Thursday, July 29, 2010
Monday, July 26, 2010
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Friday, May 14, 2010
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Sunday, April 25, 2010
1. Signifying warm summer nights, collect mason jars and create a DIY-lemonade stand. Guests can fill mason jars with a gourmet lemonade mix, add fun accoutrements like striped paper straws or sprigs of rosemary, and take home a cute printed recipe card to make a vodka rosemary lemonade drink for those hot summer nights. Image from Getty Images
2. Sure, this isn't a new idea, but we see guests really swoon over photo booths. A photo speaks a thousand words; give your guests the ability to dress up and act goofy in a photo booth and take home a copy of their snapshot. Dress up the booth with a cute summer backdrop and summer-time props. Image from SummerPicnicWedding
3. Have Grandma's apple pie recipe? Give each family or couple a pie-in-a-jar to take home and enjoy. Fill a mason jar with the ingredients needed, cinch with a fun checkered summertime ribbon, and attach Grandma's recipe. If you're having too many guests to make this doable, fill short mason jars with homemade jam. Image from iStockPhoto
4. Like to play outdoors? Give guests customized frisbees to take home for summertime play! We have clients who are doing this for their July wedding and it's just such a fun idea! Check out Myflyingdiscs.com to personalize your frisbees!
Monday, April 19, 2010
1. When you are looking at hotels (the majority of destination weddings are held at resorts), think about how many guests might want to stay at the hotel. Talk with the hotel about what kinds of perks they will offer you and your guests based on the number of guests that stay. Often times this is a free room for you or an upgrade.
2. Talk to different airlines. Many airlines (like Alaska) have perks or free tickets for brides and grooms who bring a certain number of flyers on their planes.
3. Plan ahead for your rehearsal dinner as well. If you take a pre-wedding trip to the destination, check out all possibilities for other activities like snorkeling, shopping, dining, and even locations for your rehearsal dinner or other welcome activities for guests. Again, negotiate with these places and restaurants for any perks based on the number of guests you bring them.
4. Again, negotiate. Many resorts have pre-picked wedding packages that very well might not suit you. Don't hesitate to ask about swapping their in-house photography package for a larger reception dinner for your guests. Resorts want your business and are likely willing to be flexible with what they offer.
5. Know what is required. In Mexico, for example, you will need to have a blood test approved before you tie the knot. This can be done at your resort by their on-site doctor and is simple, but you will likely need to be in Mexico at least three days before your wedding.
As always, Happy Planning!Aleah + Nick
Sunday, April 18, 2010
I wanted to share a few photos of inspiration I snapped on our recent trip to the Yucatan Peninsula. You can see that my mind was focused on all of the gorgeous tones of blue - aqua, turquoise, navy....I hope you enjoy!
Monday, April 12, 2010
1. Location, location, location: deciding on a location should be based on a few key elements. Where do you love to travel to? We see the most popular destination wedding locales as tropical settings. Consider the type of hotel; will your guests be comfortable and is the hotel affordable? What are the amenities like? Think about the close proximity to airports, towns, and other activities. Select a location that has great reviews for both service, restaurants, a gorgeous setting, and stellar wedding services.
2. Keep in mind that a destination wedding very well might not be less expensive than an in-town wedding. If your guest list grows and you take into consideration travel expenses to-and-from several times, the costs can elevate. However, if you do it right you can end up saving a great deal of money.
3. Will you be happy not having a 200-guest wedding? Chances are if you invited 200 guests to your nuptials in Costa Rica they couldn't all attend. But keeping it simple can feel so good and celebrating with your close family and friends in a tropical (or other) locale can be the best type of celebration. Consider whether you'll have a hankering to throw a post-wedding bash when you return for those who couldn't make it.
4. Along with #1, really be sure to know what the hotel offers you for your wedding. We have seen our fair share of destination venues that simply have you pick your flowers or cake from their standard "look book" and don't stray too much from offering those designs. If you're fine with this then this type of venue provides a level of simplicity. If you still want to have a unique design, look, and feeling, be sure to relay this to your coordination team (or the on-site staff); as many destination hotels will still provide that level of simplicity but will bend over backwards to create a stunning look that isn't like other weddings.
