Saturday, January 30, 2010

A Little Something For Your Honeymoon

You've've planned some more...
and now you are M-A-R-R-I-E-D!
It's time to relax and just "be" with your new spouse. 
Yeah for the honeymoon!
So, how can you make your honeymoon even more romantic and memorable? Do a little pre-planning and surprise your spouse with a few treats {get your mind out of the gutter...or put it there...your choice!} to make this one-of-a-kind trip even more unforgettable. Check out these "Honeymoon Extras."
  • Start the trip off right. Use credit card mileage (or cold hard cash) to upgrade your airline seats to first class. Be careful you may never want to go "back."
  • Have a floral arrangement (reminiscent of your wedding flowers) waiting for you at the hotel. {The concierge can assist with this.}
  • Call ahead to the hotel concierge and have them deliver champagne, chocolate dipped strawberries {or another favorite treat} to your hotel room just prior to your arrival. You can even ask if they can sprinkle rose petals on the bed and light a few candles. Your spouse will be amazed! 
  • Arrange for a romantic dinner. For example, just the two of you can dine in an amazing secluded, romantic location your own chef.
  • Arrange for in-room or a private couples massage. 
  • Speak with the concierge about arranging tours or excursions in advance, especially if something is of special interest to you. Surprise your spouse with a favorite activities like a mountain bike ride down a volcano at sunset or an exclusive scuba dive. 
  • Does it need to be said…pack some lingerie or whatever "does it for you!"
HIP TIP: If you are concerned about motion sickness while traveling to or on your a PsiBand...."stylish, FDA-cleared acupressure wrist bands for the relief of nausea due to morning sickness (pregnancy), motion sickness/travel, anesthesia, and chemotherapy." Seriously check them out, and get them in cool patterns to match your swim suit, your snow suit...or your cutest honeymoon outfit {you know you have been shopping for new honeymoon outfits!}.
Make sure that cruise doesn't make you want to head for dry land or that helicopter ride through a rain forest doesn't send you for a loop-de-loop yourself! PsiBands are available at many stores such as CVS, Rite Aid, Longs, Pharmaca, REI, and even through Amazon. Click here to find a store near you!

Need more Honeymoon Tips or Etiquette advice for your wedding? Get it here...
Happy Planning!

Monday, January 25, 2010

What's a Mother To Do?

Some envision the Mother of the Bride as a crazy woman intent on making every detail perfect for herself...not necessarily her daughter. Others see the Mother of the Bride as a joyous exuberant woman reveling in a day that is special for her too. And, of course there are a number of categories that fall between those that I mention. I recently had an email from a Mother of the Bride, so I thought I would jump into this subject.

Did you know the MOB is technically a member of the wedding party?
Here is a list of her official duties from the The Everything Wedding Etiquette Book: From invites to thank you notes  - All you need to handle even the stickiest  situations with ease (Everything Series).
  • Assists the bride in selecting her gown, accessories, and trousseau
  • Helps the bride select bridesmaid’s attire 
  • Coordinates her attire with the mother of the groom
  • Works with bride, groom, and groom’s family to devise a seating plan
  • Helps address invitations
  • Helps attendants with coordinating the bridal shower
  • Generally assists the bride
  • Occupies a place of honor at the ceremony
  • Stands at the beginning of the receiving line
  • In most instances, acts as hostess of the reception
  • Occupies a seat of honor at the parent’s table

Of course, not all of the above duties will apply or be acceptable or even possible for all MOB's. As a wedding planner, I have seen brides and their mothers disagree in what is some times a power struggle. In those instances, it has been helpful to ask the MOB to assist with certain planning tasks that she can "run with"...within reason of course. Just be sure everyone is on the same page in terms of style, budget, etc. Ultimately, the MOB can be involved in every aspect of planning...if that is what the bride and her mother agree upon. Some specific duties the MOB can also assist with include:
  • Favor selection
  • Invitations selection
  • Plan the bridesmaids tea/luncheon
  • Research attendant gifts
  • Research other programs, menu cards, escort cards
  • Help select wedding day accessories...ring pillow, candles, guest book.
When I was planning a wedding a few years back, the MOB lived across the country and had a lot of hostility towards the bride, the groom, and me. As it turns out all she really wanted was to feel needed and involved. The bride had no real opinions about her invitation, other than some wording, so we told MOB the colors of the wedding, and let her "go to town." She was happy...almost obsessed, and the bride was happy too.

