Archive for January, 2008

I had a blind date!

Thursday, January 31st, 2008

I was having coffee last week with the super cool Jenny from Seedlings and she told me that I really should meet Amy from C Studios because we would be lovely friends. Now, I LOVE when people tell me that I should be friends with one of their friends – I take that as a huge compliment! That they would think enough of me to want to introduce me to someone they think highly of. Very cool compliment.

Well, Amy and I had our ‘friend blind date’ yesterday over lunch and Jenny was 100% right – we talked for 2-1/2 hours and just had the best conversation about weddings and life and documenting and celebrating both in a way that is important and worthy of remembering in the future for future generations. It was a wonderful conversation with a really cool new friend that really just energized me. I came home all geeky and happy – Randy was making fun of me last night but I LOVE new friends! Especially ones who GET it!

You will learn more about both these amazing women and the fabulousness that they create every day in my Conversation over Coffee series coming up in the next few months.

In the meantime – a question for you: when was the last time you set up a ‘blind date’ for friends? It is so hard to make approach someone like we did as kids and make new friends so why not facilitate that in your circle and make that circle that much bigger?

Countdown to IKEA

Monday, January 28th, 2008

IKEA – that incredible bastion of cheap Swedish fabulousness is opening in West Chester (Cincinnati) on March 12! Yippee!

If you have never been, start making plans for a road trip – they have amazing things for your house, for weddings, for general happiness. I mean seriously, can’t explain the love I have for IKEA – you will just have to experience the joy yourself.

Anyone up for a road trip?

Wedding Vendor Giveaways!

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008

A few wedding service giveaways from around the blog-o-sphere:

Banks Photography is giving photography coverage to one lucky couple in the Columbus area. You must enter by February 4.

The lovely and wonderful Liene from Blue Orchid Designs in Arizona is giving away Wedding Day Coordination to one lucky couple getting married in 2008. The wedding includes her travel so it can be anywhere in the US – don’t let her location deter you. You must enter by January 31.

Genevieve Nisly Photography is giving away photography for a deserving couple in NE Ohio only. You must send in your entry by February 1.

Comfort Photography is giving away her Silver Package. You have until Feb 14 to enter this one so get over there!

I KNOW there are more floating around so if I missed one and you want me to add it – let me know!

Candy Bar Tip

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008

If you are planning on doing a candy bar at your wedding and want to do M&Ms, have I got a tip for you!

All 11 to 14 oz bags of M&Ms are buy one, get one free right now at CVS. This includes the red, white and pink Valentine’s Day bags!

If you want all green M&Ms, I have an even better deal for you! Just sign up for the CVS Extra Care Card and you will get $3 back for every 2 bags you buy of the all green M&Ms bags. You can buy up to 10 bags and if you buy all 10, you get $15 back from CVS in the extra care bucks – basically money you can use for anything you want in the store! Combine that with the buy one, get one free deal and you will pay $2.50 for 10 bags of all green M&Ms – that should be enough for at least one or two jars on your candy bar!

This is only good this week so get moving!

Refunds on Diamonds…

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008

From an article from MSN.com:

“If you bought a piece of diamond jewelry — or jewelry with a diamond in it — between Jan. 1, 1994, and March 31, 2006, you may be eligible for a refund as part of a recent settlement of a class-action lawsuit alleging that De Beers, the big South African diamond company, had cornered the market for diamonds for decades, keeping prices artificially high.”

The level of refund is going to be based on how many people respond – I mean there are a lot of people who bought diamonds in the time frame listed so you know a lot of people are going to respond. But depending on how much you spent on diamonds you could get up to 59% of the retail value of the jewelry. There is a chart on the MSN link to figure out how much refund you might be eligible for.

You can either go to the DeBeers Settlement website and fill out the form, download a .pdf claim form to mail it to the address on the form, postmarked no later than May 19 or phone 1-800-760-5431 to get a form mailed to you.

On a different but very related note – have you seen the movie Blood Diamond? Okay, it was just a movie but more than that it is a very eye opening depiction of the blood diamond trade, of which DeBeers has been a big part.

20 Hot Wedding Trends from the UK

Monday, January 21st, 2008

From the Times Online. I added my thoughts following certain trends.

1. Black orchids
Are you over boring white ones? You should be. This year, it’s all about the black orchid. At $400 per table centre, from the florist Jamie Aston (020 7387 0999), it’s the rarest and most exclusive breed. It isn’t cheap, but boy, does it have impact.

2. Red
If you’re searching for passion, “make your day full-on red”, says the Alist wedding planner Liz Taylor, of Taylor Lynn. Red marquee? Check. Red tablecloths? Check. Red lips? Check, check, check.

(My thoughts: I think purple will be much more popular than red on this side of the ocean but we’ll see!)

3. Couture cakes
In black and white icing, or white with dark chocolate, designs become nipped and tucked, neat and flawless. Look for gilded chocolate patterns with hand-piped black pearls, or black and white polka-dot frills, for a flamenco feel. Sequins, pearls and frills will also be big this year.

