Friday, December 31, 2010

Wedding or Party: Dining

If you did not catch the first edition, this is a game that I created after seeing so much amazing decor that is incredibly versatile.  The kind of decor that could be for a bridal shower, baby shower, fabulous birthday, dinner party, corporate event, or even a wedding.  Test yourself and let me know how you did on Felicity C Weddings Facebook page!  Good luck & enjoy!

Image #126855
Wedding or party?  Here is the answer

Rustic Thanksgiving Decorating Ideas 
Wedding or party?  Here is the answer

Damask Dessert Table
Wedding or party? Here is the answer

Thursday, December 30, 2010

After The Wedding: (Renewal) Party Like A Celebrity

As you have probably surmised by now, I'm always "pro-party".  A few posts ago I talked about celebrating anniversaries and how every year should be special.  Then in the news this September, Lakers player Lamar Odom & wife Khloe Kardashian celebrated their one year anniversary by renewing their vows.  Lamar actually surprised Khloe with the renewal which is super cute.  Any guy who hatches secret plans for his loved one is a winner.  Lamar is in good company, enter Josh Duhamel's one year surprise renewal, Mariah Carey & Nick Cannon's 2nd anniversary vow renewal, Michael Douglas & Catherine Zeta Jones 10th year vow renewal, and Tori Spelling & Dean McDermott's 4 year renewal.  All of this reminded me of another celebrity pair who loves a good vow renewal; Heidi Klum and her husband Seal.  They have made it a point to celebrate each anniversary by renewing their vows & having a huge party for all their friends.  Last year they decided to get classy and have a "white trash wedding" theme (see hilarity below).

Renewal parties are not just for celebrities though, obviously.  Celebrities may renew every year, but the rest of us probably will save renewals for big milestones; 5 years, 10 years, 25, years, etc.  What a great example to friends and family to have a big party to celebrate the vows of love, loyalty, and commitment.  The best part about a renewal party is that you get all the fun & celebration of a wedding without the high cost and stress of the first time around.  There is a definite freedom is not having any rules to follow and to be able to focus on whatever design or theme you want.  The couple can choose to have a big party or just a small gathering of family & friends.  Some hotels even have renewal packages so be on the lookout for local events.  So, if you or anyone you know (parents, friends, etc) loves this idea as much as I do, make sure to contact Felicity C Weddings to plan this fabulous soiree!     

Mr. & Mrs. Odom celebrating 1 wedded year
by renewing their vows. Source
Heidi Klum & Seal renewing vows
for their 5th wedding anniversary. Source

Monday, December 27, 2010

Hitched!!! Ford Wedding 9.25.10

Nothing like a beautiful September wedding to get me through these winter months!  Plus, Christmas day was exactly 3 months of wedded bliss for this couple.  I am so excited to feature the Ford wedding and all the fantastic details!  I have known the bride, Kate since high school when we met through our church's youth group.  Unfortunately, we lost track of each other after college and about a year ago we reunited through a wedding blog!  She saw Felicity C Weddings featured on Charm City Bride Blog and the rest is history.

Kate was a great bride to work with, not only because she's a friend but because she knew exactly what she wanted and had great ideas from the start.  A literary theme with specific personal details was the plan for Kate & Mike and I believe that is exactly what we accomplished.  The ceremony & reception took place at the Howard County Conservancy in Woodstock, MD.  It is a gorgeous property and we could not have asked for a better day.  Reverend Laura Cannon officiated the ceremony and Kate & Mike could not have chosen a better officiant.  She took the time to find out what they were looking for and created that personal, close vibe for the day.

Next up was the cocktail hour in the honors garden.  Atlantic Caterers did a fantastic (and delicious!) job from start to finish and they even went above and beyond to create a s'mores bar specifically for this wedding!  It was a HUGE hit!  Procopio Photography's wife and husband duo of Cicely & Jason were a perfect fit for this wedding and effortlessly captured every moment from the ceremony kazoos to the book that Mike & his brother put together for the guest book to the excitement on the dance floor.  Their passion for photography is obvious in working with them and the pictures speak for themselves (see below!).  Speaking of amazing details, Kate & Mike honored a great Howard County tradition by having The Snowball Stand in Woodstock serve snowballs at their cocktail hour.  Guests were treated to blue raspberry, watermelon & wedding cake (of course!) with optional marshmallow topping (a local favorite). 

