Saturday, December 20, 2008

A Seamless Reception :: Feature Article

A Grand Wedding provides first hand advice & guidance on planning a wedding on a realistic budget.
I had the pleasure of providing Go2Girl Events 'two cents' on how to create a seamless + stress free Reception. It's all about timing!

Here's the article ::

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Unique Ideas + Settings for Marriage Proposals

Part 2 of Marriage Proposal Tips + Ideas
Setting the tone for a proposal is key.

You want to feel confident, comfortable, and familiar with your surroundings.

Winter Wonderland Stroll

Assuming you have snow at your disposal, go on an outdoor jaunt, make Snow Angels, throw some snowballs...and then drop to one knee.

Decorating the Tree
Be sure to participate in hanging of the ornaments, and trimming the tree. Slip the ring to her as if it's one of the ornaments, and ask her then + there. This format works best for those with little stagefright!

Dog Park
Do you frequent one with your pooches? Could you get a friend/regular to co-inspire with you? Create a large sign stating '_______, will you marry me?' and have your buddy hang it somewhere along the walk route. Now that's unexpected!

Local Pub/Restaurant
For those that love Trivia Night - get the question added to the mix.
You'll both be surprised with the timing!

Movie Night
Plan a great evening at home :: Favorite movies playing, snacks 'o' plenty.
Create your own Intermission.

Whatever your plan, put your own personal twist on it.

Make it Memorable for all the Right Reasons.

Here's to Stylish Sanity!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year ....To Get Engaged!

Part 1 :: Proposal Tips

The holiday season brings out strong feelings of nostalgia + love. It's also the natural time to reflect upon all we have, and all that we want in the New Year.

Proposals are a plenty during the last two weeks of December + New Years Day.

Here's a few tips for all the nervous people out there:

Keep it Simple

Avoid plans that are super elaborate, time consuming, or expensive. The sheer joy of being surprised, seeing the ring, and sharing that Once in a Lifetime feeling will be more than enough.

Be Comfortable + Relaxed

This isn't the time for a new restaurant, or a drive to a small town B & B.
Familiarity breeds Romance.
Memories of places already ventured have a built in feeling of happiness + security.

Be Present in the Moment

You may be surprised when the mood + words come to your lips.
Allow yourself some wiggle room, it doesn't HAVE to happen on Christmas Eve.

Stay tuned for tomorrow's installment...

Part 2 :: Unique Ideas + Settings for Marriage Proposals.

Here's to Stylish Sanity!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Happy Anniversary :: Marla & Erek

What a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend it was last year.
Marla & Erek's Wedding was on Saturday at The Cove in Normandy Park, and the day was filled with family, food & great music.
Wishing you both all the best.

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Real Way to A Guy's Heart :: PinUp Girl Photos

Have you held off booking a 'Boudoir' Photo Session - 'cause deep down you really want something edgy, unique and glamorous?

Well, look no further than Old School PinUps ....The Ultimate Place to Tap into the Dreamworld of Dress-up.

The Brilliant Mindmeld of Lance & Trixie (2007 Newlyweds), has clearly tapped into the insatiable need to capture our inner sex kitten!

Who can resist package names like:

The Hubba Bubba
The Fuzzy Boa
The Fishnet

Oh, and did we mention the Art of Burlesque lessons too?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Inspirational Frame of Mind

A Great Friend shared some wise words with me yesterday, and they've been playing over and over in my mind this morning.....So I thought I'd share them here.

' Love & Happiness are the ingredients that make the day beautiful - not flowers, invitations, or cake.
It's that natural glow, the contagious smiles, laughter and tears. These are the memories that will give you goosebumps as you reminisce in the years to come.

What made this so poignant, was the translation into Everyday Life.

The Pursuit of Happiness is why we all wake up, set goals, nurture relationships and start down a path.

It's so easy to get caught up with all of the 'stuff' surrounding us, and feeling suffocated by obligation - Especially when you're a Bride to Be planning the biggest event of your life thus far.

Just remember to Breathe Deep, Smile, and Be Present in the Moment.

Do you have a Ritual that helps you Relax?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Stephanie & Ryan : Memories At Last

This August Wedding was a dream - Vintage, Black Tie, Pure Class. I've been eagerly awaiting the arrival of these photographs, as it was a breathtaking event, and a favorite of Go2Girl's Summer 2008 Wedding Season.

