Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Who needs more wedding books? YOU DO!!!!

If you don't have LAStyleUnveiled.com on your daily bookmarks, you need to add it now. This new blog is shooting to the top of the wedding "must reads" in the blogosphere. It's beautiful eye candy, great advice (a few articles by yours truly!), hip new trends, and just a plain fun way to plan your wedding. And this week they're giving away free stuff. Score! I've posted the blog entry below, but you can also view it here and get caught up on all of the other cool stuff they're talking about.





Jomygoodness and Style Unveiled Book Giveaway!
Monday, May 11, 2009 at 1:00AM
If you were browsing The Lounge yesterday, you would have seen our Perfect 10 Wedding Planning books post :) Well, we have some fabulous news to share!!! Jomygoodness and LA Style Unveiled have teamed up to give away all 10 wedding planning books on that list!! Yes, you heard right!! This is a major giveaway and will help you or someone you know plan their wedding with ease :) So, what do you have to do to win this amazing prize?!? Here are the instructions>
Gather together 6-10 photos that best showcase the theme and inspiration for your wedding day. IMPORTANT: make sure you note where each photo came from, ie: Martha Stewart Weddings or Jose Villa's blog, etc. Entries without photo credit will NOT be considered. The easiest way to do this is to save each photo with the source as the title.
Email these photos to: http://lastyleunveiled.com/thelounge/2009/5/11/heather@styleunveiled.com, subject line: Wedding Book Giveaway
Include in your entry your name, wedding date, and a brief description of your wedding theme.
Entries must be in by May 31st. We will announce the winner on The Lounge and on Jomygoodness on April 5th, by showcasing a collage using the photos from the winner. Not only will the winner receive the amazing prize of the Perfect 10 wedding planning books, but their wedding collage will help inspire other local LA brides!! :) So, go out into the world of the web, find some amazing photos, and send them our way!!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

ABC... is as easy as 1-2-3... simple as Do Ray Me

Last week my assistant Krista threw a party for Cinco de Mayo (I love the random-excuse-to-party-holidays!) and she and I had a conversation about how much people love signage and directions. Krista, ever the fabulous hostess, had labels on all of the food and drinks, including the best directions I have ever read for making The Perfect Taco. In fact, they were the only directions I've ever read for making a Taco, much less a perfect one. Everyone loved them. Posted over the Taco station started were the instructions:

1. Fill your Taco Shell with Juicy meat
2. Pile on lettuce, tomatoes, and cheese
3. Enjoy your Taco
4. Repeat

Sometimes the littlest things are the most fabulous.
Needless to say, Krista's Cinco de Mayo was a success!

If you have time for DIY projects for your wedding, signage is a sure fire way to tickle your guests and make them smile. Seriously, anything that reflects you and your fiance, whether it be silly or serious is a great way to let your personalities shine through.

In March I designed a booth at the Soolip Wedding at Vibiana for cake baker and friend NancyKay of NancyKay's Confections and I made a sassy, springy, sparkly sign to hang above the booth. Below are the directions of how to make something similiar. It was easy and fun.

1. Choose a blocky, simple font, print off the letters on regular paper, tape the letters to a pre-colored foam board, then used an exacto knife to cut out the lettering.


2. Hot Glue a 1/4" ribbon around the edges to cover the rough edges and foam and give the letter some depth texture.


3. Glitter the ever lovin' daylights out of the letter (that's kind of one of my rules in life: just glitter it)

4. Use hot glue to glue wires to the letters in order to hang them

5. Wire the letters to twine for a rustic look or ribbon for a fancier look. Add some large gems for some sparkle
6. Hang and Enjoy

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Don't Worry, Be Happy!


The last month before your wedding is going to be CRAAAAAAZY. Seriously, crazy. You are going to call 1/3 of your guests who did not RSVP even though you included a self addressed stamped envelope in their invitation, you're going to deal with your mother and future mother-in-law who are getting fussy about everything, you are going to flip out at work because you have to get all of your current work done AND make sure everything is ok for you to be gone for your honeymoon, and you might have problems with your dress fittings, bridesmaids, family, friends and vendors.

But then the wedding day rolls around. My biggest piece of advice? LET. IT. GO. I don't know what IT is going to be for your wedding, and neither will you until IT happens, but when, not if, (sh)IT happens? Let IT G0! Say it with me: Let IT Go! Things are going to go wrong on your wedding day. You can't control how things unfold but you can control how you react to them. I knew a bride once who let the fact that the color of her bouquet was a shade off ruin her day. Kid you not. Rain happens. Traffic happens. Cakes fall over. Bouquets wilt. The DJ might play the wrong song. The food might take too long to be served. Your groomsmen might get too drunk. Your dad might make a 30 minute toast. But Let It Go!!!

