Archive for the ‘Wedding planning’ Category

How To Be Part of Your Own Party

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

(Illustration via Delightfully Engaged)
If you listen to conventional wisdom, you’ll learn that you won’t remember a single moment of your wedding. It will all be a blur. And that is true for some brides. I’ve known several of them myself. I’ve known women who spent the entire day in a fog, or in tears, or stressing out over minute details nobody else noticed who missed their entire weddings.

Me? I wasn’t like that. I’ve known a lot of other brides who were more like me. They spent their wedding days really at their weddings and remember them clearly years later.

You may simply be the sort of person who gets caught up in emotions and forgets the details. It happens. But if your fog or forgetfulness springs from another source, there are ways to get more in touch with the moment and truly enjoy yourself at your wedding.

Kristen-Alexander Dishes on Getting Married

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

Meet Kristen-Alexander Griffith. He’s an actor. He’s living in New York. He’s engaged. And he’s gay.

Since they got engaged in November, he and his partner, Aaron VanderYacht, have been finding they have a lot of questions about getting married as gay men. Naturally, they turned to the internet.

One frustrating Google search later, they had found a certain number of wedding-related services run by heterosexuals featuring rainbow flags that assured them they were welcome as customers, which was fine… as far as it went. What they couldn’t find was practical advice on how to throw a wedding with two grooms and zero brides.

So what do two guys looking for answers and not finding them do? They create the resource they’re looking for themselves. And so they started The Best Gay Wedding Blog Ever to document their wedding planning over the next year. As Kristen-Alexander says in his inaugural entry, dated January 10:

I thought it was time to hear stories and advice straight from the horse’s mouth, that horse being your’s truly!! So over the next, I dunno, year or so you and I will go on a journey. A journey to the big day: our wedding. I will share with you all the juicy experiences as my lovely groom and I try to figure out how the hell we are going to pull of a fabulous wedding on a budget. I am sure this experience will be full of hilarious stories, tears of joy, tragic tuxedos and terrible wedding cake! But best believe, by the time we are done you and your future Mr. or Mrs. will certainly know one thing: What not to do when planning your wedding!

All I can say is, I look forward to seeing what decisions messers Griffith and VanderYacht make.

Trends to Watch in 2012

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

2012 is just around the corner, and that means that the experts are lining up to tell us what’s hot and what’s not for the coming year. I’ve browsed a few of these lists. Some of them contradict one another, but after looking over dozens of guesses, I’m seeing some pretty clear clues to what’s coming in the next few months. Let’s take a look at a few of them.

Dessert tables are expected to continue to be a big deal in weddings. Variety is the spice of life, and a wonderful way to end a reception meal.

A further wrinkle on this trend that’s on the rise for parties that last late into the night is a second spread of snacks offered to guests on their way out. Doughnuts, cookies, sliders, coffee and cocoa… this is the chance to offer up a tasty final gift to your guests.

The Joy of Blank Slates

Friday, October 7th, 2011

When you announce you’re getting married, everyone has expectations. You have expectations, your parents have expectations, sisters, cousins, aunts, co-workers, and random strangers on the street have expectations. Vendors certainly have expectations, as do officiants.

But the fact of the matter is that 98.735% of all of those expectations are based on what is typically done, not on what’s required. The actual legal requirements of getting married here in the USA are pretty minimalist. They’ve even decreased in the years since Mr. Twistie and I tied the knot. When we got married, California still required blood tests. Now most states have dropped that requirement. Several have opened their legal arms to same-sex couples. More will no doubt follow.

And when it comes to religious requirements, well, the vast majority of those are concerned entirely with the marriage ceremony itself. Several faiths do require premarital counseling, and a couple have requirements that may affect your menu. Still, most faiths are more concerned with the wording of the ceremony than the activities at the reception.

When you get right down to it, everything from the bride dressing in white to the tossing of the bouquet and garter, to carrying flowers, to going on a honeymoon afterwards is a matter of tradition or fashion. It’s not written in stone.

That means if you want to wear an unexpected color, like this light green Vera Wang gown from her 2012 collection:

… you’re perfectly free to do so.

Quick Tip: Don’t Forget Your Wedding DAY Timeline

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

What comes next? People are starting to complain! How did I even get here?

Brides lucky enough to have a full-time planner handling the big day deets and those who’ve hired wedding day coordinators can stop reading because they don’t have to worry about who needs to be where when. The rest of us? Need a plan. And that plan is the wedding day timeline – not to be confused with the wedding planning timeline – a list of happenings, times, and possibly people that gives you a general outline of how the wedding day will play out.

