Friday, October 31, 2008

The Parent Trap II

Gosh, I didn't realize that so many more questions regarding dealing with divorced parents would come in... so this might go on for a few more days. We've been flooded with questions, and we'd love to help, so keep them coming!

Today we'll talk about receiving lines.

Problem:: "Both of my fiance's parents and my parents have divorced and then have remarried - there are just so many people to keep track up it will make you dizzy! Help me with who stands in the receiving line to greet guests?"

Solution:: Well, first, you don't have to do a receiving line, it does take up a bit of time, and as long as you calculate that into your timeline, and know that this will take away from photography time with your new husband and families, then you'll be good to go. But if everyone wants to participate, here's a sample lineup:

  • Bride's Mother
  • Bride's Stepfather
  • Groom's Stepfather
  • Groom's Mother
  • Bride
  • Groom
  • Bride's
  • Bride's Stepmother
  • Bride's Father
  • Groom's Father
  • Groom's Stepmother
Phew! Is that too long for you? It's okay to simply include your biological parents, or to forgot the tradition all together. Many couples perfer to visit each guest at their table and make some schedule mingle time after they are done eating to make the rounds and welcome their friends and families. Its' a much more intimate and informal way to thank all of your friends and family for attending.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Parent Trap

Recently we've received many questions in regards to dealing with divorced parents, as if wedding planning and etiquette weren't tricky enough, right!

I know that you have some dilemmas, and I want to help you with your questions. Over the next few days I'll take your heated problems that seem to be causing you quite the drama, and give you some clever solutions to the sticky issues that you are facing.

Let's figure out how to handle things before the wedding, and discuss your decisions with your parents. We know every family's dynamics are different, so feel free to improvise and let us be your sounding board, comment away with suggestions as well!

Dancing Do's and Don'ts

Problem:: "My fiance wants to have a mother/son dance. Am I expected to have a father/daughter dance? Can I dance with my mom instead, since I am not on the best terms with my father since his divorce?"

Solution:: You're under no obligation to do a traditional father/daughter dance. Instead, you may want to consider including both your parents, or having a dance with all of the members of both families to take the edge off. You could have separate dances and songs for each of them in you wanted. Or (my favorite option) choose one tune for a "parent(s) dance" and start out with Dear Ole' Dad, and then half way through switch to your mom, or step dad... mix it up a bit.

Image: K-Gallery

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Raising The Bar

So often, as we get closer to the wedding the client starts to wonder just how much people will drink at their wedding. For a few reasons, either they are buying the Adult Libations and need to figure out how much, or their venue charges per drink, and they aren't sure how much it'll cost and how to budget.... or, or, or.

There are several books that explain this, and lots of Booze Calculators online, but here's a nice breakdown for 100 guests at a reception. Just a generalization to get you where you need to go, and the cost should be roughly, including soda's and mixer's about $800 - and remember you can return unopened bottles after the wedding!

Alcohol Breakdown:

100 Guests:

167 bottles of beer
24 bottles of wine
9 bottles of liquor

Margarita/Sour Mix
1 cases of White Wine
1 case of Red Wine
Beer: (Amstel Light like) 6 {24 cases}
Jack Daniels: 1.75 liters
Tanguaray: 1 liters
Dewer's: 1.75 liters
Light Bacardi: 1.75 liters
Schmirnoff: 5 Liters
Jose: 1 Liter
Dry Vermouth: 1 bottles {if at all, in my Extra Dry Martini, I don't}
Sweet Vermouth {only if you want to do Manhattan's}
Brut Rose/Champagne – 15 bottles

Plus Soda and Additional Mixers

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Blogging Brides!

More on Amy L.!

I am a pretty easy-going bride-to-be. I don't get stressed out too easily. I love every part of planning a wedding. I didn't think one second of the year engagement would be stressful for me.

