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January 3, 2014#

Sheila & Raynor: Morris Arboretum Wedding

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Sheila and Raynor are one of the sweetest couples we have ever worked with!  Thy were married on a beautiful May day at the Morris Arboretum in Pennsylvania.  Their wedding was filled with many memorable moments with their family and friends.  The Arboretum is such a fun place for a wedding, the cocktail hour even takes place in a giant treehouse…you can’t get anymore fun than that!!  Amie Schroeder Photography did an amazing job capturing the whole day, they are masters at taking the perfect wedding portrait!  We were also grateful to have had the opportunity to work with Love’n Fresh Flowers.  They are an urban flower farm and event floral design studio in Philadelphia working exclusively with locally grown elements.  Such amazing color and creativity, how stunning is Sheila’s bouquet??   Sheila and Raynor incorporated lots of fun natural elements into their wedding such as “leaf” escort cards and “tree” table numbers. Check out some of our favorite images from their awesome wedding!

Congratulations guys! It was such an honor to be a part of your wedding:)

<3 Jenn

Vendors:

Venue: Morris Arboretum

Photograohy: Amie Schroeder Photography

Floral Design: Love’n Fresh Florals

Catering: Jashua’s Catering

Band: The Seven Band

Bridesmaid Dresses: J.Crew

Photo Booth: World’s Best Photo Booth

Hair and Makeup: Kelly Bruno

August 13, 2013#

Megan & Johnnie: Sheraton Eatontown Wedding

We knew the moment we met Megan and Johnnie they would be a lot of fun to work with!! They are both so much fun to be around and clearly love each other.  We worked with them to incorporate their love for theater throughout the wedding day…after all, that’s how they met!  Some of our favorite design elements included pink ombre and Boradway table names.

We had the opportunity to work with an amazing team of vendors.  As always, we had lots of fun working with Mary and Roy Creative Studio  who captured the couple beautifully!  The staff at the Sheraton Eatontown were a pleasure to work with.  Cris from Inclusive Ceremonies wrote a heartfelt and personal ceremony (we even overheard guests saying how special they thought the ceremony was!).  And of course, we loved the centerpieces and bouquet created by Peter James Floral…and how cute is the ombre cake!  Here are some of our favorite images from Megan and Johnnie’s wedding!

Megan and Johnnie, thank you so much for being such a wonderful couple to work with and for trusting us to help you create you vision!!  We wish you a lifetime of happiness:)

-Laura and Jenn

Vendors:

Venue: Sheraton Eatontown

Photography: Mary and Roy Creative Studio

Celebrant: Inclusive Ceremonies

Floral: Peter James Floral

Entertainment and Lighting: Elegant Engagements

July 9, 2013#

DIY Wedding with a Nautical Twist

 

One of our recent brides Krista incorporated lots of fun DIY elements into her Nautical themed wedding.  She was nice enough to write up some tips on creating the perfect DIY wedding!  Here is what she had to say…

Who doesn’t love a good DIY project?  I have unashamedly spent hours scouring Pinterest, exploring the hidden gems of twine, rope knots, and mason jar projects for my nautical-themed wedding. While Pinterest tried to convince me that I could redo my home bathroom or build a lantern from scratch, I had to buckle down and really visualize the simple but treasured DIY projects that would give my wedding a personal touch.  Here are some of my projects and tips for the ultimate DIY nautical wedding.

Small project success.  

After counting, I realized that I worked on about 20 projects for the wedding.  While these sound like a lot, most of these projects were extremely manageable and budget friendly, but they still added a personal touch to our wedding.

We purchased chipboard letters at Hobby Lobby, spray painted them white, and my husband (wood master that he is) created stands for the letters using old wood pieces.

I found these adorable paper straws that come 300 in a pack at Bed, Bath, & Beyond for only $5. To add to the nautical theme, I ordered navy paper flags from Etsy that come out to $1.25 for 25 flags.  With some glue dots, this was an easy DIY project. You could make your own flags too if you’re in the mood for more projects.

