Maternity Leave

I'm back....with my newest miracle Christian in hand! My precious baby was born Friday 5/25 at a whopping 7lbs 1oz!

I will be on "leave" with limited access to email until June 11, 2007. Should you need anything prior to this time, please feel free to leave a message on the company voicemail at 877.880.9188.

Pictures are attached for your viewing pleasure (smile)

A Toast...

After witnessing what some may consider a handful of Toast disasters (lol), I've decided to give a little advice on how to give an appropriate Wedding toast.

First, remember to breathe! No need to be nervous, the Bride & Groom have entrusted you to not only be a part of their big day but to allow you to participate freely in their reception and this is an honor to say the least. When you're ready to actually give your speech, you'll need to get everyone's attention so if there is no dj or MC to announce the toast, feel free to say something along the lines of"Excuse me everyone, if I could have your attention for a moment. I'd like to take a few moments to say a few words about our bride and groom."

Next is to introduce yourself-"I am so & so"...I mean, wouldn't it be nice if people could focus on what you were saying instead of whispering, who the heck is that anyway?

Compliment the Bride & Groom and try to remember to thank the host of the event (if not the same)

By now, you should be about Mid speech where it's generally a good idea to tell a funny story about the bride & groom. Here is where we proceed with extreme caution!!! Under no circumstance should you mention an ex, tell an "r-rated" tale, insult either the bride or groom or get too long winded. Instead, try to tell a story about the positives of their relationship, how they met, etc.

Now we're almost there and approaching the end of your speech. Feel free to end your toast with a wish or traditional toast, which are both always a safe bet. Also, remember to raise your glass (and remind the guests to raise their glasses) and drink to the Bride & Groom! (Otherwise, you'll have a bunch of really upset catering staff who can't clean the tables b/c of half full toasting glasses).

To be on the safe side, try not to write your toast last minute or in the bathroom just before you go on...instead, try to take notes and practice so on the big day, you can add yet another seamlessly effortless event to the checklist.



Patiently Waiting

Well, it's 2 days past my due date and we are patiently waiting on the arrival of our bundle of joy. Apparently, he's having a good time right where he is and is going to make us wait just a little bit longer to meet him.

Anxiety is setting in just a bit at this time, but I'm trying to keep it together (the sporatic tears don't count). Either way, ready or not, Friday he will make his debut.

Of course, I'll keep you all posted and thank you again for your well wishes and prayers!


Fun Find...

Looking for a way to spice up the visual aspect of your reception? Remember to think about the presentation of the food as a key part of the design element.

My latest find, bubbled glass server platters from American Metalcraft! This site is full of neat unique food service supplies. Don't you just love these!!!


Is This thing on??? (LONG POST)

So today's post has absolutely nothing to do with Weddings; consider it a soap box limited edition insert!

Have you ever had one of those days where you just swear that Ashton Kutcher himself is going to jump out from an Astrovan and scream "You've just been punk'd"? Welcome to the last 2 days of my life!

To make a very long story short, yesterday I picked up from the Sprint store the replacement to my Treo (which I live by by the way) only to have to hear that they were unable to transfer my precious phone book, calendars and all the important stuff. After countless unsuccessful attempts to explain to the Customer Service person that I needed to keep the broken phone to manually input the information into my new phone (7 hours of work by the way), I finally spoke with a Manager who made me sign away which looked like the Contract to my beloved first born just to have 48 hours to transfer everything., 6 hrs of my day went to manually inputting the info onto my Palm Desktop item (for backup) so that I can synchronize from laptop to the phone. luck would have it, apparently this brand new laptop that I love, the motherboard??? needs to be replaced and none of my hubports work= no printer, fax, ipod, and you guessed it, no Treo synchronization.

I finally accept the fact that I may go into labor and not be able to notify anyone since I have no information in this new phone and.... this "alleged" new replacement, DOES NOT WORK.

Breathe, Breathe...

I finally get someone at Sprint who understands my pain (I think the "I'm having a baby in 2 days speech" hit home) who has assured me that I will have a NEW PHONE waiting for me tomorrow; no refurbished, no refinished...NEW!

I may just be able to let the world know when my precious Angel is born! Oh what a day.


Don't Forget...

Today is the official day for the increase in postage. Be sure to make sure your parcels have the correct postage amount to avoid the dreaded "RETURN TO SENDER" STAMP across your envelopes!

Wedding Insurance

Although most of my Brides & Groom's don't find the need, every once in a while, I'll get a request for my opinion regarding "Wedding Insurance". Like all of your other Wedding related Vendors, I feel it's an individual choice, HOWEVER, if it will help ease your doubts and concerns about the large amount of money you're spending on your big day, I say go for it!

