Thursday, January 28, 2010

Face Lift!

For a while now I've been debating on re-branding MasterPiece Weddings. Not changing my company's name or doing anything crazy like that. I like the name - but modern'ing up my logo. Just so you think, hmph, something's different, but I can't put my finger on it...

I think over time I realized who I was and not who I thought everyone wanted me to be. Almost 16 years ago now, I created MasterPiece Weddings. It was always to help brides create the wedding of their dreams and that will never change. But with an awesometastic feel, and a modern and fresh twist.

But over time, we've developed a fun and romantical (yes, I said romantical) vision for our company. So, we updated, adjusted - but we have the same warm and gooey center that we've always had.

So without further ado, our new logo... whatcha think?



Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Entertaining Tips: Planning


Rule #4

Serve a signature drink in a pitcher or an Italian Beverage Jar! This way it's premade, and you won't be playing barmade all night.

At our last dinner party, I used an Italian Beverage Jar filled it with juice and volka, a little soda water, and tossed in a bag or cranberries... and everyone loved it! And I didn't have to mix drinks all night.

We set some bottles of red and white wine beside the jar, a few bottles of water, with cups for our guests, and this way no one had to be bartender. We could all enjoy the party.

Just have fun, it's your party too!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Darren and Kristina = LOVE!

Sometimes you work with a client that you totally fall head over heals for... I did. Darren and Kristina live in Chicago, but met in Gainesville. So, for them it was an obvious choice to get married here. Planning long distance is not easy, so having a local contact you can trust is a big help, and we became fast friends working together. Their wedding was romantic, fun and delicous!
Great Vendors too: Wedding Planner: MasterPiece Weddings Photographer: Gina Leigh Photography Caterer: Celebrations Catering Rentals: Celebrations Ceremony Venue: Baughman Center Reception Venue: Thomas Center Florist: Prange's Florist Cake: KB Kakes DJ: Wayne's World (phone: 352-262-3820)

Monday, January 25, 2010

ELD:: Guest Blogger!

Lauren from Every Last Detail has written a fabulous post for us. If you haven't checked out her blog, please do! It's so chock full of inspiration and fantastic advice. Some brides while planning their wedding realize their true passion for planning, and Lauren is one of those incredible women! She wrote a post for us which I'll call: I Wish I Knew As A Bride.

So without futher ado, let me introduce Lauren....

When Melissa asked me to be a guest blogger, I was so honored and excited! Of course I would do anything to help her out, especially when she's about to pop out a baby! I've learned a lot from Melissa in the past few months, and I often find myself wishing she had been my wedding planner 7 months ago. Therefore, I knew exactly what I wanted to write about when she asked me!

I've had few friends get engaged recently, and I found myself giving them a great deal of advice. I then realized that it was basically what I didn't know as a bride that I wish I had known. I learned all of this goodness by reading blogs, working in the wedding industry, and basically just educating myself. However, as a new bride, the first thought usually isn't to educate yourself…it's to grab the newest wedding magazine and start flipping through it, marking the pages of things you like. That's not a problem at all…revel in your engagement! You have to know what you like and what you want!

Throughout my wedding planning, there was more than one occasion when I caught myself thinking, "I wish I had some sort of warning or preparation so I could've known about this!" One of the reasons I started blogging was to help brides and educated them so they wouldn't have to think that same thought.

1. BLOGS! I had no clue about what wedding blogs were, how to find them, or the plethora of information they had! Photographers' blogs, inspiration blogs, and planners' blogs (such as this one) are SUCH great resources! I found SO many great ideas and inspiration on blogs…if I had found blogs earlier in my wedding planning my wedding would have been so much better! So you're on a great start by reading a blog!

2. Weddings are expensive. Just know that and be prepared. There are ways to have a great wedding without "breaking the bank", but definitely know the running price for services. Do your homework. I was in shock when I found out what the price of an average photography package was. And so were my parents. But that was because we had no idea about what photography (and everything else wedding related) entailed. When we met with other photographers and saw the similar pricing, things started to make a bit more sense. Bottom line- do your homework. It's okay to shop around, but know WHAT you're shopping for and the quality of the product/service.

3. You can plan your own wedding AND have a wedding planner! I thought that I wouldn't be able to put my own touch on my wedding if I had a planner. Then I realized that it was incredibly beneficial to have someone who knew the industry, knew vendors, and would be able to handle everything on the day of. You're still planning your own wedding. A wedding planner just helps you implement the plans! If ANYTHING, a day-of coordinator will be some of the best money you spend, because you will be able to avoid so much stress on your wedding day!

4. You aren't limited to only using vendors that are local. I didn't know this, so I only looked at vendors that were in the town that I was getting married in. Little did I know, most vendors are willing to travel! Of course it depends on how far they are traveling, but there is always a way. If there is a vendor that you want to work with who doesn't work exclusively in your town, you can most likely still work with them! It never hurts to ask!

