We.Are.Married!!!

I’ve been a little MIA well simply because well….We are finally Married!

The wedding was perfect. The mini-moon amazing {real honeymoon to Italy follows} & here is the brilliant wedding highlight reel done by the very talented 15 Minutes of Frame. Details on the wedding soon to follow…but I had to share this clip.

Video: Kaipo Schwab ~ 15 Minutes of Frame

Photo: Jase Kim Photography

Venue: Bridgeview Yacht Club

Floral Designer: Santos Floral Designs

Dress Designer: Matthew Christopher

Cake: The Sweet Peace

DJ & Percussion: EJ the DJ

A Bachelorette Weekend

Next weekend myself & a few of my besties are going away for my Bachelorette Party Weekend ~ Hot Spot ~ Newport, Rhode Island.

This lovely little town has a special place in my heart. I turned the BIG 30! there {a few years back} and I just fell in love with this quaint seaside town with shopping, great restaurants & a strip of bars down America’s Cup Avenue.

I’ve always said that Newport offers a quick getaway for a couple to enjoy a romantic weekend, couples to enjoy some great food & fun on scooters or even a group of girls for some bonding time. You can make this town whatever you really want it to be, which is why it was a no-brainer when picking the location for my Bachelorette Party. Plus who can say “ROAD TRIP”.

My favorite type of hotels are Boutique Hotels ~ So when doing the research on booking our hotel I came across this incredible lovely, chic & modern hotel called Forty 1 North, located in the heart of it all, on the water & with easy access to all of our Bachelorette Party needs {booze, great food, shopping & sights}.

Here are a few shots of the hotel

It also has a really awesome bar outdoors {and hopefully next weekend will be warm enough to enjoy}

When booking the rooms I needed to find something that was very conducive to our type of weekend ~ I was thrilled to hear that the two Suites that are above their main restaurant {and best for groups/couples} were available. So we were able to book them both & we have the entire floor of the building.

Easterly Suite

Westerly Suite

The beauty of these two suites is they join together & it feels like one big party room

Yes indeed I’ve done most of the planning, but I’ve given the job of picking our Special Saturday Night dinner up to my dear bridesmaid Kristina. I knew I could count on her to pick a wonderful place & make the reservations. Plus I told her not to tell me which place she picked ~ But not before I gave her a few recommendations based on places I’ve already eaten at or wanted to try.

The two places I recommended {but still don’t know which one we will be enjoying} were the following:

22 Bowen’s

Fluke Wine Bar

They all offer amazing cuisine, great location & a good vibe for our big dinner. True there will only be 6 of us attending but it will be spectacular nonetheless.

We also plan on doing a few sight seeing & possible mansion tours while we are there.

And nothing says Newport like the Cliff Walks

So needless to say I’m really excited to spend a great weekend with 5 of my bestest of friends. Laughing, taking it all in & celebrating my up & coming nuptials to the love of my life.

Life is Good

Bridal Shower Bliss

This past weekend I celebrated with some of my closest friends & family my Bridal Shower. For some of you that know me on a personal level, the majority of the plans had to be done by me. As a planner it runs in my veins & it’s very hard to give up total control. There were a few elements of surprise done by my Mom & my Wedding Party {which were wonderful}, so I still had few things to look forward to.

I picked Mitch & Toni’s American Bistro in Albertson {Long Island} because my parents & I always eat there since it’s very close to where my parents reside ~ Their food & service is always incredible. So we said what better spot to have this special event than at our local eatery!

As always I like to do a little Instagramming! {lauravowweddings}

I absolutely adored my centerpieces done by Santos Floral Designs {and my go to floral designer for everything. They matched the invitations & the DYI seating chart & table numbers I did. {*project advice ~ scan your shower invitation, use Paint or Photoshop software to white out invitation wording & use for your needs. It’s an easy way to coordinate everything together}

We had the place to ourselves so it really felt special. One of my best friends Keara {who also does professional photography on the side ~ KPrints Photography} was kind enough to shoot pictures of the event & details for me. So here is a small glimpse into this wonderful day. I wanted a really intimate vibe & so we didn’t have a lot of people. It was really small & I was able to really focus on everyone & be relaxed & have a great time.

My Bridal Party arranged for a few games which engaged the small crowd & brought out many laughs. It was perfect & I couldn’t thank all those that attended enough. Everyone made this day everything I dreamed it would be. I feel utterly blessed & blissful & I wouldn’t have changed a single thing.

These were the initial images Keara prepared for me to give me a little peak {I will post the other images once she’s done editing}

{credits: flowers~ santos floral designs, venue ~ mitch & toni’s, photo ~ kprints photography, invitations ~ wedding paper divas, DIY projects ~ seating chart & table numbers by Bride, favors ~ homemade by mother of the bride}

I would like to thank my dear friend Keara for taking these beautiful shots & looking forward to seeing the rest of them.

Next up…The Bachelorette Party Weekend in Newport ~ Rhode Island…

Fuzzy Favorite’s Friday No.3

It’s that time again…Favorite’s Friday & this time it’s all about feeling warm & fuzzy inside. Images that make you go awwwww ~ Brides & Grooms utterly in love ~ Basically anything that made my heart smile this week on Pinterest.

I want to start off these Fuzzy Favorite’s with the following image ~ Mainly because I honestly have said this to my fiance a gazillion times since we’ve been engaged. Makes me smile whenever I think about our special day ~ 5 Months & 9 Days away.

