Thursday, April 30, 2009
I personally think this trend may be induced by the recession. I think couples are looking at ways to be less extravagant in light of what's happening financially around the globe. Even though they are being conscious, I think they are also looking at providing a better quality event in whole.
Couples are looking at ways to do things better without being over the top with the budget that they have. This includes upgrading the food, picking estates with an intimate space, or upgrading the total guest experience.
At a recent wedding that I planned, the couple only invited 30 of their closest family and friends. They opted to rent out an estate where everyone can stay under one roof for the duration of the 3-day event. They were able to visit with each of their loved ones, share special memories, and really enjoy each other's company. On wedding day, the guests were invited into a transformed ceremony and reception site within the estate. They enjoyed wonderful musicians during the ceremony and reception, feasted on a 7-course meal fit for a king and queen, and enjoyed an evening under the stars. It was truly a memorable event for all. Even though they had an intimate event, they still wanted top notch quality and this was definitely better than quantity.
Therefore, if you are looking for ways to maximize your dollars, you might want to look at cutting down your guest list. Pouring more of your budget into making a fabulous small and intimate celebration is a great way to get what you really want. Quantity does not make a party...attitude does. You can always have a more informal BBQ celebration for all your other friends later on.
So here's a trend for you to contemplate, smaller is sometimes better.
Photo from Gloria Plunkett Photography
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
I think it's wonderful and I am kinda sad I did not come up with the idea first! Go check it out or better yet tell your groom to check out, The Man Registry.
Photo and video from The Man Registry
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Unplugging, as defined by me, is to literally take yourself off any social media outlets for a few days. This is exactly what I will be doing for three days while I get some much needed vacation with my family. I wonder if I will be able to do it!
At any rate, starting at noon on 4/23/09 PT, I will be going device/computer free. I will not be blogging, Tweeting, Facebookin', emailing, or anything else (though I will be taking cell calls...I put my sim card in my old school flip phone...no blackberry) until Monday 4/27/09, just in time for another week of blogging and inspiring. If I would have planned it out better, I would have written several blogs early and had them scheduled to be posted on the appropriate dates, but I tend to write my blogs on the fly.
Reminders about this weekend. If you live in the SoCal area and a bride, bride-to-be, or future bride, please join me and other top wedding vendors at That's Amore, a bridal soiree at Cafe Firenze, restaurant of Top Chef contestant Fabio Viviani, this Sunday, April 26, 2009 from 10am - 2pm. For more information, please visit my previous blog about That's Amore.
Please take time to enjoy nature, and the outdoors, reconnect with your loved ones and live unplugged for a day or two.
Graphic by Edmond Leung
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Therefore, today, April 21, 2009 my wedding pledge is to honor DeAnna Cochran Jewelry.
DeAnna Cochran inspires me to be the best that I can be. The story of how she began her company is compelling, how she does business is inspiring, and what she does to give back to the community is truly uplifting. She makes me look at how my business can sustain my life and make an impact in the community I belong to or organizations I believe in. I love her work, her passion, and her dedication and her art pieces are definitely "Jewelry for a Cause!"
I know DeAnna is not a wedding industry professional per se, but her jewelry has provided pleasure to brides, grooms, and vendors. Select pieces from her line is definitely wedding focused. I have highlighted her work several times in my blog, not only because she is a personal friend and past bride, but also because I love her work and know that my clients and readers will think her pieces would be a great addition to their wedding.
If you are looking for wedding inspiration or gifts that are truly given with heart, you can choose pieces such as the Leave It To Love Brooch that becomes an heirloom boutonniere for the groom. The Noah's Heart Cuff can become a special gift to the bridesmaids and the Jackson's Leaf Cufflinks is the perfect thank-you to the groomsmen. Additionally, you can purchase the Anthony's Wish Ring as a memento to your beach wedding. Plus the great thing about buying pieces from DeAnna Cochran Jewelry is that with every purchase a percentage of what you pay will be given back to such organization as MEND, Koinonia Family Services, MD Anderson Cancer Center of the University of Texas, and Room to Dream Foundation. DeAnna Cochran Jewelry will also consider making special pieces for your wedding party and you can designate where the percentage of the sales goes.