What's the Mother of the Bride to wear?
This can be the million dollar question. Seriously I have seen MOB's show up in gowns more revealing and more dramatic than the,"not appropriate!" However, the styles of dress for a MOB are far reaching and very stylish...gone are the days of ruffly chiffon dresses, sensible shoes, and floppy hats (unless of course that's her thing!)...MOB style has evolved as weddings have. Just a few points a MOB should consider when it comes to attire:
  • The color should compliment the bridesmaids dresses and the colors of the wedding but need not be the same color.
  • Her dress should not upstage or outshine the bride's fire engine red for the Spring wedding, no inappropriate cleavage, etc...Get the picture?
  • Her dress should not be white...unless approved by the bride or called for, i.e. a "white wedding" theme.
  • Her dress does not need to match the Mother of the Groom's (MOG) dress. They should compliment each other in formality, but the colors do not need to match, nor must the styles be the same. The MOB should shop for her attire first and the MOG should follow the lead as far as formality is concerned.
  • She should always discuss her options with the daughter is there is any question in her mind. In fact, make it a fun "girls day" of shopping.
Finally, the MOB should not feel like she needs to shop in formalwear shops or bridal boutiques only. Department Stores and other women's retailers often carry a beautiful selection of clothing that is perfectly suited for MOB attire. The options are limitless. I tell my MOB's to go shop at their favorite specialty store first (provided they carry more formal attire) and then go from there..."remain true to your style and the right dress will be there and you too will feel confident and be radiant on the wedding day."

HIP TIP: As a wedding planner you do not know how many times I have heard Mom's (OK, all female guests, other than maybe Grandma) complain about corsages. No one wants the heavy flowers pulling on their expensive dress or making a water stain on delicate fabric. Consider a small bouquet for the mothers, a single flower, or even no flowers at all (it isn't a rule you know).

What everyone involved in planning a wedding must remember is that this is not only a right of passage for a couple, but it is also a rite of passage for the families. There are many emotions involved and all it takes is a little consideration on everyone's part to make the planning go smoothly.

Happy Planning!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Design Inspiration...Bold Black and White

We all could use a little inspiration right?
Yes, I promised place cards and escort cards
as my next post (how exciting, right!), but 
at 504 Main I posted these photos
and just had to do it here too!
We did this set up a couple of years ago
as part of a photo shoot, but...
I have this obsession with black and white right now,
I still LOVE this look, and it may provide
a little I just had to share!
Bold Black and White
Sit back and imagine yourself sipping martinis
and dancing to Frank Sinatra
with the California Coast as your backdrop.

Embrace the clean lines of a vintage-inspired, slightly art deco influenced design married to the striking contrast of black and white for a look that is unexpected.

Stunning and simple, an arrangement of Parrot Merlot
and white tulips, with a hint - here and there- of simple white carnations (I love carnations) is perfect in a simple glossy black vase.

Sleek black china "pops" on the polka dot linen -
a little whimsy...a little modern!

A gorgeous peacock feather adds sophistication and texture.

Sleek vintage-inspired flatware.

One sweet carnation hiding...

Hope you enjoyed the little bit of eye candy.
This is one of my favorite things about being a wedding planner!

Happy Planning!

