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Friday, October 28, 2011

Wedding Odd Jobs

OK, you can only have SO many bridesmaids and groomsmen in your wedding party--so what other jobs can you assign to include your friends and family so they won't feel left out? Aside from the usual jobs as readers during your ceremony, you might want to consider the following job assignments.

For a friend who has the right skills give them the assignment of makeup artist/first aid coordinator/and seamstress.  Basically this is your emergency coordinator.  Give this spot to someone with a cool head in an emergency, your most unflappable friend or family member.  No we don't mean emergencies like earthquakes or other natural disasters, we're talking WEDDING EMERGENCIES. 

Wedding emergencies vary, but your emergency coordinator needs to be able to handle the biggies:
  • mascara meltdowns (THE WORST!)
  • lipstick teeth
  • lost lipstick
  • killer blisters
  • horrible headaches
  • bustle breakage
  • or a ripped hem
Choose the man or woman who can handle these emergencies best.  Have them put together a wedding emergency kit-full of things you'll need in case of disaster to tape you up, sew you up, cover those blisters, trim a thread, ibuprofen, breath mints (NOT GUM LADIES, you are ladies!), makeup fixer-uppers and my two favorite things, Shout Wipes for spots and Velcro for falling hems.  Choose your own 'must haves' for your emergency kit, kits will vary depending on your wedding.

Another job that will help your wedding run more smoothly is to appoint someone your photo coordinator.  This person is in charge of rounding up stray family members for group shots, corralling friends for those must have shots of you and your sorority sisters, etc.  They can also help ride herd on your photographer and make sure he gets your 'must have' shots.  Having someone else helping to round everyone up will get you through those obligatory shots and off to having fun at your reception that much faster.

Tech Director/Audio Man (person) is a job for someone among your family and friends who just loves gadgets and is good at getting them to work when they're being recalcitrant.  They can help troubleshoot technical glitches with your sound tech for a wedding that is glitch free.  This person fixes screeching mikes and keeps the speeches moving along in the right order.  Basically they are choreographers of all things sound related. 

The jobs above are critical to having a glitch free wedding where the bride and groom can spend their special day enjoying themselves and talking their guests.  Not only that, these lucky people don't have to rent a tux or buy those bridesmaid gowns! Wow, maybe I'll beg for one of those slots the next time someone asks me to be IN the wedding!

Romantic Pumpkin Carvings For Weddings

It's fall so I was looking for a way to use pumpkins for a wedding. I came across this incredible romantic pumpkin carving for weddings by Craig and Patti Trostle at The Greenery Caterers.  Wanted to share it with you. 

They not only carve brides and grooms but turn melons and other pieces of fruit or vegetables into pieces of art. 

The white pumpkin has baby's breath filling the background to give it a lacy look--very bridal.

Green watermelons, white pumpkins or any other vegetable or fruit are all the base for great artistic designs perfect for your buffet table or head table.

The No-Wilt Bouquet and Other Flowers

Etsy Artist Desicra has a variety of paper floral bouquets, bouts and corsages (as well as other things made from paper) to make your wedding day fun and unique. 

The flowers available vary, but you can always custom order by contacting the artist. 

The flowers are all whimsical and romantic and obviously won't wilt no matter how long they're out of water! Desicra makes bouts and corsages as well, so browse the site for ideas. 

Keep going back to check for new creations posted to the site. 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Red, Black & White Wedding

This rockabilly wedding posted on Green Wedding Shoes by photographer Jessica Velarde features a lot of color and some great HATS! I love men in hats and suspenders...even little men like the ring bearer.  This wedding shows unique choices in attire but somehow it all works! So take a chance on thinking outside the box when you're planning your wedding, it does work!

How Brides Can Save Time & Money

Yesterday I was fortunate enough to be invited to attend a ***luncheon promoted by GIANT grocery stores and Peapod, a grocery shopping and delivery service. 

Peapod, your personal shopper for groceries, isn't nationwide yet, but the Philadelphia area is just starting this great service.  Other areas nationwide already have it, so check the help section of the Peapod web site for all the other areas where Peapod personal grocery shopping and delivery is available.

Hesitant about letting someone else pick out your fresh fruit and meats?  Not to worry. Peapod's associates are specially trained on how to choose the freshest fruit and meats for you. They know all the tricks mother never taught you on choosing the freshest and finest for you.  Peapod certainly has a lot of practice, they have delivered over 20 million grocery orders, that many customers can't be wrong! Just register with your GIANT Bonus Card and start shopping!