A snapshot from last night's gorgeous wedding at the Omni Hotel
5. Ask the hotel how many other weddings might going on during your wedding weekend. Though this is a great question to ask at any venue, destination or otherwise, we've seen many destination hotels say that they might have 5 or 6 weddings going on at one time. While this might be okay for some people, most of our clients want their wedding to be the only big show that day.
6. Finally, consider the level of privacy you want and find a venue based on what they offer. Think about a tropical destination setting; you very well might have people walking by as you are saying "I Do" in their bathing suits.
Stay tuned for Part II: Hotels love weddings and as a result will likely offer you room upgrades, perhaps free nights depending on how many of your guests stay.........................
Saturday, April 3, 2010
This palette was created for one of our darling summer brides who wants to keep her wedding look understated and soft. I love these silver rings from Ringoblog and this sea foam ethereal dress from J. Crew Taryn, $395, and this Chloe organza light ivory linen from Wildflower Linen
The texture of this stunning Vera Wang Dovima dress would look stunning with Isabella blush linens from Wildflower Linen and a combination of textured blush and lavender roses. This was created for our bride who wanted a classic, sweet look. *rose photo from theknot.com
For our funky bride who wants a unique, out-of-the-box look, I pulled together this vibrant Chloe eggplant organza linen from Wildflower Linen with this chic $58 single pearl strand necklace from Ann Taylor and an adorable $180 Juliet dress from J. Crew.For the last look of the day I wanted to share a whimsical style I put together for a fun and carefree bride. With a simple, yet gorgeous wedding dress she is able to punch up her look with color or some fabulous jewelry.Curly willow peacock linen from Wildflower Linen, Whitney gown from J. Crew $395, and crystal supernova necklace from J. Crew, on sale for $98
Monday, March 29, 2010
1. be sure to have some budget parameters laid out so that you have an idea of how many guests you can afford to invite and have attend.
2. don't over think. Simply start writing down names of your family (moms, dads, grandparents) and dearest friends and work your way out from there.
3. please take note; do not count on someone not attending and send them an invitation! If you feel obligated, send someone an announcement after the wedding. We have seen so many brides and grooms think that a dozen distant family members aren't going to trek cross-country and send out invitations. Surprise when they RSVP yes!
4. be mindful of whether your parents will be inviting guests and be sure to lay out a clear number of how many you will all be inviting so that your lists mesh.
5. possibly my favorite piece of advice that Nick gives to our clients: do not invite someone to your wedding whom you would not feel comfortable taking out to dinner. Simple as that. By the time the total budget is calculated, each invited guest can cost several hundred dollars to feed, entertain, and give cake and favors to. If you don't know this person well, consider skipping an invitation. Try to imagine your wedding with and without the guest in question. If you wouldn't necessarily miss them at the wedding, do not feel obligated to invite them.
Happy Planning! Aleah + Nick
Thursday, March 25, 2010
That isn't to say that people are interested in bringing traditional English garden style of arranging back either, as that is what our grandparents would be proud of. And most of us don't want the type of arrangements found in Renaissance paintings.
I feel this is the year of bringing flowers back into flowers! No more outrageously priced minimal sculptures out of flowers, but more of an elegant use of what the flower already provides."
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
1. try to stray from using tea lights in containers with moss or anything really flammable. We've heard stories about things catching fire! Floating candles have a unique effect and are much safer.2. if your venue doesn't allow for a real flame, you can use LED candles; though not the real thing, if you have them hanging or clustered together they can emit a glow
3. if your wedding is outdoors, hang tea lights from trees in mason jars secured with wire or ribbon. Talk about a magical effect!4. if using taper candles, be sure they are not close to any part of your floral! Trust us; we've seen a near disaster with a candle that was placed too close to a centerpiece. Also be sure you have something to catch the wax so it doesn't drip and ruin the expensive linens!
5. purchase candles that have at least a 6-8 hour burn; you don't want the flames going out mid-party!6. get creative - scatter various colored vessels (like glassybabies) down the center of your family-style table for a pop of colorHappy Planning!
