Thursday, July 31, 2008

Honey, Do This...

The Emily Post Institute - to go-to source for all things etiquette - posted this list for all of the Groom's-To-Be wondering what their role is in this wedding thing.

"Weddings for the Groom
The "Honey Do" List

1.  Send her flowers - for no reason.
2.  Send her flowers for a reason - the 6 month anniversary of your engagement, her birthday, because it's one week until the wedding.
3.  Take her younger siblings to a movie, ball game, or the circus.
4.  Take her Mom and Dad to lunch.
5.  Giver her a half hour foot massage - once a week.
(Graduate to pedicure and she'll never ask you to take out the garbage.)
6.  Be her personal chauffeur for a day of wedding errands.
7.  Leave little love notes on her fridge.
8.  Plan one evening a week just for the two of you - no wedding talk allowed - just romance.

On a more practical level, here are some great ways for the groom to contribute his expertise to the wedding planning.
If you are:
A techno guy, create and manage the wedding web site.
If spreadsheets are your thing, you can help manage guest lists, gift lists, and to do lists.
A wine lover, you can help select the wines and liquors for the reception.
Into music, research and help the select the band or music.
A car lover, take charge of all the transportation needs for the wedding.
A foodie, help with the menu planning and /or selection of the caterer.

Another enormous help to your fiancee is to write the thank you notes to your relatives and close friends.  Sharing this responsibility goes a long way to reduce what can, at times, seem an overwhelming task.

And one of the best ways a groom can lend a hand is by working with his parents to get a head start on planning the rehearsal dinner.  With all the planning needs intrinsic to a wedding, don't feel shy about putting your expertise to good use."

thank you Emily Post Institute
image from thebestweddingreceptionever

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Tips for your Maid of Honor

Being a Maid/Matron of Honor is such a special role in the wedding of a friend or family member.  We know you want to help the bride through her special day and here are some special items to have on hand.

Many MOH's put together a bag of tricks for the wedding day.  There are some obvious items to include (hair spray, safety pins, bobby pins), but here are some items that will make you a lifesaver.
*Double stick tape:  to stick what needs to be stuck
*Crochet Hook:  to work on those tiny buttons
*Little First Aid Kit:  band-aids are always hard to find when you need one
*Scissors:  try finding a pair in a hotel room
*Straws:  to sip champagne without messing up her lipstick
*Diaper Pins:  the best way to fix a broken bustle

And last, but not least, your brightest smile, an armload of patience, and buckets of good cheer.
image from

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Everything you could ever think of - and more!

Minumus is a great website to find travel sizes of every product you can imagine.  The folks over at Minumus have taken things one step further and created the ultimate bridal bag - chock full of tiny sizes of products you may need while getting ready and making it through your wedding day.
The fantastically pink bag is included with 39 total products for only $45.16.  Ground shipping only - so order early!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Questions: Answered.

Peggy Post answers etiquette questions for  We stumbled across this question and answer, which our brides often ask.

"Q.  It's three weeks before the wedding and several guests still haven't RSVP'd! What should we do?

 A. The first obligation anyone has upon receiving a wedding invitation is to respond immediately, regardless of whether he or she can attend. At this late date you really have no choice but to telephone the would-be guests and ask whether they plan on coming.(Your fiancé, mother, future mother-in-law and some of your attendants can help you make the calls.) To ease the awkward nature of these conversations, be friendly and say something like, "Aunt Jenny, it's Sara. I hope you received our wedding invitation. We need to give our final numbers to the caterer this week, and I haven't received your response card, so I'm calling to ask if you and Uncle John plan on coming. We hope you're able to join us!" Just state your case matter-of-factly without laying blame. (Occasionally invitations and response cards are lost in the mail.) Whatever led to the lapse, your gracious manner will set a positive tone for the wedding."

