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 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 here it is (and, yes, I did steal my opening line from her 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 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 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 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 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.

google-site-verification: googleaf2e92e7af72bfaa.html


Related Posts with Thumbnails