Category Archives: Advice

Petaling Flowers

Flowers bring vibrancy and beauty to your wedding and often take up a sizable portion of your budget. Being immersed in the colors and smells typically only experienced by florists makes it is easy to get carried away. Below are a few things to consider regarding such an important decision:

An overabundance can become obtrusive and distracting. If you are holding too many flowers, the dress you spent countless hours selecting will be hidden behind your bouquet. Your guests want to see one another during the reception while seated at their tables too. Large arrangements (beautiful as they may be) can easily become disruptive if they interfere with conversations.

Most florists won’t tell you that several blossoms have less expensive ones that are so similar, they could be substituted for the pricier ones without anyone noticing. Doing a little research can quickly keep you from paying more than necessary. Also, countless types of leaves can be transformed to add bulk and reduce costs while accentuating the blooms.

If you are looking to match something, take a swatch or sample of some sort. Not only do people often view colors differently but a lot of flowers come in various shades of assorted hues. Therefore, if you simply say pink, you may end up with magenta when you wanted a light blush.

Take time to “smell the roses” so to speak as certain blossoms have very strong aromas. While that may enhance the ambiance, especially in a smaller venue, it can become overpowering and even cause issues for sensitive guests or those with allergies.

A little bit of learning, thought and discretion will make a significant difference in your budget, the comfort of your guests and ensure you get exactly what you have are looking for.

The Heat is On

Along with the beautiful colors and relaxation of summer comes warmer weather that can create some potentially uncomfortable situations for both you and your guests. Below are a few clever and fun ways to ensure everyone has the most enjoyable experience possible.

Minimize the heat with savory treats. Rather than (or in addition to) a traditional cake, consider ice cream sandwiches. The options for the ice cream (sorbet or gelato if you choose) and cookies are virtually endless. You can even have a little fun and offer various flavors, colors and make them in a signature shape.

If you are having a cake, perhaps a “naked” one is the way to go. Instead of being covered in icing or fondant, the bare layers are held together with cream cheese or fluffy buttercream. Juicy, moisturizing berries and fresh flowers will make the lack of icing go unnoticed.

Sometimes, perception is reality. Use thin, airy fabrics to decorate your ceremony and reception spaces. Tulle, silk, ribbon, tassels and even paper are great options for any venue. When things appear breezy and light, your guests will be less likely to notice the temperature.

Your comfort is most important as all eyes will be on you. Don’t shy away from a tea length dress that can be embellished and made appropriate for even formal venues. Lightweight make up and updos also help keep you looking fresh and reduce the warmth.

Unfortunately, some degree of heat is unavoidable mid-year. With a little thought and creativity however, it is possible to keep your food, desserts, guests and subsequently you from having meltdowns!

I Tip My Hat to You

Wedding budgets are always difficult. It may feel like you spend more every time you even look at something but part of you says it’s your one day to indulge. There will always be unexpected costs, some of which can be minimized or completely avoided. Others, such as gratuities for your vendors should at least be considered.

Officiant: Time and energy is spent making your rehearsal and ceremony perfectly fitted to you. This is done on top of regular job duties and already busy schedules out of joy from uniting couples in marriage. A cash gift should be given by an attendant at the rehearsal. If he/she is connected to your location (and your budget permits), a donation to the venue space is an added way to show your gratitude.

Wedding Planner: Because what is provided is done as a profession, tips are optional and don’t have to be monetary. In fact, they are usually not expected. If you feel inclined, send your gift after your honeymoon (10 – 20% is appropriate). A free option is to send some photos for your planner to enhance his or her portfolio.

Hair and Makeup: Stylists should be treated as you would in a salon if not better. Often, rates are higher for wedding days and wedding parties, but the gratuity should not be affected by that. The styles are more complicated, everything must be perfect and often, hairdressers and make up artists travel to your location. Show your thanks at the end of the service and allow photographs, if requested, for portfolios or look-books.

Reception and Entertainment: Bands or DJs and catering, transportation companies etc. typically add a surcharge to their base rates so additional tips are optional. If you give extra, follow the same guidelines you would on a regular day. However, put an attendant in charge of handling payment(s), all of which should occur at the end of your big day.

Whether gratuities are expected, optional (but typical) or out of the norm, they are always welcome. Everyone likes to know they have done a good job. However, especially at weddings, vendors understand the huge costs you have already incurred. Handwritten, individualized thank you notes are a very cost-effective and special way to show your gratitude if your budget doesn’t allow for monetary tokens of appreciation.

Don’t Forget the Small Stuff

On your big day, it feels like every moment will forever be ingrained in your memory and many of them will. Like everything else though, time will blur and erase some of them. As life progresses and other monumental events happen, memory banks are replenished, hence the importance of photographs. There are pivotal shots every bride focuses on but some that are equally important that may not be considered. Here are a few of those:

Before Shots:  You will have countless glamorous photos looking more beautiful than you ever have. The moments before you start getting ready will highlight your inner glow, undeniable excitement and the naturally beautiful woman your fiancé is committing his life to.

First Look: The first time your fiancé sees you walking down the aisle is priceless as his emotions are unplanned, can’t be hidden and are as heartfelt and unfiltered as can be.

Decorations: While you will never forget the time spent planning every detail, the vision of exactly how it all came together will likely fade. While most brides focus on their guests and festivities, as the saying goes “it’s all in the details” and reminders of those are equally important.

