Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Quick List: Prepping For Your New Year's Party

New Year's Eve is always a special time of year- one week after the hectic Christmas rush and the start of a whole new year of possibilities.  By your mid-twenties most of us have experienced the overblown & expensive hotel party experience.  If this type of NYE bash is not your style and you are opting for throwing your own house party, here are a few tips to make your night more enjoyable and keep your guests happy.

#1.  A new chic way to label drinks.  This idea is so easy, inexpensive and awesome that I can't believe I hadn't thought of it before!  Dip the base of your wine glasses in chalkboard paint so guests can write their names on their glass AND the chalk will rinse off in the wash  ready for your next party!  This chalkboard paint to label idea can also be used on pint glasses and on wine glasses to give pairing ideas as well.

#2. Instead of spending a lot on a full bar, have a champagne bar.  Champagne is the drink for celebrations and specifically for New Year's Eve.  Create a champagne bar with different types of champagne, fresh sliced fruit and juices so guests can make any tasty cocktail from mimosas to bellinis to whatever their imagination can envision.  Also a free standing bar means the hosts can be free to mingle and not play bartender all night long.  Let guests know ahead of time that you are supplying a champagne bar and they are welcome to bring any other alcohol if they are not champagne drinkers.

#3. Decide ahead of time what your crash policy is.  This is one of the few holiday parties throughout the year that you can almost guarantee that guests will want to crash at your place instead of go home at the end of the night.  There are few things worse than drinking the night away carefree only to realize that there is no room for you to stay over.   Hosting guests overnight brings a whole new set of responsibilities.  In addition to letting guests know how many people can stay over comfortably and asking them to bring pillows and blankets, make sure you have all your linens clean and ready to go.  Maybe even put a few 'night lights' around for people who are not familiar with your house to navigate in the dark.  A nice touch is to leave a basket of helpful items in each room/ area where people will be staying over to include; bottled water, tylenol, tissues, travel toothbrush set and anything else you think your guests might need.  Better for people to find the ammenities basket than try to wake you in the middle of the night for something.

Do you have any other NYE party tips?  Leave them in the comments section or on the FCW facebook page!  Be safe and enjoy!

Friday, December 9, 2011

The Quick List: Making Your Holidays A Bit Easier

As we are right in the trenches of holiday shopping and all together holiday prep, I wanted to share a few tips for making this season a bit easier. 

#1. Holiday Cards-  As always, you have some options. You can buy cards (and upload your images) online in a 'one stop shop' like minted.com or vistaprint.com complete with printing and shipping, create your own template (I have used Microsoft Publisher) to send to your printer or you can buy stock cards without personalization (Target, Walmart, Kmart, etc.).  Well there is a NEW, affordable, time efficient option: using a professional template.  Blue Brush Studio on etsy.com offers uploadable templates on sale for as little as $3 and range up to $18!  I'm so excited about this new discovery, the one time purchase allows you to customize with your own photo(s) and print to your own printer instead of paying the printing and shipping fees associated with online card shops.   For that small template price, you can even splurge and print the cards off at a professional store like Staples or Kinko's.

#2. Gift tags- don't buy them.  Seriously.  They are such a waste since they are a one time use item.  My solution is for gift bags with tissue paper, fold a corner and write the 'to and from' on the tissue paper.  That way, the recipient can cut off that small section and re-use the tissue paper later.  


#3. Quick & easy recipes for your holiday parties- Most of us don't have time to make an elaborate dish for every holiday gathering this season.  While my tried & true recipe involves chocolate-covering pretzels and chips, I'm trying to expand my horizons.  Here are a few quick links to my favorite holiday recipes I've seen recently & I'm dying to try out!


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

New Look for FCW LLC's blog!!!

Now that 2011 wedding season is officially on the books, I am SO excited about 2012!  As my fellow vendors know, in the wedding industry there is no downtime.  But there is more time to work on my company during booking season.  One of my goals for the new year is to re-vamp the marketing efforts for Felicity C Weddings.  This is the first step, I really hope that you like the new blog and everything in it.  My goal is to make the blog cleaner and easier to navigate.  Let me know your thoughts on the Felicity C Weddings facebook page!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Introducing Felicity C Weddings LLC Consultation & Gift Certificates!

