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.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

WEDDING NOTES™ - Unexpected Reception Touches

While the ceremony is the heart of the wedding and the reason to gather, the reception is the time to celebrate.  Whether the wedding is small and intimate at a local restaurant or a large multi hour event for 300 guests with white glove service, what makes a wedding memorable are the decorative touches and event activities that are planned and executed with style and panache that your guests will remember.  

Here are some recent ideas from wedding planners that may spark your creativity.

  • ·         Centerpieces at guest tables can be gorgeous bowls of seasonal fruits and vegetables instead of flowers.  For example:  Summer weddings can enjoy bowls of seasonal greens which include small melons, pears, apples, grapes, green bananas, and avocados.  Fall weddings can call on red apples, tomatoes, pomegranates, grapes, peppers and pears.  If yellow and orange are your color scheme, bowls of grapefruits, lemons, pears, yellow tomatoes, squash and gourds.  Encourage guests to eat the centerpieces or take the fruits home with them.  Provide custom printed favor bags with your wedding date. 

  • ·         If you have planned a cocktail hour to precede your dinner, consider renting a popcorn cart.  It makes perfect nibbling while sipping cocktails and waiting for the wedding party to appear.  Order striped containers with or without your wedding date imprinted and add matching napkins.  Rather than just salt seasoning, consider offering a variety of popcorn toppings like cheeses, sugars, spices, or sea salt flavored butter.

  • ·         If you are a candy fan, consider centerpieces that contain "flowers" of lollypops, suckers, small candies on a stick, frosted cakes on a stick.  Individually wrapped chocolate truffles or chocolate molds made especially for you add a note of elegance to the festivities.

  • ·         If you are planning a wedding dance to follow dinner, it might be worth it to investigate having a dance-floor decal created for your event.  Standard decals are available from most rental agencies and can add a very special note of celebration.

  • ·         If you want a wedding by the sea but can't leave Chicago in January (your wedding date) consider creating a south sea atmosphere with a backdrop of ocean waves, or palm trees around a lagoon.  Backdrops can be paper or fabric or a video presentation that flashes against a blank wall.

 For other ideas to make your reception special, stop in and chat with one of our experienced planners.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

WEDDING NOTES™ - Tying It All Together

Dreams, time, energy and fittings have gone into selecting THE GOWN for your wedding day.  Nothing can compete with it.  What remains is to enhance its beauty by selecting the perfect accessories and gown enhancers.

You've gotten the call - your gown has arrived.  It is time to make sure that all of the items that will be worn that day are perfect as well.
  • *Undergarments - These are critical to insure that your gown fits beautifully.  Be sure to purchase the right bra, the right slip, and if your gown is a mermaid style, a trusty pair of Spanx.  Bring all items to the salon when you have your first fitting.  If something isn't right, you'll have time to replace it.
  • *Shoes - It doesn't matter what style you've chosen, just make sure you've worn them at home on carpeting to insure comfort and that they are with you at that first fitting of your gown.  You must wear them when the hem of your gown is being pinned.  Heel height determines hem length.  Once hemmed you can't change your mind.
  • *Veil or Headpiece - If you didn't make its selection when you chose your gown, now is the time.  Decide on length, style and gown compatibility.  Make sure it is comfortable by working with its placement.  Does it work with your plans for your wedding day hair style?
  • *Wrap - Rarely needed in warm weather, but essential in northern climates, the wrap you choose absolutely must compliment your gown.  Don't settle for a style that competes with the dress or looks like an afterthought.  If you can't find exactly what you want, ask the seamstress who is doing your fitting to help create the perfect accessory.
  • *Bustle - If your gown has a sweeping train that you will want bustled for the reception/dance, be sure to bring along a friend to your fitting.  She should take notes during the fitting about how to bustle your gown.  Some directions will be simple - two ribbons tied together, but some may be more complicated.  Waiting to have your bustle "installed" while the band plays on without you isn't good.  Have a few practice runs before the final pressing.
  • *Jewelry -Bring the pieces you are considering to that first fitting to make sure they still work.  IF the gown is heavily beaded, you may wish to consider little or no jewelry.  If the gown is plain and elegant - the minimalist look, you can consider impact jewelry.  Just make sure the jewelry chosen compliments the gown, not competes with it.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

WEDDING NOTES™ - Looking Good

Most women would agree that there is something special about a man in a tux.  They just look good.
But they could look even better if they took time to insure that the tuxedos they wear - fit.  There are some tips for insuring that tuxedos (or for that matter any suit) fits properly.  Most menswear specialists would offer these guidelines.

*Buttons - For men's jackets on tuxedos or suits, the simplest rule is to follow the "always-sometimes-never" rule.  For all occasions, always button the top button, sometimes the middle button and never the bottom button.

*Sleeves - Most rental suits don't pay attention to sleeve length and that is a mistake.  Granted a rental suit won't fit like a tailored or custom fit jacket, but always pay attention to the sleeve length.  It always looks best if about 1/4 " of the shirt cuff peeks out below the sleeve when the arms are at his side and relaxed.  More than that or an "ocean" of cuff peeking out looks bad.

*Jackets - The best possible jacket length is when arms are relaxed at the man's side the bottom of the jacket hits about an inch above his knuckles.  The shoulder seam should hit exactly where his shoulder ends.  More than that and the jacket looks funny with the seam sliding down the arm.  Less than that and the man looks like his jacket is a size too small.

*Trousers - Hem length on trousers can be hotly debated and individual men have their own preferences, but what you want to avoid at your wedding are pants that are too short or too long.  The best rule of thumb is hem the pants so that there is a slight break (if any) and the hem should just touch the shoelaces.

If the men in your wedding party order their tuxes from a reputable dealer and give the shop plenty of time to get merchandise in, you have a better chance of having suits that fit well.  If the men get into the store early when the tuxes arrive, there is still time to make any size adjustments that may be required.