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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Have you chosen your centerpieces yet?

Choosing your centerpieces for your reception can be nerve-wracking, However, there are lots of styles that can add to the overall look of your wedding that still have a unique aspect about them.


Keep in mind that your centerpieces will be going in the middle of your guests table. And by having any type of arrangement that is too tall and full will obstruct your guests ability to have a conversation. But if your heart is set on having tall centerpieces, there are easy ways to go about keeping lines of communication open. For example, use thin branches as a way to add height with out becoming bulky. Or, have a flower arrangement placed on top of a thin stand, like the one above.

If you are having an Italian/vineyard/Tuscan style wedding, consider having bottles of wine as a part of your centerpiece. Add grapes and candles for cozy touch. or you can even use the bottle as a vase for a small bouquet.

Or, for something really out of the ordinary, have an inverted centerpiece. This is a centerpiece that is hung from the ceiling above the center of each table. (Be sure to check with your venue before making plans for this type of centerpiece) Inverted centerpieces can be small chandeliers, a hanging flower arrangement, or a combination of both, like in this arrangement.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Do you know how to set-up a hotel block ?

If you and your fiancée are planning on having a decent number of out of town guests at your wedding, they are probably going to need a place to stay. And while making arrangements for your great-aunt Lucy to stay on your mother-in-laws couch is cost effective, it is not the most comfortable. The solution: Block off rooms at a local hotel! To do this, you must first figure out approximately how many guests/rooms you think you will need. The hotel can normally give you an estimate with your number of out of town guests. Then, you meet with the hotel to 'block off' the rooms. Normally, the rooms will be blocked under a certain name (normally your last name) and then the individual guest would call to reserve a room within that block. After that, your guest will pay for and have the luxury of his/her own room.

Be sure to check prices online before you call or meet with the hotel. Some hotels will give you a 'group rate' that is actually no better then their normal rate. If the hotel does not offer a discounted rate, I would not book with them.

Another point is that some people will assume that because you have a "block" of rooms that they will all be in the same area of the hotel. This is not usually the case. If this is important to you, be sure to request this in advance, they may or may not be able to accommodate your request. As well, try to negotiate a flexible cancellation policy for you guest, since you never know when an emergency may come up and someone has to cancel.

Depending on the hotel, and the time of year (i.e. busy season vs. slow season), the hotel will normally give you a "release date". After this day, that the rooms will no longer be held at your special rate, and will be put back into general inventory. This usually happens a month ahead of the wedding. A flexible hotel will usually add rooms if you run out before the release date as long as there is still availability at the hotel.

Finally, be sure to read the contract well, and make sure there are no hidden surprises!

Friday, August 27, 2010

New Social Products by Birchcraft

Check out the new social product offerings from our Birchcraft line. 40% discount !!! Click the link below.


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Northville Hills Golf Club ~ Melissa + Jason 8/14/10

Well I thought I had escaped the Friday the 13th bad luck. Unfortunately mine came a day later and started this wedding day off on the wrong ankle! LOL ..yes I can laugh now but it was not so funny at that moment! I slipped and fell down some stairs and sprained my ankle the morning of Melissa's wedding! Luckily, I have a wonderful assistant, Becca, who helped me make Melissa's day a success and carry out all of her plans to the T. We even were able to escape the rain that was expected for her outdoor ceremony.

Melissa hired me last October for the Satin Ensemble which includes a little more help than just the day-of. She was referred to me by another former bride Jessi as they work at a hospital together. Thank you!

One of my favorite and the guests part of the day was the dance that Melissa and Jason learned for their "first dance". They chose "Forever and Always" by Shania Twain. The second favorite had to be the ice cream sundae station. A big hit !

We also provided Melissa with a restroom basket for her lady guests so they could spray a spritz, grab some mints and get back on the dancefloor!

I enjoyed working with Melissa and helping her execute her plans and managing day-of coordination. She and Jason looked fabulous and had a wonderful team of vendors to help make her event a success!

Florist-Weber's-Livonia http://www.webersfloralgifts.com/home/
Decorator-Pat, a friend
Cake-Iversen's-Dearborn http://www.iversensbakery.com/
DJ-Jame from Night and Day Productions http://www.night-and-day.com/
Officiant-Rev. Ron from http://www.weddingceremoniesmi.com/
Photography http://www.corinnascamera.com/
Day-of Coordination-Tracie and Becca http://www.yourethebride.com/
Ceremony Music-The Panache Group http://www.epanache.com/


Melissa called me the day after the wedding with wonderful compliments so that really made my day! She also inquired about having her gorgeous bouquet preserved. This service is a little pricey around $400 when said and done but it really makes a beautiful masterpiece for your home and will remind you of your wedding day for years to come. I can't wait to see the final product when its done.  She also recently dropped her gown off for cleaning and preservation as we offer this service too.

