Honoring Your Dad At Your Wedding


Mike & Marta Sat 0312 SPEC Weddings are often full of very "girly" moments shared between the bride and her mom - picking out the dress, getting hair and makeup done, etc. Dad is usually expected to show up with the checkbook. In honor of Father's Day, we thought we'd look at some ways to make Dad feel extra special on your wedding day.

  • Ask your dad for a military medal, a tie you particularly love, or a piece of jewelry you could incorporate into your wedding day ensemble as your something old.
  • If you won't be seeing your fiance before the wedding, stage a first look with your dad. Fathers often get very emotional the first time they see their little girl in their wedding gown and veil!
  • Take dance lessons with him, and your father-daughter dance will be a big hit.
  • Create something special for him to wear. Dads often look like all the other groomsmen or ushers, wearing the same tuxedo or suit. Get a special tie for him to wear, or add something unique to his boutonniere.
  • Ask your dad to sign your marriage license as one of the witnesses.

Do you have a special way you are including your father on your wedding day?

(Photo above from Marta and Michael's wedding earlier in 2014 - copyright Deremer Studios)

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Spray Tanning and Your Wedding


1614615_10152292843647248_850840968_o Let's face it ladies: hardly anyone looks great in white. Unless, that is, they have a beautiful tan! Many of our brides are turning to spray tans to get a golden glow before their wedding - without the cancer risks or tan lines!

I asked two Jacksonville-area spray tan artists for some tips.

What should brides or bridesmaids look for in a tanning company?

Make sure it’s a legitimate business, spray tanning is an intimate service and you want to be with a professional. If they operate out of a salon or studio or they come to the privacy of your home its much better than you going to their home.  Also look at pictures of their work, before and afters are great. If they have reviews, check those out as well. - Erin Foster, Artistry By Erin LLC

A bride or any spray tan client should always ask the technician what type of solution do they use? Is it sugar based? Is it one color or do you add drops? A good solution should be sugar based. It draws the melanin forward and tans you what you are capable of tanning, not giving you a false color, hence ORANGE! By adding drops to the solution you tend to add too much DHA and tends to turn orange. - Kimber Newton Blair, Elite Look Tanning

How many days before the wedding should brides or bridesmaids get a spray tan?

Get your spray tan 2 days prior to wedding. The day before wedding you are busy with rehearsal and last minute details. If a mani-pedi is done after spray tan, let your nail technician know to not SCRUB. Elite Look Tanning solution last 7-10 days with proper lotion and tan extenders are used and after care instructions are followed. - Kimber Newton Blair, Elite Look Tanning

Should anything be done to prepare the skin for tanning?

Exfoliating well is key to getting a good spray tan. Shave at least 24 hours prior. Moisturize the night before but not day of.  If possible do not wear deodorant, perfume or lotion the day you get your tan or wash it off just before the tan, those things can create a barrier on the skin. - Erin Foster, Artistry By Erin LLC

ELT sells a Coconut Walnut Scrub to use prior to spray application. By using this scrub, it will not leave a residue like a sugar or salt scrub. You will want to shower, shave, and exfoliate right before your spray and DO NOT use lotion, oils, or deodorants after shower.  - Kimber Newton Blair, Elite Look Tanning

What should be worn during the application? 

For the tanning process they can choose what suits their comfort level. They can choose to be nude, topless with panties or with a bathing suit/bikini.  Here again this is why it is good to know and feel comfortable with your spray tan tech - it's an intimate service and you want to be in a comfortable environment. - Erin Foster, Artistry By Erin LLC

spray legs

Will the color rub off?