Worried about delivery?  Your food comes in special containers that keep your frozen items frozen and your cold foods cold.  Your iceberg lettuce won't arrive a piece of ice, just nice, crispy lettuce.  Your ice cream will arrive solid not mushy.  Wow! I can't even manage that in the summer time!  But then I don't have one of Peapod's special trucks that keep foods cold if needed. 

Now you might ask, WHY is this on a wedding blog? Because Peapod and Giant are offering a great deal to get you to try their service.  Just use the coupon code BLOGPHL and get $20 off your first order over $60 and FREE delivery for sixty days.  So Peapod will SAVE YOU MONEY.  But most important, Peapod will save you valuable TIME! Two things that every bride to be I know needs more of! And Peapod makes it SO EASY! Just order your favorite products online and their courteous drivers deliver the food right to your door!

You can still use all your manufacturer's coupons, just hand them to your driver when he brings your delivery.  (Delivery costs listed on web site) GIANT doubles all manufacturer coupons. 

Trying to shop on a budget? As you add items to your cart you get a running total, no more trying to keep track as you walk the grocery store aisles and put things in your cart.  You can still take advantage of all GIANT's weekly specials and BONUS BUY savings. 

Peapod and GIANT offer large selections of organic foods from bread to produce, and if there is a product they aren't carrying, just shoot them a message, they take direction well!

The Peapod site also lets you look at the labels on the items you're purchasing.  You can sort foods to see which has the most fiber, fewest calories, least salt etc. All from the convenience of your home.

Peapod's site is secure so there's never a worry about using your credit card to pay for your order.  YES! Saves you money, saves you time, helps you budget, takes your coupons, has a secure server, helps choose nutritious products--WOW! Choose a delivery time that's convenient for you and sit back and plan your wedding while Peapod's shoppers do the work. 

I don't know about you, but grocery shopping is one of my least favorite chores, ranking behind scrubbing floors, bathroom cleaning and cleaning my old oven (which refuses to clean itself!).  So give Peapod a try and take advantage of the coupon code above to save cash at the same time.

***Note: I was provided with compensation for attending the luncheon and writing this post.  The opinions offered are my own after examining the service and being offered by the company.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Designer Shoes On A Budget

Are your favorite wedding shoes going to break the bank? These designer shoes by Beverly Feldman run $235.  A lot of money for shoes you won't wear often.  But you can buy a plain ivory satin pump that looks similar and make your own flower and attach it to the back of the shoe.  Don't feel like you can get the flower to stick yourself? Talk to your local shoemaker.  Even if you pay $70 for the pumps, $30 for the flowers (presuming you can't make these yourself), and pay the shoemaker another $30 you're still way ahead of the game.  Purchase satin dyeable shoes, they tend to be less expensive and are easy to attach flowers to.

You can do the same thing with these feathered shoes by BHLDN.  Hit the craft store for some feathers, some glue and voila! Take an under $100 shoe and turn it into a $340 shoe.  The feathers shown are duck feathers, but you can substitute a different kind of feathers.

Now, get ready to dance the night away at your wedding and feel good about having saved some money too!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Weddings Based on Movies -- Harry Potter-esque Wedding

We've seen weddings with Twilight and Titanic themes, why not one with a Harry Potter theme? With the number of young adults and yes, even grown ups addicted to the Harry Potter series of books and movies, it was only a matter of time until a wedding styled a la Harry Potter showed up. 

Note, the first group of photos is a wedding styled by a wedding blogger and photographer, not an actual wedding, although I'm sure there are plenty of them out there. 

These two professionals really showed us all just how well it can be done!  The photos are all posted on Green Wedding Shoes.

A second wedding (a styled one this time, was featured on Green Wedding Shoes. See photos below.

All photos posted from here down are from Abby Grace Photography and the blog 'Capitol Romance'

Everyone has a different take on Harry Potter weddings but I'm sure you'll all find inspiration from them both.

The use of vintage trunks for this photo shoot really made this Potter-esque. 

Dangling keys appearing to float in the air, perfect for table assignments.  Use string or some fish line to hang them from a tree branch.

Vintage farm tables and mixed up chair styles brought the vintage look to the wedding.

The vintage steamer trunks worked perfectly as a bar, each signature drink carefully designed and named. 

Below the dessert buffet was set up on an old desk.  The floral arrangements were simple and perfect for a forest weddings.

Below: Tiny pies set inside some old suitcase stacked up provided more treats for the guests.  Simple tiny pumpkins were used to decorate them.

For more photos, head over to Green Wedding Shoes.  All vendors/artists individually listed and linked there.  You don't want to miss the money shot! The bride and the frog!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Ice, Ice, Baby Who's Got The Ice?