Thanks for letting us be part of your wonderful celebration, keep in touch!!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Venue Visit: Garland Resort-Lewiston, Michigan

I recently traveled to Lewiston, Michigan for business and pleasure. I grew up in this little town near near Gaylord and Atlanta.  I was thrilled when a Bride and her Mom found me on weddingwire.com. They were looking to retain a wedding planner for full-service planning to this destination as the bride lives in Royal Oak.

I happened to be going up to Lewiston to visit my family right around the time they hired me so I started working on their plans right away. My Grandma used to take me for golf lessons at Garland when I was a teen. I wish I appreciated the sport then because it is a lovely course!

Here are some pictures of the venue. I am excited to plan a wonderful wedding for Bethany and Chris to take place on May 7, 2011.

Monday, August 23, 2010

7 Questions You Must Ask a Wedding Professional Before Booking Them

Hiring the right team is critical to planning your dream wedding…and it can also be quite stressful.

How do you find the right match for you? How do you know who to trust? Where do you go for advice?

First of all, this is not an easy task and it’s totally normal for couples to feel overwhelmed, frustrated or confused.

It’s not like you plan a wedding every day! This is all probably brand new to you, so be patient with yourself.

A few tips to finding the right ones for you…
• Do Your Homework. You’ll get much more out of a meeting or conversation with a wedding professional if you do a little background homework first.
Spend some time on the internet or talking to friends who’ve recently been married. Find out the average prices in your area and what services are available. Get an idea of what you like and don’t like. Wedding websites and chat rooms can be a great resource. This way when you meet with a wedding professional you’ll be able to ask better questions and have an idea of what to look out for.

• Meet With Them. An in person meeting is the best way to interview a potential wedding vendor. It lets you get the full experience of their personality, style and professionalism. If that’s not possible, have a phone conversation.

• Ask Questions. There are no stupid questions! Make sure you get clear, specific answers to your questions. If you aren't sure what something means, ask them to clarify. Keep asking questions until you completely understand.
If a wedding vendor has a problem with you asking questions, they probably aren’t the one for you. The best wedding professionals are patient, understanding and take the time to help you make the best choices for your wedding.
• Listen. Don’t just hear the words they say, really listen. Watch the vendor’s body language. Are they confident and comfortable with their response? Do they look and sound nervous? Do you get a “funny feeling” about them? Take all the sights, sounds and feelings into account along with their responses; if your gut tells you something isn’t right, it probably isn’t.

• Check References. Portfolios are hand-picked to show off the best work, but they may not represent the “average” wedding performance. Videos are edited for the optimum presentation. But real referrals from satisfied clients are hard to fake.

Call up both client and professional references. Ask questions and use those listening skills. Even if they give a rave review, you’ll often be able to “read between the lines” if there were any issues or problems.

Ask around and search the internet for reviews. Check the Better Business Bureau for any outstanding complaints against the business. Weigh all of this information into your choices.

Here are 7 Must Ask Questions to ask ALL your potential wedding professionals before booking:

1. How many weddings do you do per year? How much experience do you have?

This is an extremely important question. Ideally, your wedding professional should have ample experience specifically with weddings. Not only will they be more skilled in their craft, this also makes them a valuable source of information and ensures that your wedding day goes smoothly.

2. How much do you cost?

Price is often relative, especially when you factor in experience, reputation and expert skill. Generally, the most talented professionals have a higher price tag because they are worth it.

3. How much is the retainer?

4. What specifically is included in that cost?
Because packages often vary, it’s likely that you won’t be able to compare one vendor exactly to the next without doing a little figuring. The lowest cost isn’t necessarily the best deal; some higher quotes include services that you have to pay extra for in other packages. Make sure you take this into account.

5. What happens if I cancel? What happens if you cancel?

Find out if your deposit is refundable under any conditions. Does the wedding professional have a back up plan if something happens to them?

6. Do you use a contract?

If the answer is No, RUN! A contract is designed to protect both you and the wedding professional. Don’t settle for a verbal agreement that won’t hold up in court.