When the spray is applied there is an instant bronzer in the solution that acts as a guide color for the tanning tech.  Essentially it is makeup, and yes, with friction it can rub off.  That is what is washed off with the first shower after the product has set on the skin for 8-12 hours (some you can even sleep in and cleanse off the next day). Once you've been sprayed, allow a few minutes of dry time before dressing. Wear loose dark clothing and you can still go about your day, it will only rub off if you actually try to rub at it. Once you’ve done the first shower and washed off the guide color, the tan itself wont rub off on anything. - Erin Foster, Artistry By Erin LLC

After spray, wear dark loose clothing like a sundress or large t-shirt and shorts. Nothing tight to the body so be prepared to not wear your undergarments home. You are dry when you leave so tan will not rub off but some will dome off on the inside of your clothing or sheets when sleeping. EVERYTHING washes out!  - Kimber Newton Blair, Elite Look Tanning

Do you have any tips for extending the life of the tan?

Most tans will last 7-14 days depending on their skin type and after care. To extend the life, cleanse using a light weight gel cleanser, nothing to thick or opaque, use also a light daily moisturizer. No oils, nothing to thick. The DHA in the solution has tinted the top layer of skin cells most people regenerate new cells every 7 days, the more moisturized the skin is the longer the skin will remain tan. Avoid using alpha hydroxyl acids, salisylic acid or any chemical or abrasive exfoliatants. After care is so important to maintain your tan. - Erin Foster, Artistry By Erin LLC

To extend the life of your spray tan always wait the 8 hours to shower then moisturize daily. Use Elite look Tan Extender and moisturizer all over body.  If honeymooning in warm place make sure to wear a sunscreen for you do not have a real tan!! You can receive UV same as with out a spray. We have only tanned the top layer of your skin and you shed dead skin cells every second of the day. Soft, moisturized skin is the key!   - Kimber Newton Blair, Elite Look Tanning


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Tips For Moving In Together


Tips for Moving In Together

It's inevitable. Whether you wait til after the wedding day, or take the plunge before, eventually you will have to do it. MOVE. IN. TOGETHER.

Most of us have shared living quarters before: parents, siblings, college roommates. But living with your significant other is a whole new ballgame. Here are some tips for coping with this adjustment:

  • Before the move, go through all your stuff. Decide what to keep, what to donate, and what to sell. Take a good look at the space you are moving into, and decide what can logically fit in that space. This is true if your significant other is moving into your current place as well - before all their boxes arrive, eliminate any extras you can. If both of you have had your own places, you might have two coffee makers, two toasters, etc. Decide whose will be kept, and whose will be sold/donated.
  • Have "the money talk" before moving in too. It's better to discuss financial matters ahead of time, and definitely before getting married. Your new spouse's financial picture will also become yours, so you should know all about their income, credit score, credit card debt or student loans, assets like savings and investments, and other financial obligations.
  • Also discuss household chores. Will you take a divide and conquer approach, where you'll clean the bathroom and he'll do the laundry? Or maybe you'll do the yard work and she'll handle the finances. However your new life looks to you, you should be sure that your partner is on the same page! This teamwork will save many arguments down the road, and will also lay the groundwork for compromising in the future.
  • Don't forget about date night. Or alone time. When you live together, it's easy to become stuck in a rut. Make time for fun activities together outside the house, but don't lose touch with your friends either. Set dates on the calendar for both date time and friend time, and be sure to stick to this habit.

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Holiday Weekend Weddings


Memorial Day at Arlington National CemeteryThis weekend, we're enjoying a rare Memorial Day weekend off from weddings.  But holiday weekend weddings are extremely popular - is it a good choice for your wedding? With a long weekend like Memorial Day or Labor Day, your guests may be more inclined to stay longer if they are traveling. They won't have to rush back to work on Monday, so they can relax on Sunday. This is great, if you plan to leave for your honeymoon Monday or later.

However, travel fees tend to be higher around the holidays, so it may be more of a financial burden for your out of town guests.

Because your guests may be in town longer, you may also need to host additional parties - a welcome reception, a post-wedding brunch, a Sunday beach party, etc. While this means more time to spend with your friends and family, it can also affect your budget significantly.

If you decide on a holiday weekend wedding, be sure to block off hotel rooms well in advance, as popular destinations may sell out. Also, send your save-the-dates out as soon as possible, so that your guests can begin making travel plans.