Linens: BBJ Linens, Polka Dot Lamour table linen and white lamour napkins.
Rentals: Classic Party Rentals, Chairs (Arcus Stainless Steel and Black), China (Simply Black), Flatware (Mondrian), Stemware (Delano)
Florals: Bobbe Vagel
Photography: Epic Imagery
Location: Rancho del Cielo, Malibu

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Take a Seat!

No one ever said planning a wedding was easy.
Add to that the slew of urban legends and
myths associated with wedding planning,
and it can be confusing. While some of these myths
seem simple enough and, on the surface,
sometimes even logical, don't be fooled.
Dispelling the myths of wedding planning
will help you avoid disappointment.
On to the myth...

MYTH: I do not need a seating plan. I have no time for it and no one cares anyway.

TRUTH: If you are serving a meal (i.e. the guest will need to find a place to sit and eat), a seating plan falls just short of being considered a necessity. A seating plan is a courtesy that simply alleviates any uneasy feeling or uncomfortable moments as guest find a seat at the reception. If you’re planning a cocktail party, or not planning to serve a full meal, a seating plan isn’t necessary, but you should have enough tables and chairs to accommodate all of your guests.

I won't lie, seating plans can be complicated...and chances are not everyone is going to be happy, you just have to do your best at match and mixing up the guests. Once the responses are in and accounted for, try these tips to get you going:
  • Get a floor plan from the venue that outlines the layout of the room (dance floor, bar, guest book, gift table, etc.).
  • Know how many guests can be seated at each table. A good rule to follow is eight to ten guests at a sixty-inch round table. 
  • Decide where you will be sitting, and where your family and bridal party will be sitting. Also determine what the seating arrangement will be for the wedding party and yourself - a head table, sweetheart table, feasting table, etc. 
  • Ask for input from your families when determining who should sit where. (optional, but usually a good idea).
  • Determine if their are any guests with special needs, such as your grandparents not wanting to be sitting next to the college "party" crowd, or guests with young children being seated right next to the bands speakers. Additionally, be sure to account for any guests with a disability. 
  • Match guests up by families, where you know them from, or by similar interests. From here you will be playing a card game of sorts, mix and matching until you have the right guests at the “right” seats. Try to avoid playing matchmaker with the single guests, it could be uncomfortable.
I have seen brides work with all sorts of "tools" for placing the guests at tables...Post it notes with the guests names, spread sheets, dry erase boards (think football coach) have to decide how you can best visualize the seating arrangements...there is no right or wrong answer.

HIP TIP: Always be sure to formulate and print out (at least 2) alphabetized guest lists with the guests table assignment. Give the list to the wedding planner, location manager, or banquet never know when the guest is going to set down the escort card with their cocktail napkin...and bye-bye to the trash it goes.

So, once you have the seating plan down,
you need to direct the guests to the right seat...
and how are you going to do that?....
Look for the next post on escort cards and place cards.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

A Fab DIY: 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.
See the bottom of the post for Tips!
Here are some photos of the process.

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!
  7. I recommend gently handwashing it.
  8. Check out 504 Main for more DIY photos)
If you try this…Let me know, I’d love to see a photo!
Happy DIYing!

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

Monday, January 11, 2010

What's a Guy To Do?

A few posts ago, I was talking about "Engagement Season"
and in the comments Crimson Flames asked,
"So what about stuff like going down on a knee?
Is there anything you expect him to do to make it perfect?"
Well, I thought - Ta-Da! - let's chat about it!

What do women expect these days?
Do they expect a man to get down on one knee?
Do they expect a the question to be flashed on
the scoreboard at the Kings game?
Do they want to be flown to Paris and
receive their ring atop the Eiffel Tower?

I think there is no one size fits all answer...
if you are going to be asking someone to marry you,
hopefully you know what kind of gal she is.
Let that be your guide.

If she is the traditional romantic type, I say
"Get down on one knee and do it the old-fashioned way!"
Really, can you wrong with that anyhow?

