Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Blogging Brides!

MasterPiece Weddings, Blogging Brides, is so excited to have Michelle back! Michelle and I have been chatting back and forth about her wedding, and she was telling me about her Water Ceremony - I was really interested, I love new takes on different traditions. So without further ado, let's welcome Michelle back to Blogging Brides!
I think a unity candle is a beautiful symbol. I used to think that this must be a tradition from way back when bridesmaids dressed like the bride to confuse evil spirits. At my tirade at a church not allowing candles and denying the age old tradition, my mother (my fulmination audience of 1) looked very confused and set me straight that its actually just from the 1970s... not the 1790s. Talk about letting the air out of the argument! Since then, while still a beautiful concept and symbol, its been a little tainted in my little world. (And by my little world, I mean in my head.) Well, now I am planning my wedding. I still love the symbol of the unity candle, but it now comes with the risk of me crack up laughing at a serious point in the ceremony. Oh yeah - I am that person who falls out laughing while everyone else is having a serene moment. Oops. The other issue, is that we will be on a beach for our ceremony. Candle + wind = another opportunity for me to fall out laughing! WAIT! Before you start suggesting the Unity Sand ceremony... let me say that in my head there is a VERY large tourist factor I associate with it (I grew up in touristy Panama City). There is also a logistics problem; I am marrying a Coast Guard officer and we will be moving every 4 years. Ever seen one of those sand things once its been shaken up? Let's just say it looses something.

So by now, I have discovered the wonderful world o' bridal blog stalking! Mrs. Penguin from Weddingbee had a Water Ceremony that I thought beautiful, elegant, and romantic... but we aren't Thai so that seemed a little odd to include. Mrs. Gingerbread included a Ring Blessing that was heartwarming... but we will have many guests so this could take a really long time. So my mental cuisinart popped out a new idea! (And by new, I mean that I have never heard of it. If you have, please correct me.) We will do a water blending ring blessing ceremony! Oh dear world o' bridal blog I need a better name for that!!! We will take water from places of significance to us as individuals, and pour them together, then drop the rings in and bless them in it. Beautiful right? (If you disagree, be nice, this is my first blog away from my blog home!) Hard part will be writing the ceremony right? HA!

As I said before, I grew up on the Gulf of Mexico, so there is my first water. My second being something unique to me in my adult life, is from the Big Island of Hawaii. I moved there on my own, having never even been there, and knowing no one there. It was a very "I can do this on my own" few years for me where I really grew into the woman I am today, and hope to be for the rest of my life. I know people in Hawaii, so getting that water is simple. Adam grew up in Pennsylvania, near the Susquehanna River, so there's his first water. His second gets a bit trickier. Its Antarctica. Oh yeah, you read that right. His first Coast Guard station was on a polar ice breaker that spent 6 months our of the year in Antarctica!!! And, it was on the way back from Antarctica that he stopped in Hawaii and came to visit me for a week...bu that's a whole other story!

Enter the wonderful world of community bridal boards.

I had no idea how I was to find Antarctic water! I thought I remembered someone posting they were going on an Antarctic cruise for their honeymoon. I started posting on any board I could find asking if anyone happened to know who could bottle up some water! Many brought up the fact that water is circulated around the globe so really, any water could technically be Antarctic. I just really didn't want to start off our marriage with a fib or technicality! And then, someone chimed in with the knowledge that many researchers who go to Antarctica are based out of Colorado. So I started searching and found someone selling Polar sunglasses because they were upgrading for their next trip to Antarctica! So I emailed him and lo and behold, a colleague of his was headed down there in just a few months. So now I am patiently (read: anxiously awaiting to pounce on the UPS guy) for my Antarctic water!! I couldn't be more thankful for this wonderful world of brides and wedding professionals.

Now to the "hard" part; writing a ceremony to go with it.... Any ideas? How about a name for the ceremony? So, far, I've got "Water Blending Ring Blessing Ceremony"... doesn't exactly roll off the tongue.

Melissa's Note: Does anyone have any ideas?

Photos of Adam and I courtesy of us! Water ceremony courtesy of Mrs. Penguin of Weddingbee.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Riddle Winner!

Answer (Gosh, I wish I could do this upside down!):

The only items we recently used at a wedding!


Our BBQ Lighter wouldn't work so I had to borrow a candle from the offering at the church, and the sunglasses - goodness knows why I have 2 pair of sunglasses, but I do, we needed them so the Bride and Bridesmaids could take a super swank picture of themselves outside near the lake with an 8' Alligator (okay near the Gator)!!!!

