October 30, 2009

Bridal Shows...Yay or Nay?

Came across an article this morning regarding Bridal Shows.

Bridal shows can be great to compare vendors if you use them correctly.

1. Start early in your wedding planning. I think attending bridal shows soon after you are engaged is key. It is a great way to find vendors.

2. Sign up for freebies! Who knows...you could win a free honeymoon trip. BUT, make sure they are giving it way during the show...it could be a scam to get your contact info and make you insane by emailing you 3 times a week, even after you are married.

3. Check our your vendor choices after the show. After finding your vendors, check for references and the Better Business Bureau. They might have a great booth and show a few of their best pieces of work, but that may not be the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

4. Get ideas. Bridal shows are a great place to get ideas to incorporate in your own wedding. Not all of us can afford to pay someone to make table arrangements for each table at your reception, but with a little inspiration, you can make it your own and put in a little DIY elbow grease.

October 28, 2009

Thoughts Reception Venues for the Do It Yourselfer's.

A HUGE factor in wedding planning with a budget is your guest list. The more people, the bigger space, the more food, the more beverages, the more etc. So, think about how many people you are inviting. Things you need to think about when looking at reception venues:

- To save money, have your ceremony and reception in the same location.
- Hold your ceremony/reception on an off day such as a weekday, Friday or Sunday.
- Ask your venue to make an itemized list of everything that you get when you book a reception there.
- Can you bring in your own food and beverages and are you required to use a licensed caterer?
- What are the kitchen facilities like?
- Do they have tables and chairs included in the price? Are there enough for your guests? (and what do they look like?)
- Do they have table linens, plates or flatware included in the price?
- Overall, how much work does it need to make it what you want? And are you willing to put in the elbow grease and ask for help?
- Do you have a group of local friends and family to help you pull it off?
- Do they have adequate coat check and bathroom facilities?
- What's the cancellation policy?
- Will they allow you to bring your own liquor? This is a HUGE plus!
- Is there room in the wedding venue for a band and/or dancing?
- Does the wedding venue already own a sound system with adequate speakers or will that need to be rented?
- Is there a space for the bride and groom to change and/or relax?
- Where can your guests park? Are there extra fees for parking? Do they have valet parking?
- Are candles or other open flames allowed?
- If its an outdoor location, do they have any backup plans for rain or other inclement weather? If not, is there a place that you can put up a tent?

October 26, 2009

Brinkley-Kinslow Reception.

Danielle and Kris know how to throw a party! I tip my hat to the wonderful Laurie of Nashville Event Space who planned this shindig. The couple and bridal party were introduced and the partying began. I love the gobo...an easy way to punch up your space with little effort and incorporate a theme.

Picking a great space for your reception can save you a ton of money and effort. The Avenue made a great backdrop to add beautiful linens, lighting and centerpieces for a great atmosphere.

At the end of the evening, the couple ran out and hopped in a trolley to make their get away. When my husband and I were taking their goodies back to their house (remember they are our best couple friends!)...look who showed up...so we snapped a picture of these two making their first trip through the front door as a married couple.

October 23, 2009

Brinkley-Kinslow Wedding Day.

This morning started early! With trips to the reception venue (more on that wonderfulness later!), church, delivering lunch (and champagne!) to the salon and running errands before the grand event. The bride was so relaxed and ready for her big day! I loved her Tennessee Titans garters and her shoes were so cute. Check out her flowers...beautiful fall wedding colors.

Danielle's dress is from David's bridal. She wasn't even shopping for gowns yet, saw it in the store and never tried another one on! Maids wore chocolate brown, also from David's Bridal.

October 21, 2009

Brinkley-Kinslow Rehearsal.

Danielle and Kris were married this past Saturday at First Baptist Church in downtown Nashville. The rehearsal went so smoothly...after everyone showed up a little tardy due to Nashville Predators game traffic! Some pictures above are of the bridal party. I especially love the one on the bottom right with Danielle's stunning daughter.

Next, we were off to the Rehearsal Dinner at Sunset Grill. The food, staff and venue were wonderful - I would recommend this place to all brides for their rehearsal dinners. They have a fabulous private room for events such as this. Cocktails were served as guests arrived with a slide show of the couple's favorite memories on the back wall. Notice the menus and place cards? They added a special and personable detail to the space. The bridesmaids presented the couple with a framed picture to use at the reception as a guest book - something the bride never got around to doing on her own and wanted so badly for her reception. Speeches were given by all...and let me tell you...it was a joyous occasion without a dry eye in the house. This couple is so in love and so perfect for each other.

October 19, 2009

Martha Stewart Weddings on Hiring Coordinator's.

It's fashion week! And every bridal salon in the nation flocked to NYC to see what designers have come up with for brides next year. Here are some words of advice from Darcy Miller, Editorial Director of Martha Stewart Weddings magazine regarding hiring wedding coordinators. Couldn't be more true. Martha Stewart Weddings is holding a 15th Anniversary Party at The Plaza (!) and even she hired someone to handle the details. Follow their updates to see what bridal fashion trends you will see soon!

October 18, 2009

Current Obsession: Pumpkins

Planning a fall wedding? Pumpkins are a everywhere! And they are not just for carving anymore. Spring brides...try this with bright green pears or apples.

October 16, 2009

Throw your stress away...and delegate.

A word of advice for all brides...delegate. Don't live in fantasy land - you are amazing and fantastic - but you can't do it all. Especially on your big day. What if your flowers come in wrong and you are getting your hair done? You can't run out on your hair to fix it.

Make sure you delegate things to someone that you trust on your big day. You will be much happier if you can enjoy your day instead of driving family around, giving directions to guests who call your cell phone an hour before the ceremony and checking the little things off of you list (did you put out the unity candle?)

My best advice: hire someone that is outside of the wedding party and outside of family to tend to these details. A day-of coordinator can meet with you a few weeks out to go over schedules, vendors and take those phone calls from lost guests. Trust me, you'll thank yourself later and be able to enjoy your day!

October 13, 2009

Couples Shower Football Style

How fun is a tailgate? This couple wanted a laid back, no frills event. So, we set up a tailgate to watch the big game this past weekend. Little details can make a big difference! The theme was Kentucky blue and white. The invitation inspiration came from a vintage football ticket I found on a Google Image search. Carrying the theme throughout with labels and table settings set the mood.

We also set up a tent with BBQ outside - complete with lanterns, yard games and a fire pit to keep everyone warm - but I didn't get any pictures! Sham on me because it was so cute. Everyone had a great time and it was great to see the couple surrounded by good friends. Thanks to B.Jackson's for the lemon & fudge squares!

October 7, 2009

Where's Uncle Bob?

Coordinating times for everyone in the wedding party can be a challenge for sure! You can make it easy for them - complete with times, addresses, icons and a map. Who wants to track down Uncle Bob for the family photo at the last minute?

Each member of the bridal party should have a customized schedule...whether done simply in Word or fancy like above. A map is also helpful and not only includes important wedding locations i.e. church, rehearsal, reception venues, but it also includes fun points of interest and little favorites of the bride and groom, like their fav breakfast spot and where he proposed. Help you guests feel at home by showing them around town.

October 3, 2009

Everything Comes Full Circle.

Kris and Danielle's wedding is quickly approaching! 6 days and counting. Danielle and I have been working on her menu's and place cards for the Rehearsal Dinner - to be held at the yummy Sunset Grill in Nashville. The idea of the circle came from her Rehearsal Dinner invitations from Wedding Paper Divas. The circle was incorporated into both. Got to love a theme.