Monday, May 31, 2010
These two dresses should be comfortable and suiting to your personality. My suggestion for rehearsal is to incorporate your bridesmaid dress color or style into that dress. Cohesion may only be noticed by the bridal party and mothers, but you will love the feeling of dropping “hints” prior to the wedding. You may even see a light bulb go off on a few people the day of the wedding when they realize a day late the hints you dropped.
For after the wedding, you may be meeting at a local favorite pub, bar or nightclub – DO NOT WEAR YOUR WEDDING DRESS TO THESE PLACES. I don’t care how much you love your dress, these are not places to show up in your wedding dress. Instead find a cute white alternate that is appropriate for where you’re heading after, trust me you will still feel like a bride, be more comfortable and avoid strange looks.
So what about the groom? There’s not much to do attire wise with him, but possible use his tie at the rehearsal dinner to drop a hint. Don’t make him feel obligated to wear anything. You want him to feel comfortable too. If he is willing, then go with it. For after the wedding, he definitely needs to change out of his tux and into something more appropriate for wherever you decide to head after. Leave this up to him, again, unless he’s into it, don’t force him to wear anything he doesn’t want to, it’s his day too and you both want to feel comfortable and happy.
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Many brides and grooms decide to welcome their out of town guests with a welcome bag at their hotel. It is a nice added touch and an extra special thank you for those guests whose journey entails a bit more investment in your wedding.
Check with your hotel first before you make any purchases to make sure that they allow the bags (which most hotels will), and how they will distribute them. Some hotels will require that the bags be delivered to each room due to lack of storage near the front desk area. Others will allow the front desk agents to distribute them upon check in. Either way, your bags will be much appreciated by your guests. Also ask the hotel if they charge for this service and if there are any restrictions on what may be in the bag. You’ll find most have a nominal fee which ranges from $2-$4 per bag which typically serves as a gratuity to the persons delivering the bags.
Must have items in the bags:
** Bottled Water (at least one per person)
** Salty Snack Bags like chips, popcorn, or nuts
** Something Sweet like mints, gum, pastries, or candy
**Tylenol – They may need it the morning, buy them individually packaged
** Thank You Letter – Remember, they are investing a little bit more in your wedding, gratitude goes a long way
**Directions to the Church and Reception (if not at the hotel), include a phone number for a day of contact (someone not in the wedding party) that can serve as a point of contact in case they get lost.
The rest is up to your budget and style. Be creative when choosing your items. Keep them in line with your wedding location and theme. Also, if there are local favorites or bride and groom favorites, put them in there. Periodically, I’ll put together different guest bag ideas to the blog so keep checking!
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
I can’t stress enough how important setting a budget for your wedding is. It saves you so much time and anxiety.
To start, ask your family members what their contributions will be to the wedding. This may feel a bit awkward to you, but it is a needed question to ask. Many brides and grooms are picking up a majority of their wedding costs, so finding out if any family members want to contribute is important..
Once you have your budget figured out, then you can start prioritizing. You’ll find many websites that offer great guides to what percentages to allocate to each vendor. They are a great start, but if you must have only the finest food and beverage, or the best photographer, then you may need to shift funds from another source.
Once you have your magic numbers then you can make your appointments. In your initial phone call, don’t be afraid to mention the number you allocated to that particular vendor, I would even go in a couple percentages less to give you bargaining power. Try to get a lot of your important questions done over the phone. Save yourself much needed time. Then if you feel comfortable set the appointment to meet in person. The rest is up to you.
When it comes to a budget, you don’t have to stick to each number allocated, of course you can adjust, but setting a budget helps you to keep things in line and will make you feel more comfortable in your choices and cause you much less stress.
Monday, May 24, 2010
A great way to soften the blow of not inviting guests to the destination wedding is to have a low key party a month or so after your return. This local casual party is a great way to not hurt feelings and bring a sigh of relief the guests that wouldn’t be able to attend the destination. Those who simply can’t afford to go will love knowing that they can make it up to you by coming to this celebration.
