Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Save the Dates are Going Out!

We are just under the year mark until the wedding and we are finally sending out our save the dates. Actually, I thougt it was kind of early but we kept getting questions about the date and accomodations so we decided to send them out earlier than originally planned. We got these babies free from vistaprint.com.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Bouquet Alternatives : Brooches & paper & Crystals, Oh my!

Purple bouquet

As you all know I am not a very traditional bride and I could really care less about flowers. Though flowers are beautiful, they make me sneeze and they die. And I have a huge problem with spending so much money for something that is not going to last beyond the day .  At first I wanted purple calla lillies, but after pricing them out and considering how low the bouquet was on my list of priorities, i decided to forgo one all together. But after browsing the wedding blogs the past few months, I have come across a few unique bouquet alternatives that I would consider.


Crystal Bouquet
I originally wanted a winter themed wedding and I thought these crystal bouquets would be perfect. They are really expensive, but pretty easy to DIY. I still love them but they no longer fit our theme.  You can find a great tutorial here or buy them online here.
  
Brooch Bouquet

I love bling so I am drawn to these brooch bouquets. They are kind of expensive but seem pretty easy to DIY if you can find the brooches. I really love these but think they are too vintage for my theme. What do you think?  You can find a tutorial here or buy them here.

Composit Bouquet

I loved these and considered one for my flower girl. I think they are pretty chic and I am still considering them for sure. You can find a tutorial here or buy one here.

Fabric
These  fabric bouquets are by far my favorite. Super easy and the price can vary depending on the type of fabric you use. I will post a tutorial when I'm done making mine but here is where you can buy them.

Some other ideas that are cute but did not fit my wedding

Metal:

Metal
Feathers:

Feather
Fans:

Fans
Paper:

Paper
Candles: 
Candles


In the end I think I'm going to try the fabric bouquet since I like how they look and they are fun to make. Im still going to try the composite flower since that might turn out to be pretty awesome.  But who knows, i might still decide to walk with nothing. So do you/did you have an alternative bouquet? Do you think they are trendy or will they stand the test of time?




Monday, October 10, 2011

My first DIY

Finally getting started on my long list of projects. These are the trial run of my fabric flowers and I LOVE how they came out.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Private Last Dance

SOURCE
There are several songs the FI and consider "our song", so we had a very hard time deciding on one for our first dance. We decided we wanted to take dance lessons, so we wanted to choose a song early so we have time to take lessons and get plenty of practice. So while browsing the internet I came across a few lovely shots like the one above, that caught my eye.

What happens is, when all of the guests leave to get ready for your grand exit (or when they all leave if you are not doing one), you and your new husband dance together alone. Its just the two of you, the DJ and the photorapher. Or you could even have the DJ start the song and then step out. So not only do you get another intimate moment with your new husband, but you can also get some great photos!

This seems like a great solution to our first dance song problem since we can pick two songs to dance to. Plus we dont have to eliminate any songs that are difficult to dance to since for the private last dance we can just sway if we want. We plan on limiting it to about 3 minutes, which will give the guests enough time to prepare for our grand exit. Plus I love the idea of having a few moments to basks in the last few minutes of our wedding together.

Did you do this at you wedding or have you ever heard of it?

