Saturday, January 26, 2008

Another post about Wonderful Graffiti

Back in November I wrote a blog about how much I love Wonderful Graffiti and how popular I think it is going to be. I mentioned that I was doing a wall in my home with it and I'd post pictures when it was done. It's been done since December, but I've been busy booking weddings and meeting with clients to upload the pictures from my camera. Unfortunately, the pictures are grainy without the flash, but with the flash on, you couldn't see the candles. I love this wall.
Keep in mind that this stuff is PERFECT for weddings. You can create any saying you want and stick them to the church doors, ballroom walls, or anything else you want. It took me all of 20 minutes to attach this to the wall since it came in one large roll and had easy instructions. There is no sticky residue when you take it off the wall, so it won't hurt the paint that it is sticking to. Go to the Wonderful Graffiti website to check it out! This piece was about $150 to created, but they are having a 25% off sale for the rest of January.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

YouTube Tuesdays: "27 Dresses"

This movie was cliché, predictable, and sappy. And I loved it. So there. Funnily enough, most of my girlfriends wouldn't even go see it with me because of the sappy sameness of it and every other wedding related chick-flick ala “My Best Friend’s Wedding”. Come on, girls—are we that cynical now?!

Not being a fan of bridesmaid dresses in general, this premise tickled me and the multiple weddings were just fun. The 27 dresses were fabulously awful and my favorite part was each bride telling Jane “See? After the wedding you can just cut it off and WEAR! IT! AGAIN!”. Loved it.

Katherine Heigl was a bit too hot to play this “plain jane” part, but I forgive her. James Marsden was not too hot, and that suited me just fine.

On a side note: Katherine was a gorgeous bride in real life this past month. I just love Birdcage veils and she rocked it like a diva. I think Birdcage veils are going to be gaining popularity this year! Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. Kelley!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

What is your planner's "Plan B"?

*Murphy's Law. If it can go wrong, it will. Unless you have a "Plan B", of course. Why? I don't know. Life is just like that. When you have an umbrella with you, it doesn't rain. When you don't, it pours. Life is crazy.

Bridal magazines always have great questions to ask a prospective wedding planner/coordinator such as "to you take kickbacks?" or "how many weddings have you planned?" but one question you need to add to your list of questions for potential coordinators is "what is YOUR Plan B?"

I am thankful and lucky enough to be very involved in both my local chapter of the Association of Bridal Consultants and an online forum of coordinators, Coordinators Corner, where I am able to get my backup and my Plan B help. When I plan my weddings, every single piece of information is written down and my timelines, set up notes, diagrams, ceremony format, and seating charts are such that if something horrible happened to me (God forbid) the day before or the day of the wedding, I could call up at least 10 professional coordinators who could come in and save the day. THAT is my Plan B. The friends and associates that I have cultivated have my back. I'm so thankful for that.

I got on this kick today because a good coordinator friend of my emailed me and basically said that she just found out that she is pregnant (congratulations!!!!) yet she has a wedding booked the week after her due date in August and can I help her run the rehearsal & wedding/reception for her for the day? Absolutely, my friend, because I know you would do the same for me. And it's a beautiful thing. The bride will meet me and will be assured that she is in good hands as I've done weddings at that venue before and I will be familiar with the paperwork. I am happy to be my friend's Plan B.

*Ever wonder what Murphy's Law actually is? I like Wikipedia's definition:
Murphy's law
is an adage in Western culture that broadly states that things will go wrong in any given situation, if you give them a chance. "If there's more than one possible outcome of a job or task, and one of those outcomes will result in disaster or an undesirable consequence, then somebody will do it that way." It is most often cited as "Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong" (or, alternately, "Whatever can go wrong will go wrong, and at the worst possible time, in the worst possible way" or, "Anything that can go wrong, will," or "If anything can go wrong, it will, and usually at the most inopportune moment"). The saying is sometimes referred to as Sod's law or Finagle's law which can also be rendered as "Anything that can go wrong, will—at the worst possible moment".

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Top Wedding Trends for 2008

Photo by Mike Kehr Photography / The Knot
The Knot

What's hot now? This year, bigger is definitely better, from luxe place settings to statement-making gowns and hairstyles.