I have wanted to be a wedding planner since I was 15 years old.  I love the logistics (it takes a special person to utter that phrase), all things wedding and most of all, I love helping people.  I have been so blessed to work with so many great clients and their families in the 2.5 years since I started my company.  But I still understand that hiring a wedding planner is not a financial option for many couples.  Couples who still need direction and professional assistance in perfecting their wedding vision.  

Well, I have found a solution!  I am super excited to announce the introduction of the professional consultation service for Felicity C Weddings LLC!  I am offering my planning services by the hour, so that I can meet with couples to discuss the specific areas of wedding planning that are giving them the most trouble.  It could be overall organization, wedding budget, contract review, vendor selection, site visits, decor choices, ceremony and/or reception logistics, timeline of the day, etc.  I will also be offering my planning documents a la carte to the hourly consult clients.  The consultation prices are $65/hour for phone or skype meetings and $75/hour for in person meetings.  Please see the FCW website for specific details.      

In addition to the consultation, I am also adding gift certificates!  Let your friends and family buy a portion or all of your package for you!  Of all the gifts on your registry, wedding planning should be on the top of your list- this is an incredible gift from a bridal party or the groomsmen.  Or if you are reading this and know of a recently engaged couple, give them the gift of peace of mind.  This applies to all clients; consultation, day of coordination, partial and full planning.

As a special discount to introduce these exciting additions to Felicity C Weddings LLC, I am offering a discount for anyone who contacts me and purchases in the month of December!  $15 off your first hourly consultation fee and $20 off any gift certificates!  This discount is not advertised on my website, so it will only be honored for those who mention it when contacting me.  Spread the word to family and friends then please contact me at felicitycweddings@yahoo.com to get started! 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The 411: Kids At Weddings

I'm sure that most of us have some foggy memories of going to a family wedding as a child.  There was a lot going on, we were in uncomfortable clothes and everyone was really tall.  The idea of including kids in a wedding reception has mixed reviews across the board.  But if you do decide that you want the magic that only children can bring to a wedding, read on for a few tips to make sure that everyone has a great time! 

#1. Keep kids in mind, always.  For the ceremony, make sure there is a clear exit for guests with small children who may not be able to make it through a full sitting-still ceremony.  Bonus for supplying a small book or QUIET toy to keep kids occupied.  Also confirm that there is a place for parents to take kids out of the reception room too, just in case.

#2. Make sure there you provide a kids menu for the cocktail hour and for dinner.  We all know that kids can be picky eaters, make sure you talk to the parents and your caterer before the wedding to discuss any allergies and the final kids menu.  Parents may bring cereal just in case but if you can minimize what parents have to bring, all the better.
Photo credit: Procopio Photography, Ford wedding

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

When The Unexpected Happens- Why You Need A Planner

The foundation of wedding planning is logistics.  I like to say that I am in the business of solutions; that even if it is not my fault, it is my problem to solve.  The most accurate description of what I do is being a client advocate, making sure that everything and everyone involved is working for the best interests of my clients.  The day of your wedding you want to be calm, excited (yes, both at the same time) and enjoying every minute.  Peace of mind is priceless, knowing that if any issue comes up, you have a professional to handle it before you even know about it.  It is my job to have all the resources to pull together my client's vision.  Here are few true stories (mine included) of how a planner saved the day when the unexpected happened on a wedding day. 

I recently had a bride whose makeup artist had a huge family emergency the morning of the wedding.  The makeup was supposed to start at 7am for a 12:30pm ceremony and I got a text at 7am from the bride that the makeup artist couldn't make it.  After making a few calls, I secured a makeup artist who I had the pleasure of working with on another client wedding.  She turned her whole day around to come help my bride.  With the late notice and travel time, makeup started at 9:30am, 2.5 hours later than scheduled.  Thanks to working well with all the great vendors, I managed to catch up to the original timeline by cocktail hour and my clients had a gorgeous wedding day.   

