Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Engagement Season is Here!

Did you know the holidays are one of the most - if not the most - popular times for getting engaged? What a perfect gift to give and to receive...an engagement ring!...But this post is not about the engagement ring, it is about the actual act of getting engaged. When he pops the question, what do you do first? Scream, yell, cry, call your mom, call your best friend? After you do that what do you do...post it on your blog, send an email...what is a girl to do?

Here is the scoop on engagement etiquette!

Do you need to a ring to be officially engaged?
A ring or a date is not necessary for your engagement to be considered official. This is quite simply a matter of him proposing. If he asks, and you accept, you are officially engaged. However….most people (i.e. your parents) will take it more seriously if there is some sort of ring involved (Just being honest here!)

Does my fiancĂ© need to ask permission for my hand in marriage? 

For the most part, this custom is no longer applicable, but some men do still choose to follow with tradition. Ultimately you and he should really think about what your parents would prefer…it can simply be a sign of respect.

Does the ring have to have a diamond? 

Nope…anything will do, even a simple gold band. Don’t get caught up in what it is supposed to be, but rather what it means.

Does the ring really need to equal two months salary? 
First, see above question. Next, an engagement ring should not cost more than you and your future spouse can afford to spend. The price of the ring should be proportional to the size of your income.

How do we decide which set of parents to tell first? 
Traditionally the bride-to-be’s family is told first. The groom’s family is told next. Once this is done, the groom’s family contacts your parents. If your parents are divorced, his parents should call the parent who raised you, and then call the other parent later if the two of you are still close. As a side note, if one of you has children, tell them right away. You have no obligation to tell an ex-spouse right away…unless there are children involved.

My parents are divorced. Whom should I tell first?
If you still live with a parent, they should be the first to know. Otherwise, whichever parent raised you or you are the closest to should be told first. However (there is almost always a “however”) if say your parents are divorced and your Dad loves your fiancĂ©, but your mom, who raised you, doesn’t…all bets are off…I’d tell Dad first!

So, that said....do you have a good engagement story?
Who did you tell first and how did you tell them?

My hubby proposed on Christmas morning. I called all my closest friends and my husbands family first (he called them) because we were going to see my parents later in the day...they didn't expect it...I didn't expect it...and we wanted to see the looks on their faces.

So what happened...we walked in wished everyone a Merry Christmas, gave hugs, kisses, helped in the kitchen....nothing. My brother walks in looks at me, and says "Dude, there is a ring on your finger!"  My mom was speechless...in a good way!

Want to know more about etiquette....Buy the book!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Everything Wedding Etiquette Book is Coming...Friday!

I won't even pretend to be shy about this one...
this post is all about blatant self promotion.
My latest book, 
comes out Friday. I am SUPER excited!

So, if you know someone who is getting married
send them over that way and
tell them to buy the book!

I will be having a giveaway in the next week or two

and maybe including my other books
and some other goodies.
Tell your friends!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Good Taste Never Goes Out of Style

When you plan your wedding, if you remain true to yourself,
and you embrace your style fully, the results,
no matter what your budget, will be stunning.
Ultimately the trick to having a timeless wedding
is about deciding what "trends" to follow or not,
about selecting a gown you adore,
not one that is on the pages of every bridal magazine, and most
importantly about being a happy, gracious, and stylish bride.

The photos below are not of a recent wedding,
but the results are timeless.
This wedding could easily be pulled off right now
with the same details and look just as amazing.
A true sign of  good design.

For some background, this is one of my favorite weddings.
Everyone was delightful - the parents (both sides), the attendants,
the guests, and expecially the bride and groom!
We were also fortunate to work with some of
the best wedding professionals in L.A.
(and I had the best assistant!)
The bride was very into the details.
She knew exaclty what she wanted and she knew
how to make herself, her family, and the guests happy.

The budget for this wedding was grand,
but many of these details could easily
inspire a bride with any budget.

So without any further adieu...the wedding eye candy!

A beautiful ceremony at a historic church

Ringing the bells before heading to the reception.

