Thursday, March 29, 2012

FCW Takes On DIY- Intro

One of my business goals for 2012 is to try out the fun DIY projects I spot online.  I have so much respect for those who live to do-it-themselves but I have to admit that most of the projects I see intimidate me.  I may be creative but crafty I am not.  I do love creative and personalized details in weddings and I always make sure my clients do a few test runs to see how much time, energy & expense is really needed.  And from that came my brilliant idea to try out these ideas first then post about it to let people know what they are getting themselves into- if I can master a DIY project, ANYONE can master it.  Here are a few that I've had my eye on, the first three are wedding projects and the last two are more fashion/ home decor.  Check back to see my progress aka keep me accountable, happy DIYing!

diy tassel garland fringe confettisystems metallic tissue paper

DIY ombre wedding ideas

pink and yellow neon shoes DIY

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Quick List: Sweet Decor On The Cheap

I'm always on the supreme look out for awesome deals on decor.  Always.  Especially when the decor can personalize your event.  Here are a few recent finds that are low on cost and high on fun.  Enjoy!

#1. Show off your love.  Pinhole Press makes it affordable to personalize your wedding day champagne or wine with your own photo to utilize as table numbers, favors or add to the beautiful table decor.  At $8.99 for 9 labels, this is a price that will definitely give you the most bang for your buck.  Fun extra: use these labels on champagne at the engagement party or order labels with a special wedding photo to put on your favorite wine to open on your first 9 anniversaries.

#2. Blow UP your love.  I'm super in love (pardon the pun) with these adorable heart shaped balloons from Mignon Kitchen Co.  I've seen a bunch of weddings with balloon decor and what says "hello, we're in love" more than these cuties?  Great for engagement, anniversary, birthday and Valentine's Day parties as well!

#3. String UP your love.  How freakin' easy is this adorable heart board?  Green Wedding Shoes posted the full instructions for this DIY heart which can easy take other shapes to match the wedding theme or even use the couple's initials. 

DIY giant string heart

Friday, March 23, 2012

The 411: Chevron Style

Chevron is one of those words that you may only know if you are already knee deep in wedding.  The long story is that the chevron design appeared as early as approximately 1800 BC in archaeological recovery of  designs on pottery and rock carvings in the modern day country of Greece (source).  The short version is that chevron is a popular pattern utilized in stationary and decor for today's weddings.  If you have fallen in love with this design as much as I have, here are a few ideas of how to incorporate this fun print into your big day. Enjoy!

#1. Stationary.  Simple and pretty, using chevron for your invitations sets a great tone for what guests can expect at your chic wedding.  Continue the theme with menu cards and programs with this pretty design.

 wedding decor advice and inspiration

#2. Decor.  The easiest way to incorporate a print into your wedding is in the decor.  Napkins, utensils and linens are a fun, cheap way to tie in your colors and theme.

shop sweet lulu chevron print spoons

#3. Attire.  The decor isn't the only area that can indulge in this print.  Dress up your wedding party with items that they will definitely use again and again.  And don't get left out, here's a sassy rehearsal dinner dress for the bride!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Less Is More: Embracing Simplicity In Your Wedding

As many fantastic ideas, themes and details are out in the wedding world today, it all can be very overwhelming.  For me, there are very few scenarios that are worse stylistically than seeing an event with random details thrown in.  Every now and again I do come across really simple and gorgeous wedding posts, whether it is an engagement shoot, real wedding or even elopement.  I want couples to know that simplicity should always be considered and here are some great examples of how less really can be more.  Enjoy!

#1. E-Shoot without the frills.  This shoot is proof perfect that a couple in love is the only theme you need for gorgeous engagement photos.  If an elaborate theme is not your style, skip the 1940's bike, the multi-colored macaroons with fussy sets... just let the 'theme' being how much you two are in love!

engagement photos in the rain

#2. A sanity saving elopement.  I have pulled a 180 on my feelings about elopements since I started Felicity C Weddings LLC.  I used to wonder why couples would choose to keep such an exciting day private but after working with many clients I realize that a huge celebration is not for everyone.  Sometimes the stress of pulling together a huge, expensive bash gets away from the point of the wedding, which is to start a marriage.  I love this sweet winter elopement featured on Ruffled which manages to walk the line between elegant, simple and celebratory.