This next image makes me think of what our First Look will be like. The look on this Groom’s face is absolutely priceless, and can only hope that I elicit the same response from my soon-to-be husband in a few months. Hahaha

And for those that aren’t doing a First Look before the ceremony ~ This is an equally lovely idea prior to your nuptials

For those who are in love ~ Words to Live By

Ok so now for a little humor {since I’ve thrown so much sap your way} Everyone likes to giggle ~ I’m SURE that I personally won’t be able to get my girls to do this, but what an adorable outside the mold idea. I think it’s delightful & funny & silly. A little risque indeed ~ But still fun nonetheless

Here is another must shot if you have a nice big veil ~ More common, but there is a certain air of romance behind this type of shot

I think it’s pretty miraculous that given the facts we all find our soul mate under these conditions

One aspect of our wedding that I can’t stop thinking about is doing the father/daughter dance with my daddy ~ For those that are either anticipating it or have gone through it, the raw emotions behind that moment are unforgettable or will be. All I know is I”m going to be a total wreck when it’s my turn. Hahah. But I can’t wait.

Last but not least ~ Regardless of whether we actually do this in our wedding clothes & someone captures it ~ I hope to have this much fun & laughter for the rest of our lives. Life is Good & it’s short ~ Enjoy every single moment like it was your first!

{all images from pinterest we vow to inspire page boards}

Hope this post brought on huge smiles, laughter and a warm fuzzy feeling inside

Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend!

Obsession Anemone

My new IT flower ~ Anemones! And they seem to be increasingly more popular. There is something soft, romantic, yet edgy about these flowers. The pretty petals on the outside & that dark core center give these flowers that little pop in pictures. From a durability standpoint they are a little more delicate & don’t last very long, but the affect these flowers have overall make it worth the pick for weddings or even a centerpiece in your home.

So lets learn a little more about this wonderful wild looking flower shall we! The first point to make is the meaning & symbolism: “The name anemone comes from the Greek word for “windflower.” According to Greek mythology, the anemone sprang from Aphrodite’s tears as she mourned the death of Adonis. Thought to bring luck and protect against evil, legend has it that when the anemone closes its petals, it’s a signal that rain is approaching. Still other mythology connects the anemone to magical fairies, who were believed to sleep under the petals after they closed at sunset. Perhaps it’s because of this magical and prophetic tales that today in the language of flowers, anemones represent anticipation” {source: telaflora}

Here are a few delightful bouquet images

{credits: pinterest}

They come in a variety of colors too, so that it can fit any color scheme {red, white, purple, pinks of different shades, to name a few}…however just know they all have mainly the black or dark center.

They are great not only for personal bouquets, but they make great bouts & can be added in any centerpiece for a pop!

{credits: top left, middle, far right ~ 2nd row left & right}

Love this dramatic table setting & centerpiece

{centerpiece}

And this fall why not choose these sensual small red pieces

{left & right image}

And to end this post with a true wow factor ~ This setting combined with the lighting really makes for a true stunner

{image}

I love these flowers SO much that they will be showcased in our wedding in various ways…I think they have been overlooked as wedding flower choices in the past, but as texture and variety is becoming more appreciated in the wedding world these flowers are making more of a splash.

Hopefully I’ve inspired you to view wedding flowers a little differently…next up Favorite’s Friday!

Favorites Friday No. 2

TGIF ~ Had an interesting week at my day job {as a Human Resources Director} ~ And so as I get ready to enjoy a great weekend with friends, I’ve put together my Pinterest Picks for the Favorites Friday series post. This week was all about lighter more romantic choices. Sometimes when I have tougher weeks to get through I turn to romance & pretty things to make the days lighter. So here are my favs from this week:

A delicately cool wedding cake from Martha Stewart Weddings Magazine ~ I think this cake is so stunning, bringing in elements of the winter into such a Spring flower is unique & I love it

Color Palette that Inspires

Prior to getting engaged I started doing some research on color schemes that would inspire me for our wedding. I saw this initial color palette about 8 months ago and just this week it’s back on Pinterest for the world to see & admire. I truly love these color combinations & although it’s not ultimately what I went with…it def. gave me something to think about.

Favorite Fun Wedding Idea

This guestbook idea is delightful ~ Photobooths are definitely a huge hit at weddings nowadays…and why not add a little twist to it. Add a chalkboard & give guests the opportunity to send you off with a little note or thank you. Turn the pictures into a fun coffee table at a site like Blurb.com & keep it handy for either a laugh or just to see faces you don’t get to see on a regular basis…bringing back some wonderful memories

Luxurious Table Setting

Our wedding is going to be in the dead of winter ~ I am incorporating a little sparkle & shine into the whole event, so when I came across this table setting a bell went off & my creative juices started flowing again. We have custom linens for the wedding but now I may want to change them. Hmmmm…thoughts?

Quote to Live By

Especially this week, when life sometimes kicks you in the butt ~ You want to run away ~ Or you want to stick around & fight

Whatever you choose at the end of the day ~ This Quote holds so true..So whatever it is that you do, know that you are the only one that holds your destiny in your hands

Dress the Part

As fall approaches & I’m pinning like crazy outfits that I can turn to, I saw this outfit & even though it’s not wedding related I had to share ~ These lighter pastel colors are totally hot this season

BOLD & Vibrant

Speaking of Fall ~ I’m loving this vibrant ranunculus & anemone floral setting from Martha Stewart Weddings Magazine ~ Another favorite pic for the week. I think this can work for weddings AND parties. Seeing this made me feel even more confident about the red color palette I’ve decided to go with for my Bridal Shower. I like to break the rules when it comes to what’s expected ~ Especially for a bridal shower.

And that’s what I have for this week’s Favorite Fridays Series ~ Stay tuned for the next post on my new floral obsession ~ Anemones!