But...a few weeks into my engagement, I discovered that I had no clue what to do as far as bridesmaids! As long as I've been planning my wedding in my head (since I was about 9), I imagined I would have somewhere between 4 and 6 bridesmaids. Isn't that perfect? Isn't that how many everyone has? Isn't that how it is in the movies?

Well, when I got engaged, and started realistically thinking about it, there was no way I could have between 4 and 6 bridesmaids. My fiancé was very comfortable with 6 groomsmen without leaving anyone out, so it was perfect if we could both have 6. However, I had 9 girls and I needed them ALL in my wedding. I lost sleep over it, and waited a few months before asking, thinking, "maybe I can just have 1 maid of honor and find other roles for the rest of them!" I couldn't imagine having 9 girls standing next to me. Isn't that crazy and overwhelming? My fiancé had 6. I hated to think that our sides would be uneven.

But when I realized what a big role all of these girls had played in my life, how sad I would feel to leave any of them out, and how important it was to me to have them in my wedding, I had no choice but to ask all of them! And I'm just so happy that I did. I'm the luckiest girl to have such close friends!

It makes the planning process all the more exciting. And guess what? It's the new trend to not have the numbers match between bridesmaids and groomsmen. So although the bridesmaid decision was definitely the most stressful, I am so thankful with the outcome!

If you'd like to join our Blogging Bride's Series, please email me at melissa {at} masterpieceweddings {dot} net

Monday, October 27, 2008

Cake + Truffles = Heaven in my Mouth!!!

Okay, so most of you know that I love to cook and bake, and I love to cook and bake gourmet style, right?

Well, I do! And most of the things that I eat, I always think, aw shucks, I can do that! Or this would be so much better with a touch of this. Or why should I buy that when I can just make that...Basically, I am a food snob... I fully admit it.

But this time... I tried... and I tried, but I couldn't do it.

I've made delicious chocolate truffles, melt-in-your-mouth-amazing-truffles, and I've made some incredibly-moist-delicious-cakes, and I've even made Cake Truffles... and those were pretty darned good!

But when Kathy called me and told me she had a little something she wanted me to try and give her some feedback, of course I had to take her up on it... nothing she has ever made has been anything less than amazing.

I took a small golf ball sized piece of the most moist decadent cake enveloped in imported chocolates, and quite honestly didn’t know what to say. The bit of the first one I tried was chocolate cake with imported chocolate blanketing it. And I thought I had died and gone to heaven.

So then, the following week, she called and said she had made a coconut truffle and I had to try it. I waited this time until I got home. I sat down, very scientifically to try this creation (and then to look in the box and see 3 additional flavors… I thought that’s it… I am a in HEAVEN!)

I can’t even explain the deliciousness that hit my tongue – my tastebuds didn’t know what do to… there is no way to reinvent this, or remake this.

I called Kathy immediately and told her it was truly “Orgasmic” there was no other words, it was perfection.

Then, the Pumpkin Pie Kake Truffle… forget it, it was Pumpkin Pie Heaven in my mouth!

{there was also White Cake with Strawberry Filling, and Orange Dreamscile – all were amazing!!!}

Okay so now you are mad at me, because most of you aren't local and can't as easily get your hands on these... but the good news is that I am sure Kathy can ship them to you (right Kathy?) - and if you are local and you are dying to try them, get yourself to Dorn's Wine and Spirits next to my office.... and you can try them right then and there!
Gosh, I could go for a Coconut Kake Truffle right now.... Yummmmmmmmmmm!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Gator Week!

Why not make a great end to the week with more Gator Boards for Brittany and Bryan's Wedding! This one was done by Sharilyn in our office - she was just featured on Be A Planner!
What do you think of her amazing Gator - Orange and Blue Board, so pretty and fun, right!?!? And believe it or not, there is still more to come!!!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Gators at their Best!

I've mentioned we are planning an Orange and Blue Wedding, and Albert and Alberta will be the Best Man and Maid of Honor... and then I saw this and thought, welllll we might need to get them more involved!