My own image, camera phone 

Rain is what presented a huge problem for this couple, whose wedding site was on top of a hill and the only road up was a muddy mess which almost cancelled the wedding!  This smart couple had a planner that helped them move their entire wedding to a new venue, an industrial warehouse, and transformed the space with all the incredible vendors in a matter of hours!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Guest Post: Divine Transformation

One of the best parts of my job is meeting and working with great vendors who truly love what they do.  Rev. Laura Cannon & I make a great team for our clients and I am so thrilled that she agreed to write a guest post to discuss the most important part of a wedding- the marriage that happens after the big celebration.  Her experience as an officiant and relationship coach has given her some great insights, so read on and enjoy!

I am so lucky to be one of those people who absolutely loves their job.  How could I not?  Being a wedding officiant means that I get to spend one of the most joyous days of a couples lives with them.  But it isn't just the wedding day that I love.  I love being truly invested in my couples happiness, even after the big day!

One thing that I always discuss with couples is the importance of the engagement period.  Many couples look at the engagement period as the time to "plan the wedding."  By the time people meet with me to plan their ceremony they are already mentally bombarded with decisions about flowers, cake flavors, chair covers, linens, music... the list goes on and on. (Photo credit: Procopio Photography, Ford wedding 9/25/10)

I started asking couples,  "How much time have you spent planning your wedding so far?"  The answer was usually something like "too many to count."  On average a full-scale event planner takes 250 hours to plan a wedding, and remember, they know what they are doing!  I would follow up this question with, "How many hours of you spent planning for your actual marriage?" You know, the life that will be waiting for you after the cake is eaten and the music has stopped.  The response:  Deer in headlights stare.

Many of us get so wrapped up in planning for this one (albeit very special) day, we neglect to realize that planning for our married life is equally important.  Not only am I a wedding officiant but I am also a relationship coach.  I coach couples in all stages of their relationship from pre-engagement to post marriage.  From my work with these couples it became clear that there were definite indicators that I could see even before they walked down the aisle that would indicate how successful their marriage would be.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The 411: Small Business Saturday

Holiday season is upon us.  While we are welcoming back another year of holiday commericals enticing us to get our wallets ready for this huge shopping weekend, there is one new movement that is gaining a lot of steam: Small Business Saturday.  SBS is actually in its 2nd year and the whole point is for consumers to shop only at small businesses this coming Saturday, November 26th. 

We all know that Black Friday is a HUGE American phenomenon, with thousands of people camping out on Thanksgiving night in anticipation for stores opening at midnight with mind blowing deals on holiday shopping.  And yes, we all love the big retailers, but think of how many small businesses are overlooked?  Taking one day to support will make a huge impact on small businesses across the country, a boost we all need.  Shopping exclusively at these small businesses is not only good for the them, but think of all the personal interaction that you miss as just another face in the crowd at the nationwide stores, not to mention the unique gifts for your friends & family.  And just to be clear, small businesses are located in your community and online (hello Etsy!) so show your support however you want.   

Not sure where to find these great businesses?  Since social media is king, Small Business Saturday has a facebook page which allows small businesses to register and consumers can search their local businesses!  According to the Small Business Saturday Consumer Spend Survey 2011, 61% of consumers plan to shop at locally-owned clothing and accessories stores on November 26.  I'll be posting local vendors this week for you to check out, focusing on the great wedding vendors I've worked with through Felicity C Weddings.  Because of course you can shop for wedding items along with holiday shopping!  

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Wedding or Party: Tables & Desserts

It's back!  I know it has been some time, but there are too much awesome hard-to-tell-if-it's-a-wedding-or-a-party images to not do another post.  So, be honest and give your best guess.  Good luck!

 Wedding or party? Here is the answer.

 Wedding or party? Here is the answer.

