Winter Wedding NYLO Hotel Las Colinas

Irene and Calvin met when Irene was on an overseas assignment to work with a global team based in Bentonville, Arkansas.  Calvin happened to be on his annual leave for work and stayed with his parents in Bentonville as well.  One night when Irene was on her way to a friend’s party, she got lost and Calvin was sent out to help her find her way.

Three years later, on Valentines Day in 2012, Calvin proposed to Irene at sunset in Austin, Texas.  He gave her a cute coin purse as a Valentine’s Day gift to her, and inside was the ring!  Of course, she said yes.

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The sweet couple’s winter wedding took place at the modern boutique NYLO Hotel Las Colinas on November 2, 2013.  The look and feel of this hotel is perfect for any couple who are looking for a modern yet sophisticated venue on their special day.

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A beautiful, traditional tea ceremony with their immediate families, kicked off the big day.  The wedding ceremony was set up outside of the NYLO Hotel Las Colinas on their pool deck which was later transformed into a cocktail and dance floor area.

At the entrance of the ceremony, Irene and Calvin had a cute custom wedding canvas for guests’ to stamp their thumb print and sign, acting as a guestbook!

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I love this shot of the sweet couple.  Such a happy and exciting moment!

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After the ceremony, guests’ were treated to a fun cocktail hour before the reception began while the bridal party took some photos.  The guests were refreshed with fresh lemon water, wine, and champagne. They were also presented with an assortment of yummy hors d’oeuvres, which consisted of fire shrimp rolls, vegetable spring rolls, and crab cakes!

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When it was time for the reception to begin, guests’ were surprised by a video the couple and wedding party put together with their rendition of Gangnam Style by PSY.  It really got the crowd laughing & having a great time.  This bunch was so fun!  I mean look at these guys!

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Irene and Calvin’s winter wedding consisted of a soft clean pink, blue and white palette mixed in with fun elements that represented the couple perfectly.  The gorgeous floral along with the captivating lighting done by Magic Moments Parties & Events really tied everything together so beautifully.

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The ever-talented Delicious Cakes did an amazing job making the cupcakes.  That incredible cake topper you see?  Calvin’s cousin, Steve Lee, actually created it for their special day!  Having cupcakes as an alternative to a full cake makes the distribution of the wedding cake for guests, effortless; not to mention, look how gorgeous those cupcake liners are with the pretty cupcake designs!

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The couple, along with their friends and family, stayed warm by dancing the night away with music played by AVSD.  Everyone also had a blast in the photo booth provided by Imagine Film Co.  Imagine Film Co. also did an incredible job as they captured every moment through both video and still shots.

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Finally when it came time for the newlyweds to leave, they were sent off with a trail of sparklers held by all of their loved ones. What better way to end such a magical night!

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“I have to say every moment of the day was my favorite. From the preparation, to the ring exchange, to the departure, they are all unforgettable,” Irene said as she talked about her favorite moment of their wedding day.

 

The Ideal Wedding Stationery Timeline

With this sweet but stressful time in your life, it’s always good to have a little guidance. Now that almost half of U.S. engagements span 13-18 months1, it may seem like you have all the time in the world to get the ball rolling. But do you really? Here’s a look at the estimated timeline for all things wedding stationery, in the order that you’ll need them in.

item one | SAVE THE DATE CARDS

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—–> when to send? 4-8 months before your wedding

—–> when to order?  2 months before you plan to send them out

As a stationery expert, here is my general guide for the minimum time you should allow for sending out save the date cards:

  • Guests out of the country: seven or eight months in advanced. Shipping can take a while, and they’ll need longer to plan/save up, so the more time you can give them, the better
  • Out of state guests, or guests that will have significant traveling: six months in advanced. While the mail will only take a few days, more notice is needed for your guests who will have to take off of work.
  • In town guests: four or five months in advanced. If all they have to do is block off their weekend, then it’s ok to only give them this much notice

The bottom line: You can send them out all together, or by the guidelines above. If you give them too much time (over 9 months) then they might forget, so feel out your crowd, and plan accordingly. As far as ordering goes, some companies will take up to 6 weeks from initial order to when they’re at your door, and then you will have to plan on taking time to address, stuff, and ship these. To be on the safe side, order them at least 2 months before you’ll need them.