Who would have thunk it!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Let's Go Inspiration... Let's Go!

For a while now, I've been toying with creating an inspiration board for our boys... our boys being The Florida Football Team. The Florida Gators.

But Orange and Blue just haven't singed to me as wedding colors. Then we met Brittany and Bryan. They are having a small intimate wedding, with Albert and Alberta being the maid of honor and best man! How fun right!

That meant it was certainly time to play with the colors and the feel. We are all working on a board... this is Jeana's, what do you think?

We are all working on boards, so there are more to come....

Sources: The Knot, Style Me Pretty, The Knot, Caroline Johnson Photography, The Knot, Wikipedia, Caroline Johnson Photography, The Knot, Style Me Pretty, Style Me Pretty

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Blogging Brides!

Name: Amy L.
Location: Southern California
Blog: Amy K Lynch
Wedding Date: June 27th, 2009

What do you do in real life? I am a student in a intensive Dental Hygiene Program!

Favorite Part about Planning your Wedding?

One of my favorite parts about planning my wedding is that it is for me! Every decision is made based on my specific taste. I get to pick my favorite colors, my favorite flowers, my favorite ideas, my favorite looks, etc. But my absolute favorite part about planning my wedding is knowing that in less than 10 months, I get to marry my best friend. I am looking forward to being married to Danny, more than I am looking forward to the wedding day itself. And that's saying a lot for someone who loves weddings so much!

Least Favorite Part about Planning your Wedding?

I think my least favorite part/the hardest part about planning my wedding is having so many opinions. Everyone has different takes on every little thing and it is truly impossible to make the wedding ideal for everyone. But it is also really hard to be selfish and just try to make the wedding ideal for Danny and me. It would be a lot easier if everyone had my same opinion on everything! ;)

What is the best piece of wedding advice you've ever received?

At this point, the best advice I've received is to make our wedding a reflection of who we are as a couple. I think it is important that our wedding day really does reflect us. I loved this advice because it actually made it easier to relax and not focus on making the wedding perfect or over-the-top!

More on Amy L. next Tuesday!!!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Unique Contest!!!

One of our favorie Blogs, is having an awesome contest! I don't even know why I'm telling you about this, because frankly, I want to win!!! But they've extended the deadline!
But, everyone deserves a fair chance!
What are you waiting for.....
Go there.... now!

Posh Blog!

One of our favorite cake bakers has started a blog! You met her and saw her super fun work when she was part of Cake Week, and now you can keep an eye on Posh Pastry all on your own!

Check out Posh Pastry's, Posh Blog!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Let's Eat Cake Update!

4 months!

4 months to go!

Holy Cow! Times flies!! Let's Eat Cake! is only 4 months away!!! We are currently offering a super duper fantastical deal, if you donate $1, that's less than that coffee you got at Starbucks this morning... to Let's Eat Cake! (which will in turn go right to St. Jude Children's Reseach Hospital) we'll send you a Christmas Card... (for every $1, you get a Christmas Card...)

Please help these kids, they need your help!

We need your help to reach our goal!!!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Pink and Mango!

We are working on the funnest wedding EVER! Lindsay and Steve are getting married on November 1st, and their colors are Pink and Mango, so we've been playing with inspiration boards for them for a while, and the more we learn about them, the more we play...

What do you think of New Intern Jana's board for their fun wedding?

I love it, but I am thinking it's not quite them...

Hmmmm... maybe we should play some more?

And don't worry, there are more Lindsay and Steve boards to come!!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Budget Bride's Ideas!

Things are tight all round right now, money is getting tighter, and if you watch the stock market ticker, you are probably dizzy by now!

I've noticed that brides are starting to cut back on things - and there are smart ways to cut back, and not so smart ways to cut back...

How difficult is it to make cuts to your budget?