Therefore, for my 2009 Wedding Pledge I applaud and thank DeAnna for giving back to so many and for designing Jewelry with Heart and for a Cause!
Photos from DeAnna Cochran Jewelry; 2009 Wedding Pledge Logo from BrideTide
Monday, April 20, 2009
Clockwise from top left (click on above photo to enlarge): Invitations: Invitations by Nature; Bubble Wedding Gown: Christos; Floral Balls: The Velvet Garden; Candy Bar: Inspiration from Amy Atlas Events; Tiffany Bubbles Ring: Tiffany & Co.; Printed Silk Chiffon Whitney Long Dress: J. Crew; Turquoise Three-Strand Chunky Necklace: Blue Earth Jewelry; Polka Dot Tower Wedding Cake: Sugar, Oklahoma; Carnival Midway Vendor for the Cocktail Reception or After Party: Inspiration Photo from David's Digits on Flickr; Balenciaga Lego Shoes: Balenciaga; Mini Classic Gumball Dispenser used for Escort Cards or Favors: Estilo Weddings; Balloon Drop: Inspired by Gifts & Decorative Accessories Photo.
I hope this inspiration board gets you chewing on some great vibrant ideas too!
Photos from above mentioned sites. Center Bubblegum maching photo by Michael Weinberg Photography.
Saturday, April 18, 2009
The gown designed by Pierre Balmain was a beautiful silk organza tea length number that was cinched at the waste. The top of the dress looked like a button down shirt with a collar and voluptuous sleeves. She topped off the ensemble with fresh flowers in her pixie cut hair.
In modernizing this iconic bride, this is how I see the Audrey Hepburn bride of today.
Friday, April 17, 2009
Elizabeth Crystal Bracelet, $38; Glam Cam, $13; I Do for Shoes, $3.50; Glam Placecard Holder, $3.
Middle Row (l to r):
Great Gatsby Guest Book and Pen, $46; Silvered Almonds (totally edible), $21/per pack; Grazia Samantha Bridal Shoes, $205; Nadalia Crystal Headband, $65.
Bottom Row (l to r):
Jozefien Double Pearl Earrings, $45; Crystal Garden Cake Jewelry, $150/set; Silk and Brooch Pillow, $70; Leaflet Rhinestone Brooch, $40.
I hope this inspires you in your search for the glitz. Discover other wonderful things by visiting The Shop @ Percy Sales Events.
Photos from The Shop @ Percy Sales Events
At any rate, here's my Top 5 Hot Destination List for 2009:
- Sitges, Spain: Sitges is a wonderful seaside town southwest of Barcelona in the Catalonia region of Spain. This wonderful town is known for its beaches, nightspots, and historical sites. It has become a miniature Ibiza. Sitges touts 17 beaches, four-star hotels, delectable gastronomy, culture, and something for everyone. Easy access by plane or train from several European destinations. A nice car drive from Barcelona.
- Mendocino, California: Mendocino is small town in Northern California. Located on the Pacific Ocean, this artist colony is a hidden gem that has become more and more popular in the last several years. The town remains quaint and offers amenities to house your wedding guests in great bed and breakfasts as well as boutique hotels. Additionally, it's a perfect location for a honeymoon, where you just want to leave everything behind. Mendocino is a 4-hour drive north from San Francisco.
- Boracay, Philippines: A resort town on the island of Panay in the Philippines, which is located about 200 miles south of Manila. It's an untapped beach resort that has been gaining notoriety and followers. A hidden gem that is a favorite beach getaway for Eastern Europeans as well as those from Asia. Boracay boasts an average temperature of 77 degrees to 90 degrees year round. You will fall in love with its white sand beaches, resort accommodations, and the Filipino hospitality. Direct flights from Manila.
- Victoria, Canada: The capital city of British Columbia is found on the southern tip of Vancouver Island and lives in the shadow of its more landlocked famous city, Vancouver. Nevertheless, this romantic waterfront city is the gem of British Columbia. The Mediterranean climate of Victoria makes it the perfect North American location for a honeymoon or destination wedding. Additionally, Victoria and Vancouver Island offers so much, from hiking trails, to 5-star restaurants and resorts, and history invite visitors to discover it. The picture perfect Inner Harbor and Empress Hotel would be the perfect background to any wedding. Boat access from Vancouver.
