Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Very Best Part!

Everyone always asks me what the best part of being a wedding planner is, and I always say when the client tells me what a wonder day they've had and all of their dreams came true - and today my heart is so warmed with just the best thank you E.V.E.R!

Natalia and Jose came back from their honeymoon today and sent me some preliminary photo's and also the just the best of thank yous, when really, they are just the best sort of client! So thank you guys for including me and my team in your wedding, it was truly our honor!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Lindsey and Jesse's Wedding!

Lindsey and Jesse’s wedding was perfect! She looked radiant, he was incredible – the location was just amazing, Lange Farm near Tampa, Florida. Lindsey being an event planner (having studied under moi!) had everything any wedding planner could have asked for. It was truly every girls dream wedding!

Here is just a brief sampling of what she had done –

Awaiting you upon your arrival to The Farm was a seated in the round ceremony adorned with colors of flowing chocolate. And waiting for you on your seat was a program for the ceremony and a Seating Arrangement envelope with the seating chart by Table. The ceremony was extremely personal and absolutely beautiful!

Walking into the most ginormous air-conditioned tent, E.V.E.R – greeting you was a large table with brown pens and ivory cards to write a wish to the bride and groom. And the guest book was moved in case you missed it upon arrival. Waiting at your seat was a bag to fill with candy from the candy bar, and at your place setting was an adorable crossword and pencil for you to complete while waiting for Lindsey and Jesse. The first 3 guests to complete it were treated a special gift from the bride and groom. Super Sweet huh!

More to follow!

A Perfect Fit!

Design your own gown at iVillage! How fun is that! Check out Design Your Own Dress, base it on body type, make it larger or smaller depending on your size, you can embellish the dress, or make it more simple. It's tons of fun! I had a ball! Check out my lovely gown!
Pictures of Lindsey and Jesse's wedding are to follow, I promise!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Be our Guest!

Holy Moly! I haven't been a guest at a wedding, I mean just a guest - no other duties in - well, I don't know how long, maybe 5 years.... gosh, maybe more... but regardless, tonight, I am going to be a guest a wedding- I left my wedding bag 200 miles away at home - I have my cute dress, my cute shoes - and my cute purse. I don't know what to do with myself. It' weird.

But the best news is that Lindsey is getting married!!! Lindsey was an intern of mine a few years ago, and I am just tickled to death that life had lead her to this amazing man! I'll post more about her wedding tomorrow, or Monday.

I have feeling though, that I'll do something work related at this wedding- I'd bet my Cosmo on it!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Let Them Eat Cake!!!

So beautiful and so delicious - cake! A wedding cake can also be one area you are confused about how to get the most out of as well. Meaning, what if all of your guests don't eat cake, what if your caterer cuts ginormous slices, what if the cake is supposed to feed 300 but you run out, what if, what if, what if!

There actually is a proper way to cut a cake, and a lot of caterers don't follow this, it's a tremendous pet peeve of mine, because I can get more than 22 slices out of an 8 inch round cake... so there is no reason that a standard 3 tier cake can't fee 150 people! From a 10 inch cake, you should be able to get 50 slices.

Ask your Pastry Chef if you can pay by slice rather than per person, or vise versa depending on where you feel you'll be able to get the most bang for your buck!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Money Talks!

If money talks, why is money so hard to talk about?

First things first, let's talk budget! If you don't know how much money you are planning or thinking about spending, a ball park on spending, something - you are at a stopping point already. But I bet you are saying to yourself, "Self, I have no budget, that doesn't mean me!" or "Self, I have no idea where to start, but I must have this photographer that costs $6000, but I thinking of spending $20,000.....!"

These are both issues that need to be addressed- first, budget, it know it's hard, but this is where it needs to be said, we have $50,000 or $500,000 to spend - or even $5,000 - this is a start then use the 5 F's we talked about last month....

Budget Allocation: (Roughly, of course, depending on what's important to you)

50% - Food and Venue
10%-15% - Flowers
10% - Foto's
5%- Fashion
2%-5% - Fun

And the rest is cake!

Design online!

You can design so many things online, to better visualize what you'd like to see for your wedding, your dress, your cake, your flowers, and even your wedding ring! That's right guys, you can customize and personalize your engagement ring online to see exactly what it'll look like! There are several web sites you can use, our favorite is A Diamond is Forever it's awfully fun! It's also a fun way to see what wedding band will go with that schnazy new engagement ring!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

More Wine Fun!

Don't whine about the wine posts! Another fantastical decanter from IWA - this is from their flock, I mean collection of ducks! Fantastic isn't it!

