Thursday, October 28, 2010

Inspiration Station: Halloween Done Right

As much as I love all things wedding related, event planning is a year round love for me.  From birthdays to holidays, being creative and infusing tons of details for people to enjoy is key.  With Halloween coming up this weekend, I wanted to show some great ideas for entertaining of the spooky variety.  Although some of these set ups are pretty elaborate, I want to point out that you do not need to spend a lot of money to have a great presentation.  It is always better to have a few items with spectacular details than have a bunch of items that were thrown together.  So whether you are holding a Halloween party or going to one, I found a few posts on the interweb for some inspiration.  Enjoy!
Victorian Halloween Table 
Check out this post for the full sweets table photos

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Calling All Recessionistas!

Life doesn't stop because we are in a recession.  People are still getting engaged, planning weddings and being invited to events year round.  I've seen the trend for a lot of my brides to get more creative with their themes and decor and of course the ever popular DIY method, but how do your guests pare down?  Your nearest and dearest will appreciate local ceremony & reception sites and for those out of town guests, searching for the best priced accommodations is a sure way to keep them happy.  More & more couples are taking on the cost of hiring shuttles for the out of town guests as well.  And most registries have a wide range of items that can fit most budgets.  But one costs for guests still remain: what to wear to the wedding.

Well I have the answer, Rent the Runway.  After signing up for free, you are told that you now have access to designer dresses at 90% off retail price AND you get to choose from 95 designers!  They have a calendar application that allows you to select the date of your event and work around it with shipping time.  They have a $5 insurance coverage that takes care of most accidents (spilled wine, lipstick marks) and they do all the dry cleaning!  It is a pretty ingenious business idea and pretty similar to borrowing an amazing dress from your mom... if your mom is Carolina Herrera or Carrie Bradshaw. RTR has 24 occasions ranging from prom to 'meet the parents' to sorority party to rehearsal dinner and even 'bump friendly'.  You are pretty much covered for any life event in need of fabulous attire. 

In addition to dresses for all occasions, they also rent out accessories!  If I was not clear before, this website caters to designers that most of us could never afford to have within 100 ft of our bodies; Missoni, Tibi, Badgely Mischka, etc.  This may be too much for a random night out, but if life calls for something extra special, you should definitely check this website out.  I should mention that this is a great resource not only for wedding guests but for brides since there are a couple of big events pre-wedding requiring fabulous outfits (rehearsal dinner for one).  I have yet to give it a whirl but I've heard great things and I'll post again once I have some personal feedback!  Enjoy!

Rachel Roy, Lipstained Stretch Dress

Retail $1,395   Rental $200

Monday, October 25, 2010

I Love I Love I Love My Calendar Girl

This post is actually not about Neil Sedaka's catchy 1961 song or my love for the music of the 1950's & 60's.  This post is about how couples choose their wedding month and which factors prevail: weather or cost?

The wedding date is one of the first steps in the planning process.  Pretty much all other details will fall into place around the date; the site, the theme/ colors, all the vendors, etc.  It used to be that June was THE month for weddings.  But more and more brides are steering away from tradition and planning their weddings on their own terms, which means that there are weddings pretty much every month of the year now.  I have one friend who told me that she has been to a December wedding the past four years in a row!  Obviously, where the wedding is taking place is a huge factor and being on the East Coast, most outdoor weddings will do best from April through October.  Destination weddings are typically in warm locales so the date is more focused on availability of the bridal party & guests.
I just finished up my main wedding season as a wedding planner, now that September & October are the new "it" months for weddings.  The weather is typically perfect- nice but not too warm or too cold.  But since these two months are the most popular, availability books up quickly for most ceremony and receptions sites and you will not get a cut on pricing at all.  Book a wedding for January through March and you will most likely get a price break from your site and your vendors.  I asked what factors helped to decide people's wedding date on the Felicity C Weddings facebook page.  The majority of the couples chose a month that was sentimental- their relationship anniversary or when they got engaged whether it be August or November.  One newlywed told me that she had her wedding last October because one of her "top requests was not to sweat on her wedding day" and one of FCW clients said she picked Thanksgiving weekend because she wanted all of her extended family at her wedding.  So it seems from my observations that while cost is important, the month is more important to most brides.

All in all, the date does matter and the earlier you start planning, the better chance you have of getting the month you want!  Here a few pictures of weddings in each season.  Enjoy!    