So let’s narrow down the guest list:
c Family: Only invite family that you talk to on a regular basis or have close relations with. You may have a 1st cousin that you haven’t talked to in a year and a 3rd cousin that you talk to once a month. It’s not based on the degrees of separation, but by the relationship itself. You may also need to have a sincere talk with your parents as well, if you are footing the bill, you have a lot of say about Uncle Frank who you never talk to, if they are footing the bill, then let them be.
c Friends: You may have 400 Facebook friends, are you going to invite them all? Of course not. Invite Friends that you spend time with regularly. You may have friends that you call every once in a while to catch up, but to ask them to take a trip to see you get hitched will be too much. If a friend should ask why they were not invited to the destination wedding, your out is this; “I did not want you to feel obligated to invest so much in our wedding”. Remember, you have the local celebration as well to make them feel included.
c Work Associates/Friends/Bosses: 99% Never! You may spend a lot of time with these people outside of work, social parties, maybe happy hour, or golfing, but this the key – Do you talk about something related to work at least 75% of the time? if so, it’s a no. Also, how much time have they spent with your significant other? You will be on a vacation with this person and your significant other better like and get along with them, that is not the time for introductions.
c Kids: Many couples want an adult only reception and you must consider that kids may have to be an option. Many people do not have the luxury of being able to leave their children for three days for whatever reason, so this is not the time to have “An Adult Reception” or be upset with someone because they can not afford to bring the entire family. This is where you must be flexible.
Good luck! Remember if you have any doubts, shoot me an email: TheBridalBabe@gmail.com
Saturday, May 22, 2010
If you are really concerned with your bridesmaids being able to reuse their bridesmaid dress for another event, then my suggestion is to skip the traditional Bridesmaid Designers – regardless of how they sell it to you, it always looks like it’s meant for a wedding, and will NEVER be used again.
My suggestion, head to the labels Bridal Babes! So many desingers have great dresses for your girls, and these days, the dresses don’t all have to be the same color or style. Here are few great bridesmaids dressed from some great labels, my only caveat, if you have bridesmaids on the larger size, these designers may not carry their size, so do you research first as to not upset any of your bridesmaids:
Whimsical and youthful, mostly best suited for a casual spring or summer wedding, but there are some definite great finds for an upscale event.
Definitely more on the high fashion, thinner build. You may be having your bridesmaids doing sit-ups and lounges the day of the wedding.
The buzz has caught on. JCrew does actually have a wedding line. Classic and Timeless Dresses.
Brides, JCrew did not forget you. Victoria, this is for you:
Always a great find for high end and fabulous! Don’t be afraid to put your girls in some fabulous prints.
Just recently came across this designer and I’m obsessed. You can find his label at Nordstrom. Your girls will be paying top dollar, but this is definitely a dress that will get its money’s worth.
Have fun shopping Babes!
Friday, May 21, 2010
He’s a Mama’s Boy: Watch out for this one. They’re not his ideas, they’re his mama’s, and his mama is in his ear giving her very opinionated ideas and shooting down the soon to be daughter in laws ideas. This is dangerous! Warning to my Bridal Babes: Stop this now! This type of mother-in-law is showing her feathers and has always been the matriarch of the family and you are a threat to her. Her son, that once was her precious little boy that always did what mommy said, now has another woman to listen to and confide in. Many times, these mothers don’t even realize what they are doing, so you need to stand your ground now, or you’re in for long life of being pushed aside for mama. A word of caution, do not be rude to the mama, just stand your ground politely and if you need to bring out the big guns, then unleash, da, da, da….Your Mother!!!!!
The second type of groomzilla is: The Man’s Man – this type doesn’t want it to seem as if its whatever the bride says because he’s afraid of his guy friends teasing him that his is already whipped. How do you handle the man’s man? Give him ammunition to fight back his rather “jealous” friends. Now we’ve all heard the “I am comfortable in my manhood, blah, blah, blah. That’s done with. What you need to be telling him, is that if he does this for you, you’ll do something fo him in return, and the rest is up to you. Now Hold on! I know what you’re thinking and maybe that’s the route to go, but, there are other things to offer up, like a weekend getaway with the guys, a day off without chores, a get out of jail free card, etc. If his friends have anything to say, he can offer up that you are such an awesome girl that you have to offer up stuff to get what you want, plus it will make him feel like he’s in the drivers’ seat. When we all really know that we would have done that stuff anyway, so we’ve lost nothing.
Finally, it’s the “it’s my wedding too and I want it to be Awesome!” Groom. This is usually the super creative, trendy guy. He usually seen wearing fedora’s, corduroy, or sporting a 3 o’clock shadow (yes not a 5 but a scruffier version of one). He has to have everything that is out of the box and wants to do everything differently. His favorite saying is “Why Not?” His wedding attire will consist of Van’s, Seersuckers, and an Ascot. He’s a wild beast that’s hard to tame because his mind is usually running all over the place. The only suggestion I have is to whip out the waterworks. This guy is also very sentimental and tears will bring him back to earth. Of course, some of his ideas are probably incredible, and I’ll probably write about them, but don’t let him get out of control. Use your tears and keep your wedding classy.
