Wedding Picture Bliss

Our photographer Jase Kim Photography is amazing & we were so thrilled to have received some of our wedding pictures so early. He also wrote this amazing blog post about his experience. Please check it out so you can see more of our amazing day through our photographer’s eyes.

Here are a few {sneak peak}

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{pictures by: Jase Kim Photography}

{Check out the whole Blog Post HERE}

Vendors List For Our Wedding:

Photographer: Jase Kim Photography

Cinematographer: 15 Minutes of Frame

Floral Designer: Santos Floral Designs

DJ & Lighting: EJ the DJ

Transportation: Camelot Specialty Limos

Venue: Bridgeview Yacht Club

Makeup: Michelle Larner

Hair: Capelli by Tara

Dress Designer: Matthew Christopher

Shoes: Manolo Blahnik

Cake: The Sweet Peace

Officiate: Judge Corbett

Wedding Day Coordinator: Danielle Moore ~ D for Decor

Men’s Tuxedo Rentals: Men’s Warehouse

Bridesmaid/MOH Dresses: Bill Levkoff

The Hurricane & The Planner

I never in my entire life thought that I would ever experience or be affected by such a devastating circumstance. I’m Laura, I’m a Wedding Planner & Blogger and I live in Long Beach, New York. I wanted to write this post not because I want to gain any sort of sympathy or have a poor me attitude ~ Honestly, I live on the 2nd Floor of this house & we didn’t lose anything. My car was under water, but then again that’s what insurance if for & I got a new car three weeks later after the storm.

But what I did want to write about was the emotions behind this terrible storm that hit my amazing seaside town & how it has brought SO MANY things into perspective for me. And I think there is something comforting/liberating when one can express themselves on a public forum.

So here is our story ~ My fiance & I decided that we were going to ride this puppy out ~ So we stayed. I for one have never in my entire life felt more terrified as every 15 minutes starting at 8pm we checked the water quickly creeping up our stairs outside. As the night fell our street became a rushing ocean before our eyes. The water from what we could tell had reached at least 5 feet & I knew that this was nothing like Irene 2011. This was a monster of a storm & as the power went out everything got real ~ QUICK!

Sitting by candlelight we looked at each other wondering when & at what point the water was going to stop rising. We discussed going up into our attic at some point. I personally comforted myself with a glass of wine & some Bob Marley tunes on Pandora…but the reality was that we should have evacuated & we knew we would never do that again. Occasionally we would signal with our flash light to our neighbors that too decided to weather the storm that we were OK. I remember thinking at one point “Maybe now would be a good time to learn Morse code…you know just in case”.

There was a very ominous moment when maybe we were in the eye of the storm or it had just passed, but the full moon shined so bright we didn’t need any flashlights to see what was happening outside. A rushing rapid was only but 2 steps away from the main platform of our deck ~ Large amounts of debris & huge pieces of who knows what just rushed right before our very eyes. It was really calm at that point. We couldn’t believe our eyes & for a moment I thought “This is a Beautiful Disaster”…I couldn’t stop looking. We were both mesmerized by what was happening on our block. Cars completely covered in water, we couldn’t see anything but water & people looking out in disbelief.

Around 10pm we realized that the water had stopped rising and we could actually try & sleep ~ This whole ordeal started around 7pm when our lights went out & lasted for 3 hours, but felt like 3 very long & high anxiety days. Unfortunately, I couldn’t really sleep, I was up every hour just checking the water levels outside our window making sure we were still in the clear so to speak. 3am the water started coming down. 5am I could see sidewalk again.

At 7am I couldn’t sleep & decided to venture out onto our block ~ What I was met with brought tears to my eyes. I walked over to my car.