The Bride & Groom were so lovely. It was a pleasure to be there, providing Peace of Mind for them both, at the Washington Athletic Club in Downtown Seattle.

You can feel the excitement!

Bride & Groom : Stephanie & Ryan

Venue, Catering & Cake : Washington Athletic Club
Florist: Laurel Mitchell
Linens: BBJ Linen
DJ: Sounds Unlimited
Photographer: Debora Spencer

Isabella : Flower Girl
Checking herself out before showtime!

Isaak : Ring Bearer
Could he be any cuter?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

How to Choose Your ' Vendor Tribe '

So you’ve gathered a list of Vendor recommendations from friends, recent brides, your wedding planner, and even a few 'online' acquaintances.

You've viewed their websites, looked at portfolios, and gathered a general idea about overall price.
But, how will you narrow it down to picking ' The One ' ?

It all comes down to personality. And by that…..I mean yours.
Take stock in how you feel around them at your Complimentary Meet & Greet.

Do they get you?
Do you feel at ease in their presence?
Do you want to stay a little longer and chat?
Would you add them as a friend on your Facebook page?

(OK, kinda kidding on the last one there!)

Feeling like old friends isn't going to happen each & every time.
But your level of comfort, and getting your Q & A completed in full, is the first sign that your business and wedding is of importance to them.

How about bringing along a Vendor Questionnaire ?
You don't have to pull out a clipboard & form - but getting a baseline of information to compare Vendors is crucial.
Being prepared lessens the pressure you feel, and will let the conversation flow.

You may forget many of the crucial questions you need answered when gawking at gorgeous photos of flowers, cupcake displays and linen choices.
I'm just saying!

It's always wise to have a Reference Point.

Here’s to Stylish Sanity!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

First Anniversary : Kristen & Raymond

Kristen & Raymond were blessed with a gorgeous, crisp + sunny day last November at Semiahmoo Resort.

A beautiful location & wedding celebration.

Hope you're both enjoying your special day!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

Be Safe and Stylish!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Writing's on the Wall

A famous figure of speech, yes, but what if it were possible to have a customized ' Wall of Words' at your ceremony, reception or other milestone event?

Imagine your names emblazened above the wedding archway, or your favorite musical lyrics (from the First Dance of course), displayed prominently on the entry wall.

Say It Simply will make your dreams come true.

In whatever color, font, or series of words you can string together, they'll create it! These wall decals are easy to install and remove, and won't break the bank either.

A brilliant way to personalize your space, or dress up a plain white wall.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Are you a Two - Timer?

You're certain that you've found 'The One' - the one Wedding Day dress I mean.

But, during the continual hunt for all things Bridal - at shows & shops - you've weakened a bit, and noticed another.

It has even filtered into a dream sequence, and you're feeling more and more vulnerable.

What's a girl to do?

Buy 2 dresses.... Problem Solved.

This may seem completely unfeasable when you look at your slim budget.

Alas, there are plenty of options. Think Consignment, Thrift, Gently Used, Recycled - whatever you'd like to term it.

It's the perfect option for Brides on a Budget, and also allows you to be Green in a big way.

Here's some great Online Options

The Bride's List - one of the originals, and you could even score some cheap candles too!

Bravo Bride - an online marketplace newcomer, with some amazing stock to choose from!

A Grand Wedding offers Buy, Borrow or Share - where you & another bride can get get your dream dress as a team!

And, for those of you in the Seattle area, and desperate to try things on before you buy.....

Finder Keepers Bridal - Great Consignment shop in West Seattle.
Try on a dress and a veil!

Champagne Taste - Fabulous Formal Consigner in Kirkland - #425.828.4502

Here's to Stylish Sanity!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Details, Details : The Article

It's the little things that make a big statement, n'est pas?

Here's proof on paper...

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Favor Dilemna : Satisfy the Sweet Tooth

Stumped on what to give your guests as a parting momento for celebrating your wedding day?

Give them something sweet....Trust me.

Forget about the Glass Coaster (with engagement photo inside), or the Small Candle Holder (engraved with your initials).