While some couples play it fast and loose with the wedding day timeline, some wedding day timelines are broken down in five minute increments. Especially during the reception when you may be moving from first dance to father-daughter dance to mother-son dance to dinnertime pretty quickly. This will help you and your wedding party keep it together, of course, but it will also be helpful for your mc so she or he doesn’t miss any cues.

Why do so many people forget about the wedding day timeline? Probably because we do – and by we, I mean wedding experts. We get so immersed in the planning side of things that we forget that the planning is leading up to an actual event that also needs attention. So that’s my tip: Make sure that you either make yourself a wedding day timeline spreadsheet in advance of the big day or choose a wedding planning workbook (like the Ultimate Wedding Workbook) that includes one!

Guest Post: Lighting Guru Bentley Meeker On Lighting Design for Weddings

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

What’s this? Today’s post is written not by me, Christa aka Never teh Bride, but by Bentley Meeker, America’s premier lighting designer. I thought Mr. Meeker might have something to say on the subject of lighting design for weddings, as he has worked for over two decades in the event industry, creating extraordinary environments for the weddings of notable celebrities like Robert DeNiro, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Chelsea Clinton. The images in Mr. Meeker’s post come from his book, Light X Design, which features a kaleidoscope of amazing lighting design for weddings and other events.

Wedding lighting design for ceremonies

Lighting is THE single most important visual element in your wedding. More so than flowers, decor, or even architecture and space. Yet, with all of its critical nature, so many brides, and even wedding planners, don’t consider lighting or budget for it at all. If so, it is often looked at as an addendum to the wedding decor budget.

With lighting setting the mood, it should be considered first and foremost once a space is chosen. Here’s why: One can transform any space with light, but one can only augment with flowers or decor.

On the practical side, there are three things that need to be managed when executing a lighting design for weddings:

  • The room needs to look beautiful
  • The guests have to feel good
  • Lastly, the guests, especially the bride, have to FEEL good

Lighting design for receptions, too

So in support of that, here are five things to look for when lighting a wedding:

1. Symmetry – Light everything evenly so that the room looks symmetrical.

2. Intensity – Dim the lights a little less than you think you should. Your eye adjusts to the lower light and it creates so much more atmosphere than you’d ever imagine. Which brings me to my next point:

3. Levels – Dim absolutely everything. Having the ability to dim the lights when the grandparents go home and set the mood for the kids is a pretty important thing to be able to do.

4. Color – Soft beautiful flattering colors (pinks, ambers, honeys and apricots) should be used wherever people are. While we love blue and green to look at, and we often want to go bolder with color, those colors make our skin tones sallow and pasty.

5. Angles – Be super sensitive to light in peoples’ eyes by angling things as vertically as possible. If your grandmother has a light shining in her eyes all night, chances are she’ll go home before the cake cutting.

There is also a 6th consideration, namely your lighting designer. Since lighting is often mysterious and unknown, and the bride and her family are often unable to see the full picture prior to their walking in, (decor, catering, etc. will not yet have been set up) it is very important that your lighting designer really get you and who you are. That’s personality driven and I think it should be considered right alongside talents and portfolios as a critical criteria.

~Bentley Meeker

Are you a wedding vendor who has some insight to share with brides-to-be and grooms-to-be? Send me an email to talk about the possibility of guest posting right here!

Pretend the Wedding Is On a Wednesday

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

Wedding day stress is inevitable, or so people say. After all, it’s weddings that make perfectly lovely women turn into bridezillas. Weddings bring out the worst in people. Wedding vendors are all out to get you. Something terrible will go wrong. Men hate weddings. Or so people say, right to your face when you’re planning a wedding and just looking for some support or a little enthusiasm. Not me or Twistie, but definitely lots of people – probably the same people who, when they hear you’re pregnant, start ranting about how they tore from HERE all the way to HERE. Right.

Skip the stress by fudging your internal deadline

Here’s a wonderful antidote to wedding day stress that came up in a recent post: Pretend your wedding is on a Wednesday. In other words, check off as many wedding planning to-dos before the Wednesday that’s before your wedding. Do the things that most brides and grooms do on Thursdays and Fridays before Saturday weddings on Mondays and Tuesdays. It’s probably one of the best wedding planning tips I’ve ever read. It’s the easiest way to make sure that on the night before your wedding, the only thing you have to worry about is getting a good night’s sleep.