 

item two | INVITATIONS

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—–> when to send: 8-10 weeks before your wedding

—–> when to order: 3 months before you plan to send them out

Personally, I think it is ideal for your guests to have the invitations in their hands eight weeks before the wedding. This would mean that you’d need to send them about nine weeks out. This way, they have time to plan the details, such as hotels and flights, as well as (most importantly!) giving them plenty of time to RSVP.

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This brings us to the questions: When should the RSVPs be due? Most catering companies need the final numbers 7-14 days out2 (this is being conservative, ask your caterer for specifics), so if you have your RSVPs due five weeks out, they will be to you four weeks before the wedding, which gives you two weeks to hunt down all the non-RSVPers, and finally send your final numbers to the caterer two weeks before the big day.

Ordering your invitations: This is normally a bit of a longer process than save the dates, so I’d say to be on the safe side, give yourself 2-3 months, and you’ll want another two weeks to address and send them.

 

items three and four | programs and menu cards

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——> when you’ll need them: the day of your wedding!

——> when to order them: 6-8 weeks before your wedding

Order these as soon as you have the menu and ceremony details finalized. To be on the safe side, order for 80% of your guest list, to account for the people who RSVP that they can’t come. For programs, you can dip as low as 70-65%, because many people won’t grab them (I’m not sure why, but it always happens this way!) Also, you can just order one or two menu cards per table and display them, as this bride did with our ‘Eat, Drink, and Be Married’ menus in the picture below:

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item five| place cards

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—–> when to order: place card turnaround times vary so much between vendors, because we know that it’s a time crunch between when you have your seating chart finalized and your wedding day. I have clients pre-order so I don’t get booked up, and then I have a 3-4 business day turnaround time from when they send me their list.

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Some quick info about escort cards and place cards:

  • Escort cards are the cards you put on one big table outside of your reception that tells people where they will be sitting
  • Place cards go at the actual table to tell your guests which seat they’re assigned to
  • If you have place cards, you much also have escort cards, so guests have a way of finding their seats
  • However, If you have escort cards, you don’t have to have place cards, if you’re just assigning tables, and not specific seats
  • Arrange escort cards in alphabetical order, not by table number! This is so that your guests can find their names easier!

 

I hope this cleared up all of your wedding stationery timeline questions! My name is Tori, and I am the owner of Wed Designer, a wedding stationery online shop. You can find it at www.etsy.com/weddesigner, and always feel free to email me with questions or inquiries at wed.designer@yahoo.com.

References:

1 – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/04/average-engagement-length_n_2411353.html

2 – http://www.weddingwire.com/wedding-advice/rsvp-time/53c73b5bab58eb4f.html

Dallas Fall Wedding at CityPlace

Jannie and John’s beautiful fall wedding day started with a traditional tea ceremony.

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After the tea ceremony came to a close, it was time to get ready for the ceremony! Jannie gave all of her bridesmaids personalized button downs to wear while they got ready. What a great combination of cute and practical.

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Of course, you can’t start getting ready for your wedding without first bringing out the bubbly!

After Jannie and her maids were all ready to go, complete with makeup from TC Makeup, she walked down the aisle at the beautiful CityPlace venue in Dallas. Their ceremony was officiated by none other than Marty Younkin from Love Notes.

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The reception, which also took place at City Place, was absolutely stunning. Just look at that ceiling!

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Jannie and John chose a navy and burnt orange color scheme, which are both of their university’s colors. All of the beautiful flowers and arrangements were provided by Haute Floral.

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It seems like they really enjoyed what they saw when they got to see their reception space for the first time! Looking back at her reception, Jannie noted that, “At one point in the night, while we were sitting at our sweetheart table we looked out at all of our guests and saw that everyone was talking to one another, smiling, laughing, having a good time, enjoying the food and music, décor.  That is all we ever really asked for – for everyone to have fun.” And fun they had!

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The Cake Guys created beautiful cakes for both Jannie and John.