Thanks Peggy!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Registry Yes's

The folks over at InStyle wrote a list of 7 surprising items to include on your registry list - that you might not have considered.  Here it is!
1.  Large Appliances:  fridge, washing machine, dishwater, stove, etc.
2.  Home Furnishings:  indoor and outdoor!
3.  Artwork: local galleries or online
4.  Home Improvement:  hardware stores and home improvement stores
5.  Wine and Gourmet Food
6.  Coffee Table Books: art + accessories
7.  Indoor Fun and Games:  pool table, fooseball, board games, etc.
quoted from

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Be the Best Bridesmaid You Can Be

Your best friend/sister/cousin calls!  She's engaged!  She wants you to be in the wedding.

Of course, you're thrilled.  You love her.  You love him.  They're perfect together.  But, seriously, you have a life.  Their wedding isn't your top priority and that's okay.  We all can't be like that girl in "27 Dresses".
So, now that that has been established.  Here are your responsibilities.

*Put on your brightest smile and nod along as the bride-to-be shares her ideas, issues, confusion, joys, and dilemmas.
*Order your dress in a timely manner and pay for it promptly.  Inquire about shoes and jewelry and shop accordingly.  Have the dress altered well ahead of the wedding day.
*Ask the bride about hair and makeup and find out if you need to include that cost in your budget.

*Find out who is planning to throw the bride a shower and offer to help.  If no one is planning a shower yet, then work with the other bridesmaids to pull one together.
*Find out about the bachelorette party and offer to help.
*Buy some wonderfully personal gifts for the bride and her hubby-to-be for the shower and wedding.
*Arrange for your lodging for the wedding weekend.

*Arrive in town for the wedding when you are asked.  Be sure to be there in time for the rehearsal.
*Be attentive at the rehearsal.
*Have a great time at the rehearsal dinner and take tons of pictures.  Then, get to bed early so you'll be bright eyed for the wedding day.
*On the wedding day be cheerful and helpful.  Offer to help the bride if she needs it.
*Smile in pictures and make sure you're where you are needed for the photographer.
*Kick up your heels on the dance floor and have a great time.  Take tons of pictures.
image from

Friday, July 25, 2008

Erica + Brian

We just received pictures from Erica and Brian's Wedding on July 5th from and they're terrific.

Our very favorite
We worked closely with Erica's Step-Mother during the planning process, but didn't actually meet Erica and Brian until the week of the wedding.  From their expressions in this photo we feel like we knocked their socks off with the decor of the ballroom!  This was taken after cocktail hour and it was their first glimpse at the custom table linens, charger plates, glassware, chairs, and cake.  Not to mention the amazing floral.

See the highlights

Many thanks Joe and Anne from for these great images.

See their original post here

Thursday, July 24, 2008


The girls over at Elizabeth Anne Designs have started a new Library and we're honored to be listed in their event planners collection.

Thanks Rebekah and Ami!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A Little Help

Christina was delighted to be able to help a friend and fellow wedding planner last weekend with a wedding in Fairfax, Virginia.  It's is always wonderful to work with other planners - we always learn something!
The couple dreamed of a beach wedding - so they brought the beach to a Hilton in Fairfax!
See the pictures on the Elegant Engagements Blog!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Just Getting Started?

If you're just getting started with the wedding plans, then here are our best tips for the beginning.
1.  Have an honest chat with your parents - both sides of the family - about guest count and budgets.  This way you'll know what you're working with in both areas.  Also, be sure to ask them what they would like for the wedding and what is important to them.

2.  Start your guest list.  Complete names and addresses - you'll need them for Save the Dates and Invitations so it's best to get them early!  It's quite a task to be prepared.  Put all of the information into an Excel spreadsheet so it can be easily sorted.

3.  Find your venue, then select your date.  You'll find that availability will probably set your date - rather than the other day around.  Your wedding planner is the one vendor that you can choose before setting the date, we can work with you to find your venue and set the date.