A grand reception at an exclusive private club
in downtown Los Angeles

As each guest entered, they picked up an escort card
(to direct them to their table).
Inside the card, the bride and/or groom had written a special note,
or bits and pieces of special memories for each guest.

The table centerpieces were individual cakes sitting on silver bowls.
These cakes were served to the guests at cake cutting time,
leaving a silver bowl full of rose petals.
Later that night, each guest took a handful of rose petals
and showered the bride and groom with them
as they danced the last dance of the evening.

A small, but grand, two-tier cake was made for
the bride and groom to cut into at cake cutting time.

A bouquet with 5+ dozen roses!

Happy Planning!

PS-These photos were scanned in by moi...
(yes pre-digital era here)
so the quality is not what it should be.
Please appreciate the ideas and not the scanning.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

This One's On Me!

What's Your Question Wednesday
Got a wedding question? Need some expert advice? Drop me a line!

We do not drink, nor do our families.
Just about every wedding I have been to has served alcohol.
I would prefer not to serve alcohol,
but am thinkng we have to. Do we?

If you ask most people, a glass of wine or a signature cocktail
goes hand in hand with a wedding reception...and a jovial good time.
Of course, many venues also "encourage" a bar option,
as it adds to their bottom line. That said, no where is it written
that alcohol must be served at a wedding. It is merely your job
to provide the guests with food and beverage.

Whether that beverage is alcoholic is entirely up to you.
Of course, realize if you do not serve alcohol,
you may "hear about it" from some guests
-yes, it would be tacky for them to say anything,
but people never surprise me! -
and, let's be honest, the alcohol (usually) plays a part
in getting the dancing and party started. So as long as you realize
the minor implications of not serving alcohol,
and you are comfortable with your decision, go for it!

You may want to choose a sparkling wine,
or "memorable" beverage for the toast.
(a sparkling soda that matches the wedding colors, perhaps!)
The toast should always be special!

As a side note, if you choose to not serve alcohol,
keep it at that. I have been asked by brides if it is
OK to not offer hosted alcoholic beverages, but to offer
the guests a no-host (cash) bar if they want alcohol.
Don't do it. Respect and adhere to your decision.

Oh...before I go...if there is no alcohol,
offer the guests something special, such as a gourmet coffee bar,
a smoothie bar, signature lemonades (rosemary, strawberry, etc.),
specialty fruit juices, or sparkling Italian sodas...
there is no reason you cannot make it fun and interesting!

Happy Planning!

Keep an eye out...and tell your engaged friends -
I will be giving away one of my books very soon!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

To Cake or Not To Cake?

What's Your Question Wednesday...

Got a question...drop me a line!

I know a wedding cake is a tradition,
but I really do not want or see the need for one.
Am I breaking some serious law of etiquette
or stepping all over tradition if I skip the wedding cake?

There is no law in wedding world that says
you must have a wedding cake.
Yes, wedding cakes are a tradition
(and when the associated tradition of smashing it
in one's face disappears, it will be none too soon...
yes, couples still do this!).
However....this is your wedding and you should do
what suits your style and the style of your wedding.

I have had a few couples skip the wedding cake...
and trust me...grandma did not understand...
in fact mom and dad had a hard time understanding.
It is simply a tradition that people have come to expect,
but that does not mean you cannot find your own just dessert!

A few alternatives to a wedding cake include...cupcakes
(which arrived on the scene at least 10 years ago are still rocking it),
mini Bundt cakes, ice cream cake, cheesecake,
donuts, or a signature dessert...
pretty much if you can dream it up (and afford it)
...it can be at your wedding.

Think about blending tradition with your savvy style...
One couple, who chose to marry at a favorite local restaurant,
decided to serve the restaurant's famous chocolate souffle
in lieu of wedding cake. Now at this wedding, many of the guests
were of a different generation, so we were a little unsure
of what they were going to think.Guess what...they loved it! 
However, the bride had visions that in 10 or 20 years
she was going to regret her "no cake" decision.
 So, to honor tradition, we ordered a small cake.
They sliced it and fed each other a piece,
just prior to dessert service.