Aleah + Nick
Images 1: from Emily + Ryen's wedding by Amore Studios 2. from theknot.com 3. from elsechelsea.typepad.com 4. studio nine photography 5. glassybaby.com
Saturday, March 20, 2010
1. What is the key piece of advice you'd like to lend to brides and grooms when starting to design their wedding suites?
Look for designs that fit your personal style - designs that when you look back at them with your children and grandchildren one day, you see a "love story" unfolding, instead of "whatever was trendy" for the time being. Look for colors and layouts that are functional first - and convey the information you're sharing. Remember that your invitation is your guests' first glimpse at the biggest day of your lives thus far.
2. Do you prefer traditional wedding invitation wording or something a bit more modern?
These two styles can be mixed together in beautiful ways - I once worked with a bride who was very traditional but FULL of personality. Her invitation and response card were very traditional - but at the bottom of the response card we inserted "DJ play my song __________________" to add a fun element and bring her personality into the pieces. The guests LOVED this and the bride passed the song requests on to their musicians at the reception.
3. We were brought up to write a thank you note for most anything and know how important they can be. What might you recommend for those who aren't akin to writing thank you notes? What is the proper timing etiquette for writing thank you notes for wedding gifts?
Always, always, ALWAYS write thank you notes. Always. For your wedding and shower gifts, its customary to have your thank you notes mailed no later than one month after the wedding. I was once told (and never forgot this...) to never underestimate the power of a thank you note. Your thank you notes don't have to be long and verbose, just sincere messages of thanks to someone who took time to do something special for you. Write thank you notes not just for gifts, but to the vendors and special helpers who played a roll in your big day as well.
4. How do you propose a couple deals with an uninvited guest whose name shows up on the response card (i.e. a cousin's girlfriend when it was only the cousin's name on the actual invitation)?
This is why all my wedding suites come with double envelopes. This is hard to avoid without an inner envelopes. The outer envelope is used for the mailing address and the inner envelope bears the name of the person (or people) to whom the invitation is directly addressed. But generally, when these things happen, my advice is to "roll with it." If this only happens with a few guests, it wont put you too far over your guest count. If you do happen to push past your limit of attendees, politely and informally discuss the situation with the guest. Perhaps the "plus one" can join you at the reception if the ceremony venue is past capacity?
5. Can you please explain what's appropriate to include and not to include in wedding invitations?
In your suite, you want to include
- the hosts' names
- the bride and groom's names
- date and time
- venue address
I start to itch when wedding websites and registry information find their way onto the invitation. Enclosure cards are perfect for bearing website information. Registry information is not appropriate anywhere in the suite. Look at your suite as if you were a guest attending another wedding. What kind of questions might they have? Do they know where to be and when? How to RSVP?
Wedding invitations should introduce the biggest day of your life thus far - remember to keep your verbiage minimal and special. Additional information can be tucked in welcome bags, included in the ceremony program or listed on the wedding website. Choose a design that is timeless and special. Add personality with special touches like calligraphy, vintage postage stamps or envelope liners. Above all - choose something that will be representative of your love story. And work with a stationer who will take those things to heart when designing your suite.
Aleah + Nick
1. Dress from JLM Couture 2. Image from redhotbrides.com 3. Image from BridalwaveTV
Pair your gown with any of these statement pieces from Stella and Dot jewelry - 1. Bardot Flower $39 2. Glitz flower earrings $39 3. St. Tropez statement necklace $178
Monday, March 8, 2010
1. Stay organized. This tip is so important -Google has some great budget, layout, checklist, and other spreadsheets (here) to keep you on track. Buy some sort of notebook or filing system where you can store fabric swatches, paper samples, and magazine pages or photos you like. *this notebook is from Mindy Weiss2. Don't micromanage. If you have a coordination team, let them manage the major details; after all, that's why you hire them. Any good coordinator won't take over your wedding (it will always be your!) but rather will keep you informed, keep you on track, recommend high caliber vendors, and help you bring your vision to reality. If you don't have a team, be sure to break up your planning in months, rather than one long TO DO list. If you have friends or family who would love to help, by all means let them - it can be lots of fun! ---but see our last post about not taking advantage.