4.  Once you have your date determined you can start choosing your vendors!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Oh Google

Oh Google, We heart you.
Google has created an entire suite of wedding related templates.
The best thing about using Google Apps is that you can invite your fiance, mother, father, sister, wedding planner - whomever to share the documents.  They can make changes, add information, or just read for all of the pertinent information.  No more emailing documents and all of those updates.  Just find them on Google Apps!
My favorites are:
The Vendor Payment List

and the Guest List
The applications are just templates, so you can easily change them to suit your needs!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Pink! Bubbly! Fabulous!

Pink Champagne is very trendy these days.  The Wall Street Journal did a taste test and rated seven bottles for you to choose from.

Perfect for your bachelorette party or bridal shower, but also perfect for the wedding itself.  It you are using pink accents, then this is the perfect compliment.
Louis Roederer Vintage Rose 2000:  $62.50  rated:  Very Good, Delicious, Best of Tasting
Elegant and romantic, focused and pure, with beautifully integrated, toasty tastes and a fetching bit of creaminess on the finish.

Moet & Chandon Rose Imperial:  $43.00  rated:  Very Good, Best Value
Romantic, deep pink color.  More red-berry tastes than most, but quite dry, with great acidity and just the right amount of fruit and mineral flavors.

Camille Saves (Grand Cru):  $49.99  rated:  Very Good
Marvelous little bubbles and a classy, blush color.  Dry, intense and quite elegant, with all the right tastes.  Beautiful wine.

Gosset Grand Rose NV:  $64.95  rated:  Very Good
Fine wine, with lemony acidity and real charm.  Not as intense as some, but extremely drinkable.

Tattinger Prestige Rose:  $59.95  rated:  Very Good
Great bubbles and a lovely, yeasty nose.  Nicely austere, with brioche, lemon and minerals.  Tastes expensive.

Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin:  $48.00  rated:  Very Good
Dottie called this "rose-petal bubbly" and said it reminded her of a garden party.  It's complex and somewhat shy, comfortable and comforting.  You could drink this all night.

Henriot:  $49.00  rated:  Good/Very Good
Refreshing and clean, with good minerals and focused tastes.  Lighter than some, somewhat shy, but lovely.
*prices vary by store and state
wallstreet journal by dorothy j. gaiter and john brecher feb 2007

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Top 5 Gown Trends

The Top 5 Gown Trends
1.  Crumb-Catchers
the top of the gown sits away from the chest and us usually paired with an empire waist
Kenneth Pool

2.  Front to Back Gowns
details on the front of the gown are carried out on the back
Oscar de la Renta

3.  Shapely Silhouettes
body hugging through the waist and hips
Carolina Herrera

4.  Nature Inspired Gowns
detailing of flowers, vines, and other nature motifs
Monique Lhuillier

5.  Embellished Belts and Straps

as reported by

Friday, July 18, 2008

Mamma Mia!

The sweet sounds of ABBA are coming to a theatre near you.
Mamma Mia the Movie opens tonight!

As with any movie with a wedding there is always the gown to look to for inspiration.  We're loving the gauzy fabric.  It looks comfortable, cool, and ethereal.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Win a Figi Honeymoon

The folks at In Style Weddings are giving away a Figi Honeymoon!
You'll stay at the Namale Resort and Spa and fly with Air Pacific.  The contest closes 7/25/08.  To enter you have to submit your worst wedding planning dilemma and why you deserve this amazing honeymoon.

Go to this link for how to enter and all of the contest rules.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Lucky in Love (again)

We jump from "young love" last week to "mature love" this week as Gus and Joan tied the knot in a beautiful setting Saturday evening. The bride and groom who met a few years ago after each was widowed have a sweet love story filled with inspiring moments and now they are happier than ever. The groom proclaimed during his toast to his bride that he is "the luckiest man on the face of the earth".

Towson Golf and Country Club provided a spectacular backdrop to the event with sweeping views of Dulaney Valley in northern Baltimore County. The summer evening was breezy and comfortable as guests gathered for cocktails before the ceremony. The bride and groom arrived together and shared a toast in a private room with their grandchildren and children. When it was time to begin the ceremony, their seven grandchildren led the processional followed by the bride and groom who walked down the aisle to applause (!). Seems that their friends were all as happy as the couple about the wedding.