For the record...I just love a FABULOUS wedding cake!
And by FABULOUS, I mean...
one that looks divine and tastes just as decadent. 

Happy Planning!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

What to Wear!?

What's Your Question?

Have a question...a dilemma...just plain confused
about a wedding related matter?
Look no further...this is the Q and A place.

My hubby and I are going to an indoor, evening wedding with a cocktail party reception. I was thinking of wearing my version of the "little black dress" with a lavender wrap and some sort of metallic-colored heel/sandal. Is this acceptable? You must always get the "is-black-okay-at-weddings" question...

For modern weddings, at a soiree such as you describe, black is totally acceptable. Accenting it with fabulous accessories, especially with a colored wrap and cute shoes is stylish and sophisticated and totally appropriate.

Drop me a line via email or leave your question in the comment box (be sure there is an email hooked up to your blogger account...I cannot help you out asap if you are a no-reply at blogger person)

Happy Planning!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

What's Your Question Wednesday?

I just love answering questions about weddings.
So, to honor this little hobby of mine
and in anticipation of my book,
releasing very soon, I am making Wednesday's
"What's Your Question Wednesday?"

The Question

My daughter and all of her bridesmaids live in Seattle. I'm in Denver, as are most of her childhood friends and all our extended family. I know that traditionally family members should not throw a shower for the couple. In this situation, would it be terrible to break that rule or should I have a couple of my friends put their names on the invite? The shower will have to be held at my house because of the size of the shower? Advice???

The Answer
When I give advice, I always like to reference the traditional etiquette for each case just so we all know where we I am coming from. That said, times have changed, people have changed, and every circumstance is totally unique, so, in my opinion, there is no one right or wrong answer for most questions (I say most, because, I do have a few points I am a stickler with).

Traditional etiquette dictates that the bride's (or groom's) mother or grandmother should not host a shower; that responsibility should be left to more distant relatives, like a cousin or aunt, or to the maid of honor, bridesmaids, and other friends. The logic behind this rule is that the bride and groom’s families shouldn’t appear to be asking for gifts. 

Now for the reality of the situation...
  1. You have to do what is right for you and your family. I seriously doubt anyone (unless you are inviting some super-strict etiquette experts) is going to give a second thought to a family member hosting the shower. Especially in your case, it is simply a logistical necessity. 
  2. It is perfectly fine to hold the shower at your home regardless of who is hosting (i.e., if some others step in to assist).
  3. Are the bridesmaids hosting a shower as well? Or is this the only shower? If this is the only shower, consider including the Maid of Honor's name on the invitation.
  4. If it makes you feel more comfortable and a few of the childhood friends or extended family members wouldn't mind, include their names on the invitation along with yours. 
So, what does this mean?...The etiquette police will not come knocking on your door. This should not be something you worry about. Etiquette rules should be taken into account, but only to the point where as they are feasible. Guests know what to expect at a bridal shower - they know it is about showering the bride with gifts, and no one should hold it against a mother for having her daughters shower at her home or for hosting it.

Happy Planning!


Monday, November 16, 2009

Mythical Mondays

It's that time again...Mythical Mondays! But before I go any further, just a couple of quick notes...

First, be on the lookout for a book giveaway...yes, The Everything Wedding Etiquette Book is coming out very soon, and I will be giving away a copy (or maybe two)!

Secondly, I am accepting questions about etiquette and general planning...feel free to email me or post it in the comments, just be sure to leave me an email or check back often so you can catch the answer. I will be posting Q and A on Wednesdays.

So with no further adieu...

MYTH: Buffet meals are less expensive than plated meals.

TRUTH: I am sure you've heard it...to save cash have a buffet at your reception. While this may have been true at one time, it is not always the case anymore. It really depends on the location, caterer, and the type of meal service you decide on.