7. Are there any additional fees?

Taxes, service charges and travel fees can add up quickly. Make sure you understand exactly what is included and if there are any other fees you’ll have to pay. This should be clearly defined in your contract.

If chosen wisely, with the right wedding vendors you get expert help and advice…for free!


Article By Stephanie Padovani-Book More Brides

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Cupcakes!

You know that cupcake wedding cakes are very hot these days. They are a whimsical touch that still reflects the beauty and elegance of a wedding. The cupcakes can be arranged in a cascading tower or as tiers with the help of cake stands.

They are a great alternative for a wedding cake because they normally cost a bit less and you can skip the cake cutting fee all together.

Also, you will be able to provide more flavors to your guests as cupcakes can come in a variety of flavors, and you are not held down by the number of tiers you have. By having wedding cupcakes in different flavors, your guests are sure to find a flavor that they will like.

So what's your favorite flavor? Mine is probably chocolate but I also LOVE carrot cake with cream cheese icing. YUM !!!

Enjoy these delicious looking cupcake wedding cake photos for your own inspiration.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Happy Anniversary Crystal and CJ !!


One year ago today a lovely couple Crystal and CJ got married !! Hard to believe a year has passed. Crystal is probably the only bride that booked me 2 years in advance for day-of coordination so that was a huge compliment to me. Thanks! They were a referral from another wonderful couple, Nicole and Bradlee. Nicole is CJ's sister and I love the referrals I receive as I get to be part of these families.

Check out their elegant Harley Davidson Themed Wedding below by clicking on the link. They had a great party at St. Mary's Cultural Center in Livonia, MI. Steve of Rawlinson Photography was there capturing all the great moments. Here are a couple professional shots he took from their big day!

Harley Davidson Themed Wedding

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

What kind of wedding ceremony are you having?

There are many symbolic ceremonies that you and your fiancee' can include in your big day to show the new togetherness and joining of families. The Unity Candle ceremony, the sand ceremony, the wine ceremony, and the rose ceremony. Here is a breakdown of each ceremony and what takes place during them.

The Unity Candle Ceremony: This ceremony represents the joining of two families. Both the bride and groom's mothers come forward to light a single candle. Later in the ceremony the bride and groom use these candles, and together, light a single candle representing the two becoming one.

The Sand Ceremony: In the sand ceremony, the bride and groom simultaneously fill one vessel with the sand from two separate vessels. The separate sands once poured into the unity vase can never be put back into their separate vases. They are forever entwined just as the lives and loves of the bride and groom.

The Wine Ceremony: The wine ceremony involves both the bride and groom mixing two different wines and then drinking from the glass. One wine is sweet, to symbolize happiness, joy, hope, peace, and love. The other, a more bitter wine is symbolic of life’s trials and tribulations. Together the sweet and the bitter represent the fullness of life’s experiences.

The Rose Ceremony: In this ceremony, the bride and groom exchange two red roses, symbolizing the giving and receiving of their love for each other throughout their entire married life. Another variation of this ceremony is both the bride and the groom present their new mother-in-law with a rose. This represents the opening of a new relationship.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Paying for a wedding

Check out this segment if you are getting married or have to help your son or daughter pay for their wedding.

Courtesy of wxyz.com


Paying for a wedding

Weddings: Who pays for what?

Once upon a time, the brides parents were expected to foot the bill of their daughters wedding. however, times have changed. Most couples are left paying for all, or most of their dream day. So lets take a closer look at what traditional wedding etiquette says in regards to who pays for what in case you find yourself coming up short.

The bride and her family usually pay for:

Bride's Dress and Accessories

Invitations, reception cards and announcements

fee for the ceremony site

Flowers for the ceremony and reception

Bridesmaids bouquets

Music for the ceremony and receptions

Grooms wedding ring and gift

Photography and videography

Bridesmaids gifts

Limo

Reception costs (food, liquor, venue, decor)

The groom and his family usually pays for:

Brides wedding rings and gift

Brides bouquet

Marriage license

Officiant fee

Groomsman's Boutonnieres

Ushers and groomsmen gifts

Rehearsal dinner

Honeymoon

The bridesmaids usually pay for:

Their dresses and accessories

A shower gifts

Bridal shower

Bachelorette party

Their travel expenses

A gift for the couple

The groomsmen usually pay for:

Their tuxedos or suits

a Bachelor party

Their travel expenses

A gift for the couple

Friday, August 6, 2010

Bavarian Inn Frankenmuth ~ Rhonda + Jason 7/31/10

I have known Rhonda for a couple of years as she has been a bridesmaid for a few of my former clients. I was thrilled when I got the call from her in October 2009 to tell me she was getting married!