Ice, ice, who's got the ice? Is not a question you want to be asking at your wedding reception. I know, it seems like a paltry thing to consider, but like so many other things, if it's NOT in your contract don't presume your reception venue is in charge of providing ice or that they will have an ice machine that will churn out ice on demand.

This point was brought home to me when I read a post by some great bloggers, Southern Event Planners.   One of their recent posts pointed out you need to hammer out "who's got it, who's bringing it, and when will it be there." Their point? Never assume...we all know what the saying is about assuming things!

Just because you've hired a caterer don't presume they're bringing the ice or that a venue has an ice machine.  If the bridal couple is tasked with bringing the wine, beer or other alcohol for the reception, there's a better than even chance that ice is their responsibility as well.  So hammer this point out in your contract and be sure to add it to a check list of things to go over with your caterer in the days before your wedding.

For more great practical wedding tips for planning your own wedding, spend some time reading through the information provided by Southern Event Planners, they have a wealth of information that can help you plan your wedding reception.

Wedding Lighting How To's

Watch this great YouTube video by this great mother-daughter team of event lighting experts and get some great tips on how to plan you lighting for your wedding or reception.

Lighting is particularly critical if you're using a large hall and you want to draw the guests' eyes to specific areas of the hall (and away from others.)

Use bright lights, shadow effects and color to enhance the look of your reception space. Using an old factory/or loft space? Get a lighting expert to come in and help you make that formerly large and imposing place into a space that welcomes your guests and makes them feel at home.

Have you used lighting to great effect at your wedding? If so leave a link to the photos or comment and let other brides know your secrets.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

She Didn't Throw Flower Petals

This flower girl didn't throw petals as she walked down the aisle.  What did she throw? Tiny silver stars! The stars made her feel like she was the star of the show (even though the bride really was!) 

Try to think outside the box when you decide what your flower girl will throw.  Any suggestions? Please add them in the comments.  Thanks!All photos courtesy of Charlotte Geary Photography.
Wedding of Karen and Jacynda at Mile High Station

A Ring Bearer With Distinction

Want your ring bearer to show his own distinct personality? This ring bearer carried a pair bears dressed like the partners in this ceremony down the aisle for the wedding of Karen and Jacynda at Mile High Station in Denver, Colorado.  Photographs by Charlotte Geary captured the glee of this young man who was a real hit with wedding guests.  Who could resist that smile? 

Love the idea of the bears dressed like the Karen and Jacynda! Want him to actually carry the rings as well? Just add a tiny pocket to the front of the dresses and close it with some Velcro, or tie rings on with a matching ribbon.  For more photos of this weddings at Mile High Station file this link.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Fall in Love with Fall

Fall in love with fall! This inspiration board for autumn celebrates all the things we love most about fall! Orange elements accent these photos. 

Which photo is your favorite?  I love the wreath at the top right!  Am heading out tomorrow to get what I need to try to reproduce it for my front door! 

The inspiration board is courtesy The Southern Weddings Daily Blog.  Links to specific photos are shown on their site.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Inspiration Board - Copper, Blush, Gold

Copper, gold, blush - looks that make your wedding day glow!  This inspiration board, courtesy of Green Wedding Shoes will give you some ideas for taking your wedding day from the mundane to the inspired!  It reminds me of the tri-color gold looks that were out a few years ago, so pretty, and so unique.  Grab this look to make you wedding stand out.

photo credits going clockwise: Tec Petaja, golden cake, Rachel Zoe Dress, copper shoes, ring, gold silverware, Seb Lester (calligraphy)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Top Tips To Save on Your Wedding

After the first flush of excitement wears of your engagement dies down, it's time to get serious about wedding planning.  The estimates for weddings run from the basic to the extravaganzas like Kim Kardashian's latest wedding.  Can't afford an extravaganza but still want to have a nice wedding? Don't worry, it is doable, but it will take planning.

Plan Early To Save

One of the best ways to save money on your wedding is to start planning early.  If you start planning about 9 months to a year before your wedding you should be able to buy some decorative items on clearance (one of my favorite words!). 

Planning early also gives you time to work out some bartering arrangements with vendors.  Need a photo booth? Spend a few months working for the company of your choice and get one for free.  Depending on your job skills you may be able to cut the costs of your wedding significantly. 

Careful Choice of Time of Day for Wedding and Reception

A brunch or lunch wedding reception will cut down on the cost of food for your reception.  It will also cut down on one big cost-alcohol! Make some non-alcoholic punch that is both pretty and tastes great with your menu. 