We'd also like to take a moment to honor our nation's heroes, and encourage you to do the same this weekend!

Who kept the faith and fought the fight;
The glory theirs, the duty ours.
~Wallace Bruce

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Inside the Wedding Day Emergency Kit: Fishing Line's Many Uses


Sewing a bridesmaids dressWedding planners usually travel with an extensive emergency kit. Ours includes things like hair spray, bobby pins, white pipe cleaners, and lots of pairs of scissors. This past weekend, I got to use one particular item in a whole new way. Fishing line (yes, the clear stuff you attach to your fishing pole) comes in handy for lots of uses, mostly decor related. Maybe it's attaching a wreath to a door, or affixing the alter flowers to a staircase at the reception. But this weekend, I got to sew with it.

You heard me right, sew with it. The entire zipper on a bridesmaid's dress broke, because the seamstress (in Texas, not local!) made it a bit too snug three days before the wedding. No problem, right? We'll just get out the needle and thread and stitch it closed. Well, because the dress was so tight, the thread kept breaking. Keep in mind, it's now one hour until the ceremony starts! I stopped to think for a moment - "What else do I have the we could use?" And then it dawned on me. Fishing line!

I was a little nervous at first that it wouldn't fit through the eye of the needle. But sure enough, it did. And we were off to the races! I stitched several small sections, tying off each one in case it did break - so hopefully, one a small section would break and not the whole thing.

Four hours later, I spoke to the bridesmaid at the reception about her dress. "I feel very secure!" she replied. I'm glad I actually learned how to sew (a little bit!) when I was young. Just one more skill a wedding planner should have!

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Personalizing Your Wedding Ceremony


Personalizing Your Wedding Ceremony

We see a lot of short and simple, get-the-job-done wedding ceremonies. In all honesty, it takes about 10 minutes to actually "get married." But what if you want to incorporate some personality or pizzazz to your wedding?

We've had several ceremonies recently where the bride and groom traveled to Ponte Vedra Beach for their weddings.  But rather than hiring a local minister, they brought theirs with them! When an officiant has a personal connection with the couple, the ceremony is so much more meaningful. They can offer little anecdotes, and put the bride and groom more at ease during one of the more serious parts of the wedding day.

Lots of couples chose to include a unity candle or sand ceremony into their wedding. But there are also other options - rose ceremonies, handfasting, seashell/stone blessings, wine ceremonies, to name a few. Ask your officiant if they have suggestions. Also look to your religion or culture for ideas. Even if you aren't have a "religious" ceremony, there may be little nods to your heritage that you can include.

Of course, the best way to personalize your ceremony is to write your own vows! If you decide to do so, be sure to give yourself plenty of time! This isn't something to be rushed. Also, discuss the tone of your vows with your significant other. You don't want to make yours funny while his are super serious. You may also want to ask a close friend or family member to read both sets of vows (if you plan don't plan to read them to each other before the wedding) to be sure they match in tone and length.

However you chose to personalize your wedding ceremony, remember that you are promising to love, honor and cherish your fiance til death do you part. Make it a special and meaningful time for the two of you!

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Selecting The Perfect Church For Your Wedding


One would think choosing a church for one's ceremony would be simple, but I found it to be a bit more complicated than expected. It was very important to me to have our wedding in my hometown, Orlando, FL. Picking our reception location was easy; my godparents live on a beautiful property in the Gotha area of Orlando. They have seven and a half acres on a lake, and I knew it would make for an ideal tented, rustic/chic reception location.

I grew up Methodist, and still belong to a Methodist church in Orlando, but Charles was brought up Catholic, and we both decided that we wanted our ceremony to be Catholic. I had to basically start from scratch when it came to selecting our Catholic ceremony location.

