My Video Debut!

Okay, because I am creative I have my hands in all kinds of things. Although video production is not my forte', I figured how hard could it be to do a slideshow and add music {this is my favorite song, by the way}. So here it is...my video slideshow debut!

video courtesy of Ciao Bella Weddings {of course!}


Would you pick up the tab?

Can you imagine having to foot your own bill at a wedding reception? Well, apparently, that’s what some couples are trending towards. I guess this is the new generation of “sponsored” weddings. I was first introduced to this concept a few years ago. We were attending a wedding in which the couple did not register, so it is apparently an unspoken rule that they wanted monetary gifts. I am not object to giving monetary gifts, because this lets the couple purchase whatever their heart’s desire, without the hassle of taking unwanted or duplicate gifts back to the store. {Can you tell, I’ve had experience!} However, it wasn’t until my husband stated our monetary gift must equal the cost of our dinner at the reception…each! Apparently, I had been living under a wedding gift etiquette rock, because I had never heard of such a thing. Being an Atlanta native, I was figuring about $200.00, BUT the wedding was in New York. It was until then that I found out just how expensive weddings in New York are compared to Atlanta. I could have died when we forked over almost $400. That was the most expensive dinner, I've ever eaten. I would have much preferred to give a setting of Villeroy and Boch china, but that’s just me.

Within the past two weeks I have come across two articles with the same subject matter, wedding guests picking up the tab. The above example is in a suddle, indirect way, but today’s couples are becoming bold about what to expect from their guests.


How would you word that request in an invitation? With all the tricky wording for invitations, I can only imaging the etiquette for notifying your guests that they will be paying for their meal. A wording example on the response card…”when responding to confirm attendance please insert a check in the amount of ______, to cover your meal. If you would prefer to pay by credit card, please respond via email and we will send you a Paypal request.” Ha! What do you think?


Where to Start?

It's amazing how overwhelming planning a wedding can be, especially if this is the first time that you have ever been exposed to "Wedding World". No friends or sisters have set the template for you...you are suddenly the wedding pioneer with no place to start. Once engaged the typical reaction is to run and buy every wedding magazine and book on the shelf. While laden with great articles and a wealth of ideas, they can also blur your vision. My advice to all brides is to pick three to four things that are the most important to you and center everything in your wedding around those. Those might be the cake, location, and transportation for you or music, dress, and photography for someone else.

Their are a few reasons behind this method. For one, if you try to incorporate every cute thing you see in the magazine...you will end up flat broke with a wedding that has no true sense of style, just a winding road with no destination. Two, it will reduce indecisiveness leading to less stress. Three, you are able to alter your budget and still get the things you want if you budget those first. Four, it will give your wedding a sense of direction, which will ultimately lead to a well thought out execution of your style.

I was an easy going bride. The alter-ego of Bridezilla. I had four things that were important to me...my bridesmaids, food, music, and photography. I was so open to color, no structured plan here. I decided on the color scheme and theme for my wedding, based on the bridesmaid's dresses. I planned a bridesmaid's outing to a local bridal salon. Everyone picked out dresses in colors and styles that they were most likely to wear. { I hadn't even picked out my dress yet!} And of course everyone picked different styles and colors that flattered them the most, however their was one style that looked good on everyone's body. The great empire waist dress. We ended up going with a long cream chiffon empire waist dress with braided waist and strap adornments in bronze. Everyone looked like a goddess, so my theme was roman-inspired.

See how easy that was!


A blogger's beginning....again!

(not related, but love the pic!)

I have been missing in action for quite sometime. Reinventing my brand and evolving into a new generation of wedding event design and decor. So in a sense, I guess you can think of it as a rebirth. Hence, the title of the post...a blogger's beginning. When I first started this blog, that was my title. Since I am kind of starting over, I thought that I would use the same title.

It's definitely a challenge to post on a daily basis. You become engulfed in the mundane details that accompany the fact that you are now an adult. At the same time you begin mastering the craft that is multi-tasking. But essentially that is what planning a wedding is, while having a full-time job. I am soooo glad that's over! Life doesn't automatically stop (nor slow down!) when you say that you are getting married. So the best thing is to prioritize. Do a little here and a little there. Have a focused plan to accomplish on a daily basis. If you are organized, you can marry the best of both worlds (no pun intended). If not, hire a planner!

I think I got off topic here, but at the same time provided advice. I hope you find that helpful, as well as the future posts ahead.