VOW Wedding ~ Giselle & Efrain 8.24.12

This wedding was a little bitter sweet ~ Mainly because as my wedding day approaches I’ve decided to take a small sabbatical from planning client weddings. I will continue working with my vendors on referrals and consulting brides on a minimal basis ~ But I need to focus on my up & coming wedding & I don’t want to overload myself with clients. I look forward to starting to re-book in the future!

So for the past year I’ve had the pleasure of working with a wonderful Bride & Groom {Giselle & Efrain}. I’m gonna speak to the planners out there in the world. There is NOTHING like a client that not only trusts your expertise, but doesn’t micro-manage you & gives you creative freedom {hence why they originally hired you}. Giselle was the type of Bride that Planners have dreams about: pleasant, calm, confident & trusting of your judgement. I’ve been lucky in my career to have worked with such wonderful couples & these two were right up there with the best of the best.

VOW Wedding Consulting was called upon to bring her Miami flavor wedding come to life. We worked through all the details throughout the year ~ design elements, budgeting, to do’s, vendor referrals & contract negotiations, creating her itinerary, soup to nuts, I was her partner in crime {as she liked to refer to me}. I even designed a few of her signs to match her invitations. I was extremely pleased with how everything came out.

I had the pleasure of hiring one of my best friends Keara who’s a freelance photographer {KPrints} to shoot this wedding ~ There really is something special about working an event with a close friend who you know you can count on to deliver quality.

The Dynamic Duo ~ VOW & KP

My Bride was ready to walk down that aisle, on time {as always} and when we drove up to the church it was truly one of the most beautiful ones I’ve ever seen. Most Holy Redeemer Church in the lower east side of Manhattan located on 3rd between A & B Avenues was an incredible site.

As soon as the ceremony was over I whisked the B & G away to take some portrait pictures throughout the city. We got in my car & went down to the South Street Seaport to capture their love by the water with a fantastic backdrop of the city. Along the way we found some additional backdrops that we knew we needed to capture. And this is why I love New York City!

{Check out the full photo album HERE from KPrints}

For the venue we picked Chateau Briand as their venue because of the lounge feel the back courtyard had & all the white furniture really gave her the overall look she wanted. Modern, Chic & Hip.

{venue: chateau briand ~ photography: kprints photography}

The Bride really trusted my professional expertise and trusted the vendors that I recommended for flowers & decor ~ Santos Floral Designs as always delivered incredible design & floral arrangements. It’s no wonder they are the floral designers for my wedding. 

{flowers by: santos floral designs ~ images: vow weddings}

And when you first walked into the main room you were blown away by how beautiful the Escort Table piece was ~ along with the other decor throughout the venue

{venue: chateau briand ~ decor/flowers: santos floral designs}

Other vendors that made this day possible were Camelot Limos ~ Who is VOW’s preferred transportation provider because of their amazing precision, great cars & service. They provided my client with transportation to the wedding & a party bus after the ceremony for those heading back to Chateau. White glove service all the way. 

JG Productions was the music vendor & they brought the house down. The music was lively ~ Fun to the point were I couldn’t stop moving on the sidelines as I observed & worked the wedding. I have to admit I even danced a little bit next to the Bride on the dance floor {she egged me on to show her my Latin dance moves…and of course I had to comply}. The wedding also had a percussionist called Broadway Anthony & he was amazing. He not only had the style & the moves, but he got everyone moving! Can I say MORE COWBELL!!!

So all in all it was another successful wedding ~ We had amazing weather ~ The Bride was incredibly happy, as per her wonderful review the following Monday.

{Click HERE to see the full review & others}

I would also like to thank the wonderful staff at Chateau Briand {Lisa: Maitre’d & Jeanine: Bridal Attendant} for making my client’s day perfect. You all did a fantastic job & from my perspective it was a true joy & pleasure working with you throughout the night. You made my job easier by the constant communication & coordination.

Stay tuned for continued developments on our 2.23.13 Wedding…

The Bridal Shower

If there was ONE thing I knew about my Bridal Shower was that I wanted to have it at one of my favorite restaurants near my parents’ house. Mitch & Toni’s American Bistro is an amazing restaurant that we visit quite often. Their specials are always fresh & wonderfully paired together. Service is outstanding {ask for Tony he’s amazing}. The owners are made up of Toni {GM} & Mitch {Executive Chef} who walk around the quaint & intimate setting throughout the service to make sure everyone is happy & tended to.

We knew this was our place from the first time we went there. Plus it was an added bonus that they allow for one party at a time. We have the whole restaurant to ourselves. Talk about feeling extra special.

Mitch & Toni’s American Bistro

They have a really lovely menu for events, which reflects their flare for taking simple ingredients & giving them a kick above the norm.

I’ve also decided to hire my wedding cake vendor ~ The Sweet Peace~ To do my Bridal Shower cake. And since the shower will be in October, I want to capture a fall feel for the overall decor. It also helps that the restaurant’s colors work with a fall color palette ~ Here are a few samples of cakes I’ve sent her way to help her finalize the cake.

And to keep in line with working with my current wedding vendors ~ I’m also working with Santos Floral Designs to create the table centerpieces. For some reason I’m thinking pop of red! It’s a little more unexpected I think for a Bridal Shower ~ But then again I don’t really want to do anything that’s usual.

As far as centerpieces are concerned I’m def. in love with my anemones ~ They are my new “I’m Obsessed” wedding item. I just find them so interesting & different. Plus they come in many different colors.

My lovely Matron of Honor, Meredith, has requested that she pick the invitations which is totally great because I know she has great taste & I love little surprises like this.

So there you have it ~ A little glimpse into what my Bridal Shower MAY look like ~ Or at least the feel of it.

A “SWEET” Treat Experience

The wedding planning process continues ~ With our cake tasting experience a few weeks ago! This was by far one of the most fun things we’ve done together…I mean who doesn’t like going to a bake shop & sample all the wonderful flavors they make & talk about yet another creative vision that I have design wise.