Moving onto the reception inside the Howard County Conservancy, DJ Bill Bowen kept the party going all evening.  Bill actually did the ceremony, cocktail hour and reception music (three separate places) and was great to work with.  I was really impressed with the Fords' florist, Local Color Flowers.  I had heard rave reviews about the LoCoFlo crew and after working with Ellen, I can tell you that every compliment was deserved.  Even more amazing than their work, the company is based on "creating personalized arrangements and bouquets from fresh, seasonal, and sustainable flowers cultivated by local specialty growers" so it is a purchase couples can truly feel good about.

There are so many details that I cannot even begin to list.  Thanks to the Fords and their families for making this wedding such a joy to be a part of.  Here are the photos of this beautiful day.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Cutting The Cake, Literally

I'm very clear that I am a practical person and that often bleeds into everything I do. I really love finding how to get the most bank for my buck and especially in this economy, I want to provide many cost effective options for my clients as well. So, this revelation kind of made me jump for joy- the idea of renting huge elaborate FAUX wedding cakes for display then having your caterer cut your cost effective cake in the kitchen for serving.
rent a wedding cake

I know! All the elaborate glamour and intricate detailed design that each bride desires without the $7 (or more!) per slice cost!  For the couples who do want some real cake to cut into, you can always have the bottom layer be real cake and the rest be faux cake.  This article goes more into depth of the faux cake options, pro's, and con's.  My advice would be to look at your budget and determine as a couple what aspects of the wedding are most important to both of you.  If displaying a huge, real cake is not one of the priorities, faux cakes are a great option both financially and style-wise.  I've found a few pictures of faux cakes to display the awesomeness.  Enjoy!

The beginnings of a DIY faux cake. Source

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Personalization Station: Silverware

I am pretty thrilled at any and all small details that make a huge impact at a wedding.  I particularly love the unexpected-yet-practical which is exactly what I discovered on Etsy's BeachHouseLiving shop.  This vendor specializes in vintage silverware that is hand stamped to be personalized for any occasion, but obviously the wedding items sparked my interest the most.  These gorgeous forks and spoons fit into an elegant theme and make great gifts for the couple.  There are plenty of options for the stamping including using the silverware as cake toppers and table numbers.  Not to mention that this is wedding decor that can be saved as family heirlooms for future generations to treasure (I love that idea)!  Please look around this lovely vendor shop for more ideas & inspiration (all photos are from the BHL shop).  Enjoy!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A New Light On Wedding Traditions

When most people think of weddings, they think of wedding traditions.  Whether it be cultural, religious, or family based, I am a huge fan of incorporating meaningful traditions into weddings, the key word being meaningful.  Some couples become so focused on tradition and pleasing everyone, that the couple loses sight of what they want on their big day.  It really is up to each couple to decide where they want to draw the line.  Because really, isn't the best wedding 'tradition' that of joyous, happy couples vowing to share their lives together? 

I recently went to friend's wedding as a guest and had a great time.  It was fairly nontraditional; an afternoon beach wedding in November (in Delaware), a short ceremony, no bridal party aside from the couple's dog, 30 guests, and a casual atmosphere.  At one point the bride asked me what my opinion was of her wedding as a wedding planner.  I told her that it was perfect because it was exactly what they wanted.  And that really is what I want for every couple; clients or friends.  If a tradition is important to you, keep it.  If it is not, toss it.  Brides in particular feel the need to incorporate every detail people throw at them.  Overall comfort (literally and metaphorically) is going to go a lot further than feeling forced into a tradition.  Example A: a lot of couples are opting for outdoor ceremonies which a decade or two ago was unheard of.  Breaking tradition could be as simple as not having a wedding cake or seeing each other before the ceremony (see my First Look post).

My advice is to go online and search through wedding blogs.  I guarantee that you will find some awesome inspiration from brides who did exactly what they wanted.  The website OffBeat Bride in particular is always featuring real weddings that have a whole lot of personality.  Here are a few real weddings that I've found that I hope will give you inspiration to plan your wedding the way you want it.  Enjoy!
 Beautiful butterfly bridal dress (say that 5 times fast). Source

Beach wedding in November. Source

Who says all the bridesmaids have to match? Source

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Introducing Felicity C Weddings Planning Workshops!!!

