What’s Big in Big-City Weddings

Bridal experts in three major cities share what they’re seeing in weddings this year.

NEW YORK (from Brilliant Event Planning)

WEDDING WATCH: Owner Sarah Pease, “October is the new June” for weddings. “June is hot, the guys don’t want to imagine themselves in tuxes, sweating bullets, the girls in their giant gowns,” the planner notes. She’s also tracking a big boom in demand for top-of-the-line lighting. “If we want to make a big impact in a room, lighting does it” better than anything else, she says.

FOLLOW THE MONEY: “People are splurging on their venue, looking for a place that has the personality they want, without having to dress it up a lot,” Pease says.

PERSONAL TOUCH: Personalization is the watchword for weddings in 2011, and Pease is a genius at creating totally unique touches for her clients. Some of her recent favorites include “bar trivia”-type cocktail napkins printed with fun facts from the couple’s history and courtship, and a “New York Wedding Times” newspaper featuring photos and stories about the couple and their wedding, placed in front of visiting guests’ hotel doors in the wee hours following the reception. (Guests staying elsewhere received electronic versions of the newspaper via e-mail.)

Chicago (from Engaging Events by Ali)

WEDDING WATCH: Contrary to the L.A. wedding scene, Chicago-area weddings are trending toward the “more traditional” with “seated dinners,” says president Ali Phillips. She is also seeing more band-DJ combos, along with photo booths and mobile flip-book studios. Topping trends is a passionate embrace of authentic local foods like Chicago-style hot dogs and Garrett Gourmet Popcorn (an Oprah “favorite”). On the way out: “Many long toasts.” Taking their place: “More dancing and celebrating with friends and loved ones.”

FOLLOW THE MONEY: When it comes to budgets, “My clients right now are prioritizing the food and entertainment around their wedding. Not that they are making the menus fancy, but they are making them fun,” Phillips says, citing the example of “cute soups served in pumpkins.” As for favors, she says clients are saving money by forgoing doodads and spending instead on late-night or take-home food.

PERSONAL TOUCH: Phillips says clients are wild for initials: “They love monograms still and always will!” She also likes to include a personal note from the bride and groom in the wedding programs, and incorporate favorite foods into the menu: “We recently had a caterer do the bride’s mother’s carrot soup, and we put that in the menu card and on the back included the recipe for everyone to take home and enjoy.”

Los Angeles (from Sacks Productions)

WEDDINGS WATCH: Big, lavish, high-end nuptials are the specialty of owner and president Sharon Sacks, whose wedding clients have included celebs Jennifer Lopez, John Stamos and Khloe Kardashian. But these days, she says, clients are moving away from sparkle and spectacle, and asking for weddings that exude “warmth, relaxation and comfort.” She notes a trend toward smaller, more intimate ceremonies, followed by fun, not-too-formal “parties” rather than traditional receptions. Her recent weddings have featured open-air dining, linen-less wood tables and “an abundance of floral,” but with a “natural feeling instead of a pavé look.”

FOLLOW THE MONEY: Sacks says 2011 clients are allocating the bulk of their wedding budget dollars toward “music, floral, lighting and food,” and cutting down on guest counts instead of cutting back on high-quality event components.

PERSONAL TOUCH: Her contributions toward the push for personalization include the unexpected use of personal photographs (imprinted on 20 different cakes served at individual dining tables, for instance) and the incorporation of decor that communicates the couple’s personalities and values — as in the case of the handpicked, symbolic Indian rugs she used to create the aisle and altar of one recent wedding. “It’s all about tapping into what’s really important to the bride and groom,” she explains, “being available to them, delivering service, service, service.”

To read this article in full check out the article at Special Events!

Creative Kids Birthday Party Ideas

Kids birthday’s are milestones we want to celebrate. Liven up any kids birthday party with some creative ideas.  Any memorable party starts with the invitations. Invitations set the tone for every party. How about incorporating the child’s name with the invitation design. Check out these adorable invites from alphavites (AlphaVites).  Have a child with a summer birthday? Why not have the party at the zoo or the local playground. Check out 15 Unique Summer Birthday Party Locations | Celebration Nation for some other great summer birthday party ideas.