Get serious.
Do you actually think those things will even make it into the suitcase?

But why you may ask? Because you can't eat it!
Instead, give them....................


A Caramel Apple

Cupcakes & Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Maybe a cookie? If they're quick!

Whatever you choose, have fun.
And make it tasty!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Scary Savings until Hallowe'en

If you have an upcoming event, and have been thinking about booking Go2Girl Events, now is the time!

I am offering 10% off package pricing until the clock strikes midnight on Halloween night.

Give me a ring (206.276.3323), or send along an email for a complimentary brainstorming session ---- October 31st is only 6 weeks away!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Go2Girl Events :: Feature Article

In late August, I had a wonderful interview request from Georgie Hockett, co-founder of A Grand Wedding, to give my advice & guidance on planning a Second Wedding.

Check out the article :: Second Time Around

I hope it provides inspiration to those in the midst of their planning (whatever wedding number that is!)

Here's to stylish sanity!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Play up the Surroundings :: Bring the Outdoors In

So, you've planned a lovely beach ceremony, with a cozy wood lodge reception to follow. Only concern?
How to create that beachy, relaxed vibe indoors at a sit down dinner.

Here's a suggestion: Tie in the environment. Your ceremony was all about sand between your toes, so bring it to the table. Literally.

Create a sand runner.

Using sand from the beach, pour it down the center of the table.
This works best on wooden tables (without linens!), though a glass top will work too.

Add silver glitter to the sand, and bury short pillar candles. The light will bounce all over.

Maybe you're planning a wedding in a park.

Your guests will walk down a public path of some kind, to find the ceremony location.

Use the park's naturial ambience to play up your day, and guide your guests in the right direction.

Mark the path with small paper pieces attached to ribbons. Put your initials, first names or a code word on them.
Hang from tree limbs, attach to park benches, lay in floral bushes.

Whatever you come across as you scope out your ceremony location.

At your reception, use wooden branches as the table centerpiece (curvy willow is great!)

Hang these same paper pieces from the willow branches to tie in the calm, natural theme.

You will create a feeling of flow to your ceremony & reception, as elements have been pulled from each.

Here's to Stylish Sanity!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Avoiding the Guest Book Back Up

So, you've wracked your brain to come up with an original way for your friends & family to celebrate their presence on your wedding day.

You've decided to go with the 'Wishing Bowl' idea.
A large vase is displayed with a sweet poem framed beside it, and pens galore. You've slaved over cardstock, cutting it into sizes just so, and in all of your wedding colors of course.

The display looks 'oh so beautiful' on the entry table to the reception.... Until the uber long line starts to build.

This can result in guests completely bypassing your well thought out plan to capture memories, or having them just jot down something short and impersonal.
They have pressure on them from the back to get out of the line!

Here's a solution:
Create an environment that allows guests to participate in their own time frame. No pressure.

On each Reception Table
Display a small square vase;
Attach a Sweet Poem/Instructions to the front,
Attach a Table Number to the bottom;
Provide cardstock & pens.

Have your Wedding Coordinator pick up each vase as the reception begins to wrap up. You can combine all of your well wishes & advice into one large container, or wait to see what someone at Table #7 really had to say!

Here's to Stylish Sanity

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Vendor Spotlight :: Lady Lam Atelier

Bonjour Darling!

Looking to channel some Old World Glamour on your Wedding Day?

Then book an appointment with
Lady Lam Atelier.

Christine brings back the charm & eloquence of old fashioned sensibility.

::Exclusive Bridetiquette Blog Offer ::

Ooh La La..........Eyelash Extensions!

$100 for a full set through October (reg: $180)
Offer code :: Bridetiquette

Open M-Sat : 10:00am - 6:30pm : By Appt Only

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Big O

No, not that O. (get your mind out of the gutter)
Oh, and not Oprah either.

I'm talking about the 'O' that can eat you alive while planning a wedding...


That ugly word that seems to rear it's head in so many situations surrounding family inclusion, traditions to follow, guests to invite, food to serve.
You can just feel it stirring inside, can't you?

It can be a complete energy drain having to field questions & unsolicited advice from all sides, especially if some of them are footing the bill.
And they'll dangle that check like a carrot!!

There really is no clear cut path to stick to, except this :: Trust Your Gut.