As a wedding planner, I tend to get a lot of questions about the wedding planning process. So many people don't realize how many details are involved until it is your turn. Felicity C Weddings has been fortunate enough to have a fantastic first year and I know that serving as a resource through all the details for my brides allowed them to focus on the fun aspects of planning. Recently I got to thinking about how many brides-to-be who don't have room in their budget for a wedding planner but would LOVE to get professional advice on the planning process. From that, an idea was born.

Felicity C Weddings is SO excited to announce the start of FCW Planning Workshops! I will be holding workshops on different planning topics such as budgeting, vendor relationships, and wedding organization just to name a few. While there are so many great bridal resources out there, this is your chance to ask specific questions as well as get the feedback that magazines and blogs don't provide. The first session will focus on budgeting and will be held on January 29th at the Sheraton in Columbia, MD from 1pm- 4pm. The cost is $75 per person for this session.  As a thank you for all the current "fans" of the Felicity C Weddings Facebook page, the cost is $65 for you*!  Each participant will be receiving a budget worksheet and here are some topics that will be covered:

  • How to determine your wedding budget AND determine which vendors fit in your budget
  • The 4 MOST important factors in how much a wedding costs
  • The importance of having a budget and sticking to it
  • Discuss typical packages and what you should be getting for your money
  • The most common budgeting mistakes couples make
  • Top 10 fees to avoid
  • "Green" ways to trim your budget
This would make for a great gift to a bride from her bridesmaids, from a mother to her newly engaged daughter or even from a thoughtful fiancé to his future wife! The payment deadline is January 20th and if you want to purchase a spot for a Christmas gift, let me know and I will send you an invite to give to the recipient. Space is limited so please email me (please use the subject: FCW budgeting workshop) to let me know if you or anyone you know is interested! Hope to see you there!

Want to relax on your big day like this FCW bride? Start by staying on
top of your budget from the start so you can dance the night away!
Credit: Clair Pruett Photography

*to be eligible for the $65 pricing, you must be fan of Felicity C Weddings Facebook page as of Monday, December 13, 2010.  I typed up each fan's name into a document to make sure you get your discount!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Respected Holiday or Royal Hoopla?

It should come as no surprise that this royal wedding is becoming a news spectacle since the announcement was made less than a month ago. I heard on the news this week that there is speculation that Americans are actually more interested/ excited for the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton than the British people are- which sounds kind of absurd.  I know I will either be getting up or DVR-ing the roal wedding on April 29, 2011.  However, I was surprised to hear that some brides are planning to wed on the same date intending to set up video screens so their guests can watch the royal wedding in the middle of their own receptions.  The wedding date has even been declared a holiday in England.  Talk about pressure.  At least the Prince will be able to remember his anniversary since it will be on every calendar from 2012 forward.

I was equal parts shocked & in awe when I first saw this which is the British Historical Society's Royal Heirloom Ring, a replica of Princess Diana's engagement ring which her son Prince William proposed to Kate Middleton with earlier this year.  I must admit that the majority of the items I have seen on tv (Elvis collectors plates, Superbowl/ World Series/ NBA Championship dvds, etc) that are obviously just companies trying to make a dime on people's sentiments have rubbed me the wrong way.  But, I almost teared up watching the video from The Royal Ring ad about how that ring was one of the few personal items that Prince William kept close to him after his mother passed away and now he has trusted this special ring to his future wife.  I honestly contemplated wanting one of my own but as of press time, my credit card is still safely in my wallet.  But I can't make any promises for what will happen after Christmas.  