In general, unless you are taking about throwing out a 6-foot long sandwich and calling it a day, buffet meals require just as much time and attention as plated meals. While the caterer may need additional servers for a plated meal, for the buffet the caterer must make more food, as some of the guests may visit the buffet line one, two, or three times before being satisfied. Secondly, there must also be enough china and flatware on hand for these repeat visitors - a guest should never revisit the line with a "dirty" plate. And, finally, if you are responsible for rental items, you will need to rent tables and linens for the buffet, as well as possibly arranging for some decor. 

Also, don't make the mistake of thinking food stations are the same as a buffet either. Stations are typically more costly and elaborate than buffets. They typically require a chef at each station and specialty items as well.

What does this mean? In your search for the perfect venue and caterer ask the questions and get all your facts in order before just assuming a buffet will cost less. There is much more to making this decision as well, look for more details in the coming weeks.

Happy Planning!


Sunday, November 8, 2009

Mythical Mondays

Another Monday...and back to the myths of wedding planning...

MYTH: You can cut floral costs by purchasing your own candles and/or containers for floral arrangements, instead of having the florist or event designer provide them. DIY is always more sensible and will save you money.

TRUTH: I love DIY in many cases...but sometimes you must really considers the pros and cons, not just think about the cash savings. Beyond cost, consider the following: where are you going to store these containers (until the day before the wedding), what are you going to do with them after (do you need 20 candelabras?), how are you going to transport them (will 20 candelabras fit in your 4 door sedan...not likely!), are you sure the florist can use them (will they be the right size, etc.), do you want to be responsible for them on the wedding night...chances are the florist will not transport them back to his studio and store them until after the honeymoon...they are yours!

In actuality, these are not the items that the florist is making their big money on. What you end up with instead is a string of problems ranging from containers that cannot stand up to the complexities of the floral arrangements you desire, mismatched containers, and storage/transportation issues.

In terms of candles, you need to be sure to buy tempered votive holders and hurricanes, as well as ones that meet current fire code for the city in which your venue is located. Again...who is going to haul them to and from the sites...think about it!

Also, scented candles can irritate the senses and distract from the meal service - just imagine the lovely scent of Gardenia and Filet Mignon. Or worse yet, you buy candles at the dollar store, and they burnout 2 hours into the evening. Many brides also like to purchase their own twinkle lights, and miscalculate the number they need, forget adapters and extension cords, and worse yet, for the battery-operated strands, forget the batteries (by the way battery operated ones don't really last all that long!).

HIP TIP: Smart and Final has the best votives candles...an 8 hour burn and no scent!

Happy Planning!


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Cutest Flower Girls EVER!

Everyone is talking about personalizing your wedding (more of my thoughts on that to come!). So, why not let the littlest stars of the day shine - yes, you know it is true...the guests love the flower girl, whether she drops any petals, rings any bells, or even makes it down the aisle. Step out of the bridal box - flower girls do not have to wear fluffy white gowns! Add to the style of your wedding by selecting a truly unique flower dress dress that reflects your wedding style?

Take a peek at Zookini Kids. A line of classic, timeless, age appropriate, and quite simply, some of the cutest dresses EVER!

Can't you just imagine Glorious Grace at your garden party?

Or Christine's Hawaiian Halter at your beach luau?

Or Sweetheart Anna at your "rustic" country picnic?

Or Parisian Rose at your tea party?

Or Asian Rose at your Fall Soiree?

These dresses are beautifully made in the USA (YIPPEEE!) with all natural fibers - I know how good the quality is...my daughter has a few of the dresses. Check out her photo shoot in the Sweetheart Anna at 504 Main.

When it is time to shop for the flower girl dresses, check out these styles and all the others at Zookini Kids.

Happy Planning!

Friday, October 30, 2009

To Guest Book or Not to Guest Book

The idea, or should I say, tradition of a guestbook has been around for what seems like forever. Over the last several years the guest book has taken some twists and turns. Probably the most popular reincarnation of the guestbook has been the matted engagement photo, where guests sign their well wishes on the matting surrounding the photo. However, there are many other creative alternatives that deserve some time in the spotlight. I am going to spend a few posts here and there, highlighting some of the best guest book ideas I have seen or heard of.