If you feel uncomfortable, belittled, or resentful toward a demand or request - Clear the air.
Be an adult about it, and address the issue before it escalates.

Stress can manifest itself in so many different ways. The last thing you want is to break out into hives, or suffer from night terrors.

You need to squelch this type of manipulative behavior from others - - and fast.
Negotiation is the tactful and diplomatic route, and you always want to remain respectful.

Alas, the wedding day is for the union of Bride & Groom. But, it is also a celebration for all of your friends, family & guests who made the trek.

Create your own traditions, while honoring the past.

Here's to Stylish Sanity!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Resource Spotlight :: A Grand Wedding

Go2Girl Events received a lovely postcard in the mail last week, introducing a brilliant new resource for Brides to Be in the Seattle Metro Area.

Go2Girl Events definitely fits the bill (offering many services under $1K), and was thrilled to read the motivation of Georgie Hockett (co-founder with her husband Dave) behind starting the site. They also believe every couple should have access to quality vendors, at a realistic price.

Your wedding day is the beginning of your marriage, plan accordingly!

High quality, affordable services was also the motivation behind the creation & launch of Go2Girl Events. (Clearly, Georgie is a girl after our own heart :)

A Grand Wedding offers Vendor Lists by Category, Expert Articles for your perusal,
a Buy, Borrow or Share space - where you could quite possibly split the cost of your dream haute couture dress with a complete stranger - or, snag some free tealights!
Hey, every cent counts.
Finally, there is Angel Bride - real-life couple stories, where wedding vendors can donate their time, product or services.
Who knows, you might even sprout wings!
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Here's to Stylish Sanity.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Beyond 'The Knot'

Don't get me wrong........this website is an amazing resource: tips, suggestions, real world bride experiences, etc...

You literally could spend hours searching, reading, printing, looking at bios...........Sound familiar?

Other common side effects : blurred vision, feelings of wedding inadequacy, overwhelming additions to your wedding needs, false sense of friendship, etc.

Use it as a reference tool, just like you shuffle through a Wedding Magazine for inspiration.
But, when all is said & done - brainstorm away from the computer.

You will develop a level of originality for your wedding food, mood, garb, guests - that will be an authentic extension of you & your groom.

And, you'll feel an immense amount of pride knowing you creating it all on your own.
Trust me.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Wedding Planner = Wise Investment

There's a multitude of reasons why hiring an experienced wedding planner makes perfect sense.
Here's a sampling :

Genuine Enthusiasm
We get you. Your excitement is contagious.
We understand your craziness, irrational fears, feelings of obligation, emotional highs & lows.
We know how to listen, pass the tissues, and provide answers to even the silliest of questions.

Neutral Party
We're emotionally detached - but in a good way! Objectivity is key to planning a seamless event, and wedding planners provide good judgement without getting sentimental.

Stress Minimizer
We are comfortable in the roles bestowed upon us: Relationship coach, Errand girl, Production manager, and Logistics troubleshooter.
Always providing direction, encouragement and options.

Always with a smile on our face.

Save Some Dough
We have a pretty clear idea what certain things should cost. This is crucial when you actually want to stick to a defined budget.
Remember, this is the beginning of your married life.

Don't invite Debt to share your bed.
It isn't fun to add to the mix.

Time Saver
We have a strategy. Our honed research skills & vendor relationships have perfected our ability to match your wedding vision & budget, with those vendors that will make it work, on your terms.

Simplify Communication
We are the Point Guard of the Wedding Day Celebration. Schedule changes, Vendor mishaps, Lost name it. We are carrying the ball all the way.

Fully Present Memories
When you're relaxed, you're in the moment. Soaking up the mood, enjoying the food, having a ball. Everyone is lit up with joy, glee, happiness. True emotion will just bleed from the picture book.

Here's to Stylish Sanity!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Tipping the Scale

No fat jokes here :: I promise!

Let's talk about the art form known as Tipping (the monetary kind).

A topic that strikes fear in the hearts of many.
Often implied.
Dealt with by obligation.
But is it truly necessary?

Well, not really. It's a social custom, not a requirement, with no set rules.
It's completely up to your discretion, and quite possibly - your discretionary income.