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While Jannie chose a traditional white cake that fit in perfectly with her theme, John’s came was created based on his alma mater, the University of Texas at Austin. Hook ‘em horns!

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After the cake was cut, it didn’t take long for the party to get started! Music from LeForce Entertainment quickly got all of the guests on the dance floor.

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The beautiful pictures are courtesy of Amy Karp Photography. Isn’t she talented? While Jannie and John chose to opt out of having a videographer record their special day, Jannie later expressed that “we probably would have reconsidered hiring a videographer”

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Now that their wedding day is over and they’ve settled into married life, Jannie and John say it’s good to relax without worrying about wedding planning, and it’s so great to finally be married!

 

Traditional Summer Wedding at The Adolphus Hotel

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Raquel & Christopher’s traditional summer wedding, which took place in June 2013 on their one year wedding anniversary, was a perfect combination of tradition, elegance, and romance. Their wedding was beautifully photographed by The Mamones.

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Their ‘I do’s’ took place at Perkins Chapel at SMU, a personal favorite of ours at The Creative Touch Events.

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Their reception was a short distance away at The Adolphus Hotel in downtown Dallas, and it was breathtaking to say the least.

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The gorgeous hydrangea centerpieces from The Garden Gate were reminiscent of puffy white clouds on this beautiful summer day, towering high above the tables.

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Guests dined to delicious food catered from The Adolphus Hotel, and for dessert, a beautiful cake from Fancy Cakes by Lauren. It was almost too pretty to cut! But after guests had their first bite, they were sure glad they did.

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It was very evident how in love Raquel and Christopher are, and how much they enjoyed their special day. When asked about her number one piece of advice for other brides is, she said “I would [hire] a wedding coordinator – even if it’s just for the wedding day. We just recently went to a wedding where the bride did all of the work and just seeing how stressed she was on her wedding day really made me sad for her.”

So, with the stress of wedding planning off of their shoulders, Raquel and Christopher were free to dance to the music from It’s Your Night Entertainment with all of their guests.

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“The Newlywed Game” added some fun and good laughs for Raquel, Christopher and all of their guests. The DJ would ask them a series of questions like “Whose the best cook?” or “Who is more messy?” and they sat back to back and either raised a bow tie or a bouquet. It was funny to see the answers they chose when they knew the other person couldn’t see!

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The night came to a close with their last dance, surrounded by their closest friends and family members. What a magnificent way to end a night they’ll never forget!

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:: our wonderful vendor team ::

Ceremony entertainment: Stradivarious String Quartet

Linens: M&M Events Company

Officiant: Marty Younkin with Love Notes

Transportation: Premiere Transportation

Videographer: Tall Productions

 

Summer Wedding at Omni Park West

We had the opportunity to work with Brea & Crystal for their modern red and white summer wedding this June at the Omni Park West in Dallas.  After dating for five years, Brea and Crystal were so excited to tie the knot, and Crystal says that she feels “truly blessed to be marrying my best friend and the woman of my dreams.”

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 The ceremony was very personal with a beautiful white and red backdrop, and included a sand ceremony with their daughter Kaila. The three of them exchanged vows, and Kaila was presented with a special token from Brea and Crystal during the ceremony.

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The Texas sunshine provided us with some beautiful summer weather, and the beauty of their wedding was further enhanced by their flowers from Magic Moments.

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As well as being absolutely scrumptious, the cake from Delicious Cakes provided an elegant backdrop for the event.

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Although all of the aesthetic touches were lovely, Brea and Crystal told us about what truly made their day so special for them:

“What made our wedding day special was seeing our friends and family there genuinely happy and ready to celebrate us as we embark on a new journey.”

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Guests danced the night away to music from Entertainment Solutions, LLC, starting with Brea & Crystal’s beautiful first dance together as a married couple. Of course, their first dance included their daughter Kaila.

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While it might seem that planning a wedding can be stressful, Crystal’s piece of advice to other brides is “I would definitely not stress as much over some things.  Besides that, there is nothing else that I would change about my wedding day…it was perfect!”

Tracy Nanthavongsa snapped these gorgeous photos we are sharing with you.  All in all, it was an amazing day.  Congratulations Brea & Crystal!

