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I always thought that if Etsy had a specific wedding site, it would be Wetsy but that sounds like an outdated doll that pees itself (good thing I wasn't in charge of the name!).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!


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Fra-gee-lay. That Must Be Italian*

Now that it is November and Thanksgiving is on its way, Christmas and Hanukkah are not far behind.  I have already seen Christmas decor in stores and it seems like it is out earlier every year.  Putting aside the commercialism of the holiday season, it is really a great time of the year to see family and celebrate another year together.  The best way to celebrate is with a holiday party!  I know a lot of companies are cutting out holiday parties last year and probably this year but there are fun and inexpensive ways to get your jingle bell on without going bankrupt.  Or having a holiday party for your friends at your house.  One of the best and most fun ideas is to have a "secret Santa" or "white elephant" where each participant secretly chooses another person's name out of a hat and then the only person getting a gift for the name chosen.  It is never too early to plan, so I am posting some tips and inspiration.

Tip #1-  Definitely send out invitations and send them out as early as you can.  Facebook invites or text messages are nice to give people a heads up but having something to remind your guests of the date every time they head for the fridge is ideal.  Plus, the holidays are a busy time and people's availability often books up pretty quickly.  You can purchase invites online this the one posted below OR you can get creative and make your own.  I have used Microsoft Publisher the past couple of years for invites and holiday cards.  The only cost is printing that you can do at home or go to local printing shop.  Color printing is usually priced according to amount of pages, so make sure to ask that your invites are printed 4 to a page.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wedding or Party: 1st Edition

As a wedding planner, it is part of my job to stay up to date with current industry trends and ideas.  So, I routinely scan through dozens of blog posts a day (a couple hundred weekly) to get inspired by other planners, real brides, and anyone with creativity.  Not all the blogs that I follow are wedding-based and especially with Halloween recently, there have been a lot of fabulous decor photos floating around online. 

The great thing about modern weddings today is that there are very few rules left and this is so clear is all the different variations I see on these posts.  I have started to see a lot of inventive event decor that I realized could be great for a wedding or a casual party.  Since I could not easily distinguish what type of event it was, I thought I'd make a game out of it.  So look through the following photos and decide if they are from a wedding or just another party.  Be sure to let me know on the Felicity C Weddings Facebook page how well you did!  Enjoy!
Wedding or Party?  Here is the answer 

Monday, November 1, 2010

Inspiration Station: Dia de Los Muertos

Today is Dia de Los Muertos or "Day of the Dead", for those of you who are not familiar with this Mexican holiday, and it is celebrated November 1st and 2nd every year.  I spent a semester in Mexico (in the fantastic city of Puebla, which is about 2.5 hours southeast of Mexico City) while in college and I was fascinated by the elaborate details of this holiday which celebrates those who have passed on.  Families and friends create altars/displays for the deceased person with gifts or objects dedicated to that person's memory.  These gifts can be anything from favorite food & drink to photographs to actual gifts (shirts, soccer balls, etc).  It actually has very little to do with the commercial Halloween that we celebrate the day before (Source).  Here is a typical offering table or 'ofrenda':

I was lucky enough to be in Mexico for this holiday and I went with my roommate to visit a museum in downtown Puebla which had a Dia de Los Muertos exhibit.  There must have been 70 ofrenda tables and all of them were as unique as they were elaborate.  Knowing that these ofrendas were for real people made the exhibit that much more interesting.  It was pretty awesome to see such a personal celebration in public.

This fascination with Dia de Los Muertos is not only in Mexico.  Many couples are using this theme for their weddings that fall around November 1st.  Here are a few photos of the theme tied into weddings from real couples. Enjoy!