Make a conscious decision that no matter what happens on your wedding day you are going to Let IT Go and focus on the fact that you are marrying the love of your life and your family and friends are there to celebrate it with you. If you do that I promise you'll have a wonderful wedding day. Even if the cake falls over or your bouquet is the wrong color.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

2008 Wedding Survey Results

I found this article on AOL money interesting. Original found HERE
I don't know how realistic the stat that 41% hire full wedding planners is. I've always heard (and seen first hand) that about 15% hire coordinators whether "day of" or full service.

The Knot Unveils 2008 Real Weddings Survey Results

Business Wire
Posted: 2009-04-08 09:00:00

The Knot Inc. (NASDAQ: KNOT), the owners of The Knot Wedding Network (which includes the Internet’s top two most-trafficked wedding websites and communities TheKnot.com and WeddingChannel.com), conducted a massive survey of 18,000 couples married in 2008 to capture detailed feedback on wedding spending, style preferences, event characteristics, and other key information related to the bridal demographic.

The third annual The Knot Real Weddings Survey, the largest survey of its kind conducted in the bridal industry, was administered by third-party research firm Harris Interactive.

2008 WEDDING BUDGET SURVEY RESULTS

How much do brides spend on their cake? Caterer? Venue? In 2008, $29,334 was the average wedding budget in the US (not including the honeymoon) reflecting a 5.2% increase year-over-year.

Category Average Spend 2008 vs. 2007
Wedding (Overall) $29,334 +5.2%
Reception Venue $13,667 +7.4%
Reception Band $3,633 -11.5%
Reception DJ $943 +0.3%
Photographer $2,655 +0.2%
Videographer $1,591 +1.2%
Wedding/Event Planner $1,907 +8.6%
Wedding Gown $1,032 -22%
Florist/D├ęcor $1,924 -2.4%
Invitations $538 n/a
Wedding Cake $555 -19.7%
Ceremony Musicians $414 -12.0%
Catering (Cost per Head) $73 +6.9%
Wedding Day Transportation $725 +6.7%
Favors $352 n/a
Rehearsal Dinner $1,640 n/a

GENERAL WEDDING STATISTICS

  • Number of guests: 148 (nearly the same as 2007)
  • Number of bridesmaids: 5 (up over 2007, when average was 4)
  • Number of groomsmen: 5 (up over 2007, when average was 4)
  • Length of Engagement: 15.7 months (a 26.6% increase over 2007)
  • Most Popular Month to Get Engaged: December (17%)

NATIONAL 2008 WEDDING TRENDS

TOP PRIORITIES: Venue, Band, and Photography: The bulk of the average wedding budget is dedicated to the reception venue ($13,667, a 7% increase over 2007); followed by the reception band ($3,633 on average); and photography ($2,655 on average).

BUDGETS: Budgets Are Bigger and Everyone’s Contributing: The bride’s parents (44%) and the bride and groom (43%) are paying for the majority of weddings. Grooms’ parents also contributed (12%) in 2008.

ENGAGEMENTS: Couples Are Engaged Longer: Couples marrying in 2008 were engaged for an average of 15.7 months, more than 25% longer than those married in 2007. A majority of couples (71%) lived together prior to getting married.

VENUES: Brides are Looking for More Unique Locations: Traditional venues, like reception halls and restaurants, dropped off slightly (10% and 11% respectively) as couples chose inventive sites, such as historical buildings, vineyards, and beaches. In 2008, 35% of ceremonies took place outdoors.

FORMALITY: Weddings Are Casual: Only 20% of weddings in 2008 were characterized as “formal/black tie”.

PLANNERS: More Brides Hire Planners, Particularly Day-of Coordinators: Nearly half (41%) of couples employed full wedding-planning services in 2008, while “day-of” services jumped 14% in popularity.

PHOTOGRAPHY: Photography Is Editorial and Digital: Almost all (93%) brides chose “documentary” style photographers, and 90% of photographers shot in digital.

CAKES: Most Brides Choose Designer Cakes: Over 51% of couples chose an independent cake baker to design their wedding cake.

WAYS TO SAVE: Brides Are Hot on Do-It-Yourself: More than half (55%) of brides made their own favors and ceremony programs. Other top DIY categories were escort cards, save-the-dates, invitations, and decorations.