I started by looking up all the Catholic churches that were near my godparents' house. The closest church totheir home was a very large and well known Catholic church in the Orlando area. My mother and I attended the Christmas Eve mass to examine the size, look and feel of the church. It was very voluminous and grand, and all of the people who were there seemed to truly love their church. I thought “This could very well be the church!” After Christmas settled down, I emailed the church to gather all the information for having a ceremony there, and what the pricing situation was. I’d always assumed that a church rental for a ceremony wouldn't be more than a couple hundred dollars; this church started at $1,200.00 for non-members. There was also a complication in booking the church. For a Catholic ceremony, you have to take pre-marital classes that last 6-8 months, and this church wasn’t going to allow me to reserve my date until after my classes were complete. I didn’t want to take the gamble of someone else stealing my date, so I decided that church just would not do.

After researching a few more Catholic church options, I stumbled upon a charming little Catholic church that I often passed when I lived in Orlando. The church is also close my reception location, but I overlooked it at first because it was a Maronite Catholic Church, asopposed to a Roman Catholic Church. I did my homework and found that there are many types of Catholic Churches, and that they’re all recognized by the Pope as equal. My fiancé, mother and I attended a mass one Sunday and absolutely fell in love with the people, charm, and most importantly the priest. Everyone in the congregation made us feel at home. We all knew right away that we’d found our church.

Finding the all-important perfect church location for your ceremony can be overwhelming, but just remember to do your research early, attend a service before-hand, and get on the churchcalendar/marriage class roster as soon as your decision is made.  Once these steps are underway, you can feel excited that you are well on your way toward your perfect church wedding!

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The Most Important Day Of Your Life (And Why Your Wedding Day Isn't It)


I'm about to type something that many people will find controversial.

wedding day

I know - I spend my days surround by all things wedding. How can I possibly say this?! Because it's the truth. I've had some wedding reality shows playing in the office lately as I've been stuffing envelopes and assembling welcome gifts for some of our spring/summer weddings. I normally don't watch them, and now I know why. They insist on perpetuating this mantra that "your wedding day is the best day of your life" and creating the hype that everything must be perfect. So much emphasis is put on the party that the marriage part tends to get overlooked.

I'm not saying you shouldn't have a gorgeous wedding, but don't forget that there are many more "best" days to come.

The day you close on your first house. The days your children are born. The day  your spouse returns home safely from a military deployment. The day you beat cancer. The day you get that big promotion you've worked so hard for. The day you save someone's life. The day you win the lottery. (we can all dream, right?)

Hopefully, your wedding day means marrying your best friend, surrounded by friends and family that mean the world to you. Anything beyond that is just gravy.


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Wedding Website Tips


Classic-Rose-smallThese days, almost every wedding has its own website. It's a great way to share information with your guests! Here are some tips for making your wedding website great:

  • Purchase an easy-to-remember domain. For example, MikeAndSarah.com is something you can even use in the future as a blog to keep your friends and family updated on your new house, growing family, etc. When selecting a domain, remember the shorter the better - this will need to be printed on your save-the-dates and invitation enclosure cards.
  • Include hotel information. Hopefully you've set up room blocks at two or three nearby hotels, so be sure to include booking instructions and rates. Also include the hotel's direct phone number and address; if your guests are like me, they'll want to add this information to their phones!
  • Also include travel information. Many cities have multiple airports, so let your guests know which one is most convenient. If your hotel offers airport transportation, include this information as well.
  • Share the weekend schedule. If you are planning a great welcome party, you won't want your guests to miss it by booking a late flight. This also gives your guests a chance to plan sightseeing activities if they haven't visited the area.
  • Feature some of your favorite nearby restaurants, shops and attractions. Provide links and a map, if possible, as well as hours of operation, and why you love these places.
  • Include links to your registries. This makes it easy for your guests to find this information, should they choose to send a gift.
  • Remember that not everyone is online 24/7. Be sure to send hard copies of important information to any of your guests that aren't tech-savvy.

