Monday, March 28, 2011

Variety IS the Spice of Life

If you can plan a can plan anything.  It is a common truth in the event planning industry and after planning corporate events, social events, and weddings, I can honestly tell you that weddings are the most involved planning experience inside & out.  No matter which package my clients choose, weddings have an enourmous amount of details and required communication between multiple people (the couple, the parents and all their vendors).  Then you add in the emotions that come with wedding excitement and working with vendor timelines and schedules, weddings are the largest events in every area imaginable.  And call me crazy, but even with all the hardwork involved, I do love weddings because they truly are the most rewarding events to plan. 

But it is nice to get the opportunity to scale down and plan other events.  The only way I can describe the difference would be the difference between preparing for & hosting a huge holiday (Christmas, Hanukkah or Thanksgiving) at your house versus celebrating family birthdays throughout the year.  For 2011, Felicity C Weddings is already working on a weekend soccer tournament, an anniversary party, and a few corporate events.  I must say that it is nice to switch things up.  I feel so grateful to be a part of such a varied roster of celebrations and I think I keeps me fresh for weddings to work in other event planning areas.  I felt drawn to event planning since I was in high school- my love of organization and attention to detail kept my nose buried in wedding magazines & my mind focused on getting into the industry.  And in my personal life I never give up an opportunity to plan something special for the people that mean the most to me.  I know my posts are usually industry information-driven but I wanted to take time out to talk about what Felicity C Weddings has in store for this year.  Stay tuned & thanks again to everyone that supports my passion of event planning!

Love makes the world go 'round.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Party Essentials: How to Stock Your Home Bar

One of the quickest ways to jumpstart any party or event is to have a great bar setup.  If it seems impossible to keep a stocked bar at home, you are in luck. If you have an upcoming party and just want the basics down, the geniuses at have simplified the task by creating an easy how to list for stocking your home bar for $100.  This article breaks the bar down for a small cocktail party, a 30 person soiree and a 'rager'.  If you are looking to furnish a complete bar, there are a few more guidelines.  Either way, you need to stock alcohol, mixers, glassware, and barware- its just a matter of how much.
Here is a list of the basic barware you need for a great cocktail station.  The basic list of alcohol is as follows; Bourbon, Brandy, Canadian Whiskey, Dark or Spiced Rum, Gin, Light Rum, Scotch, Tequila, Vodka, Rye Whiskey.  Obviously if you have a favorite drink or friends that fancy a particular flavored liquor, you might want to keep that in stock as well.  The basic list of liqeuers are as follows; Amaretto, Irish Cream, Creme de Caco, Coffee Liqueur, Dry Vermouth, Sweet Vermouth, Orange Liqeuer.  Mixers are a long list and depending on your preferences, you may need feel the need to stock each one although the most common are light and dark sodas, juices, tonic water, and of course ice.  And last but not least, the list of garnishes ranges from margarita salt to orange slices for a Blue Moon (a personal favorite!). 

Additionally, make sure that you avoid a serious party foul by having enough glasses for the party.  Whether you choose red cups or martini glasses, ideally each guest should keep the same glass for the same type of drink but it is always safe to have extra glasses available.  Wine charms are a great way to identify different people's drinks in a fun way.  If you are having a more formal party, like an engagement party or an upscale birthday dinner, a great idea is to hire a bartender for the event.  Think of your friends' younger-but-of-legal-age siblings who would be willing to learn a few cocktails for some cash.  It will take the stress off the host to know that the bar is in good hands.  Cheers! 

Back Bar

Monday, March 21, 2011

Guy's Corner: Guidelines to Choosing Your Wedding Band

Wedding rings are the universal sympbol of marriage but tend to be overlooked in the first few months of planning of wedding.  Typically the engagement ring is fitted with the wedding ring in mind so they compliment each other.  The jeweler will show the groom-to-be the options for wedding ring settings when he is buying the engagement ring and then the couple can return a few months before the wedding to choose their wedding bands.  While most women have thought about their wedding band and what they want, the guys are usually a bit intimidated by this process.  Most men don't wear a lot of jewelry so this is a big decision.  The basic questions to keep in mind are:

#1. Budget- Make sure that you both know your budget for each ring before you step into the jewelry store.
#2. Basic Aesthetics- Do you like gold or silver?  Silver has many options from the carat amount to platinum vs. regular silver.  But knowing the direction you want to go helps narrow down all the option from the beginning.
#3. Lifestyle- Do you work in manual labor and require a simple design as well as a durable metal? Do you want a sleeker ring that is more formal to compliment all your business suits? Think about the fact that you will wear this ring everyday in plain sight.
#4. Design- Do you want your rings to match, compliment, or neither?  Some mens bands do have diamonds embedded, is this a look that you want?  This is probably a question that doesn't occur to most guys but it is important that you both are happy with both wedding bands. 