Don’t forget the most important part of a kids birthday party, have fun!

Source: www.tinyprints.com

Pre-Wedding Stress Solutions

Although fun and incredibly exciting, planning a wedding is certainly not a walk in the park. Whether you can’t agree on bridesmaid dresses, are worried you can’t stay within your budget, or are butting heads with family members, stress is inevitable. Check out these nerve soothing tips to keep you calm leading up to your big day!

~ Stop using the ‘S’ word. Your mind and body automatically associates it with anxiety, tension, and fatigue. Try to change your dialogue to something like, “these seating arrangements are challenging”. This creates a more proactive situation that you can tackle rather than something you can’t accomplish.

~ Play some tunes. Listening to soothing music can be an incredible stress relief. It allows your mind to focus on something else and even has physical benefits such as preventing spikes in blood pressure and heart rate.

~ Don’t forget to breathe. Focusing on your breathing can help you slow your thoughts and regain control of your mind and body.

~ Limit your caffeine intake. Instead of that normal afternoon coffee or diet soda choose green tea instead. It’ll still give you a little boost if you need it yet has a much more calming effect on the brain.

~ Make some time to go to the gym. Aerobic exercise is a great method for reducing stress as well as making you feel good about yourself. Be sure to squeeze in some yoga workouts as well to calm your nerves.

~ Picture nothing but the best. Instead of stressing about everything that could go wrong on your big day, envision everything going perfectly as planned. It will help you relax and feel more confident. While daydreaming can’t fix everything, it will at least put you in a positive spirit and a mindset to support a very successful day.

Be sure to check out Shape magazine online for more tips on managing wedding stress!

Sweet Sixteen Party Tips!

Evite.com Design

Sweet Sixteen Birthday Party Ideas

Do you have a teenager soon to turn the sweet 16? Why not make this special birthday a memorable bash with a one of a kind party for all ages. Try a Diamond Bling Party for the special daughter in your life or a Go Green 16 party for the environmentalist teen in your life. Check out Sweet 16 Birthday Party – Birthday Party Ideas for even more unforgettable themes.  Memorable themed sweet 16 birthday parties can even be planned on a budget! Check out How to Throw a Budget-Friendly Sweet 16 Reception | eHow.com to see how to throw a Mardi Gras or Backyard Luau party on a budget. They offer great tips on trimming the expenses and maximizing the fun! Happy Planning!


Important Questions to Ask Your Wedding Planner

Planning a wedding is a once in a lifetime experience. It is so exciting and such a fun and rewarding time. However, many of you may determine a need to hire a wedding planner whether it’s because you don’t have time, need some creative assistance, want some additional help saving money and making the most of your budget, or simply want to enjoy the experiences and leave the stresses to a professional. Here are some very important questions to ask before hiring your wedding professional.

  1. Do you have any referrals? May I contact them?
  2. How many clients do you take on in a year?
  3. Can you work within my budget?
  4. Are you familiar with the best local vendors?  Are you able to assist us with receiving discounts?
  5. Can you review my contracts and look out for common traps?
  6. Can you assist me with the current trends and incorporating them into my event?
  7. For the day of the wedding, will you be willing to oversee the entire event by supervising vendors, troubleshooting emergencies, and soothing nerves?
  8. Are you insured?
  9. Will you step in as my advocate, conveying my visions and desires to vendors when I am unavailable?
  10. Is this your full time profession or simply a hobby?

In addition, make sure the consultant has plenty of questions for you, in an effort to determine your wishes, needs, budget, scope of imagination, and more to ensure they can assist in creating your perfect day.

Most importantly, make sure you have a good connection. You will be working hand in hand with this person for the next several months or even years. It’s very important that your personalities align and you feel comfortable working with the individual.