Sunday, September 4, 2011

More stuff I Learned From Others Weddings

This year has been full of weddings for my fiance and I, and we still have at least one more to go. Even before we were engaged, after we attended a wedding we would point out what we would and would not do. So here is a few things we learned from the last two weddings we went to:
  • Fake flower petals look fake. We originally planned on using silk petals for the aisle and for the petal toss. They are inexpensive, we can get the exact color we want, and nobody will notice the ones on the aisle are fake.....wrong. We noticed and it really detracted from the decor. So we decided real was the way to go for us, even though its going cost a lot more.
  • Really long weddings suck. We all like solos and reading, but they get repetitive after a while. And 2 or more hours is way too long to hold peoples attention. At the last wedding several people made us promise our ceremony would not be so long. An hour, tops, is reasonable.
  • Dont start late. Again, both these weddings started at least an hour late. That is super annoying to someone like me who likes to show up early to events. We are starting on time even if all the guests are not there.
  • You can have great decor on a budget. I really liked the reception decor at both weddings even though i knew both couples had modest budget. They both had rather large ccenterpieces that really added to the space.
  • Bands can be awesome. Both weddings had a live band (the same band) and it really created a nice ambieance. I would not do one for the entire night, but they are great for dinner and cocktail hour.
  • Have someone with a list of tables. At the last one we could not find our escort card. Luckily the coordinator was walking around with a list so she could tell us where to sit. My FSIL grabbed our card for us, but we could not find her at the time. This lead to out decision to do a chart instead of cards.
  • If people eat too much at the cocktail hour they wont eat a lot at dinner. This has been true at almost all of the NY weddings I have been too. At the last wedding the dinner was pretty good but i could not finish since i was still full from cocktail hour. And they had fruit and salad served before the entree and only a few people actually touched it. What a waste. My fiance refuses to serve a lot a food at our cocktail hour for this very reason. So far we are thinking of only offering fruit and veggies since there will be dinner and a late night buffet.
  • Serve dinner while the speeches are being given. At the last wedding, I was not really hungry for dinner, but some people at my table were. And it felt like we had to wait forever for the speeches to end to be served.
  • And lastly, make sure your venue is committed to service. The last wedding reception was at a very pretty venue but the service was terrible. In their defense the reception started over an hour late and there was another event right after, but the staff still should have been professional. As soon as my fiance and i arrived we heard a few complaining about the late start and how they had to hurry for the next event. During the cocktail hour if we sat our plate or drink down on the table for a second, someone was comming to take it away. At dinner my FSIL bent down to fix her shoe and when she looked up her plate was gone! I understand the need to move things along but at least ask if the person is done. They all seemed very unhappy to be there and it really brought down the experience for us.
Thats all I have for now. Have you been to any weddings lately? What have you learned?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Cutting the guest list: The Bridezilla Rumors Begin

Image from We TV's Bridezillas via this

  Well, we received our free save the date postcards from vistaprint.com and plan on mailing them out  in November, about a year before the wedding. My FI was super excited about how they turned out, so while I had his attention I forced him to sit with me and go through the guest list to narrow it down to the people we were actually going to invite.
           This was going to be tough. We originally budgeted for 150 guests but our venue had a 180 minimum so we stretched our budget to meet that. So we really want to keep it at exactly 180. Not to mention that our vendors have to be in our headcount in order to receive vendor meals.

180 may seem like a lot but we still had to leave out some people we care about. My fiancé's father is the pastor of a fairly large church so there are a lot of church member he grew up with that he wants to invite not to  mention friends, coworkers and family members. And then there is my huge family. I have 21 aunts and uncles, most of whom are married and have a few kids so as you could imagine, my family takes up my entire half of the guest list.

So we had to make cuts and limit the list to only the closest friends and family members. We also have an age cutoff at 21 years old and are not extending  +1's (unless they are married or engaged or will not know anyone at the wedding).  Even with all this, there are still a few people that we want but wont fit so we are going to send invites out early and send a second round once we get some no RSVP's.

How did you trim down your guest list? Did you regret it?

Saturday, August 6, 2011

How Soon is too Soon to Send Save the Dates?

We went to a vow renewal today, and everyone was asking for details of the wedding, such as the date and location, so they can save for the trip. Many of our guests are flying in from NYC,  a couple from Canada,  at least one from Haiti, a few from other states, and the rest will be driving 45 minutes from Ohio. So I guess it makes sense that people want the travel info now, especially in this economy, since many will have to save for the trip. We planned on doing e-save the dates but vista print gave us 100 free postcards so of course we had to order them!

FI wants to send the save the dates as early as possible but I think we should at least wait until November, one year from the wedding. Is that too early?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Decorating our Ceremony


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As you may already know, our centerpieces are going to be floating candles. We are obsessed with them and have them throughout our apartment. So naturally this was a décor element we wanted to incorporate into the ceremony space.  We were not sure if our venue would let us do it at first, but they said as long as the flames are enclosed (as in a vase), it would be ok.

I did have a few concerns about fire, but after talking to FI, I think everything will work out. The aisle is very wide  so I don’t have to worry about my dress or the bridal party getting too close to the flames. Plus they will be floating candles and the water levels will be well below the rim of the vase so the flames will be covered.