Winter Elopement at Devil's Thumb Ranch

#3. The freedom of choosing the simple path.  One of the best parts of my job is passing on inspiration to my clients so that they can truly have the elements that they want.  This bride featured on 100 Layer Cake chose one wooden flower for herself and for each bridesmaid since real flowers 'are expensive... they die and they didn't seem to fit our theme'.

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Quick List: My Favorite Non-Traditional Wedding Dresses

It's all in the title, I have come across some pretty amazing wedding dresses that go beyond the typical pretty white gown.  Being adventurous with your wedding gown is not for everyone, but if you are looking for some inspiration, here you go!

bridal party in orange and pink
orange wedding dress ocean

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Weddings Of The World: Irish Handfasting Tradition

What better a post on St. Patrick's Day than the Irish wedding tradition of handfasting.  "Handfasting is the tradition of lightly binding the hands of a couple together using a cord, rope, ribbons, a scarf, tartan or strips of fabric (source)."  While the idea originated with the Greeks and Romans using flowers (source), this wedding ritual took on its current form in Ireland and Scotland.  Since there were not always priests in each town to perform ceremonies, a marriage was legally binding once the couple had performed the handfasting ceremony (source).  Today many couples choose handfasting to honor an Irish/Scottish heritage or if they really love the symbolism of the ritual.  Even Prince William and Catherine incorporated handfasting in their royal wedding last April.    


An Outdoor Handfasting Ceremony 

As for the actual cords/ fabric used to bind couples, each ribbon in your handfasting set has a special meaning (source).  

  • Red: passion, strength, lust, fertility
  • Orange: encouragement, attraction, kindness, plenty
  • Yellow: charm, confidence, joy, balance
  • Green: finances, fertility, charity, prosperity, health
  • Blue: tranquility, patience, devotion, sincerity
  • Purple: Power, piety, sanctity, sentimentality
  • Black: strength, wisdom, vision, success
  • White: purity, concentration, meditation, peace
  • Gray: neutrality, canceling, balance
  • Pink: unity, honor, truth, romance, happiness
  • Brown: earth, grounding, talent, telepathy, home
  • Silver: treasure, values, creativity, inspiration
  • Gold: energy, wealth, intelligence, longevity  (Photo source)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Favors Your Guests Will Love (And Actually Take Home)

Favors are a tricky area of wedding planning.  There are not required but have become so mainstream that many couples feel obligated to gift their gifts with something extra... you know, in addition to a lovely ceremony, (free) cocktail hour/ dinner/ dancing, etc.  Because favors are just that, something above and beyond what is expected. 

Now favors are popping up at lots of pre-wedding events too which actually makes more sense to me.  My preference for favors if couples want to give them is to choose either edible items or make a charity donation.  However there are always exceptions to the rule.  I have found a few great ideas for favors outside of my typical guidelines.  Never feel pressured to buy favors, but if you are so inclined, are a few more suggestions.  Enjoy!  

#1. Wedding cake flavored vodka airplane bottles.  While this is not the perfect favor for every guest list, if your nearest and dearest love cocktails, they will love this fun idea.  Pearl Vodka's wedding cake flavor is not just for the wedding though, this would be a great add on to any pre-wedding festivity; engagement party, bridal shower or bachelorette party.

before#2. Instagram magnets.  Talk about personal and useful!  Using the instagram app you can make magnets of your favorite photos!  I like this idea much better than save the date magnets which looked dated after the actual wedding has passed.  You can use engagement photos (extra points for holding 'thank you' signs) or any photos that go with your specific theme. 