- New York City, New York: Who can deny the "city that never sleeps" as one of the all time best hot spots in the world. I♥NY! NYC has so much to offer not only for destination weddings, but for honeymooners as well. The city has so much to do, so much to see, and it appeals to all age groups. From the serenity of Central Park to the hustle and bustle of Times Square, the city has something to offer everyone. The big plus, it's easy to access from anywhere in the world.
Photos from Wikipedia
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Additionally, I love the clay flower hairpieces. They are a perfect gift for your bridal party and a way to create drama in your wedding hair without worrying about the flower wilting! Also, all the clay floral creations can be used after the wedding in so many ways. You can use them as decor in your home, put away in a chest to pass on to future generations, or framed in a shadow box as a piece of artwork in your home.
For more inspiration on how clay flowers can spruce up or add to your wedding day, please visit the DK Designs or DK Designs Blog. I can't wait to suggest these gorgeous blooms to my clients. DK Designs has been featured on Martha Stewart and a plethora of wedding publications and notably so, because her creations will definitely be the talk of your event.
I hope this helps in molding your floral choices.
Photos from DK Designs
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
This video has nothing to do with weddings, but has everything to do with Inspiration. I know you all have been inundated with this video, but it is so good, I cry with joy every time I watch it, because Susan represents the underdog (and at some point we all have been underdogs). She may not look like a superstar, but should looks determine that? How about true talent? I'm a fan!
The other reason I love this video is because it goes to show us all that we should never underestimate anyone, because you never know how they will surprise you. If you looked at the audience and judges faces when she first got on the stage they were ready to laugh her off. How many of us have felt that way? That there was no way any one would give us a chance because of how we looked, talked, dressed, etc. We all have something to offer and we are all special...that's the truth of the matter.
The other thing that I learned from Susan, just by watching this video clip, is to believe in yourself, no matter what others may think. If you can't believe in yourself, who will! Additionally, I love this song from Les Miserable, I have dreamed a dream and hope that one day it comes true for me as it has for Susan.
Can't you see her singing at a wedding as the bride walks down the aisle? How wonderful would it be to be serenaded by that voice.
Video clip from YouTube
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
April's question is, "What is the one thing you would change about your wedding day?"
Here are some of the responses I received:
I would do away with the dog-n-pony show and make the wedding smaller and more intimate. I would save the money to feed distant relatives who we'll never see again and use it on more high end touches for a smaller group such as an extra romantic location/flowers/food/photos, that would bring more joy to the couple themselves than to just "show off" and "please" the crowd." - Kelly, Fremont, CA
Not invited so many people to the reception. The best thing we did was only inviting close family to our wedding ceremony, that was about 20 people. Our reception was about 100 people that took place right after our ceremony. Having less people at the ceremony made the moment very special to us. - Salvador, Dublin, CA
As a wedding planner, I should have hired a day of coordinator, so I didn't have to worry about managing vendors, set-up, and clean-up myself...allowing me to enjoy more. Don't get me wrong I had a blast at my wedding, it would have been nice to not have to worry about all the "day of" details myself. The other thing I would have done differently is taken the time to eat. I did not even get to eat my wedding meal because we were talking to so many people, we had 170 guests, and I never got to eat our delicious food, maybe I got two bites. Eating is one thing that I make sure happens for for all my clients. I would have also hired a videographer, because I hardly remembered the evening, except for how fun it was. - Percy, Ojai, CA
I would have probably spent less on the things that didn't matter as much and more on the things that do - and what's important is different for every bride/groom. For me, it was the location/venue for the ceremony, reception area, and the photographer. In retrospect, I feel like we did most everything we wanted to do within our budget, but I think that spending less and saving the money for the stuff that counts...like putting a down payment on a house and getting our new life started together might have been a better investment! A big party is a good way to get you in debt. - Clarissa, San Diego, CA
