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!