Location, Location, Location

Look for a location that is 'wedding ready.'  While an empty hall might seem more cost effective, by the time you add the costs of decorating it to mask it's usual use and turn it into a wedding hall, your costs will have skyrocketed.

Renting the things you need is less expensive than buying it, but it's still costly to rent everything.  I once thought an outdoor wedding would be less expensive--but then I did a cost analysis on the price of renting a tent, dance floor, cooling system, wedding port-a-potties, tables, chairs, everything my caterer would need that they didn't already have...and it ran up the costs significantly. 

Some venues have an in house florist or have rooms that have brass sconces on the walls or chandeliers that make your wedding location look great without adding anything.  Often they have wedding appropriate centerpieces that come as part of the rental cost.  So do your research.  Starting early gives you a chance to find the prime spots or that undiscovered gem. 

Think Outside-The Box Do You Really Need A Church?

Think outside the box. Sometimes you can rent part of a city, county or state park and use their gazebo.  Or rent one yourself for two or three hours.  My church charges over $500 just to use the church, plus clean up fees, clergy fees, organist fees, altar boy fees, and when I totally everything up it was $1400.  For less than an hour!   You had no choice of music or type of ceremony--one size fits all.

No Photographer Is Worth Five Thousand Dollars

Photography and videography can cost a fortune.  Consider having friends and/or family take photos using 8 mega pixel cameras.  These let you auto-correct so you won't lose that shot you MUST have. 

Or decide what part of your wedding you must have recorded for posterity.  If the ceremony is your must have, hire someone to just do a video for that time and skip the reception.  Here you can let your friends have free reign taking candid videos.  You don't really need all the captions and music in some videos, just the basics please!

K.I.S.S. Cakes

Cakes.  I love wedding cakes.  But the rule of thumb with cakes (and for the rest of the wedding) is K.I.S.S. (keep it simple stupid!).  Don't go for ornate floral designs.  Have the cake decorated with small dots of icing and edged to make it look bridal.  Add your personal cake topper and WOW! 

Also you don't have to have a full three or four tiered cake.  A variety of companies make 'cake dummies' that they'll decorate, just adding a place to slice a piece for your photo op and a top to put away for your anniversary. 

Meanwhile you can serve your guests a simple sheet cake with an attractive filling.  Another option? Go to your local grocery store not a fancy baker.  Simple!

What to Wear?

Dresses for you and your bridesmaids can be an expensive option.  But one wedding I went to a few years ago was held in a park.  The bride's dress was simple but pretty.  Her maid of honor and bridesmaids wore black cocktail dresses they already owned.  They carried single sunflowers tied with a satin ribbon.  Simple? Yes.  Effective? Very.  Inexpensive? $700 for everything.  That's four attendants, the bride, all the flowers, and shoes.  The bulk of the money was spent on the bride's gown.

So yes, you can do it.  As they say, the devil is in the details!  Plenty of prep time gives you time to plan efficiently and save money at the same time.

Give Your Groomsmen Miss Money Penny

Loved this great gift known as 'Miss Money Penny.'  Not sure what I love more, the gift, the name or ...?  OK, maybe it's just me.  This stainless steel modern work of art is an under $40 gift for your groomsmen. 

Attractive, useful and thank god not inscribed with your wedding date.  I'm unsure what the appeal of giving gifts to your bridesmaids or groomsmen with the date of your wedding on is, but I know for sure I don't want anything engraved.  Shades of getting that glass pitcher after you've worked for a company for five years.  So give the gift that will put money in the pockets of your groomsmen--the gorgeous Miss Money Penny--how can anyone complain about that?

Replies to Wedding Buttinskies

OK, we've all had to listen to them.  Well meant comments, be they from family, friends or almost total strangers, who are trying to hijack your wedding and turn it into theirs.  On a day I'm feeling charitable, I chant to myself  'they mean well, they mean well, they mean well...' and smile. But some days a reply is called for.  Not a rude reply...just putting them on notice that this is YOUR wedding not theirs.

Reply Suggestions:

"I'm so flattered you felt close enough to me to share your thoughts on my wedding with me.  I just love hearing all the different ideas my friends and family have for weddings!  I wouldn't feel right using your fabulous idea for my wedding when I'm sure you'll want to use it for your own (or your daughter's etc.) I'm sure you'll be thrilled to see what Joe and I have come up with for our own wedding."

"Thanks for all the thought you've put into planning our wedding.  Joe and I have decided to take our plans in a different direction but we want you to know how much we appreciate your valuable input. We can't wait to have you celebrate this special occasion with us."