The ceremony recessional took longer than the actual ceremony itself because everyone wanted to share a hug with the bride and groom as they tried to walk back out of the ceremony. They never did make a grand exit as the group of guests eventually just enveloped them in hugs and kisses and the cocktail hour began.

The food at TGCC was amazing and displayed beautifully by a very friendly and efficient staff led by GM Tina Lutzi and Assistant GM Trish Adams. These woman are sharp and really know how to run a party. It is a beautiful site for a wedding and is available to non-members for special events. 

The wedding flowers were designed by longtime family florist Jonathan's Flowers and Weddings. We were actually able to use the club's linens and chairs which are nice and much better than we see at other venues where renting chairs is a necessity.

The Jody Westerlund Band was a huge hit as they kept the dance floor full with current and vintage songs. Of course there has to be cake and again a long time family favorite, Mary Elliott answered the call with beautiful strawberry shortcakes.

Congratulations Joan and Gus.
It was a pleaure being there with you and helping to make the evening magical.

Are You In or Are You Out?

Tonight begins Project Runway!
On Bravo at 9pm!
Be sure to check your weekly listings, there's always a wedding dress challenge!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Paper Inspiration

Need some inspiration but you're exhausted from paging through those wedding magazines?  Want to find some a little unique, a little more you?
Well, this source will help you in two ways.  You'll get home decor inspiration (newlywed homes need a little spruce right?) and you may find something you want to incorporate into the wedding.
Add them to your Inspiration Board, bring them to the stationery store, and send them over to your floral designer.  They will see your style and your look.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Escort Cards vs Place Cards

Escort Cards and Place Cards - which is which?

Escort Cards:  Usually arranged on a table in alphabetical order outside of the ballroom or dinner area.  Escort cards have the name of the couple and to which table they have been assigned.

Place Cards:  Are at each place setting either at the top of the charger plate or inscribed on each menu card.  They direct guests to their individual place at the table.

Make sense?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Custom Casual Comfort

Is your guy a Converse guy?  Well, you're in luck.  Converse is doing custom shoes for your handsome Groom.  Have a pair made for your Groom and gift them to all of the groomsmen.  Pick your colors and even have them embroidered with the wedding date.
Perfect gift for your Converse guy.
$60.00 for a pair from  They have a variety of shapes and are adding all the time.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

This Ones for Your Girls

It can be difficult to find something fabulous to give your girls either as your wedding thank you gift or bridesmaids get-away treat.
The designers on Etsy are sure to wow your girls with their unique styles and fabrics.
From Charm Design for $29.50
The designer also has other great styles and patterns - check out her store.
From StitchesAreForever for $46.00
From LouLouBell for $16.00

Friday, July 11, 2008

Vegas - Bride Style

Vegas is a very well known Bachelor Party destination but it also makes the perfect Girl's Bachelorette Weekend.
JW Marriott Las Vegas Resort & Spa
The Bachelorettes Are Us package allows four friends to share a two-bedroom suite for a four-day holiday that starts with airport pickup.  Features include a welcoming gifts, a $400 dinner credit, a six-hour chauffeured shopping tour and a show, spa treatments, fitness class, pedicure, in-room dinner and movie, and more.  Priced from $4,248.

Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas
The Girlfriends' Getaway includes accommodations for two, some refreshments, a shopping trip at Saks Fifth Avenue with makeup consultation, discount card, other shopping privileges and a foot massage at the hotel spa.  Priced from $620 - $720.

The Venetian
Bachelorette Party packages include upgraded suites and dinner and dancing at Tao Asian Bistro and Nightclub.

The Wynn
Spa and Relaxation packages include dinner, accommodations, and spa treatments.

The Spa offers a variety of packages that include massages, manicures, and treatments.
Spoil yourself and indulge in Vegas!