Here are a few ideas for options.  There are a lot of articles out there about wedding bands, I really like OffBeat Bride's picks for starters.  Enjoy & happy purchasing!

wedding ring sets
Engagement ring and wedding band setting

wedding rings

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Inspiration Station: St Patrick's Day

Although March is not officially wedding season yet, many couples choose to have weddings this month and some choose to incorporate St Patrick's Day themes.  This also works if you or your spouse-to-be is of Irish heritage and you are looking for ways to honor your families with great details, not matter what month your wedding.  If you don't want a full blown Irish wedding, choose just a few details like the garter or the shamrock in the boutonnieres.  I'm sure many wedding blogs will be putting out Irish inspiration boards today, but here are a few of my favorite details to add to your big day.  Enjoy! 

First Row: Source, Source, Source
Second Row: Source, Source, Source
Third Row: Source, Source, Source
Fourth Row: Source, Source, Source

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Thinking Outside the Country Club

To quote Dave Matthews, "it's not where but who you are with that really matters".  Hotels and country clubs are such an expected wedding site that when couples choose to branch out for their venue, people take notice.  USA Today recently featured an article about a couple who had their ceremony & reception in the last place anyone would connect with weddings- a funeral home. Yes, you read that correctly.  A lot of couples are choosing to have their ceremony and/or reception in a place that reflects them such as on top of a mountain, a BMX bike park, a museum, ceremonies while biking, and even an aquarium to name a few unique sites. 

The important details to focus on when planning a ceremony or reception at an atypical site are the logistics.  Make sure that the facility is equipped to hold a ceremony- bathrooms, accessibility, and parking are obvious concerns.  And for a reception there are obvious catering concerns in addition to overall space.  If you find a great offbeat site but it does not have a site coordinator or someone who will sit with you to discuss logistics, keep looking.  And if you are not sure if your potential site will fit for your wedding, you can always find a wedding planner who will be happy to lend expertise.  Enjoy!  



Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Modern Take On A St Patty's Day Party

We're just about a week away from St Patrick's Day & it got me thinking about how people celebrate the Irish holiday.  The most obvious way is to head out to the bar for some green beer & Jameson (if you dare) dressed in as much green as possible.  The holiday falls on a Thursday this year and it will fall on a workday most years.  So what if you can't afford to get crazy when you have to work the next day or if you are like me and afraid to indulge since there will definitely be alcohol checkpoints set up across the country?  I have a solution for you.  I was inspired to create a modern take on SPD by Hostess with the Mostess blog's post on a SPD beer tasting happy hour.  My twist is to make it less of a happy hour tasting and more of a full-fledged party. 

The idea of a beer tasting is a great concept, but can get very pricey both with beer costs and based on the amount of guests.  Since the weekend is directly after SPD this year, why not have friends over to celebrate that Friday or Saturday?  For hosts looking to do a potluck, ask everyone to bring their favorite Irish food or drink.  There are so many great options; Irish soda bread, beer bread, cornbeef and cabbage, a mashed potato bar just to name a few and I would definitely have some Guinness & Jameson available.  Maybe even include Irish coffee.  The type of beer is up to you and don't feel obligated to dye all the beer green if you have a lot of light carpeting in the house.  Be sure to ask your guests to dress up in their Irish best and decorate your house in tons of green too.  The final touch is to put out tons of sweet treats with an Irish flair (shamrock cookies, cupcakes, etc).  Here are some pictures for inspiration.  Enjoy!

St. Patrick's Day Beer Tasting

St. Patrick's Day Beer Tasting

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Importance of Editing Your Wedding

Anyone planning a wedding knows how many decisions there are to make & this process is too often complicated by the enormous amount of bridal resources- blogs, wedding websites, wedding tv shows, magazines, bridal shows, etc.  Yes, this planner is saying that there is such a problem as too many resources.  Indecisiveness is not only very time consuming but too many choices in addition to the desire to have "the best wedding ever" puts a lot of pressure on today's brides. 