"I'm was sorry to hear from Mom you're upset about our decision to (....fill in the complaint) at our wedding.  I hope you know Joe and I put a lot of time and serious thought into planning our wedding so that it's a reflection of our loving relationship.  I wish I could change how you feel about (xyz complaint) but I respect that we have different opinions about this.  It doesn't change how much I value your opinion or how much I care about you. We hope this difference in opinion won't keep you from joining us on our wedding day."

Now all I have to do is memorize these!

Do you have a great reply for these buttinskies? Please share them with us!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Win An Ultimate Civil Partnership Planning Package - Ends 11-11-11

Photo courtesy of Northwest Photography

Planning to join with the love of your life in a civil partnership ceremony?  Enter to win an Ultimate Civil Partnership Planning Package! Free! This contest is run by the Civil Partnership Planner which  is one of only a very few companies in the UK focusing exclusively on Civil Partnership planning. What more could you ask for? On 11/11/11 one couple will win 11 months of free Civil Partnership Planning.  This planning package includes:
  • venue sourcing
  • suggestions for the order of the day
  • budget management
  • supplier searches
  • invitation and guest accommodation management
  • creative ideas about developing the perfect look and style for you
  • full on-the-day coordination
  • regular support and advice to help you create your perfect day
For more info on how to enter go to: The Civil Partnership Planner -- enter today, there's only about a month left!  This company is located in the United Kingdom, information on their web site regarding laws may not pertain to your domicile.

Wedding Labels From The Web

Can't decide on the perfect wedding labels? Visit this diy web site,,  that will make all your wedding label dreams come true.

They have everything from elegant to more modern looks.  There are colors to suite every bride.  Some are monograms, some are CD labes and more.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Wedding Dresses in Color

Sometimes the perfect wedding gown isn't white, it's a vibrant color that brings out the personality of the bride.  Some brides really manage to choose the perfect gown for them, and this bride (and her groom) have happily done away with the traditional white dress and chosen a blue wedding gown with and over skirt.  The groom was equally stunning in his kilt and accompanying regalia, a perfect match for her blue wedding ensemble.  The photos were take by Archibald Photography.  Be sure to visit Archibald Photography's web site to see more of their creative photos.

If you read the Archibald Photography's blog you'll find still more unique photos from this wedding, where instead of a first dance, the bride and groom chose to have a sword fight--en garde! The details of this wedding are what make it spectacular.  And while duplicating it precisely would be expensive, there are some details you could incorporate into your own wedding to wow your wedding guests as well as have a very special day to remember.

If you're considering duplicating the sword fight -- be aware that the groom was previously a competitor on the international level, so this is NOT something for beginners.  Take precautions.  This blogger does NOT suggest trying this due to safety issues.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Hiring Event Professionals

Hiring a professional wedding planner or event planner to help with your wedding is a luxury that not all brides can afford. So what's a broke bride to do when she has to do the hiring herself? There are a few caveats that will help you avoid your wedding turning into a day of drama and disaster. 

When you're interviewing possible vendors place a higher value on what they do than what they say they'll do.  Talk is cheap.  A vendor who comes into an interview ready to give you a sample of what they can do for you is someone who is a real go-getter.  This is the person who you want to work for you. 

A bride I talked to said she was wowed when a DJ she was interviewing arrived at the interview with a sample CD -- full of the music she'd indicated she was interested in for her wedding.  He'd gone the extra mile by asking her preferences in music styles, possible ethnic additions, as well as some samples of music for her cocktail hour and background music for the dinner hour.  Even if it wasn't all the music she eventually chose, he'd shown he was truly interested in meeting her needs and that of her fiance.  And that he wanted their wedding to reflect them, not just be a cookie cutter copy of the last dozen weddings he'd done. 

A florist that is often mentioned on The Knot message boards does such a great presentation of pre-designing ideas after initial phone calls with the bride that when they meet in person she has some sample centerpieces and bouquets ready for the bride to see. The florist's willingness to put together some samples for the bride to see almost always nets her the contract AND a happy bride.

I'm a big proponent of hiring people who are better at something than you are and who are passionate about what they do.  So if you're an expert at catering, hire someone who impresses you and who loves serving people interesting food. A music buff? Hire someone who wows you and who has ideas about music that you'd never thought of.  A creative crafter or flower arranger? Hire someone to decorate your tables or make your favors or invitations who knocks your socks off. 

There are all the prosaic bits of info like contracts, details etc. that covered in every wedding planning magazine out there.  But my advice? Hire someone who is better at what they do than you are AND who is passionate about their work.  This is the person is most likely to give you what you want.