6 Things You Cannot Ask Your Wedding Planner to Do

March 29th, 2017

Photo: Kristyn Hogan

A wedding planner often seems like a magical creature who can snap their fingers and things just happen. They do it all and then some, and a great wedding planner is worth every penny. But do they really do EVERYTHING? We asked our experts, and a wedding planning pro, to fill us in on the things you actually can’t ask your wedding planner to do.

Settle Disputes

Arguing with your fiancé or your mom? Don’t bring your planner into it — they’re not marriage counselors! “The only time you can involve your planner in a dispute and ask them to help solve it is if the problem at hand is about a wedding planning decision,” says Renny Pedersen, creative director of Bliss Weddings & Events. “If it’s a personal matter, absolutely do not ask your planner to mediate or weigh in.”

Run Errands

Before you ask your planner to run errands for you, check in to see if there is a fee associated with it (especially if it requires extra hours). “We have picked up and dropped off the bride or groom’s attire from the cleaner,” says Pedersen. “Some errands like that, which don’t occur on your wedding day, may incur an extra cost, but that will vary from planner to planner.” Something she won’t do? Transport your beloved pets. “They’re special family members, so we prefer to leave that task to someone appointed specifically by our clients.”

Care for Sick Guests

“Unfortunately, we have definitely had to call ambulances or cars for guests who have gotten sick,” says Pedersen. “In most instances, it is because they had a food allergy they did not make anyone aware of before dinner.” While your planner will definitely take the lead in making sure your guest is properly cared for, they’d much rather avoid the situation altogether with advanced planning — so don’t assume those details don’t matter because someone is in charge and will handle it!

Cater to the Wedding Party

While your planner will definitely help keep track of your belongings and important items, their focus is on you and they can’t provide the same service to your bridesmaids and groomsmen. “We’re there to make sure they get dressed and ready on time, but we have too much on our plates making your wedding day happen seamlessly to run errands or carry personal items for the wedding party,” Pedersen explains. “We don’t want to be accountable for anything that’s missing later in the night, and we’ve already got enough on our plates!” Requests from the wedding party means your planner can’t focus on their number one priority: You.

Be Available 24/7

Unless it’s your wedding day, your planner is only available during regular business hours. Remember, they do have other clients (as well as personal lives!). “We are not available at all hours. We won’t return a text at 5:30 a.m. or answer a call at midnight,” says Pedersen. When you’re first meeting with your planner and reviewing their contract, the two of you can discuss when they are and aren’t available — then stick to where the line is drawn as much as possible.

Set Up Everything

Unless you’ve hired a planner whose services include full set-up of your reception space, don’t spring this on them at the last minute. “We aren’t a rental company or a florist. We don’t arrange flowers, set up chairs, or unwrap and remove the price tags from the hundred votive candles you purchased and then handed over the morning of your wedding,” explains Pedersen. If you will need your planner’s assistance with these things, it needs to be discussed before your wedding day arrives so they can plan and staff accordingly.

This article was written by Jaimie Schoen for Brides.com.

7 Tips to Help You Savor Each Moment on Your Wedding Day

March 24th, 2017

Photo: Kristyn Hogan

You spent a lot of time planning your wedding day. So it’s only reasonable that you want to actually enjoy it — especially in the moment. But stress and worry can take precedence over enjoying the fruits of your labor, warns Jaclyn Fisher, owner of Two Little Birds Planning, if you’re not careful to stay present.

“At the end of the day, the most important part of a wedding is the celebration of your love and beginning of your life together,” she says. “Brides need to remember that when they start to get distracted and stressed. If they don’t stay present, their wedding day will go by in a flash without the bride actually experiencing or enjoying it.” With that in mind, here are seven expert-approved tips to help you stay in the moment:

1. Break in your shoes before the big day.

If you’re used to wearing flats, your wedding could be a real pain — and we mean that literally — making it tough to think about anything other than your aching feet. But beyond breaking in your shoes, Fisher recommends making sure you’ll feel comfortable from head-to-toe at your wedding. “It will be impossible to enjoy your first dance if you can’t stop thinking about your strapless bra that’s digging into your chest or the painful blister on the back of your foot,” she warns.