MUSIC: Four Times More Brides Choose a DJ over a Band: The most popular style of band was Rock-and-roll/Motown (40%) the second most popular was Jazz/Big Band (18%) in 2008.

FIRST DANCE SONGS: Brides Love Classics: The top three first dance songs were: “At Last,” by Etta James; “Bless the Broken Road,” by Rascal Flatts; and “Everything,” by Michael Buble.

LOCATION: Many Couples Are Marrying Far Away: In 2008, 1 in 5 couples planned an out of town wedding, with 1 in 10 couples hosting a full-fledged destination wedding, characterized as “200 or more miles away from where the bride and groom live (including non-US locations).”

GROOMS: Guys Are Involved Whether They Like It or Not: Many (36%) of grooms were “very involved” and 58% of grooms were “somewhat involved.”

REHEARSAL DINNERS: Side Parties Are Serious: The average rehearsal dinner spend in 2008 was $1,640, reflecting larger parties and pricier menus; the morning-after brunch cost, on average, $827.

INTERESTING REGIONAL DIFFERENCES

With the large sample size, results of the 2008 Real Weddings Survey can be broken down on a region-by-region basis. Some interesting regional differences are:

  • New York City has the oldest brides and grooms, with average ages of 31 and 33. Respectively, Utah has the youngest, with average ages of 25 (bride) and 27 (groom).
  • Iowa and Nebraska couples have the largest weddings, with more than 200 guests.
  • Hawaii, Maine, and North Carolina have the most casual weddings. Connecticut, South Florida, Chicago, Detroit, and New York City (and surrounding areas) have the most formal (black tie).
  • Central Pennsylvania has the lowest average wedding budget ($20,653), reflecting an 18% drop over 2007. Long Island, NY has the highest average wedding budget ($56,823), followed by New York City which rang in at $52,904 (an intriguing 5% drop-off compared to 2007). Las Vegas, Nevada, weddings experienced the highest jump in overall bridal spend at 19%.
  • The top 10 “most expensive” places to get married are: Long Island, New York; New York City; Northern New Jersey; Hudson Valley, New York; Chicago; Connecticut; Los Angeles; South Florida; Rhode Island; and Orange County, California.

BIG QUESTION: How is the recession going to affect wedding spending in 2009?

The 2008 Real Weddings Survey results reflected greater wedding spending overall, despite the growing economic concerns last year. In a more recent survey conducted by The Knot (in March 2009) a majority of brides (60%) indicated that their wedding spending is proceeding according to plan, while 40% have reduced their wedding budgets by approximately 16%.

About the Survey: Survey of 18,000 couples-- of mixed ethnicities, education, and income levels were polled across 50 states. Wedding dates of those polled fell between January 2008 and December 2008. The survey was launched in October 2008 and closed in February 2009.

For more statistics, or to speak with an editor or with brides in your area, please contact The Knot Press Office at pr@theknot.com. High-resolution photos and visuals can be provided.

About The Knot Inc.

The Knot Inc. (NASDAQ: KNOT, www.theknot.com) is a leading lifestage media company. The Company's flagship brand, The Knot, is the nation's leading wedding resource, reaching well over one million engaged couples each year through the #1 wedding website TheKnot.com, The Knot Wedding magazines and The Knot, The Knot books (published by Random House and Chronicle), and several television series bearing The Knot name (on Style Network, Oxygen, and Comcast).

Monday, May 4, 2009

Wedding Nightmares or "Weddingmares"

During meetings I always ask my clients what their "Weddingmares" are and lately I seem to be showing up in them. I can't decide if this is a good thing or a bad thing. Good, because I'm obviously a big part in of wedding planning world, yet bad because they're still having wedding nightmares! I'm not going to be too concerned about that though because we ALL have them. I have some Weddingmares of my own. Two nights ago I dreamed that one of my upcoming weddings was a complete wreck--the guests were unhappy and hungry, the linens were wrong, and the band was horrible. Ack! I rolled out of bed, scribbled down a list of notes to myself, and then crawled back in bed with my husband and proceeded to sleep in. Ahh....

The dreams are so crazy and while I get a kick out of hearing about my clients dreams, I feel for them because the dreams can raise high anxiety levels even higher. Know that these dreams are normal and even us professional get them. Yes, there is alot of pressure riding on this one day, but it is going to be great. Your wedding is not going to suck, you won't forget your dress, and your guests are going to show up! Just keep a notebook by your bed so you can scribble notes to yourself when a Weddingmare wakes you up, and then return to the beauty rest that you so deserve.