It wasn’t the fact that I lost my car ~ It was just the overall feeling of watching people slowly coming out of their homes, assessing the damage to their homes, property & their memories. I’ve never had such a devastating feeling in the pit of my stomach. We decided to take a walk to the end of our block ~ Our Indiana Beach entrance…

Our lovely beach & dunes were gone ~ I really couldn’t believe my eyes

As a Wedding Planner ~ THIS I didn’t plan for ~ The level of destruction was mind blowing & I know it wasn’t only for Long Beach, many many towns & places were devastated. I’m not taking away from ANY of that. I’m just telling my story.

Here are a few images from a wonderful LBNY Photographer {SuperClearyPhoto} that has always had a heart for LB!

We lost our Boardwalk

Streets were covered in feet of sand

Some lost almost everything they owned & had to put it all curbside ~ And still some streets are filled with memories ~ And what a sad reminder

Ok so now what? We almost couldn’t even wrap our heads around what we needed to do. Where do we go? Power was out, the sewer system collapsed, no heat, water…the town was a total war zone, devastated & broken. We had no choice, we needed to leave & go stay with my parents {and continue to this very day ~ 16 Days Later}.

In the wake of this all I receive a text message from my event planner at our venue Bridgeview Yacht Club ~ Who’s location is mind you ON the water & in the neighboring town of Island Park that was hit just as bad as LB.

Our venue had of course been hit ~ This brought tears to my eyes ~ I thought not about us, but the many brides that were planning on getting married at this venue within the next 2 months & knew they couldn’t. Sure they could maybe reschedule to another date, but I can tell you one thing ~ It’s not an easy fete to re-coordinate all your vendors to work on another date. What if they were already booked? What if they simply can’t do it? What if their contract doesn’t allow for a natural disaster? There were so many thought that ran through my head.

The lovely Pier that I’m sure every bride wants to use for a photo op had been destroyed

I was reassured that by our wedding in February, 2013 the venue would be put back to it’s original luster & even better ~ But my heart still broke for all those Brides that had to reschedule or cancel their weddings all together in the Tri-State & New Jersey area. As someone who knows every in & out to putting a wedding together, it’s heartbreaking to contemplate all that these lovely brides would have to go through to make their most special day work out. I personally had two friends who’s wedding had to be rescheduled due to Hurricane Sandy. It was just so terribly sad to hear.

As the days have gone by what has come to light is that Long Beach has an overwhelming sense of community. Every time I drive in to grab a few more things from the house, check on the progress, meet with FEMA, etc. I cry. I get this overwhelming knot in my throat. This town that I love so very much looks like an apocalyptic town. Desolate & depressing. BUT it makes me want to come back home more than ever. To help local business rebuild again.

One of our friends owns a local BBQ Restaurant in the West End called SwingBelly’s BBQ

{Swings}

They were hit but not defeated ~ And to show their incredible sense of community not only are they providing a Thanksgiving Meal for the people in the neighborhood, but they’ve also partnered with another local favorite called Cafe Laguna to provide some warm meals in the Laguna‘s parking lot ~ Setting up a smoker & teaming up with Laguna‘s Italian specialties to keep the business going.

THIS is what it means to be a community ~ THIS is what it means to bring back life into a town that has been brought to it’s knees ~ And I’ve never felt more proud to say I’m part of this wonderful place ~ This place I call HOME

{Click Here for More Information}

I went home today ~ The streets are still filled

The town is still broken

Now for the perspective!

I learned that I knew nothing about devastation until now ~ I knew nothing about what it meant like to feel displaced ~ I now know that there are some really great people out there who work hard to rebuilt towns & homes ~ I know that my heart breaks for our friends who’ve lost their entire homes ~ I know that it will take a while to rebuild this town, but it will be done ~ I know that in a time of need that I can turn to our friends & family for utter support ~ I know that what we went through was a fraction of what others have gone through & more importantly others have lost tremendously.