And for your Grand Cru friends here are some fun playing cards. These would make great gifts for your groomsmen or bridesmaids that enjoy a good Grand Cru!
And some unique wine charms. How fun as a house warming gift or a stock the bar present!

All great gifts all on sale right now at IWA!

New, Clever and Classy!

I am always looking for new, clever and classy ways to show off a guest book. Because let's be honest, how many times have you opened yours - or do you anticipate to open a book filled with 100's of signatures of your closest friends and family. Probably not that often.

I have seen so many fantastic ways to substitute a traditional guest book - some have included a photo album of your engagement photo's, or a quilt that guests each sign a square of. There are also tiles, little square of paper with wishes on them, a frame to a photograph - just a ton of fun ideas! Also check out, Just Wright Boutique for more great ideas!

Friday, September 14, 2007

A Toast to a new kind of Registry!

By now you probably know that I am a wine lover! And since wine is a growing trend, Bottle Notes is gaining an edge on a market that has been longed for!

For couples that prefer a fine bottle of voignier rather than fine china, a fully stocked cellar is now an easily achievable registry goal. Starting October 1st, online retailer Bottle Notes will uncork its wedding program, allowing brides and grooms to sign up for more than 300 boutique and estate wines, as well as Bottega del Vina stemware and decanters ($30 to $110).

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Boys will be Boys!

I was just peeking through the new In Style Weddings Magazine, and they had the cutest thing in there!
For the Groomsmen that are the Ultimate Sports fan, how about cuff links that are made from wood salvaged from stadium seats and placed into beautiful square pressed Sterling! They are available through Red Envelope. What a unique gift for the boys in your wedding, and they are pretty handsome if I might say so myself!

Make it Yours!

Okay, so you are getting married! A lot of people get married, what is going to make your amazing-incredible-once-in-a-lifetime-most-cherished-day-of-your-life any different than hers?

There are so many things you can do to personalize the day, you can add some special music to the ceremony, or a nice poem, you can put pictures around the reception of you growing up, or pictures of you and your fiance (soon to be husband) around the reception, I mean, 3/4 of your guests probably weren't there for most of those moments, so include them in your courtship, they'll feel more included as well. Make the Cocktail hour with two drinks that are named after either you and your fiance or something you both love like your favorite football team. Create an outdoor louge that feels like a different room. There are so many things you can do to personalize your day, the possibilities are endless!

Let me know your ideas, I'd love to hear them! Put them in the comments section below!

In a few weeks I'll have some photographs of a wedding used photographs as the theme, it came out really amazing!

This photo were taken by one of my assistants during set up at the Cypress Grove in Orlando, the decorating was done by Dan Hathcock - I think it was just lovely!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Funny Because It's True!

We all want to save a buck or two, but all to often saving money by hiring friends or doing things yourself can lead to an outcome you weren't expecting (most of the time not a good outcome). Especially if you have a friend helping with the cake or the flowers beware that this adds another level of stress to the wedding for. Whenever possible hire professionals for the wedding and if Aunt Kay really wants to help, have her help with the rehearsal - it's not that we don't love Aunt Kay - it's just that the stress it will cause you, and frankly her, can be too much to handle - it may not seem like it now, but I promise it's a stressor.

These cartoons - I found at Grooms Online - it reminds me of when I told my parents that I was getting married, my father said "So Kentucky Fried Chicken and a keg, sound good!"

Invitation Tip - Don't be Lazy!

I am finding that a few of my clients are choosing to not address their inner envelope - basically, because they are lazy. (yes, I am talking about you) This is a VERY important aspect of your wedding. This tedious task allows you to tell your friends, or family member who exactly you are inviting. If you are only inviting Mr. Steven Smith, and not his fling of the month, the inner envelope would only say Mr. Steven Smith, not Mr. Steven Smith & Guest. Or if you are not inviting children to the wedding - it would be Mr. and Mrs. Martin Johns - not The Johns' Family.

It is a definite pet peeve of mine to see that I sent out invitations and then when they are sent back someone erroneously added a +1 to the response card. This small task can eliminate a lot of heart ache. You haven't been lazy on every othe detail of your wedding, why skimp here?

Friday, September 7, 2007

Fantabulous Decanter!

Yes, I admit it, I am a wine lover! Actually my husband and I really enjoy good wine! So it's fun for me to find new and fun things for him - today I found this really neat-o decanter - if you know a wine-o or have a friend that might enjoy a fun and unique wine gift, this is just thing for them! And it'd make a great wedding gift! I found this at IWA - they have a great deal of funness! (I just had to use that word this week!)
And if you are doing a wine course with each meal course, it would be nice to use fun glass decanters on each table, glass decanters would be much more affordable. Like this one, from Macy's for $40 - you can find even more affordable decanters from Ebay!