Leaving a tip seems to be approached in two ways: either a patron leaves a lot (meaning 20% or more), or barely anything at all (say 0 - 5%)
You may feel that the service wasn't great, or maybe that the price they charge MUST include some type of implied tip to begin with.

From a Wedding Vendor's point of view - this is NOT the case.

Tipping has a skewed view by most consumers - as the most prevalent scenarios are that of a waiter/delivery person/valet driver/hairstylist. The person providing the service is right there, waiting.

But what about all those that worked feverishly 'behind the scenes' to create a seamless, stress-free Wedding Day experience for you & your guests?

Tip who you feel deserves it, and preferably after all is said & done.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

So, what about the Kids?

This seems to be a fairly touchy subject to approach.
You want all of your guests to feel welcome; with or without little ones.

Alas, this is another situation that can allow obligation to eat you alive.

Remember - this is YOUR wedding day.
How you want to celebrate, in what fashion, where, and most importantly - with whom, is completely your perogative.

Now, that's not to say that you want to put 'NO BRATS' on your lovely invitations & RSVP cards!
Just provide an alternative, as an oh-so-subtle way to give guests the hint.

Hire a Babysitter. Put her/him & all the kids in a room - far, far away from the ceremony. Preferably somewhere soundproof, with a tv & dvd, crayons & coloring books, and a snack.

Put a link on your website, or include an insert with your invitation.
Explain that you want to provide an atmosphere where the kids will have some fun, and not feel like they have to sit still & be quiet during a 30 minute ceremony.

Believe me - Parents will be relieved. They too will be so happy to know that their little Jimmy or Maddie will not be the child running up & down the aisle, yelling at the other guests, and completely ruining your special moment. Parents will be able to focus on your big day - which is why you invited them to begin with!

Kids can then rejoin the celebration during the Reception.

They' re always the best dancers anyway.

Here's to Stylish Sanity!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

No Directions? No Problem!

This is a frequent topic of discussion among brides, and usually their moms.
Brides tend to assume that the flow of the evening, and how to go from Ceremony to Cocktails to Dinner & Dancing, is implied by the layout of the Venue.

Moms of Brides tend to assume that everyone will get lost, someone will miss out on something memorable, and they will never hear the end of it.

How to Troubleshoot so everyone is in the loop? Signage

We're not talking Cardstock with a big red arrow. No, no. We envision signage that includes pertinent information, and can be incorporated into the overall decor of the event.
Such as:
Cocktails in the Noble Room
Howard Wedding

Here's an example seen frequently:
You're putting together a lovely program that includes...
Names of the Wedding Party, Parents, Flower Girl, Ringbearer, Officiant.
You've also included the music choices for the Prelude, Processional & Recessional.

Great - keeping everyone in the loop.

So, where do they go after the Ceremony? Do they even know there is a Cocktail Hour, followed by a sit down dinner in a large hall on another floor?
Is there any indication as to where the washrooms are, or when food is to be served?

How to solve this dilemna? Big Day Timeline
This could be a seperate card, or printed within the actual program.
Personal preference is given to a seperate little insert, in an attention getting color. Start &End times can be listed, including when the Newlyweds will be departing for the evening.
This gives a subtle hint to guests when the festivities will be over!

Here's an example from Event Girl's Destination Wedding in Hawaii:

What else can be mighty helpful?

Welcome Letter - could be included with a package of treats to hotel rooms.
Map/Directions to the Ceremony - leave copies at the Front Desk of the hotel for OOT Guests, or include in a Welcome Package.
Rent a Sandwich Board for Street Viewing - Indicate to Guests where to park for the Wedding.
Menus for the Bar & in the Reception area - what is available?
Helpful hints for the Guest Book or Wishing Bowl (if you want specific things to happen)

Can you get carried away? Oh yes. Incorporate what works for you, and the ambiance you're creating for your big day.
Just try to think from a guest's perspective - they will be complete newbies to the Venue & Timeline.

Here's to stylish sanity!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!

I received such a lovely handwritten thank you note from a former Bride this past weekend.
Now, that may not seem like Big News to share.
But, there are times when as a planner, you hear nothing!
You receive praise the day of, but many a bride simply forgets to thank the Vendors that were essentially the glue of her big day.

