Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Little Black Dress, New Year's Style!

The little black dress is a must for most occasions and New Year's Eve is no exception. On New Years though, we can get away with a little more bling than usual, right? Here are some of my favorite little black dresses for New Years.

This one is by Eliza J, and is a ruffle wrap dress (I love it with the belt!)

Here is one with quite the bling effect. Super fun and will definitely make a statement. It is made by Scala and you can find it here.

I am really loving Betsy Johnson right now so bare with me. I want this dress! It is so cute.

All are good dresses to wear to a wedding this time of year, just be careful not to outshine the bride :)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Why Hire a Wedding Planner?

This is a question that I hear more often than not. I came across this great article that really hits the nail on the head as far as the why factor is concerned. I couldn't have said it any different, so check it out here.

Now that being said, I couldn't agree more with the article, BUT there is also the issue of finding the RIGHT wedding planner. A wedding planner WILL free up your time, negotiate the best prices, let you relax and enjoy your special day, but you must have a great working relationship with your planner. I would say that most of the brides Liz and I have worked with in the past have become somewhat close to us - maybe even friends... We get cards and updates, e-mails and photos of new babies, etc. Bottom line is they need to TRUST us, and feel comfortable with us taking care of the details and carry out the vision that they have created for their day.

So, when selecting a planner, and you really should if you can somehow manage it into your budget, make sure you select the right planner, and not just the one that may be the least expensive, or have the most experience, or "seems like" the logical choice because your best friend hired them. They have to really "get you" and what you want for your day.

99% of the time if you hire a planner with great referrals from friends and family, most likely they will be great with you too. But if you are stressing out before your wedding because your not sure the wedding planner has the details under control or isn't executing your ideas correctly, re-evaluate why you hired them and communicate with your planner, or even change planners. A hassle? yes. Will you lose your deposit? probably, Is it worth it - definitely.

You only get to do this once...Why hire a planner? Because you NEED one, and they are their to HELP you.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Hot Shoes comin' through!!!

I love shoes. There, I said it. Here are a couple pair I found that I hope some day will find their way into my closet. A girl can dream...

I never thought I would like a Jessica Simpson shoe, but here I am adoring this pair. These are from Nordstrom.

This gold shoe makes me want to dance I love it so much. It's by Stuart Weitzman, and again you can find it at Nordstrom.

And then there is this gem. A Betsy Johnson, totally fun, wish I had somewhere to go out and party kinda shoe. I love it and am still available for a Christmas party if you so choose to invite me!

So there you have it. A random post about an inanimate object that makes me so happy. I hope you liked them half as much as I did!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Helpful Addiction - Magazine Junkie Finds Great Holiday Decor!

I have outdone myself! What started out as an interest in magazines (bridal mostly), has become overwhelming in the sheer volume of magazines I receive. It seems that many of them are catalogs of sorts from various online vendors that I have ordered from, so not really a magazine, but I still peruse through them from time to time and feel the need to hoard them as if the products will disappear if I recycle the little gem. Hoarding or my need to hang on to every piece of paper I receive is another issue entirely, but is probably the root of why I am so overwhelmed by magazines lately.

Anyhow, recently I started subscribing (again, after a short lapse in letting my subscription run out) to Coastal Living magazine.

I bring this up because of my close proximity to the ocean and the sheer volume of beach wedding us Floridian planners have the opportunity to assist with. This holiday season, I have found great inspiration in the Coastal Magazine December issue. Planning a wedding is a great feat, but a holiday wedding is a completely different ballgame and inspiration for a Floridian beach holiday wedding is a challenge. So I am grateful to my freakishly large collection of magazines come these great challenges, and most recently to Coastal Living magazine as their stylish, chic, and not kitchy or tacky warm weather holiday decor is just what I was looking for. Here are some photos from the December issue. Hope you find them as inspirational as I did!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Let there be PIE!

So with Thanksgiving over, I have made it my personal mission to not give up the pie. As tradition goes, the wedding cake is age old, and so is pie for that matter. But PIE for cake? or PIE instead of cake? Yes! and there are oh so many varieties to choose from. How about mini pies? or mini cheesecakes? I love this idea and found that other people love it too! Here is an assortment of luscious yummy pies and tasty treats to tempt you! This first one is my FAV - pumpkin pie, this one made by Cannelle et Vanille.

Oh oh! Don't forget such delights as the mini cheesecake...found here from Cake on the Brain

and finally the most perfect wedding favor in my honest opinion is one you can eat. Try these for example...My Sweet & Saucy's delicious and gorgeous cupcakes!