 I have this crazy seating plan in my head where the guests will be facing the aisle, kind of like a runway at a fashion show. So one of my concerns was the guests potentially kicking them over. It will be adults only, and we will make sure there is enough space between the first row of seats and the aisle for guest to comfortably maneuver without bothering the candles. Should I be worried about this?



Source
 

I also thought about spreading the candles apart, since less candles could mean less chance for accidents? As a last resort we could do more traditional seating, but I don’t really want to do that. And I don’t want to get rid of the candles because we are doing very little decoration in the space and the candles make a large impact. We talked about flameless candles but they are pretty expensive,  and we would have the floating candles anyway for the centerpieces.

Is this a crazy idea? How would you decorate my ceremony space ?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

RK Bridal: The Sequel

The dress search continues, and since my mom was in town for a few days we took the opportunity to check out a few wedding dresses. I know she will likely not be there when i finally find "the one", but at least i will know the styles she likes and she could see the style i was going for. Plus i would never purchase THE dress without at least sending her a photo. My FI was with us and since he had been helping me find dresses online to try on, i knew he was looking forward to seeing a few in person. Don't worry, he wont know which dress i choose until the wedding day.

This time was a little different than the first time i was there. For one, the consultant i had this time was not really helpful. The first time the consultant really got a feel for what i was looking for, but this lady just helped me in and out of the dresses with no other assistance at all. They have so many dresses and we were rushed into picking the ones to try on so i feel like i need to go back to try one more. I also felt a lot of pressure having my mom and FI there. They are two very important people in my life so i want them to like the dress i choose, but i also didnt want to choose a dress that i didnt love just because the two of them loved it. This is going to be harder than i thought!

So here are the highlights if the trip:

This dress by Jasmine was my moms pick. At first glance I did not think it was going to work since it has a fan on the bust that I figured would  not be flattering on my large chest. But once I put it on, the fan actually looked ok. And i love the trumpet shape of the gown and how it pulls in my waist. The price was pretty good too, i think it was $750. Im not too sure how i feel about the taffeta though since most of the gowns I've been drawn to are satin or organza. Its not bad, just different. And the dress feels a little too romantic for me. I want something a little more edgy and modern. And the biggest issue is FI does not like it.




Jasmine F414


Me in the Dress
 
  I picked out the next dress. I liked the satin and how it was fitted at the top so i figured i would just give it a try. As soon as i say myself in the mirror i ruled it out. It was kind of plain and i wasnt a fan of the pick ups. My mom and FI, however, loved it. Especially after the consultant added a beaded sash (the only thing she added to the appointment). It did look better but i still wasnt sure. They loved it, and it was only $480 which woule mean I could definately afford a reception dress, but it just did not wow me. I didnt feel like it was the one.


Moonlight T450

Me in the Dress
 For the third time I tryed on the Adorae. And for the third time I loved it. I feel good in it, I look great in it, I love the material, I love the bling and it fits my wedding. But it is at the higher end of my budget, so if I want a 2nd dress I have to pay for it on my own (not out of our wedding account). And while I feel like it could be the one, I'm not as sure as everyone tells you you are going to be when you find the one. Not to mention that my mom and FI were not overly impressed. They thought it was ok, but he thought it wasnt dramatic enough and she thought it was too expensive. And they both hated the bubble hem.
Sottero and Midgley Adorae

Me in the Dress

So I guess this dress thing is going to take way longer than I thought. How long did it take you to find your dress and how did you know it was THE ONE?


Monday, July 11, 2011

How my Life has Changed After the Engagement

So we have been engaged for about 7 months now and since 3 and a half year anniversary was last week I reflected on how my life and relationships have changed since the engagement.

 For one thing, I'm way more interested in other peoples marriages and how they interact with each other. You can really learn a lot about what to do and what not to do by talking to and watching married couples.  I'm also a lot more hesitant to say anything negative about my fiancé to my family. Before I might have mentioned little fights we had but now that I am marrying him I feel like I shouldn’t. I really don’t want them judging him based on a disagreement we have since I know at the end of the day we are still going to be together (even if he does refuse to put his clothes in the hamper), and I don’t want them to still be upset with him over something I  already forgave him for.

