Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Paperless Eco-Wedding Mag, Duh!

I'm always on the lookout for new ideas to pass along to FCW clients.  Specifically, I have been paying a lot of attention to the "green" movement & finding resources that dive into wedding specific ideas that go beyond the typical "reduse, reuse, recycle" mantra.  The genuises behind the Eco-Beautiful Weddings have come up with a widely accessible and waste free way to spread the green word!  They have a daily blog and 4 seasonal issues per year with a few 10 page 'mini mag' issues thrown in for good measure.  The latest issue is for Summer 2011 which features a green guide to Chicago on page 30, a kids section on page 54 and a green giveaway on page 103 just to name a few topics.  The issues are fairly new to the site and date back to Winter 2010 but because there are all online, you can access back issues anytime!

For example, I looked into the Winter 2011 issue and found an eco-friendly guide to serving fish at your wedding on page 106. If you want DIY instructions for a French Provence decor, turn to page 48.  Tips on how to make your rehearsal dinner "green", turn to page 69.  And for real couples wedding inspiration, check out page 72.  I must point out that you can purchase this in print edition, my favorite part about this "e-magazine" idea is that couples can easily keep track of and send ideas to their wedding party, family and most importantly, their wedding planner.  Take it from a girl who has stacks and stacks of wedding magazines in her office as we speak- it can feel like a waste when there are only a few great ideas that jump out at you from 200 pages.  Most of us are online most of the day anyway, so be sure to check out the blog & e-magazines for some great green inspiration.  Enjoy!

Spring 2011 mini mag

Fall 2010

Summer 2011

Saturday, June 25, 2011

FCW Behind The Scenes

I have been wanting to do this post for a long time.  I know there are still people who are not sure what I do on the actual wedding day.  In my opinion, if guests don't really pay attention to me that is the best sign- that means the couple is the center of attention & everything is flowing smoothly. 

In actuality, over the course of the day I really am floating around constantly, trying my best to be in multiple places at once.  Here are a few never before seen photos of me working client weddings.  Whether I am lining up the bridal party, fluffing up the bride's dress for the processional or just keeping track of the timeline, I love what I do and being behind the scenes.  Every time I do spot myself in the background when I look over the professional photos, I can't help but smile since I never look camera ready and mainly since it is my job to stay OUT of the professional photos but sometimes it just happens.  Enjoy!

Monday, June 20, 2011

FCW Is Growing!

2011 has been a lovely & exciting whirlwind so far with the main theme of growth at the center of my chaos.  In April I celebrated 2 years of being in business and I have had the pleasure of working with so many wonderful couples, families and amazing vendors (old & new friends) so far this year.  It was obvious to me in late 2010 that as my schedule booked up, I was in need of an event assistant to be a second "me" on event days.  The tricky part was not only finding time to train this assistant but also making sure the candidate understands my vision for Felicity C Weddings since this company is my baby. 

Skip to the present and everything has fallen into place perfectly, I am so excited to announce that Felicity C Weddings has a new event assistant on board!  Kellie O'Connor worked on her first wedding on Memorial Day weekend and I could not be happier with how the day unfolded.  Join me in welcoming Kellie to the team, I have known her for over 10 years and I can't wait to work on more client events with her.  Now here is a little of background info from Kellie:

"Born and raised in Howard County, MD, I currently work for an employee benefits firm in Hunt Valley, MD.  I have many years of experience in catering events including birthday & anniversary parties, corporate functions and weddings.  I look forward to expanding my event experience to include planning and coordination working with Felicity C Weddings. Watching an event come together from beginning to end has always been an exciting and energizing experience for me.   In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my boyfriend, family and friends, trying new foods and restaurants and going to concerts.  Most of all, living in Baltimore and being a huge Baltimore sports fan, I love going to Orioles & Ravens games."

Monday, June 13, 2011

Thank You, Gracias, Merci

During wedding planning, most couples are focused on the details of the big day.  When you get back from the honeymoon and start to settle into your new lives, there is still one more wedding related task on your plate: writing the thank you's to your guests and vendors. 

Thank you notes may be less common in our normal lives but etiquette is still a large part of weddings.  Save yourself stress by preparing for thank you's along the way.  There are two main divisions of wedding thank you's; pre-wedding and after-wedding.  Starting with pre-wedding, keep an organized guest list (with full addresses) and keep it updated as gifts come in before the wedding.  Although you are expected to send thank you's for all pre-wedding gifts (engagement party, bridal shower, etc.), the pre-wedding thank you's don't have to match the rest of the stationary and you can find great quality ones at Target, WalMart and A.C. Moore to name a few stores.

For after-wedding thank you's, start to think about the design.  You will need to decide if you want to stay consistent with the rest of your wedding stationary; the invitations, programs, escort cards, menus, etc.  If you do, order your thank you's with your other stationary to save on shipping two separate orders. Wedding Paper Divas posted recently with new ideas for thank you cards.  If you think you may want to use your engagement or wedding photos, you may want to create a special "thank you" sign specifically for your after wedding thank you's cards.   Let your photographer know ahead of time so you can discuss the expected timeline for getting back the professional photos.  Speaking of vendors, it is always nice to sent a note letting your vendors know that your appreciate their hard work on your big day.  And last but not least, make sure to order new return address labels for your newly married selves!  Hope these tips help, enjoy!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Mismatching Is Not A Dirty Word

As a professional wedding planner, I have very few rules that I enforce on my brides.  The main rules are to ease in logistics for the wedding and as far as personal taste is concerned, I remain as neutral as possible.  But when brides press me for an opinion on decor that is not logistically based, I draw on ideas from my experience and research.  As many options there are for modern brides, there seem to be even more stress over the traditional wedding rules.  Decor and attire need to fit the wedding theme, season, formality and location.  But gone are the days that everything needs to match, instead coordinating elements to fit the aesthetic is the fresh way to style your wedding as a whole.