We got married at the Justice o' the Peace in New York City. Just the two of us and one witness. I think people need to focus on who they want at their wedding and not how much they want to spend. Any time I hear about someones wedding, it's always they should have made it smaller, not bigger. Have a small wedding and get a great photographer and videographer. You will see more of your wedding in the photos and videos than you ever will at the event. They will last a lifetime. - Darrin, Pollock Pines, CA
Who I married! - Lynnette, San Francsico, CA
Make it smaller and less "traditional" (no cake which i don't like, typical music, etc...) - Jules, Wilsonville, OR
It would have been less traditional, and I would have not worried so much about the food and spending lots of money on top shelf alcohol. - Lilia, San Francisco, CA
I wouldn't have changed anything. We decided that the whole goal was to wake up single, and go to bed married. That took a ton of pressure off, and we didn't "sweat the small stuff" as it were. If anything, I wished the day had lasted longer! It was magical. - Kristin, Santa Barbara, CA
I'm actually pretty happy with how ours turned out. It was exactly what we wanted, where we wanted, and it was just a big party—fun for us and for the guests. I do wish I got more of my dinner though. And I heard the dessert that was served before the cake was amazing (never got it). - Maureen, Santa Clarita, CA
Not a thing. Maybe that Bret didn't get so sunburned. Other than that not a thing. Everything people say, "don't spend so much, don't invite a zillion people, etc." well we did that. It works. We didn't even hire a photographer and we have the most beautiful and candid wedding pictures I've ever seen. - Carl, Santa Barbara, CA
Our wedding was very low budget - I wouldn't change that, we were poor at the time. But we couldn't afford a photographer so I'd change that. - Nancy, Ft. Worth, TX
This may sound odd, but adding a dancefloor. - Tim, San Francisco, CA
First I wish i hadn't, secondly, I wish I had more cake, expensive cake for just one bite! - Angela, Monterey, CA
Don't ask me why, but we chose not to hire a videographer for our wedding. We had a beautiful garden wedding in Cambria, and our ceremony had sweet moments that I wish were captured on film. - Kathy, Dallas, TX
I wouldn't change a thing, except for hire a videographer. I should have listened to my wedding planners suggestion on that. - Leslie, Englewood, NJ
I hope this helps couples who are in the midst of planning your own great event. If you are married and have anything else to add, please make a comment. Your suggestions and thoughts are appreciated and a great way to advise others.
Photo from Cake Wrecks, hopefully that cake is one thing that bride would have done differently.
Monday, April 13, 2009
I've been seeing a lot of blogs about Hello Kitty weddings lately and I thought wow...there are some people who literally take the Hello Kitty theme to heart. So as I pondered...what would I do if a bride insists on designing a wedding around the theme of Hello Kitty? I thought about it all day and came up with the above inspiration board (click board to enlarge).
I am inspired by Hello Kitty's simplicity and versatility. I am inspired by the color pink...all shades of it. I am inspired by the quirkiness that fans of the cartoon icon seem to possess. I'm inspired by Japan. So in designing my Hello Kitty inspiration board, I have mixed the classic with the wild and have added a touch of the famous pink.
My inspirations (top left and clockwise): Wedding Gown: Alvina Valenta; Pink Dyed Crinoline (for under the gown): couturesantrash (ETSY); Flowers: fleuretica; Bridesmaid Gown: Jenny Yoo; Bracelet for bridesmaids gifts: Sanrio; Cotton Candy Bar: Martha Stewart; Chandelier: GSPN Crystals; Ceremony Site: One Source Weddings; Shoes: Stuart Weitzman; Centerpiece: InStyle Weddings; Wedding Cake: Simply Cakes; Ring: Gumuchian
I hope this inspires the little girl in you.
Photos from above mentioned sites
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Here are some of my other favorites hair adornments found at The Shop @ Percy Sales Events.
For more fabulous items, please visit The Shop @ Percy Sales Events.
Photos from The Shop @ Percy Sales Events
Friday, April 10, 2009
Today happens to be a Fantastic Friday and I am featuring something really cool I came across reading one of my magazines this month...Bridal Gown Sketches. Sure Princess Diana and other celebrity brides have had their gowns sketched by the designer or artist as a keepsake piece, but now you can too. So what that you bought your gown at David's Bridal or on the Internet at some online wedding gown store. Now you can get the same couture treatment that celebrity brides get when designing their gowns.