Winner: No one, but you guys had some great, funny and sarcastic answers... it was fun!

I still have this great prize to give away, anyone had any idea's for another contest?

Sunday, September 28, 2008


Just a few more hours, any guesses??

What do these items have in common? Answer here to win!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Huge Thank You!

I have a few people I must thank, and it's long overdue!!

I can’t be in two places at the same time. It’s impossible. Trust me, I’ve tried!

But I prayed, and prayed – and I was sent Kristin. She has become invaluable to me, and I trust her implicitly! She has worked so hard for us, pulling 15 hour days, and 40 hour weekends – we had a rough couple of weekends. And I want her to know how much I truly appreciate her hard work, and her friendship! I don’t know that I would have made it through the past few weekends without her. I absolutely feel as if I can be in two places at the same time with her by my side.

I also wanted to thank Amanda at Blissful Bride – she worked her first wedding with us this past weekend, and really did a fantastic job! Thank you!!!

And last, but certainly not least, my husband – he picked up so much slack while we had back-to-back bridal shows, and weddings, and my inability to move for 24 hours, John you are amazing, Thank you!!

Enough mushy stuff… back to our regularly scheduled Wedding Stuff!

Thursday, September 25, 2008


What do two pair of Sunglasses and a Taper Candle have in Common?

{Leave the answer in the comments to see who wins what!} I'll let you know who wins on Monday!

And the guess is totally worth it!!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Shoe Fete' ish!

I heart these shoes! I wish these shoe's would just show up in my closet mysteriously. Like the shoe fairy would just drop them underneath my pillow.

I must find a client to live vicariously through me... new mission.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

With This Ring....

In case you missed it, one of my favorite Blogging Bride's got married this past weekend, and while she's away, I got to play.
Check our our super fabulous Guest Post, at With This Ring...

Blogging Brides!

Name: Michelle
Location: Currently in Pensacola, Florida, but this winter I'll be headed west to Los Angeles!
Wedding Date: April 4, 2009

What do you do in real life?

My background is in astrophysics, but I currently work at the Institute of Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC). I know, its a mouthful. I work on a project called Sensory Substitution for Wounded Servicemembers (SSWS). It sounds complicated, but its a simple concept with amazing moments. I have literally had my spelling corrected by a Marine with 2 glass eyes... and no, it wasn't braille, he was reading what wrote.

Favorite Part about Planning your Wedding?

Honestly? Its peoples reactions to the crazy ideas and unique touches we are adding to the wedding. We are a little....odd... at best; and in very different ways. We are really focusing on making the whole shindig represent "us"; both who we are individually, as well as who we are together. This means there is a lot of ironies that make people raise an eyebrow. It just makes me laugh and keeps me VERY thankful that my fiance is as weird as me and loves me in all my bizarre quirks! Happy, and thankful - the two best things for wedding planning!

Least Favorite Part about Planning your Wedding?

Quick disclaimer. I love my family. My parents are great parents and (in my humble opinion) did a damn fine job raising me. That being said, my least favorite part has to do with dealing with my family. Sometimes is just major differences in taste. (My mother is an interior decorator, and I love things with glitter. Need I say more? Just like the preachers boy is normally the terror of the town, the things I like makes my mother cringe and if I never see a polka dot or paisley pattern again it'll be too soon!) Sometimes its a difference of values. (My Dad thinks only serving beer, wine, and champagne is unacceptable! There will be a FULL open bar. ugh.) But the things that get me are when it's like we speak a different language. There are definitely moments when I can very much empathize with Lorelei from Gilmore Girls. Those moments just kill me when I think I'm being clear and she doesn't seem to hear me at all. Its a roller coaster of carefully planning moments that will stamp a memory on their hearts forever, to being in a screaming match over the tiniest things because we can't seem to connect.

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

At the end of the day, all you really need is an officiant, a witness, and your fiance; everything else is just for fun - keep it that way.

How fun to have Michelle as our first Blogging Bride! If you'd like to get involved in our Blogging Brides Series, please drop me an email - and be on the lookout next Tuesday for Michelle's story....

Monday, September 22, 2008

Check it Out!

Our Emergency Bag Series continues on Be A Planner - be sure to check it out!

Starting Tomorrow!!!!