2. Don’t plan to do too much the week of your wedding.

There is so much to do in the days leading up to your wedding. But rather than leave them to the last minute, Fisher recommends tackling them as early as possible so that the stress of your last-minute DIY projects doesn’t linger on your wedding day. “Make sure your programs, escort cards, welcome bags, and DIY projects are done well before the week of your wedding,” she says. “Setting the tone with a calm, restful week will put you in the right mindset to be stress-free and present on your wedding day.”

3. No matter what, you must eat.

A wedding day is a very long day indeed. And you don’t want your growling stomach to steal the show. “Start the day with a good breakfast, and take a short break before you put on your dress to nosh on some protein and light carbs or fruit,” recommends Amy Nichols, owner of Amy Nichols Special Events and co-founder of The Poppy Group.

4. Take time to yourselves after the ceremony.

You may be surprised to hear that you’ll have very little alone time with your spouse on your big day. So be sure to take a moment after the ceremony for some QT. “Retreat to the bridal suite or another private area with your groom to bask in the newlywed bliss,” Fisher recommends. “Enjoy calling him your husband for the first time, admire your new wedding bands, and steal a few smooches. And let your planner and caterer know about your plan ahead of time so they can have champagne, water, and a sampling of your hors d’oeuvres ready for you.”

5. Hug your parents.

Your mom has been by your side from the start of your wedding planning. So, “take a special moment with your mom to thank her,” recommends Nichols. After all, no one will keep you grounded like your mom. But don’t leave your dad in the dust, either. “Some brides even choose to do a first look with their dads, where the photographer captures the moment that a dad sees his daughter in a wedding dress for the first time,” she says.

6. Leave your phone in your purse, or give it to your maid of honor.

We all know that phones are a daily distraction, and it will be on your wedding day, too, if you don’t put it away. “On your wedding day, you definitely don’t need something else pulling your attention away,” says Fisher. Put it in your clutch, or ask a family member or friend to carry it for emergencies only. “You’ve hired a professional photographer, so you don’t need to take photos, and anyone you’d think to call or text will be there in person,” she says. “If there was ever a time to disconnect, your wedding day is it.”

7. Hire a great team.

If you really want to relax on your wedding day, then you must trust the team you’ve put in place to execute it. “Bringing on vendors that are reliable, experienced and talented will remove so much of the worry about what’s happening behind the scenes,” Nichols explains. “Your wedding planner will be handling all of the details and logistics of the wedding day with your vendors. This will allow you to walk into the ceremony and reception knowing that everything and everyone are in their place and ready to have a good time.”

This article was written by Jillian Kramer for Brides.com.

Pantone’s 2017 Color of the Year is Perfect for a Spring Wedding

March 23rd, 2017

Drumroll please… Pantone has announced “Greenery” as its 2017 Color of the Year! What does this mean for you as a bride? Um, pretty much everything! Incorporating greenery into your wedding color scheme is a perfect way to tie in some lush pieces — without busting your budget. The “zesty yellow-green” shade can be used in a wide variety of wedding details, including but not limited to bouquets, table runners, bridesmaid dresses, boutonnieres, and even your adorable little heels.


So how exactly did Pantone come up with their self-dubbed “nature’s neutral” color this year? Honestly, it’s a complete 180 compared to the delicate pastel hues of yesteryear, which were named Rose Quartz and Serenity respectively.

“Satisfying our growing desire to rejuvenate and revitalize, Greenery symbolizes the reconnection we seek with nature, one another and a larger purpose,” Pantone’s executive director, Leatrice Eiseman, explained about their creative process. “This is the color of hopefulness, and of our connection to nature… Every spring we enter a new cycle and new shoots come from the ground. It is something life-affirming to look forward to.”

What better way to celebrate a spring (or garden!) wedding than with a hue that symbolizes a reconnection with nature? Because of the so-called healing powers of the shade, we totally encourage spring brides to take advantage of this fresh and hopeful color this upcoming year, and we have just the inspiration you need to achieve it. That’s not to say summer, fall and winter brides can’t benefit from these tips, either. After all, every wedding could use a dose of natural elements to prevent a color scheme from becoming too stale. So, without further ado, here are seven stunning ways to use “Greenery” in your 2017 bash.

