Monday, March 31, 2008
I really meant to bring my camera to the chic bridal show, A Soolip Wedding, yesterday at Vibiana in Los Angeles, but between conducting an informal walk-through with my bride who is getting married there in October, speed-schmoozing with industry friends/colleagues, and being dazzled by too many sparkly things (is there such a thing as too many sparklies?!), I didn't get a chance see the fashion show or have a glass of Champagne.
I did make time to sit and listen to one of the "conversations with experts" that featured Rene of LA floral and event design company R. Jack Balthazar. I have a crush on them. Their designs, florals, philosophies, and style. They are FABULOUS. Rene spoke about finding your inspiration for your wedding and thinking in terms of all of the senses (taste, touch, sound, sight, & smell) instead of just choosing 2 colors and solely focusing on that. He said to imagine yourself as a guest opening up the invitation to your wedding--would you be excited about it? Would it give you a glimmer of what to expect? Imagine yourself as a guest at your wedding sitting at one of the tables--what would you look at? Talk about? Touch or feel? Preach it, Rene!
I did a wedding last year with lit ostrich feather centerpieces that were over-the-top-awesome and since they were rentals shipped in from a Mardi Gras company in New Orleans, they also had to go back to Louisiana with all feathers included.
Knowing that the feathers would be tempting to the guests, I bought large colored plastic jewels and scattered them on the tables. They were playful, sparkly, and fun and they worked! I only had to be the feather police a few times.
Give your guests things to smell, touch, play with, and enjoy. It will add so much to the overall memory of your wedding.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Do Your Research - A wedding is expensive no matter how you look at it. So, during a time when you are making major purchases...be sure you really LOVE your vendors for their skill and personality. If you don't, find someone else. Looking back, my favorite vendors were the ones whose personalities meshed well with mine...the ones who really cared about what they do for a living and would go beyond what you expect of them.
Choose your Venue Carefully - Find a venue that has a lot of character on its own, without having to spend a fortune on flowers and other decor for the room. In our case, the owners were really relaxed and let us bring in our own alcohol which was a HUGE money saver. Plus, the space had a character and decor that completely matched my own style...so I didn't have to put a ton of effort in transforming it.
Do-It-Yourself Projects are Key - We made our own table linens as opposed to renting them. We also brought in framed family portraits, some old, some new, to decorate the space. Since the wedding, we've used most of our projects in our home.....the linens were used for tablecloths for our dining table, a tree skirt for our Christmas tree, and soon to be reconfigured into curtains for our guest room.
Purchase The Decor Items Yourself - Most florists will happily rent additional decor elements for you. But, it's expensive. We bought Japanese lanterns for about $10 each, a handful of birch vases from small stump that our florist incorporated, even a great vintage cake stand that was used instead of a rental. Again, we will probably re-use all of these things in our home at one point or another.
Don't Be Afraid to Ditch Tradition - We skipped the favors for our guests and no one missed them a bit!
Opt For Heavy Hor' Dourves - This saved us money in many ways. For one, we didn't have to foot the bill for a huge dinner. We also only had to rent one set of medium sized plates and we only used forks. This cut down on our rental fees quite a bit. Plus, the bonus was that having easy-to-eat food got the guests up and on the dance floor fast!
Only Purchase One Cake - If we had ordered a grooms cake and a wedding cake, we would have ordered twice as much. Our cake lady let us know that people usually have a slice of each, rather than choosing one. So, you end up spending more than you really need to on extra cake.
One final tip from Katie....if you are doing the wedding planning and concept design on your own, give yourself permission to change your mind on things. If you find something great, or see an idea that you can't live without and it's nearly wedding time, go with your gut. If you've picked the right vendors, they will know exactly how to handle the change. I completely changed the maids' flowers, the cake colors and the cake design just a few weeks before our wedding. I was nervous that our vendors would freak out. But, they didn't at all. Our cake lady actually hugged me and told me that she was so happy I had found what I really wanted.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
My 2 treasures:
(I could do without the lace in this picture, but I do love me some vintage patent leather!)
(this book, "Music Lover's Cyclopedia" is from 1912, ya'll! Too cool for school)
Monday, March 24, 2008
Musical chairs loses its charm with age as nobody wants to be left the odd man out. Is that why we assign seating at weddings? Maybe. Or to keep your crazy college roommate away from your uptight aunt.
I give the musical chairs analogy when meeting with my clients as we are talking about The Seating Chart. As hard as you've worked on your chart, unfortunately, sometimes guests don't sit where you assign them. It's awkward for everyone involved. For example: your guest and her husband pick up their card that tells them they are sitting at Table 10 and when they get to Table 10 ALL CHAIRS ARE FULL. Not cool. It's awkward for them as a guest. It's awkward for you as the host. And it's awkward for the people at the table when I come up to them and ask each one of them individually if they are assigned to that table. Busted!
It's not that your guests are rude, per se, it's that they either get caught up talking to someone else and they go sit down with them, or a "manners challenged" person brings an uninvited date. Or child. When will people learn?!
This is my solution: when you are creating your seating chart, assign a minimum of 2 empty seats at a table out on the perimeter of the room and mark on your seating chart "table X has 2 extra seats" so if this comes up, your wedding coordinator can just take the couple over to that table and all is well. Or we can ask the table crashers to go back to their original table or go to table X. If these empty spots are not needed, they can always be removed by the banquet staff when dinner starts. It is MUCH easier to take a place setting away than to create a place setting while your guests are awkwardly standing by.
To close out the topic of table crashers, please enjoy...
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
I personally AM an 'Anthropologie' shopping, vintage jewelry wearing,
My super cool totally tattooed and pierced hair stylist Melanie got married last year and she had horrible time finding her dress: nothing fit HER personality. I wish so badly I had known about Stephanie James Couture back then. I’m so in love with these delicious dresses and faaaabulous veils. Next time I'm down by Huntington Beach I need to take a field trip to her salon. I am doing a wedding on the Queen Mary this fall, so maybe I need some more vintage inspiration...