Starting tomorrow, look for our exclusive series aptly named, Blogging Brides! Every Tuesday, here at your Friendly MasterPiece Weddings, Adventures in Wedding Planning Blog!

We'll be introducing you to brides that blog, and their trials, tribulations and success stories! It’s going to be tons of fun!!! Let's make new friends, and offer our advice, helpful hints, or maybe just get a chuckle out of something silly.

Starting tomorrow!

Friday, September 19, 2008

My Clients Rock!!

At the wedding we did this weekend, our client's first dance was A.M.A.Z.I.N.G!!!!

It's my favorite first dance EVER! Seriously!

What do you think?

Renee and Jim had a beautiful, amazing day! This video was done by the DJ, so it's not the best quality, but you get the idea - pretty fun stuff, huh?

Friday Fun!

This is totally not wedding related, I mean 100% not! But it's Friday (so goof off!), and when I saw this on Blissful Bride, I knew I had to try!
So you go to this website and upload a picture of yourself, and then pick a year, and off you go!
You can have a picture of you, from any year starting in the 1950's through the 90's...
Here is me in 1958!

And in 1968...Personally, I think this is better than my 1980's actual yearbook pictures!

Have Fun, and Happy Friday!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Monogram me!

I've always wanted a personal monogram, ALWAYS! And frankly, I know so many people I could have paid to design one for me, but, well, honestly, I am too cheap to have done it. See, it's not a necessity. So, I waited. And waited. And waited.
And then something miraculous happened.
I won not one, but two personalized monograms!!! From none other than my friends at The Event Essentials! I explained what I wanted, BAM she nailed it!!
Here's the beautiful work she did for me!

Now I can create custom note cards, and envelopes, and return address labels, and put it on paper, and memo pads, and Christmas Cards, and....... maybe now I need one for the business... what a great idea!

John's question was, why is my name last?


Thanks The Event Essentials!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

So Pretty!

Renee and Jim got married on Saturday, and it was amazing! The wedding was incredibly personal amazingly amazing and beautiful and fun!
There are going to be so many amazing photographs and video's (yes video's!!!) I can't wait to show you!!!
Check out these beautious images from Bryants Photography (a nice little teaser):

Such a Deal!

You never know where you'll find the best deal. Regardless of what it is. Sometimes in the most unlikely of places.

For our bridal shows this year, we had an idea. We wanted to create a pill bottle called "MasterPiece Stress Relief" with a fun and funky label and fill them with Jelly Belly Jelly Beans.
Our final product was too stinkin' cute, huh! But our problem was that all of the brides thought they were too, and we ran out at the first Bridal Show. We went through our entire stock! So I had to rush to re-purchase all of the items we needed, the bottles, more lables, more pills.

So on my rush to find the pills that I could get and fast, this is what I found.

The place I originally purchased them (and got a great deal) didn't have an express shipping option. So I figured, I'd price out 2 places, our local mall, Sam's Club and Staples (yes, with the easy button). Here's what I found:

The Local Mall: Jelly Belly's in Bulk $11.61 per pound.
Sam's Club: 2 pound bag, I'd need 3 bags, total per pound $6.11 (free shipping!)
Staples: 2 pound bad, I'd need 3 bags, total per pound $3.60 (free shipping!)

I couldn't believe that Staples was my best bet! And by a nice amount!

See, you never know.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Happy Blogoversary and a Month!

It's our One Year and One Month Blogoversary!!! Happy Blogoversary to us!

Can you believe it's been over a year! I still feel so humbled by the warm welcome our little polka dotted blog got into the blog world and I feel like we can finally fit into our Big Blog Pants!

I really would like to thank the bloggers that be-friended us in the very, very, very begining and guided us on this fun and amazing journey: Earth Friendly Weddings, Blush Events, Lucky Me, and a HUGE thank you to Our Weddings Plus and Hostess with the Mostess!

I feel blessed to call you all my friends! And so quickly, so many more friends were made, thank you all!!!

(Birthday Presents coming later this week!!!)

{Souce: I made that!}

Monday, September 15, 2008


We had such a great time meeting bride's yesterday at Gainesville's Wedding Expo!

Thanks for stopping by! And for reading the blog!

Bride's came up to us and say they already know so much about us, because they've read the blog, how fun is that!

We know how overwhelming the bridal shows can be, if you need some help going through the bazillions of brochures you collected, let us know. We are more than happy to help!

We are giving away another planning package this week, so be on the look out!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Best Bridal Advice!