Our disagreements have also gotten a little more intense. We don’t disagree often, and when we do its not over anything major. But to me, at least, the little things seem a lot more important since it hit me that I have to deal with it forever. However, these little disagreements has led to us really learn how to work through problems together and learn to compromise.

For the most part our engagement has been a very blessed time. I love how we make solid plans for our future. When we were dating we had hopes and dreams of things we wanted to accomplish together, but now we make solid goals with detailed plans on how to achieve them.  Instead of just saying we want to buy a house one day, we have been researching houses so we know how much we can realistically spend and how much we need to be saving for a down payment.

I kind of feel like it has also made us a little more mushy. We were pretty affectionate before, but it really intensified after the engagement. I guess there is something about promising to be with another person for life that really makes you want to kiss them. I really hope this part last well after the wedding.

All in all I hope that this amazing time in our lives actually turns out to be the low point in our lives. I pray that it only gets better from here. A girl can dream, right?

 How has your life changed since you got engaged? Were you surprised or did you expect these changes?

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Super Cute STD Idea

Marthastewartweddings.com
I just had to post these adorable save the date matches from Marthastewartweddings.com. Not only are they simple, modern, and affordable, they are also very useful.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

What Should my Flower Maid Carry?

We decided to limit our bridal party to our siblings and each one of our best friends. Both of our sister are adults so I decided that my step sister would be our flower Maid (since she is not quite a girl). At the time of the wedding she will be 17, so of course she is too old to use a traditional flower girl basket so i am in search of an alternative.


Source
 One idea was a sign like the one in the photo above. Its different, pretty easy to make, and wont make her feel like a little girl. I guess my only question is, what will she do with it during the ceremony?

Source
Another idea is just a simple tin bucket with petals for her to toss. Its classic and elegant and will get the job done without too much fuss.

Source
Since the bridesmaids will be carrying clutches, i thought it might be cute for her to carry one with petals in it that she would toss. Sounds good in theory, but not too sure how well this would actually turn out.

Source
My last idea is for her to carry a large fabric flower. You all know how much i wanted to use fabric flowers, so this is a cute way to incorporate them. Plus its simple, chic and mature enough for a 17 year old.

So, what would you have a teenage flower girl carry?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Whats Your Name Again?

Source

Lately , I have encountered (in real life and online) several engaged women who hesitate taking their future husbands last name. The reasons vary from their professional reputation to family pride and wanting their family name to go on and even simply not liking their future husbands last name.  I was kind of surprised by this since even as a very independent and progressive woman, it never occurred to me that I even had an option of not taking my husbands name.

A name is very important. Its part of who you are and who others perceive you to be. Your name makes you part of a family and no matter how large or small it is, everyone knows you belong because you share that name. Its understandable since you had it since birth, of course it will be difficult to give it up; its part of you identity. Its especially hard for a woman  whose family name will die when she is married. There becomes the extra burden of loyalty to that name and wanting it to continue.

I also see the issue from a feminist standpoint. Why does the female have to take the males name? It does seem like a nod to the notion of women as property. And what about same sex unions? Whose name should they take then?

And how will not taking your husbands last name effect your marriage? Will the husband believe you are fully committed to the relationship if you chose not to take his name? And what about the kids, whose name will they get and will the family really be unified under different last names?

While I don’t judge anyone's decision either way, I have to say that I look forward to taking my future husbands last name. I don’t feel like I will be losing my identity, but instead adding to it as my new role as a wife. As long as the couple agrees, they can do whatever they want.

So what do you think? Does having a different last name than your husband take away from a marriage? Or is it an outdated notion that should be done away with?


Friday, June 3, 2011

Wedding 101: Choosing a Day of Coordinator or Wedding Planner


Source
Planning a wedding long distance, I knew I was going to need help. True, I have my mom, my FSIL and my MOH's but they don’t plan weddings everyday and I still want them speaking to me by the wedding day, so I knew I needed to find professional help.

So how do you choose a wedding planner or coordinator?