A TRUE Inspiration Board

With the sudden news of Michael Jackson's passing, I decided to pay homage by creating a concept board inspired from one of his songs. I am not sure if I am creative enough to incorporate a red leather jacket and glittered glove into any wedding concept! This is untraditional to say the least, but M.J.'s creativity was never contained to a box. I think the following embodies his spirit...I present "Black and White"


The Breakfast Bar...The Desert Bar Alternative

With all the craze with desert bars {which I think are a wonderful guest interactive favor}, I started to ponder on another over-indulgence that your guests might find wonderful. A desert bar {done}. A speciality drink bar {check}. So what else could you do? Well, I am glad you asked. What about a breakfast bar? Wait for it. The trend nowadays is to do a Post Wedding Brunch for close friends and family members, but why not include all your guests in on all the post wedding action from the comfort of their own home. This would be an especially great idea, for those wedding receptions which have no concept of time and guests are partying to the wee hours of the morning {I love that kind!}.

So what is a breakfast bar? Well think of it as candy bar meets hotel continental breakfast, with a modern twist. A lavish display of bagels, muffins, mini quiches, fruit cups, instant coffees & teas, assorted fruit juices, flavored smears and jelly's, and cute to-go gable boxes for a nice morning after treat {it will help with the reception hangover!}

How feasible is this breakfast fete? Well some venues, especially event facilities that cater to corporate companies, usually have a breakfast menu designed for morning meetings. These menus can vary from $6 pp to $15+ pp, depending on the lavishness of the spread. Speak to your catering manager to see if this is an option for you. For the DIY-selfer...check out these feasible additions to make your breakfast bar a delicious reality. {scroll to end to check out my cute tag line, for the favor box bands!}

The Fruit Display from Edible Arrangements

Bagels from Einstein's Bagels
{don't forget the flavored smears, yummy!}

Muffin Basket from Mrs. Fields

Chocolate Covered Strawberries from Silver Spoon Sweets

{and yes, these can be eaten for breakfast!}

Assorted Fruit Juices from peared

Pink Grapefruit Soda from Stirrings

The cute breakfast- to- go packaging

Cutest Invitation Bands to be used as Favor Box Bands from Here

The tag line for the favor box bands...

Enjoy the morning after...we will!

Kris & John 05.27.2013

I would love to help one of my brides incorporate this idea into their wedding!


Atlanta Brides - A Venue Worth Considering

One of the most important facets of your wedding is location. The location sets the tone for every decor element, whether it's a prestigious ballroom or a garden tent, your decor will be centered around the pre-existing architectural elements of the chosen event space. With that being said, I came across an event space that is definitely noteworthy...Loft at Castleberry Hill.

LOFT at Castleberry Hill is a 4400 square foot contemporary event loft located in the Historic Castleberry Hill Arts District, minutes from downtown Atlanta. LOFT offers sleek custom bars, chic lounge settings, built in stage and dance floor, and in-house catering. Our vision is to offer a unique experience, through tailored events, delicious cuisine, and exceptional customer service. LOFT provides endless possibilities for hosting events and we invite you to let our team of event specialists create the ultimate experience for you!

The best part is the pricing. For events taking place this summer, enjoy 50% off your space rental. {more money to spend on up-lightning!} They also offer an all-inclusive package for the stress-free planning bride for $55 per person (min. of 100 guests)

For more information about this event space, please visit their site.


Where to Spend It

Since you saved all that money creating your Luxe Look For Less. Why not spring for this ultra chic event design to compliment your look.

Design by nancy liu chin designs


Luxe Bridal Look for Less - {Under $800}

Yes ladies, that's right you do not have to break the bank to look like a million bucks on your wedding day. Check out this luxe look for under $800.00.

Impressions Bridal Style 2990 purchased here for $478

Silver Crystal T-Strap Sandal purchased here for $78.00

Birdcage veil and fascinator purchased here for $80

Vintage Crystal Bracelet purchased here for $49

Couture Flower Drop Chandelier Earrings purchased here for $35


So Random - Funky Online Store

I came across fredflare{dot}com today, an online store that carries a pretty unique line of really fun and funky things. From polka dot dresses to boo boo kisses bandages, its definitely a fun place to do some virtual shopping. A preview of the fun things on this site.

ruffled Kerri mini dress - $45

Versailles chandelier earrings - $16

Flowers in a can - $11

crystal Flowerette ring - $24

strapless Polka Dot dress - $65

candy stripe Marlo heel - $20

black Lace tape - $10

As if you haven't spent enough money on your wedding, I am adding more lovelies to the list. But planning a wedding can be stressful at times...treat yourself. Just don't tell your fiance' that I said that!