Friday, December 5, 2008

The Budget Bride - 5 Money Saving Tips!

Just like so many of us these days, brides are on a serious BUDGET! And sticking to the budget is definitely a chore. As I meet with more and more brides there is one theme that is always the same. Brides are on a budget and they just don't wanna sacrifice ANY part of the wedding that they have dreamed of. So, here is a little advice on how to cut costs without cutting out the style.

#1 - Almost half of your budget is going to be in reception expenses. This largely includes food. To cut your costs, the first thing to do is cut the guest list. Sit down with your fiance,your Mom, or planner and go through the list one by one. Aunt Mary stays, but Moms co-worker is out. Also, cut out the "and guest" language on the invites. Sorry singles, your flame of the week is not invited!

#2 - The designer gown. We ALL want the latest Vera Wang, Monique Lhuillier, or Reem Acra gown. This CAN be possible. Try checking out sites like Once Wed, where you can find a used DESIGNER gown (worn once of course!) for a fraction of what it would retail for.I found a once worn Vera Wang for $1,650.00 that had an original retail price of $5,000.00. Seriously people, check it out! The photo below is a Vera Wang dress going for $950.00!

#3 - Centerpieces - The BEST way to cut back on your floral budget for your centerpieces is to use as many candles as possible. Not only is it an elegant way to dress up your table, but it provides the most flattering light for your guests and looks amazing in photos! Pair candles of different sizes with small floral arrangements, and you have a match made in centerpiece heaven. Check out Save on Crafts for great prices on glassware, candles and other decor.

#4 - Your save the dates, invites, programs, place cards, and menus. Can we say DIY? That is the most practical way to do it - yourself! If you have a fancy computer program like photoshop - USE IT! These paper goodies could turn out better than you had hoped. Use your favorite engagement photo and keep it simple, chic and stylish. Make sure to solicit the help of your Maid of Honor and wedding party to help you assemble the goods. Here's a sample of a DIY Save the Date that is oh so cute created by the Budget Savvy Bride.

#5 - Don't slash your photography budget! Instead, interview with A LOT of photographers and find the one that is right for you and has the best packages for the price. A budget bride should always look for an engagement photo session that is included in the package price as well as coverage from the ceremony through the reception. Be careful though, because pre-wedding photos (getting ready shots) can be extra and you'll have to decide whether that is worth it. Finally - purchase the photo CD or better yet, the package that includes it. This may be a little pricey if not included, but worth every penny! You can then order whatever photos you want from any online printer! If your a local Vero Beachian, I suggest Angela Tappen Photography. Not because she is budget at all, but because she offers packages that are nearly "all inclusive" for realistic prices and her work is AMAZING!

Happy Planning!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

P.S. Another Giveaway!

This is a giveaway for 40 personalized cards and envelopes from Parklife Press. Check it out and enter here. Perfect for your bridal thank you cards. Good Luck!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Holiday Cheer, Here's to the Bubbly!

We all love a great party. But if you ask me a great party always starts with a great drink! I just love this festive presentation and play on one of the best celebratory drinks ever - champagne. So its called the Cranberry Tree and it's made like this:

1/2 cup chilled champagne
1/2 cup cranberry juice
Fresh cranberries threaded on a skewer
1. In a champagne glass combine chilled champagne and cranberry juice. Garnish with cranberry skewer. Makes 1 serving.

You can find this drink and many more fabulous festive elixers here on the Better Homes and Gardens website. Cheers to the holiday season!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Attention all Brides!!! Surprise Giveaway!

I just ran across a post from the blog Hostess with the Mostess, and those girls have teamed up with Betsy White Stationary Boutique to bring one lucky winner a $100.00 shopping spree! Their wedding invitation designs are very chic and modern and just plain GORGEOUS, so please take advantage and sign up for the drawing, you could receive an early Christmas gift!

Hurry....go....SIGN UP!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Holiday Parties!

Hosting a holiday party is fun and exciting, but can also be a stressful task! Here is a great article by Audra Dobson that I came across on several steps to follow for throwing a great holiday party.

Step #1: Gather Basic Information
The first step in planning a party is gathering basic information. This information includes the number of guests, where the party will be, if you will be serving dinner or snacks, and if anyone will be helping you. As you are planning, it is also important to be thinking about whom (family, club, coworkers, etc.) and what (Christmas, New Year's, birthday, reunion, etc.) this party is for. All of this information will ensure that you will not leave out any important details!
Another piece of basic information that you must decide on, is how large your budget will be for this event. This will help make certain decisions for you. If you have a large budget, than you know you can afford to have the food catered or buy some door prizes. If your budget is quite small, than have guests bring a dish to pass. A smaller budget may require you to be a little more creative, but you can still host an excellent party.