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Welcome Bags for Out-Of-Town Wedding Guests


Bow Tie Bags Wedding Welcome BagsIt's that time of year when we're busy getting welcome bags/boxes ready for our spring weddings! We get a lot of questions about what goes inside these little packages. The most common items are:

  • Bottled water.  An absolute must!
  • Snacks.  Something salty, something sweet, and perhaps something with a local flair. (More on this below.)
  • Information about the area.  Contact the local visitors' bureau or chamber of commerce, and they will be more than happy to send you brochures and maybe even coupons!
  • Information about the wedding.  If you have an action-packed weekend planned, include an itinerary and maps/directions if transportation isn't being provided.
  • Contact information.  Assign a local friend to act as your concierge for the weekend to help with last minute questions from your guests.

From the basics, you can upgrade to include bottles of wine, personalized toiletry items like lotion or bubble bath, even slippers!  If you are planning a beach wedding, perhaps a pair of flip flops and bottle of sunscreen.  For a garden wedding, a lovely hat. Just remember that your guests will have to pack these items for their trip home, or leave them behind.

When our brides ask us for "regional" favorites, we suggest:

  • Peterbrooke chocolates
  • Florida oranges
  • Boiled peanuts
  • Datil pepper sauce
  • San Sebastian wines

Sound like a lot of work? If you aren't working with a wedding planner who offers this service, check out Bow Tie Bags - you can customize your bag and its contents, and they will ship them directly to the hotel. (The photo above is one of their creations!)

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Tips From A Recent Bride


Even as an experienced wedding planner, there were still things I learned from my own wedding! Here are my tips for brides-to-be:

  • Print out labels for your RSVP cards and put them on the back of the card, or write numbers on the back. You WILL get RSVP cards back that do not have return address on envelopes and the stamp from the post office from where it shipped from will only go so far.

  • Go to wedding expos! See what and who your choices are first hand and in person. Bridal shows give you a chance to see everyone in one place whether you are looking for one vendor or all of them, and you don’t have to drive all over town to find out they are what you are looking for. Hint: Take your fiancé! If he/she isn’t a part of the wedding planning, they sure will appreciate you after a bridal show experience!

  • Please, oh please, don’t buy a dress that weighs more than you. I had a light strapless dress and the only thing I could think about 30 minutes until the end of the reception was taking it off! (And no, not only for that reason). You don’t realize how much a heavy dress can interrupt your night.

  • Do schedule a little nighttime photo shoot with your photographer. We did pictures around 10:00pm when everyone was comfortable on the dance floor. We snuck away and took some great shots, along with having a little breather and a few minutes of sweet alone time.

  • If you choose to wear a veil, as much as you love that veil and won't have another opportunity to wear one, let me just share my experience before you make the decision to wear it the whole day. Everyone that hugs or dances with you will tug on the veil (without knowing, of course) and whatever style your hair was at the beginning of the day will look torn up! If I were to do it again, I’d take it of after dinner!

  • Do a fake cake! The bottom layer of our 5-tier cake was the only part of the cake that was real so we could cut into it and get those priceless pictures of smashing it in each other's faces. The rest of our cake was in the kitchen already sliced and put out right after we cut into it. Instead of having waitstaff at your cake table for 30 minutes making a mess, it was already done.

  • Make an email address only for wedding correspondence. I had (my name)2B(future last name) and it worked great! If you want to stay in contact with any of your wedding vendors after the big day, send an email to specific people politely asking them to update their address book.

  • Do eat! My hubby and I didn’t make it around to everyone’s table. If that’s rude, we sure didn’t get any complaints. We noticed as we were eating, people came to us that were going to leave early or knew they weren’t going to run into us on the dance floor later.

  • I worried up until a few weeks before the wedding about what “Our Song” was going to be. It's really easy getting frustrated finding a song if you don’t already have one when you’re listening to every word making sure its perfect. However, not you, your hubby, or your guests will hear every word like you did listening by yourself. My advise, pick a song that’s just special between the two of you.