And the groom couldn’t really complain that I got him up relatively early to eat cake….Our venue’s exclusive bakery is The Sweet Peace located in Lynbrook, NY. A wonderfully adorable shop on this cute street with smaller shop type vendors. When you first walk in it has this homemade feel to it. It’s quaint with a lot of charm & I have to say unexpected that they picked a shop with a small business mom & pop type ambiance. I was pleasantly surprised they support local businesses.

Ok so onto meeting Allison the head chef/baker ~ To say she was delightful was an understatement ~ And we soon realized that we had a very ironic connection with her having lived in Long Beach for 8 years. Needless to say after sitting & just getting to know each other we both knew she was our baker & this was going to be a great process.

{Meet Allison the chef @ The Sweet Peace by clicking image}

We sat at the table and were welcomed with a beautiful variety of sample mini cupcakes ~ all having different cake & toppings {fillings} to try. The combinations were pretty unique & yet again a very unexpected treat.

Now tell me that doesn’t look absolutely delectable

We talk about the overall vision of our day ~ the look & feel of our wedding ~ elegant, simple, classic with a twist ~ and in talking to her she was giving me ideas that sounded like music to my ears ~ Allison got it ~ and that’s all I was hoping for.

We had some amazing flavors ~ caramel with sea salt ~ black forest ~ “Granny” which is the closest resemblance to cannoli cream but BETTER ~ oreo {which was amazing} ~ and one of our personal favorites cinnabun {cinnamon bun bursting in your mouth}. Very unique flavors paired together & we realized that this wasn’t going to be just an everyday wedding cake. AND one of the most amazing things about this shop is it’s ALLERGEN FREE {PEANUT FREE/TREE NUT FREE} so any of your guests that can’t eat peanuts or anything made in a peanut facility is good to go & enjoy anything from this wonderful place. {They also have Gluten Free recipes too}

*We were thrilled to be able to tell our niece that for the first time ever she would be able to eat “fancy wedding cake”!*

As some of my closest & dearest know I’m not great with surprises or keeping things unplanned ~ However, I made the executive decision to keep the wedding cake flavors a complete & utter secret from even US! Allison from The Sweet Peace has full artistic freedom to make the inside of our cake anything she thinks will work really well together. Now this was out of the realm of anything even I thought I would be OK with ~ BUT in life there really are so few surprises left ~ Knowing the inside of your cake after a few guidelines isn’t the end of the world.

It will be a wonderful treat to cut the cake ~ and be pleasantly surprised as to what’s inside. I also think this will entice us to take more than just one bite of our cake creating a few more photo ops. Hmmmmm I wonder what is in store for us.

The design of the cake however, is a little bit more hands on. I mentioned a few things that I would like to incorporate on the cake, gave her a few options & left it up to her to come up with a first draft of our wedding cake. Here below is the first draft of our cake with both of our comments {I’ve erased a few details as to not disclose everything ~ final results & images after wedding of course}.

I loved the initial vision she came up with ~ I had a few comments & notes {of course} but she really got the vision & gets me in general ~ I really look forward to referring many more clients to her bakery & hope that we can build a long lasting business relationship. VOW & The Sweet Peace join forces as they become a part of the V-Team & has become my preferred bakery for VOW Wedding Consulting.

You can also check out her Facebook page: The Sweet Peace Facbook. So go check it out & see some of the amazing cakes they make. You can also stop by their shop & bring home a box or just a few mini cupcakes to eat immediately.

So that concludes our wedding cake tasting experience & we couldn’t be happier ~ We had a wonderful time ~ And we can’t wait to see what she has picked out for us. Thank you again Allison for giving us a wonderful experience.

NEW ~ Client Review ~ WeddingWire

It’s always amazing to read client reviews once I’ve completed their wedding. Her words warmed my heart & they were both a delight to work with. Thank you Christine & Eddy for continuing to validate why I love this job!

Christine & Eddy: Highlight Video

It’s here! And I’m very excited. My client’s highlight video by Love & You Video. I’m not gonna lie ~ I got a little emotional & all choked up. It’s really amazing to see these videos & witness the joy in their faces after the fact. Working my client’s weddings you get wrapped up in everything & don’t have time to just watch the couple’s happiness & bliss throughout the day. You see it, but it’s not the same as sitting back & watching a beautifully crafted piece of art like this highlight video shows. And as I watch I think ~ WOW I was a part of this wonderful couple’s most amazing day ~ This is why I do this ~ And I had a direct hand in helping them achieve their perfect & most important day.

I love planning weddings ~ I love seeing my clients radiate with happiness & satisfaction ~ And I absolutely love being a part of such an amazing day for all my clients. Thank you Matthew from Love & You Video for creating such an incredible video. Amazing work!

 

I hope you enjoyed this video as much as I did. It was a pleasure working with Love & You Video & look forward to running into each other again in the wedding world.

Taste The Cakes

I can honestly say I’ve never had a big sweet tooth….I don’t crave cakes or cookies…but I’m delighted at the thought that next week we are going for our Wedding Cake tasting & design appointment!

Through my many client weddings I’ve had the pleasure & sometimes not so much pleasure of tasting all the cakes & getting a really good idea of what flavors go together & don’t. And I’ve also learned that being open to flavors that you normally wouldn’t pick is crucial! But more importantly picking a good bakery is even more important.

I’ve probably tasted about 100 cakes during my wedding planning years ~ And by far one of my favorite cakes has been a lemon poppy cake with coconut cream cheese filling! And I can tell you I’m not a huge fan of lemon poppy by any means, but it was absolutely incredible ~ I had two pieces & haven’t been able to forget about it since 2007 when I did my client wedding. The bakery is in Manhattan ~ Cake Obsessions ~ but I have to give it great kudos for it’s unbelievable quality, even though it’s not ours.