 Wedding or party? Here is the answer.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Trendy Wedding Signs & New Sign Inspiration

Personally & professionally, I have a love-hate relationship with trends.  Trends are a good thing.  They move society forward, one idea can be interpreted in many ways and can spin out into 50 ideas.  But when a trend makes everyone feel forced to follow, that's when I'm over it.  I really believe that your style should be a mixture of ideas, inspiration AND your personal style. 

This is no different for your wedding day.  The wedding industry is not exempt from falling into trend ruts (hello 'rustic' decor).  It's not that wedding trends are bad, but I always encourage my clients to personalize their wedding as much as possible.  This means taking something meaningful to you and using it in your wedding- a favorite poem, lyric, pet names, etc.  I've also included some creative signs that I really like, hopefully they will inspire couples to create their own wedding style. Enjoy! 

Trend: Eat, Drink & Be Married
Image #340576
Update 1:
Update 2:
Image #340595
Trend: Just Married
Update 1:

Monday, November 7, 2011

Guest Post: The Military Bride Part 1

Military couples have the 'normal' stress of weddings plus a whole 'nother level- civil ceremony only? ceremony and reception for friends & family? when? where? before deployment or after?  My first military bride in particular is unforgettable- we planned together for a year and a half... while she & her Navy husband were stationed in Guam!  Throw in the fact that planning with my Guam bride included a 14 hour time difference, her husband was deployed for part of her stay and she conquered a few tsunamis just to name a few reasons why this is one planning process I will always remember. I've asked her to share her amazing story and she happily obliged.  You can follow her adventures on her own blog and on here as this is the first in three posts on her wedding story.  Enjoy!     

“Do you see him?” I whispered to my best friend, trying to discreetly point out the cute boy on the chip aisle of the grocery store. Casually leaning against the shopping cart talking to his two friends, his hoodie, with “Surf Rescue” printed on the back, caught my attention. And when I saw him turn a corner riding the cart, you know how we all used to -- both feet on the bar in the back, enough weight in the basket to counterbalance you -- I knew I had to meet him. Fortunately, one of his friends noticed my sideways glances and made sure they got behind us at the checkout line. My girlfriend and I giggled and glanced, but I wasn’t sure what to do. Would he be turned off if I approached? The cashier handed us our receipt; it was do or die. My friend nudged me, handing me a pen, and said “Just go!” Scrawling my name and number on the back of the receipt, I walked the long 3 feet closer to him and found myself frozen by the deepest brown eyes I’ve ever seen. I have no idea what I said or what he said to me, but he had my number and, embarrassed, I walked away certain I’d never hear from him again.

My phone rang late Saturday night and the next morning I listened to a voicemail fueled by liquid courage and decided he sounded normal nice enough. Sunday afternoon, after flopping on all of my roommates beds and debating every detail, I called him back. Pacing around my room on my cell, we talked for about an hour. He was part of the Corps of Cadets which didn’t phase me, my dad was a Colonel in the Army. My dad had also been in the Corps of Cadets at Virginia Tech, and met my mom there. I knew what the military was about. Chris was a Navy brat and was hoping to be a pilot. Our first date led to a second, a third and soon we were officially a couple. My first experience with how the military would play into our relationship was his summer cruise. He was sent to San Diego for a month to learn about life on a carrier. I stayed in Blacksburg taking summer classes. It was only a few months into the relationship so I honestly wasn’t too affected by it. He came back to Blacksburg for the rest of the summer and our relationship grew. A year older than him, I graduated in December of 2005. This began our long distance relationship. He graduated in May 2006 and was accepted into Flight School. In the following 3 years, he would move every 6 months, to Florida, Oklahoma and back to Florida. I stayed in Maryland working and going to visit every 4-6 months. He asked me to move in with him when he moved from Oklahoma back to Florida, but the timing for me was off and I had to say no. I wondered if I had missed my chance. He became a helicopter pilot and got orders to Guam. I was crushed. No that doesn’t do it justice. I curled into a ball and sobbed thinking I was losing my best friend. He was going to be training in San Diego for 6 months before going to Guam and I decided to go with him. I figured the time together would help me decide whether to wait for him or call it off when he moved to halfway around the world. We packed as much as we could into his Camry, I sold my beloved 1994 Honda Civic and we drove across the country to North Island Coronado Navy Base.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Hitched!!! Turner Wedding 8.13.11