For the first installment, I am going to start with a really easy and fun alternative. For one super fun couple I worked with we simply purchased a spiral bound scrap book style photo album, like this...

Then I bought crayons, markers, and good 'ole regular pens. We placed these items in a cool container by the book, and created a frame with the phrase "Draw a picture. Write a poem. Share some words of wisdom."

To give guests a clue as to what we were doing (because it was different), I brought the guest book to the rehearsal dinner and had the parents and wedding party do their signing there. Guest love visuals!

HIP TIP: The family and wedding party are really busy on the wedding day. By taking the guestbook to the rehearsal dinner they will have time to sign it and leave their well wishes without being rushed...and of course you don't want them to be left out of this special keepsake.

Happy Planning!


Saturday, October 24, 2009

What's On Your Plate?

What's on your cake table? Of course you have heard that you “have to have” a cake knife and server on your wedding accessory checklist, but what about a charming cake plate that can become a family heirloom.

HIP TIP: It is not always necessary to purchase your own knife and server…just ask the caterer or venue if they have a set you can use.

Now that we covered that…consider this…Why don’t you get your DIY on and design your own heirloom cake plate? This is seriously one of the best totally cool touches I have seen in awhile….and it is easy as pie (or cake!).

How special would it be to eat your first slice of wedding cake together off of this plate and then be able to take it home and cherish it...even enjoy a slice of cake on your first anniversary or other special occasions too. (DIY Directions below)

This plate can be customized with a monogram, a special motif…pretty much anything you want that can be done in silhouette style. If you want to check out some other samples of this cool DIY, go to 504 Main - a lifestyle and entertaining destination.

Charming DIY Heirloom Cake Plate
  1. Glass cake plate (you could do it on a bigger plate, but the smaller works better for the cake)
  2. Enamel paint in black (paint for glass...make sure it is opaque)
  3. Paint brush
  4. Enamel spray paint in white (or your choice of color)
  5. Clear acrylic sealer in gloss
  6. Design, such as a monogram, silhouette, motif
  7. Masking tape
  8. Permanent marker with fine tip (Like a Sharpie)
  1. Clean: the back of the glass plate with soap and water, a cleaning solution, or rubbing alcohol to get it really clean.
  2. Design: Search for free clip art, silhouette clip art on the Internet) of just “blow up your monogram/initials in any word processing program to the size you want and print it out. I actually used Microsoft Publisher, made a text box that was 4.5 x 4.5 and typed my “L” into it. Then adjusted font style and size until it fit in the box (and thus on the plate) they way I like it. NOTE: It may be necessary to print “mirror image” so that the letter, etc. is pointing the way you want.
  3. Cut: Trim up the paper to be a size that is easily taped to the plate.
  4. Tape: Using masking tape, affix the image to the front side of the plate, centered or placed however you prefer.
  5. Trace: On the back side of the plate, use a permanent marker (such as a sharpie) to trace the outline of the design.Remove image and tape…it will be easier to see the outline better.
  6. Paint: Begin painting with the black paint, within the outline of the image. Finish painting and leave to dry completely.
  7. Clean: When you know it is all dry, gently clean the back of the plate again to get any smudges, etc. that may have gotten on the plate during the black painting layer.
  8. Prep: Cover a well-ventilated area with newspaper, paper bags, or a drop cloth and set your dry plate on it with the backside (painted side) facing up.
  9. Spray: With even strokes, spray the white paint. You may need to let it dry and spray again.
  10. Let dry completely. DO NOT put the painted side down, stack the plate, etc. until you finish the next step with the sealer...it will chip!
  11. When dry, again, using protective covering for your work area, spray the back with the acrylic sealer.
  12. Let dry completely
…and Voila! A charming heirloom cake plate…
A special memento that you can keep and use for years to come.