So if you are getting married in Manhattan, I would highly recommend this bakery.

We are fortunate enough that our venue works with a wonderful bakery called The Sweet Peace in Lynbrook ~ Reviews are wonderful & they make stunningly beautiful cakes.

We both feel the same about one particular thing when it comes to cakes ~ Cannoli Cream ALL THE WAY! ~ It’s probably my favorite filling outside of fruit fillings {which my fiance is NOT a fan of} so we are both confident that’s what we are going to go with.

But what we don’t know is what type of cake we want ~ We both love Red Velvet, but Cannoli Cream & Velvet Cake ~ Hmmmmm…Not quite sure about that one. Guess we will have to keep an open mind & see what works well together during out appointment.

Design~ Now THIS is where my ears perk up & my creative juices start flowing. We have a Winter Wonderland feel to our wedding ~ with lots of sparkle & twinkle involved. I want our cake to reflect the same feel. I”m a big fan of Silver Degrees & these edible shavings that look like snow & shimmer in the light. Below are some pictures that I plan on taking with me to show Allison the chef/owner of The Sweet Peace. I’m confident that I’ll be able to incorporate some of my favorite design elements of these cakes into something special for our wedding.

{cakes: Brides & TheKnot}

I’m really excited for this experience ~ I think we are going to have a great time so stay tuned ~ I’ll be posting pictures from the day in another post as I continue to document while this Wedding Planner Plans!

Engagement Dreams

A lot of the major details are done….Booked all that need to show up on our special day…and now as the summer comes in I take a break from the wedding plans. I have to say that being a wedding planner & being so darn efficient at planning our wedding is a little bitter sweet. The majority of the plans were seriously done in SIX whole days. Hahah….in the same token part of me wishes I would have had more things to do.

I guess it’s like parents that get sad when their babies grow up & they aren’t newborns anymore….loving the moments when they had to take care of every detail of their little lives. For me….my weddings are my babies! I take care of them as if every single one were my own. And now that I have ours to plan, as much as I want to get through the process asap…part of me feels sad that I don’t have much more to do.

So with summer rolling in we can enjoy the outdoors & relaxing in the sun for a few {Wedding Planning Free} months….till Fall comes in & we have showers, bachelorette parties & any other loose ends that need to be tied.

BUT ~ I do have one exciting summer wedding activity that I’m jumping out of my skin to arrive. We are doing our Beloved Engagement Photo shoot at the end of the month. Beloved session you say??? What in the world is that? Well, our photographer Jason Kim shoots a niche technique called “Beloved Sessions” ~ And here is in his words what it means:

Beloved is…

“To anyone watching from far away, a Beloved session might look like any other portrait shoot. But as we play some light games together or as I get into asking a few questions here and there to help set the stage, I hope to see the raw, uncluttered emotions come back out.  While the rest of the world keeps walking by, you will be with the love of your life, enjoying each other.  You deserve it.” ~ Jason Kim

Beloved Sessions evoke raw emotions ~ A reminder of who we are as individuals & as a couple ~ And then what better way to show the world how much we love each other than to capture it in a photo.

Yes I {we} are excited for the shoot ~ But the one thing that got our blood flowing was seeing a picture from 37 years ago! A picture taken of my parents as my father walked my mom over the threshold to their property where they lived. I’m absolutely in love with this picture of them & we hope to recreate this shot of them during our shoot.

 ~ In the meantime here are a few images from our amazing photographer that may inspire you ~

~ Here are a few samples of Jason’s work ~

I simply adore his work &  we can’t wait

In preparation for our shoot ~ I’ve been doing some research. I want to capture something fun, whimsical & yet classic for our shoot. We also want to do something a little fun for our Save The Dates {we want to capture the fact that even though our shoot will be on a beach ~ we will remind our recipients that our wedding will be in the winter}

Jason came up with a brilliant idea & I can’t wait to make it happen & show off not only our personalities, but our fun spirited nature.

One of my favorite “Wedding Porn” {as I like to call it} sites is Style Me Pretty . I don’t think there is a DAY that goes by without me going on there & being inspired by their amazing photography & ideas. So in looking around their engagement shoots I came across some fantastic sessions & pictures.

And why do I love them so much ~ Each has their own unique look or feel about them. So here are some of my favorite images from engagement shoots

{All images from Engagement Sessions Section on SMP}

VOW Wedding: Christine & Eddy

This past weekend I did a client wedding in Central Park at the Boathouse. I’ve been working with this client since last year & Christine & Eddy came to me as a referral from a prior client who’s wedding I did back in 2009 ~

Click on image to take you to post about their big day

Christine & Eddy were wonderful clients to work with. The Bride knew what she wanted & was extremely organized…but once in a while she came to me to ask for some advice, perspective or contract negotiations with vendors. She had a vision….she just needed some help in executing it flawlessly.

It was an absolutely gorgeous Saturday ~ May 19th, 2012…I’ve been truly blessed by what I call the “Wedding Gods” because there hasn’t been one client of mine that hasn’t had a truly incredible day {knocking on wood as we speak}….or any wedding that I’ve “touched” per say…I hope to maintain my good wedding juju for as long as I do this {and more importantly mine in 9 Months exactly to the day!!!!

{Boathouse ~ Central Park}

The bride chose to get ready at the St. Regis Hotel in Manhattan ~ They were extremely customer service oriented & provided my client everything she needed.