One of the most rewarding parts of my job is seeing not only my clients fully enjoying their big day, but also seeing the two families coming together.  Even more rewarding is working with a family on more than one wedding!  After working in April on the Williams wedding, I was contacted by the wife of Mrs. William's cousin.  Frances & Paul Turner had a court ceremony in November 2009 and were planning a full blown ceremony and reception for all their friends & family in August 2011.  Frances had been planning for over a year and half when I came in the picture for Day of Coordination and we had such a good time working together, I truly have the BEST clients. 

Frances & Paul already had a great foundation for their wedding and had chosen some great vendors which made my job easier.  The bride, her female relatives and the mother of the groom were pampered by Monica Cook Make Up Artistry and Silver Immersion, who worked their magic on the hair styling.  The ceremony & reception were held at Notre Dame of Maryland University in Baltimore, MD and the caterer was the on-site SAGE Dining Services.  I could not be more impressed with any particular aspect of this site- the Marikle chapel is breathtaking (see photos below), the site coordinators Bodga and Mo were amazing and the catering was delicious with a great staff to boot.  Father Thomas Malia officiated the full Catholic mass complete with Philippine traditions to honor the bride's heritage.  Elaine Bryant of Harp Shadows provided the ceremony music and the entire wedding day was captured by Beverly Lynn Photography.  Decor was completed by the always amazing My Flower Box Events LLC who provided the gorgeous floral arrangements for the ceremony, reception and all family flowers. 

The reception music and MC duties were handled by Walt of DJ Dunick who was kept the guests partying until midnight!  Last but not least, the delicious wedding cake was crafted by Sweet Bakery Baltimore. All of this was made a success by having my fabulous sister, Jeanette Carmody, as my event assistant.  There were so many great details it was hard to narrow down to this post, check the Felicity C Weddings facebook page for the complete album.  I sincerely wish the Turners years of happiness and love!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Guest Post: The Wilmington Photo Booth Company

Chances are that if you have attended a wedding in the past 2 years, you probably have seen a new vendor who is making a splash in the wedding industry: the photo booth!  This new option is guest friendly but being so new, some couples may not know what to look for in a photo booth vendor.  Enter Pete Marroni, owner of the Wilmington Photo Booth Company in Wilmington, DE, with some insight for couples to consider when choosing a photo booth vendor.  Take it away, Pete:

Photo booths are quickly becoming a must at wedding receptions. The buzz they create is unmatched at a wedding. So where do you start if you are choosing a photo booth company?

Have you seen a photo booth in action? If you have seen one or two photo booth companies in action you can use them as your starting point. Nothing beats seeing the photo booth company in action. As there are huge differences in quality and fun with the various companies. If you haven’t seen any companies ask around. Who should you ask? Anyone who has hired a company in the past is a great way to start. You can ask friends and family who you’ve known to been at an event with one, however you may not get the complete feel fro how the whole process worked and how the dealings were with the company. If you’ve hired an event planner they are a great resource. Event planners have typically seen many photo booths through their work. Often they can tell you the pros and cons of each company. The venue contact should know a great deal about photo booth companies as well. Both the venue and event planners love sharing this info as if you hire someone who has a good reputation it makes their job easier. Once you narrow down a few companies we recommend setting up appointments to go and see the photo booths in action. This can be done at their office or at a bridal show/public event. Be weary of anyone who is not willing to show their product.

What does the photo booth look like? There is nothing worse then having a great setting and having a cheesy looking photo booth. Again this comes down to seeing is believing. Also ask or see how many guests can fit into the frame. Many times you can only get two or three faces in a shot. If you want large group shots (which enhances the fun) make sure that the photo booth can accommodate. 