5 Common Regrets Grooms Have After Their Wedding Day

March 20th, 2017

Photo: Matt Andrews Photography

No matter how involved a groom is (or isn’t!) with the wedding planning process, there will be, without a doubt, things he wished he did differently on the big day. Those wedding regrets can range from how quickly the wedding day flew by or not having enough say over the guest list — all the way to reception décor. To save some time, we’ve rounded up the five most common groom regrets post-wedding.

1. The Price Tag

Once the guests leave, the honeymoon is over, and the bills start start pilling up, one of the first major regrets will be the cost of the wedding. If no real budget was committed to before the planning began, the aftermath can be pretty rough when reality kicks in about any outstanding debt.

2. The Guest List

Before the wedding, it may have seemed like a good idea to invite anyone and everyone. But in some situations, having too many people there can make the venue feel cramped — or worse — make it difficult to say hello to everyone throughout the event causing major FOMO (fear of missing out) and regrets.

3. Not Planning it Beforehand

While the degree of involvement of a groom during wedding planning, varies, there may be things that may be critiqued post-wedding by a groom wishing he were more involved in the planning process.

4. Forgetting to Arrange an After Party

A fun wedding party doesn’t stop just because the venue has to close. An after party is a great way to continue the celebratory vibes at the end of the night. Unfortunately, if thought and planning doesn’t go into this aspect, it can be a point of contention later on.

5. Wearing a Tux

While a tuxedo is a go-to style pick among grooms, dancing in a tux is anything but easy. Some grooms are opting for more casual outfit choices — or a change of clothes — just to make sure that they are comfortable in their ensemble throughout the entire day.

This article was written by Jen Glantz for Brides.com.

7 Things You Need to Remind Those Giving a Toast at Your Wedding

March 16th, 2017

Photo: Kristyn Hogan

Asking a friend or family to give a speech at your wedding can be on the greatest honors you can bestow upon a person for your special day. But before it’s showtime and that person finds themselves standing up in your reception hall with a glass of bubbly and lots of nerves, there are some things you might want to remind them before they give the toast. Here are the seven most important things to remind those giving a toast at your wedding.

1. Bring an extra copy of your speech.

Print out an extra copy and give it to a friend to hold in case you misplace yours. Save it on your phone too, just in case nobody can find a paper trace of the speech right before it’s time to deliver it.

2. Don’t rush to the open bar.

It may seem like a good idea to kick the nerves by taking multiple trips to the open bar before you give your speech. Try not to take down too many shots before you read your words or else you may be stumbling over them more than you’d like.

3. Keep it short and sweet.

The best speeches are the ones that are short, sweet, and don’t include extra minutes of rambling words or verbal fillers.

4. Ditch the inside jokes.

Unless the joke makes sense to everyone in the room, leave it out of the speech. You want to make sure you grab the audience’s attention and not make them feel like they weren’t invited to the party.

5. Practice makes you less nervous.

The more times you read the speech to yourself, the more you’ll feel confident on the day of the wedding to deliver it to a room of people you’ve probably never seen before.

6. Remember the audience.

Keep the speech as PG as possible. Remember, the audience is filled with all different people from the bride and groom’s life.

7. Leave out anything too embarrassing.

If there’s a story or a memory that’ll get the bride or groom’s cheeks flushed red, leave it out. You don’t want to leave them in tears — unhappy tears — after the speech is over.

This article was written by Jen Glantz for Brides.com.

12 Things to Expect When Dating a Strong Woman

March 15th, 2017

Photo: CHARD Photo

I think the term ‘independent woman’ gets some negative flack throughout society these days because often times, women have become so jaded that they swear off men and consistently talk about how they don’t need them. This, obviously, can be a little discouraging for guys at times and makes them feel unwanted.

For that reason, we’re going to use the term ‘strong woman,’ who may very well have many consistencies with a woman who is independent and doesn’t need a man, but for the sake of this article, let’s operate under the assumption that she actually wants a man. Something all men want to feel.

Dating a woman who is strong and has her act together is an experience ripe with lessons to be learned. If you are going to fall in love with a woman like this, there are going to be some things you should know first.

1. Don’t expect any fluff from her.

You’re going to have to stop dancing around issues and start being straight with her, because that’s how she’s going to be with you. If there is an issue or something bothering her, you’re going to know about it. She is a problem-solver and she wants you to be, too. If you want something sugarcoated, you should probably go get yourself a cupcake, cupcake.