She wore a beautiful Vera Wang ~ Makeup by Bobbi Brown artist Mary from Saks Fifth Avenue

Flowers by OVANDO Floral Design

I have to say one of the BRAVEST Brides I’ve ever had ~ This girl did her own wedding hair ~ And it came out amazing

The Bride & Groom {Christine & Eddy} were planned to do a first look ~ The only issue was the location. Unfortunately the areas that would be nice enough were being occupied by another Bride who was holding her wedding at the Hotel ~ So I just had to work with the Photographer {Shira Weinberger} to find a place that had good lighting.  So we positioned the groom right under the awning in front of the hotel ~ The lighting was perfect

I’m a traditionalist ~ However…recently I’ve become a HUGE fan of First Looks between the Bride & Groom. I think not only does it give the couple a really amazing moment to take each other in & not have to wait till after the ceremony {which now I think can take away from the initial I want to tell you how amazing you look comments} ~ But you also have the flexibility & freedom to take your  B&G pictures ahead of time & spend more time enjoying your party after the ceremony.

We then went into Central Park to take some beautiful pictures

Christine & Eddy got married in a lovely church called All Souls on 80th & Lex in NYC

They said I Do ~ And now it was time for the celebration

Vendors for this special day were as follows:

Venue: Central Park Boathouse

Photography: Shira Weinberger

Videographer: Love and You Video

Flowers: OVANDO Floral Design

Band: Hank Lane: J. Lamont

Wedding Day Coordination: VOW Weddings

And below are some images from the event ~ All went off without a hitch!

It was a truly beautiful day ~ My assistant & I had a wonderful time working this event & they were by far added to my favorite client’s list. The vendors were amazing & I look forward to working with them again.

For The Girls

And so the planning process continues….this time it’s ALL about the Girls ~ I knew when I asked my girls to be in my wedding party that I didn’t want an overall uniform look. I wanted the girls to have their own personalities shine through. But a little background….How I asked my girls!

I had done some research online to get my creative juices going on HOW exactly I wanted to ask my girls to be in my wedding party. The three lovely ladies that I had in mind were all in 3 different states {New York, New Jersey & Pennsylvania}…And I knew I couldn’t get all the girls together to ask so two of the girls I sent a small gift asking them to NOT open it until we got on the phone together & iPhone FaceTime with another.

My NY girl was easy to ask, she came over & we had a lovely dinner…we got all sentimental & started getting excited because we both were now engaged together & planning weddings & so it’s wonderful to have a partner in crime going through the same things I was.

I picked my girls for 3 very different reasons ~ Each represented an important element of my life ~ Past, Present & Family

After I asked each girl I knew I had to put something together that for all that really know me would make sense ~ A PowerPoint Presentation! Here are a few slides from that presentation showcasing & explaining to the girls why I wanted them to be a part of our special day.

Needless to say they ALL got a good chuckle from my PowerPoint because it’s just what I do! And so here is to my girls ~ Meredith {Matron of Honor}, Kristina {Bridesmaid} & Madalina {Bridesmaid} ~ I love you girls & thank you for accepting ~

Moving on! The Dresses…As you may have noticed in the images the dresses will all be different colors within the same family. The girls can pick the style & the one of the three colors that will be pre-selected depending on which BM Designer has colors that work with the overall color palette.

I’ve decided to head back to Nouveau Bride & work with Corey for my girls’ dresses ~ I had a truly wonderful experience there & everyone was so incredibly kind that I knew there was no other choice. The two designers that I think will have the largest variety of blue/grey shades that I’m looking for are: Alfred Angelo & Bari J.

I asked the girls to go online & pick out their favorite styles from each designer & give me the numbers so we can bring them to the dress appointment. Here are a few of the dresses that were picked by the girls! Which ones we decide on will be revealed after the wedding.

Alfred Angelo Dress Picks

Bari J Dress Picks

I’m really happy with the dresses the girls picked & I can’t wait to go with each one & make their selections.

Thinking.Paper.

I have to admit when thinking about wedding invitations I’ve never been an “Ooohhhh” or “Ahhhh” type of person. Don’t get me wrong, I love that Invitations are really the FIRST impression your guests get about your event…but I guess for me I know that guests get them…Ohhh & Ahhh over them for 2 minutes…put it on their fridge or board as a reminder & then that’s it. And from a budgeting standpoint…it’s not a huge spending priority for us.

ALL that being said….I recently have been made to feel different about invitations as a whole. Maybe it’s because NOW I’m thinking about our first impression…but I’ve found a new level of excitement for PAPER {really at the end of the day in it’s purest form that’s what it is. Hahah}

So the process began….going online: Minted ~ WeddingPaperDivas ~ And even Etsy for some Custom Made Invites…and I found a few Invitations that I have to say “Inspired” me…but none that said OH this is totally our invite. Or was able to speak fully to what I now envisioned.

{Invites: Minted.com}

When I looked at the sample invites I wanted a little bit from ALL of them. I loved the blue back coloring…I loved the elegant feel of another…I really wanted something bold & different…but I couldn’t find one single invitation that incorporated everything I wanted.

Luckily for us…one of my dear friends Stacey is a graphic designer…and she so kindly offered to personally design our invitations & send them off to the printer she used for her invites & other clients of hers. I was beyond thrilled. {She is also the designer that created my Company Logo & Blog Banner}

We went back only 2x’s with revisions….she totally got what I wanted from all the pictures I sent her. She incorporated a little of all the above to create something truly special for us.

I’ve been torn about posting the final outcome….so instead…I’ll give you all just a little peek!

Design by Stacey Lauren

The best part about working with a designer to create your wedding paper needs is the ability to do everything from scratch. Design…paper stock…envelopes. And I was introduced to Envelopments to help with the process. I was like a kid in a candy store. The number of possibilities are endless. I knew that I wanted it to shine & not be matte. Along with everything else I had in mind for our big day…shimmer & sparkle was the scope.

