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Archive for the ‘Bright Ideas’ Category

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Spent part of the morning catching up on wedding blogs and the latest trends. Here were a few of my favorite posts! Click on the links to view the full posts.

AT-HOME ENGAGEMENT SHOOT

Love, Milk and Honey

VINTAGE CITRUS SHOOT

Snippet&Ink

CONCERT-INSPIRED INVITATIONS

Raspberry via Wedding Unveiled

VERTICAL SUCCULENTS

What Junebug Loves

COUPLE ILLUSTRATIONS

Green Wedding Shoes

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My duties as a wedding planner also include being a friend. I love being the person a bride calls when she is trying to figure out who to include in her wedding party or which shoes will go best with her dress. Inevitably, there comes a few bummed out conversations about bridesmaids. After talking with a few brides this past week, I decided to send a bit of advice to the bridesmaids.

It’s pretty simple. Your brides need you! This is the happiest time in their lives and too many are left with unreturned phone calls, absent-minded conversations and overall lack of excitement. I’ve heard on several occasions that bridesmaids are “past that.” Maybe they’ve been married for years and are starting to have babies. Remember how much it meant to you to have your entire bridal party hit every dress store in town.

Photo by Michael Jordan Photography

And believe me, your brides aren’t about to tell you all this because they don’t want to look like a “bridezilla” when really, they should be able to ask for friends support. So bridesmaids, what should you do?? Here are two of my best tips:

1. Be the bridesmaid you would want to have. Did you have all your bridesmaids help address and stamp wedding invitation envelopes? Then be sure to offer to help with hers. Would you have loved if someone would have calmed you down on the wedding day? Then be prepared and know what will help ease the bride.

2. Tell the bride to let you know what you can do to help. It sounds silly, but brides want to know you want to help before they ask too much. They will assume your too busy or wouldn’t want to help, even though you may just be waiting for her to let you know what’s going on.

Photo by MQ Photography

I dug up an old article about the subject I wrote for a local magazine in North Louisiana last year with tips for bridesmaids as well as brides, because let’s face it, brides aren’t perfect either. Luckily I think I get to work with the cream of the crop!

“Years ago I remember hearing about all the stigmas that came with being a bridesmaid: the dresses were hideous, the prices were outrageous and the brides were dubbed as bridezillas. I always thought I would be so honored to be a bridesmaid and I would wear the title with pride. It’s one dress. Who cares if it’s a little expensive or not my favorite color?
That was until they come in 3’s. This summer I will be the proud bridesmaid in three of my closest friend’s weddings. Don’t get me wrong, if they asked me again today to be a bridesmaid I would still accept the honor with joy. But I am realizing now that it’s a little tougher to be a bridesmaid than I thought. And I have yet to be a bride but I hear that’s pretty tough, too.

Luckily, there is a way to avoid the drama of impossible schedules and complaining.
I asked a group of friends also knee deep in chiffon dresses and invitations about what should be expected in both roles. Here’s what they had to say:

Brides: Give your bridesmaids a break especially if they don’t know what they are doing or have never been in a wedding. It’s not their wedding so they don’t place the same importance as you do on the event
Bridesmaids: Don’t play dumb. There are a ton of sites that explain what the bridesmaid duties are. Read them and pass them on.

Bride: Get input from your bridesmaids on style and cost for dresses. Your friends will be more OK with spending more if they like the dress and know they can wear it again. But don’t assume that just because it’s a tea-length dress they we will able to wear it again. Also, be ready to spend the same amount when your bridesmaid gets married.
Bridesmaid: Love the dress, adore the dress, say you’ll marry the dress even if you don’t like it. It’s just a part of the bride’s vision for the overall event. If there are serious concerns speak before purchase or forever hold you peace.

Bride: Don’t expect every bridesmaid to come to every shower. Her vacation days were not intended for your wedding.
Bridesmaid: Ask her what she wants off her registry the most and get the word around. You might not be able to make a shower or buy it for her, but as a bridesmaid people may ask you what the bride needs or wants. Be sure to have an answer ready.

Bride: Enlist your bridesmaid services especially in the beginning to help you find venues, flower ideas, color schemes, etc. Why stress out when you could have everyone looking and researching?
Bridesmaid: Be proactive! Help the bride even when she doesn’t ask. Send her ideas of table decorations, song ideas, floral arrangements, color schemes. If anything she won’t use them but at least she’ll have a lot of options AND she’ll know you care about her wedding.