RoyalHeirloomRing, celebrate the royal engagement with this timeless ring

So let's all agree that this hoopla is definitely not normal.  Prince William has allegedly Snoop Dogg booked for his bachelor party and this past week Snoop released a song now referred to as the "anthem" for the occasion.  Snoop says, "when I heard the royal family wanted to have me perform in celebration of Prince William's marriage, I knew I had to give them a little something," (though there is no official word on the validity of his requested performance). "'Wet' is the perfect anthem for Prince William or any playa to get the club smokin'."
All of this leaves me thinking as a planner and being concerned about the couple.  I hope that the Prince and his future wife are able to enjoy the planning and stay excited without letting all the pressure get to them.  Would you want the whole world trying to find out every detail and capitalizing on your big day?  Or does it come with the territory being part of one of the oldest and most well known monarchies in the world?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The New Truth About Bridesmaid Dresses

Its a tale as old as time.  You are asked by your close friend to be a bridesmaid- THE greatest honor bestowed to a friend- and then she hits you with the dress selection.  Which may or may not totally highlight all your problem areas.  Hey, if nothing else, your dress makes the bride look prettier for being next to you.  And then you are stuck paying for an expensive dress that you will never wear again.  I have one such dress in my closet as we speak.  It is prom-dressy and a two piece AND if I had a dollar for the amount of times the bride told me I'd wear it again, I'd have at least $30.  If I had a dollar for every time I've worn it since the wedding over 3 years ago, I'd be broke. 

Recently I've seen many brides loosen their requirements for bridesmaid dresses and I'm 110% on board.  Obviously color and formality are the most important determinants to the bride but the bridesmaids will mainly be paying attention to price, comfort, and "wearability".  For anyone who has seen 27 Dresses, the running joke is that for every crazy bridesmaids dress Katherine Heigl's character Jane is asked to wear, the bride says that the dress she chose for Jane is so great because "you can shorten it and wear it again".  To which Jane always dutifully answers, "totally, so true."  27 Dresses is a great example of how good intentions can spin out of control and the next thing you know, you're in a "Gone With The Wind" themed dress.  If it pleases the jury, I now present examples A, B, and C:
Fear not bridesmaids-to-be, obviously, there are many other directions to go.  There is actually a movement in the bridal industry to focus on bridesmaids.  Which translates into a few designers as well as mainstream stores which are are offering bridesmaids dresses and not presenting them as an afterthought.  I have been seeing a ton of J. Crew bridesmaids, The Limited bridesmaids, and Ann Taylor bridesmaids.  Finding wedding appropriate dresses at stores that you already shop at? Love.  So when I stumbled across this breath of fresh air, I had to share it!  Introducing the coolest.bridesmaid.dress.ever.  The amazing Two Birds Bridesmaid dress is one dress with FIFTEEN ways to wear it again and again and again.  Bonus that its affordable and comes in a plethora of shades, lengths, and customizable styles.  Genius!  So whether you are a bride or a bridesmaid, make sure you look beyond the typical choices and be open to all the new, exciting possibilities in bridesmaid fashion.  Below are just a few of the many ways to wear the Two Birds Bridesmaid dress.  As always, enjoy!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Great News for Shoes

Some girls go crazy for purses, some for designer jeans, and some for shoes.  Most of us females are trying to make peace with our inner fashionista during this recession.  Luckily a new designer, Absolutely Audrey, has come up with an answer to our need for versatility that our newly appointed inner recessionista side approves of- shoe clips!  You can shop by occasion or by color.  You can give these as a gift for your bridesmaids to wear again and again.  This can be your something "new" for your wedding attire!  The list goes on and on.  Not to mention that your fiance will be excited to see that you are spending less than you would on new shoes and getting a lot more for your money!  I've even included a few designs from the website.  Enjoy!

Ellie multi colored shoe clips. Source

Amanda crystal shoe clips.  Source
Felicia bridal white feather shoe clips. Source

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Inspiration Station: Holiday Parties

I get a lot of questions about the details of a party, people always want to showcase something new whether it is decor, food & drink, or invitations.  I am such a huge fan of inspiration boards, I decided to create two myself.  I hope you like something you see!
Christmas Party Inspiration Board
Sources for the Amazing:
Top Row: Source, Source, Source
Middle Row: Source, Source, Source
Bottom Row: Source, Source, Source

Monday, November 29, 2010

If You Love Etsy...

If you have not heard of Etsy yet, you are missing out.  Etsy is a website featuring handmade goods ranging from accessories, clothing, jewelry, stationary, and housewares.  Designers open up Etsy "shops" (registered webpages within Etsy) and sell their creations.  Beyond the "feel good" factor of investing into a small business and local entrepreneurs, the number one advantage is having one on one contact with the sellers.  SO many items are able to be personalized which is the obvious drawback in shopping in a huge national chain.  