 

Streamline your paper projects.  

I spent weeks perusing Etsy for the graphic designer of my dreams, Bejoyfulpaper.  Customizing your wedding is strategic, not something to be thought of right before creating the ceremony programs.  I worked with Kate on creating a logo for my wedding, used on the save the dates, table numbers, water bottle labels, and more.

She helped me create an experience for my guests from start to finish through all of our paper projects. I was even able to create on my own by utilizing the same fonts, colors, and logos that she created.

Innovate your invites.

If you’re going the DIY route, I cannot encourage enough how important it is to give your invites special attention!  My invitation card was great, but I also requested a custom RSVP card and direction card, so that everything flowed together.

To top it off, I purchased navy colored envelopes and a coral paper sash from Paper Source and hand wrote the addresses for a real personal touch.  Friends and family loved having such a custom invitation delivered to their door.

Create a signature project. 

One project should take the cake (wedding humor!) for the most detail, time, and most prominent display at your wedding.  For me, it was my “message in a bottle” escort cards to complete the nautical theme.

I found a great and easy escort card DIY tutorial and set out on a quest to find the bottles. After multiple (and I mean multiple) trips over several seasons, I actually found them on clearance and traveled to a few local stores with the reduced price of $7.  You never know when you can find a good deal – and you always have to keep looking.  Inside the paper, I wrote a special “fun fact” about my groom and I.

Through over 20 DIY projects, there were only two casualties.  One was my bank account, though I did manage to stay on budget with all of these projects, with a little help from my mom!  The other was a knee injury I sustained on yet another trip to Michaels, tripping while reading my shopping list.  My best advice for the DIY brides out there?  Have fun, and wear knee pads.

-Krista

Photo Credit: Sarah Postma Photography

June 27, 2013#

Great Gatsby Inspiration: Berkeley Asbury Park

A few months ago on a chilly November day we had the opportunity to work with some amazing vendors on a styled shoot we coordinated.  The theme of course was The Great Gatsby in anticipation of the movie coming out in May.  We were really exicted when Style Me Pretty’s Little Black Book decided to feature some of the images on the Friday the Movie was released!  Here  are some of our favorite images and details from the day!

 

Thank you again to all the amazing vendors and our models (Emily and Billy)!!

Venue: The Berkeley Hotel in Asbury Park

Photography: Robert and Kathleen Photographers

Floral: Peter James Floral Couture

Linen’s: Twenty Four Seven Events

Stationery: White Orchid Graphics

Candy Buffet: The Candy Chick

Cake: Chocolate Carousel!

Dress and Jewelry: Exquisite Bride

Hair and Makeup: Allisons Hair Creations

Tuxedo: ChazMaTazz

 

March 21, 2013#

Wedding Day Timeline: Top 5 Tips

Now that it’s officially spring, wedding season is picking up and we are spending lots of time fleshing out the details for all our upcoming weddings!  One of the most crucial pieces in the final stages of planning is the wedding day timeline.  As wedding planners, one of our jobs is to help our clients develop the perfect day-of timeline.  We are often asked how much time to allocate for this or that part of the day and the answer is…it really depends on so many different factors (I know, we wish it were that easy!).  These factors include; the size of your bridal party, travel time, etc.  To explain things further, we thought it would be helpful to put together our top five tips when building your wedding day timeline.  So here we go…

1. Order vs. Time:  When we are constructing a wedding day timeline for a client the order is more important than the exact time.  While it’s helpful to map out time blocks, picking an exact time will only set you up for failure.  For example: 7:25pm-First Dance, 7:28 Father/Daughter Dance is way too specific.  While the song you selected for your first dance may be 3 minutes and 30 seconds this scenario leaves no time for the MC to interact with your guests and set up a meaningful introduction for your father/daughter dance.  And chances are, some things will take longer than anticipated and others a little shorter.  Instead, identify the order that works best for you and your fiancé and trust your vendors to implement it!  Trust is key.

