Brides & Grooms, This is for both of you !

View More:

Gentlemen this blog is for You ! It will help you get through the wedding planning process and the wedding in grand style. And Ladies it will take some stress off of you by giving your beloved advice & great ideas about how to help you.  I’m not going to give you this help directly. I’m going to give you the links to my Four favorite Groom websites. There’s even a site for your best man. From engagement ring buying guides to stripper free bachelor parties to choosing the venue and much, much more. A couple of the websites are UK based but most of the issues are universal anyway !

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Here are the four sites…there are more online if you feel the need to look further.                    the,   the,  staggered  &

I think you’ll find these sites really eye opening and fun to read. Enjoy and please let me know what you think in the comment section !


2016 Event & Wedding Trends



Part One    Pantone Colors of Spring

Spring will be here before we know it ! In response to that season of renewal Pantone has chosen 2 main colors, Rose Quartz & Serenity. There are 10 colors in all though, to suit every taste.


This is the first time Pantone has chosen Two colors for a season, so if you choose them for your event you’ll be on top of the trendline.                         Here are some ideas using Rose Quartz & Serenity:

My personal favorites from the Pantone Ten are Lilac Gray & Iced Coffee. Separately or combined they are gorgeous !

 Just remember, mix in other neutral colors…like white or ivory. That will make your color scheme sophisticated, not overdone.

Red Lips ! Will you have them this Fall ?

    REDS… I’ve always loved them . They were all over the Fall 2015 runways but they scare some women. Many women I have spoken to say they will never wear red. You know what ? Reds can be soft & muted or mixed with rose. Try using a pencil with a gloss or just a red gloss by itself. There are some gorgeous ones out there like MAC Ruby Woo. Or try one of the really trendy mattes and blot it down if full strength is too intense for you. With mascara and a bit of liner (or not) red lips can light up your look !

Your Wedding Gown After the Wedding

Now that your very special day has taken place what are you going to do with your gorgeous wedding gown ?  Recently I surveyed several of my lovely brides on this subject. Two of them took their gowns to bridal gown preservationists and paid $500 to $600. All the others said their gowns were in their closets or at their parents in the original hanging bag from the bridal shop.                                                                            So I decided to do a bit of research and here is what I found: There are several less expensive alternatives that I found online. For instance at Bed, Bath & Beyond there are two levels of Gown Preservation kits. There are also some from David’s Bridal and other online sources.                                                 If you are thinking of saving your gown for your daughter or niece or possibly altering it later for a cocktail dress, invest in a preservation kit. I think you’ll be really happy with your decision in the long run !

Save Money and Still Have a Beautiful Wedding !

Most engaged couples are on a budget these days. I have suggestions for you to help you save on wedding costs that may not have occured to you.

  • 1. Prioritize.  Sit down with your fiance and choose the items that are most important to you both.These are the things that you will spend more of your budget on.
  • 2. Venue.  Remember that a Friday or Sunday ceremony will save you money. Caterers and venue owners, florists and photographers may give you a substancial break for a non Saturday wedding. If you have a friend who volunteers their backyard or garden for your ceremony & reception take them up on the offer.  Also many vendors reduce their prices for off season weddings.
  • 3. Guest list. I know that there are pressures to invite all your cousins and 25 of your parents’ friends, but if YOU are paying for your wedding then YOU can decide on the number of guests. After you figure out cuisine costs then it may be easier to know how many you are able to invite.
  • 4. Cuisine.  There are so many ways to save on food costs. Sit down dinners with wait service can be very expensive. If you are having a morning or afternoon ceremony have a brunch, luncheon or dessert reception. A well done and elegant buffet will also greatly reduce costs.
  • 5  Beware of The Bar !    Hard liquor and a full bar is very expensive. If you feel that you would like your guests to have cocktails limit full bar service to an hour or two. The switch to wine & beer or simply eliminate cocktails altogether.
  • 6. Invitations and save the date cards.  There are fantastic options to costly invitations from a pro. For instance, The Paper Source has gorgeous DIY invitations and inexpensive workshops to help you.They   have locations all over the country.
  • 7   The Gown ( Your Most Personal Statement)                                                                                            There are so many wonderful options here for saving money without sacrifice. BHLDN has wonderful gowns and accessories (and sales). Etsy has every style imaginable, including vintage. Try bridal resale shops such as Glamour Closet (4 U.S. LOCATIONS) and I Do Designer Consignment in Chicago. There are fantastic bridal consignment shops all over the country. Of course if you love and have access to your Mom’s or Grandmother’s gown a talented seamstress can make it your own !
  • 8   Memories in Print                                                                                                                                           I have one really great idea for wedding photo savings: Contact a College that specializes in Arts and Media. Investigate hiring a graduate student with a portfolio and interview 2 or 3. They will work hard for you & give you a terrific deal.
  • 9    Flowers                                                                                                                                                     If you are fortunate enough to know someone who can take you to a wholesale floral market take advantage of the opportunity ! Of course you will ( hopefully with help ) be doing your own arrangements, but it can save Hundreds of dollars. Perhaps more ! Even if you buy retail and do the flowers yourself, there will be a sizable savings.
  • 10 The Soundtrack of Your Wedding                                                                                                                  Of course a DJ will be far less expensive than a band. Give a DJ a very clear picture of what your musical tastes are and interview at least three. Also going back to the school idea, find a great band through a top level music school and a soloist to sing or play for the ceremony.