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:: our fabulous vendor team ::

Cocktail Reception Music: Encore Entertainment

Videographer: One Track Films

Photo Booth: Plush Photo Pod

 

 

Dallas Graduation Party

With their daughter leaving soon to go to college at the University of Chicago, Sneha’s parents knew they had to give her a graduation party she’d never forget.

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The celebration took place at her family’s beautiful home in Highland Village, overlooking Lake Lewisville. Talk about a beautiful sunset!

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With traditional Indian food from Our Place alongside delicious American cuisine from Tastefully Yours (sliders and bruschetta, anyone?), to a cake from Delicious Cakes shaped like books, and a bubble tea bar from Fruitealicious, all of the food was one of the many things at this event that set it apart from your ordinary graduation party. For dessert, Dippin Dots was also brought in to compliment the delicious cake. This party was the absolute place to be for any foodie who loves fun food.

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Guests enjoyed their dinner to music from DJ Brad with ES Events, as the sun was setting over Lake Lewisville.

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After dinner, the party got started under the stars with sparklers and glow sticks of every kind, even sunglasses made out of glow sticks!

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While photo booths are still pretty popular right now, they decided to take things up a notch and have a photo lounge instead, complete with comfy chairs and tons of accessories. All of Sneha’s classmates, family, and friends enjoyed dressing up and having their pictures taken throughout the night at the photo lounge by Harry Photo.

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This party was one to remember, and the blending of cultures also added a very unique spin. Although Sneha is traveling all the way to Chicago for college, it’s clear to see that she will never forget her roots – or this wonderful night! We had so much fun planning it alongside Sneha and her parents. We wish you all the best of luck in college, Sneha. Study hard!

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:: our vendor team ::

Photographer: Autumn Light

Lighting: ES Events

Linens: M&M Event Rental

Ice: Emergency Ice

Real Fall Wedding at the Fort Worth Water Gardens

After meeting in 9th grade in Plano, Texas, Britney and Kris couldn’t wait to tie the knot at their fall 2013 wedding at the Fort Worth Water Gardens. They chose their fall date because it was between their two birthdays, October 1st and October 11th, and it incorporated Britney’s favorite colors: orange, brown, and shades of red.

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When asked about their decision to do a ‘first look’, this is what Britney had to say:

“Our first look before the wedding was so incredibly special to me. I was so nervous walking down to see him, almost in tears. So much raw emotion and love! I felt like that moment all the planning and organizing I had done for the wedding was suddenly worth it, every last bit of it. It was the perfect moment.”

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With the threat of a thunderstorm brewing, Britney and Kris didn’t even consider moving their beautiful wedding inside.  Somehow, they just knew everything would work out.

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The moment the ceremony finished and the guests were inside, it started pouring down rain! They say rain is good luck on your wedding day, which seems to be especially true for Britney and Kris.

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After a close call with mother nature, the celebration was taken across the street to the Sheraton Hotel in Fort Worth. All of the details that Britney worked on really came together for the reception. From small details like the signs and the favors, to the intricate centerpieces, Britney and Kris’s reception was true to their style and no detail went unnoticed.

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Even the cake from Crème de la Crème  tied in with their elegant fall theme!

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With a grand exit in an antique car to drive them away, their wedding day drew to a close. What a fabulous day! We are so lucky to have been a part of the planning and the celebration.

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It seems as if married life is treating Britney and Kris quite well. She explains, “I don’t really feel that much has changed in our everyday life since we got married, but now it’s that feeling like “It’s just me and you, partners for life and in it together. It’s a great feeling!”

 

:: the fabulous vendor team ::

photographer: Absolute Photography

lighting: ES Events

DJ: Sean Lee

bridal gown designer: Alfred Angelo

Real Jewish Wedding The Modern Fort Worth

Houston based couple, Dara and Scott, wanted their fall Jewish wedding to be a perfect reflection of themselves….fun, exciting, and modern with some traditional touches.

