Thursday, October 24, 2013

Selecting your menu

Selecting your menu can be a hard thing to do for many reasons. You may have an idea of what you are looking for and if that is the case you have won half the battle. Whether you know what you may want or not, here are a few things to think about when you are planning the menu for your big day.

Seasonal: you may be determined to have patty pan squash as your side dish or part of a fresh vegetable display; an excellent selection for sure. However, if your wedding is in not in late June through early September, this choice may not be optimum. Does this mean that you need to be an expert in what is in season when? No. Talk with the chef that will be creating your meal or even your planner. Let them know what your preferences are and see what they suggest and recommend based on season. Too, keep in mind that if your heart is set on a unique item that is out of season, your dish may become more costly in order to get the product.

Pleasing a large group: First and foremost it must be understood that no matter what you select, someone will not preference your choices. Conversely, I do not recommend serving something that is so unique you are nearly certain to please no one. Try to find a happy medium by incorporating the unique and the usual. For example, if you have your heart set on serving something different like veal which can sometimes be controversial perhaps opt to do a dual entree or offer an option to your guests.

It may be obvious what a dual entree or offering options means but in the event it is not: A dual entree is where there are two different meats on the same plate. Typically a dinner plate will have eight to ten ounces of a protein on it. So if you opt to do a dual entree, rather than having one meat that is eight to ten ounces, there will be two different meats that will total eight to ten ounces. When offering options to your guests you would include the two options on your RSVP card so that when the guests replies accepting your invitation then they would select their meal at that time. You would keep a running total of how many of each dish is needed and report that to the planner so the correct amount is prepared for meal service.

With that being said, the second protein you select should be one that is more universal such as a chicken. This will give you the best of both worlds, the protein you preferred and a protein that is more acceptable to the masses.

These are just two of many hints to offer for now. We will let you digest this and offer some additional tips another day.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Always be prepared: the bridal emergency kit

The day of the wedding is not the time that you want to discover that you are not prepared for a wardrobe or other emergency. In short, be prepared for all things possible with not only you and your dress, but for the bridal party as a whole.

Some simple preparations will ensure that you will be able to take on any situation. Below are a few items, that as a planner, I found were always great to have on hand. You can also go to Google and search bridal emergency kits which will give you several ideas on what to have in your kit. You can also find websites where you can buy kits pre-made, although it may be more expensive and the kit itself may not be as complete.

You yourself do not need to go shopping for these items nor should you be in charge of these items the day of the wedding; in comes the bridesmaids. Long before the wedding day, place all of these items into a bag and have it at the ready. Give this bag to a trustworthy bridal party member to be in charge of on the big day. A simple suggestion, if you are having your ceremony at the facility where you are getting married, such as a hotel, leave it at the hotel the day of the rehearsal so you know that it will be there the day of the wedding itself.

So grab yourself a back pack and head to the dollar store as nearly everything here can be purchased there and would be the most cost effective approach.

1.       Hair Spray, hair pins, ponytail holder, comb, pick and/or brush, mirror.
2.       Makeup.
3.       Deodorant and perfume.
4.       Tampons and/or sanitary napkins.
5.       Sewing kit complete white and black thread as well as black buttons that match the guy’s tuxedo jackets and white buttons to match their shirts. Too you can include sewing hooks that can be sewn in to fix a bustle if needed.
6.       Scissors.
7.       Hem tape.
8.       Safety pins.
9.       Tums, pain reliever, antihistamine.
10.   Stain remover stick, static cling spray.
11.   A pair of black socks. Many times I experience where a pair of socks for the groomsmen went missing or was forgotten; this will take care of that.
12.   Extra pair of panty hose.
13.   Extra pair of shoes for you. While it is unlikely that the wedding shoes you are wearing will have a heal break, it can happen. I recommend buying an inexpensive pair of shoes that have the same heal height as your wedding shoes so in the event something should occur you have a backup pair. Keep in mind no one will see your feet so the backup pair do not need to be as elaborate as your original selection.
14.   Breathe mints and/or gum. Keep in mind \that all party members should discard the gum before the ceremony begins as you do not want gum chomping captured in the candid photos or video.
15.   A bottle of water and straw(s) so that you can drink without messing up your lipstick
16.   Granola bars. While you are not going to want to eat you must eat even if it is only a fiber or granola bar. Keeping your blood sugar stable is a must.
17.   Tissues.

