Thursday, February 26, 2009

Amanda & Cary: Gettin' Hitched this Weekend!

We will be out of the office tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday for the wedding of Amanda and Cary! I can't wait to see this very classy wedding come to life. Amanda is a super organized bride, and everything has been finished for a while now.

One of my favorite aspects of this afternoon wedding is rather than having lots to drink and a loud band or DJ, which typically doesn't suit an afternoon wedding, we have hired a classical guitarist to provide great cocktail music for the reception. Should be a lot of fun for the guests.

Say a prayer for the weather on Saturday, as we have had drastic changes in the forecast. Early in the week it looked like we were going to have one of the prettiest days of the year, and now it looks like we might be a bit chilly. But, with our team on her side, Amanda can rest assured that we will provide the best solutions that we can to take away from the cold temp.

I love Amanda & Cary's engagement pictures by Lanning Photo. I am looking forward to working together this weekend!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Planning Quickly? Here are some tips...

Are you planning a wedding in say, 4 months or so? While any seasoned wedding professional should be able to keep you on track with a stress-free 4 month engagement, many brides are put to work with this task on their own. Here are a few tips that I can offer you to keep you from ending up like this...

1. Make a design plan and stick with it. Head to a fabric store or even the paint section at your local home improvement store and make some design choices. Grab swatches or samples of colors that you love and keep these in your wedding binder. Also, take the time to find photos in magazines or online of ideas that you love (especially flowers!) and keep these in your binder to take to vendor appointments. Sticking to a design plan eases the process for everyone involved.

2. Go ahead and mark some wedding planning days off on your calendar. Whether it is a Saturday or an afternoon off of work, take the time to knock out several things at once. When you determine what days you could do this, go ahead and call to schedule appointments with the vendors you hope to see that day.

3. Prepare yourself (the head and the heart) that some vendors that you LOVE may already be booked. Many brides book vendors up to a year in advance, so have your second and third options ready to contact them immediately if your first choice is not available for your date.

4. Once you have secured the "biggies", such as venues and photographer, take care of things that take processing time first. These are items such as your bridal gown & bridesmaids dresses and invitations. Order these as quickly as possible if you are in the 4-month time frame. Again, keep in mind that you may need to be flexible with your selections due to your time constraints. Designer dresses and custom invitations do require a longer ordering time period than others.

5. Attend vendor appointments with the following information already prepared: Your names (of course!), Your contact information, The date & time of the wedding, your venues for ceremony and reception, the number of guests you expect to attend, the number of people in your wedding party, and your budget for THEIR PART of the wedding. They will love you! Just go ahead and have a print out of all of this information to hand over to the vendors when you walk in the door.

6. If possible, go ahead and pay in full. You are so close to your wedding date that remembering what balances are due when, and taking the time to write those checks and get them in the mail can be a tedious task. If possible, and you feel comfortable with the vendors, go ahead and pay in full. The balances are going to be due in just weeks, so go ahead and check it off of the list.

7. Stay organized & maintain a checklist in your bridal binder. (Tip #1 should have been "Go Purchase a Bridal Binder!") Make lists when you think of things that you need to do, or your brain might just go into overload. Keep a notepad and pen specifically for wedding tasks at your desk, in your car, and on your bedside table. You'll probably dream about something you forgot to do.

8. Always remember the BIG PICTURE! The purpose of this whole process is to marry your sweetheart, not to make sure that every last chair has a perfectly tied bow in a perfectly matching apple green satin sash. There will be bumps along the way. Just stop and ask yourself, "Self, does this keep me from marrying my honey-bunny?" I guarantee you that the answer is 99.9% always going to be "no." Keep moving forward!

Enjoy this process. Just because you have a shorter planning time doesn't mean that you are required to be a big ball of bridal stress. Enlist the help of some friends and have a great time planning! Hopefully you will avoid looking like the bride at the top, and end up more like this...

Thanks to Jason Hudson for this great photo!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Brides for the Cure...Register Now!

One of my favorite projects of the year is back and in full swing! Brides for the Cure, our effort to join in the fight against breast cancer, is back! This year we even have a fun website for you to check out. Click here to be taken to the site.