First you need to determine your needs. Are you going to do all the planning yourself and just need someone to coordinate the day of? Do you want someone else to do most of the footwork for you? Or do you want something more in the middle. And most importantly you need to know what your budget is for these services. There is a difference between a wedding planner and a wedding coordinator. A planner is usually with you from the beginning and helps with everything from hiring vendors to coordinating the day of, depending on what you have in your contract. A coordinator usually takes over anywhere from a month out from the wedding to a few days before and generally handles coordinating the rehearsal and making sure the wedding day runs smoothly.

Even before I was officially engaged I started to research coordinators just to get an idea of their prices. When I looked online I kept seeing glowing reviews about a particular planner, so I shot her an email and she answered all my questions and her packages had everything I wanted. Plus she had the lowest prices in the area, while offering the most.  So of course, after meeting her we hired her.

I had very specific things I wanted in a coordinator. I wanted someone to set up/clean up centerpieces, run the rehearsal, contact my vendors to make sure they know when and where they need to be, and to basically take care of any problems that may come up on that day so my fiancé and I don’t have to worry about a thing. I also really like that my coordinator offers an hourly planning service so that if I need any planning assistance before the wedding she is there.

Here are a list of things I wanted to know about potential  coordinators:
  • Is wedding planning their primary job?
  • How many weddings do they do per weekend?
  • Do they have references?
  • Do they have photos of events they decorated? (If you are looking for someone who does decorating too)
  • How often can you call/email? Will you be charged?
  • What is the deposit? When is the final payment due?
  • When will they take over my wedding? How long will they stay?
  • Have they worked at my venue? Can they recommend vendors?

I also wanted someone who was friendly, seemed genuinely interested in my wedding, and whose personality meshed with ours.

So ladies, did you have a wedding planner or coordinator? How did you find them? And were they worth it?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Dress Search: RK Bridal

RK Bridal
So over the weekend I went dress shopping again with my future sister in law and it was very successful.  I love shopping with her because she keeps it real, and she knows fashion (she's a designer).  This time we went to RK Bridal in NYC which was an equally good, but very different experience than Kleinfields.  We went early on Friday morning, which was a good thing since there were few people in the store and we pretty much got the attention we needed. Unlike the Kleinfeld's visit, I actually remembered to bring pictures so I got to try on those dresses plus my consultant got a better sense of the style that I wanted.

The benefit to RK was that their dresses were at a much lower price point than Kleinfield, so I had more options. And their alterations were cheaper (but still too much IMHO), I could search through gowns myself, and they had a huge selection of bridesmaids and MOB dresses at very reasonable prices. But I have to admit, Kleinfeld's made me feel more special and was definitely a more upscale place.

So I tried on about 7 more dresses but a few stood out.

Casablanca


The consultant picked out this Casablanca dress which looked fabulous on me.  The crystals were very nice and I loved the shape, but it had a zipper back with buttons and I really want a corset. And the top was not as much of a sweetheart as I wanted.

Destiny by Maggie Sottero

Mia Solano



I also tried on Destiny by Maggie Sottero. It had the corset back that I love and the trumpet shape was very dramatic. It only had beading and no crystals so it didn’t have the bling factor I was looking for but it was still gorgeous. Mia Solano makes a similar gown, so I'm going to try to find a store that carries it to try that one on. From the online photos it looks like it has more bling.

Allure


We really want to dance all night at our reception so my fiancé and I decided that it would be a good idea to get a shorter dress to wear for the dance portion of the night, after all the other events are over. We both fell in love with this Allure dress online, so I was pleasantly surprised when my future sis in law found it at RK. On the hanger it looked really short, but once I got it on me I loved it.  They wanted $680 for it, which is kind of expensive for a dress I would only wear a couple hours, but the boy loves it and insists that we will find somewhere else for me to wear it. 

I also tried on the Adorae again, and I still loved it. Its still  my favorite but I have plenty of time to shop so I am staying open minded. Plus if the Mia Solano has more bling than the Destiny, there might be real competition.

I didn’t think I would be so into dress shopping but its so fun. Cant wait for the next trip…….

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Centerpiece Search: Floating Candles


Even though I loved the feather centerpieces I previously posted about, we decided it was not modern enough and way more than we wanted to spend. We wanted something simple, chic, elegant, and most importantly inexpensive. We would rather use the money in other areas of the  wedding.