That's why receiving this note was oh so sweet.
You see, Megan & James were married May 3, 2008.
I truly appreciate her taking the time to remember Go2Girl Events - 3 months later.

Here's an excerpt....
Dear Sandra,
Thank you for the beautiful decoration set-up. Everything was exactly how I imagined it! Thank you for making it possible. It was so important to have your help. We really appreciated it.
You really pulled it off, even with some of our guests arriving sooner than expected! (our ceremony went faster than we thought!). Thanks again for your hard work.

Love, Megan

Here's a few pictures of their Wedding Reception @ Tibbetts Creek Manor in Issaquah, WA

Feeling stumped over proper Thank You note etiquette?
Here's a great resource to get you started.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Wedding Websites & Blogs

Here's the deal-

Your family is spread all over the continent, your best friend is sailing around the world - and fielding question after question about dress choices, dates, times, locations & travel accommodations is making you pull the covers over your head.

Allow your guests the ultimate in One Stop Information Gathering.....

The Wedding Website

There are many options to choose from that include - free trials, beautifully created templates, online guests books, RSVP options, etc.

Surely, one will fit the bill:

This one is a personal fave - you can have incredible invitations made to match your website! Talk about effortless presentation! So many great invitation designers to choose from, but I have a soft spot for Izzy Girl!

Or, set-up an ongoing dialogue - a Blog.

The great thing about this?
The storybook romance will last way past your big day.
You can upload & share photographs with those that were in attendance, and distant relatives or friends. Complete strangers too!
A blog will not expire, and it can morph into the story of your lives together.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Giving Thanks to Parents & Family

Honestly, the nicest & simplest way is something heartfelt.

Give yourself a few minutes, several days before all the hoopla begins.
Write a little note inside a blank card. Don't overthink it, but let the emotion spill a bit.

On the day of your wedding (preferable BEFORE make-up application begins), distribute the cards - to your mom, future mil, stepmom, grandfather. You get the idea.

Jotting down a few words filled with meaning, and giving it to them personally, is the ultimate gift. You'll be satisfied knowing the moment didn't pass without the recognition so duly earned.

The glow of pride & love on their individual faces as you walk down the aisle will say it all...

Mission Accomplished

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Photo Sessions - Post Wedding Day

Your Wedding Day will fly by - with such a flood of emotion & happiness, it's easy to forget about certain photographs you really wanted to capture!

Maybe the ceremony went a little long, and those Cocktail Hour pictures felt really rushed?

Possibly your hair & make-up prep time when down to the wire? Instead of some relaxed, glowing temperature-controlled Bridal Portraits in the hotel room, you & the girls were dashing for the Town Car.

When booking a photographer, ask that one of the hours be used during the week, following your big day.
You & your groom will be so relaxed, no longer under the spotlight of family & friends, and not feeling obligated to say hello to everyone around you.

Get back into your duds, but forget about the fancy hair or make-up. Take advantage of a different locale; dance on the beach, play in a park, walk in your favorite neighborhood.
Maybe even bring your pets?

Intimate pictures such as these are just as essential. You can never have too many great memories.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The 'All in One' Wedding Registry

Talk about a reduction in frustration & driving!

Now you can create an online registry, that allows you to pick-out items from stores all across the web, and share with your guests.

Anyone can order from the Registry, and gifts will be delivered directly to you!

Oh, and did I mention...It's free.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Island Style : Coronado

I had the pleasure of spending 5 blissful days on this Escape from San Diego in early July.
We attended a reunion (my husband is a native), and had a chance to really soak in the breathtaking scenery & colors.

I'd almost forgotten the abundance of natural beauty, and all the other positives to Coronado Island, especially for planning a wedding from near or far...

Perfect Weather year round
Hotel Room Availability - B & B's , Timeshare Rentals, Four Star Hotels
Clean, Safe & Family Friendly
Walk & Bike Friendly City
Easy access from Downtown San Diego Airport
North Beach

There's always the tried & true staples to visit:

Hotel Del Coronado
Moo Time

Coronado Florist
Miguel's Cocina
Coronado Brewing Co.
The Brigantine

I was pleasantly surprised to see a few darling new offerings too:
Seaside Papery
Offering custom design invitations; including two North County designers: elum & Delphine

Several new restaurants, including Village Pizzeria & the Beach-n-Diner, both on Orange Ave.