2. Don’t expect to carry on a relationship solely through text messages.

Women like this are efficient communicators and the nuances of texting aren’t going to cut it. Sure, some texts throughout the day to keep in touch will work just fine, but your primary mode of communication will be over the phone or face-to-face (as it should be).

3. Don’t expect her to be impressed by your antics.

Leave your “social proof” antics at the door. Any juvenile attempt to make her jealous by talking about or posting photos with other women will backfire. Strong women do not get jealous because they are secure enough in themselves to know what (and who) is worth their time, or what/who isn’t. If she is going to fully commit to you, she expects the same in return — no games here.

4. Don’t expect to have mindless conversations.

Strong, mature women are worldly, passionate and educated. They are willing to have real conversations about real issues, and while there might be a “Real Housewives” episode playing in the background, her mind is still going a mile a minute about things that really matter. If you want her attention, you are going to have to keep up.

5. Don’t expect being indecisive to fly.

She probably has a stressful job that requires her to spend the day making decisions or dealing with other people’s nonsense. If you are looking for evenings full of “I don’t know, where do you want to go for dinner?” exchanges, then you are barking up the wrong tree. She wants you to make decisions and she wants you to make plans.

6. Don’t expect her to put up with disrespect.

No woman should. Today’s women are bold, confident and know what they want. What they don’t want is to be around someone who is going to mistreat or disrespect them.

7. Don’t expect being flaky to be okay.

If you say you are going to do something, whether it involves her or not, you’re going to be held accountable.

8. Do expect to be consistently motivated.

Dating a strong woman is like strapping a jetpack to your back. She lives her life with purpose, with goals, with a vision for the future. If you are the man she has chosen to share her life with, her ambitious nature will rub off on you, if you aren’t like that already. You will have a lifelong teammate by your side. An equal, a partner, a confidant.

9. Do expect her to fully commit to you.

Strong women are loyal. They expect honesty and commitment from you, but they are more than willing to return it with the same fierce passion they apply to every other aspect of their lives. You will not find a more trustworthy woman than a strong, independent one. Why? Because she chooses what she wants out of life and she holds on to it when she gets it. When you are what she wants, she will give you her everything.

10. Do expect to have new experiences.

She has lived her life with passion and excitement for long before she met you. Along this journey she developed hobbies, interests and has had unique experiences. Furthermore, she has built a list of things she wants to do in the future — and she wants to share them with you.

11. Do expect to look forward to every day.

When you are with a strong woman, there is no such thing as being bored. She is always on the go, and while she does enjoy relaxing on the couch, she can just as easily suggest an impromptu weekend away in the mountains. (And, even if you plan it out, expect her to add her own personal flair.)

12. Do expect to build a beautiful life together.

As someone motivated, ambitious and intelligent, you want to build a beautiful life for yourself. You have goals, dreams and visions for your future. There is no better feeling than knowing the woman standing next to you shares your level of ambition and matches your efforts.

You will never be happier than when you are with a strong woman, because she lives her life with a burning desire to make the best of it. She loves deeply and will motivate you to become the best possible version of yourself — while remaining the same man she fell for in the first place. Do not shy away from strong women, and do not be intimidated by their passion for life. Instead, be excited that you have found your teammate. You have found your partner in crime. You have found your equal.

This article was written by James Michael Sama.

Food Bar Ideas for Your Wedding

March 13th, 2017

Photo: Twila’s Photography

From delegating seating assignments to finding the right caterer and setting your budget, planning your wedding menu involves more than just choosing between beef or chicken. With all the logistical to-dos, it’s easy for your personality to get lost in the details. Couples looking for a simpler way to wine and dine their guests should consider a food bar — it’s the perfect way to offer fine dining without sacrificing personality.

There are endless menu opportunities if you go for a food station during cocktail hour or your reception. You can use it as a complement to your wedding’s theme: For example, couples tying the knot on the beach can treat their guests to fresh seafood with an oyster bar. Or if you want to showcase your baking skills, go with a nostalgia-inducing biscuit bar lined with bowls of butter and honey. Another perk of a food station? It’s an elegant way to dress up your favorite comfort foods — think a gourmet pizza station or a build-your-own taco bar! Also, a farmer’s market-inspired stand full of homegrown veggies and fruit is a serious upgrade from the standard crudité platter.