4. Marquee villages
Marquee mania has taken over. This year, marquee villages are big news, says Simon Sinclair of Berry Marquees: Multiple structures, combining smaller intimate areas with larger reception spaces, rather than traditional tents, will become de rigueur.

(My thoughts: Love this! I think using tents as drama is fantastic as well – do a series of tents for each piece of the wedding. One for the ceremony, then onto the cocktail hour, into the reception, finally ending up in a gorgeous lounge for after hours.)

5. Imaginative favours
Forget the sugared almonds, buy each of your guests the ultimate favour – an iPod Nano preloaded with your and his favourite tunes.

6. Extreme dance floors
If you want red-hot feet, rent the Savoy’s dancefloor, on which Fred Astaire and Frank Sinatra dazzled on their many visits there. Bentley’s Entertainments, which did the planning for Posh and Becks’s wedding, has just bought it; it’s available for hire from $500.

7. Monogramming
Monomania is huge in the States, and it’s heading here, too – everything from monogrammed invitations and dining plates to favours and wallpaper. Check out Wonderful Graffiti Wedding, which will monogram anything and everything. Wonder Walls does personalised wallpaper.

(My thoughts: as they said, this has been huge for quite a while here in the states. I love that they mentioned Wonderful Graffiti. I had the pleasure of meeting Mary – the brains behind the super cool decals – at a meeting recently and she is fabulous! Even better? They are based right here in little old Columbus!)

8. Bespoke honeymoons
Want a luxury igloo in the Canadian wilderness? Or perhaps a mud hut in the Kalahari is more your thing? Either way, no problem. Based on a True Story is a bespoke holiday company that will make even the wildest honeymoon dreams come true.

9. Sweetheart tables
Can’t be bothered with the emotional minefield of planning who sits where on the top table? Forestall the family feuds by seating just your two selves at the best idea we’ve ever heard: a sweetheart table.

(My thoughts: another wedding detail that is very popular here and is heading overseas.)

10. Chandeliers
So flowers aren’t your thing, but you want to avoid that conference-room feel? Go for bling instead, by hanging chandeliers above each table for guaranteed wow factor. Or just put a big one in the middle of the room. To hire them, visit Glory Chandeliers. If that’s too expensive, opt for cool lamp shades instead.

(My thoughts: I can think of at least 5 sites in Columbus that this would work in really well!)

11. Orchestras
Full-on concert-style entertainment is where it’s at this year. Fly in your band from the Continent and your DJ from America. Check out Swan, a sensational 19-piece ensemble from Paris who are a favourite at footballers’ weddings. They come dressed in white and include an electric violinist and Ibiza-style podium dancers (available through www.tlc-ltd.co.uk).

12. Grazing
Forget the usual three-course sit-down do. Instead, mingle while you munch, thanks to the trend for grazing. Set up food stations around the room: think sushi bars, canape kitchens and a pudding bar. For one wedding, we took in Yo! Sushi – the belt, the stools, the high-top tables, everything, reports the London-based caterers By Word of Mouth.

(My thoughts: file this under “how to please as close to everyone at the same time.” Stations are a wonderful option if you have different cultures you want to represent as well!)

13. Superstar arrivals
Craving a grand entrance? Do it Moroccan-style by entering the party on the shoulders of your best men, as they carry you on ornately painted wedding chairs.

14. Eco-weddings
You do your recycling. You offset your carbon emissions. Now it’s time to go the whole hog and have an eco-wedding. Arrive on a rickshaw, use an electrical generator and grow your own flowers. Oh, and don’t forget to recycle Auntie’s wedding dress by wearing it.

(My thoughts: green weddings are getting more and more popular and common – even if you don’t do the whole wedding green, there are a lot of little things that can make a big difference on your wedding’s carbon footprint!)

15. Hand-delivered invitations
With the post being so unreliable these days, more and more brides are opting for their wedding invitations to be delivered by hand. Just remember to use the ordinary post for ones to Australia.

16. Woodland fantasies
Love magic? Then follow one bride’s example and create a purple forest wedding. Spray trees purple, and mass purple and lilac flowers around the trunks. Make each table centre look like a scene from the enchanted forest in the Harry Potter books.

17. Brights
It won’t be all white on the night if you’re getting married in 2008, as flashes of hot colour are set to become the latest trend. Think turquoise and icy blues with a shock of orange or purple.

(My thoughts: I am seeing more and more brides who aren’t afraid of color – the brighter, the better!)

18. Multiple themes
Difficulty choosing your theme will no longer be an issue, according to Kelly Chandler, director of The Bespoke Wedding Company.  “We’re currently planning a wedding with four themes: a Russian drinks reception, with vodka cocktails and caviar; a lunch with an Asian theme, featuring bamboo mats and oriental flavours; then a circus school for after-dinner entertainment. We’re finishing with a Moroccan afternoon tea – mint teas and sweets, with guests seated on low cushions.”

(My thoughts: another great way to bring different cultures into a wedding. Heck, I want to plan a circus school – how cool would that be?)