Is the company full time?  How quickly did the company get back to you after initial contact? Many companies have started a part time business and if they have you want to make sure that they are still responsive. Make sure that the company is fully licensed and insured. Many venues require the latter and require a certificate to confirm this. Also the quality of website that the company has is a pretty good indicator of how serious they are about their business.

Is the company receiving good reviews? As with all wedding vendors, on-line reviews are a great way to weed out the less than stellar performers. Testimonials on the company website are fine, however they are only going to put up the good ones.  A great resource for reviews are independent sites like the Knot and the Wedding Wire for instance.

How nice are the prints? A photo booth company that spent the extra time ensuring that they are producing high quality prints is worth looking at. How nice does the graphic and text look on the strip? How quickly do the prints come out? This is a very important aspect of your photo booth experience and is often overlooked. Ask to see samples from different companies.

How nice are the extras? The same could be same for props, memory book, frames and other options. See if the company reuses props. Ask to see a memory book and ask to see what company they use for their memory book and check out their reputation. The memory book is something that you will look at for years to come. Quality may not mean anything now but 5 or 6 years down the road a book that has held up well will stand out. Also check to see about place cards, thank you notes or save the date magnets. All of these options enhance the total experience.

How accessible are the prints after the wedding? With social media being king you want to make sure your guests and you have the ability to get the photos digitally after the event so they can easily be put on facebook. Some companies may not host the photos at all or they may charge you extra. Sometimes they are watermarked or they only get put up for a month. Also check to see what size photos are accessible and if the strips themselves are accessible. You may also want to check to see if guests can get additional strips after wedding at no extra charge? Many times only two strips print out and if there are ten people in the shot either 8 or 9 people are losing out on that memorable shot.

What kind of value are getting? Getting what you pay for is very important in today’s day of age. When comparing prices make sure you look at the overall picture, as sometimes cheaper is not better. True value comes from weighing all aspects of your experience. Good luck!


Peter Marroni
Owner/Event Consultant
The Wilmington Photo Booth Co.
(302) 388-3619
"Capturing You at Your Finest"

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Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Quick List: Fall Celebrity Weddings

Fall is undeniably the new wedding season.  Felicity C Weddings is smack in the middle of client weddings which has been equal parts amazing & crazy busy.  It seems that I am not alone, many celebrity wedding planners have been busy as well.  Here's a quick list of recent celebrity weddings.  Enjoy!

Molly Sims, Sept 25. Source
 Seth Rogan, Oct 1. Source

 Paul McCartney, Oct 9. Source

Nikki Reed, Oct 16. Source

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Inspiration Station: Spooktacular Party Ideas

Yep, I did use the word 'spooktacular' like some run of the mill haunted house advertisement.  But part of the fun of Halloween for me, a bonafide scaredy cat, is the campy nature of the holiday.  Corny & scary go hand in hand and with so many great party ideas out there, I wanted to share some of my favorites.  After reading so many posts with elaborate Halloween displays, I've decided to group together my favorite that are both low cost and easy DIY for decor & food/drinks.  I even included some FREE printable signs to add some pop to your party.  Enjoy!

#1. Marshmallow ghosts aka why didn't I think of this before

Halloween Ghost Treat Display

#2. Spooky candy bar
Spells and Potions Halloween Jar Labels

#3. Spiderweb dip- add sour cream on top of guacamole for the web by starting in the center & drawing lines out to each edge.  Then create the 'web' by drawing lines in a outward facing curve from line to line.  Finally, use knife to smooth down original lines from center out to the edges.  Piping the sour cream would work best.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Quick List: Bridal Market Deliciousness

I recently took the leap & joined Twitter (hello shameless plug, follow me @FelCWeddings).  Although I'm still getting my 'sea legs' and it is overwhelming pretty much every time I log in, I ADORE the instant access to New York's bridal market (or #bridalmarket for those in the know).  Bridal market is essentially the Fashion Week of the bridal industry with designer runway shows of their newest bridal gowns and fabulous parties for networking with all the creme de la creme of the bridal industry; Martha Stewart, Angel Sanchez, Colin Cowie,Vera Wang and Monique Lhuillier just to name a few.  Wedding bloggers that I follow on Twitter have allowed me to live vicariously through them as the post runway & behind the scenes photos as well as exclusive party photos- even virtually attending Martha Stewart's party was pretty exciting.  Here are a few quick links to the full collections coming out this week.  Enjoy!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Hitched!!! Fuller Wedding 5.28.11