Photo Credit: Robert & Kathleen Photographers

2. Ask For Feedback: Once you have a good idea of the flow you and your partner envision for the day, it’s a great idea to reach out to your vendors for feedback.  Your DJ, for example, will have some great ideas about how to generate that atmosphere you are looking for.  If you want to create a party atmosphere they may suggest a dance set early on to get people moving and on the dance floor.  Or, he/she may suggest having less breaks between speeches and dances so you are able to have longer dance sets.  These are definitely things to think about.

Your hair and makeup team can also help you build an efficient schedule to make sure you bridal party are able to move as quickly as possible through this part of the day.  Helpful Hint: As the bride, put your own bridal hair and makeup in the middle of the hair/make-up schedule.  This way, if you are running behind when your photographer arrives it won’t put you behind schedule for putting your dress on! 

Photo Credit: SCVImagery

3. Photo’s, Photo’s, Photo’s: Planning out your photo schedule with your photographer (and planner if you have one) in advance will allow you to capture all the pictures you and your family want and will leave more time for you to actually enjoy your wedding day!  Again, you can block out the order for of each category (getting ready, first look, bride and groom portraits, bridal party, family portraits) and discuss how long each may take depending on your needs.  Having a list of the people in the posed/group photos is also a great idea.  You can give a copy to your photographer and one to your planner.  It makes organizing the group shots much easier if you have names in case you have to track people down (but they should know where to be from the rehearsal!).

And, how much time will all your pictures take?  The average is between 3-4 hours.  I know that must sound crazy but keep in mind that for a majority of this process your photographer is capturing you experiencing each moment.  So, they are taking pictures of you putting your dress on, your dad seeing you for the first time, having fun with your bridal party…and trust us, those moments are priceless (and usually make for the best photos)!

Photo Credit: Sarah Postma Photography

4. Arrival & Departure Times: Most likely, your vendors have already indicated approximate times for their arrival and departure.  Make sure to factor these times into you timeline.  For example, if your officiant is arriving to the ceremony location 60 minutes prior, you may want to schedule the signing of the marriage license about 15 minutes after they arrive.  This way the two witnesses you select to sign the license are prepared and no time is wasted tracking them down!

Your photography and videography package may have a set number of hours but usually offer add-on hour by hour rates if the wedding/reception go longer.  f your package is for eight hours and would like them to arrive at 1:00pm for getting ready pictures they will be departing at 9:00pm.  This would surely impact the order of events at your reception and you can work with your venue to ensure that the events like the cake cutting are all completed prior to 9:00pm.  Or, you can plan the order of events to include/exclude those things you definitely want photos of and eliminate things you don’t care as much about capturing.

Photo Credit: David and Amy Lau Photography

5. Flow:  The key to a successful event is setting the right flow for your guests (bridal party included).  Simplify your timeline by minimizing the travel time between ceremony, picture locations and the reception venue.  If your ceremony is outside in July, your guests will really appreciate you keeping the ceremony to 20-25 minutes and being able to go right into cocktail hour for a cold drink.  And while you want your night to never end, extending your reception past five hours will leave many guests exhausted (and add to your costs).  Instead of adding an extra hour, consider hosting an after party where guests can attend, if they wish.

When your wedding day comes, identify a point person that you trust so you don’t have to worry about the timeline.  The point person can ensure the flow of the entire day is seamless and everyone (including you and your fiancé) have a great time!  But, it’s important to make sure this person can be there from start to finish, not just at the reception.

Photo Credit: Trent Bailey Photography

There is no set formula for creating the perfect timeline, and we realize that family and tradition can lead to  more complexities.  But, count on your vendors to help guide you in the right direction (they’ve all done this many more times than you).  And, most importantly on the day of your wedding…take a deep breath and let everything fall into place!

<3 Jenn