VOW Weddings: Jacqueline & Jonathan

After having been out on “maternity leave” for about 2 years back in Feb, 2016 I decided to get back into the wedding planning game…this was one of my first weddings in the game…I think part of why I chose to do this wedding at that time in my life was because the Bride was an acquaintance & I knew that although my confidence level when it comes to wedding is pretty high, after not doing one for about 2 years I was still a little nervous…

Jackie & Jonathan were such an incredible couple…not only because of their amazing energy, but they both made me feel incredibly comfortable & confident to get back into doing weddings. I know 2 years isn’t a long time to be on leave from something like this…it’s really like riding a bike…but I was still nervous nevertheless…

Here are a few highlights from that amazing wedding….The Dress…The Wedding Party…The Details…the Energy! It was palpable…

JJCollage1JJCollage2JJCollage3JJCollage4 This was an amazing wedding…the energy was amazing…the guests had an unbelievable time & everything went the way it should have…

Details:

Wedding Planning: VOW Wedding Consulting ~ Laura Capobianco {Owner}

Venue: Bridgeview Yacht Club

Photographer: Jase Kim

Videographer: 15 Mintues of Frame 

Floral Design: Pedestals

Cake: The Sweet Peace

 

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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

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…

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!

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.

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!~

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.

Devil is in the Details

There are so many elements that have to come together for any wedding. And ours is no exception. All I know is that I have this vision in my head & all I care about is bringing it to life. With all the bells & whistles I don’t want to skimp on anything. Now my fiance has been a real sport throughout this planning process & he’s been involved in many of the planning aspects. But when it comes to flowers, decor & the overall look of our wedding he’s basically said “It’s ALL you honey”. And I respect that…he looked at me like a dear in headlights when I told him about my floral design meeting & mentioned “monochromatic”, “floral trios”, “hanging votives” & “color palette”.

He had no clue what I was really talking about but listened intently nonetheless {this is the part of marriage I think he has down packed….look excited, smile & nod…when it comes to something girly} Hahah… I’m a big fan of having a dramatic reception room, so when I was speaking with my Event Manager, Kathy, at BYC she knew she had to send me a picture of a wedding they had there recently to show me what could be done with “lighting”. Thus leads me to my absolutely need to have up-lighting done in our reception room.

I love the glow of the room & I feel like it creates a really formal & elegant look.

The next step was hiring a Company that could give me great quality lights & provide an additional visual appeal that my florist wouldn’t necessarily be able to do for us.

We hired EJ the DJ for all of our music needs & knowing what they provided my clients in the past, I also knew they would be the people to do our lighting & room ambiance. So we looked to them for lighting options & they created a perfect package. Up-lighting is relatively inexpensive {a definite extra}, but can transform any room into something a little more romantic & dynamic than with traditional lighting.

We also looked to them to provide a little something extra for our Wedding that would accompany our DJ. What this is…I won’t tell yet….even though I’m documenting the whole process there are still quite a few surprises that I would like to keep under wraps. All will be revealed after our wedding….

Bringing the Vision to Life

Another vendor down…I booked my floral designer on Tuesday….This choice was easy because Santos Floral Designs is not only VOW Wedding‘s exclusive floral designer but I’ve used them for quite a few of my client weddings & referred them to my friends as well.

Christina Santos has worked with David Tutera on his show My Fair Wedding & did some freelance work with him after a tragic fire took down the whole block of stores in Long Beach, NY a few years ago. I was so happy to see her come back to the same spot.

Christina has been a huge part of my professional life & most recently personal because she was actually hired by my now fiance to set up an incredible proposal in our home while we were out.

The day Jeff proposed he had Christina come to our house & set up this beautiful display asking me to Marry Him….the moment I walked into our home my stomach dropped at the sight of this amazing set up.

When I turned around he was on one knee asking me to marry him. I cried & it took him several times of asking me to marry him before I said yes because I was just so overcome with emotion & joy.

I’ve known that Santos Floral Design was going to be my Wedding Day Florist for a very long time…I was just waiting for the moment to come where we could set up our brainstorming meeting & make my vision come to life. And this past Tuesday, we did just that.

We sat for almost 2 hours going over all the details I want {and boy are there plenty}….I want our guests to walk through the venue & be completely blown away by the flowers and decor. We finalized everything during our meeting. She’s an incredibly talented floral designer & I was jumping up & down as we were moving from page to page jotting down what she was going to create for us. I had it ALL in my head….and I needed someone to bring it to life….and she got it.

{images: santos floral designs}

I’m not going to spoil the surprise as to what I have planned. But all I can say is that it will be different. It will sparkle & I will bring the Winter Wonderland vibe indoors. {BUT there will be NO snowflake anything. Haha.Not my style}….The wedding is a formal/black tie optional adult only event. Classy but unpredictable. I’m really excited & can’t wait to do my walk-through with my Day of Coordinator {of course I have one} & see the spectacular vision brought to life right before our eyes.

Take our Picture!

Picture…Pictures…Pictures….I loooooove pictures. I’m usually the one at every party that has the camera out…and the one that posts them online that same night or latest the next day. I love taking pictures so much that for my client weddings I usually take tons of pictures during their wedding & post them online for the couple to view the following day. Gives them a little peak before they head off to their honeymoon.

Most professional photographers can take up to 3 months to filter through, edit and present pictures to their clients which is why my clients are so happy to receive my shots the next day. Here are a few shots I’ve taken of my clients through the years.

I’ve always loved being able to capture a moment in time. Life is always about making memories & being able to provide that extra little service for my Brides & Grooms makes me feel like I have a little edge against my competition.