I'm so EXCITED to bring you the professional pictures of the Fuller wedding on May 28, 2011!  Kevin & Dawn hired me as their day of coordinator and I had so much fun working with them!  The ceremony and reception took place at the Turf Valley Resort in Ellicott City, MD which is where I met them in January at the TVR Bridal Extravaganza. 

Kevin & Dawn are a sweet, fun loving couple who work in the same building on different floors officially met while both stopped at a stoplight leaving work after seeing each other heading in to and leaving work for a few months.  And the rest is history!  Living outside of DC this couple loves to travel, go out on the town and spend time with their close knit families.  Since there were a lot of out of town family & friends joining the celebration, the full service Turf Valley Resort was the perfect place for this Memorial Day weekend wedding.  Now getting down to wedding details, the bride's makeup was done by Beauty N The Bride.  The whole day was captured by Drew of His and Her Photography who was a pleasure to work with and definitely has a passion for his work.  The ceremony was held in front of the gazebo on the beautifully manicured property on a perfect day and performed by Starlene Joyner Burns of SJB Ministries, LLCStereo Strings provided the ceremony music thanks to a talented trio who had a very personal connection, one of the musicians had taught the bride's sister years ago! 

The reception was held inside the Turf Valley Resort's Wedgewood Room and cocktail hour was held in the entry room to the Wedgewood with framed photos of the couple's engagement photos on display with the escort cards.  The room's beauty was enhanced by Blondell’s Accent on Events providing blue uplighting and a personalized gobo design (see photos below!) and the amazing floral arrangements were provided by My Flower Box Events LLC who never cease to amaze me.  This couple definitely has talented friends, Melvyn Prince of Prince Productions a long time friend was their DJ and kept the party going with infectious music all night long.  The Turf Valley Resort staff were so professional & on top of their game which included the delicious dinner.  As a sweet treat, the lovely & delectable wedding cake was provided by Debi's Cake Studio.  Last but not least, I need to thank my amazing event assistant, Kellie O'Connor, who made my life easier with all her hard work.  Once again, congrats again Mr. & Mrs. Fuller, it was a joy to work with you both and I wish you a lifetime of love!


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Guest Post: Why SO Serious? The Photography Trend Of Not Smiling

A lot of my post ideas come from other blogs I read.  When I came across this OffBeat Bride article, "Whatever You Do, DON'T SMILE", it was so intriguing that I had to send it to some photographers who I really admire to see their opinion.  And here is what I discovered, both photogs made really good points for each side.  If you are a couple who is unsure what direction you want to go for your wedding day photos, these two professionals break down the trend so you can decide what is best for you. Enjoy!

Lindsay Hite, ReadyLuck: I've been noticing that myself on the blogs too recently.  I say if it reflects the couple's personality (maybe a deadpan, or dry sense of humor), why not?  I think a big part of creating beautiful images that the couple will enjoy long after their wedding day is all about playing off of their vibe, and what's important to them.  Recently, I've made a few portraits with serious expressions, and they've been successful because they work as individual images, and in the context.  If the couple is bursting at the seams smiling, why try to stifle that- go with it!  Sometimes, if people have their "photo face" on and I can see in their eyes that their mind is elsewhere, I remind them that it's ok to relax and try to bring them back into the moment.  Bottom line, trends are trends but the images that are true to the couple will last.