All Information from The Sun via Newsday

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Have a Seat

The seating arrangements and room diagram can be two of the most difficult tasks during wedding planning.  There's the whole "Aunt Mindy can't sit near Cousin George" and "What do we do with Single Sally?"  Those problems we can't really solve for you.  You really just have to sit down with a pen and paper - and your family - and sort it all out.
What we can help with is the diagram.  It's often difficult to figure out how to set up the reception space.  Your site manager should be able to give you room dimensions and may even have a sample diagram for you to use.  But what if you want to do something new, unique, and different?
We have a great solution brought to you by our favorite Martha.
She has a whole new range of Planning Tools - from room diagrams, to seating plans, to a countdown checklist (which is off, by the way, she's having you start too late).

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Be The Best You Can Be

Here are our tips on how to be the very best wedding guest you can be.
1.  Respond early to all wedding related invitations.  Of course, you want to respond well before the due date for the wedding invitations, but also for showers, rehearsal dinners, and other activities.  We find that the "no" rsvp's tend to come in near the end.  If you already know you can't make it, don't wait to send in your little pre-stamped card.

2.  Send your gift.  The newlyweds will be thrilled that you chose to shop off their registry or purchase something extra special as a wedding gift.  Make their lives easier by sending your gift to their home (or their chosen gift destination) before the wedding.  Bringing a gift (unless it's tucked into an envelope) is not only a hassle for you, but can be tricky for the bride and groom to transport from the wedding location to their home.  If you wish to send it after the wedding day, then wait two weeks to pop it in the mail.  This will ensure that they're home from their honeymoon and have had time to unpack.

3.  Use all of the information you're given in Save the Dates, the Invitation, and through the Wedding Website.  The couple has spent a lot of time gathering information to make your trip to their wedding as easy for you as possible.  Book early at their chosen hotel and pay attention to notes about attire suggestions.  They have, likely, chosen that hotel with great care and their attire suggestions will make you as comfortable as possible on wedding day.

4.  Still have questions?  Try asking the parents or a member of the wedding party.  The bride and groom are going to be very busy the month before the wedding and their friends and family might have the perfect answer to your question.

And remember to kick up your heels and enjoy yourself at the wedding!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Sweet Sipper

We love this idea!  Add a sweet note, your names, or the lyrics to your first dance to your signature drink.

These flags are letterpress from, but your local stationer could make them or you can give them a try.  The perfect little craft to do on the couch in front of your favorite sitcom.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Fun, Flowers, and Friends

Ahhhh, young love.

The wedding of Brian and Erica yesterday was a perfect combination of décor elegance, romance, and a whole lot of fun. With such a great group of young people in attendance, the party got off to a quick start with a packed dance floor and ended with sparkers (of course) for this holiday weekend wedding.

We certainly had a wonderful time planning the wedding with the bride’s dad and step-mom who were gracious, generous, and grateful from start to finish. We incorporated tones of copper, gold, peach, and cream to create a dazzling table setting. The copper chargers perfectly accented the custom linens and were topped with chocolate toffee apple favors from Lisa Anne's Apples.

The bar at Chestnut Ridge was packed all evening thanks to Erica's favorite Chocolate Martini and Brian's favorite White Russian. Not to mention the lines that formed at the tables for Cold Stone Creamery and the fun photo booth provided by Photo Illusion.

Chestnut Ridge Country Club was absolutely gorgeous thanks to the step-mom’s great design style and vendors like Table Toppers (custom linens), Perkins Productions (lighting, draping, and staging), Party Rental (china, crystal, flatware, chairs) and Myland Farms (all the floral décor including the chuppah).

The staff at Chestnut Ridge could not have possibly been more helpful, caring, or hard working. They were like a well-oiled machine making sure that every detail throughout the evening was perfect.

As always, Jim Skipper of Black Tie Video and Joe Sachs of Artful Weddings photographed and documented the entire wedding day with a professional and cheerful manner.