Yes! You can eat off of this plate...all the paint is on the back.
I recommend gently handwashing it.
 See the bottom of the post for Tips!
Here are some photos of the process.
(check out 504 Main for more DIY photos)

Step 6

Step 9

  1. Patience is key. This DIY is not hard if you have patience. If you don't (like me), it is easy to smudge and chip the plate. AGAIN LET EACH LAYER DRY COMPLETELY!
  2. Let each step of the painting process dry thoroughly Seriously, I cannot stress this enough!).
  3. Do not move your plate while spraying the color on the back…until it is dry.
  4. Do not move the plate while spraying the sealer on the plate…until it is dry.
  5. If any paint gets on the rim or front of the plate, it can be removed with a gentle rubbing...I used Goof Off to get off a stubborn area. This should be done after sealing.
  6. Pick your deisgn based on your artistic level. For example, I have a bold hand, so fine details were not in the cards for me, but I have seen one with finer details...AMAZING!
If you try this…Let me know, I’d love to see a photo!

Happy DIYing!

Click here for the link to the orignal (video) instructions (not made by me or anyone I know from Beverly's Arts and Crafts!)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Once Upon a Time...

Once upon a time I was a wedding planner in Los Angeles. I was lucky enough to work with some really amazing brides and vendors during that time. One of my favorite memories is working with Tamara. I met her through my friend Cynthia at A Legendary Affair. Tamara worked as my assistant on many, many weddings and she was (is) FABULOUS! Tamara eventually was offered a position at the Portofino Hotel and Yacht Club in Redondo Beach...luckily,
we were still able to work together, just in a different capacity.

Tamara has since moved back to Texas, but recently (like a couple of days ago) she posted this really lovely story about one of the first weddings she coordinated. I thought it should be shared...so here it is (and, yes, I did steal my opening line from her story...it just fit!).

Visit Tamara's blog, The McDonald World, to see the whole story...these are just a few photos (from one of our favorite photographers EVER, Epic Imagery) to entice you.
Click here for the direct link.

Thanks to Tamara and Katie for sharing this story.

Photos from Epic Imagery

Monday, October 19, 2009

Mythical Mondays

Myth: You do not need a wedding planner. The location/venue/catering manager will help me.

Truth: Simply speaking, a location manager is not the same as a wedding planner. The location manager works for the venue and the wedding planner works for you! The three of you (+ the groom) should work together to ensure your wedding runs smoothly.

That said, it works differently at all locations, so you cannot make assumptions. There are venues where the location managers (sometimes called a catering or site manager) will work closely with you on all details from the moment you book the location until you leave the reception as husband and wife, offering vendors referrals, advice, and suggestions to assist you. Still, some venues work with a more hands-off approach, assisting you with details related to the venue (pricing, menu, times) and nothing more. In many instances, the location manager is onsite for the beginning of your wedding to ensure everything is ready to go but may leave sometime after the reception begins, leaving you in the hands of the banquet captain.

A wedding planner works independently of the venue and is hired by you, to be your advocate. Now, depending on what services you hire a wedding planner for, she can be available to accompany you on appointments, taste menus, assemble invitations, run errands, or to simply manage the wedding day. (Check back later in the week for the skinny on the different types of wedding planning services!)

So, don't get the services and responsibilities of wedding planners and location managers confused. Lastly, don't be surprised...ask questions, specific questions. Be sure you understand the extent of the assistance your location manager offers.

Happy Planning!

P.S. I always recommend the services of a professional wedding planner.  

Monday, October 12, 2009

Mythical Mondays

No one ever said planning a wedding was easy. Over the last few years, "big" weddings have become hugely popular for brides and big business for wedding vendors. During this time, a slew of "urban legends for wedding planning" have sprung up. Many brides get caught up in these myths as they seem simple enough and, on the surface, sometimes even logical. Don't be fooled. Dispelling the unfortunately too common fallacies of wedding planning will help you avoid disappointment and disaster.

 MYTH: I know exactly what it takes to pull off a wedding, and I will not go over budget.

TRUTH: There is a good chance you probably will. Many brides "forget" to include some necessary expenses and/or incur additional costs at the last minute. Some brides also "fall in love" with certain items and must have them whether or not they were originally budgeted for. Work with a trusted professional wedding planner to detail out a budget for you based on your needs. Professional planners deal with budgets all of the time and know what costs are involved in a wedding.