As appealing as this website is for regular shopping, many brides seek out new and creative items on Etsy from accessories to stationary to decor.  So when I saw that Etsy has started a wedding specific site, I kind of freaked out.  Because weddings + Etsy= AMAZING. 

I always thought that if Etsy had a specific wedding site, it would be Wetsy but that sounds like an outdated doll that pees itself (good thing I wasn't in charge of the name!).  In reality, Etsy's wedding site is called Wedzu and once it is here, I can't believe we all existed without it. 

Wedzu features categories including apparel, ceremony & reception, jewelry & design, and calligraphy just for starters.  So my advice is to set side a few hours and check out Wedzu for yourself.  I can promise some great finds and probably a lot more than just a couple of hours of viewing awesomeness.  Enjoy!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Hitched!!! Barton Wedding 9.11.10

With all the hustle & bustle of this fall wedding season, I just realized that I didn't post about this wonderful wedding!  So, here we go!  Barbie & Mark are a great couple that I have had the pleasure of knowing for about 3 1/3 years now.  I worked with Barbie at my last corporate job before starting my own company in April 2009.  We worked together for two years and once I met Mark and hung out with both of them I knew that it was just a matter of time because they are so perfect for each other.  Barbie knew that I planned weddings on the side for friends and we often talked about wedding ideas.  She told me that I would be her planner when she & Mark got engaged.  Well that time came this past July 4th weekend when Mark asked Barbie to be his wife after dinner on their back deck.  Barbie texted me that Monday and said that she was in need of my services.  From there it all unfolded pretty quickly- along with Barbie & Mark, I planned this wedding in 8 weeks!

Barbie was about 3 months pregnant at the time and really wanted to get married in September before she got too far into the pregnancy to enjoy the wedding.  She knew right away that she wanted a "French Country" theme and we completely lucked out in finding a venue with perfect decor that had a September Saturday open up.  On the wedding day, the weather was amazing for the ceremony & reception that took place at The Farmhouse in Wilmington, DE.  Barbie was very hands on with the planning and bought a bunch of cute decor accents while at the Outer Banks in late July.  Sparkle Photography's Kathy Wilson did a fantastic job of capturing all the sweet moments and details small to large throughout the day (personalized unity candle! hand-painted guest seating chalkboard! adorable quote sign for guest book table!).  One of my favorite details was bagpiper David Bailiff, who played as guests arrived to the ceremony and led the couple on their ceremony recessional, whose great talent celebrated the groom's ancestry.

As for the food, The Farmhouse has in-house catering by Country Caterers Inc. which was complemented with a cake by Sweets To You By Ginger, Inc.  During the planning process Barbie & Mark asked for DJ recommendations and my first thought was Jon Anson of Anson Audio, who I worked with in June.  He has the great ability to keep every guest happy and keep the night going while staying on my timeline.  Alfreda McCoy-Cuff was a friend of the bride's who has planning and floral design experience.  Alfreda's knowledge and resources were great and the beautiful floral arrangements really tied in the theme. It was a joy to see this wedding come together so quickly and to help one of my friends with her big day.  Married life certainly looks good on the Bartons and I can't wait to meet baby Lane in February!  Here are the photos of this beautiful day.  Enjoy!


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Royal Budgeting

Tradition stands that the bride's family pays for the wedding.  Yet, a lot of modern couples are taking on the majority if not the total cost of the wedding.  Money is always a sensitive subject, especially when it is tied to such an emotion-filled and long awaited day such as a wedding.  More than any other etiquette or planning question, budgeting is always at the top of the list.  If the bride's parents pay does that mean that they have a lot of input into the planning?  What if they bride's family is unable to pay for the majority of the wedding, who should take over financial responsibility?  Do the groom's parents get to invite a large amount of people if they are not contributing financially?  What if they ARE contributing financially?  Its all enough to give you a headache and want to elope!