Wedding Planning Guide…Nine Months Out

There are many engagements between now & Christmas ! So let’s get busy.

1) Shop for your Makeup & Hair team. Get recommendations from friends who have similiar tastes. Try to go with quality as opposed to price and if possible try out a few & take photos at the trials. Also, these people will be spending several hours with you & your bridesmaids & Moms. Make sure they are friendly & likable.

2) Florists. Again, Check out the wedding websites. Usually if a vendor has lots of good reviews they will be winners ! Go to your meeting with a firm idea of what you want and beforehand check out what flowers will be in season on your wedding day.

3) Hire your Photographer & Videographer     Ask other married friends for recommendations and look at their albums & videos. Also ask your makeup artist for photographer references. They are particular & have a good eye.

Ask to see entire weddings from these 2 vendors. You want to be positive that your vision is the same as theirs.

Acquire references from them & call these brides.

I feel a small studio is a much better way to go because you are dealing directly with the people who will be shooting & filming your wedding.

Also find out how long it will take to get proofs & that you see them before they go online.


Next.. in a couple of days I promise; Your DRESS, entertainment, caterers & more.

        Have a great day !

Practical Guide to Wedding Planning

In honor of my new blog on WordPress I am republishing my entire Wedding Planning Guide. I hope you all enjoy it.

Hello Brides to be ! So you just got engaged. Congratulations ! And you already may be feeling a bit over whelmed…OMG WHAT DO DO FIRST !!! The key is to have a solid planning guide.
The guide that I will be giving you is based on a one year plan though of course you can adjust it to your own timetable.

1) Start a bridal file and fill it with photos from Bridal, Cooking and Home magazines & websites. This will inspire you and help you choose your Dress, Jewelry, Flowers, Table Design & Cuisine. Pinterest can be a great resource for this. Start your own wedding Pinterest Site !

2) Put your budget together. If family members are contributing
combine your wedding savings with theirs & begin to decide how
you will allocate the funds.
3) Choose your Bridal party. Both you and your Fiance should work on this together.
4) After shopping for & choosing a venue, book the date.
5) The guest list. Of course you need to discuss this with parents
Just keep in mind that there will be many other costs to be considered so if you don’t have a big budget you may have to be strong on this point. People will
be understanding about this.

6) If your budget allows hire a wedding planner to help with all the details and the vendor search .
But you Can find vendors on your own….there is plenty of help out there. One Wed, Wedding
Wire and Wed Plan are great because vendors are reviewed by brides. Good idea to start your
search now & give yourself 2 months to decide.
7) Book your officiant.

Next time we will talk about florists, makeup, hair, entertainment,caterers and other important things to do nine months out.



Loli’s Creations on Etsy
      Stunning ! That is what I would call these great looking clutches for your bridesmaids. A great deal of time & love go into seeking out gifts for bridesmaids. Here are some suggestions for you with links under each photo.
 Last week we worked at a wedding and our thoughtful
bride gave her maids & both Moms beautiful satin robes to relax in while having their hair and makeup done.

David’s Bridal
Jewelry is a wonderful & practical gift that your bridesmaids can make use of for many future occasions.
Earrings and bracelet from The Left Bank Chicago
Pinch Provisions
Since many or all of your ladies may be spending the pre-wedding evening in a hotel this is a fantastic gift ! 
It contains an amazing array of items (21) including double sided tape, extra wedding bands and a mending kit.

If you have only one bridesmaid and you would like to splurge, give her a gift certificate to an elegant spa or a set of crystal champagne glasses. 
When I was a Maid of Honor for one of my best friends she gave me one of the best presents I’ve ever received…a leather bound edition of Lord of The Rings.
Happy Wedding !
Photo courtesy of Visage Joli Bridal Makeup & Hair