  • Do make sure your in-laws and parents have a speech planned. Our wedding was pretty traditional. The groom's parents threw the rehearsal dinner, where his parents said a little something, and my father had a toast at the wedding. I know it sounds very traditional, but it really sets the tone for two families becoming one. Everyone could feel the love our parents had for us and our new spouse with the words they spoke.

Do you have any tips you'd like to share? Leave them in the comments below.

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As Seen In Destination Weddings Magazine


Check out the latest issue of Destination Weddings & Honeymoons magazine, featuring my Expert Picks for three of North Florida's hottest wedding venues!

Destination Weddings and Honeymoons Magazine

Destination Weddings and Honeymoons Magazine 1

Destination Weddings and Honeymoons Magazine 2

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A Girls' Guide To The Super Bowl


football field I was raised in the South, where football isn't just a sport, it's a religion. But I know not every girl is as lucky as me. So if you are newly engaged and find yourself invited to join your fiancé for The Super Bowl Party, here are some tips.

  1. Don't talk during the game. Unless it's "that was an awesome play!" or "can you believe that call?" Listen to what everyone else is saying, and play along if you don't know what context those phrases would be used in!
  2. If you must talk, leave the room. The kitchen is usually a safe haven for those that aren't hardcore fans to take a break and chit chat. Just don't hide for too long - pop back to the big screen every 10 minutes or so, and no one will miss you!
  3. Be helpful. If you are heading to the kitchen for a break, offer to bring back beers for everyone, or replenish the bowls of chips and pretzels.
  4. Pay attention. Don't play on your phone or tablet. At least not the whole time. Besides, everyone knows that the Super Bowl commercials are just as important as the game! You won't want to miss seeing what everyone will be talking about at the office on Monday.
  5. Don't ask questions. This is not the time for Football 101. If you have a few minutes this weekend, and truly no nothing about the game, check out the Girls' Guide To Football to get the basics.

The most important thing to remember is to blend in. Don't pout, or whine about how long the game is lasting, or constantly remind the group that you don't know what's going on. Oh, and it doesn't hurt to find a cute outfit in one of these color combos! (Ask your fiancé which team he's rooting for if you don't have a favorite yourself.)


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Pinterest Is Not Your Wedding Planner


Pinterest Is Not Your Wedding Planner

We've been hearing a lot of comments lately along the lines of "I don't need a wedding planner, I have Pinterest!" And while Pinterest can be a handy tool, it definitely should not replace any wedding professional - planner, florist, photographer, cake baker, or otherwise.

We wrote a blog post back in 2012 about the dangers of the Pinterest/DIY wedding movement. But we thought we'd point out a few things that we've noticed over the past year as Pinterest has gained popularity.

1. Don't become pin-happy. You may have 10 different boards with 10 different themes. Which is great, if you are comparing the options. But don't expect to merge those 10 themes into one wedding. Pick one, and stick with it. It's easy to become overwhelmed with all the options. Plus, not every idea is feasible for your venue or time of year. Don't just pin for the sake of pinning.

2. Don't just copy everything. Make it your own. Everything on Pinterest has been done already, that's why there are photos of it. Your wedding should be a unique reflection of you as a couple, not what it popular or trendy. Ask yourself if that pin is something you really need/want, and does it make sense?

3.  Keep your boards private. Now that Pinterest has this option, use it. Share only with those who really matter - otherwise, you'll get input from so many people, you won't know what you want anymore. (Plus, isn't it fun for your guests to be surprised at your wedding?)

4. Photos can be unrealistic. As I mentioned in my previous blog post, styled or inspiration shoots are not real weddings. And in most cases, there is no way to actually recreate a majority of those looks for a wedding of 150 people. For a real-life look at Pinterest inspiration vs. reality, check out this great blog post called "Why Pinterest Gave Me Unrealistic Expections For Wedding Photos."