I am so utterly grateful for what I have ~ I am grateful for the people in my life ~ I am thankful for the sense of positivity I continue or try to have on a daily basis ~ Despite the sadness around me right now

If we are unlucky & have to reschedule our wedding because our venue won’t be ready it’s OK ~ Because at the end of the day there are so many bigger things that people have lost or had to reschedule

Memories ~ Lives

My fiance & I are truly blessed to have each other & we both knew that going through this whole ordeal has made us an even stronger couple {if we ever even thought that was possible}

But this storm taught us that despite all the sadness & seeing people crying in the streets as they cleaned their homes that we ALL should have HOPE…And we all should work towards creating a more POSITIVE life for ourselves & those around us. To GIVE BACK & to BE THERE for each other ~ I am overwhelmed with emotion as I finish this post because I have such a new found respect for just humanity in general ~ One I never thought I could gain in a real perspective.

My heart continues to go out to those that have lost ~ continue to count their loses ~ And realize that they have to start their lives all over

I am humbled beyond belief

Thank you for giving me the opportunity & freedom to be able to speak from my heart

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!

Insight Into The Planner

I visit numerous wedding blogs on a daily basis. And I sometimes wonder who’s behind all that inspiration & point of view. Some blogs just report on weddings, vendors & products within the industry. Some give you a small glimpse into who the writer is…on a recent blog I noticed a great post. A Monthly Recap via Instagram {another recent obsession}…so here is a full recap of my life in pictures via Instagram.

I celebrated a birthday…..enjoyed a wedding….planned & coordinated a wedding…basked in the sun…did a little shopping…played some poker with great friends & changed my hair color.

August was a full month & September is shaping out to be yet another fun filled set of weekends. This will become a monthly post so stay tuned…I think it’s fun to get to know a little more about the writer behind all the pictures & advice.

Inspired by Pinterest Series

For some of you that know me on a personal level I’ve been recently OBSESSED with Pinterest & I pin not only for wedding related topics but pretty much everything under the sun. I’ve decided to do a weekly post series that highlights some of my favorite pins from the previous/current week. I’m often inspired by others & that could then turn into your inspiration! So enjoy the new post series from We VOW To Inspire…

Lovin’ this centerpiece

Just in time for fall ~ Vibrant bouquet pick

Incredible color palette

Inspirational Quote of the Week

Cake of the Week

Awesome Idea to Enrich your Love

So stay tuned to weekly updates on my current obsession & things that have recently inspired me to blog more & share things that warm my heart.

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.

Engaged in our Photo Shoot

THEY ARE HERE!!!! Our Beloved Engagement Shoot pictures {at least a few of them}…We were extremely thrilled with the way the pictures came out. As I mentioned we had a wonderful time during the session & Jason Kim made the whole experience comfortable & fun {even for the groom}.

It was also pretty awesome to see the write up on Jase Kim Photography’s Blog about our shoot & us as a couple:

Posted on July 31, 2012 by jase

“I first met Laura a couple years ago at a wedding where she was the coordinator and I was one of the photographers.  This was when I was at my previous studio, and Laura was a big fan of our work.  I had a great time working and interacting with her throughout the day and we soon became friends afterwards.

We kept in touch through the years and I remember Laura always saying, “You guys are shooting my wedding.  I don’t know when that’s gonna happen, but you’re shooting it.  Okay?”  So when I broke out on my own last year announcing my new studio, it came as such a pleasant surprise when Laura reached out to me offering not only her support, but also to say that I’m still shooting her wedding (she still didn’t know when that was going to be ha).

Well, the date’s been set and Laura is well on her way to the big day.  Of course for me, there’s the added pressure of photographing a wedding coordinator’s ceremony, but I also couldn’t help but take it as a high complement, knowing how many resources and vendors were available to Laura.  She’s been a vocal fan of my work – both commercial and street and she absolutely fell in love with the Beloved philosophy that I was bringing to the East Coast.  She’s been on board since Day One and I am very grateful for that support.

So… on with the Beloved session”……{CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE READING THE REST OF THE POST}

But I did want to share a few pictures from our day!

Part of the pictures were also dedicated to creating a look for our Save The Date announcement.

{images courtesy of Jase Kim Photography}

 

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!~

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