Cheers and good luck taming the wild beast!
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Call to make an appointment today! They have an incredible selection and the most wonderful staff.
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Many venues offer a catering manager/wedding coordinator/event manager with their packages and I’m sure they will be super helpful with planning the details of the dinner reception. Most of them are very talented, but they are only really there to help you with the reception, which is about 50% of the wedding.
A personal wedding planner will offer you emotional support, which most onsite coordinators can not offer you. They are the maid of honor you really wanted – one that can be there to help you with appointments, negotiate deals, and even keep certain family members apart. They are you confidant, and a great wedding planner has a great poker face! No matter what is going on around that day, to you everything is perfect!
They are also part of a community that is constantly networking. They offer you assistance and expertise in choosing the best, most qualified vendors for your big day. They have heard the good and bad about many vendors and can also pick up similar traits to steer you away from the wrong ones.
Hiring a great wedding planner should not be about saving you money. The reason you hire a wedding planner is to make sure you are getting what you paid for. Two totally different things. I'm not saying a wedding planner won't save you money. If you are working with a strict budget, they will guide you in the most cost effective ways to get what you want. A great wedding planner is worth the investment. You have no idea how hard they work for you and their time and presence is invaluable.
If you’re a bride to be and in the Tri-State Area, I have to recommend Sarah Morrison. I met her while doing a wedding at The Water Club and instantly I knew this girl was phenomenal and she exceeded my expectations which were very high. If you’re in the market for an incredible wedding planner, definitely give her a ring (no pun intended).
When choosing your wedding favor, don’t go for something your guests are going to leave behind because they “forgot” or dumped it in the trash on the way out. Useless trinkets are a waste of money, I’d rather you make a donation in my name to a charity.
Wine stoppers and coasters are still a great favor. I can’t tell you how I still use mine and remember who’s wedding that came from.
My girlfriend did a destination wedding and gave out luggage tags. Loved it! It perfectly tied into her theme and is a useful favor.
One of my favorite favors was more geared towards the girls (sorry guys, like you really care all that much anyway), it was a diamond paperweight.
You can never go wrong with Edible Favors, especially when you pick something local or sentimental to you and your fiancé. Here is a list of fun edible favors I’ve seen brides and grooms do:
Mini “White House” Subs and Chips in a Chinese take out container given to the guests on the way out. For those of you not from Atlantic City, White House Subs are local favorite.
Individual Dunkin Donuts in a custom bag with the couple’s story of how they met – and guess what they met at Dunkin Donuts.
Custom wrapped Tasty Kakes (A Philly Favorite) – This was cool, they had all different types piled on a table and on the front of each package had a custom label made.
For a Fall wedding, one couple did Gertrude and Hawk chocolate covered apples – This was a hug hit! The only thing that was left behind was the empty wrapper and sticks.
Custom Cookies in the theme of your wedding are also fun, especially because you can get them in all different shapes and colors, but make sure you get them from a great bakery and that their freshly made, I recommend The Flour Pot. They also started a cookie favor table.
And of course, The Candy Bar! Have fun with this, the candy can be prepackaged, youthful, or gourmet. You just want the table to be a fabulous presentation. Be creative with candy color and containers, add floral centerpieces, just make sure the candy is easily accessible. We don’t want any intoxicated guests tipping over a large vase of gourmet chocolates and getting broken glass everywhere. Label your candy, some guests have allergies and will know by your label what they need to stay away from.
Finally the takeaway; Custom Baggies, Chinese take out containers, and custom boxes are all great options, just make sure they hold a lot! It’s nice to have some boxes already filled for those guests who are too shy fill their own up. Custom labels are also great to easily seal the containers and add a bit more personalization.
Monday, May 17, 2010
Your Honeymoon location is crucial because you have spent the last few months (and especially the weeks leading to) planning a dream wedding. Your brain and body has been in overdrive and depending on you and your partner, you may just want to relax and enjoy each other in a beautiful peaceful environment.
We went with Belize.
Nestled between Mexico and Guatemala on the Caribbean coast of Central America, Belize is one of the few remaining unspoiled places on earth. You won’t see big corporate businesses here, so if you need a McDonald’s or a Marriott, then this is not the place for you. It is rich in culture and kindness. The Belizean people are welcoming and friendly. Also English and Spanish are their primary languages and they take American currency.