19. Black wedding dresses
“Turn the white wedding on its head and wear a black wedding dress with your bridesmaids in white,” says the London-based designer David Fielden. Sarah Jessica Parker did the black meringue years ago, and look -  she’s still married.

(My thoughts: I have seen wedding gowns with black accents, sashes and other touches but never a completely black dress. Red and blue are the accent colors that I have seen more than any others.)

20. Small, decadent weddings
Got a $30,000 budget, but like only 30 people enough to want to invite them? All the better. Small, decadent weddings are increasingly popular – imagine paying for everyone’s flights to Italy, hiring a yacht for you all to lounge on, then buying everyone’s spa treatments, champagne breakfasts and personalised menus. Start married life as you mean to go on.

(My thoughts: what a way to treat your honored guests like…well, REALLY honored guests!)

Some very interesting ideas – it will be fun to watch and see what makes its way over the pond!

Wedding Dance Surprise

Monday, January 21st, 2008

There have been ton of clever first dance videos circulating but I thought this was too sweet! This was a surprise for the bride from her Father (yes, her DAD is one of the guys), her 2 brothers and her brother in law. Can you imagine the practice this must have taken?

BRAVO Gentlemen!

Via my friend Amber at Amber Events and YouTube.

Current Addiction: Etsy

Tuesday, January 15th, 2008

Oh, I love me some Etsy. I could spend hours looking at all the fabulous handmade things listed on there! Never been to the site? It is basically the coolest/strangest/wildest/most fabulous craft show you have ever ever been to.

Now, Etsy can be overwhelming because there are so many options and just because it is on Etsy, does not make it fabulous. Luckily, if you are in the market for wedding things, there is a blog that is scouring the goods and bringing you fabulous finds (and she does have a bit of fun with the not so fabulous things as well): Etsy Wedding.

Have fun shopping and if you have a vendor you love, let me know – I am always on the lookout for fun things!

Rules of thumb for little ones!

Monday, January 14th, 2008

Deciding whether you want to have children in your wedding party can be a difficult decision. If you do decide to include the little ones, I have a few rules of thumb for you:

Consider their age
If their age is generally counted in months versus years, multiply that number by 2. That is the percent chance that the little one will make it down the aisle without freaking out. Freaking out in this instance can mean any or all of the following: crying, screaming, throwing the lovely thing you have given them to carry, sitting down and/or running away. 24 month old flower girl? 48% chance she will make it down the aisle. Do the math and take it into consideration.

Consider the order of the processional
If they are under three, very shy or you think there is a chance they will freeze at the head of the aisle and flip out, switch the traditional order and have them go down right before the Maid/Matron of Honor NOT the bride! If someone needs to coax them down the aisle and/or push them along, it shouldn’t be the bride! That walk down the aisle is a moment that you can’t get back and the bride should have all eyes on her and her eyes on the groom – not on a 2 year old having a panic attack!

Prepare the little girls before the wedding
If your ceremony location doesn’t allow the flower girl to toss petals, make sure to tell the flower girl’s mom and dad well before hand! The last thing you want is someone teaching the flower girl how to toss petals, getting her excited to do so and having her practice only to be disappointed on the wedding day by handing her a pomander – That will lead to a meltdown in a 3 year old faster than you can say I do! !
(A pomander is a ball of flowers hanging from a ribbon:

This is an example that we used as aisle decor but these can also be carried.)

Prepare the little boys as well
Unless you have a VERY good reason to put your actual wedding bands on the ring bearer’s pillow, DON’T DO IT! How many weddings have you been to where you saw the little guy swinging the pillow around with reckless abandon? Imagine if the ribbon tying on your rings gave way – even the most eagle eyed wedding planner won’t be able to find wedding bands if they wind up hidden in the grass in the middle of the aisle! So, don’t play up the fact that the little guy will be in charge of the rings – he just needs to know his job is to get to the front of the aisle. Leave the real rings in the hands of the best man – assuming he is over 6.

Set aside some space for them!
If you can, carve out a comfy corner for the little ones to play – a table is great but even a corner of the room, preferably sort of behind the speakers so it is a bit quieter, will be great for when they eventually tucker out…

If you choose to have flower girls and ring bearers in the wedding just be prepared for the unexpected and have fun!

Dressing the little ones

Friday, January 11th, 2008

Now this is a great idea! You can rent formal wear for the smallest members of your bridal party from a company based in Chicago called Gagas.

They rent formal wear for kids including dresses perfect for flower girls and teeny tiny tuxes for ring bearers. The rental period is either 3 weeks or 6 weeks and most outfits will run you under $25 – significantly less expensive than renting a tux from a chain or buying a flower girl dress!

They have tons of options for both boys and girls and have options to match just about any wedding – this cute little number can come with any of 36 different sashes and is only $24.99 for 3 weeks rental:

I LOVE this idea! And don’t worry, if the flower girl refuses to take the dress off after the wedding, they have an option to keep the outfits as well.