5. A Pinterest board cannot be there on the day of your wedding. Makeup artist Paulina Perez recently shared a story about a bride who spent hours crying on her wedding day because her mom was missing out on all the special moments that happened while she was getting ready. Her mom was at the reception venue, setting up all those DIY projects, and all the other things a wedding planner might be doing. "It was heart breaking," Paulina said. "You knew the mother was not there because she was too busy trying to make the venue look perfect for her daughter, but all the bride could think of is 'how could my mom not be here?' It was a lose-lose situation on both parts."

Pinterest is great for showing your team of wedding professionals what you like. Just be sure to edit your ideas and hire pros to make them happen!

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5 Realities About Getting Engaged


monica-chandlerWe are in the midst of engagement season! Statistically, most proposals happen between Thanksgiving and Valentine's Day, with a huge spike between Christmas and New Year's Eve. If you think your special someone might be popping the question soon, here is a look at the reality of the situation.

  1. It's not (usually) going to happen the way you think it will. You may have a vision influenced by your favorite movie or book - the perfect dress, the perfect hair, the perfect location, just the right music playing in the background, a good manicure... but guess what? Guys don't typically think like that. It might happen when you have no makeup on, in your jammies, or out walking the dog. But however your sweetie proposes, it's going to be special and memorable, because it's a story uniquely yours.
  2. He'll be super-nervous. In movies and tv shows, guys are usually cool, calm and collected when they propose. But in reality, whatever he has planned will never go the way he imagined it would either. Do you remember all the preparation and craziness when Chandler was going to propose to Monica on Friends?! (I love that episode!)
  3. You may not love the ring. Unless you've been ring shopping together, your honey is probably not going to nail it 100%. Hopefully he knows enough about your style and personality to get something you don't hate. He spent a lot of time choosing this most-special piece of jewelry, and he thinks it's perfect. So you should too.
  4. People will ask you when and where you are getting married 5 minutes after he pops the question. And in some families, the "when are you having kids" questions will start too! You don't have to have all the answers right away - in fact, it's best to take some time and just enjoy being engaged!
  5. Not everyone will be happy for you. Some people will think it's too soon, you're too young, he's not right for you, whatever. But if you know in your heart that now is the right time and he is the right guy, don't worry about their opinions. (Side note: if there are concerns about abusiveness, substance abuse, or other potentially dangerous behavior, you may want to seek the advice of a trained counselor to be sure you know what you are getting into.)

When you do have the ring on your finger, don't forget to give us a call to start planning your one-of-a-kind wedding!

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Wacky Wedding Superstitions


It's that dreaded day - Friday the 13th. We were lucky {!} enough to get two Friday the 13ths this year - exactly 13 weeks apart. Weird? Absolutely. Scary? For a lot of people. For some insight, check out the article "Why Does Friday the 13th Scare Us So Much?" over on the National Geographic website. We thought it would be fitting to look at some wacky wedding superstitions on this inauspicious day:

  • The English believe a spider found in a wedding dress means good luck. Ew!
  • Ancient Greeks and Romans thought the veil protected the bride from evil spirits. Brides have worn veils ever since.
  • Saturday is the unluckiest wedding day, according to English folklore. But in modern culture, it's the most popular day of the week to marry!
  • In Denmark, brides and grooms traditionally cross-dressed to confuse evil spirits! 
  • According to folklore, a knife signifies a broken relationship and is bad luck to give as a wedding gift. If knives are on your registry, just give the gift giver a penny. That way it's a purchase, not a gift. 
  • Having a cat eat out of your left shoe one week before the wedding is good luck.
  • Peonies, one of the most desirable wedding flowers, actually represent shame!
  • Single women should take a piece of wedding cake home, and sleep with it under their pillow. Then they will dream of their future husband!

But here's one that we actually agree with: Don't use your married name or monogram before the wedding! Some think it's tempting fate to do so, and the wedding will not take place. If you're superstitious (or a stickler for proper etiquette), save the monogramming for your reception decor and registry items.

Would you get married on a Friday the 13th?