Step #2: Pick a Theme
If you are planning a holiday party, this step will be very simple, but you can still be creative! Your theme may just be the decorative colors you want to use or it could be a themed Christmas party (office Christmas party, teacher Christmas party, etc.). Do not worry about any of the decorating details just yet. You will have plenty of time for that, but you need to have a base to start from. A theme will make the party complete and help tie everything together from the food to the decorations to the entertainment.

Step #3: Decide on Food
After you have picked out your theme, it is now time to move on to the food. Your final decision for the food will rely heavily on the budget you have set aside. Can you afford a dinner or should you just serve appetizers? Will you make the food or get it catered?
When you decide on these two things, you can start writing down the menu to be served. There are two important aspects of the menu that you must remember as you plan. First, make sure that the food items on your menu fit together. For example, you probably should not serve cheese pizza with fancy desserts and side dishes. The other thing to remember is to serve a variety of dishes encompassing all of the food groups. Attempt to include fruit and vegetables so that any vegetarian who comes to your party will not go hungry.

Step #4: Decide on Décor
The decorations you decide on will revolve around the theme that you chose. As you can see, it is important to choose your theme first because it will affect the rest of your planning. According to your theme, your décor will be simple or extravagant. Your budget will also determine how much effort you put into your decorations. If you only chose a few colors for your theme, the extent of your work may just consist of purchasing the colored plates, napkins, etc.
To the other extreme, if you chose an actual theme, you can be more creative in your decorating, as well as have more fun! For themes, I insist that you pay attention to every detail. Let's say that you have been nominated to plan a party for the people who work in your office. Instead of simply decorating for Christmas, you could decorate using office equipment and supplies. Start by hanging pens and pencils from your Christmas tree, and put eating utensils in a pen cup. Details like these are simple, but will be quickly noticed by your guests.

Step #5: Decide on Entertainment (if any)
This step is optional according to the type of party you are having and the type of people you are inviting. Some groups of people are perfectly content chatting throughout the evening while others need a little more guidance in finding things to do. Also, be respectful of people you know who dislike games and do not enjoy being put on the spot. You definitely want to avoid embarrassing anyone or making them feel out of place.
The entertainment you choose does not have to be extravagant. You could have several board games available to play or have a gift exchange. If you have a large amount of people coming, you could even have karaoke or a comedian come. Anything you choose will add something more to your evening which your guests will always remember.
Step #6: Invite Guests

The final step in planning the perfect party is inviting your guests. I suggest doing this after you plan the basic details unless you have a short time before the party. You should wait to invite guests so you make sure to include all important details on the invitation before they are sent out. Make your invitations according to the theme of your party and make notes if they should bring a small gift, etc. If the guests know ahead of time, you could even have them bring a dish to pass or their own drinks.

One extremely important detail that will help you plan is to put a phone number or email where they can RSVP. If the guests obey this, you will be able to prepare the proper amount of food and make sure you have enough seating for everyone. You will also know exactly what types of people are coming and if they are bringing a significant other. This information will make sure you are not guessing as you prepare. If someone does not RSVP even though you asked, still expect them to come. It is better to have a little extra food if they do not come, than not enough food if they do come.

Hope this article alleviates all of your hosting jitters! Just remember, have fun with the details, be creative and enjoy the process, your guests will appreciate all your efforts!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Gorgeous, Chic Halloween Weddings!

I just love Halloween. Hands down it's my favorite holiday. I guess because my birthday is in October and when I was younger I always had a Halloween themed birthday party. I love all things Halloween, the spooky scary movies, the pumpkins, the fall leaves, and the apple cider. Recently I came across a few great ideas for your upcoming wedding and have featured a Halloween/Fall themed real wedding that is just gorgeous. This wedding is from Martha Stewart and features Anna and Mason from Pasadena, California. I just love the black details - the tables and chairs, the bridesmaid dresses, the flowers! I added a pretty orange drink with a black licorice swizzle stick, recipe below from The Food Network.