As someone who subscribes to various bridal blogs, everyday I see hundreds of new and inspiring wedding ideas.  It is very tempting to incorporate every cool thing you see but no one wants a wedding that is all over the place & incohesive.  Editing simply means separating what you like & why you like it to focus the planning and design process.  Here are my top 4 rules for editing your wedding:

#1. Start out with a list of what you want your ideal ceremony and reception to be.  If you want a romantic feel, that will rule out industrial spaces and modern colors.  The budget, season, location, and formality of a wedding strongly dictate the rest of the planning so make sure you have those details sorted first.  Did I mention the budget? Yes, the budget directly effects every aspect of your wedding.  There is nothing that will ruin planning faster than a bride being disappointed because she has unrealistic expectations.     

#2. Keep a file (on your computer or an actual folder) of images that you like with notes of why you like those details. Also keeping track of details that you strongly dislike (no roses anywhere, no gold, etc.) can sometimes be more helpful in the beginning stages than figuring out what you do want.  It is kind of similar to how you pick a major in college- knowing what you don't like helps to eliminates most of the choices right away.  Focus on the feeling or environment that you want to create inside of what you need to have.  Once you have a few images picked out, creating an inspiration board is a strategic way to make sure all the elements are cohesive.   

#3. Make peace with the idea that you have one wedding and you cannot (in good taste) jam in everything you see from online, tv, and magazine resources.  This is not a competition. Repeat.  A wedding should reflect the couple & their families, not bragging rights to compare against any other wedding.  Trends change every couple of years and you should not feel obligated to stay away from or give into a popular trend.  Weddings that equally focus on the couple and the guest experience will never go out of style.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Guy's Corner: The Sweet Treat Coming Your Way

The groom's cake may be one of the coolest traditions to move North since polo's, khaki shorts, and sandals.  The Southern tradition of the bride "gifting" the groom with a special cake is making its way around the country in a big way and has been growing in popularity in the past few years.  According to the history of a groom's cake, it is "not to be served to the guests while at the wedding reception, but rather it was to be sliced up, placed into packages and given to them as favors when they departed. Single women at the wedding would take their pieces of cake home and sleep with it under their pillows in hopes of dreaming of their future husbands" (source).  Since the idea of sleeping with cake under your pillow is not required, many modern couples do serve the groom's cake at the reception.  The groom's cake is separate from the traditional wedding cake and features the groom's hobbies, favorite sports team, or anything groom-related.

Some brides choose to surprise their grooms with this special cake since honestly, how much do most guys know about wedding details?  This is a small but awesome gesture to show that the wedding day really is about the groom too by honoring his favorite things in a delicious cake.  It is a great addition to the traditional cake or to serve at the rehearsal dinner.  I picked out some truly kick ass cakes to give you inspiration.  Enjoy!

Spectacular replica of the Boston Red Sox's stadium. Source 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

How To Expand Your Photography Timeline

The two biggest factors in creating (and sticking to) a wedding day timeline are the timelines of the photographers & caterers.  Mostly the photographers since there is only so much daylight and time in one day to get all the most important shots.  To condense the photographer timeline a lot of couples have started doing the "First Look" shots which takes a twist on tradition by having bride & groom see each other before the ceremony.  This is a personal choice for each couple but not everyone is on board.  For couples who don't want to compromise tradition to get all the photos they want, the newest option is the here- day after the wedding photo shoots. 

The pro's are definitely more time & a relaxed environment (as in, no rushing around) for just the bride & groom.  Couples taking a few days to relax before they go on their honeymoon are the best choice and you don't necessarily have to do the shoot the very next day, it can be the next week if that fits in better with your schedule.  This couple choose to have their day after shoot on a boat since that is a very special place for them but there is no limit on locale.  Couples can re-dress in their wedding attire or change it up for different pictures.  The flowers are still fresh and there is no pressure to keep your wedding dress clean or perfect which is completely freeing.  This couple choose to do their day after shoot in an orchard and even styled the shoot similar to an engagement session with great details.  Destination weddings are always a tighter timeline so if you want to get the most out of the location the day after shoot is a great idea like this couple did in Sedona, AZ.

The con's would be that an extra photography session will cost you and of course, you would need to find a location ahead of time for the shoot so there is extra planning involved.  Whatever your situation, it is nice to have options.  Here are some beautiful day after photos, enjoy!

nautical wedding

bride with vintage suitcase bug

bride and groom day after sedona