There is a fine line between throwing pieces together and style coordination.  The key to coordinating different elements into a cohesive style is finding one main similar factor.  Since this is such a broad rule, I've come up with a few examples to better explain.  For decor, you want china patterns for your table settings.  Your main factor can be that all of your plateware are flowery china patterns or they are different designs all in blue/red/whatever color you want.  This is enough of a base to keep an entire table of separate china designs looking whole.  Basically, the main theme has to be unifying, whether it be the material, color, design or shape. For centerpiece vases, the main factor could be that all the vases are glass or all one size if they are in different materials.  Color is a great unifier, different sizes & shapes of candles all in the same color family create a great visual.  The real advantage to this new style of coordinating elements is that aside from expensive rental companies, it is hard to find mass quantities of any one item.  Coordinating gives couples more freedom and can cut costs dramatically.

The next is the wedding party attire, which includes the bridesmaids, groomsmen and all children involved.  Any woman who has been a bridesmaid knows the importance of 'wearability after the event' since those pretty dresses are not cheap.  Not to mention that if you get a bunch of women together, they are all going to have different body sizes and types so finding one dress can be difficult.  So what is the main factor for coordinating dresses?  You can either have the same dress in different colors or you can choose a few dress styles all in the same color or you can have different dresses that are in the same color family.  After you have the dresses figured out, then match the groomsmens' ties with the colors.  Hope this has given you a few ideas and possibly some courage to step outside the matchy-matchy box.  Enjoy!
anemone bouquet 

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Knowing When To DIY

Personalized and cost effective are two words that come to mind when most brides decide to take on DIY projects.  In reality, "Do-ing It Yourself" can be overwhelming and stressful if you take on too much.  So how do you know what will be a great project and when should you leave it to professionals?  The main rule is to consider the actual amount of time/energy/money needed for the project.  Ask yourself if your bridesmaids available to help, can it be finished in a weekend, is this project really going to add to my wedding and are you really saving money by DIYing?  When DIY projects succeed, they are spectacular personal items with real sentiment.  On the down side, I did once see a reality tv bride stressed to the max scrambling to finish individually painting 200 mini pumpkins for her escort table the day before her wedding- who needs that hassle?

DIY items can range from decor to attire to favors to stationary.  The main areas brides should stay away from DIY are the vendors- especially forgoing professional photographers, caterers and rental companies. Any web savvy bride can find multiple DIY posts on wedding blogs each week.  Here are a few of my recent favorites.  The Wedding Chicks have a whole DIY section and frequently post on their blog DIY wedding details.  Like this post detailing how to make your own birdcage veil, this post giving instructions on how to make your own strawberry jam favors, or this post on how to create custom drop earrings.  Another one of my favorite blogs, Hostess With The Mostess, posted this floral DIY, making your own country chic decor.  This post on no sew bow ties is perfect for adding some prep from Style Me Pretty.  Last but not least, Ruffled blog showcased upcycling vases & lanterns.  Enjoy!



Friday, June 3, 2011

Videography Just Got Really Cool

A huge part of my job is creating & maintaining relationships with amazing vendors.  Aside from contacting local vendors, I am always on the lookout for new approaches/ services for my wedding clients.  Budget is always a concern for couples in planning mode but especially in this recession, couples are choosing very carefully which vendors they select.  Typically, videographers are the first vendors cut from the list, a lot of couples view wedding videos as an unnecessary cost and let's be honest, a lot of wedding videography from a few years ago is pretty boring and standard.  I've only had one client use a videographer, the service was a family friend's gift to the couple.  Videos are supposed to capture the fun & excitement of the day from all angles and I am so excited to have found a really cool way to get the wedding video couples want at a price they will love. 

Enter StoryMix Media.  In addition to offering different videography services for business, weddings (save the date videos!) and consumers, they just launched a new service, My Flip Wedding.  The idea is to have your friends & family be your videographers for the whole day with flip cameras and then you send all the footage to StoryMix Media to be edited and packaged.  Starting at $99.99, you will receive 1 HD flip camera (with 2 hours of footage), 3 day rental with return shipping label, get to choose from 10 movie themes, get a Hollywood intro to your final video, access to an online storyboard to pick scenes & arrange order, captions, titles, preview & approval of final edit online and 1 dvd with edited movie plus the raw footage!  And there are plenty of other options available such as 3 and 5 camera packages and a week long camera rental for your honeymoon.  And if you already have your own flip camera, there is a customizable package for you as well! 

I just found out about this company so while I haven't recommended this to any of my clients, I definitely will in the future.  And if you aren't currently planning a wedding, this makes for a great gift for your favorite engaged couple!  Most people are not video editing whizzes and you can't beat the price for everything included, especially the behind the scenes coverage from the couple's nearest and dearest.  Since I'm not tech whiz myself, I couldn't figure out how to upload their sample videos on this post but check out the links for complete information.  Enjoy!