As a final precaution, take 5-10% off of your budget total and hold it back for those unexpected expenses - if you need it, it will not push you over the edge, and if you don't you will have some extra cash for the honeymoon (or bank account!).

Happy Planning!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Gifted Ideas...A Family Crest Necklace

A few weeks ago as I was perusing blogs, I happened upon designer Lisa Leonard's blog (seriously, go check it out...it is beauitfully designed and has amazing photos). Well, It just so happened that on this very day she was blogging about her new family crest necklace...it was instant LOVE!

As a wedding planner, I am constantly asked (usually at the last minute) "Was I supposed to buy Bride-to-be/Groom-to-be a wedding gift?" Most grooms and brides hear about this little tradition and freakout after already having spent a ton of cash on the wedding. Who says that the wedding present must must have lots of zeros in the price tag or come wrapped in a certain-color-blue box?

So, back to the story, when I saw this necklace, I just thought it was the perfect gift for such a momentous occasion, and wanted to share it with the wedding world. It is a personal and unique piece of jewelry, and it is a special way to say "Welcome to the family." I, personally, could think of nothing sweeter than that!

I could go on and on...this gift is perfect for so many other occasions too. Can you imagine your future mother in law's face if you presented her with a family crest necklace? Or what a perfect gift to celebrate your anniversary?

Lisa has great jewelry and goodies for brides, grooms, bridesmaids, groomsmen, the families...and, well anyone! Go now and check out Lisa Leonard Designs...you will not be disappointed! I am ordering mine too (to celebrate 12 years of marriage!).

Happy Planning (and shopping!)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Mythical Mondays

It's time for Mythical Mondays where we clarify what really is and isn't true about...wedding planning.

MYTH: You have one year to write thank you notes.

TRUTH: A widely held belief that a bride and groom have one year to send thank you notes to their guests is beyond comprehension. How will the guest know you even received the carefully selected gift? Will you even remember what you received as wedding gifts in one year? How motivated will you really be in one year? 

The confusion comes from the notion that a guest has up to one year to send a gift. In actuality, the newlyweds should attempt to get out any thank you's within a few weeks of returning from the honeymoon (a couple of months is really the maximum). Thank you's for gifts received before the wedding should be sent promptly. This goes for engagement, shower, and wedding presents sent to the home.

Thank You Cheat Sheet

  1. Email, texts, and a general shout-out on your wedding web site are not acceptable. The written word still rules here.
  2. Mention the gift. If it is a monetary gift you do not need to mention the amount, rather call it the "generous gift" or something similar.
  3. Include how you plan to use it
  4. Thank the guest for their generosity.
  5. Add a personal sentiment if possible.
  6. Sign your married name only after you are officially married.
  7. Use your maiden name for anything thank you notes written prior to the ceremony, even if it is a wedding gift (i.e., shower gifts, a wedding gift sent to your home that arrives in the days or weeks prior to the wedding).

Sample Thank You Note

Dear Uncle Jack,
Thank you so much for the place setting of formal china. We are so excited to host our first holiday meal on our china, and even more excited that you will be joining us. We are looking forward to seeing you there. Thank you for being a part of our wedding celebration.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Fall Head Over Heels

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this wedding. Everything about it was warm and cozy and inviting - you just wanted to kick off your shoes and curl up by the roaring fireplace (sorry no picture of that, but I assure you it was there and it was roaring!).

The bride had a distinct vision (as most do) of what her she wanted for her wedding. What is different is that most brides come in talking colors and flowers, she didn't. She didn't necesarily know what she wanted her wedding to look like. Her visions, if you will, were centered on the atmosphere and feeling of the event. She was able to so clearly explain the how she wanted her guests to react and feel that the wedding planner and floral designer were able to pull off an event that she never even imagined.





Details, details...
Location: La Venta Inn, Palos Verdes
Photography: Epic Imagery
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