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

All The Cool Kids Are Doing It

Hello friends!  I just wanted to remind everyone to "like" the Felicity C Weddings facebook page.  I update the page with the latest blog posts but I also have sneak peeks of the weddings, professional photo albums, and the page is updated with lots of stuff that doesn't make it onto the blog.  So go ahead, overdose on FCW!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Inspiration Station: The Wedding Chicks

I'm pretty in love with any website that continually is putting out inspiration in a very attainable way.  Enter The Wedding Chicks who are always coming out with new ideas, real weddings, sweet deals for brides and free DIY templates.  Because they rock.  And here is the latest, their 2012 Save the Date template.  And for those of you still needing Save the Dates for your 2011 wedding, here you go.  As I mentioned, TWC are full of DIY-friendly activities and even have a section for free downloads of their amazing templates.  We're talking table numbers, invites, menus, and more!

This is clearly a website run by people who really care about all things wedding related and especially trying to make the planning process easier and more enjoyable for the bride.  The Wedding Chicks shop has a variety of awesomeness (see below) and I particularly love the 'real brides' section that gives insight to the planning process as brides go through it. So check them out and let me know what you think.  Just try not to spend hours upon hours losing track of time on this website.  Because that is exactly what happens to me every single time.  Enjoy!

Monday, October 18, 2010

The 411: First Look Photos

As a wedding planner I have definitely noticed a trend in breaking away from wedding traditions.  There are fewer and fewer "this is how it HAS to be done" moments which gives a lot of freedom to the couple to really personalize & enjoy their big day.  The most common traditions being cut out are the bridal bouquet and garter tosses.  Which makes sense because they both take time away from guests dancing and the garter toss in particular may make some older guests feel uncomfortable.  The most surprising new tradition or option for couples is the "first look".  This is so new and non-traditional that a few of my brides had not heard of it until I mentioned the option.  SO here are all the details.

The "first look" is traditionally captured when the bride walks down the aisle towards her groom, it is the first look that the groom gets of his bride.  The "first look" photos are for couples who are ok with seeing each other before the ceremony.  The photographer(s) and the planner set up the couple so that the first time they do see each other it is caught on camera.  This is a great idea because the bridal party is able to get a lot of photos done before the ceremony which saves time during the traditional "picture time" known as cocktail hour.  Couples who choose the first look option usually have large bridal parties and/or families that will take up a lot of time for formal pictures or the couple just wants to enjoy their cocktail hour with their guests and have time to relax after the ceremony and before the reception.

There are a lot of ways to set up the "first look" shot but most of all, have fun with it!  Here are a few pictures for inspiration, two couples are Felicity C Weddings clients from this year and the other two were found online.  Enjoy!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Adult Goodie Bags

True or False: wedding favors are a recent tradition?  The answer is FALSE!  Wedding favors date back a few centuries (source) and many countries today celebrate this tradition.  Here is the US, many of us grew up expecting goodie bags at our classmate's birthday parties (even though our parents said to never expect anything but a thank you) and the adult equivalent is favors at weddings.  There are many people on both sides on the "should we or shouldn't we" debate.  I found this post and this post letting brides know that while favors are not required, here are some cost effective ideas to give a favor without breaking the bank.

As a wedding planner, I have a mix of emotions of favors.  I never believe that the couple should break the bank to provide favors.  But if there is room in the budget & it is important to the couple, then I'm all for favors.  And there is really no 'wrong' favor because it is all dependent on the situation.  Here are my 3 rules:

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Setting The 'Bar' High

I officially have a TWO NEW favorite dessert ideas for weddings: a candy apple bar & a s'more bar!! I know!  The first brilliant idea may seem like a fall wedding trend, but year round, who doesn't love candy apples?!  The Knot posted on a caramel apple bar but I say why limit it to caramel?  This fabulous idea is really catching on and there is no end to the creativity.  Speak with your caterer about options including caramel, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, and white chocolate syrups with various topping stations.  

The Ford Wedding (a Felicity C Weddings client) on September 25th wedding had their caterer custom create a s'more bar which was a HUGE hit with all ages.  I was so excited when the bride told me about this plan mainly because I have a severe weakness for s'mores and I love new ideas.  I can't wait for the professional pictures to come in, but I did manage to take a pic on my camera phone of the basic set up.  Aside from the low quality of the picture, what you are seeing are marshmallows & marshmallow 'heating sticks', chocolate bars, graham crackers, and a custom box for the flames.  Hope this inspires you for a fun dessert treat!  Enjoy!

Source: ME!