Do's and Don'ts

Why are wedding planners such sticklers for the etiquette rules? I enjoyed a cup of coffee with 2 of the other wedding planners in our town today. Which is always nice - we can talk about ways to improve our business hear about other fantastical vendors to work with. I really enjoy their company! We talked a little bit about how some etiquette issues are forgotten, and that's sad.

I guess that's what makes us good at our jobs - it's a job in and of itself to stay on top of the trends in etiquette though. One site that I love, is Kim Goddards Proper Protocol she has listed the Top 10 Do's and Don'ts -

  1. Respond immediately when receiving an invitation
  2. Use the Bread Plate to your left (why do people always go to the right?)
  3. Sit straight with both feet flat on the floor
  4. Begin a letter with "You" instead of "I"
  5. Smile when you greet someone
  6. Do unto others as you would have do unto them
  7. Stand when someone comes to your table
  8. Give the receptionist your business card when entering
  9. Open your car door for business clients
  10. Place your napkin on your lap as soon as your seated


  1. Write a Thank You note by email or fax
  2. Have dirty finger nails
  3. Ramble or Repeat yourself
  4. Ask for a drink unless offered
  5. Take the bosses seat or the one next to it
  6. Placed used silverware back on the table
  7. Hold the wine glass by the bowl of the glass
  8. Stand in front of the opening elevator doors
  9. Tear your bread in half and eat it
  10. Fight over the bill

I think we are all guilty of at least one of these! Check out a fun book on Wedding Etiquette!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

White Wedding!

We know this is a fantastic time in your life! But the stresses of the small details can definitely get to you! Just take a deep breath, and go with the flow~Everything will be fine, lots of our clients know and understand how important their families' are their weddings. But listening to everything that family suggests could drive you to a white padded room - white for your wedding is nice, but that not much white!

It's your wedding, it's your dream - it'll be amazing!

Have Fun!


And allow MasterPiece Weddings handle the details!

Small Guest List, Big Vision!

I am so excited to post this! It's my sister's wedding! If you look closely you can see me in upper left corner - the Best Woman! In addition to my duties for Best Woman and all, being that I am the family Wedding Go-To Woman - I had staff to coordinate this one!

My sister only had 35 guests at her wedding - it was so romantic, so personal, and just a fabulous event! She is a HUGE dessert fan, so she had a large bag of candy for each guest upon their arrival, a cheesecake wedding cake, and a sampler dessert plate- and as a favor, a 16 oz. pint glass (personalized) with Hersey's Hugs and Kisses inside - so sweet!

Instead of a Unity Candle, they performed a sand ceremony, which is perfect for outside ceremony's for fear of the candle being extinguished. One of them poured Green Sand, and the other purple into a beautiful vase - it is said that the two colors are then bonded in that form and can never be duplicated.

She loves Calla Lillies - so of course we tied those in, her colors were Greens and Purples. Thanks to Damon Tucci for some of these photos!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Thank you for the Thank you!

I recieved a question for a client:

I have a crushing inability to write proper thank-you notes. Can you offer me some guidelines?

Answer: I was hoping someone would ask this question. Somewhere in between your mom making you sit down with your Peanuts® stationery and you shooting off an email, people have completely lost touch with the concept of simple thank-you notes. Now that you’re a grown-up, an email just won’t do, and more is expected of you than scratching out ‘Thanks for the present, you rock!’

Grandma might not say anything to you, but trust me: She and her friends are probably at this very moment sighing over how young people today just don’t have manners.

As extra motivation, I will also grudgingly tell you the hidden secret of thank-you notes: They improve the frequency and quality of the gifts you receive. People like being appreciated, and if they feel you actually notice the nice things they do for you, they’re more likely to give an encore performance. Do not, however, use this as a strategy to avoid writing thank-yous to those who regularly give gifts you do not like. Every gift deserves a thank-you! Even the ‘You can Do It!’’ poster your crazy Uncle John gave you when you moved into the dorms.

I assure you, writing thank-yous is easier than you remember. Get yourself some stationery, plain note cards or a selection of attractive postcards (yes, postcards are perfectly acceptable!), and proper postage. Try to choose paper you like. Most craft stores have $1 bins with 10 cards in them, try those to start... Stay away from full-size sheets—note cards are best, as your message will be brief, and would look silly swimming around on a page that large. Store all of these items somewhere easily accessible and preferably in plain sight so you won’t hesitate too long or forget too easily. Say, the top drawer of your desk or on a bookshelf at eye level or below.If you want to know when you get a genuine pass on writing a note, the litmus test is simple: Do I live under the same roof as the giver? If the answer is ‘yes,’ you need not write a thank-you note (although a thank-you Post-It might be a nice touch).