By Christa Vagnozzi
(then Opinions on the trends by Amber Events)

Can't decide between a princess ball gown and a sexy mini? Wear both! In 2008, brides will make their guests do a double take by switching up their looks between the ceremony and reception with their gowns and hairstyles -- like an elegant updo for when you recite your vows and switching to natural cascading curls to party. And it's not just the bride that's getting a makeover between acts. Couples are also changing up their palettes with a progression of color throughout the day. Guests arrive to a clean, all-white ceremony, experience a hint of pale hues during the cocktail hour, and then step into an explosion of rich color for the reception.

Amber's Opinion: If you can't afford two wedding dresses, literally letting your hair down and putting on a funky piece of jewelry would achieve some of the same effect. And I looooove the color switches, but then again, I love color. Go as bold as having two separate color paletes all together for the ceremony and the reception.

Trend 2: The Gray Area

Photo by Sorell Images / The Knot

Steel gray will replace chocolate brown as the accent color. We absolutely love this soft yet deep hue teamed with butter yellow, bright aqua, rich eggplant, or pale pink. It's so versatile! Introduce the color in your stationery, either in the typeface or paper, and then gradually build it into your reception space by way of slate gray table accents and pewter-toned bridesmaid dresses with a contrasting sash.

Amber's Opinion: Gray is a delicate color to work as it can look sophisticated and sleek one minute then blah and blahd the next. A soft sheen or texture to it can make the difference. I do love Gray dupioni silk--it has both sheen and texture.

Trend 3: A Return to White

Photo by KingenSmith / The Knot

In recent years, white has taken a backseat to bold hues like hot pink, orange, and purple. The classic color (or lack thereof) is poised to make a huge comeback in a fresh, modern way. Think tall, glistening glass vases overflowing with crisp arrangements of white phalaenopsis orchids and clouds of soft baby's breath. Also, picture sparkling white cakes covered from top to bottom in miniature fondant blossoms. Palette partner: Rose-colored metallics will add a big dose of sophisticated glamour.

Amber's Opinion: As much as I love color, an all white wedding is pretty fab as well. Whatever turns you on, I say!

Trend 4: Lush and Luxe

Photo by Bob Heimstra / The Knot

Size does matter. Event designers and brides alike are teaming up to create showstopping floral arrangements, such as those seen during the days of Marie Antoinette. This move toward French opulence means more petals, blossoms, candles -- even feathers! -- as centerpieces go from simple and low to towering and lush. Gilded place settings, brocade linens, and hand-painted invitations complete the elaborate look.

Amber's Opinion: Drama! Opulence! Sparkle! Yay! I did a wedding in 2007 where all of the table centerpieces were towering feathers that were glowing from the light in white base. It was beyond fabulous.

Trend 5: Sample Stations

Photo by Deanne Dunlop Photography / The Knot

Self-proclaimed foodies will love this trend: tasting bars for every whim. Sure to be popular, wine and cheese stations are not only delicious, they can be educational as well. We know one couple who hired a professional sommelier to provide pairing pointers. Our favorite is the champagne bar. Just pick your favorite bottles of bubbly and don't forget the mixers, such as Chambord, Midori, cranberry juice, and pineapple juice. Guests will have so much fun making their own signature cocktails.

Amber's Opinion: This is a great idea. I also like the idea of food stations in different parts of the room. Instead of chicken or beef, why not have stations with Mexican, Italian, Chinese, or Japanese food?

Trend 6: Vintage Visions

Photo by Tat Leong / The Knot

From dresses to rings, brides are revisiting the past for style inspiration. For wedding gowns, that means delicate fabrics like chiffon and tiers of tulle, along with bygone embellishments such as beaded straps, keyhole halters, and lace sleeves. For rings, the hot style for '08 is something vintage. Whether it's simply an antique-style band or a real antique (think your great-grandmother's diamond), what's old is definitely new again.

Amber's Opinion: Vintage is always in. And on a side note, what I would give for my great-grandmother's ring...

Trend 7: Guests Make the Call

Photo by Andrew McCaul / The Knot

Need help picking that first dance song? Have your guests vote on it. With wedding websites adding more features like blogs, polls, and quizzes, it's easier than ever to involve your loved ones in the planning and decision making. Blogs are also great for reaching out to your bridesmaids and getting feedback on dress colors, flower options, and decor ideas. We love the idea of setting up wedding polls on your website and asking your guests to vote for their favorite cake flavor, entree choices, or dance music.

Amber's Opinion: Blogging for bridesmaids is great as long as you keep it entertaining. Keep in mind that they're not going to be as excited about flower options as you. That's what the message boards and forums are for. Nobody is as into weddings as another bride!