Bride: Calm down! Your bridesmaids are your friends who are giving up their time to help you for your big day. Realize that just that is a great gift.
Bridesmaid: Be excited! Don’t just show up and ask where to stand. Your enthusiasm helps calm any insecurity the bride may have during the planning process

Bride: The biggest thing to keep in mind is a bridesmaid’s budget. If they’re your bridesmaid, you are probably close enough to have some sense of their financial situation. Take note and choose dresses accordingly. Plus, it’s a lot easier for bridesmaids to be excited and happy for you if they don’t have to get a second job to pay for your wedding.
Bridesmaids: Above all, your job is to encourage and celebrate this time. Remember that it truly is an honor to be named a bridesmaid. Don’t complain and make your own demands. It’s not about you.”

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My blogger reader

I finally got caught up on my google reader and found some amazing inspiration. Here were a few of my favorites. Click on the links to check out the full posts.

Travel-themed engagement sessions. LOVE THESE!

The Bride’s Cafe

Green Wedding Shoes

Vintage Brooch Bouquets

Ruffled Blog

Bridal Accessories

Once Wed

Cheese Buffet

Elizabeth Anne Designs

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My latest obsession

Lately, I have been working on finalizing the branding for Butterscotch Press (always a work in progress it seems) and The Wedding Shoebox. Recently, I stumbled upon the most amazing stationary company, Mr. Boddington’s Studio. There branding is to die for and the work is wonderful!

I know. I know. I design my own invitations. What am I doing? I also know I don’t fit every niche or serve every bride. One thing I do seriously admire about this company is the way they continue a theme and max out every possible design opportunity. From envelope liners to return address and every piece of stationary alive. I would love the opportunity to really create a custom set with, not just the necessities, but any whimsical idea to add to their wedding decor.

I’ve said it before, I love the way a complete set of stationary carries a theme and takes a nice wedding to a unique experience for guests. How can paper do that?? It pretty much personalizes each wedding and doesn’t give guests a chance to think “I’ve been to a million weddings at such and such. This will probably be just like it.” Nope they will be devouring every hint of your theme the way we love “miniature” things. It’s hard to explain but true nonetheless.

But back to their brand. Just like their invitation sets, their branding is seen in every aspect of their company. I have a minor in English and love old literature and find their invitation set names like Mrs. Havesham or Mr. Truman completely inviting. And the story behind the brand is equally inspiring! Check out Mr. Boddington’s desk. Enjoy!!

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I have been on quite a few bridal shoots recently and am constantly amazed at what an art photography is. These photographers are trying to not only take great pictures but to also bring out the bride/couple in the process. I came across Jill Thomas‘ work though weddings blogs I subscribe to and was so impressed with the creativity each of her engagement sessions brings. Whether it’s locations, props or poses, there are so many ways to incorporate your personality in your photos. Think outside the box. For a little inspiration here are some of my faves. Check out Jill’s blog for more inspiration. You won’t be disappointed. Enjoy!

jillthomas2jillthomas4jillthomas5jillthomas6jillthomas7jillthomas8jillthomas9jillthomas10 jillthomas1jillthomas11

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I have a been slightly obsessed with glassybaby for sometime now. They’re candle votives or bud vases in every shade under the rainbow and have the greatest glow. They are super pricey though ($40 each!) but have recently started renting them for special events. Each for $5. Check out all the ways to use glassybaby and 32 of their nearly 200 color choices Enjoy!!CIgroupbCRW_2964v2_web

DSCN2351_1seasonal_b-045circle-022

glassybaby on the lakeglassybaby fresia vaseglassybaby11.JPGtulips-037greenvaseswhitevotive

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I hear way to much that grooms hate engagements, brides begin wishing they were shorter and dad’s can’t wait for the day after the wedding. This is supposed to be a happy time. Why is it so stressful? There could be a lot of reasons. Budgets, family members, time-frame, distance.

A big part of why I became a wedding planner was to take the stress out of the process and keep it a happy time. For those brides I may not get to work directly with, here’s the best advice I can give. It’s not rocket science.

Be flexible and go in with an open-mind. Just like the wedding day, nothing will go exactly as planned for your engagement. But that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. You may have dreamed of peonies for your bouquet but just realized they are way outside your budget. Or found out the color you wanted is discontinued, or your bridemaids’ dresses won’t come in in time, or your photographer is booked. But don’t let it derail you when it comes. All of these situations have happened. In all cases the girls found something they were just as happy with if not more so. But if only one option will make you happy, not having it work out will leave you devastated. What if a few options worked? Then there is no room for complete  and utter disappointment. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t go for the things you have always wanted for your wedding day. Just go in with a few ideas rather than a must-have plan.

Remember Bride Wars? Both brides wanted the same venue and only one day was available. Neither budged. And they both ended up fighting on the floor on their wedding day!

ENTER MOVIE-BRIDEWARS 3 MCT

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