Whether you’re going for casual late-night eats or highlighting a chef’s table for a special tasting, a food bar is full of flavor and personality — and a guaranteed crowd-pleaser for your guests. Check out these food bar ideas to have at your wedding!

Katie & Jose at Schermerhorn Symphony

March 9th, 2017

Photos: Erin Lee Allender Photography

Where To Seat Your Wedding Party’s Dates at Your Reception

March 7th, 2017

Photo: Kristyn Hogan

Let’s face it: Seating charts are tough. It’s a logistical puzzle made all the more complicated when you add emotions and family politics into the mix! And of course, you have to remember that most of your guests will come in pairs. For most guests, it’s pretty simple: you seat each couple together at the same table. But what about your siblings and members of your wedding party? We asked the experts for a few insider tips.

“This question comes up at every wedding, and there truly is no correct or incorrect answer,” says Lindsey Nickel, founder of Lovely Day Events. The answer depends on a few different factors, including the size of the wedding, the size of the wedding party, how well you know your bridesmaid or groomsman’s date, and how many people fit at the table.

“It’s definitely a sensitive situation, but we tend to refer back to three specific scenarios that are very black-and-white — and will treat all dates equally,” says Nickel. Here are her ideas:

Option 1: Head table with the wedding party, without their dates.

“In this instance, you would seat the wedding party with the newlyweds, and their dates at another table with people they know, such as family or friends,” Nickel explains. She emphasizes the importance of seating the dates at a table with people they know so they’re not all alone. “This option works best when the entire wedding party, plus dates, just won’t fit at the head table. ‘No dates’ tends to happen by default, out of necessity.”

Option 2: Head table with the wedding party and their dates.

The more the merrier!” says Nickel. If you’re having a longer head table with space for everyone, this is the way to go. “If you’re worried about a significant other you don’t care for, simply seat them further away from you and surround yourself with your closest friends.”

Option 3: Sweetheart table.

“Problem solved! In this case, the two of you can dine together and assign your wedding party to different tables with their dates,” Nickel says. “This works particularly well at smaller weddings, where the wedding party and their dates make up a significant portion of the total guests.” It would be strange to have a head table for 20 people with only 60 guests in attendance, so this breaks it up and better fills the room. “If you’re worried about socializing, consider having two extra seats or a small bench at the table so guests can come up and say ‘Hi’ while you’re eating. This way you won’t miss dinner by walking around, but you’ll still get to have a few moments with your guests.” Another great idea? Swapping out the standard-height table for a hi-boy sweetheart table. “This elevates you above your guests so they can walk up and chat without awkwardly leaning over your table or taking a seat. And as a bonus, you’ll be able to see everyone from your perch!”

This article was written by Jaimie Schoen for Brides.com.

17 Amazing Suspended-Greenery Installations for Your Wedding

March 6th, 2017

Photo: McLellan Style

Take your wedding reception to new heights by hanging décor from the ceilings and rafters. Suspended wedding installations add some serious wow factor to your reception, but instead of flowers, we love it when couples opt for fresh greenery — pretty garlands, delicate vines, and leafy branches.

We’ve been obsessed with floral chandeliers for quite a while — their ability to transform a wedding reception space is truly breathtaking. This new take on the hanging classic is just as fresh, albeit a little greener. Decorating with leaves, vines and other greenery is not only unique and unexpected, but it’s way more wedding budget friendly since greens tend to be much more affordable than fresh flowers.

Hanging greenery overhead is also a great way to make your reception space feel larger — the leafy decorations will draw guests’ eyes upward, making the ceilings seem taller and the room feel more spacious. Plus, a hanging greenery installation is a great way to create a focal point in the space since the piece will likely be the first thing guests see once they set foot in the reception. Not to mention the stunning way these installations really seem to bring the outdoors in. Looking to liven up your hotel ballroom with a vineyard feel? Suspending a slew of vines or branches above your dinner tables will infuse the room with nature. Bonus: You’ll also save space on your tables by hanging the decorations overhead — something to seriously consider if you’re serving a family-style wedding menu or if you’re just running out of reception-table real estate.

To help get you inspired, here are 17 of the most beautiful and creative aerial arrangements to ensure your wedding reception is a cut above.


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