So we settled on candles! We love candles and have them all over our apartment, so it makes sense that we would use them in our  wedding.  Plus they give the look we want at a price we love. We researched prices of supplies online and we can do something like this for about $350 including tax and shipping.  Plus, since we decided what we wanted so early in our planning, we can get the supplies  as we see them on sale so maybe it will end up cheaper.

Do you have any inexpensive centerpiece ideas?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Dress Search: My First Visit to Kleinfelds


I went to Kleinfeld’s this weekend, and though I did not say yes to the dress, I did find a couple of potential dresses.  I didn’t plan on dress shopping this early but one of my best friends (hey Steph!) persuaded me to go and at least try some on. Plus she really wanted to go to Kleinfeld’s. I have to say it was a really great experience. I brought an entourage which included my two future sisters in law and another one of my friends along with Steph. And I am really glad they all came since it helped having different perspectives.
 I put up pictures of some of my favorites, which all happen to be by Maggie Sottero.  I really loved the mermaid silhouette and sweetheart necklines.  And I’m more confident that a birdcage veil is more me than long cathedral veil. I also tried on a beautiful and surprisingly affordable Pina Tornai, but i could not find pictures online.

Sottero & Midgley Adorae
My consultant, Jacqueline, was also pretty great because she gave honest feedback and told me how to get the best bang for my buck. I really expected her to try to sell me on dresses at the higher end of my budget but she showed me dresses on the lower end and encouraged me to choose the dress I loved based on how I felt in the dress and not just the price.

Maggi Sottero Miri

The biggest lesson I took away from the day was that you never know what’s going to look good on you until you try it on. The dresses I thought would look amazing on the hanger just looked ok on me and the dresses I was not sure about turned out to look amazing.

Sottero & Midgley Fantasia

There is one dress that I have been thinking about for the past few days (I wont say which, since the boy sometimes reads my blog). I knew I loved the dress as soon as I put it on, but to me the true test is time, and the more I think about it the more I see myself in it. But of course I can’t make that decision without my mom and my MOH’s at least seeing me in the dress first and I still have plenty of time to decide. At least now I have a dress to compare all the other dresses to.  Stay tuned, the dress hunt is to be continued………

Thursday, May 12, 2011

My Current Obsession: Fabric Flowers

Image via Cosaverde.com


I recently realized that I love the look of fabric flowers, but as I may have mentioned before, we dont want a lot of flowers in our wedding. Still, I think I'm going to figure out subtle way to incorporate them. Maybe have them line the aisle instead of petals?

Guess its time to buy some fabric and see what I can do!