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After a beautiful Jewish ceremony at Bethel-El Congregation, the excited guests moved to the Modern Art Museum where the Lobby was transformed into warm, fresh allure with modern grays, whites, berries and purples byleFleur Couture Floral Design and Absolute Lighting.  After they did a traditional bread and wine blessing, dinner was served and guests senses were filled with delicious food, wonderful company and the delightful sounds of the Professor D Band playing dinner music.  Friends and family were buzzing with the excitement as they were ushered into the Café where the full Professor D Band was eagerly awaiting their arrival beginning immediately with the parent dances and the hora (which just about everyone participated in).  It was a night full of dancing, a sweet treat dessert and coffee bar, scrumptious cake by Creme de la Creme, photo-booth fun by Cowboy Photobooth, laughter and pure enjoyment.  When the night came to an end, the band escorted guests and the couple outside where they were greeted with a kosher hot dog stand.  Just a little snack to replenish themselves from all the dancing they did.

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Dara and Scott certainly had a night to remember.  What an incredible way to start the first day of their new life as husband and wife.  We were so thrilled to be apart of their special day and wish them all the happiness in the world.  Mazel tov, Dara, Scott and family!

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Their wedding weekend captured on video by Elixir Entertainment ::

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:: Rest of the Fabulous Vendor Team ::

Photographer :: Tim Hord Photography

String Quartet :: Serenata Strings  

Linens :: BBJ

Dance Floor :: Taylor’s Rental

Transportation :: Silver West Limousines

Event Planning Tips for 2014

As I reflect back on 2013, I can’t help but think ‘What a year it has been’.  I smile and recall on my many blessings… my crazy, amazing family and friends, my incredible husband, my deepening relationship with God, becoming pregnant after years of trying, my wonderful housekeeper (yes, I am SO grateful she came into our lives this year), all of my awesome clients, and the lessons I’ve learned that have helped me become the woman, wife, friend, planner I am today.   Some of these lessons I’ve learned over the years, but they have continued to present themselves as sort of a reminder to either keep doing what I’m doing or make a change and move on.

With my job, I have the privilege to impart many lessons on those around me to help make their lives easier.  Especially when it comes to the planning and execution of their very special occasion.  Here are a few lessons I hope that you will take with you into 2014.  Whether you’re a bride/groom-to-be, a parent, a member of the wedding party, a family member or friend…this is for you.

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  • Hire the RIGHT vendors for your event.  Bringing in the right professionals will make your life and party so much better than you can even imagine.  Do your research and don’t just hire the first person you come across as you might regret it later.
  • Don’t wait until the last minute to solidify plans or make your DIY projects.  Planning and projects take time to do correctly.  Understand that each vendor has their own communication format and turnaround time to get things on their end accomplished.
  • Trust that everything will work out how it is supposed to…especially if you have been doing your due diligence and you have the right vendor team in place.
  • Be flexible when you can.  The more you try to control every little aspect, the more stress and upset you will give yourself and the less you will actually enjoy your event.
  • Plan, plan, plan, but be open to things changing that are out of your control at the last minute.  It will probably end up better than you planned.
  • Know your role within the event….this has two parts to it.
    1. If you’re the host of an event or a couple to be married…this is YOUR soiree. If there are certain aspects to your event that are really important to you, but are giving you concern because family or friends have constantly expressed their dislike in your choice…guess what?   This is YOUR day and you should be able to have what you want.  Now, you may need to make a few tweaks and adjustments to make it comfortable for your guests.  My philosophy is “Where there’s a will, there’s a way” and you should have your way on your day.
    2. If you’re the parent, friend or family member who is disagreeing with certain elements of the hosts/couple’s decisions.  Sorry, but this is NOT your soiree. Your intentions may be only to help and it’s okay to make suggestions.  By all means, if you see something that’s not right, say something.  But then, back off.  Don’t take it personal if they don’t listen.  This is THEIR day and they deserve to have the love and support of their family and friends.  Not the stress of constant nagging, bullying, or “I told you so’s”.  It’s ok not to agree with their every move.  Just put it in perspective…in the grand scheme of things, is it really that important?  Chances are, it’s not.  They are the ones that have to live with their decisions.  You don’t want to be the one thing they feel regret, sadness or even anger toward when they look back on their day.  They need your support during this time more than anything else.  Be proactive and help come up with creative solutions in order to give them what they want.  Or respect their decision if they do not want any help.