She came up with an amazing Invitation Suite for us:

The invitation paper is a Metallic White appropriately called “First Snow”…while the invitation envelope is a Silver Metallic called “Platinum”

 

 

The RSVP cards & envelopes have a little different twist with the envelopes which will be in “Mercury Blue”. The paper still “First Snow”


I’m really looking forward to seeing everything come together once it’s all said & done. And now that I have a new found respect for Invitations I hope my guests will truly have an “Ooohh” & “Ahhhh” moment for a little longer than 2 mins…I’m aiming for 5!~

Beauty Crew Delivers!

As I stated in an earlier post I had my hair & makeup wedding day trial done this weekend….I was EXTREMELY pleased with the work the girls did.

Michelle knew exactly what to do once I showed her the pictures…& I was pleasantly surprised as to how weightless my eyes felt once she applied all the single lashes to my eyes. I was very happy my eyes didn’t feel heavy. So what do you think? Do you think she delivered in comparison to what I showed her? I think so! I was extremely happy with the final results.

Wedding makeup by Michelle Larner 

During the whole time Tara was working on my hair…she too knew exactly what I wanted and delivered a stunning updo without it looking overly done & hard. I wanted something soft & elegant & as with Michelle, she did an excellent job. {At the end of the night, I started taking out my bobby pins…133 to be exact…hahahah}

Wedding hair by Capelli By Tara

So there you have it….my wedding day look {earrings not actual}…My Beauty Crew delivered on so many ways & I’m excited to have them do my girls & the mom’s wedding day hair & makeup as well. They were absolutely wonderful to work with & even more validation as to why they are VOW’s Exclusive Hair & Makeup vendors.

Hair & Makeup Trial

This weekend I get to be made up! I’m doing my hair & makeup trial on Sunday. To say I’m really excited is an understatement!

When picking who I would use as my “Beauty Crew”…I knew instantly that Michelle Larner would be my go to girl! I’ve had a relationship with her for quite a few years & I refer all my clients to her for their wedding day makeup. Which is why it was an extremely easy decision when it came to my wedding day vendors. Here are a few shots of some of the incredible work she does.

{Images: Wedding Makeup by Michelle Larner}

Next up was Hair…through the years of planning weddings & working with beauty artists it became apparent that a lot of Makeup Artists work as a team with a Hair Vendor. They usually team up for client weddings & they work seamlessly together. There is an art to timing the Bride’s makeup & hair so that neither looks dull or flat {from all standpoints}. Especially when most Brides also have some of the girls in their Bridal Party do their hair & makeup as well.

I found that the process of picking a hairstylist for the wedding day is easier if the Makeup Artist works with someone exclusively. And Michelle does, which is great because it was one less vendor I had to worry about. Plus because I trust Michelle’s work so much I knew who she picked as her sidekick would have to reflect that same amount of quality & creativity as her work does. I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed.

Tara Jeanetti is my hairstylist for the wedding day & Capelli By Tara company was the way to go. I looked at her work online & felt confident with what she could create.

Now for the look…Because our wedding will be an evening, formal ~ black tie optional wedding, rather dramatic lighting ~ I wanted to create the same look for me. Smokey eyes that pop, BIG lashes & soft lips {don’t want to overwhelm}…

My hair would be rather simple…soft curls & pinned throughout. An almost unmade look actually.

So there you have it…the look I’m going for. I can’t wait to see my vision created by these talented artists. What I’m most excited about is sharing with you all the vision for the overall Wedding from my head…onto Blog…and into reality. And then come February, 2013…I’ll be able to post how it all came together. And if the vision that I pictures was true to what took place. It’s an overall exciting journey that I’m looking forward to bringing to life.

I Said YES to the Dress!

On April 21st, 2012 I said YES to my Dress….and here is how the whole experience went down. Like I tell all my Brides right before they get their dresses….when they ask me, “but how will I know?”…I say trust me…you will know!

Everyday when I go to work I pass this small Bridal Boutique & my mom said why not, lets give it a try. It’s called Nouveau Bride  in Merrick, NY. I also made an appointment with Bridal Reflection in Massapequa {where most LI Brides do their shopping}…

Now of course as most Brides do, I did my research online, looking at dresses upon dresses, looking for THE ONE….I even watched like 15 straight episodes of “Say Yes to The Dress” {NY and Atlanta}…to get maybe an even better idea of what type of dress I wanted. Well…it didn’t seem to help cause I was all over the place. I had pictures of ball gown dresses, A-line, Trumpet & Lace. But what I did know is that I was willing to try ANY style & wasn’t “married” to one particular style of dress or fabric.

So we both went in with open minds & some pictures that as soon as we walked into Nouveau Bride’s shop I had to discard cause they had NONE of the styles that I brought with me. {shrug}…OK so back to the ol’ drawing board & completely from scratch. I said OK what DO you have?

Well I tried on Ball Gowns, I tried on ALL lace & Tulle Dresses…somehow the way things were going I didn’t think we were going to be here for long. I had a decent but NOT over the top budget because my wonderful Mom & Dad were planning on paying for the dress…I think I tried on about 5 dresses & nothing. Every time I walked out…Looked in the mirror…and felt NOTHING! Hmmmm….was this how it was gonna go?

I was already extremely anxious & excited for the day….so feeling discouraged at the way things were going wasn’t making my anxiety any better. Corey the lovely sales woman said “Hold on….I may have something in the back for you”….{I think subconsciously when they say I have something in the back there is an immediate impression of exclusivity…so my ears were already perked up}…

She comes back with a dress that when I first looked at it on the hanger I was under whelmed & felt like maybe it wasn’t me or too much. {I won’t disclose the full details of the dress…My Soon to Be Hubby reads my blog daily & I wouldn’t want to take anything away from the reveal}..