One fantastic sketch artist that I discovered through the magazine is Jennifer Angilello who owns All About the Dress. Her stylized rendition of the bride and gown are fantastic. Jennifer's portraits run about $425, according to InStyle Weddings Magazine, and from the looks of her portfolio it's well worth it. If you are looking for a less pricey version you may want to visit Dreamlines where sketches run at the $100 rate and is shipped from France.
Another option is to get the artist in the family to do a rendition of your gown, maybe as their wedding gift to you. This option will definitely have more meaning...as it is someone you know. But what ever route you get, I definitely think getting an artist rendering of your gown, with you in it or not, is definitely a FANTASTIC thing to do as a memento to your wedding day.
Here's sketching you...kid!
Sketches from All About the Dress
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Princess Grace was such a regal bride. Married to Prince Rainier III of Monaco on April 18, 1956, Princess Grace, known then as Grace Kelly, was the epitome of the Princess Bride. Grace was always known for her sense of style, but no one could have expected how ravishing the actress turned princess would look like on her wedding day.
Princess Grace's wedding gown was designed by Helen Rose, a costume designer who worked at MGM studios and who had dressed Grace Kelly in two movies. According to Grace Kelly Online, the Helen Rose designed dress, "consisted of a rounded collar, full skirt of ivory peau de soie, and a fitted bodice made from Brussels lace embroidered with seed pearls. The lace was over a century old and had flower designs in it. 25 yards of silk taffeta and 100 yards of silk net were used in the construction of the dress. Under her wedding gown, Grace's petticoats had tiny blue satin bows."
The gown, the woman, the event was memorable to all who witnessed it and the iconic dress has been imitated for many years. In updating this iconic bride here is how I see the Princess Grace of today.
Hope this inspires your inner princess.
Photos from above mentioned sites except for Heather Gown picture found at InStyle Weddings
I was in bridal gown overload looking at all these gowns but than there were some that just stood out to me. Here are my top four picks for Spring 2010.
(left to right)
- Carolina Herrera - This gown was just embellished enough and gave the whole look that extra "Ola senorita" feel about it. It was young, vibrant and the fabric looks incredible. The neckline is not too revealing and the ruching is just perfect. I particularly love the boating hat also. Work of art considering she based her inspiration on works of art this season.
- Monique Lhuillier - I am a fan of Monique! This dress is so beautiful. The bodice is perfectly ruched and the ball skirt just reminds me of a bed of flowers. Perfect for a spring wedding. What I love about this dress is that it looks like its structured or has to many fabrics but it actually moves nicely, an almost ethereal feel to the whole dress.
- Oscar de la Renta - Oscar is the master of classic silhouettes that still is modern. What I love about this dress is that it is such a throw back to Jackie O, but I could see a modern day first bride wearing it too. I love the ribbon belt, the embellished fabric, the 3/4 sleeves and the whole look of this piece. Perfect for a wedding at the courthouse or even in a lovely meadow somewhere. Pure bridal without being over the top.
- Priscilla of Boston - This dress is perfect, from the silver-ish undertone to to the belted empire waist, to the detachable train. Elegant, regal and outstanding. It's so Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly meets Marilyn Monroe in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. I love it.
Photos from Brides.com
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Souly Wedding Vendors, the brain child of SoulMates Bridal Boutique, is a creative circle of Southern California wedding vendors committed to the same level of service and professionalism. Every other month at a new and exciting location, Souly Wedding Vendors host a themed party for engaged couples, at no cost to them. This gives the clients the opportunity to meet, mix, and mingle with Souly Wedding Vendors in a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere.
Official Hosts for Souly Wedding Vendors April 26, 2009 Event:
Invitation for engaged couples for the April 26th, 2009 event:
Fabio Viviani of Café Firenze
& Souly Wedding Vendors
invites you & your fidanzato to
563 West Los Angeles Avenue
Moorpark, CA 93021
Sunday, April 26, 2009
10am – 2pm
Come for delicious food, fabulous drinks, & meet the best wedding vendors in Southern California
R.S.V.P to Wendy @ 805-630-9868 or email@example.com
Hope to see you future brides and grooms there! A full list of Souly Weddings Vendors who will be in attendance will be posted on a later date. For a full list of all approved Souly Wedding Vendors, please email me.
Photo of Fabio from Bravo
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Below is my best estimate on what one should buy for their open bar without the help of a caterer. The purchasing of these amounts for a reception has not failed me so far.