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No one event or one client is the same as the next.  That’s one of the many things I love about what I do.  To help them achieve their dream wedding or event and ensure that the above tips are followed is so special.

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Hopefully, these are lessons you will carry with you when planning or helping to plan your next event.  Don’t be shy to share them with those around you for a much more seamless planning experience.  Have any more tips for successful planing, please feel free to leave a comment and share them!

Wishing you all the love, support, success and joy for 2014!

:: Photo Credits ::     Top Left :: Alex Ham Photography     Top Right :: Amy Karp Photography    Middle Left :: Sam Smead Photography                      Middle Right :: Wisner Photo     Bottom Left :: Autumn Light Photography     Bottom Left :: Nicholas Leitzinger Photography

Holiday Wedding Favors Ideas and Tips

The holidays are a great time for showing appreciation for all those who love you.  What easier way to do just that than at your wedding with thoughtful holiday wedding favors?!

As a planner, I am often asked what favors couples should give away at their wedding.  But the answer isn’t so simple.  Many factors need to be taken into consideration before just picking something and slapping your name on it.   You want your wedding favor to reflect your style, theme, and interests as well as be something a large group of people will enjoy.

At this time of year, there are so many fun things you can give your guests that’ll just put them right in the spirit.

Here are some other tips to think about when trying to find the perfect wedding favor for your special event.

1. Homemade favors are always a hit.  People love to taste the treats or keep the trinkets that you love to make.

2. Items that are easily used or consumed go over well.

3. Avoid keepsake items that only have your name and wedding date on them.  Unless, they are your immediate family, they likely won’t want to display things in their house that have your name on them.  If you want to put your name and date on them so they’ll always remember where it came from, put it on the back with a cute quote or saying in the front.

4. Unless you’re placing favors at each person’s table setting, you don’t need to buy or make favors for 100% of your guests.  Most guests will take 1 per couple.  *The item that breaks the rule of thumb on this is alcoholic favors.  You’ll definitely need 100% of your guest count for this type of favor as some guests will take more than their share.

5. If keeping guests honest with how many wedding favors they walk out the door with is a concern or you just want to make sure they take one, have staff members personally hand them out as guests leave.  It adds a personal touch of elegance and ensures everyone gets something special as they depart your event.

6. Displaying your wedding favors in a fun way will make them more enticing for the taking.

There are endless ideas and websites to look at for fun holiday favor ideasEtsy has so many vendors who can make exactly what you’re looking for to save you time and stress.  Here are several holiday wedding favor ideas that’ll hopefully inspire you and take your imagination to the next level.

Lollipops from Sweet Caroline Confections.  Create a box decorated with a mix of ornament balls and garland that compliment your wedding colors and pop in cute holiday sign to display these tasty favors.

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Hand painted wine glasses from The Toast Hostess set at each table setting with wine charms from Charlie Chalk Designs to create unique place cards keepsakes.  Guests will surely use their special glass all night no matter what they’re drinking.

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Snowflake ornaments from Mademoiselle Adriana Design or hand painted stone ornaments from My Little Chick (can be made as coasters too). Hang these onto a snow kissed christmas tree adorned with glimmery ribbon and lights for a beautiful ‘wow factor’ as guests enter & leave your event.

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Warm them up with hot chocolate mixes from Fete Sette

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Keep the holidays growing in their hearts (and their yard) all year long with baby pine trees from Nature Favors or succulents from The Tattered Cottage

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Heart shaped soaps from Julie’s Sugar Soaps or Esscents Soaps.  Who wouldn’t want to put these in their guest bath for everyone to enjoy?!

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Let them eat cake with a cupcake mix favor from Vintage Bake Shop or make your own special cake (pictured homemade pumpkin spice cake: photo by Absolute Photography)

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Keep the flame burning with soy candles by Candles by Nature.  Display with greenery, spiced pine cones and cranberries for pop of color and visual interest.

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The ideas are never ending and guests will be thankful that you thought of them.  Tell us what favors do you absolutely love getting or what you gave away at your wedding!