I digress….I’ve worked with some of the best of the best in the industry. I’ve worked with Anthony Vasquez {who’s shot many celebrities, most recently one of the Jonas Brother’s Weddings}, Christian Oth Studio {Alison Mayfield & Michael Falco} & Modern Wedding Photography to name some of my most favorite Photographers & Studios. You can’t got wrong with any of those vendors.

One of my last client weddings I worked with a photographer Jason Kim. I have to say, out of ANY vendors I’ve worked with, I had a complete & utter blast with him. We worked extremely well together & I was blown away by the pictures he took for my clients. I later found out that he actually broke away from the Photo Studio he was working for & decided to venture out on his own.

This was wonderful news…his talent stands on it’s own & I am one of his biggest fans & supporters, because I knew he would be a force to be reckoned with once he went solo. And I knew that when our day came I wanted to scoop him up for our wedding, no second thought given to any other vendors I’ve worked with in the past.

Jase Kim Photography is our Wedding Photographer & we are both really excited to not only partake in the niche “Beloved” engagement shoot he does, but for him to absolutely capture the love Jeff & I feel for each other in a format that is so dear to me.

{photos: jasekim}

We met with him last week & although I had met him before our dynamic was a little different {and more casual} than while we were actually working together. With some sangria & tapas on the table Jason explained to both of us in-depth what a “Beloved” session would entail. We loved the uniqueness of how he would photograph us, capturing a raw true emotion, rather than a staged pose against a Meatpacking District wall in Manhattan.

He got to know us as a couple & not as clients. He asked great questions to evoke interest & our conversations stemmed from online dating to religion. Definitely a non-traditional vendor meeting, which is why we knew he would be able to make us both extremely comfortable during the shoots & even more so on our special day.

We couldn’t be more thrilled with our pick. So much that I wasn’t expecting Jeff to say to me that he’s really excited to do the engagement shoot only minutes after we left the meeting. To evoke such a comfortable & excited nature from a groom when it came to take pictures is a fête all brides try to accomplish. So I was pretty excited to see it in his eyes.

Jason Kim is a not only a talented Photographer but he’s able to really connect with his clients & make them feel incredibly comfortable & excited to show others the love they feel for each other.

We are excited & can’t wait to do our Beloved Engagement shoot with him come warm weather in either May or June!

P.S. Don’t worry….we will give you all a peak once we get the images…

Our Movie Magic

When planning my client weddings & my own there is a running theme of priorities. I tell all my clients when they start thinking about where & how to spend their money….where to put more towards the budget….they need to make a “NEED” list & “WANT” list. This helps all my clients determine if certain aspects of the wedding are more important than others & allowing for more of the funds to be allocated to that particular item.

For me…my “NEED” list was very simple. I “NEED” the following:

  • An incredible Cinematographer to shoot our wedding {Make Movie Magic}
  • A talented & creative photographer that shoots photojournalism style photos {or editorial}
  • And lastly a Floral Designer who can bring what I have in my head come alive

For me those three are really important. Movies & Photos can last a lifetime. And as I’ve mentioned before to me the way our wedding looks  is truly important & I really want my vision to come alive. {Speaking of Floral Decor, I’m actually going for my Floral Design appointment tonight…but I won’t disclose who & what we have planned till later in the week}.

So back to my Cinematographer….I have worked with some amazing videographers….and I had 3 that were on my wish list.

All these three cinematographers shoot in HD {but then again who doesn’t nowadays}…have an unobtrusive camera {it actually looks like a regular high quality hand-held camera}….and their highlight films & reels look like something out of a movie. The editing & the way they put the days events together is compelling & moves me every time I watch ANY of their Wedding Videos. Their work is very non-traditional cheesy wedding video.

I reached out to Moetic Films & their starting price for NY Shoots are $6,950 {Yaowza!} They do amazing work…but yet again my expensive tastes got the better of me. However, I knew I would find another vendor as equally talented…if not better! 😉

Magic Flute Videos has been a Company that I’ve worked with on several of my client weddings. Renzo is amazing to work with & love the way he shoots. Only problem, his Company goes away for Winter Months to Costa Rica…so they wouldn’t be around to actually shoot the wedding. Soooo back to the drawing board…

After doing some research online I came across 15 Minutes of Frame. To say I was blown away by their work is an understatement! Put it this way…I was so moved when I saw their wedding highlights on Vimeo I couldn’t help but start tearing up. And even though the other artists’ work is incredible…that was something they couldn’t do. Move me to tears. And that’s when I knew…They were our Cinematographers.

So far one of my favorite videos that I go back to watch over & over again is THIS HIGHLIGHT…Check it out! And tell me their work isn’t absolutely amazing.

So I reached out to Kaipo Schwab {who I’ve been in correspondence with before for other clients of mine AND to build a professional relationship to have them be one of VOW’s Exclusive Wedding Cinematographers}. We worked together on building a perfect package that gave us all the elements we wanted & working within our budget.

I was thrilled when it all worked out & we are now able to have them shoot our wedding. I honestly didn’t think I would be able to ever get them for our wedding but Kaipo was wonderful to work with & I’m so excited. Please check out their work, you will be blown away!

Next up….Photographers….

DIY.Hungry.Bride

From time to time I like to showcase products and services from different wedding venders. It’s all about spreading the L.O.V.E as far as I’m concerned when it comes to the wedding industry.

This week I am going to showcase some wedding supplies from Factory Direct Craft…for your ultimate DIY bride, here is a site that offers all those details in a one stop shop. Maybe you want to take pride in putting together a beach themed wedding with little details here & there.

This location has all sorts of goodies…Check them out…you never know how you will be inspired…or what items you may realize you forgot to buy…

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