Beer: domestic, imported, and light beer - 3 dozen of each.
Wine: 3 dozen white, 4 dozen red (5-8 dozen total)
Champagne: 1 dozen bottles (only fill up half for toasts) also you may just want to do toasts with what people have in hand. This saves a lot of money and you can just buy 6 bottles of champagne for champagne cocktails at the bar.
Vodka: 5 liters
Gin: 3 liters
Tequila: 2 liters
Rum: 2 liters
Whiskey: 1 liter
Scotch: 2 liters
Bourbon: 2 liters
Dry Vermouth: 750 milliliters
Sweet Vermouth: 750 milliliters
Kahlua: 3 liters
Bailey's Irish Cream: 1 liter
Grand Marnier: 1 liter
Triple Sec: 1 liter
Amaretto: 1 liter
Sambucca: 1 liter
Brandy: 1 liter
Frangelico: 1 liter
Chambord: 1 liter
When shopping for your liquor, make sure to work with a local liquor store and ask about their return policy. Some liquor stores will give you refunds for unopened/unused spirits. Beer is the exception, most will not take back beer.
Buying your own alcohol for your reception can save loads of money. Ask your caterer about their policy of serving self bought liquor. Most caterers are cool with it...but there are some that will charge you more than if they served and bought it themselves.
Hope that helps answer your liquor questions.
Photo from Blender Artists
Monday, April 6, 2009
These images have inspired so many before me, including Mattel, who released a Water Lily Barbie back in 1997. Today, I am inspired by this impressionist master and how I see his art being pulled in to a grand wedding.
A wedding inspired by Claude Monet (clockwise from top left):
Wedding Gown: White Chocolate
China: J. Seignolles
Bouquet: Hidden Garden Flowers
Bridesmaid Gown: Vera Wang
Lounge: Town and Country Event Rentals
Food: Serve French Cuisine to your guests
Tablescape: Nisie's Enchanted Florist
Shoes: Fifi Maisie Wedding Shoes from The Shop @ Percy Sales Events
Floral Hair Clip: Soiree Silk Floral Hair Clip from The Shop @ Percy Sales Events
Flower Girl Gown: Frances Johnston
Cake: Colette's Cakes
Venue: San Diego Botanical Building at Balboa Park
Hope this inspires you to create your own work of art!
Photos from above mentioned sites except for White Chocolate Wedding Gown found at Brides.com
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Sure we have seen Marabou feathers on gowns before and the infamous feathered boa at weddings, but nothing says...f-WOW-l than what designers such as Alexander McQueen, Monique Lhuillier, Junko Yoshioka, and Jenny Packham (l to r in pic below) has accomplished in bridal couture. They have taken feathers to a whole new level. Using such feathers from Ostriches and Peacocks to create show stopping, jaw dropping, wedding gowns that will surely be the talk to the town.
If these over the top gowns weren't enough, at the 2009 China Wedding Expo, a $1.5 Million peacock dress was debuted and stunned the audience. The dress hand-sewn by eight creators consisted of 2009 (obviously for the year 2009) peacock feathers and 60 Hetian Jades, generally knows as seed jade, were incorporated in this show stopping dress. How is that for strutting your stuff at your wedding day. I am sure we will see more and more of our fine feathered friends incorporated into gowns in the future.
Here's to flocking together in this new trend.
Photo credits: Carrie Bradshaw photo, Alexander McQueen, Monique Lhuillier, Junko Yoshioka and Jenny Packham gowns from Brides.com. Peacock gown photos from Trendhunter Magazine.
Saturday, April 4, 2009
Well nothing pleases me more to hear those words and glad that The Shop @ Percy Sales Events is catering to ALL brides...and grooms too.
So this week I am highlighting some of my favorite shoe pics found at The Shop @ Percy Sales Events. Clockwise from the top left:
- Touch-Ups Sharmain Bridal Shoes, $59.99
- Stuart Weitzman Dramahalt Wedding Shoes, $320.00
- Two Lips Gorgeous Wedding Shoes, $95.00
- Grazia Alicia Wedding Shoes, $210.00
Go ahead and play Cinderella...you never know the shoe may just fit!
Photos from The Shop @ Percy Sales Events