Monday, May 9, 2011

Lessons From My Best Friends Wedding

Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcalá

We just returned from my best friends beautiful wedding in San Diego, where I had the privilege of being her maid of Honor. She got married in this gorgeous historical mission, and her wedding was full of very heartwarming personal touches which really made it stand out from every other wedding I have been in. Since this is the first wedding we have been to since planning ours, Mr. Modern and I took away a lot of good tips and ideas from the experience to apply to our own wedding.
Lesson 1:  The DIY elements really make the day more special.  They had a lot of small personal touches that really made the ordinary more extraordinary. For example, the groom made the wedding cake and the wedding bands, and the mother of the bride made her veils. And I really loved the guestbook, which was small cards the guest got to sign and decorate, that they would later put into a book. The bride is very crafty, so it just made perfect sense.
Lesson 2:  Order the Dress as early as possible.  She ended up getting her dress about a week before the wedding, despite being promised it would arrive a month earlier. This also leads to the lesson to choose your bridal shop carefully, because hers gave her a really hard time and did not give great customer service after she paid for the dress. Luckily everything turned out well and her dress was beautiful and perfect for her.  I have the luxury of time, so I will be sure to start shopping early, and to check reviews before I put down a deposit at a store.
Lesson 3: I don’t think I want a train. Her train was perfect for the mission, and it even looked beautiful bustled, but I think they are just too much work. Her bustle was actually pretty easy to do, and did not break like I have heard so many brides complain about, but it did keep coming undone if she moved around too much. I also think it was really smart of her to have me with her when picking up her dress since I got to learn how to do the bustle, which would have been complicated if the seamstress had not shown me. If I do choose a dress with a train, I think I’m going to get a short reception dress so I don’t have to worry about it.
Lesson 4: We are not going to block rooms. We were recently discussing whether or not we were going to block rooms since we noticed that whenever we went to out of town weddings, we never booked the blocked rooms because we always found nearby hotels that were cheaper and/or had other amenities that we were looking for. So when my BFF told us that most of her guests didn’t stay at the hotels she blocked (including us), it kind of confirmed our decision to just put a list of hotels in a variety of price ranges on our wedding website.
Lesson 5: We are glad we hired our coordinator. I felt like the bride was dealing with way too many details and questions that she should not have had to worry about on her wedding day. And, though we didn’t mind helping run errands and setting up their reception, for our weddng we don’t want us, our guests, or our bridal party to have to do anything but show up to the party. But I’m glad I got the “behind the scenes” experience of really seeing what it takes to put a reception space together, it really gave us insight into all that needs to be done.
Lesson 6: No cell phones allowed for the bride and groom. I forced her to turn off the cell phone, since she kept answering the phone when people were calling her for directions and with problems. Again, this is where our coordinator will come in, so the boy and I will be cell phone free the day of. That being said, our maids of honor and best man will have their phones on in case of emergencies.
Lesson 7: Get a little bridal clutch to carry my makeup. Or, since my girls will be carrying clutches, put my stuff in one of my MOH’s bags.
Lesson 8: Hire a makeup artist for the bridesmaids. I have to say that all of her bridesmaids looked great since we all got our makeup done. It really was a big difference since I don’t think most of us wore make up regularly anyway and it lasted all day. I got mine done at 5am and was scrubbing it off at 1am the next morning.

Overall, it was an amazing wedding. I think what I loved the most was that every element reminded me of the couple. It really felt like THEIR day and not just some generic wedding where you could just insert any random bride and groom. We also noticed that they really put their guests first, and really made us all feel special. But that’s just the kind of people they are :)
Have you learned anything from weddings you’ve been to since you have been engaged?


Sunday, May 1, 2011

Master DIY to Do List

As I may have said before, i am a huge planner. I thrive on lists, charts, and other means of organization. So of course I have a master list of all of the DIY projects I plan to do that i will later break down by month. I also have inspiration photos, with step by step instructions on how i plan to achieve each project. But for the sake of not having a super long post i will just give you a simple list (in no particular order):

  • Monogram- we have already started this and have it narrowed down to a few favorites. Well Mr. Modern knows which one he wants but im still working on it. I'll be sure to do a post on that soon.
  • Ring Bearer Pillow
  • OOTG bags - We are still not 100% sure we are going to do these. But if we do, im going to make them (with the help of family anf friends!)
  • Bling shoes- Whenever i find my perfect purple shoe, i plan to add a little bling to the heels.
  •  Invitations
  • Monogram cake topper - that is, if we have a cake topper since Mr. Modern does not like them.
  • Programs
  • Menu/place cards - two birds with one stone!
  • Guestbook- We have two ideas for this. One is a photo book with photos of us throughout our relationship. The other is something that my dad is making for us, that can double as a guestbook,  but i am forbidden to share this until after the wedding because we want it to be a surprise for our guests (some of whom read this blog).
  • Toss bouquet
  • Broom- I am super excited about us jumping the broom. Its going to be sooo cool. I will post more on that later.
  • Mr & Mrs signs
  • Escort card chart/ or escort cards- havent decided which ones we are going to do
  • Table names
  • Garter- This will be a tough one, but it can be done. There are some great ones on Etsy, but I dont want to spend $75 on something i plan to toss. But I also think i want something more than just a plain one. There are several tutorials online, but i may use my resources and ask my awesome fashion designer FSIL to help me out on this one.
  • Aisle Runner- I really really really want a monoramed aisle runner. We plan on using our monogram throughout the wedding so this really makes sense. However, I have to be difficult and insist on a real fabric aisle runner, not one of those paper thin "fabric" runners. Plus i want at least a 45 in wide runner since both of my parents will be walking me down the aisle. So this makes it hard to just buy one since i dont want to spent $150 on it. So Im buying a bolt of fabric and painting it myself. We will see how it turns out :/

Im sure I will have more to add later, but this is what I have so far. What DIY projects are you planning to work on?