We stayed at the Belize Yacht Club in the city of San Pedro on the Ambergris Caye (and caye is an island), pronounced "key". It was a great one bedroom apartment with a small kitchen and living area. The only reservations we made before coming on this honeymoon was the condo and airfare, everything else we played by ear and it was great. Deciding what we were in the mood to do that day, and when we wanted to do it was great. Belize is not overcrowded, so there were no fears of activities being completely booked. It also helped that we had a personal concierge that helped us plan, book and get the lay of the land while we were there.
So what did we do? We scuba dived the second greatest barrier reef (next to Australia) – oh, Belize is a Scuba Divers dream and you can take classes the first day and out the second if you’ve never done it. We took a day trip back to the mainland and visited the Altun Ha Mayan Site. We also took a private boat for Deep sea fishing, which was amazing! The two men who took us out did all the hard, disgusting work, while I caught my first 3 foot barracuda. I would have never thought I would have enjoyed that experience, but wow, so much fun and exhilarating. We also snorkeled at the Blue Hole the result of a cave which collapsed centuries ago. That was it. The rest of the days were exploring the land on jacked up golf carts (because there only a very small numbers of cars permitted on the island), lounging by the pool, eating the delicious food and going to local bars and clubs.
When it comes down to choosing your honeymoon location, make it about what the two of you will enjoy the most, taking into considering your personalities and energy. My personal choice is a place that is relaxed and away from what I’m used to seeing, no corporate hotels and restaurants, and a culture rich with beauty a personality. Also, it doesn’t help talking to a few married couples and asking their opinions on their honeymoons. There are so many wonderful places to choose from, do your research and choose wisely.
Friday, May 14, 2010
A peony can be matched to any wedding style. If you are looking for traditional, you’ll probably want a fuller, pillow like peony, usually in softer shades of cream, pink or yellow. If you are looking for a modern, edgy look, then the bolder color and shapes may suit you better
Peonies are also very complimentary to many other flowers very well. So whether your favorite flower is an orchid, calla lily, rose, or daisies, try pairing them with a peony, you’ll be surprised how well it accents and brings out the beauty in other flowers as well without taking the spotlight.
If you are gardener like me, than you must add peonies to your garden. They are very easy plats to maintain and very satisfying in their bounty. I always look forward to seeing my peony sprout and watching it grow and blossom beautiful flowers. But beware, the squirrels love also love peonies, so I add a little of my Latina flavor to my peonies to keep the squirrels away, Cayenne Pepper. Sprinkle Cayenne Pepper right when your peonies begin to grow full buds, this will help keep those squirrels from sabotaging your beautiful plant.
I found a great farm in Minnesota that carries over 600 varieties of Peony: Hidden Springs Flower Farm, check out their website to see the different varieties and pick out your favorite.
No I don’t normally recommend this, and I always recommend hiring a professional for one of the most important days of your life, but for those who want champagne on a beer budget, you have to go to extraordinary measures to get it. If you are going to take on the grueling and stressful task of doing your own wedding flowers, then try this website: Fifty Flowers. You’ll save money and have a large inventory to choose from.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
So many of you really haven’t had a chance to know me and I hope through this blog that will change. I have an extreme passion for the unique, especially when it comes to weddings.
Cake toppers have come a long way since plastics water fountains and plastic bride and grooms. Etsy.Com allows individuals to sell: vintage, handmade, and arts and crafts type items. There are seriously thousands upon thousands of pages available for any occasion. It’s all about Custom Art.
Now, I love butterflies! And no, I’m not so obsessed that I have butterflies everywhere, in fact you wouldn’t know it unless you really knew me. But I found these edible butterflies on Etsy by a shop called Sugar Robot. These edible fluttering delights look so real, it would be a shame to eat them. I can just imagine hundreds of these butterflies cascading up a classic 5 tier white cake topped with more of these beauties. They also carry other creative edibles.
St Jude's Handmade Paper Flower Creations Makes Gorgeous, realistic paper flowers and accents, and if you’re a bride with severe allergies, think about these as an alternative to traditional floral uses:
Concarta: Unique and meticulously crafted Paper flowers and Cake toppers
The Flirty Bride: Love this girl! Very feminine custom toppers and another fun blog.
Chapeau de Gateau: This company is out of Canada, and this designers is amazing! I’ve never seen anything like this an dall I can say is I fyou like drama, then you’ve found it. These toppers inspire the cake, so make sure you have this topper when you go to your baker for consistency in design.
Paris Tiaras, Cake Crowns: For the high end princess, with a fairytale wedding, you must go here.