Hotel Del Coronado has also expanded, with new rental homes on their property.

Pretty pricey at $20k per week, for a 3 bedroom 2 bath, but this is your evening view...

Coronado is a little piece of heaven, whether planning a once in a lifetime event, or just looking to get away from it all.

Go Islanders!

Hotel Del Coronado

Seaside Papery

Coronado Wedding Planner

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Time to get Inspired

So, you've been buying up every Bridal Magazine you can get your hands on...

Still feeling at a loss?
It's time to create your Vision. Tear out the photographs that make your heart sing, even if they don't mesh well together. There is no 'wrong' color combination, cake flavor, or dress length.
Get a piece of Foam Board (available at any Crafty store); a 16" by 16" piece should be good.
Start cutting & pasting - adding ribbon, textures, fabric. Whatever speaks to you.

Here's a great example of a Casual Beach Day Wedding: Bright Colors, Short Dress, Finger Food.

Your wedding day is all about your personality as a couple.

Now is the time to play with what appeals to you, and create Inspiration Boards to share.

You'll be surprised at what comes together - a theme or destination may very well appear before your eyes!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Favors - Make Them Edible!

This seems to be a major hurdle that couples overthink.

They're desperately seeking a creative trinket that has meaning.
In reality, guests will keep a program, a monogrammed napkin, or even a place card as a personal momento.

So, stop the order for the customized Glass Coasters.

Spend your money on your favorite treats, and they will be a huge, personal hit with your guests!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Don't be THAT bride

Planning a wedding should be joyous, creative & exciting!
Not another 'job', filled with excess stress & loathing.

As a Bride, you must invest positive energy into the relationships you are building, whether with Family, Friends or Vendors.
Approach each interaction with the outcome in mind, infusing it with a 'happy' chip on your shoulder.

But, even with the best intentions, some level of stress will creep in.
Here are a few tips to reign it in......

Keep it in Perspective
There are many details & decisions to make surrounding your Big Day. Focus on the Big Picture.
Perfection is not realistic, and actually creates more panic, stress and moodiness.
Does it really matter if the napkins aren't the exact shade of pink you want? Do you have to serve a Signature Cocktail, and increase your bar bill by $500?

Focus on the atmosphere and feelings you want to share with your guests, not the itty bitty details that can drive you mad!

Humor Me
You've got to remember to laugh, and roll with the changes. There is no point in getting all huffy like a 3 year old, and throwing a tantrum.
Remember, your energy & verbage sets the tone for everyone. Do you want to have an enjoyable planning & actual day of wedding experience?
Then seek to enjoy each moment - it goes by so fast. Upon reflection, you'll laugh at all of the little things that happened, and wonder why you worried to begin with.

Control Freak
You cannot take on all the Wedding Day tasks. If you even try, I can guarantee you'll be crying in your champagne, or pouting in the ladies room.
Your wedding day will not be perfect. Didn't it feel good to hear that?
Seek out a few trusted friends or family members, and assign them a small list of tasks.

Hire a Wedding Planner or Coordinator. This will be the best money you ever spend! Why you ask? Well, because wedding details are like a second language to us. We can see the holes before they even appear. Troubleshooting is what we do, to make your experience seamless.

Honor Yourself
Schedule time to relax, and allow some alone time. Pampering appointments are always great - facials, massage - or maybe a Cocktail Hour with the girls?
Be sure to spend time NOT chatting about wedding planning - but keeping up with what is happening in others lives.
You want to nurture the relationship with self & friends.

Here's to Stylish Sanity!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Dessert Bars - Delicious Small Packages

Your fiance LOVES Cheesecake.
You're obsessed with Chocolate Truffles.

How to create decadance for all? A Dessert Bar of course.

The options are endless: Lemon Tarts, Chocolate Dipped Strawberries, Macaroons, Grande Marnier Souffle, Tortes & Cupcakes. Oh my!

Photos courtesy of Sweet Tempered - Austin

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Jazz Up your Thank You cards

Looking for an original way to say Thank You to your guests?

Think magnet paper.

Print out a wallet sized photograph, and attach it to a piece of cardstock.

