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 fiancĂ© 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