5. Custom paper goods. Having custom invitations made is the best thing ever. You can get invitations exactly how you want them, to match your theme, style, or color scheme, for the same price (if not better) as the ones out of the big giant books. AND they look ten times better, are totally custom, and no one else will have ever received the same invitation previously (which has happened in a few occasions to my parents). There are SO MANY cool ways to have invitations made! Why wouldn't someone have custom invites made?

I learned about most of these things a little too late in my wedding planning process, which is why I felt the need to share them with you all. Of course there are more things that I wish I had known, but these are the major tidbits of information that I thought were crucial to share! My wedding was awesome, but I think it would have been even better if I had known about these things sooner!

I hope some of these tips can help you have the best wedding imaginable! Does anyone have any tidbits that you've learned along the way that you would like to add? Please do!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Guest Blogger! With this Ring - DIY

I am loving all of Darci's DIY projects! I cannot thank her enough for these posts! It really makes you realize these are do'able! So, without further ado, here is Darci's DIY Envelope Liners!!
Seeing as how I am a glutton for punishment, I decided to make my own envelope liners for our wedding. It sounds like a daunting task at first but I can assure you that if you give yourself enough time, it can be worth it to have envelopes lined in the paper you have year heart set on (which is why I started this project to begin with)!

It's sometimes easier to pull the envelope apart, but I tried to conserve so I measured one that was still in tact. I used a regular manila envelope to create a template, and started by cutting it so that it was 1/8 of an inch shorter than the envelope on each side:
For the top portion, I cut the manila envelope so that it was about 1/4 of an inch from the top point of the envelope. Then I put the entire square into the envelope itself:
Then I put a ruler at the top of the point and made a (clearly not so straight) line onto the template so that I had a mark for the upper most point:
Then take a ruler and make a line from the crease of the envelope to the mark you just made for the upper most center point:
Make those lines on either side and then cut off the corners...and there's your template! Honestly, making the template perfect took me the longest. From here on out is pretty straightforward.
Just put the template on your paper of choice and trace away. If you use a corner of the paper you only have to make three quick lines:
Cut the liner out along the lines you just made:
And insert into the envelope!
Now you just need to get a nice crease so that it all folds together nicely. So I just folded the envelope flap down and used a boning folder along the edge to make a crease:
Now you just take a tape roller (these things save a ton of time) and put tape on each of the edges:
Press it into the envelope flap, and viola! Once the template is finished it takes just a few minutes to make the actual liner. I traced a bunch of them at once, and then cut about 25 of them in under a half an hour.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Guest Blogger! Darci Does It Herself! Part 2

Darci, is amazing with all of her DIY projects! I love this pillow! How pretty and how easy! Her work is amazing - don't you think!



This is kind of a simple project but one of my favorites! Our wedding colors are black, white, and green so I wanted our ring bearer to carry a pillow with a little flare. After looking around at a few pre-made options and coming up empty handed, I decided to make one myself! The supplies I used are:

• Fabric (1/2 yard at most)
• Sewing thread to match fabric
• 1” satin ribbon
• Polyfill stuffing

I wanted the pillow to be about a 9 inch square, so I cut two pieces of fabric into 10 inch squares. A word to the wise – make sure that if your fabric has a pattern, it is centered on each of the squares as you’re cutting them out. I learned the hard way that you don’t want things to look off center!

So essentially, you cut out two squares, turn the fabric so that the right sides are facing each other, and sew them together. Leave about a two inch gap on one of the sides and use that to pull the fabric through so you can turn the pillow right side out. Then, stuff away! I found that a pencil worked well to push the filling into the corners but I honestly can’t tell you how much stuffing I used. I kept putting it in and then feeling the consistency until it seemed right.

Once the stuffing is complete just use a needle and some more thread to sew the gap together. Then make your ribbon as long as you want it (depending on how much length you want to hang off the pillow) and put the middle of the ribbon in the center of the pillow. Take another needle and thread and gently sew the ribbon into the middle so that it’s attached to the pillow. Then all you have to do is tie a bow!

And here is a close-up of the back, so you can see the importance of getting that pattern centered:

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Entertaining Tips: Planning


Rule #3

Don't run out of alcohol! I know that seems like a given, but if you are serving wine, have enough - assume that you'll serve 1 drink per hour, per guest. That means if you are hosting a party for 30 people, and you get 5 glasses of wine out of bottle, you'll need 7 bottles of wine.... (4 bottles of white and 3 bottles of red, or vise versa)

That is even if not everyone is drinking.. plan ahead!

Plus have bottled water and some soda or punch...

And have fun! Enjoy your party! Have the wine open and ready to go, self serve so you aren't playing bartender all night long.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Guest Blogger! Darci Does It Herself!