Over at Elizabeth Ann Designs, Sara has some great advice today! Here's a snipit (I'm going to post a wee bit of what she did, check out EAD for the whole kit-and-kitboodle):
  • Start with the Big Picture, Not the Details
  • Distinguish Between Wants and Needs
  • Don’t Let Your Wedding Overshadow Your Relationship
  • Build Relationships with Vendors
  • Don’t Forget the Ceremony
  • Just Breathe
And my favorite bit of advice:

"When you become too irrational, read the newspaper and remind yourself that the world has much bigger problems."

Thanks Sara for posting some fantasical advice!

Biggest Wedding Expo, EVER!

The 40th Annual Wedding Expo is Sunday (September 14th)! That's right 40th Annual! The Wedding Expo this year is the biggest it's E.V.E.R been!

So make sure you tell your friends and families and anybody you know getting married to make sure they come see us and all of our friends, we'll point you in the right direction!

And we'll be there, with some of the most fantastic vendors in the industry! Come and see us at The Performing Arts Center of Gainesville!

Doors open at Noon!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

MasterPiece Stress Relief

We had so much fun at this past bridal show and can't wait to do it all over again this Sunday!
Come and see at at The Performing Arts Center of Gainesville from Noon-5! (more on that tomorrow)
Here's what you'll be looking for:

{Bossy Associate (Kristin), Myself, and Amanda}

{Our new invention, MasterPiece Stress Relief!}

See you Sunday!

What Happened to my...

Recently, I was talking with my new twin, Monica. We could have talked for hours, actually we did. We could have talked for days, seriously, days!

She is amazing! If you don't read her blog, you should, and if you do, you are doing a good thing! Her wit and hilarity is, most of the time, exactly what I want to say, but just don't. But I am getting away from my point.

She mentioned a situation that happened recently at a wedding, and I just thought it was unfathomable. And the way she handled it was with grace and elegance. With a sense of professionalism that we would all be proud of!

And, recently, I received a phone call – my band canceled our event is this weekend, can you help me! The panic in this person’s voice was heart-wrenching, I just wanted to reach through the phone and hug them and make it better.

I made some phone calls and found a band in 20 minutes. I just felt like it was my job to make their wedding all better. But in this instance it wasn’t – they weren’t my client. Just some random Jane Doe that called, because she needed help. Should I have done it… well that’s the question…

What would you do? What would you as a bride expect me to do? What would you as a consultant do?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Blogging Brides!

If you are a Bride that has a blog, and you read this blog, can you email me? I have a project I'm working on and I'd like your help! It's not hard and won't cause you to need to study...

Email me: melissa {at} masterpieceweddings {dot} net

Image Source

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Circle Date Stamp

Dear Blog Readers,

I hope you are doing well, today, I had my own experience at the Post Office, and I'd like to share it with you.

As I often tell my brides to have their wedding invitations Hand Canceled by the post office – and having my own experience having things hand canceled, I know it can be an ordeal. But I think that every once in a while you must experience things for yourself to get the full familiarity.

Now, I know what Hand Canceling is, I really do. Instead of being put through a machine, it’s hand stamped, as to avoid damaging what is inside an overtly large or strangely shaped shipping object. However, we suggest Hand Canceling your wedding invitation so that they don’t go through that evil machine.

So, when it came time to mail invitations of my own that I knew needed to have a lot of TLC, I opted to bring all 200 of them to my nice post office man, and ask for them to be all Hand Canceled. He was nice enough, he re-weighed and measured all of them, and explained that I had the correct amount of postage on them, he boxed them up and off they went. He mentioned that they needed to be sent to our main post office to be hand canceled, they don't do that at their branch.

Imagine my surprise when the next day I received an invitation back in the mail. This invitation was not even addressed to me, it was addressed to someone else, and it was shipped to the return address. NICE! But as if that wasn’t nice enough, it wasn’t HAND CANCELED! It had those lovely squiggly lines and a beautiful Bar Code on the bottom.

I then returned to the post office with a few more invitations that needed to be shipped off, and the invitation that I had received back. The same man helped me, I expressed, very politely my disappointment, and asked where the confusion had originated. He explained that that was indeed Hand Canceledsure it was!

But what I wanted was a Circle Date Stamp. (my question was, really, is that the technically name for it…) But I was polite enough back, and kindly thanked him for his help. And he picked up the stamp and showed me a date stamp in the shape of a circle.

