me looks very hot pinkish}.  I took some time looking at the colors and getting a feel for the sort of elegant wedding that could incorporate this color and this is what I came up...what do you think?

I gotta say...I like it!

Happy Thursday everyone.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Fit Bride

Because we all love The Knot, here are 8 wedding day ready tips that I found for you there.

Now, a tip from me:

I know you've heard it before, but it couldn't be more true.  Skipping breakfast will only make you hungrier.  You'll end up eating more throughout the day, and you'll tend to have more "cravings".

Here are some statistics for you found on

  • November 28, 2001
A study from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center found that adult women trying to diet are more successful if they eat a healthy breakfast and avoid mid-morning snacks.

  • January 11, 2011
According to a Georgia Centenarian Study, people who regularly eat breakfast have lower rates of Type 2 diabetes and are less likely to develop heart failure over their lifetime than those who don't. The 21-year study of older Americans suggests that regularly eating breakfast may lead to a longer-than-average life span.
  • October 26, 2010
A study of 2,379 girls called the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute Growth and Health Study (NGHS) found that breakfast cereal eaters tend to have lower waist-to-height ratios, an indicator of healthy body weight, lower total cholesterol and lower LDL cholesterol.
  • October 18, 2010
A University of Tasmania (Australia) study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that both children and adults who skip their morning meal tend to have overall worse eating behaviors and exercise less than those who do eat breakfast. People who skip breakfast also tended to have higher cholesterol, elevated insulin levels, and larger waist circumferences.
For some healthy and quick breakfast ideas go to:
The homemade version of the egg-mcmuffin is my favorite!  Give these a try and let us know what is yours.

2012 Wedding Color Trends

A new year has arrived and so have some new, fantastic, color trends for this year's weddings!

I love these colors!!  What do you think?

Make sure to watch the rest of this month for some fun Inspiration Boards using the trendy colors for 2012.  Here's one to get you started using Tangerine as accents.

Are you getting married this year?  What are your colors?

Monday, January 2, 2012

The Fit Bride

Shape - Up:  The 6-month fitness plan

It is ENGAGEMENT season!!!  Did you know that December is the most popular month to get engaged and, about, 70% of brides want to lose weight before their wedding? Good news!! Starting this month, I will be working with a fitness expert to help you all get fit in 6 months. Keep watching for more information and make sure to share this with your friends!! You don't need to be getting married to get fit!

We will be including healthy recipes, nutrition tips, excersise routines (I might even get my guru to show us how to do them!!), and a whole lot more to help you get ready for that gorgeous dress!  Make sure to share this information with your bridesmaids and make it a group activity ~ or a challenge...

Here are a few tips for you to get started:

1. Write down your current weight and your goal weight.  Keep an excersise diary and watch your progression.  Don't weigh yourself daily, but do start our plan with weight and measurements.  Do these things monthly and always in the morning, around the same time for accuracy.

2. Start out doing a minimum of 20 minutes of cardio, three times a week.  This could include jogging, walking, running, swimming, elliptical (my personal favorite), get the idea.

3. By week two you should increase your cardio activity to a minimum of 30 minutes. 

4. Your foods should contain high fiber and low calories.  Make sure to check lables and watch serving sizes!!  This is a great time to start using fresh vegetables in your cooking.  Spinach (fresh, not frozen...only because it's much yummier), kales and broccoli are great!  Fruit is very important too.  A wonderful afternoon snack, if you need a little energy boost...a green apple with peanut butter.  Pass on the snickers.

tip:  if you have a sweet tooth and are craving a candy bar, eat a banana.  The sugars in the banana take care of the craving.

5. Try to avoid any high calorie, greasy, processed, fast-foods or deep fried foods.  Since it is hard to quit cold-turkey give yourself one cheat meal per week, just don't overdo it!  Have a slice of pizza, a monster salad (no iceburg lettuce please.  Use romaine, red-leaf, spinach and load on veggies - not the salad dressing) and a beer for dinner.  This sort of "cheat" meal will curb your carb and greasy food craving but will also supply you with the fibers and healthy nutritional needs.

6. Cut soda!  Water is best, but if you can't stand drinking 8 glasses of water a day, Crystal Light is a great thing to add.  Alcohol is another biggie!  Did you know a wine cooler has anywhere between 180 - 250 calories per serving (depending on the brand and flavor).  YIKES!

7. Don't overdo the excersising.  This can do more harm than good.  If it's been a while, ease into it.  Start with walking or swimming...don't just get out there and run 10 miles!  Join a walking, running or biking group.  If you are doing things with people that will be expecting to see you, you're more likely to show up and stick with it.

Go to this website and find out your weight vs. weight loss calorie count.  You can get calorie information on foods and drinks here and become part of a "community".  I use this!!

And, finally, a DELICIOUS recipe from one of my favorite food sites!  I think I know what I'm making for dinner tonight.  White Bean Chili - YUM!!!  This recipe forgoes the fat from the beef and is packed with healthy fibers.  Enjoy!

I said this before, but make sure to share this information with your friends.  Let's all work together to make this year the healthiest yet!  If you have questions or want certain information, let us know. 

Happy 2012 everyone!!!