Hello MasterPiece Weddings Readers! My name is Darci and I write a wedding blog called With This Ring. When Melissa asked me to write some guest posts for her blog I was happy to participate, and thought it might be best to show you some of the DIY projects I created for my own wedding. I hope they will give you some ideas and inspiration for your own day!

Last summer, I saw an article in Martha Stewart Weddings about cute ways to dress your dog for your wedding day. There is no chance that our dog, Lola, is well behaved enough to be a part of the wedding itself but we would like to get a few pictures with her beforehand. The article contained several collars and leashes made of ribbon, but I thought that the pearl collar was too cute!

To make the collar you need:

• Embroidery thread
• Large faux pearls (I used 18mm ordered on ebay)
• Sturdy needle
• Double-faced satin ribbon

I also eventually opted for a clasp because tying the thread in a not wasn't quite as sturdy as I needed it to be. Lola isn't a huge fan of the collar so I need to be sure it will stand up to her attempts at removing it!

So first, measure around the dog's neck and add about 12 inches. Then cut the thread to size:

Tie a knot in one end of the thread, thread a needle and start putting the pearls one by one. ebay for about $5).

It took exactly twenty 18mm pearls to make the right size collar for Lola. The $5 package that I bought had about 35 pearls in there, so I used a little more than half. . Once all the pearls are on tie another knot in the opposite end and you're finished! > Again, I eventually decided to use a clasp because just tying the string around her neck didn't work out very well. I bought a regular nylon collar for $3 and when I got home I just cut the clasps off either end and tied them to the embroidery string. I tied about 6-7 knots on each side and tried to get the pears as close to the clasp as possible. This did make it a little longer that it was originally, but luckily before I actually tied the claps on I tested it out. I was able to tug gently and slip one of the pearls off over the end knot to make it a little smaller. !




Once the collar is on take some satin ribbon and tie it around the clasp into a bow...I couldn't get her to sit still long enough to take a picture of that step! But here she is, in all her pearl collar glory: > >
Admittedly, she wasn’t a huge fan of her collar in the test runs, but she did a great job the day of the wedding. Are any of you making special collars or leashes for your pet to use on your wedding day!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Daisy and Wes' Wedding!



Our last wedding of the year was Daisy and Wes's wedding- we definately ended our season on a high note. This wedding was full of personal touches, home made table runners, the bride and groom custom painted vases so they were perfect!

And we can't forget Dakota! Daisy and Wes' puppy that stayed through the reception.








You can find more of their wedding images here.

Thanks to a fabulous team for making this day perfect!

Coordinator: MasterPiece Weddings (Amanda- Lead Planner)
Reception Venue: Haile Plantation Golf and Country Club
Flowers: Joan Prange
DJ: Wayne's World
Cake: Sparkman's Bridal Service (no website)
Photos: Russell Martin

Friday, January 15, 2010

Fun in Florida! Uniquely Yours:: Guest Blogger

Thank you so much to an amazing Wedding Planner, and someone I am honored to call a friend, Karry Castillo of Uniquely Yours Wedding for this perfect Florida post!

If you don't read her blog, you definately need to add it to your Google Reader!


Credit: Uniquely Yours & cannonfirephoto


Are you having a destination wedding in Florida? Or are you a Florida native who desires to bring some Florida flavor to your wedding? Fun, fresh, Florida inspired favors are a great way to leave your guests with a token of appreciation from the Sunshine state.

Here are a few of our favorites:

Key Lime Cooler Cookies



Photo Credit: Martha Stewart Weddings
A twist on the traditional Key Lime pie, these light and tangy treats would be perfect as favors or as an addition to guest welcome bags.


Orange Blossom Honey



Photo Credit: Uniquely Yours Weddings and Cannon Fire Photo

These sweet little jars of goodness would be perfect for a vintage Florida themed wedding. One of the most flavorful honey varieties available, your guests will certainly enjoy this token of appreciation long after the wedding day. Tropical Blossom Honey Company, established in 1940, will create these custom favors just for your wedding day.


Contact them at Tropic Bee for more information.


Fine Chocolate Confections - Norman Love


Photo: norman love confections

Ft. Myers is home to the famous Norman Love Chocolate salon. Norman Love Confections is internationally renown for exquisite handcrafted chocolates. Visit their website www.normanloveconfection.com for more information on selecting flavors and ordering your custom wedding chocolates. Your guests will be wowed by the flavors and presentation.

Vintage Florida Postcard Set



Photo Credit: Post Card Source
“Vintage” theme weddings continue to be popular heading into 2010. How about sending your guests off with a set of cute “Old Florida” postcards wrapped in a citrus hued ribbon. You will want to work with your stationer to select the designs and be sure the dimensions fit postal standards.





Photo Credit: Greetings PostcardPost Card 2Drop Inn Postcard,
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