Annabelle Dando, Annabelle Dando Photography: I think, unfortunately, in the process of creating "fine art photography" (which in and of itself has become a trend nowadays) some photographers have forgotten that their clients aren't just models in nice dresses/outfits and cool settings. Instead of remembering that they have been hired to document all the joy and bliss and love (and sometimes tears) that go along with a wedding, they see it as a production, almost, in which they are directing a "shoot" trying to up the ante and create something epic. While I'm all for epic photography, and I think it can have its place in a wedding, I think some photographers have got to remember that the clients don't want to look like models- they want to look like themselves, captured brilliantly. Yeah, models often do look miserable and "super-serious" in their fashion shoots, but if you look at mock wedding shoots set up by magazines or designers, the pictures never have the amazing energy that exists with people who are happy or in love. Sure, grab one or two serious shots, just to mix it up if you'd like, but I don't think it should be done in overkill.  Getting real smiles (or any type of real emotion) is the best part of being a photographer with a documentary instinct. To tell people to do the opposite of what they're feeling is to shoot yourself in the foot, in my opinion.  I have taken pictures that I love compositionally, but I doubt my subject will love how they look- so it doesn't end up in the "keep" pile.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Quick List: J. Crew Addition & Bridesmaids' Newest Option

As much as I have grown to enjoy blogging for Felicity C Weddings, I have noticed that there is a direct correlation between how busy I am with how many posts I can get out monthly.  Client meetings and vendor timelines will always come first obviously.  I don't even want to tell you how many started posts I have waiting in my queue to review, complete and actually post.  And it is not like the inspiration is slowing down, just my blogging time.  So here is my solution- quick mini posts so I can feel validated.  And here we go.

As mainstream stores and designers are getting in on the wedding action, wedding fashion has gotten to the point of always evolving and changing as quickly 'regular fashion'.  Anyone in the know is already aware of J. Crew's fabulous wedding collection of bridesmaid and bridal gowns.  Now J. Crew is a one stop shop to fulfill all your bridal needs as they have added a menswear collection!  The J. Crew wedding collection for the groom and wedding party is so well made and versatile that the clothing can be worn again and again which is great for your budget.

Another shot of awesome to wedding attire is the budget friendly trend of bridesmaids in skirtsGreen Wedding Shoes offers up a lovely amount of inspiration for this look.  At first glance this trend may seem better suited for more casual weddings but the sames rules apply; formality is determined by fabric, length, color and accessories.  So keep this as an option and have fun with the possibilities!  Enjoy!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Two Years or To Forever?

As much as I adore weddings and everything wedding related (decor! music! lighting! attire! jewels!), above all I really, really, really, adore and respect the institution of marriage.  In that same thought, I pride myself on working with 'marriage clients', not just 'wedding clients' as I love seeing couples focused on the life that starts beyond the big day.  Commitment means something different for each couple; some couples choose to elope after a few months, some waiting a few years and some couples remain monogamous without ever making the trip down the aisle (hello Goldie & Kurt, poster children of long term commitment).

The couples who do choose marriage do so knowing that they are choosing forever.  Well, that may be changing soon for some Mexican citizens. This week news broke that Mexico City is considering a 2 year marriage contract, which would allow newlyweds an 'easy exit' (the article's words, not mine) from their marriage.  If the couple is still happily together, they can choose to renew their marriage certificate.  Yes, I know that realistically the divorce rate in the US is 50% but I can't say that I think giving people an easy out will do anyone any favors.  Getting a tattoo just because you know you can get it removed by lasers in a few years is not a good reason to get a tattoo.  There will always be people who don't take marriage seriously (I'm looking at you, Britney Spears), but the basis of marriage is the whole 'for as long as you both shall live' part.  On the flip side I can see the advantage that not spending the time, energy and money on a divorce would present to couples.  If this law does pass, I'm super curious to see the results in the next few years.  I'd suggest at least some counseling before the couple decides not to renew their marriage certificate.  But I'm not the law, here or in Mexico. 

What do you think of this proposed law and do you think it should be an option in the US?  In Europe? Anywhere?  I know this is a political and religious issue, both topics I generally stay away from in a public forum.  But considering that it is specifically focusing on marriage and has the opportunity to effect many couples, I'm excited to see your thoughts!