Outfitting the Wedding Star

Of course I was not going to devote a post to the supporting actress without devoting one to the star...the bride. I was surfing the net, when I landed on the shore of J.Crew{dot}com. While on the island I found this lovely number. So simple yet chic, so sophisticated, and just gorgeous. So without further anticipation, I present to you the dress.

{For the Guests}


Outfitting the Other Wedding Stars

Every movie superstar has great supporting actresses and in your wedding movie...these would be your girls of course! The ones that you have oh so selectively asked to be apart of your day. They've read the screen play of your life and passed the rigorous auditions. So they HAVE to compliment your look so why not outfit them in this great number.

{The Star}

As it has been known for a few years now, bridesmaids (and even wedding dresses!), can be found at other retail outlets, other than your traditional bridal boutique. This dress can be purchased at White House Black Market.
And don't forget the accessories!

{For the Feet}

And I had to add this in...


{On My Soapbox} - Photography

The one question I think I may get asked the most is, "How much should I spend on ...?" My first response is usually, "What is most important to you?" This question goes far beyond a mere dollar sign, but it embodies what your vision for the day happens to be. Every bride (and sometimes groom!) have certain aspects of their wedding which are more important than others. This can vary by couple. Some might highly value a church that is ornate in architecture, others may want their venue to resemble a botanical garden's worth of flowers, and another may just have to have that polka band. It all depends on the couple.

My suggestion is to first develop a budget...a realistic budget. Then make a list of what is most important for you on your wedding day. Shop around for vendors that provide that {dream} service, write in the average price as a line item in your budget and structure the rest of the elements accordingly.

One caveat that I give clients, is to consider the priceless value of a seasoned photographer's eye as one of the top two items on their list. When all the vows have been said and the last song has been sung, the only memories you will have for this day are your photographs. You can spot a good photographer by looking at images from a previous wedding shoot (the entire wedding). And if you can feel the emotion of that couple's day just by looking at the photographs...you have found the right photographer! Am I saying to break the bank with a photographer, no. {but if you have it, spend it!} But do set aside a decent percentage of your budget for it. And...be sure the photographer you choose, knows your style as a couple and you are confident that they will capture the details that will make your wedding day what you envisioned it to be.

photography by jessica claire photography


A Presidential Invite

Compiling the guest list for your wedding is probably one of the most grueling tasks of the entire wedding planning process! Especially trying to figure out how to "not" invite certain people politely. However, there is one couple you most definitely don't want to exclude...The Obamas. Sending a presidential invite to the White House is a great way commemorate your special occasion. Imagine sending you wedding invitation with the sending address of:

The Honorable Barack Obama and Mrs. Obama
The White House Greetings Office Rm. 39
1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
Washington, DC 20500
Wedding invitations to the President can also be faxed to: (202) 395-1232
The White House greetings office handles as many wedding invitation requests as they can. Send your wedding invitation at least six weeks in advance. Be sure to include your old and new mailing address in case the RSVP comes later. They may even send a congratulatory letter!


{Shana and Regg} ~ An Evening at Tiffany's

image courtesy of 4YourOccasions

This past weekend I had the pleasure of working with one of the most beautiful couples that have been together since elementary school (yes, elementary school)! The wedding planning commenced with a Tiffany Box, an engagement, and the rest was history. The bride opted for a simple, yet stately Tiffany Blue, Silver, and Ivory palatte to accent her day. The Atlanta weather was 84 degrees with cumulus clouds, creating the ideal atmosphere for the perfect wedding day. Working with such an easy going bride, and a hands-off groom (don’t you just love that kind of guy!), it wasn’t hard to create the design concept ~ An Elegant Evening at Tiffany’s. The event space chosen by the bride, was an untraditional venue, but had a lot of characteristics that could translate this space into the perfect backdrop with the right design elements. Every detail from the guest welcome sign, to the monogrammed aisle runner, to the place card treats, to the cake topper...we designed it all!

The event space...before


The Ciao Bella...after!

We had so much fun with designing this wedding, we could hardly contain ourselves with all the detail design elements! As seen by the shots caught by our Event Photographer, Defiant Photography.

images by Defiant Photography