Wednesday, May 18, 2011

From the Wedding Planner: Starting a New Wedding Tradition

I recently sat down with one of my brides as she was looking through pictures from her wedding. She kept commenting on how much fun everyone looked like they were having—her uncle's great dance moves, the look on her groom's face as his best man gave the toast, etc...She couldn't believe that all of the planning, parties and toasts were over!

Giving the gift of the Anniversary Box is a special way to help the bride and groom relive the special moments of their engagement and wedding, year after year. If you're the gift giver, know that there are many opportunities for you to incorporate the Anniversary Box into the wedding festivities. Remember, there are 50 cards and envelopes (one to be opened on each Anniversary), and these can be passed out at multiple wedding events. Engagement parties, wedding showers, rehearsal dinners and the reception are all great places to hand out cards to guests. But keep in mind that if you plan on taking the Anniversary Box to multiple venues, you'll want to designate one person to distribute and collect all the cards.

Encourage guests to write from the heart, have fun and get creative—after all, they're helping to start a new tradition for the bride and groom! You may also suggest that guests add a small memento to their written message such as a cocktail napkin, place card or flower petal. You may also want to assign extra-special anniversary years to grandparents, parents or close friends.

The most important part: Don't forget to explain to guests that each card is a lovely surprise for the bride and groom to open on each anniversary; there should be no writing on the envelope, except for the pre-printed anniversary year.

Curious to see more about incorporating the Anniversary Box into an event? Visit our YouTube channel!

Videographer: William Gaff / Humanstory Films

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Choosing Your Photography Style

With wedding, bridal and photography blogs galore, it’s easy to become inundated with choices when it comes to selecting your wedding photographer. Perhaps I can help you a bit in that process. The first factor you need to consider is your style. If you haven’t already been poking around on different websites looking at photography, do so! I would suggest starting on wedding blogs as opposed to trying to find photographers’ websites—you’ll be exposed to a greater number of photographers’ work by going to a wedding blog, and from there you can narrow your search.

Take note of things that you like and don’t like. Do you tend to favor the classic, formal shots or the more modern, edgy shots? Do you enjoy candid photos (capturing the moment as it’s happening) or portrait style (normally posed and looking at the photographer)? Another popular trend is the “vintage” look where the photographer alters the color and tone to give the photos an aged feel. If you like that look, make sure to pick a photographer who has that kind of work already in their portfolio. Some photographers do more muted colors and soft focus, while others go for bright colors that pop—think about what will look best with your wedding colors. Thanks to modern technology, most photographers can edit their photos (if digital) after the fact to make them black and white if you favor those. But make sure to ask before you move forward—the last thing you want is to have expectations or hopes that your photographer can’t meet!

Another fantastic idea that couples are starting to work into their shoot is the use of props—balloons, glasses, crowns, cookies, tickets, etc. While it’s more common to see props used during an engagement shoot, they are growing in popularity at weddings. Props shouldn’t be overdone, but a few as they relate to your theme can be a nice addition. Just remember, whatever style you choose should be what you are comfortable with, and one that you can look back at over the years and still enjoy. 
Here are some great examples of what I've discussed above:

1) Black & white. Photographer: Geneoh
2) Edgy. Blog: Style Me Pretty // Photographer: Ling Photography
3) Modern Blog: Once Wed // Photographer: Tec Petaja
4) Classic, Formal. Blog: Style Me Pretty // Photographer: DeShelia Spann Photography
5) Bright color Blog: Style Me Pretty // Photographer: Sarah Yates

6) Vintage Blog: Style Me Pretty // Photographer: Heather Saunders Photography
7) Muted color Blog: Style Me Pretty // Photographer: Love Me Do Photography
8) Prop Blog: Green Wedding Shoes // Photographer: Courtney Dellafiora
9) Props Blog: Style Me Pretty // Photographer: Sarah DiCicco
10) Props Blog: The Cherry Blossom Girl // Photographer: Marianne Taylor Photography

{ Alana Kucharski }

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Dress Etiquette: Mothers of the Groom

Congratulations, your son is getting married! Now you have the (sometimes daunting) task of picking out a dress. Mothers of the groom often have a difficult time finding an appropriate dress to wear to the wedding. But don't get yourself into a frenzy just yet! Shopping for your dress should be a fun and exciting experience...just keep a few things in mind:
According to tradition, mothers of the groom should wait until the bride and mother of the bride have chosen their dresses. Regardless of time of day, mothers' dresses should be conservative and tasteful.

When shopping for your dress, tradition says stay away from colors like white, ivory, red and black. However, this isn't always set in stone—especially if the couple isn't planning a totally traditional wedding. If you're unsure about certain styles or colors, don't hesitate to ask the bride!

Or, if you want to sneak in some extra bonding time with your daughter-in-law to be, ask her to come along on your shopping trip! This is always taken as a nice gesture and shows that you care about her opinions and respect her taste.

Make sure to leave plenty of time for yourself to find that perfect dress. Ideally, you'll want to have made your decision about a month before the wedding—this will leave time for any tailoring that needs to take place.