The following are the wedding sources for Anna and Mason's wedding in Pasadena, California:

Catering: Jayne Slagle Catering, 931-598-5566

Stationery: Crane's

Bride's gown and bridesmaids' dresses: Vera Wang

Groom's Tuxedo: Brooks Brothers

Groomsmen's Suits: Calvin Klein

Cake: Fantasy Frosting, 562-941-6266

Flowers: Mark's Garden, 818-906-1718

Rentals: Classic Party Rentals

Emeril's New York City Cosmopolitan:
4 ounces citron-flavored vodka
2 ounces cranberry juice
1/2 ounce orange liqueur
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
2 thin twists lime, for garnish
Combine the vodka, cranberry juice, orange liqueur, and lime juice with ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake to combine and chill. Pour into 2 glasses filled with ice, and garnish each with 1 twist of lime. Serve immediately.
Use a piece of chocolate or black licorice as a swizzle stick or straw!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Vendors We LOVE!

I just had the pleasure of meeting with Martina Tannery of Martina's Photography and I cannot wait to work with her. Please check out her website and her work, it is incredible! Here are a few pics from some of the many weddings she has done over the last few years! We on the Treasure Coast are so lucky to have the ocean so close to us to use for these special moments. Martina said it best "God just creates this beautiful light and cloud arrangements for you!"


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Something Blue!

Let me just start off by saying that I heart Etsy. I know I know, we've all heard how fabulous it is, but I am just catching on.... Ok, so if I had a dime for every time a bride said "I need my something blue" I would be off on some fabulous beach tanning myself....

So while I was perusing the many great finds on etsy, a few "blue" items caught my eye and I wanted to go back in time and get married all over again just so that I could use these fabulous items.

Ok, I added the cake pic cause we all know how I love cake :)

You can find the above at:
Blue Paisley Cake done by I Dream of Cake in San Franciso (which is on my list of cities to visit BTW)
Oh So French and Blue Garter Vintage Lace and Chiffon by Petrene Design
Powder Blue Chandelier Earrings by Noaki
Little Blue Small Silver Hair Comb by Chicallure

Ahhh the pure joy of a great find...

Friday, October 17, 2008

Sparkle Barbie Shoes...

I don't know what it is about things that sparkle. I have always been attracted to anything that shined, and when I was younger that reflected in my design choices in clothing for me and my dolls (Barbie was my fav!). It's definitely a girl thing as are shoes, so this pair of Stuart Weitzman silver sequin shoes have gotten me all in a tizzy! I just LOVE them. I think that every girl should own a pair and what better time to wear them than your wedding day. Ahhhh shoes, you can never have too many :)

Friday, October 3, 2008

Wedding Traditions - Wealth and Prosperity!

For centuries and in many cultures there are numerous traditions followed for wedding ceremonies. One of the traditions that is centuries old is the silver sixpence brides wear in their shoe to bless their marriage with wealth and prosperity. Not a bad idea! Who wouldn't want that right? Well I don't know about you, but I don't frequently use silver sixpence and recently I was in need of one for wouldn't you know it, a bride! So I came across many of websites that sold the silver currency, but one caught my eye. I like that Ferbers out of Mississsippi sells the shiny coin, but also that they sell a sixpence pendant! This, to me is a better keepsake than just the coin as you can wear it long after the ceremony and is a reminder of your beautiful day. They also give you a great history lesson on the sixpence. So I am ordering one, and I will let you all know how it goes, but I suspect that it will be fabulous and because the shipping is free on all US orders, and they have a 100% guarantee 14 day no questions asked refund policy, I have no worries :)

So happy shopping and you too will be blessed with wealth and prosperity!

Friday, September 5, 2008

I have totally fallen in love - Again!

But this time it is with a photographer. Her name is Misty Lundeen, of A Misty Moment Photography and she has graciously donated her services to our little company for a bridal photo shoot. We will be using these photos on our new website - coming soon! Here is a sneak peak of how the shoot went and some of Misty's work. I can only show some of the details as the bride is getting married on September 20th and we don't want her husband to be seeing too much :)

The Floral arrangements were done by Monti's Flower Market, and if you want their info, you can check out our vendors page on our website Panache Weddings & Events. Monti also does some amazing floral arrangements and we were delighted to work with her as well.

So check back for some more great photos of the bride and our new site launch on October 1st!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda...Wedding Day Mistakes

So my partner Liz found this great article on MSN this morning about all the things brides would have done differently while planning their wedding.

I have to say - I just about agree with every one of them, especially the DIY invitations. Certainly DIY projects for your wedding can be the most cost efficient and special as you put all that hard work into them, but you do not realize how much TIME these projects will consume. I suggest to every bride, if you don't have at least 10-12 hours a week to plan your wedding not to mention the extra hours needed for your DIY projects, solicit the help of your bridal party or wedding planner - you will save your sanity.