While we are just getting started gathering fabulous prizes from the hottest local vendors, you can go ahead and join the team and recruiting your family and friends to join as well!

Remember that BFTC is not just for's for anyone! Please visit the Official Brides for the Cure Website for more info.

If you are a vendor and would like to participate, please email me and I will send you the sponsorship form. It's super easy and so much fun!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The UARK Ballroom

It's back! The UARK Ballroom has been re-opened for bookings for your wedding, event, or party! The Ballroom has been privately leased over the past months, and is now back to its old business...being a wonderful facility for your social event needs. Amy Jackson, one of my favorite wedding business friends at the Inn at Carnall Hall, is the contact for this venue. Please check out the UARK Ballroom's website for more information. We hope to see your name on the marquee soon!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Here Comes the Bride...the Recap!

This Sunday we participated in Here Comes the Bride, the first ever Arkansas Bride & Fayetteville Town Center bridal show. This show has the potential of being the very best in NWA, with the set-up looking like a wedding reception itself! Vendors were separated into 3 rooms, each with a different theme or style: Casual Elegance, Whimsical, and Traditional. J.Bailey Occasions was at the front of the Casual Elegance room, greeting brides as they walked through the door. Here are some shots to enjoy by the uber-fab Dale Benfield.

Here I am getting ready for the show to begin...

And, me and Ki. She is the best assistant ever!

In the Casual Elegance room, we designed 2 tables that we entirely different. The first table was a more modern take on casual elegance. I designed the table with a monochromatic theme for the chairs, linens, and china, and wanted the BIG PUNCH of color to be in these gorgeous fuschia garden roses {yes, those are roses!} by Flora. The tall white candlesticks really make a modern statement with their curvy design and glossy finish, standing out from the slate silver pintuck linens by Eventures. Here are some details:

Our second table, which was the surprising hit of the show for us, was designed around a non-floral centerpiece geared more toward the Fall bride. We chose to use tall centerpieces of quince branches with delicate white blooms in a large cylinder vase. We accented this centerpiece with 2 iron lanterns filled with candles. The table was covered in a moss green shimmer crush tablecloth by Festivities, and silver Chivari chairs. We used chocolate brown napkins folded over the table for a bit of interest on the table. We also mixed & matched the china, using silver chargers and white china with silver rims and also some plain white china.

The ceiling treatment in the Casual Elegance room was gorgeous, and created by Eventures. Here is a view of it from our table:

Here is more of Randal & the Eventures team's beautiful set-up:

Shout out to Dale and his incredible couture albums:

Now, on to the Whimsical room where my friends from Festivities stole the show with their bold black, white, and yellow set-up. I couldn't get enough of this! Brides...please go for this look with your summer weddings!!!

Amy of Sincerely Yours Paper, Inc., my favorite invitation designer, was set up just around the corner...{p.s. check out her new blog!}

And, a quick glance into the Traditional themed room...

We had a great time with all of our vendor friends, and meeting all of you new brides! We love hearing about your weddings and how uniquely different they each are. Please email us or call to set up your complimentary consultation to talk about how we can work together to bring your Big Day to life!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Twirl Talk...Blogging for Bridesmaids

Hey brides...have a clueless MOH (that's Maid of Honor) or some of your lovely bridesmaids that totally dig their role in your wedding? You should send them to Twirl Talk, the new blog especially for bridesmaids! They can find lots of great ideas, informtaion on the role of a bridesmaid, the best undies to go under that dress, and so much more. Send them on over to check out the fun!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Here Comes the Bride!

We will be there this Sunday! This bridal show is going to be unlike any other in our area. Just at our tables, we will be showing you a budget-friendly and a splurge table! Come and meet us and check out all of the services we have to offer! All of our very favorite vendor friends will be there, too!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Choose Your Colors

Many girls come to me knowing their wedding colors, but most of the time I find that each bride has a certain color in mind but needs assistance choosing a great accent color that you haven't seen 100 times!

I recently came across this fun color selection tool. You can click around and play with it, choosing your first color and then deciding if you want to go monochromatic & choose shades, or go with a bold contrasting color. Warning: It's Addicting! Click here to enjoy!