#3. Personalized lollipops.  No, not lollipops with your beautiful faces on them.  This fabulous idea from I Do Crafts is to use your engagement photos to create the illusion that you and your love are holding a lollipop for each of your guests!  Confused?  Check out this post with a full explanation or just look at the adorable finished product below.  This is taking the edible favor an awesome step farther and I think your guests will really appreciate your creativity and attention to detail.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Quick List: Celebrating St. Patrick!

It is no secret that here in America we celebrate March 17th with an excitement that rivals our own patriotic holidays.  While actual 'Irelanders' go to church on the holy day of their patron saint, Americans wear green, make Irish food and drink (a lot) of green beer and Guinness.  Here are a few more ways to honor St. Patrick, enjoy!

#1. I did two Irish posts last year, one suggested a beer tasting party and the other using St. Patrick's Day as wedding inspiration

St. Patrick's Day Beer Tasting

#2. Irish inspired dessert recipes.  So many delicious treats and only one day to indulge!  I'm pretty excited about these chocolate stout cupcakes with Bailey's cream cheese frosting.  And these adorable leprechaun hat s'mores.  Oh and who wouldn't drool over this lazy grasshopper dish? Who knew there were so many Green Isle confections?
DIY Tutorial: Leprechaun Hat Smores 

St. Patrick's Day dessert recipes
#3. Looking to go all out? Here is the top 10 list of the best St. Patrick's Day celebrations stateside.  Ever since I heard about the Charles River being dyed green a few years ago, celebrating March 17th in Chicago is (still) on my bucket list.  
  Green River Chicago

Friday, March 9, 2012

Let's Hear It For The Bride: Guam Based Lifestyle Blogger

I'm so excited to write about this previous client, Abby Himes.  One of the best parts of my job is creating friendships with my couples and then staying in touch after the wedding.  I've actually know Abby since high school and she hired me to help plan her stateside wedding while she was living in Guam with her Navy husband Chris after they were married in a 2009 civil ceremony.  Their vow renewal/ "family & friends" wedding was held on October 3, 2010 and she has contributed to some guest posts (here and here) on her experience.  While moving half the way across the world might seem impossible to some people, Abby has taken on the challenge head on and has inspired me along the way.

Abby started a blog to log all of her adventures when she first moved to Guam after Chris' initial deployment in May 2009.  Just in the past few months she has moved/ updated to a new blog, Seaweed & Sassafras.  I subscribe to S&S on my Google Reader and it has become one of my favorite lifestyle blogs!  It is a fun and info packed blog with great posts on shoppinghealthy recipes, travel and eco friendly issues close to Abby's heart.  I have to admit that posting is a huge task to keep up with and Abby's posts always make me want to make time right then & there to work on the FCW blog.  This post showcases her love of running (she ran a half marathon last year!) and has great ideas for gear including a super useful water bottle that I'm pretty in love with.  Oh and she posted this week that she is offering a Cuisinart Giveaway, you know, just because she is awesome.

And in case you needed more evidence of awesome, Abby is featured in Fitness Magazine's 12 Healthy Success Stories!  While she has always been fit, in the article Abby discusses how moving to Guam inspired her to try different fitness activities outside her comfort zone.  She went from the elliptical machine to zip lining, hiking and running lots of races like that half marathon.  Trying new fitness activities sure beats a treadmill slump!  Be sure to check her blog out and I know you won't be disappointed. 

Abby Hines

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Hitched!!! Eisold Wedding 11.19.11

Within the first few minutes of meeting Alex and Samantha in early September, I knew that I wanted to be a part of their wedding day.  I am happy to bring you the professional pictures of the Eisold wedding on November 19, 2011!  Working with this couple as their day of coordinator was so great because they both had a lot of ideas and wanted to make this a very fun, personalized celebration.