Now, imagine how overwhelming this budgeting must be if you are the newly engaged Prince William & Kate Middleton.  I am SO excited to witness a royal wedding and have been keeping up with all the news coverage.  It was announced today that the wedding date is set for April 29, 2011 and they will wed at historic Westminster Abbey in London.  More coverage has revealed that early estimates of the cost is expected to be close to $40 million not including the $20 million that the taxpayers will be paying for security.  All of the excitement around this royal wedding has certainly created larger than life expectations and the bottom line is that someone will be financially responsible for the wedding of the decade.  But who?  Are Kate's parents expected to foot the bill that no doubt will cover guests that are being invited solely because of proximity to the royal family?  Should the royal family pay for the wedding simply because they have the funds to cover such an extravagant affair?  I'm staying tuned to see how all of the planning unfolds (the dress! the decor!) and especially checking on the budgeting. 
November 16, 2010 The Royal Wedding was announced 
to the world! Source 

Monday, November 22, 2010

Wedding or Party: Decor Details

If you did not catch the first edition, this is a game that I created after seeing so much amazing decor that is incredibly versatile.  The kind of decor that could be for a bridal shower, baby shower, fabulous birthday, dinner party, corporate event, or even a wedding.  Test yourself and let me know how you did on Felicity C Weddings Facebook page!  Good luck & enjoy!

Purple & Black Bridal Shower Wedding 
Wedding or Party? Here is the answer

Image #104892
Wedding or Party? Here is the answer

Friday, November 19, 2010

A Rose By Another Other Texture

I am constantly amazed by people's creativity.  Constantly.  In the world and specifically in the wedding industry.  I posted about paper flowers in July and recently I have seen more and more fabulous floral options.  Here are 4 of my favorite new ideas.  Enjoy!

1. Clay Flowers.  As seen in this amazing Etsy shop, this artist manipulates clay into beautiful bouquets!  And the best part?  You get to keep your beautiful bouquet forever!  I am quite a fan of practicality for all event planning and so I am totally in love with this idea.  You may be wondering how real these clay bouquets are and so I've included a picture from the Etsy shop:
 Couture Clay - Custom Order Deposit for Clay Wedding Bouquet

2. Fake Floral Runners.   Real petals are rarely allowed at ceremony or receptions sites because when you step on them they become very slippery and are therefore a hazard.  Yep, next to open flames, real flower petals is the next big item that most venues have firm policies against.  Still want that romantic runner down your aisle?  Enter these AMAZING fake flower runners seen in this post.  Ready, set, gorgeous runner!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

It's Proposal Tiiiiiiiiime!

The holidays are not just for great food, juggling family visits, overpriced gifts, and awesome music.  No, the holidays are the peak times for marriage proposals!  This is no coincidence, the holidays are such a huge family time and when it comes down to it, marriage is the uniting of two families.  Also guys have the whole year to set aside money and I'm sure year-end bonuses don't hurt either!

But planning out a proposal is a daunting task.  Beyond choosing and affording "the perfect ring", the unsuspecting boyfriend has the pressure of a great story to tell everyone they know.  When I meet with my wedding clients the first question I ask is how the couple met and the second question is how did he propose.  It is very telling of the couple's interests and style and helps me to get to know the couple quickly.

According to Diamond Helpers, 80% of women were unhappy with their proposals.  Isn't that a startling statistic?!  Fear no more, boyfriends.  Felicity C Weddings is excited to announce a new service: proposal planning!  What exactly does FCW proposal planning include?  Just like the wedding planning packages, the proposal planning is customizable to each client.  I believe that most guys have a basic idea and just need my professional help to have everything come together perfectly.  FCW allows men the luxury of being able to choose how much assistance they will need on such areas as choosing the engagement ring, deciding on a proposal plan, actual planning, and execution of the proposal.  There are so many factors in an amazing proposal- location, timing, surprise, presentation, etc.  My goal is to help guys get from the great inspiration stage to the great proposal by utilizing my skills and knowledge to make this important milestone stress free and more enjoyable!

Please check the Felicity C Weddings website for more in depth information on the packages.  Oh yeah and THE FIRST PROPOSAL CLIENT WILL RECEIVE A 50% DISCOUNT!  Contact by phone or email today!
Source *

*These are not proposals planned by FCW.  Maybe next time I do a post about proposals it will be YOUR proposal picture featured ; )

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Art of Props

The idea of staged photos at multiple locations over a whole day may seem normal for celebrities, but is definitely a strange concept for us "normal people".  But this exactly what happens on your wedding day.  The key is to make it fun and the key to that is to have a great photographer(s).  But using props never hurts and it has become more popular especially in the past year.  Changes of scenery and pops of personality change your wedding photos from standard to amazing.  