We worked with Gunther Motor Coach for the first time this weekend and they were terrific. We just love finding new, reliable and kind vendors. Sugar Bakers once again produced a delicious and beautiful wedding cake and Concord Ensemble provided a wonderful string quartet for the ceremony.

Congratulations Erica and Brian.
You are both very sweet and we wish you all the best.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Signature Drink? Make it Pop

We are still seeing signature drinks at wedding and parties because people love them.  They're the perfect way to encourage your guests to try something new and add a pop of color to your cocktails.
Of course the drink should be yummy and the perfect accent to your color story, but don't forget about the container.

The glass you choose is so important.  Check out your local rental companies - they're sure to have something to suit your drink.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Saturday's Wedding ABC's

V.  V is for volume.  Your older guests are more sensitive to the volume of the music.  Seat them away from the speakers so they can chat during dinner.

W.  W is for wedding website.  A wedding website is a great way to communicate with your guests.  Get it started and put the url on your Save the Dates so your guests can keep updated.

X.  X is for xylophone?  No no, is for X's - kisses!  Lots of kisses on wedding day. Don't forget your touch up lipstick.

Y.  Y is for young guests.  You've made the decision to have children at the wedding and you need to give them something to do.  Have a room close to the reception room set aside for the kids.  Stock it with movies, a tv and dvd player, some games and toys, and snacks.  And yes,  a babysitter or two.  If you can't manage a room, then give each child a tote filled with toys and games to play during the reception.  Their parents will thank you.

Z.  Z is for Zzzzzz's.  The few nights before the wedding it's best to get a good nights sleep.  Don't count on sleeping the night before the Big Day - it may be difficult.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Fourth of July!

Happy Fourth of July!
Image from

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Guest Books for Dummies

Love the idea of a guest book, but want to make it fun and memorable?

Try this idea from
We love this idea because it takes off all of the pressure off your guests to write the perfect wedding day message.  They have a starting point and it's sure to make for some fun notes and advice.  They can even design the books to make room for a Polaroid photo of guests.

GuestBookStore even has designs for Wedding Showers, Baby Showers, and Birthdays!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Thank You!

As wedding season rolls on the thank you notes should be rolling out. Here are a few guidelines to get you started.
1. Be timely in sending out your bridal shower thank you notes. They should go out within a few weeks of the bridal shower. Since your wedding thank you notes will either you both your name and your fiances name or your new married monogram imprinted, you will need separate notes for the bridal shower. You can get started before the shower by pre addressing the envelopes of those guests you know are coming to the shower.
2. As wedding gifts start to arrive you can start you thank you notes. Be sure that these notes have your maiden name as well, since they are being sent before the wedding day.
3. Thank you notes have a few key components: express gratitude for the gift, tell how you will use the gift, and tell how much you're looking forward to see the person or how much you enjoyed seeing them at the wedding.
4. Notes should always be handwritten, as well as hand addressed.
5. Wedding gift thank you notes should be sent in a timely manner. The gift giver will want to be sure that it was received. There is a misconception that you have 1 year to write thank you notes, this is not true. Your guests have 1 year to send a gift.
Image from

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Mix it Up

You have the ring on your finger, the reception site has been chosen, and you have a band.  You know what that means?  Time to register.
Here are a few tips:
1.  Start online.  Most of the stores can let you start everything online.  This will help you keep your time in the store to a minimum and let you start the fun while you're at home (or at work!)

2.  Choose 2 or 3 stores.  A department store and a speciality store are most common.  Just check out their return policies and online shopping abilities.

3.  Give it some variety.  Add items to your list at a range of price points.  There's no harm in adding things to the list at a higher price point.

4.  Check in.  If you're having a surprise shower then you may want to assign this task to your fiance or mother, but the list will need regular attention.  Items may go on backorder, out of stock, or be discontinued and will need to be replaced or removed.

5.  Have fun!  Plan to go to the stores with you fiance and just have a ball.  Add things to the list that are fun and silly.  Arrange to go on a weekday if possible, things will be less crowded.