I’m not going to go all Miss Manners on you and get into the social intricacies and delicate situations that surround thank-you note writing, as I was taught that a solid thank-you note will transcend all complicated situations—and I have seen no evidence to the contrary.There is a six-point formula to the proper thank-you: Learn it, know it, memorize it—and it will never fail you.

1. Greet the Giver

Dear Aunt Sally,

That’s the easy part, but you’d be surprised how many people forget it. Dale Carnegie taught us people love to hear their own names and Direct Marketing is sure we also love to read them in ink. That’s right, ink. Blue-black is always the number-one choice, but black or any dark enough color will suffice in a pinch. Even if your handwriting is poor, you must still hand-write your notes. Do not type them or, worse, use a word processor. No excuses.

2. Express Your Gratitude

Thank you so much for the slippers.

This first paragraph seems like it would be the easiest, but it is actually the most complicated. Beware the just writing trap. You are not ‘just writing to say’ as in I am just writing to say; that’s stating the obvious. If the giver is reading, clearly you have already written. Therefore use the present-perfect tense, which essentially means write as if whatever you say is happening in the moment.

Also—and this is important—never directly mention money. ‘Thank you for the hundred bucks’ could instead be ‘Thank you for your generosity.’ All cash denominations become ‘your generosity’ or ‘your kindness.’ If you feel the giver overspent, the farthest you can go is appreciated: ‘Your generosity is appreciated,’ or ‘It is such an extravagant gift—your kindness is appreciated.’If you’re writing to thank someone for an intangible (such as them putting you up at their place while you were in town for the weekend), first define what the intangible thing is, and then make the gift sound as attractive as possible. In other words, don’t say: ‘Thanks for letting us crash at your place.’ Instead say: ‘Thank you for your hospitality.’ Don’t worry if it sounds too simple; the point of writing the note is to create a simple expression of a heartfelt sentiment.

3. Discuss Use

It gets very chilly here in the winter, so they will get a lot of use when winter comes.

Say something nice about the item and how you will use it. Let’s say it’s something you actually love and use incessantly—then say so: ‘Ever since I got the slippers I have only taken them off to shower and go to work. I’d wear them to the office if I thought I could get away with it.’But don’t lie, even though some etiquette books may tell you it’s okay. After all, there’s always a truth that can be extracted. Let’s say you hate the slippers. How to say thanks? Find the one thing about them that’s nice and discuss it—but don’t get carried away. ‘They are such a lovely shade of blue’ works, and is more honest than ‘These slippers make my heart sing like a choir of angels,’ which is overkill.

If it was a gesture, like letting you stay at their place, you can follow the lines of ‘It’s so nice to make a personal connection while traveling. I really appreciated my time with your family.’If the gift was cash, allude to how you will use the money, but do not itemize your planned purchases line by line, instead simply say: ‘It will be a great help when we purchase our new home/toaster/lava lamp/whatever.’You can get arty here, but not flowery. It’s a fine line. Small, realistic statements like ‘I put the flowers on the kitchen table and they are still looking fresh and beautiful after a week,’ or ‘I don’t know which is more fun, actually using the Cuisinart, or reading recipes and thinking I could do that in the Cuisinart!’ Having fun is alright, so have at it.

4. Mention the Past, Allude to the Future

It was great to see you at my birthday party, and I hope to see you at Dad’s retirement in February.

Why did they give you the gift? What does it mean to your relationship with the giver? Let the giver know how they fit into the fabric of your life. If it’s someone you see infrequently, say whatever you know: ‘Mom tells me you’re doing great at Stanford, and I hope we cross paths soon.’ If it’s someone you’re in regular contact with: ‘I’ll call you soon, but I wanted to take time to say thanks.’ If it’s some errant family member you have little or no contact with, simply go with ‘You are in my thoughts and I hope you are well.’ Nice, right?

5. Grace

Thanks again for your gift.

It’s not overkill to say thanks again. So say it.

6. Regards

Love, Peyton

Simply wrap it up. Use whatever works for you: Love, Yours Truly, With Love. Then sign your name and you’re done. What’s Not There Any news about your life. This isn’t the time to brag about your new job, a hot girlfriend, or number of surgeries. The thank-you is exclusively about thanking somebody for their kindness. While you may want more than anything to show them once and for all you amounted to something, this is not the forum. Save that for your annual Christmas letter.

Now get it in the mail. Even if your friends and relatives aren’t of the note-writing variety, be the one who sets the precedent. Thank-you-note writing is one of the loveliest traditions to have been utterly compromised by the information age.

Let’s start a movement to revive a little gracious living.

Inspired from Leslie Harpold from The Morning News.

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