More Hot Trends

Green Weddings: Couples continue to be earth-conscious in 2008, from buying conflict-free diamond rings and recycled gold wedding bands to serving locally grown, free-range fare and donning bio-friendly wedding dresses made of 100 percent silk and cottons. They're also honeymooning at eco-resorts and gathering friends for charitable showers at soup kitchens and local park events.

Amber's Opinion: Way cool.

Honeymoon Hopping: By now, it's no secret: Brides and grooms are going big this year for their weddings, and that includes the honeymoon too. Newlyweds are jetting off to not one, but two or three different destinations to celebrate their union. And they're traveling further than ever before. The hot spots: South Pacific jaunts to Tahiti and Bora Bora; Mediterranean getaways to Sicily and the Greek Isles; and African expeditions to Zambia, Botswana, and Johannesburg.

Amber's Opinion: Maybe 2009 trends will go all of the way towards the Victorian traditions of doing "The Grand Tour" (1 year abroad)

Home-Spun Weddings: For the utmost in personalization, couples are choosing to wed in their own or their parents' backyard. While it may be harder to plan than a ballroom wedding (you'll need to bring in your own caterer, tent, decor, etc.), your day will be truly one-of-a-kind.

Amber's Opinion: Considering my wedding was on my parent's 3 acre park-like property in front of the stream at sunset where they renewed their 25th wedding vows, I am ALL FOR homespun weddings! However, they are way more work and money than you can imagine, but oh so worth it.

Cover Bands: You heard it here first. Cover bands are in demand for 2008. From '80s cover bands to other genres such as classic rock, swing orchestras, or Latin ensembles, it's all about specialized live music to keep guests on their feet.

Amber's Opinion: For celtic or rustic weddings, hiring a folk band and a caller to teach the organized Contra Dances like the Virginia Reel or the English & Scottish Country dances like the the Walls of Limerick are a really fun way to spice up the reception. I also did that at my wedding along with my Irish dance group doing a surprise performance for us. Why am I so all about my wedding today? I don't know. I do know that I only have 19 more years to plan my 25th wedding renewal!

Photos from top: Mike Kehr Photography; Paul Sunday; Sorell Images; KingenSmith, photography by heather & rick; Bob Heimstra; Deanne Dunlop Photography; Tat Leong; Andrew McCaul

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

YouTube Tuesdays: fabulous dances

I would like to have planned these couple's weddings.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

The Definitive Guest List!

(See if you can follow me on this - Emilie from Emilie Duncan Weddings found this from Mark from QOH Weddings found this on Earthly Affairs who found this in New York Magazine - so credit to all of them for this hilarious list.)

I get asked for the 'rules' of who to invite to the wedding quite often. My rule of thumb for people on the bubble has always been, have they been to your house for dinner or vice versa? If yes, they should probably be invited. If no, invite them if there is extra room on the list. This usually works but there are always those random people who are still question marks on the list.

Now NY Mag has come up with the definitive list as to how to figure out if someone should be invited to your wedding. Enjoy and use wisely!

1. Anyone who hung around the hospital the day you were born.
2. Friends of the family referred to as “Uncle [name]” or “Aunt [name]”.
3. BFFs, “bros,” and spouses thereof.
4.Irritating stepmothers.

5. Camp bunkmates who didn’t make the bridesmaid cut.
6. Co-workers and friends who are entertaining drunks.
7. Charismatic teachers/professors who went the extra mile to inspire you in high school/college.
8. Friends’ significant others who are known for getting the party started.
9. Vince Vaughn.
10. Co-workers and friends who are promiscuous drunks.
11. Co-workers and friends who are scandalous drunks.

12. Co-workers who are politically expedient.
13. Former co-workers.
14. Nonthreatening exes.

15. Friends from high school with whom you can only talk about how fat everyone else from high school got after graduation.
16. Friends from college with whom you can only talk about how drunk everyone else in college got before graduation.
17. Your boss.
18. Your parents’ former spouses.
19. Friends’ significant others who are known for getting arrested.
20. Children under 16 to whom you are not biologically related.

21. Torch-carrying exes.
22. The guy whom you used to refer to as “Uncle [name]” until you found out he’s your actual father and your family has been lying to you about it for 25 years.
23. Grifters.
24. Loan sharks.
25. Charismatic teachers/professors who went the extra mile to inspire you in high school/college because they’re sexual predators.
26. Bounty hunters.