When I left, I called Kristin and said, fairly loud, I might add – CIRCLE DATE STAMP! Really! Circle Date Stamp! I am sure in the book of USPS information, in the back there is a specific category called The Circle Date Stamp!

So from now on, when asking your PostMaster’s office for a Hand Canceled item you might want to be more specific and ask for a Circle Date Stamp. Sheesh!

Happy Planning,


{Picture of the Official Circle Date Stamp}

Monday, September 8, 2008

First Bridal Show....

We had our first Bridal Show of the Season yesterday, and boy are we pooped! I can't wait to share with you the pictures of our new and snazzy bridal show booth space!

Kristin, Amanda and I worked our tails off! But we had a blast!

If you stopped by to say Hi ~ Thank You! We'll be drawing the name of the winner of the Full Coordination package this week! So check back everyday to see if you won the $2500 prize package!

Thanks Again!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Bridal Show!

The first Bridal Show of our season is Sunday (September 7th)! So be sure to come on by and check out our new Fancy Schmacy Booth! We'd love to see you! We'll be right next to our friends at Unique Designs!

There are some fantastic prizes this year including:
  • A wedding day package up to $15,000
  • Honeymoon package- 4 days, 3 nights cruise to the Bahamas
  • $500 Giftcard to Bed Bath & Beyond
  • $150 Shopping Spree at Dillards
  • $150 Gift Registry at Belk
  • $150 Gift Registry at Macys
The fashion show will be featuring bridal gowns, bridesmaids, and mother of the bride dresses from Solutions Bridal.

And to top it all off, there will be a Reception on pre-function patio presented by Party Time Rentals

Oh and for the boys, there is a Casino Room and NFL Games!

Tickets are available at Solutions Bridal, $5 in advance and $9 at the door, if you'd like more inforamation call Solutions Bridal, at (352) 367-0070.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Do me a Favor!

Giving to your favorite charity isn't a new trend. But giving to your favorite charity in lieu of doing favors for your guests is fairly new.

Thanks to Michelle for kick starting the idea! I’d like to offer any bride now through February wanting to donate to Let’s Eat Cake! as an alternative to providing favors for your guests will receive free favor cards for each of your guests, from MasterPiece Weddings, free of charge.

A few bride's I've talked to about this agree, that guests probably don't keep or cherish what you have them as much as you'd like them to. So why not help others instead!

And as an alternative to Christmas presents, we'll print up a really fancy certificate all personalized for you as well! So for that cousin you aren't sure what to purchase - why not make a donation to a great cause, like St. Jude's!

Thanks Michelle for helping Let's Eat Cake! and giving me this great new idea!

{source: I do Foundation}

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Series Finale!

We'll call this our Series Finale, and make it a Two-Parter. Starting with:

Taking the Plunge- Literally

Thrill Seekers can choose to jump out of a plane together. Elope in Colorado promises an uplifting experience for our clients later this year. After landing, the couple will make a grand enterance for the on-ground ceremony {that's where I'll be!} with parachutes in tow.

Speaking of plunging, have you seen Celebrate!'s recent wedding?

Your As Cold as Ice

So does getting married in the Ice Hotel, make you Hot, or Cold? My husband wants to go to the Ice Hotel, so badly! {One Day, Sweetie!!} This to me is so fantastically unique! Get married in an glorified igloo- well a fancy schmancy igloo.

Hey, the color matches everything doesn't it?

I hope you enjoyed our Wacky Wedding Series! Or at the very least, it put a smile on your face...

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Wacky Wedding - Today!

It was reported today that a couple tied the knot a funeral home...
The groom said that he felt it didn't make difference, a church or a funeral home, in reality how many times has there been a funeral at his church?
How do you feel about a wedding a funeral parlor?

Just Her, Him and Lots of Big Red Rocks!

Hop a helicopter in Sedona, AZ and land for a private ceremony in a secluded spot like the top of a mesa or the canyon at Red Rocks. After a champagne toast, the officiant and photographer depart in the helicopter and leave the bride and groom to enjoy a picnic for two. The chopper returns after the meal to take the couple for a whril around Sedona.

Super Fantastical idea! If you want more information check out their website.

There is just one more installment to come on Wacky Wedding Week!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Happy Labor Day!

Happy Labor Day to our American Readers! Our offices are closed today and will reopen tomorrow with regular hours.

This is our un-official end of summer…
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