Monday, March 23, 2015

WEDDING NOTES™ - I should have----.

As you become totally immersed in the plans for your wedding take some time to think about what really matters in the long run.  Try to maintain some perspective on the upcoming event.  Here's what some brides have said after it was all over.

1.   I wish I had paid more attention to everything going on around me.  I was so focused on the details that I forgot to really notice who was there and to appreciate the fact that they came to help us celebrate this special day in our lives.

2.  I wish I had focused on the reality of what was happening that day.  I got married to my best friend!  That is huge.  In light of that realization, who cares that the caterer forgot to put out my pink printed cocktail napkins and used plain white bar napkins.

3.  I dreamed of and hoped for an absolutely PERFECT day.  Somethings did go wrong.  They weren't major and only my mom and I knew it.  We never mentioned it that day but have laughed about it after.  She was wise enough to know that in spite of detailed lists, something would be out of our control.  Neither the altar boys nor the ushers thought to light the candles on the altar.  Oh well.  I didn't see it until I got to the altar.

4.  I nearly forgot that the most important person at that wedding was my new husband.  Sure I was disappointed that some guests were unable to come, but what mattered was that I was there and so was he.

5.  Know that the day will go by quickly.  I spent months preparing for this day and when the celebrations came to an end, I couldn't believe it was all over.  I should have known that it would just fly by.  If I had it to do over, I'd pay more attention to everything and everyone, and reconsider hiring a wedding planner or coordinator.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

WEDDING NOTES™ - Your Wedding Photographs

Most brides consider their wedding photos to be among their most treasured possessions.  Long after the big day is over, the photographs taken that day are looked at over and over again.  They are a formal record of a momentous day that joined two families and created a new branch.  Quite apart from what those photos represent, who doesn't want a photographic record of a day in which she looked fabulous!

For those reasons, most brides choose not to skimp on wedding photos and hire a professional photographer to capture wonderful still moments, and some a videographer to film the entire ceremony and portions of the reception for posterity.

Some areas you may wish to consider are:
  • ·         A formal bridal portrait.In some areas of the country, they have never not been part of the wedding plans.  Usually taken either in the photographer's studio or in some elegant setting.  You may choose to have it be of you alone or have a formal portrait of you and your groom.These are scheduled prior to the wedding if possible.  Planning to do them the day of can add too much stress to an already packed day.
  • ·         Style of photos to be taken.  Work with your photographer to outline - IN ADVANCE - the key shots you want taken.  Review the traditional bridal party shots, processional and recessional pix and standards at the reception.  If your taste runs to traditional coverage, make sure that you and the photographer agree on the shots.  If your taste is for more creative shots that require special lighting or lenses, be sure to discuss these well in advance.
  • ·         Family members to include.  Be sure that the photographer (or his/her assistant) has a complete list of family members you wish to include in photographs.  You'd hate to have an album full of photos but not one picture of you with your favorite aunt or godmother or Uncle Ralph.
  • ·         The role of digital.  Decide early on whether your wedding is to be "plugged in" or not.  If you don't want guests shooting photos of you getting dressed or other "candid" moments, and posting them as they are taken, you need to insist on have the ceremony be "unplugged".  You can have signage posted in the back of the church and/or printed in the programs that asks guests to refrain from taking photos before or during the ceremony.  Some couples have created a secure spot and assigned friends to collect iPhones prior to the ceremony.  Reception guidelines are far more relaxed.  In fact, many couples provide a plugged in station somewhere in the reception area recognizing that photos will be taken whether they want them or not.  Have the bridal party spread the word on your behalf.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

WEDDING NOTES™ - Wedding Gifts

Gift giving has been a part of wedding lore for centuries.  They have been given to newlyweds in every culture.  But at one time, after the couple had furnished their new home, they were expected to return any practical gifts they had received at their wedding that were not in use.

Useful gifts were appreciated.  At one time, a "must have" gift for the bride was a set of finely decorated knives.  She wore them proudly sheathed and hung from a belt as part of her wedding finery.

In some areas, friends would give the couple fruit trees to plant at their new home.
And old Scandinavian tradition said that the bride must make the wedding shirt for her husband to be.  He would wear the shirt on his wedding day and then put it away.  The only other time he would wear it was when he was buried, thus reinforcing the lasting nature of marriage "until death do us part".

When to give a gift?
  • Engagement party?   - No gift required.  That's because engagements used to be surprise announcements rather than planned parties.  Close friends and family may choose to give a gift to the engaged couple, but because not everyone will bring a gift, packages should be opened after - not during the party.
  • Bachelorette Party? - No gift required.  Usually the bridesmaid's chip in and cover the bride's expenses for their night out.
  • Bridal Shower? - Gift required if you attend.  If you don't go, no gift required.   However, family and close friends may choose to give a gift anyway.  They may have it delivered to the hostess's home before the event or sent with someone who is planning to attend.
  • Weddings?– Usually, even if you aren't attending.  But it is also ok to give nothing.  According to some wedding etiquette experts the only time a gift is required is a bridal shower that you are attending.  Most people tend to give wedding gifts whether they attend or not.  The question is "how much should I spend?"  The usual guideline is to give enough to cover the price of your meal and that of your guest if you have one.  The best way to handle wedding gifts is to have them sent to the bride's home in advance of the big day.  This avoids security problems at wedding receptions that are becoming more and more of a problem.
  • 2nd Wedding - No gift required, especially if you attended the first wedding and gave a gift, but most guests ignore this and bring a gift.
The one rule consultants should stress is that there should be no mention of gift giving on the wedding invitation.  The invitation's purpose is to invite friends and family to celebrate the wedding, not to solicit gifts.