That depends on how much you need to cut - and what you are willing to cut back on. The obvious choice is to cut back on the number of guests, because if you are paying $60 per person and cut 50 people from your guest list, that's $3000.

But what if cutting guests isn't an option.

Scale back, more affordable linens, more affordable china, a different menu, signature drink bar, instead of full open bar, only serve beer and wine instead of a full bar.

Scale back on your flowers, do some additional DIY projects, cut out the program, use a lesser paper on your invitations, don't do thermography printing, don't use cotton paper.

There are lots of ways to cut back...

These are just a few options on ways to cut back, but one thing to never skimp on is photography, I wouldn't recommend having Aunt Jane do your photography, unless Aunt Jane is a pro... the only you have in the end are those photographs... so better to higher a great photographer's cheapest package then risking not having any photographs at all.


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Blogging Brides!

So far in Blogging Brides, this has to be my favorite story! I think some of the best stories are always the ones that you can fully relate to, and are true... so with out further ado, Amy F. and her story of the bewbies!
first of all, i am so excited to be a part of the blogger brides series for melissa at "adventures in wedding planning." thank you for having me and creating a social network for all of us overzealous brides!

{keeping the girls happy}

soon after i bought my strapless wedding dress, i knew i needed a bewbie-lifter and a tummy tucker. i hoped to accomplish this by purchasing a corset. so, i saw one posted online and bought it! i know. so stupid. but my girls have been the same for a long time..and i've been wearing the same size over-the-shoulder..well, you get the idea. needless to say, it did not do what i wanted it to do. it did not lift. it did not tuck. back to the drawing board...

last weekend i ran out of the house to do some errands. i had planned only to go to the local drug store to grab some shampoo and conditioner and a few other quick buys, so of course, i did not shower. instead, i threw on a hat, slapped on a little deodorant to cover the sleepy sweat smell, and made a bee line for the store.

on the way home, i passed by a beautiful little lingerie store. i had always drooled over the lacy things posed so elegantly in the window. i thought, "i'll just peep my little head in and ask if they carry corsets, or something similar for my big day."

holy cow, these women were crazy. two of them who were eating lunch behind a big velvet curtain, dropped their forks and came to the front of the store to whisk me in...the third one was showing me this control top panty-shorts thing and was telling me how great it was. she promised it would suck in my 30-year-old tummy, and lift my saggy bottom without flattening it down like other brands do.

"but what about the girls?" i asked.

it didn't take them 30 seconds to have me in a dressing room. one girl was removing my tank top, while the other unleashed my bra. i thought for a second i had wandered into some secret underground "love shop" if you know what i mean, and was ready to break out the mace. fortunately i was too distracted by my mortification of un-showered bewbies and semi-stubbly armpits to make a move for my purse..

as i stood there, bewbs in hands, one of the girls approached me with what looked like shoulder pads. she motioned that she wanted to put them on me...

"you want to see my ..?" i asked.

she explained that she'd seen it all before...and i reluctantly let them free. she complimented me on my girls.. (smile)..and placed stuck the "shoulder pads" on them...clasped them together...and spun me around to face the mirror.

my jaw dropped. it was perfect! lift, cleavage, no straps. "i'll take it!"

walking home, i thought back on the whole situation. i cringed at the thought that i might have just been taken for a ride.

i tried on the ensemble as soon as i got home...the bra, the shorts...and of course, my dress. ladies..i can not tell you enough how happy i am that i stopped in that lingerie store on the way home. it all works together like a blissful, bridal dream.

curious about the bra and shorts?

bra: nubra
control top shorts: falke shaping shorts

If you are interested in being a Blogging Bride, please email me at melissa {at} masterpieceweddings {dot} net

Monday, October 13, 2008

Letterpress Love!

As I am sure you already know, MasterPiece Weddings, loves Letterpress, we actually love all things paper, but Letterpress is something that we literally drool over.

So when a care package came from our friends at Erickson Designs, informing us that they have started a new division Lambert Letterpress, I literally jumped up and down!