Friday, April 29, 2011

Everyone in white?

Today was the royal wedding, and like everyone else i could not wait to see what Kate wore. Kate was beautiful, though i was expecting more from her dress, but what kind of surprised me was that her MOH also wore white.

Photo from Yahoo

And i have to say that I loved it! I worked. The bridesmaid dress was beautiful and I dont think it took away from Kate's look in any way. It was very clean and modern and just perfect for the occasion.

However, if not done correctly I think the bride can be lost, such as in the photo below.


This bride really should have worn a dress style that was totally different from the style of the bridesmaid dresses. If it wasnt for the veil i would have a hard time telling which one was the bride.


What do you ladies think? Would you have your bridesmaids wear white?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Boudoir Photography


Untitled, originally uploaded by Wave Hello Photography.

I have been researching wedding photographers and many of them offer boudoir photography. Though this type of photography is not exclusive to brides, many brides have found this to be the perfect gift for their husbands to be. The style can range anywhere from vintage pin up, like the spreads in Maxim, or even involve nudity or implied nudes. And lets be honest, wont your man love this way more than cufflinks?

Most of the examples I have seen have been very classy, but I guess you could go as far as you and the photographer are comfortable with. I don’t think I would do nudes, but maybe a Maxim-esque type of shoot. I kind of think it is empowering . And to me it would be worth the splurge to have this tangible proof of my hotness to look at when I'm too old to remember.

Have you done a boudoir shoot or would you consider doing one?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Things I Did Not Think About When Making my Wedding Budget


Budget Pig, originally uploaded by weddingssc1.
In a previous post I talked about how we had to take a realistic look at our budget and add in things like the cost of our wedding bands and the honeymoon, among other things, and discovered that we were going to be spending way more than we originally anticipated. From there I made a super detailed budget, which turned out to be not detailed enough since there were still several things I forgot to add.

From the start I should have looked online at budgets and I would have had a clearer picture of what to include. Once I did that I was on the right track. The Knot has a pretty good budget template but I really like the one on Google Docs (the style me pretty wedding planning template). I also got a ton of great advice things brides forgot to add to their budget from the ladies at Weddingbee on this post.

So here are a few of the more common things that brides tend to forget:

Service fee- Most of the venues we looked required this service fee which was 18-20% of the total catering cost. That’s a huge fee! I understand that the service staff works hard and should receive a gratuity but I'm not a fan of a mandatory fee, I think gratuity should be paid based on service I receive. Lucky for us, this fee is included in our per person cost, so I did not need to add it to our budget.

Tax- I did forget to add tax. When purchasing anything else, tax is pretty negligible to me, but when you are spending thousands on catering, the tax can add up and you have to take that into consideration.

Vendor Meals- Many vendor contracts require that you provide them with a meal. This is reasonable since they could be working for 6 or more hours and should be fed. It should not be a huge deal if you are having a buffet, but with a sit down dinner, you may have to pay your caterer for their plate. I've heard that most venues will give vendors a simple meal a greater discount than the guests meals, but my venue charges the same rate as the guest meal minus bar. So we had to add this to our budget.

Postage- Another one I heard over and over was postage. Postage for invites, return envelopes for RSVP's (if you are doing them), save the dates, and thank you cards. It really adds up.

There were also a lot of other things like out of town guests bags, gift wrap for bridal party gifts, rehearsal dinner, wedding night accommodations, undergarments, and the costs to fly to the Midwest from NYC for the wedding.

After all of this I think we finally have a comprehensive wedding budget. This is really important to us because we really don’t want to spend a penny more than we have to, and the best way to stick to a budget is to know exactly how much you can spend.

What were the little things you forgot to add to your budget?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Google Docs....A Wedding Organization Dream Come True

I've heard great things about Google docs and I finally jumped on the bandwagon a couple weeks ago. And I am in love. They have a wedding planning template that has my guest list, budget, playlist and list of vendors I'm researching all in one place and I can access it on any computer and share it with VIP's. I still print it out and have hard copies in my trusty binder. There are still a few things I'm going to add down the line, but its still the most comprehensive template I've found thus far.