Monday, March 2, 2015

WEDDING NOTES™ - It's Not My First Wedding

Well congratulations on taking the big step again.  You are in good company as the most recent data suggests that second weddings make up at least 30% of the weddings held in any given year.  And just because you've been married before doesn't mean you don't have questions about this one.

Your questions aren't new to us and we can offer advice and guidance to cover most situations in which you and your husband to be may find yourselves.  Second weddings tend to be unique depending on the circumstances.  Are there children involved?  What are your ages?  Is this a second wedding for you or for both of you?  The only "rule" you have to follow is to choose the kind of ceremony that feels right to both of you.  Leading up to that ceremony there are some accepted guidelines that you may feel comfortable following.
  • ·         If there are children involved, they should be the first to hear your good news.  The way you choose to tell them should be designed to insure that they realize they are gaining another parent rather than losing the one they have.
  • ·         If there are children involved, it is proper to inform your former spouse of your plans.
  • ·         If it is the bride's second marriage, the traditional formal announcement is not made.  If it is the bride's first marriage and the groom's second, then a formal announcement IS made.
  • ·         If it is the bride's second marriage, a semi formal or informal wedding is usually chosen.  An exception is made if the bride did not have a large formal wedding the first time or if this is the first time wedding for the groom.
  • ·         If you are planning a small ceremony with only a few close relatives and friends in attendance, you needn't send printed invitations.  If the ceremony will be a large one, printed invitations are expected.
  • ·         Increasing in popularity is a small intimate wedding for family and close friends, followed by a much larger celebratory formal reception.  In this case you would send a formal invitation to those invited to the reception with a small enclosure card for the ceremony to those who are invited to both.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Inspiration MS - 1st Event

Here are some designers featured in our latest event.


Dona Morgan


Sunday, February 22, 2015

WEDDING NOTES™ - Mom's Wedding Gown

Hundreds of moms carefully tuck their wedding gowns away waiting for the day their daughters will choose to wear it for her wedding.  Nice thought but it rarely happens anymore.  The thought is warm and tender but the reality is that few brides avail themselves of this opportunity.  They love the thought but want their own gowns.

Our staff can advise you on various ways to incorporate all or part of "mom's gown" into your wedding plans.  Some of the best ideas we share are here.  Remember that there are always ways to capture the sentiment in this vintage gown.  It was offered out of love and should be treated with the care the thoughtful consideration with which it was given.
  •   If the basic structure of the gown works for you and the fabric is still in good shape, consider having a seamstresses make some slight adjustments for fit or length and/or modify some of the gown's features such as sleeve length and detail.  Shop carefully for a cleaner who specializes in handling heirloom gowns and aged fabric.
  • Consider "harvesting" some of the lace from the heirloom gown to add detail to your own gown or veil.  Some of it may be used as a sash or trim to your gown.  Some of the material can be worked into your bridal bouquet.  Let the expert find ways to help you incorporate the fabric.
  •    If the fabric is just too different, consider displaying the heirloom gown at your reception and use it as the centerpiece for a display of family wedding photos - yours and his.  This can be spectacular centerpiece at your reception and can focus on the traditions and linkages that you - the new couple- represent. 

For other good ideas for incorporating the past into your present wedding, call.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

WEDDING NOTES™ - Your Second Job

Weddings are the stuff of dreams, but in reality, preparing for yours can be like having a second job.

Planning a wedding requires real work.  It requires planning and meetings, contracts and negotiations, purchases and coordination.  It must have great communication and clear cut deadlines.  Purchasing and deadlines are real.  Some experts estimate that the average wedding ceremony and reception will require 250-300 hours of time invested.   How will you handle this second job while you are still gainfully employed at your regular job?

The best advice is to treat the upcoming nuptials like a business.  You need to get your tools together.  Get organized.  Set aside a work space related to wedding only projects.  It can be a basket on the kitchen counter or a special drawer or a notebook/portable office.  Just make sure that all the information related to you upcoming wedding is kept in one place.

Get an organizer or planner and keep it up to date.  A few years ago BRIDE'S magazine survey brides and 20% of the brides in the survey said they would sooner lose their wallets than their wedding planner.  Keep track of all names, phone numbers of any person who is in any way related to the upcoming wedding.  Take careful notes of any conversations, plan and promises made and by whom.

Set goals and give yourself deadlines.  Then stick to them.  Make lists of upcoming tasks and check off as completed.   If you let some deadlines slide, think how that would go over at work.

Hire a professional/consultant.  Businesses do this all the time.  If they have a special project that requires special attention within a specific time frame, they bring in a "specialist" or a consultant whose sole focus will be that special project.  Consider hiring a wedding consultant.  NBS and Weddings Beautiful can put you in touch with the best in the business.  These pros can help you bring in the project on time, on budget and with a trunk full of memories that no money can buy.