Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Vendor Spotlight: All Natural Skin Care

This weeks Vendor Spotlights is for Sandy Torres, Independent Consultant for Arbonne. She just returned from the annual conference in Las Vegas where the company launched an all new skin care and cosmetics line. She was so excited when sharing telling me about the new products I thought it would be a perfect post for this weeks vendor spotlight. Sandy raved about the products and how much they have help her skin, maybe they can work for you too! feel free to visit her site and enjoy the new products :)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Advice: Looking Back, What I would Have Done Different

Now that is has been almost 1 year since my wedding, I have done a lot of looking back on how things turned out and what I would have done differently.

Jeren and I had a very long engagement of 1 1/2 years and I think that would have been my first thing I would have changed. About half way through we were both wishing that the big day would be here and all the planning stress would be over. We had a LOT of family involvement which made things quite stressful at times since between us we have 8 parents...yes 8 parents! Due to the long engagement I feel like I procrastinated on the little details since I knew I had a long time to plan. The last few months went by so fast and I soon realized that I had waited too long to start on some of my DIY projects, therefore they were either rushed or not added into the wedding. I look back now and really wish I would have had some of those little details I kept seeing in my head all along.

The second and one of the most important things I would have changed looking back is not using a family friend as our photographer. I won't say much because it gets me so upset but this is one of the most important decisions you have in planning your wedding so take it seriously. Remember, you CANNOT redo your wedding pictures so what you get is what you get. This makes me so sad :(

Another thing I might have done differently is my dress. I only looked at dresses twice before buying the one I loved. The only problem, it was the last one available since the design was being discontinued AND it was a size 12. The reason this was such a problem...I am a size 1! I was determined to make the dress fit and be perfect so I found an amazing seamstress. After about 12 dress fittings the dress was practically a custom design and I loved it. Looking back at pictures I don't think that we were able to get the exact perfect fit that I was looking for but that could just be my OCD kicking in. My recommendation, find a dress that you love and you won't have to have it completely remade. It was an interesting process where I was able to spend time with my Mom, MOH, and Bridesmaids but it was very stressful at the same time since I had no idea what the finally product was going to be.

Well, I am sure over the next few months I will think up some other things I would have done a little differently but for now these are my thoughts! Hope it helps in your planning process.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Real Wedding: Margaret & Joe: A FUN Engagement Shoot!

Today I am featuring a super fun engagement shoot from Duane Peck with Digital Studios. You can tell that this couple has a lot of fun together and I am sure their wedding will express that as well! I love the red shoes with the red balloons. Hope you enjoy!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Inspiration Board: Green Combinations

I love green as for a wedding color. I actually used lime green, ivory, black, and damask for my wedding! You can combine green with brown, white, yellow, orange, black, blue, purple...the combinations are endless! Hope you enjoy :)

Photos: The Knot

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Vendor Spotlight: The Papery Willow {Handcrafted Custom Invitations}

This weeks Vendor Spotlight is featuring The Papery Willow. Babette Canacari is the designer of these beautiful custom handcrafted invitations displayed below. She will work with you to create the wedding stationary of your dreams while coordinating all the details of your wedding with one theme. Items available include: invitations, place cards, menu cards, guestbook, favors, save the dates, thank you cards, reception cards, and more! Contact her today to see how she can help.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Why Hire A Wedding Planner??

Today I am featuring an article from Jennifer Grove with Sky Blue Events explaining the importance of hiring a wedding planner for your big day. Hope this information is useful in your planning process. Happy Planning!

Planning your wedding should be a joyful journey from the day you pick up a bridal magazine to leaving for your honeymoon. Most brides find that along the way they will need some help whether it's selecting their dress or their invitations, picking the right location or picking table linen colors. Getting started with the assistance of a qualified consultant is one way to make sure your wedding dreams become a reality from the very beginning of the process. A professional planner knows the wedding market inside and out, has worked with a variety of local vendors and venues and will know how to maximize your budget to help lead the way on your journey to the altar. These reasons alone will help reduce stress, save time and make the experience more enjoyable.

Additionally, many planners have built their reputations and businesses by catering to select niches that couples may find important to them from green/environmentally friendly weddings to budget-conscious weddings to destination weddings. For example, as a full-service planning company specializing in the style aspect of a bride and groom's event, our company is known for translating a couple's personal tastes and likes into a cohesive, stylized vision. Not only do we create detailed color palettes and gorgeous inspiration boards for our clients to tie every element of the event together, we'll manage the timelines, budgets, milestones, and to-do lists in order to make sure every detail is attended to in executing the overall designed vision.

We ask our prospective clients two key questions that will determine if our services will help them better enjoy the planning journey. First, how much time do they have to spend planning in between their job, tending to their relationships (fiance, friends, family) and daily life during their engagement period. Second, we ask clients how important the style factor and how elaborate their expectations are for their event. From creating a master plan and touring the most original locations to finding the best floral designers and caterers, our insight and experience will be an invaluable part of the planning process which make sense for busy, career-oriented couples who may not have the time or style expertise to do this on their own.