When I first started wedding planning over a decade ago, this list was very small. Experience with challenges has grown the list over time. There is no doubt if you talk with a former bride she could add something to this list based on her experiences. With that, use this list as some suggestions but put in your emergency kit items you feel are prudent. But whatever you place in your kit just be sure to have a kit as I can assure you it is better to be prepared!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Do something unique at the ceremony

For some people they want to go traditional for their wedding, from the ceremony to the reception. Today it seems that many are trending away from traditions to create a memory that is unique only to them.

Either way, both paths are completely acceptable as there is no blue print defining you or your wedding; you are the architect. The important thing to remember is be sure that what you want to do can be done with limited margin for error. If there is a high risk of executing your dream be prepared mentally for bumps in the road or perhaps slightly modify what you want to do to ensure it works.

I did not want a bridal bouquet. While they make a nice addition to your photos there is more to remember and think about with your flowers than simply what flowers to put into the arrangement. Just one example, how to carry them so you do not look like you are carrying a battering ram down the aisle was something I just did not want to think about; all I wanted to focus on was the handsome man waiting for me at the end of the aisle. More so, after the photos are done and you are seated at your bridal table what is their purpose thereafter? Certainly you could place them in a vase to add floral decor to the bridal table without having to purchase an additional centerpiece but since we were not having a bridal table I did not see the use. However, my husband-to-be felt that it was something I should have which sent me on a brainstorm on how to find a compromise for which we were both happy.

Mothers are often presented flowers during the ceremony; often a small rose with some babies breath or something of that sort. I started thinking, what if I could have a bridal bouquet that came apart to present to the mothers; thus, I would not have any flowers once down the aisle and the mothers received flowers that were more than just flowers, they were a part of the wedding itself.

I went to several florists and no one seemed confident in being able to do this due to the way they bound the flower together in the arrangement. Again, as aforementioned, sometimes you have to modify what you want to do to ensure it works. So, I decided to make them myself. Buying artificial roses at Hobby Lobby that looked so real my husband-to-be was taken aback. I placed them all together as one unified arrangement arranging and rearranging until I liked how they looked.

Bridal Bouquet
I then grabbed the stems into equal parts wrapping them with rubber bands to hold them steady while I wrapped ribbon around the stems just as a bouquet would be covered; the result: two separate arrangements of the whole. To combine them back together as one I loosely laced ribbon around them both which held them in place but would make taking them apart during the ceremony feasible.

Part of the bouquet after taken apart
When the flowers were to be presented to the mothers, my groom held the flowers while I simply untied the arrangement displaying the two separate arrangements for which he gave half to my mother and I gave the other half to his. By no means am I telling you not to have a bridal bouquet but what I do hope you take away from this is that this day is yours and you will remember it forever. Be creative and have fun with it. And too, never forget what the day is about.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Stand together

Regardless of how long you have been dating before he proposed, together you have made decisions and built dreams. This may not seem to be an important factor in wedding planning; however, it is the most important factor.

Even the most rational and calm individuals can get wrapped up into the production of planning their wedding day. Many decisions need to be made from color schemes, to centerepieces. From where to get married to what to serve for dinner.

There will be many distractions and opinions that will be thrown at you both as to what is best for your wedding; however, it is important to continue to rely on each other in making these decisions together. This day is a reflection of your love. The choices and decisions you make should reflect how you two feel about each other and what will make you happy.

Remain true to yourselves, to your love. And remember that no matter what is decided upon and no matter what happens the day of your wedding, the next morning when the dust settles you will be his and he will be yours. You will be husband and wife and that is truly what this day is all about.

Monday, October 7, 2013

From this day forward

Recently I took a leap of faith and quit my job as the Director of Business Development in order to pursue a passion of mine: social media and web design. As if that is not broad enough I cannot decide what to focus mainly on as I find this fire in my belly for it all. While I was in charge of social media and the website maintenance where I worked it was a side task for which I was charged with and not what I was required to focus my attention to completely; the value of this was something that few seemed to recognize in the company. I felt I owed it to myself to give myself every opportunity I could to scratch this itch that I have had for so long for social media and web design.

Shortly after leaving my place of employment I attended a podcast camp and met some very interesting people and heard many different takes on the same subject matters. It was eye opening and informative and while attending one of the seminars offered a light went off. Before I was the Director of Business Development I spent 11 years as a wedding planner. I loved my brides but I no longer loved the weekends away from family. Bottled up inside is over a decade worth of stories, ideas, concepts and dreams made into realities. By no means am I a planner to the stars, nor do I pretend to be but I thought why not share the stories and the hints and suggestions that I know and let the information take the reader where they choose to go. So, from this day forward, for better or worse, I hope you enjoy the blog.