Monday, October 11, 2010

After The Wedding: Dress Decisions

So now that the wedding is over and the gifts have been sorted, there is still one lingering detail that you will see everyday... the wedding dress!  Most brides have it hanging in their closet until the hustle & bustle dies down and then they begin to wonder what exactly to do with the dress.  Well, there are a few options.  I did find this post on Wedding Paper Divas that breaks everything downs for brides:  
1. Preserve your wedding dress. This straightforward article from The Knot fully explains all of the details that go into cleaning, preserving and storing your wedding dress if you’re interested in keeping it.
2. Sell it. Trust us—there are plenty of brides out there searching for a gently used dress like yours. Check sites like Recycled Bride for all the details. You can recoup some of the money you spent on it, help another bride-to-be attain her dream wedding look and make an eco-friendly choice all in one fell swoop.
3. Donate your wedding dress. Charities like Brides Against Breast Cancer will take your donated wedding dress and resell it to donate the profits toward a good cause. We love the idea of starting your marriage off with an act of kindness!
4. Transform it. Take a look at your dress and try to envision transforming it into something else. If you are planning on having kids, it could make lovely little baptism outfits, booties or baby blankets. We’ve also heard of brides turning their gowns into everything from ring bearer pillows to place mats.
5. Trash the dress. Some brides decide that since they’re never planning to wear their dresses again, they might as well “trash” them and get a cool photo out of it. Some say they can still clean and donate their dresses after a trash the dress photo shoot, too.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Sports + Weddings= Awesome

If one created a venn diagram (remember those from elementary school?) with one side being all things weddings and the other side being all things sports, Sports Weddings by The Knot would be the complete middle of said venn diagram.  'Sports Weddings' has articles galore including how to propose at Fenway Park, real grooms cakes for inspiration, and sports favor ideas just to name a few.  I almost made this a "Groom's Corner" post but I hesitate to say that only grooms would be interested in this.  Not only are there many sports fan brides, but a lot of couples share 'fan-dom' in their college or local sports team.  This is for any couple looking to incorporate sports in any way, small or big, into the big celebration.

This website is so appealing because a lot of couples are unsure of how to incorporate a hobby or interest in a tasteful way.  'Sports Weddings' offers various ways to have a sports themed ceremony, reception and everything in between.  Some couples may want to focus on their school or team's colors or other couples may want to feature a specific sport.  I loved going through the photo galleries and especially the sports wedding board which is full of real brides who are discussing all their plans & giving great ideas.  I hope this website serves as a great resource for all the sports fan couples out there.  Enjoy!
In lieu of a traditional guest book, Allison and Josh asked their guests to sign a custom baseball jersey with the number 11 on it to signify their November wedding month. Later that month, they had a second reception in New Mexico and had guests there si... Using a jersey as a guestbook

Robin’s dragon boating team, the Oregon Women Lawyers Dragonflies, did a traditional paddle arch send-off for the newly married couple.
A 'Crew' couple gets married

In lieu of a groom’s cake, Dave chose baseball-shaped butter cookies. “An homage to his love of baseball and the Red Sox,” Sabeen says. “I attribute their world series win to those cookies!”
Baseball cookie favors

*All pictures are from the Sports Weddings by The Knot website

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A Dress Fit For a Princess

Most girls my age grew up with the Disney princesses.  We all have our favorite, whether we keep it a secret or not.  My favorite is Jasmine because she was the first non-white princess (finally a princess that I kind of resembled as a young Colombian girl!) and she is super gorgeous and kind of perfect.  This childhood filled with princesses probably is the reason so many brides want to "look like a princess" on their wedding day.  It is our first ideal of perfection, which is what all brides want for their big day.

Fast forward to 2010.  Famed wedding dress label Alfred Angelo has created a new line inspired by the Disney princesses!  Now, my first thought was lots of fluff and outdated ball gowns, but I was VERY pleasantly surprised.  I mean some of those princesses came from a time of ridiculous wedding fashion (hello 1990's!) but the key to this collection is the inspiration from the actual princesses.  There are actually seven iconic Disney Princess characters represented; Ariel, Aurora (Sleeping Beauty), Belle, Cinderella, Jasmine, Snow White and Tiana (The Princess and The Frog).  This post breaks everything down and even has a video of the collection's photo shoot!  This may not be for every bride, but you all have to admit that it is a really cool idea and you are at least going to check out the different dresses.  Here are a few stills of the 2010 princess collection!  Enjoy!