The stock is unbelievable! {Their business cards are seriously thick, are made of lettra, so they are tree free!!!} The designs are like nothing I've ever seen before, the details... well, let's just say we are swooning over them!

I'll take some pictures of the samples that they sent me, and show you, they are truly amazing!!!

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Man Flower

Here at MasterPiece Weddings, we are always looking for ways to make the men more schnazzy, and when I saw this photograph posted from EAD, I thought I was in love!

What a beautiful boutineer, so fun and classy, and unique!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Get Certified!

MasterPiece Certified is now enrolling for our November course! We are so excited about our next class coming up! This class will run Monday through Friday at our offices, and we'd love to include you!

This the most inclusive Certification course approved through the DOE! You'll learn everything you need to know about being a wedding planner, starting a business, and much, more! We'll have guest speakers, learn to start a business, work with brides, how to network, and much much more!

Please send me an email to melissa {at} masterpieceweddings {dot} net for more information, and to see if you qualify for a discounted tuition.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Bake a Cake! III

Okay, so know you know my inspiration, and what the client wanted. You know I am not a professional cake baker, never promised to be, it's just something I do for Harrison, cuz he's so darned cute! And you know how many tools I've used to make this cake.... now for the decorations!

Sunflowers, Purple Flowers and Rocks:

The rest of the bugs- just waiting to get involved:
Proof I actually worked on this cake:
One of the cute Marzipan Catepillers:
More proof I actually made this cake:
Now it's time to start decorating: (that's a pile of royal icing ants on the counter)
I think we did okay.... we'll put the rest on at Harrison's Party....
Harrison's 4 candle in the cake:
Birthday Boy:
Happy Birthday Harrison!!!! I hope you loved your Bug Party, and your cake :)


I was tagged, again... I was tagged by Stary-Eyed Bride and Bespoke. This one's kind of fun! (sorry for not being able to do this right away, things have been crazy buzy!)

4 Things I Did Today:

1. Put together a contract for a bride.
2. Called a ceremony venue and used my Jedi mind trick to convince them to have a ceremony there.
3. Prayed.
4. Met with a bride who still has lots to do for her March Wedding.

4 Things On My To-Do list:

1. Make a bazillion phone calls.
2. Call back prospective interns.
3. Go see Nights in Roadanthe.
4. Finish Harrison’s Birthday Cake
(Bonus #5 – I have to get the mailing list together for Let’s Eat Cake! Potential sponsors)

4 of My Guiltiest Pleasures:

1. Drinking really good red wine.
2. I love reading in the bathtub. (with a glass of wine)
3. Watching television with my husband. With my head on his lap lying there with his hand on my side. (while drinking a glass of wine)
4. Reality Television…. Yeah, it’s stupid, yeah, it has no redeeming qualities… but I like some of it… I know – I’m a moron… but I enjoy it when I am drinking a glass of wine!

4 Random Facts About Me:

1. I used to swim competitively…. And Greg Louganis and I met at the pool at 5:30 to practice, then he went to the dive pool and I went to the lanes to swim. We shared many a McDonald's Breakfast Sammich together.

2. I work constantly, like I don’t stop, I am thinking ways to improve my business, to work with vendors to make my client’s life easier, to make my husband's business better (I sleep, eat, and live to work) …. I just don’t’ stop working.

3. I do what I do because I really I truly believe it to be my calling in life. I love it and I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.

4. I was diagnosed with Cervical Cancer 3 Years and 6 months ago, Stage 1, Non-HPV. I am now a cancer survivor. I worked through my cancer, I never missed a wedding, an appointment, and my clients never knew. It’s just what I did. Why should some cancer stop me…. And this is the reason for Let’s Eat Cake.

I am now tagging, Blissful Bride and Unique Designs.