Happy shopping!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Toasting Etiquette

{Photo credit: Alana Kucharski}

Knowing you have to give a toast at a wedding or rehearsal dinner can be a daunting task, especially if you aren’t too confident when it comes to public speaking. Or maybe you’re wondering if it’s appropriate to give a toast since you’re not in the wedding party. Read on to have your questions answered and to get some helpful advice on all things toasting!

1.     Traditionally, the groom’s parents will make a toast at the rehearsal dinner—though it isn’t unheard of to hear from family members or friends in the wedding party. At the reception, the best man and maid of honor give the toasts.
2.     Practice! Don’t wing it—make sure you prepare ahead of time. You want to be comfortable enough with your toast so that you don’t have to read off a sheet of paper.
3.     Add some personality. Talk about something funny that happened to the couple recently.
4.     Give equal consideration to the bride and the groom. This is easy to overlook—especially if you’re closer to one member of the couple. Stay balanced.
5.     Make eye contact with the bride and groom. This will show sincerity.
6.     Make it personal and avoid sweeping generalizations and clich├ęs. Talk instead about the couple’s relationship and the defining moments in their relationship.
7.     Keep it short. The guests may become restless if you start to exceed five minutes.
8.     End with an upbeat conclusion.
9.     Remember, grandparents and children may be in attendance. Keep your toast appropriate for the entire audience.

Things to avoid:
1.     Cursing
2.     Slouching
3.     Talking too quickly
4.     Bringing up ex-boyfriends or ex-girlfriends
5.     Drinking too much beforehand

We'd love to hear from you! Tell us about the best or worst toast you've heard at a rehearsal dinner or wedding?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Indian Wedding - Sandeep and Debjani

Sorry I've been MIA for the past couple of weeks.. who knew the new year could get so busy??

I found this wedding on Little Black Book a few days ago and fell in love.  Sandeep and Debjani held a beautiful wedding at the Angel Orensanz Foundation in New York City last spring.  Their wedding could not be more traditional, but brilliantly unique at the same time.  Bright colors, hip Indian style, and chic cocktails make this one a winner. Photography by Karen Wise.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Royal Wedding Details

We won't know what Kate Middleton plans on wearing for her wedding until late this spring, but we can always guess until then.  Here's a look at past Royals and their gowns.  Can you name all of these princesses?

Pictures courtesy of Yvonne York

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Trend Watch: Prohibition Era Glam

Last week I updated you on the trends of 2011 and one of them was the influence of TV shows like Boardwalk Empire.  Hopefully you will glean some inspiration out of this shoot, which looks like a scene out of an old Hollywood movie back in the days of black and white glamour.

Using motifs like wrought-iron, tiffany lamps and pearls, a bride can turn her wedding into a thing to the past.  White script writing is a must as our some small items to remind us of the days where Americans could get away with anything, like swanky cocktails, vintage photographs, and perfectly permed hair.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Trends for 2011

  Happy New Year! I'm sure you've been busy making and breaking resolutions.  Myself, I skipped the resolutions and went straight to trend watching.  What's ahead in weddings? Here a few trends to watch for this year.

  Dresses. I am very excited about certain styles that are making a comeback this year and they all have one common element - femininity.  We're seeing vintage couture make a comeback, thanks to period TV shows like Mad Men and Boardwalk Empire. Put a twist on that with New York prep style inspired by Blair Waldorf and you'll be the belle of this season's ball.  And of course, the ballerina dress.  I've already shared my love of that new style.  Thank you, Black Swan!

From Wedding Nova
  Eco-Chic. Eco-Chic has been trending since the start of the 21st century, but this year there are even more ways to have an environmentally conscious wedding.  First of all, buy used and buy local.  Buying used means that you are more likely to find a vintage dress.  Buying local not only encourages the local economy (which you'd obviously like to do if you live there), but often it also decreases the cost of items.  Local caterers and floral shops will also give your wedding a personal touch.
  Another way to get in touch with the environment is to have a wedding in nature.  The trend is becoming more popular this year: people are ready to get out doors! Not only that, but outdoor venues are often less-expensive.
  My favorite thing about this trend has to be the paper products - invitations, menus, etc.  These invites from The Paper Door are simple, classy, and totally eco-chic.

The Paper Door
  Fun with Food. I don't know if you've been watching the Food Network lately, but gastronomy has recently taken a turn for the inventive.  And now many brides are incorporating that into their wedding.  Watch out for peculiar foods in 2011.  Some couples may even forgo a classic caterer for a food truck.  

  Technology.  There is no doubt that Facebook has radically changed modern society, but I doubt Mark Zuckerburg ever thought he would have an influence on the wedding industry.  But he has! Brides are using Facebook to invite guests to events, using Twitter to update friends and family on the progress of the wedding preparations, and posting photos to Photobucket to share with guests.  And with social networking sites growing exponentially every year, getting in touch with friends and relatives will only get easier.  I hear your grandmother is on Facebook now, how about inviting her to your bridal shower?

  Princess Fever.  Sadly, it is true.  Prince William is officially off the market and tying the knot with longtime girlfriend, Kate Middleton.  She is the perfect princess. Beautiful and smart, she will take the London Royal Family by storm.  And we won't be able to stop watching as she prepares for her big day.  It promises to be an extravagant wedding and I cannot wait to see what happens.

  Watch out for these trends in 2011 and stay ahead of the game with your wedding preparations!