Rhonda and Jason ended up choosing the Bavarian Inn in Frankenmuth for their event. Although, we started off with a rough morning because of rain in the forecast the couple ended up having a fantastic celebration with their friends and family. We were not able to have the ceremony outside as planned due to their strict weather policy but You're The Bride and the Bavarian Inn staff did our best to put together a ceremony inside on the dance floor. Rhonda took so much time with the details for her wedding and made these lovely floral balls that I hung from the chairs. She also made some potted decorations that we used to flank the podium where the couple's friend and officiant Chad presided from. The Four Seasons String Quartet  played beautiful music at the ceremony and cocktail hour. After the ceremony the couple had a 55 Chevy waiting for them to take a quick ride and get some pictures.

We wanted to ensure a different look for her reception so during after the ceremony we cleared the room and guests enjoyed a cocktail hour just outside of the room. We closed the drapes and turned on the purple fiber optic lighting in her room, moved tables and chairs back into position, lit the candles and the feel of the room dramatically changed! The couple collected pictures of their departed loved ones so I set up a Memorial Table for the guests to look at during the cocktail hour.

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Instead of using traditional place cards the couple decided to name each table after baseball parks. They constructed a seating chart made out of wine corks, unfortunately I did not get a picture of this but it was really cool!
Rhonda  came up with the design of her centerpieces and she and her bridesmaids made them. They were pretty cool as the tall vases had plums stacked in the bottom with water and branches. The short ones were in a lily bowl with twigs wrapped around the inside and then we placed a cymbidium orchid to float in the middle. Each arrangement was also surrounded by candlelight.  Frankenmuth Florist provided the orchids and all personal flowers. Special Occasions from Grand Blanc brought in beautiful pin tuck linens and provided chair covers and napkins. Jackie from Image Artz was there to take all of the pictures. Rhonda and Jason surprised their guests with a photo booth from Shutterbooth which is always a big hit. 

Rhonda's bridesmaid Natalie made the wedding cake. I loved the design and it tasted even better. Natalie works at a bakery near my house so I am excited for her to finish school and get me some business cards as I would love to send her some business so she can get started doing what she loves.

The guests enjoyed a Mix and Mingle buffet instead of a traditional buffet. Of course we had the traditional Frankenmuth chicken, stuffing, mashed potatoes and several other choices. They also offered a late night snack of hot soft pretzels with mustard and a cheese sauce. The food and staff at the Bavarian Inn were amazing to work with so I was very pleased as a wedding planner.

One of my favorite parts of the evening is when Rhonda did a "Granny Dance" in honor of her late Grandmother who she loved so much named Charlotte. Her brother Chris played a slide show of their Grandma while Rhonda danced with all the special men in her life including her Grandpa, Brother, Uncle, God Father, Step Dad an her new husband Jason. The DJ Chrissy from Bailey DJ played "I hope you dance" so it was quite the tear jerker but such a lovely sentiment. Another favorite moment was when they did their first dance. They learned a dance and I felt like I was watching an episode of "Dancing with the Stars". They did a great job!

It was a great wedding and I was so happy to be a part of it! Now the new Mr. and Mrs. are enjoying time in the Bahamas.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Mazel Tov !

Remember although we are a wedding planning company we also service clients who need Bar and Bat Mitzvah invitations for their special event. We offer invitations for all occasions as well.

We offer a 35% discount off at the checkout!!




Tuesday, August 3, 2010

What kind of train are you choosing for your dress?

How do you determine if a gown is "too formal" for your wedding vision? Well the answer normally comes with the length of the gowns train and veil. Long, cathedral length trains are best suited for a very formal evening wedding, while a short sweep train is appropriate for a daytime or less formal evening wedding. Here are the six basic types of train lengths.

 
The Royal: A dramatic and extravagant train that can fall anywhere up to twelve feet long.


The Cathedral: A very formal length, falling anywhere between six to eight feet long.

The Chapel: One of the most popular choices in train length, falling between three and four feel long.


The Court: Slightly less formal than the chapel length, falling between one or two fool long.

The Sweep: The least formal length, falling about six inches long.

The Watteau: A train that falls from the shoulder blades or back to the floor.