Image Souce

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Bake a Cake! II

WOW! Was this a process, but it's so nice to have friends in the business, Kathy from KB, helped me so much, with advice and teaching me to make the bugs, loaning me supplies... her time... really a God Send!!! So I documented the process. A Month long Process....

Supplies - rods to make sure the top layer doesn't collapse into the bottom layer:

Beating the Oreo's for the Frosting:

Oreo Cookies and Cream Frosting:
Harrison had requested, Chocolate Cake on the Bottom and Vanilla Cake on the Top - So I made Chocolate Fudge Butter Cake, and Bourbon Vanilla Butter Cake with Oreo Cookies and Cream Filling.
My husband handling the manual labor, aka using the big boy tools!
The cakes with the crumb coat - now they rest in the fridge...
More on my Crazy Cake Adventures tomorrow!

Blogging Brides!

Name: Amy F.

Location: Live/Work: San Francisco, CA - Wedding Location: Nashville, TN

Blog: with the pixie grin

Wedding Date: May 30, 2009

What do you do in real life?

I am a Webmaster for a popular search engine. But what I really want to be is a Registered Nurse...shhh!

Favorite Part about Planning your Wedding?

My personal style has always been a private thing for me...planning our wedding has allowed me to share concepts & ideas with friends and family without feeling self-conscious about it. It has helped me to embrace this woman I have become. I really like that.

Least Favorite Part about Planning your Wedding?

With everything I do, I really try to make sure everyone is happy and comfortable. I've found that to be true in planning our wedding while weighing in the idea that this is "our day." The struggle with finding a balance between the two has definitely added a few gray hairs.

What is the best piece of wedding advice you've ever received?

To enjoy every minute of the planning process and the engagement phase. They say it's over before you know it...

We'll have some more on Amy F. next week, on Blogging Brides!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Bake a Cake!

There is a new trend, brides attempting to make, design, bake their own wedding cakes. To me this is would be met with disasterous results!

However, I have always made a birthday cake for our bestest friends son, Harrison, you've seen his picture on this blog before. Well this weekend was Harrison's 4th birthday, and I took my task very seriously. It was the first time Harrison could really have some say in his cake. He wanted Bugs. Specific Bugs.

Harrison's Demands:
  • Rocks
  • Dirt
  • Ants
  • Dragonflies
  • Bee's
  • Lady Bugs
  • Sunflowers
  • Purple Flowers
  • Grass
  • Leaves
  • Worms
Phew! Was I in for it, or what!!! So I started a sketch, a 2 layer cake, and let him tell me what he wanted. And I drew it. This is my sketch.
I am not an artist.... promise!!!

MasterPiece Weddings, did it!

So, I've been listening... and listening... and we finally took the plunge. MasterPiece Wedding is finally on Facebook!

So if you'd like to be my friend, let me know! I'm having a blast, so many people have told me about Facebook, and I don't think I got it - but it's seriously, like crack!

Come on over and say hi!

Friday, October 3, 2008

So Much to do...

So much to do and so little time. I know that when you are planning a wedding - you start to think at one point, "Why am I doing this... we should just elope!?!?!"

Eloping is for some people - but if you've already starting the planning, and it's just the stress that's starting to bother you- first determine what that stressor is, and face it. Determine why it's bothering you and what you can do about it.

Is it money?
Is your guest list out of control?
Is your family driving you crazy?
Are you over loaded on ideas?

Once you know the source of your panic you can deal with it. Let's say it is your budget - money is always the main stessor. Maybe it's time to scale back your guest list, or limit the flowers that are being imported from Brazil. There are always items that can be limited. Maybe your bar can be a limited bar rather than a full open bar...

But first you need to determine that the stressor is, then we can deal with it and make it all better!

What is or was the main stessor for you?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Debate Tonight!

It doesn't matter who you are voting for, Vermont Teddy Bear makes sure we are all on the same side... the side of cute!

Check out these Biden and Palin Bears! She even has a hockey stick in hand!

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