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Pantone Announces 2014 Color of the Year: Radiant Orchid


Pantone 2014 Color Of The Year

Yesterday, Pantone announced the 2014 Color of the Year: Radiant Orchid. According to the press release,

"Radiant Orchid blooms with confidence and magical warmth that intrigues the eye and sparks the imagination. It is an expressive, creative and embracing purple—one that draws you in with its beguiling charm. A captivating harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones, Radiant Orchid emanates great joy, love and health."

If you don't work in a design-related industry, you might wonder what the heck the "color of the year" is exactly.

"For more than a decade, Pantone’s Color of the Year has influenced product development and purchasing decisions in multiple industries, including fashion, home and industrial design, as well as product packaging and graphic design."

pantone radiant orchid bridesmaid dress

So next year, as you are strolling through the mall and see lots of this color everywhere, think back to this blog post and say, "Ahh, I get it!"

The photo on the right is an example of a bridesmaid's dress from Dessy in Radiant Orchid. Will you incorporate this color into your wedding? Share your ideas in the comments section!

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Charitable Donations as Wedding Favors


tabatha-dustin-favor-card"What do you mean, you aren't having wedding favors?" We hear it a lot, usually from the parents of the bride and groom. The history of the wedding favor isn't really well known, but party favors in general have been around since the 16th century. Think back to your birthday parties as a child - didn't you always give your friends a little sack of goodies to take home?

While there are lots of great wedding favors out there, many couples are choosing instead to donate cash to their favorite charity instead of buying little chocolates or scented candles. There are so many reasons to choose a donation over a physical favor:

  • A specific charity or cause is near and dear to your heart.
  • It's more environmentally friendly.
  • Remember a family member with a memorial donation.
  • It's more personal.

So how do you do it?

First, contact the charity (or charities) you would like to donate to.  Most charities have websites where you can make a donation via credit card, however if it is a local charity you may need to mail a check.

Next, find a way to let your guests know about your donation. You may chose to have a card placed at each place setting describing your charity of choice, or have two or three placed on each table. If your cause is environmental in nature, consider printing your message on plantable paper - seeds are embedded in the paper, and flowers will bloom when your guests take it home and plant it.

As an alternative, you can make a little framed sign and place it somewhere in the cocktail hour space, rather  than having cards on the tables. Most people attending your wedding will know why you chose the charity you did, so long explanations aren't necessary.

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Creating a Classic Wedding


You may ask, what is a classic wedding, and do I want one? Most of our clients tend to have weddings that are more traditional/classic in style, with a few modern elements thrown in. If you are looking for trendy, we're probably not the planners for you.

I explain it this way. My parents were married in 1972. My mom's wedding dress was an empire- waisted, Juliette-inspired fashionable dress accented with little white daisies. The bridesmaids wore hideous floral print, floor length gowns. And while these styles were all the rage in the 70's, their photos look clearly dated.

When I got married in 2001, I think I did a better job selecting dresses. After trying on my mom's gown (which was way too short for me anyway, even if I had wanted to have a 70's themed wedding) I selected gowns for myself and the bridesmaids that I thought would stand the test of time. And for the most part, they have. The elbow-length gloves that we wore, however, were not a great choice. Nor was the super-poofy ultra-Southern hairdo I chose.

So what makes a "classic" wedding? In my mind, the most classic, iconic wedding that comes to mind is that of John Kennedy and Jacqueline Bouvier. Yesterday would have been their 60th wedding anniversary, so let's revisit some images from Life Magazine's coverage of the big day.

kennedy wedding 3

A timeless ceremony - white aisle runner, simple pew markers, and gorgeous long veil

kennedy wedding

Jackie's dress was certainly stylish, but in a classic design. I could picture one of our bride's wearing this style at an upcoming wedding!

kennedy wedding 2 jpg

Other than the abundance of greenery on the table, this photo could have been taken today!

So what's the moral of the story? Think about showing your wedding photos to your children, or grandchildren. Will you be proud to show them how great everything looked? Or will it look like a mustard-yellow applianced kitchen?

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