Archive for July, 2009

First Things First: M

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009

M is for Mailing List (get started now!)

The all important guest list – start compiling the names and addresses of the people you plan to invite.  This is so much easier to do ahead of time and have them ready to go when it comes time to send save the dates versus scrambling to get the last few addresses so you can ship them all out at the same time.

If you are getting addresses from family members, get them started now as well – nagging is no fun!

First Things First: L

Monday, July 20th, 2009

L is for License (find out what you need early)

Most marriage licenses are only good for 30-60 days after they are issued so thinking about them right after you get engaged may seem strange but bear with me here.  We have it pretty easy here in Ohio, we only need to know our social security number and have a valid picture id available but the requirements differ by state.  In Michigan, you have to have a certified copy of your birth certificate – that takes time to order from the state of your birth!

Find out what the requirements are now and you won’t have to scramble later!

First Things First: K

Friday, July 17th, 2009

K is for Keepsakes (write it down!)

Being engaged is one of those things that you only do once (hopefully) and there is so much going on that you often forget the little things.  Start a blog or a journal, write down your experiences – you will want to remember that AWFUL dress that you tried on that made you look like a pregnant q-tip or the crazy cake lady with all the cats (don’t ask).  A blog or journal is a great place to record all the events around the wedding, keep all your different ideas and generally record this really cool, stressful, fun, scary, exciting, wild time in your life!

After the wedding and for years to come, you will love looking back and remembering all the details that time softens.  You can also use something like and make it into a book – what a cool keepsake!

Flowers 101: Extras

Friday, July 17th, 2009

extras Click for the 101 on Extras

First Things First: J

Thursday, July 16th, 2009

J is for Jewelry (insure the new stuff)

You are newly engaged and that brand new ring on your finger is so shiny it blinds small children!  Among the people you should be calling to share the big news is your insurance agent.  Yes, your insurance agent.  That ring is probably among the most (if not far and away the most) expensive pieces of jewelry that you own and you should have insurance on it.

You can generally add a rider to your home or renter’s insurance to cover the value of your new bling.  It doesn’t cost much and will give you a little piece of mind (I think the person who bought the ring will probably appreciate it too!)

One note, make sure to read or ask about the appraisal policy on the ring – I know that my insurance policy requires a professional appraisal of the ring every two years to remain valid.  Don’t let that lapse or the insurance policy would simply be an expensive piece of paper with no other value.

First Things First: I

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

I is for Inspiration (it comes when/from where you might least expect it!)

Don’t just look to bridal magazines and wedding websites for ideas and inspiration for your wedding.  Design and fashion magazines and home decor blogs and websites are great starting points for ideas for your wedding.  Weddings tend to follow trends in fashion and home decor by about a year or two so if you start there, you are well ahead of the trends!

The thing about using only wedding sources for ideas is that means someone else has already done it – if you want your wedding to be unique and perfectly you then why would you use someone else’s idea?  This is not to say that you shouldn’t tear out pages from magazines, bookmark the heck out of websites and wedding blogs but use them more as a starting point, not a guideline.

Once you have ideas from all sources, take them to your planner and designer and work together to find the ideas that will work for your wedding and be uniquely yours!

First Things First: H

Tuesday, July 14th, 2009

H is for Hair (start planning now!)

Whatever you plan to do for your hair – grow it out, keep it short or something in the middle – the sooner you start planning, the better.  Go to your stylist and tell them what you have in mind – they will help you figure out what you need as far as cut and color to achieve the look you want on your wedding day.

Rachel + Eric: 07.11.09

Monday, July 13th, 2009

The Story
I talk to my clients all the time about finding a thread and pulling it all the way through the wedding – this wedding was a perfect example of that!  From the invitation all the way to the centerpieces at the reception, this wedding was scientific!

Rachel and Eric met while at Cedarville College – he was her science tutor for a year and their relationship just grew from there.   Both are going into science related fields – him as a doctor and her as science teacher.  Notice a theme?  Hang on, you’ll see more!

Rachel and Eric originally planned their wedding to take place in Columbus but when their venue closed unexpectedly last year, they moved everything up to Rachel’s home town of Cleveland.  The church Rachel’s family attends would serve as the location with Eric’s pastor from Columbus performing the actual ceremony – sort of the best of both worlds.