Does every bride need a wedding planner? I like to think that making the choice to hire an experienced consultant is one of the best decisions you can make. In addition to being party experts, wedding consultants are part orchestra conductors, part financial planners, part designers and part relationship experts. Having someone supporting you with answers to tricky etiquette questions, negotiating contracts on your behalf and serving as your spokesperson for the entire experience is worth the end result : your beautiful wedding dreams come true.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Real Wedding: Whitney & Paul: A Classy Traditional Wedding

Whitney & Paul were married on a snowy October day in Mendota, MN. Their ceremony and reception were traditional but very classy. Althought very tratitional, the couple chose to do the "First Look" before the ceremony which through the pictures it looks like they had a lot of fun with. Melissa Oholendt did an awesome job of capturing every little detail of this wedding. Thank you so much Melissa for sharing this wedding with us!

The "First  Look"

These earrings were a wedding gift from the Groom...Aww!

Ceremony Location: Historic Church of St. Peter
Reception Location: Commodore Hotel
Hair: Juut Salon, Grand Avenue
Dress: Borrowed (and gorgeous!)
Bridesmaid: J.Crew
Cake / Cupcakes: Lunds & Byerly’s

Thursday, March 11, 2010

California March 2010 Bridal Shows

Thought I would put together a list of Bridal Shows In March for all those California brides getting ready to start planning their wedding. Happy Planning!!

The Great Bridal Expo
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Show Time : 12.00pm - 4.00pm

Location: Westin San Francisco
1 Old Bayshore Highway
San Francisco (Millbrae) CA 94030

The Great Bridal Expo
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Show Time : 12.00pm - 4.00pm

Location: Fairmont Hotel San Jose
170 South Market Street
San Jose CA 95113

Festival of Brides, The Upscale Bridal Show
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Show Time: 11:00am-5:00pm

Location: Millennium Biltmore Hotel
The Crystal Ballroom
506 South Grand Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90071

Festival of Brides, The Upscale Bridal Show
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Show Time: 11:00am-4:00pm

Location: Montage Beverly Hills
225 North Canon Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Bridal Showplace
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Show Time : 11.00am - 4.00pm

Location: Sheraton Cerritos Hotel
12725 Center Court Drive
Cerritos CA 90703

Sacramento Kings Brides & Basketball
Monday, March 22, 2010
Show Time : 6.00pm - 9.00pm

Location: Sacramento Kings Arco Arena
1 Sports Pkwy.
Sacramento CA 95834

Inspiration Board: Purple Combinations

It seems like purple is going to be a very popular color this wedding season so I thought I would put together some different purple color combinations for inspiration. My favorite are the shoes! Hope you enjoy!

Photos: The Knot

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Vendor Spotlight: Lake Tahoe Vacation Homes

World Class Property Management, Inc. has a wide variety of South Lake Tahoe vacation homes for all of your shower, bachelor/bachelorette parties, weddings, and honeymoons! Feel free to check out their site World Class Property Management, Inc. for full details of all the houses.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Brides On A Budget!

Hello to all you brides trying to stay within your budget!

I thought I would share some budget friendly tips that helped me and other fellow brides stay within out budgets for our BIG day. These are just a few so feel free to share your tips as well.

-Use a local flower warehouse
-Have a lunch reception instead of dinner time reception
-Never be afraid to NIGOTIATE with your vendors. The worst answer will be no but at least you tried!
-If the time allows, shop around before making quick purchases. This will help for your dress, invitations, wedding party gifts, etc.
-Have food stations for your meal instead of a plated sit down meal
-Keeping your wedding party small with help with wedding party expenses and stress!
-Figure out what elements of you wedding are most important and spend the extra money there
-Having your wedding on a Thursday, Friday, or Saturday can save a ton of money off not only the ceremony & reception site but some of your other vendor as well. Make sure to ask about these discounts
-DIY projects can save you a lot of money because you can make only the amount you need rather than buying in large quantities, works great for favors, invitations, menus, place cards, table numbers, etc.
-Having a candy bar for the favors can save a huge amount of money as well as guest can take the "favor" if they wish therefore, cutting down on wasted premade favors
-Wedding cupcakes instead of wedding cake can be less expensive but also may allow you to save on that pesky "cake cutting fee" reception sites charge

Happy Planning!


New Blog Voice

So I have been feeling that I need some structure to my blog so I have decided to dedicate specific post topics to specific days of the week. I think this will not only help me with a better direction to my blog but also to my readers so they know what to expect. I also feel that this structure will help me stay on track and be 100% dedicated to this blog! I have started out with 4 posts a week and  if I find I have more to blog about I will have to add a few more days :)

SO here it is:

Monday: Planning Advice/Tips
Wednesday: Vendor Spotlight
Thursday: Inspiration Boards
Friday: Real Weddings Inspiration

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Real Weddings: Andrea & Dan: A Beautiful St. George Island Wedding

David and Jessica of Beach Bum Photography did an amazing job of capturing Andrea & Dan's May 2, 2009 St. George Island, FL beach wedding. The couple looked so happy and relaxed enjoying their beach front ceremony and reception. Hope you enjoy!

My favorite picture below! Aren't they just a naturally beautiful couple?? 

Ceremony & Reception - St. George Island (Aisle of Palms)
Caterer - My Caterer
DJ - GT Entertainment
Flowers - Seahorse Gifts & Florist