You can dress it up with a printed announcement that personalizes the message.

It's a beautiful way to share a memory, that's more likely to get tossed onto the fridge, and not in the recycling bin!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Beautiful Surroundings

Many modern brides choose to have their photographer take 'Getting Ready' pictures as they prepare to walk down the aisle.

These pictures are always so intimate, emotional & glowing. Something you'll be happy you did.

As long as you remember that the background will also be a part of it!

If your budget can handle it, book a beautiful room with great light. You won't regret the extra dough, and it really sets the tone for the day. Getting ready in luxurious surroundings makes you feel like a queen!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Seattle Brides to Be: Shopping Shout Out

Are you in need of duponi silk?
Then get down to Pacific Fabrics Outlet in SODO.

Yesterday, I spotted an entire table full of remnant pieces (some as large as 4 yards) in Golds, Beige, Deep Purple, Reds, Blue.
All cuts were individually priced at 'must go' amounts.

Great for Bridesmaid Dresses, Ringbearer Pillows, Overlay on the Cake Table, Wrapping up Tabletop Vases (extra splash of color).

Here's to stylish sanity!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Time to Tackle Negative Body Image?

Every bride has issues when it comes to 'fitting' into her dream dress.
You have an image in your mind of how you want to look, Princess for a Day, fully on display for others to envy.
Alas, when you look in the mirror you see a fat toad.
Stop with the negative self talk already!

Give yourself ample time to get into great shape. Meaning more than 6 weeks :)
Exercise will allow you to obtain your 'dream wedding look', but more importantly increase your confidence & ability to deal with stressful situations (like planning a wedding).

Not a gym girl? Well, join the club. Let's face it - it's so easy to talk yourself out of going, and you tend to jump in too quickly, and get burnt out or even injured.

Bridetiquette's Tip is this...............Outdoor Bootcamp.
Yes, it's hardcore. But the level of accountability you feel knowing other participants are also pushing themselves to do crunches & sprint drills in the mud is uncomparable.
The results - mental & physical - kick on any indoor training session I've ever had.

Check out Seattle Weightloss Bootcamp with Kimae Dolan. She is kind, supportive, and a book of knowledge on nutrition & getting into shape.

Your core will not regret it!

Friday, May 30, 2008

LOST Honeymoon Memories

Watching the season finale of LOST last night with my husband brought back wonderful memories of our honeymoon. We stayed at a gorgeous location on the Northshore of Oahu - Turtle Bay Resort - not far from where the show is shot on location.
We tried to track it down, but alas - it is an extremely closed set!
Here's a picture from our suite - what a view.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Put Your Best Face Forward........Naturally

Many of us love that extra glow to our skin only sunshine can bring.
When you're planning a summer, beach, or destination wedding - many brides feel the need to match the locale.

A little color can do wonders, especially when you're trying to pull off a large white or ivory dress. But orange tinge is just not attractive.
Pull yourself out of the tanning bed or spray booth, and embrace your natural skin tone.

In years to come, you will be so very thankful.
Your wedding pictures will contain a bride that actually looks familiar!

Introducing.....The Tuesday Tip

Each Tuesday, a snippet of wisdom shall be shared with the masses.
If you have a burning question or issue, drop a line. You have to ask someone, don't you?

The inaugural tip is listed above.

Here's to stylish sanity!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Power of a Compliment

It was 88F & muggy here in Seattle last Saturday.
I was feeling anxious - I had an outdoor wedding & reception to coordinate that afternoon.
I couldn't fathom the bride, groom or their guests in direct sun for a 20 minute ceremony.
I prayed hard to the Cloud God for a bit of relief.
Just as guests began to arrive @ 5pm, the wind picked up off the water, the temperature cooled, and thin clouds blew in.
My prayers had been answered.

It was truly a beautiful ceremony & reception, and sweet with emotion.
I had the pleasure of helping the bride (Kristi) plan her wedding from the start.

It was truly an honor - but the icing on the cake was having her come up to me that night to say, 'This is my dream wedding'.
She was glowing, with happiness and satisfaction.

Those words meant the world to me - and I felt a few tears well in my eyes. It again restored my love of planning weddings, and thankful for the words that fill you up with pride & joy.