If she likes to be the center of attention and
you know she'll be Twittering or texting seconds after the proposal,
do it B-I-G, do it in public, do it when her friends or family are around
(just be sure ya are about 100% sure the answer will be "YES!").

If she is the adventurous type, whisk her away to a romantic locale...
it doesn't have to be pop the question.

Still wondering what to do...when I was a wedding planner
some of the best proposal I heard were:

Re-enacting their first date experience -
same activity, same restaurant, etc.

Popping the question at the location of the first kiss.

Sending the lucky lady on a treasure hunt around the city
to points of interest and meaning with the final destination
being the man and the ring at a fabulous location.

I also saw couples surprise everyone else with a party
that turned into a Surprise Engagement Party.

So, what's your story?
Have a great idea to share with
the soon-to-be's of wedding world. Tell us!

Of course, first you need to take a peek at engagement rings...
my pal Melissa over at the The Ebell of Los Angeles Blog
just posted Engagement Rings 101 Part 1 and Part 2...
go check out the great tips and to-do's!

Happy Planning!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

A Little Whimsy...A Little Tradition…

A little whimsy...A little tradition…
My favorite kind of d├ęcor!
I like nothing more than mixing it up at a wedding.
A case of “expect the unexpected”…but in a good way.
Regal-looking china, elegant details, and custom linens,
accented with fanciful tulips floating in crystals and feathers…
an unlikely pairing, but somehow it makes sense…

These photos were taken as part of a magazine spread
a few years back before everyone "went digital."
So, please excuse the quality of the scans...
just enjoy the beauty of the design.

Subtle colors are always fashionable

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this napkin treatment -
an inexpensive "crystal" bracelet (a la Claire's) simply sparkles.

An elegant DIY menu card accented with a crystal...simply perfect!

So pretty!

Glamorizes details

What are your details for your wedding?
What was your inspiration?
I'd love to hear your story.

Happy Planning!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Instant Gratification

This is your chance for "Instant Gratification."
Adesso Albums, the world's original instant photo guest book captures the images, feelings, and sentiments of the wedding day. These albums are so much more than just guest books..they are photographic event journals for your amazing day.
How can you go wrong!

This is an exciting time in your life, but it does pass all too quickly. Don't forget, an Adesso Album is also perfect for a bridal shower, rehearsal dinner, bachelorette party,
bridal tea, honeymoon...or any other event.
Check this out...just because you are hanging out at hip weddings,
enter hip2010 at check out for a 10% discount on your purchase.

Here's the Scoop on the Albums...
What Do You Do?
Instant photos are taken of the guests as they arrive (ask a friend to be in charge of the picture makes it so much easier!). Then the photo is placed in the album where the guest can write a special note to the bride and groom.

What Do You Need?
Adesso originally used Polaroid cameras for the guest books, but Polaroid is "no more" {sob, sob}, and the Fujifilm Instanx 210 Camera has stepped up to take over {yippeee!}.

The Adesso Instant Photo Guest Book™ for Fujifilm Instax 200 Begin Now Kit Includes:
1. Photo Album: Covered in custom dyed Japanese fabric, inyour choice of colors (black, natural, pastel pink and pastel blue, brown and pewter). 
2. Fujifilm Instax 210 Instant Camera
3. Fujifilm Instax 200 Instant Color Print Film (ISO800) (Twin Pack)

Go check out Adesso Albums to see their collection
of guest books and accessories.
They even have an Instant Digital Photo Album Begin Now Kit.

A Little Note...
Should you have a Polaroid you would like to use, film is available and the original Polaroid guest book is too available...OR should you like the idea of the Polaroid, and do not own one, Adesso does rent Polaroid cameras.

Don't forget...
enter hip2010 at check out for a 10% discount on your purchase.

Happy Planning!

Here's my little disclosure/disclaimer. This is not a paid or compensated endorsement/advertisement. I just love these albums...ever since my days in L.A.
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