Starting out the big day, the bride's makeup was done by a private Mary Kay consultant and the bridal party hair was done at Howard County favorite, Symmetry Hair Studio.  Photographers Collen & Mike of Perskie Photographics And Design were on hand all day to expertly capture all the moments, big and small.  Alex and Samantha are a sweet, fun loving couple who met in college at University of Maryland and chose to have their ceremony at the UM Memorial Chapel. This had extra significance because Alex's parents go married at the same chapel 28 years ago!  The wedding party arrived in style to College Park thanks to A Touch Of Class Limousines and the ceremony at the Memorial Chapel was officiated by Reid Robinette who had so many wonderful moments that he recalled from their pre-marital counseling sessions such as why Samantha loves Alex and vice versa.  Sunny Helms provided beautiful ceremony music as an accomplished pianist.  

After the ceremony the guests were directed to Turf Valley Resort.  After an extended cocktail hour in the Waterford lobby, the guests enjoyed the reception in Turf Valley's Waterford ballroom.  The room's beauty was enhanced by Blondell’s Accent on Events providing lighting draping above the dancefloor (see photos below!) and all of the wedding day's amazing floral arrangements were provided by Cattails Country Florist.  The cocktail hour and reception music was provided by Event Entertainment's Phil who did a terrific job as the MC as well.  The Turf Valley Resort staff never cease to amaze me, they were so professional and on top of their game which included the delicious dinner.  As a sweet treat, the lovely and delectable wedding cake was provided by Turf Valley's exclusive baker, Debi's Cake Studio

Last but not least, I need to thank my amazing event assistant, Christine Jermusyk, who made my life easier with all her hard work.  Once again, congrats again Mr. & Mrs. Eisold, it was a joy to work with you both and I wish you a lifetime of love!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Hitched!!! Foschetti Wedding 10.9.11

I am SO pumped to debut the Foschetti wedding from this past October!  The sincerest compliment to a vendor is another vendor's referral.  I was referred to Joe and Jean through their officiant, Rev. Laura Cannon of Divine Transformation, who is one of my preferred vendors.  Working as Joe and Jean's day of coordinator was a great experience for me and the wedding was a beautiful reflection of their style.  I really felt like I got to know both Joe and Jean during the planning which always helps me pinpoint the important details of the big day.  And what a day it was!  They tied the knot on a warm, gorgeous Sunday in October with the ceremony and reception both celebrated at The Engineer's Club at the Garrett-Jacobs Mansion in Baltimore's historic Mount Vernon neighborhood.  Site contact Krystal Atkinson was so professional and accommodating at our site visit and rehearsal that I knew that the wedding day would be just as organized. 

The bride and her bridal party's hair and makeup were perfected by Ashley and Steffani from Up Do’s For I Do’s, LLC.  The groom & his groomsmen chose to get ready at the Peabody Court Hotel Downtown Baltimore which also hosted out of town guests and the rehearsal dinner while the ladies got ready on the second floor of The Engineer's Club.  This elegant hotel is super conveniently located ONE block down the street from The Engineer's Club, which I loved.  Having the whole wedding party in close proximity to each other and the site is a planner's dream by the way.  Thomas of Thomas Graves Photography excellently captured the entire day (see photos below).  He and his wife (who was his assistant for the wedding) are the definition of a great team, be sure to check out his blog to get a great insight into his style.  Having a wedding video was very important to Joe and Jean who chose videographer Jim of 5ive Star Media Productions to film their big day. 

The ceremony was in the Drawing Room which was beautifully enhanced by the floral arrangements from Little House of Flowers.  Owner Julie Upchurch took such care in her work and it definitely showed in the ceremony and reception flowers as well as the wedding party flowers.  This couple definitely has talented friends, two guests sang as part of the ceremony which added such a personal touch.  The cocktail hour was held in the open courtyard and illuminated by blue uplighting supplied by DJ AJ of AJ Productions, who ran sound for the ceremony and provided a great soundtrack for the cocktail hour and for the entire reception.  The Engineer's Club staff provided a delicious dinner for the reception which was held in the Ballroom and the tasty wedding cake was from Sweet Bakery Baltimore.  As a fun extra for guests, Perskie Photographics & Design provided a photo booth with props for the reception and the photos doubled as favors!  

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. Foschetti, it was a joy to work with you both and I wish you a lifetime of love!