The morning of the wedding was humid and really, really hazy.  The forecast was for strong storms to roll through and then clear out.  Right after the bride and groom and their bridal parties arrived (separately) the skies opened up and it began to thunder and lightning and the sky opened up with a crazy downpour.  I was lacing up Rachel’s gown and the rain hitting the window pane was so heavy that it sounded like hail.  Would you believe that my bride was actually thrilled?  She said she prayed to have either a perfect day or have thunder and lightning.  She got exactly what she wanted – she got both!  Right before the guests began to arrive, the skies cleared and it became a sunny, blue-skied Cleveland summer day.

Since Eric’s pastor performed the ceremony and friends provided the music, every part was created just for the couple and it was extremely personal and touching.  One part that wasn’t revealed to many guests until the reception was that the first married kiss was also the first kiss this couple had shared – ever!  Rachel and Eric made a vow to each other and to God that the first time they kissed would be on their wedding day after saying their vows.  That kiss was one they had waited a lifetime for and it was obviously very special!

After the ceremony, the bridal party and families took pictures around Cleveland while we set up the reception at the Great Lakes Science Center.  Everything had that science thread running through – the tables were all named after elements on the periodic table and different locations that were special to the couple.  The placecards were test tubes filled with M&Ms – anyone who knows me, knows that I love fun placecard displays and this was one of my favorites ever!  The floral arrangements were in graduated cylinders and beakers as were the table numbers.

For dinner, the guests were treated to a little bit of everything with stations ranging from sliders and mini hot dogs to an Asian stir fry station to smoothies and Italian soda.  Each station was marked with a sign that was reminiscent to the couple’s composition book wedding invitation.  The Maid of Honor, also the bride’s sister, works for a bakery and so she designed the cake herself for the couple as well as the OSU football groom’s cake.  This cake was huge and quite yummy!

A little peek at some of the details from my camera phone so the quality is not so great – the pro pics will be significantly better!


After dinner, the dance floor was packed and there was even a rousing version of Thrilled performed by quite a few guests and members of the bridal party.  It was a riot!  I will also say that Rachel and Eric can really bust a move – they had a great time too!

In the end, if I had to pick one word to describe Rachel and Eric, it would undoubtedly be devoted.  This is a couple who is devoted to each other, devoted to their family and friends and most of all, devoted to their faith.  I feel honored that I was able to be a part of their wedding day –  a huge thank you to Rachel, Eric and their families for allowing me to be part of a wedding with great chemistry.  (sorry, but I do love a good pun here and there!)

The Elements
Planner:  Emilie Duncan Event Planning
Photographer: Gauper Photography
Paper Suite: Seedlings
Cake:  Michael Angelo’s Bakery
Reception Music: TKO Entertainment
Florist: Roses for Weddings
Ceremony Site: Cuyahoga Valley Church
Reception Site: Great Lakes Science Center
Catering: Aramark Catering

The Pictures
Coming soon from Ryan and Holly from Gauper Photography – I saw the preview and I promise they are worth the wait!

First Things First: G

Monday, July 13th, 2009

G is for Gowns (try on as many as possible!)

You only get married once so try on as many gowns as possible – enjoy it!  Three rules to live by for gown shopping:

1. Try on styles that you wouldn’t think you would like – so often my brides tell me they went in knowing exactly what they were after but the dress they wound up buying something completely different!  Keep an open mind – you might be surprised what works for you!

2. Spread out the appointments. Trying on gowns is more tiring than you might think and you will probably be worn out after one appointment – I would suggest no more than 2 shops in a day.

3. Once you actually BUY the gown, stop!  Don’t keep trying on gowns unless you want to be a two (or more) gown bride!

Now go have fun and play dress up!

First Things First: F

Friday, July 10th, 2009

F is for Formality (just how dressy is dressy?)

One of the first things to consider before looking at things like gowns and reception venues is how formal you would like your wedding to be.  If you have always pictured your wedding guests mingling over a casual meal, you probably aren’t going to focus your search on downtown hotel ballrooms.  If you have always pictured your guests in tuxes and ballgowns, you probably won’t want to have a morning reception at a metro park.

While there are no hard and fast rules for formality, it is widely agreed that there are 3 basic levels of formality with regards to weddings: formal, semi-formal and informal.  Formal is black or white tie – guests will likely be in tuxes and cocktail dresses or ballgowns.  Semi-formal is the most common for weddings these days – expect your guests to wear suits or jackets and nice dresses or pant suits.  Informal is really where anything goes – from jeans to khakis, it really is whatever you would like it to be.