Your Gown: Snap your dress on the hanger before it’s been worn. The instant you put it on, dirt, makeup, food etc. will leave marks that are nearly impossible to remove. Take time to memorialize all its glory after it’s been prepared for you to step into.

Candid Moments: Some of the best shots are those that aren’t posed or planned. Capture everyone when they think no one is looking. Perhaps not the most flattering, these are the most realistic and fun reflections of your special day and the wonderful time had by all.

There are standard photos expected of every couple that every photographer takes. While those are important, equally so are ones that document the smallest details, unplanned moments and emotions that cannot be found in a posed picture.

Trickle Down Effect

Your bridal experience is likely limited to attending weddings and, even if you have been in a bridal party, you are probably unaware of the scope of work planning requires. Therefore, what should be a fun, exciting time often becomes overwhelming and sometimes even dreaded. A great way to avoid this is by figuring out the single aspect most important to you and, surprisingly, everything else will fall into place with much more ease and less stress. A few examples follow:

Dress: Perhaps you can’t get a very casual, informal gown that could double as date night dress out of your mind. From that, without even knowing, you have made the rest of your planning infinitely simpler. It has lessened the likelihood of formal venues, fancy stemware, over-the-top decorations and many of the formalities that go along with ornate, unduly embellished ball gowns.

Flowers: If, for example, you are determined to surround yourself with blush peonies, you have automatically narrowed down the time of year (as they have limited availability) and homed in on a range of complementary colors for both your wedding party and decorations. Also, you have unofficially set a welcoming and familial tone.

Venue: Most important may be exchanging vows in the large, gilded cathedral you were raised in. Accordingly, gone are the less formal dressing options, bohemian style details and whimsical, DIY additions many brides who opt for less formal/less expensive weddings include.

There are exceptions to everything. You may decide to mix and match a bit of everything and, of course, it will come together flawlessly. However, choosing a focal point from which to branch out is a method to save time, energy and help you enjoy the planning process as much as possible.

He’s My Man (of Honor)

The person standing next to you at the altar (aside from your fiancé) is meant to be the one who is closest, knows you best and whose friendship is most cherished above all others. No rule says it must be a woman and, while often expected by guests, if that person for you is a male, there’s nothing wrong with him taking on the role. However, typically, his duties will differ in some ways than that of a Maid of Honor.

While he likely won’t be at your floral appointments or help you pick out table runners, your Man of Honor can still help you decorate and his handyman skills may be an added bonus. While he may not share the enthusiasm a girlfriend would for every little detail, he certainly will provide the listening ear and offer assistance which is the most important part of anyone in the coveted position.

Additionally, gender is no issue when it comes to rehearsal roles. Man or woman, the duties are primarily to provide you with a practice bouquet, make sure everyone shows up on time, is paying attention and to give a toast (if appropriate).

The day of is where things typically get a little bit different. Because he won’t be cinching your corset or pinning on your veil doesn’t mean he has to be excluded from the festivities. Put him in charge of grabbing anything for emergencies that may arise and getting food and drinks that he can enjoy with you and the ladies as you all relax and prepare.

Ideally, your Man of Honor will wear something that matches your bridesmaids but, keep in mind that he will probably be in some photos with just the guys too. Electing for something that meets in the middle is the safest and best way to go.

No matter who you choose to stand directly next to you during your ceremony, the selection should be based upon your history, trust and value rather than be constrained by gender or the expectations of what is considered “normal” or “acceptable.”

An Overview of All Things New

Each year, the world of weddings experiences growth in the form of new trends, ideas and possibilities for brides to add to their already infinite number of options. 2017 is no exception and brings with it some exciting and fresh alternatives for just about every aspect of your big day. Some of the notable highlights are below….

Do Things Separately: Bridal stores will be filled with an increased number of both two-piece gowns and traditional ones with detachable skirts to remove for your reception as customizable dresses are the latest “must haves.” Separates are appropriate for all seasons as skirts exist to match the bottom of any wedding dress. In the winter, pair one with an elegant, embellished sweater or match it with a sleeveless, lacy top during the warmer months. Detachable skirts give you two dresses for the price of one so your ceremony can be formal with a floor length gown that you simply remove when the reception begins and it’s time to let loose and celebrate.

A LITTLE Bit of Glitz: Gone are the radiant, bright colors that flooded every aspect of weddings last year. More popular are bouquets made of ivy, local succulents and other greenery and color palettes based on tones of beige, creams and shades of gray. To add some elegance and glamour, the trend is to add gold or metallic accents through stemware, table runners, bouquet ties, ribbons, etc.

It’s All About Location: The general tendency of late to promote local businesses is spilling over into the wedding industry leading more brides to “keep it local.” Opt for decor that is representative of your community (while keeping in line with your personality). Choose a menu that celebrates what sets your area apart and gives your out-of-town guests a feel for what your life is truly like. Not only does it give back to local vendors but you will be guaranteed to have a comfortable, relaxing day.

Honorable Mention: An increase in couples will be asking for less for themselves and more for others. More infrequent are registries of household items, money for a honeymoon or wish lists filled with fun, new gadgets. Instead, brides and grooms are compiling options of charities from which each guest can choose to donate to in their honor. Most likely, you already have most of what you need and there’s immense gratitude and satisfaction knowing that those who require help are able to receive it because of your special day.

The fun and innovative ways to plan your big day that are emerging for the new year are endless. Take some time to explore all the possibilities because you may very well fall in love with some ideas that have never even crossed your mind and will turn your current vision upside down.