BUT I said what the heck…lets go for it. I put on the dress….she adds a little “something extra” to the dress & I don’t really spend much time looking in the mirror. I walk out of the dressing room with a “Hmmm…oh wow, this is nice” initial feeling. My mom has been waiting patiently outside, dress after dress, giving just a look & not being overly critical of the dresses I’ve come out with so far. I know she wanted to see MY expression first before she made hers as to not sway my decision in any way.

*NOTE: I tell ALL my Brides to lower the “entourage” when going dress shopping. Too many cooks in the kitchen can spoil the pot. Everyone has very different tastes & it’s better to have at most 2 people come with you on your dress appointment, who’s opinion you value the most.

I walked out in the dress….I get a better look in the mirror…I feel how it moves on my body…and I look at my mom…she looks at me….we look back at the mirror…she asks me to turn around…and we both start crying without saying ONE word to each other & we both knew it…We both said “THIS is MY Dress”….

BUT WAIT….we started laughing saying…”Wait wait…no we can’t start crying just yet…we have another dress appointment”….We did all the calculations & realized the dress was WAY over our budget. Hmmmm NOW WHAT? My mom was kind enough to say we aren’t ruling this out, BUT we have to go to Bridal Reflections & see what we find there. DEAL….we were on our way.

*NOTE 2: Stick to your Budget & look at dresses in your budget. One of the worst things you can do it try on dresses out of your price range because you MAY fall in love with one & then realize it’s not feasible from a price standpoint & all other dresses may pale in comparison. And you WILL become discouraged & frustrated with the process.

NOW I was getting excited…because at the end of the day I knew I had found THE Dress at one place & even if this appointment at Bridal Reflections wasn’t going to be successful, I didn’t have to start looking again. {Secretly, I don’t like clothes shopping or don’t like the process of going from dress shop to dress shop, even if some girls absolutely love this part the most. I wanted to find it. Feel it. And Buy it.}

Bridal Reflections had a few of the dresses I wanted to try on….which was great because I have to say, everything I thought would look good on me. Didn’t! NOT ONE single thing I wanted to try on looked like my dress, or something right on me or my body. Just wasn’t me. So we ventured off the list and tried on about 10 dresses.

There was one dress that I walked out with….I stood in front of the mirror…looked at my mom….had that feeling….was like OMG could this be it….felt it for 5 seconds…then POOF….it went quicker than it came. Hahah….I looked at my mom & said “OMG…MOM….{loooooong pause}…..NOPE….Just lost it…OK back to the dressing room”…It was rather funny actually.

And this was it {but then I realized that even though I simply loved the top…the bottom felt like a Christmas Tree}

{Designer: Martina Liana}

It was a stunning dress…but at the end of the day I knew it wasn’t ME per say. Soooo back to the dressing room….dress after dress…still nothing. And then I got to the point where I was about to try on another dress and I stopped the whole process. I felt bad, but I told the lady that I didn’t want to waste her time…she knew that I had felt something for another dress at my other appointment. And so I said I think I’m going to go get my dress. I just knew.

I walk out…look at my mom & she says “Ok Lu….Let’s go get your dress”….We walked out of there so excited to go back. I knew it from the moment we had THE moment together. Not a word exchanged just a look of total excitement & seeing myself IN the dress walking down the aisle to say I do to my best friend & soul mate.

The rest is really history…we went there…put it on again…walked around some more…it felt so right. And it’s so true what “they” say…When you KNOW…you just KNOW.

The Designer is Matthew Christopher & here is a small glimpse of some of his amazing structured dresses. {MINE is NOT included of course}…But I’ve never heard of this Designer before so I wanted to show everyone his incredible dresses. The Structure & lines on his work is amazing & his dresses are extremely reasonable. They range from $1500 – $5000! So all Brides I feel can afford his work. And the quality is impeccable.

{Designer & Images: Matthew Christopher}

I was lucky enough my Mom & Dad were flexible with the budget & were willing to say YES to this particular dress. I will be forever grateful to them for giving me such an incredible piece that I will feel & look amazing in as I walk down the aisle. So there you have it. My own personal “Say Yes to the Dress” experience. And honestly, I hope every single Brides gets to feel that amazing & thrilling feeling when they know they have found it. It’s an unforgettable moment that I will forever remember.

The DRESS!

Now of course I’m not going to disclose THE dress that I do decide to buy…but I wanted to write a post of just the overall process of shopping & where my mind is taking me right now as far as styles….what I wind up picking may be totally different from what I have in my head…but these are the styles I’m going for nonetheless.

{theknot}

Being that our wedding is going to be a Winter Evening Wedding…I think this Bride deserves a little pouf & a little sparkle…not too much…but just enough to give off a little glitter when I twirl.

I’ve never really been one for big ballroom type of dresses, but for someone reason I want to feel like the princess Jeff makes me feel like on a daily basis. I want my skirt to twirl during our first dance & I want my dress to make an entrance so to speak.

I have my first dress appointment with my mom on the 21st. We plan on going to Bridal Reflections in Massapequa & a small bridal boutique in Merrick called Moonlight Couture just cause it’s on the way & I always pass it when I’m at work.

My mom told me she has envisioned me in something special & different…but what that is I don’t know. What I DO know is that because my mom has worked in the fashion & celebrity industry for the majority of her life she’s seem some pretty amazing gowns and styles. I trust her taste implicitly & wouldn’t even dream of not hearing her out as to which dress I should pick. She’s absolutely my fashion guru & why would such an important decision be any different.

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