Not sure how to start or what to bring?  Talk with your photographer and use your engagement photos as practice for the big day.  You will get used to having your picture taken and taking direction and I promise it will make you more comfortable.  The great props that I've seen always tie into the wedding theme and/or the couple's interests.  And don't forget that props are fun for guests too.  I've seen everything from feather boas to sunglasses to balloons handed to guests to party down during the reception.  And of course, props always add to the fun of a photo booth!  Here are a few real wedding photos for inspiration.  Enjoy! 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Guy Corner: All Things Groom

Does this sound like any recently engaged guy you know?  The proposal was a hit.  He's updated his Facebook profile to state that he is now engaged.  At this point most grooms-to-be are ready to sit back and relax until the big day since they aren't sure how or what they should be doing. Unfairly, a lot of men get stuck in between a rock and a hard place when it comes to wedding planning because they don't have a lot of knowledge on the subject and because it is socially acceptable to have the bride take control.   While most guys aren't concerned with the china patterns his fiancee is registering for, there are a lot of details that most men actually do want a say in.  I have found that the grooms I have worked with have 3 main concerns for the actual wedding day; the food, the music, and the bar.  But there is so much more to enjoy in the entire planning process (hello caterer tastings and registering for cool home gadgets!). 

Luckily, I have found two great resources for grooms; The Man Registry and The Plunge.  These are two pretty awesome websites with articles, checklists and products aimed at grooms.  There are articles about everything from bachelor parties (and non-stripper bachelor parties), groomsmen gifts, etiquette, relationship advice, fashion, and even promotions from approved vendors!  I think the key to both sites is that the content is aimed at guys without any of the wedding "fluff" the brides get from their websites, magazines, and tv shows.  While most guys have at least one friend who is married, its pretty rare that men share insight or advice for the wedding planning part.  And yes, there are "groom" books out there but what guy wants to sit down and read a whole book about weddings?  These websites serve as an expert on a very intimidating subject without forcing extra information.  

Not a groom?  No problem, these sites are not limited to the newly engaged!  For guys needing some direction to "pop the question", The Plunge offers a ring buying guide and he'll probably stumble across the proposal ideas as well.  Or if your man has no clue about being a best man or groomsman for a his friend, you can direct him to the wedding toasts and groomsmen section.  But back to the grooms, after you get that ring on her finger and life has calmed down a bit, head over to these websites and I'm pretty sure it will help you feel less overwhelmed and get more excited about the big day!  Enjoy!

Groomsman gift idea: NCAA 550 Grill Topper. Source

Doubts. Buyer’s remorse. Second guessing. Should you be alarmed? Call the whole damn thing off? Find out.
Convincing The Groom
Need advice on cold feet? Source
Grooms Guide
Want to know what the Groom's responsibilities are?  Source

Monday, November 8, 2010

Celebrity Weddings: Hide or Seek?

For those of you who are not as wrapped up in all things celebrity gossip as I am, there have been quite a few weddings this year already for the rich & famous.  I wrote about the iconic wedding of Jessica Simpson & Nick Lachey and it is definitely true that celebrity weddings give inspiration to many a bride-to-be, whether celebrities are following or creating trends.  2010 was no different.  Which was your favorite wedding to read about?  There was quite a variety; from the large fan-fare surrounding American "royalty" Chelsea Clinton to the notoriously private Penelope Cruz.  Just like 'regular' brides, some celebrity brides had months of elaborate planning and some planned quickly for a baby on the way.  Some celebs choose to have their weddings covered exclusively by a magazine and some celebrities were able to keep the news secret/ out of the press for few months!

Whatever the style, all couples deserve a wonderful day with their friends & family.  It does make me wonder if I would trade my privacy (and sanity in keeping all my planning secrets/details to myself) for a ginormous celebrity wedding budget.  Sean Penn & Madonna's 1985 wedding was famously covered by paparazzi circling in helicopters.  And that was before the paparazzi became the animals the are today.  So, would you want a lavish & publicly documented wedding or rather sneak away to celebrate with the people that really matter?  And in the same vein, do you like when celebrities share their wedding with the world or keep their big day locked up tight?  Here are some of the weddings that have graced 2010.  Enjoy!