3. Trust your vendors. We've said this in previous Monday Coffee posts and we mean it. If you put off a calm, cool + collected vibe and hire on great vendors, their talent and creativity will really shine through. Give them some room to whip up some samples and show off their amazing ideas rather than putting them in a box and holding them to just one design. You'll likely say "wow; why didn't we think of that!"
4. Don't take on too much. Letting DIY projects get out of control can create so much stress. While lots of our clients have fun and take pride in creating invitations or other handmade goodies, trying to do it all could be the end to having a great planning process. Know when to stop and turn your projects over to the pros.
5. Share the fun with your bride or groom to-be. We're also big proponents in sharing the tasks; let your groom surprise you with a funky play list or take on planning cocktail hour or a down-home late night menu.
We hope that you take heed to our advice and stay calm, cool + collected. You'll be sure to enjoy your planning process!
Cheers! Aleah + Nick
Thursday, March 4, 2010
1. Bring your mom along to try on wedding dresses. Do NOT bring an entourage of moms, bridesmaids, aunts, and cousins. This just complicates the process and you'll have conflicting opinions. Moms usually do know best and I'm sure your mom would be honored to join you.
2. If you have some DIY projects, like assembling favors or stuffing invitations, make it a fun party with your bridesmaids. Have a caterer drop off some ready-to-serve hors d' oeuvres and have some champagne on hand. Make these projects fun and upbeat and involve your girls at the same time.
3. Don't stick your friends who aren't in the wedding party with odd-ball jobs at the wedding to "honor" them. We've heard feedback over the years that it's not really an honor to man the guest book table all night or instruct guests on utilizing the wedding shuttle. Instead, ask them to perhaps do a reading at the ceremony - something that truly means something.
4. If you have a really artistic or talented mother-in-law to-be or friend, ask them to create something for your big day. Keep in mind the fine line between taking advantage and the honor of being asked to create something. Unless it's offered, do not assume someone will create 150 wedding invitation suites or 30 centerpieces for free if that's their specialty. Instead, maybe ask your florist mother-in-law to create your personal bouquet - tell her you'd be honored to carry something she creates.
5. Be kind. Have fun with your ladies and make sure they don't regret being involved with your wedding. Surely you've seen the show Bridezillas - don't boss around your loved ones. Be the sweet bride you know you are and see how much fun the process can be!
Happy Planning! Aleah
*photo from brides.com
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Here are some important details:
WISH UPON A WEDDING:
• Was founded in San Francisco, CA, in January of 2010, by a group of wedding and business entrepreneurs.
• Is America’s FIRST nonprofit wedding wish granting organization, producing weddings and civil union ceremonies at destinations across the United States for individuals facing terminal illness, regardless of sexual orientation.
• Boasts twenty chapters nationwide, headed by some of the industry’s most renowned leaders.
• Sasha Souza, National
• Kevin Covey, LA/Orange County
• Stella Inserra, New York
• Ivy Robinson, The Carolinas
• Eliana Baucicault, Atlanta
• Mary Alice Sublett, Tennessee
• Heather Hamilton Sims, Houston
• Shelby Tuck Horton, DC
• Elisa Delgardio, Orlando
• Ali Phillips, Chicago
• Daniela Fageʹ́t, Seattle
• Other chapters opening soon: Colorado, Arizona, Portland, Miami, St. Louis, Ohio and Nevada.
• To qualify for Wishes, applicants must be unmarried legal citizens of the United States, over the age of 18, who have been diagnosed with less than three years to live.
• Simply apply online to request one of three wedding types: URGENT (Up to 10 guests, in hospital or at bedside); BOUTIQUE (up to 25 guests, in home town of applicant); ROMANTIC (Up to 50 guests, at any WUW destination)
• Wish Granters needed in all locations. Please apply online today to start helping us make Wedding Wishes come true. Photo of the first recipents by Stella Sweet
Please pass this message along!