Wedding insurance will cover your losses if bad weather, airport delays, or a sudden illness prevents you or your fiance from getting to the ceremony on time. Insurance policies can also cover you from lawsuits in the event of a guest fall, death or illness, loss or damaged formal wear (even at the fault of the Vendor). Most importantly however, insurance will cover Vendor mishaps and the cost of the nonrefundable deposits.

While, Traveler's Insurance & WedSafe are two of the most well known companies for Wedding Insurance, Fireman's Fund Insurance recently announced that it will expand its existing policy for weddings and other special events.

If Wedding Specific Insurance is not for you but you're still interested in having some sort of protection, there is always the option to add a one day rider to your homeowners policy to cover your big day. Just another way to sit back, relax and no that it's all going to be ok :)


Happy Mother's Day! - Create custom images

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms and all of us who are mom's to be!

With our 1st child on the way and due in T-5 days, I've been an emotional mess the last day or so. lol. I started to receive Mommy to be Cards and flowers and gifts and I totally boo-hoo'd everywhere. It really hit home!

Enjoy your day Moms and take the time to reflect and relax and know that your contribution to the lives of your children is an invaluable experience.


Martha Stewart Weddings

If you have room in your collection for just ONE more magazine... the 96 page special collector’s edition of Martha Stewart Weddings is currently on newsstands. Many of the images featured in the magazine are from MS magazines of the past, but hey, we can never get enough Martha!

Happy reading...


And I'm Off...

No, not to the hospital and not to labor (8 more days)....

I'm off to Atlantic City for the ABC (Association of Bridal Consultant) and ISES joint meeting. I'm so excited because tonight's guest speaker is Timot McGonagle. timot has more than 25 years in business and has built one of the top decorative art firms in Nashville . With nearly 40 International nominations and fifteen (15) awards, he has become a major force in the International event scene.

I'm so excited for the opportunity to learn from this legend in the industry!

We're also staying the night in AC which is a great last minute escape before the arrival of the baby! Should be a great night overall.


Dress to impress

One of my favorite parts of this job is accompanying my Brides to their Bridal fitting. Honestly, it's an emotional time for me and often results in me "snapping" away on the digital cameras. Last Friday I went with my August Bride Eve to her fitting and let me tell you, I've never seen a dress so meant for anyone in my life. She looked gorgeous as usual and her gown definitely fit her style!

As with every other integral part of your Wedding, be sure to select a gown that fits the "style" and feel of your Wedding. You want to select the gown that you never get tired of putting on and if your response is "I just can't wait for the Wedding because I get to wear my dress all day long", ding, ding, ding!

So who's my favorite designer? I have a few for sure, but one of my favorites as of late is Demetrios. If you've never had the chance to see their work, be sure to check them out! Amazingly beautiful gowns.

Wedding Destinations

I came across a list during my usual daily internet crawl, of the 10 top destinations for Weddings and was thrilled to see that atleast ONE was within driving distance (and in my hometown of NYC). These sites offer amenities from golf, horseback riding, swimming and hiking to natural waterfalls, gorges, volcanoes and gorgeous Chapels-that's what I call FAB-U-LOUS! So here it is from #1-10 and if anyone needs a Planner for these destinations, I'm there!

Grand Hotel, Florence, Italy
The Top of a Mountain in New Zealand
Le Château d'Esclimont, France
Le Saint Géran and White Sand Beaches, Mauritius, Indian Ocean
Cathedral Peak Hotel, Drakensberg, South Africa
Tandjung Sari Resort, Bali, Indonesia
Dalhousie Castle, Edinburgh, Scotland
Legion of Honor, San Francisco, CA
Dramatic Cave in South Wales, UK
Central Park, New York, NY


Gimme a Kiss

I'm a little late on the announcement, but better late than never...It's about time! Hersheys is now offering personalized Kisses which would be an excellent addition for those of you like me with a "killer" sweet tooth! Kisses and Weddings, what could be more fun!


Love is in the air!

The weather was gorgeous today and I was fortunate enough to spend a few hours of it outdoors for a lunch meeting with an amazing local Makeup artist. Imagine my surprise when I returned to my desk and received two emails from a friend and fellow colleague that both had gotten engaged during the weekend!

I love this time of year! Something about the warm weather that brings the lovebirds out (and apparently the pollen too-geesh!).

Congrats Jason and Gwen!


Happy Cinco de Mayo

Contrary to what many believe, The 5th of May is not Mexican Independence Day! (If I hear this one more Mexico declared its independence from Spain on the 15th of September, 1810.

So why do we celebrate this day? On May 5, 1862, 4,000 Mexican soldiers crushed the French and traitor Mexican army of 8,000 at Puebla, Mexico. After invasion by the French, the Mexicans won a great victory that kept Napoleon III from supplying the confederate rebels for another year (after non defeat in 50 years), allowing the United States to build one of the greatest armies the world had ever seen. This army smashed the Confederates at Gettysburg just 14 months after the battle of Puebla, essentially ending the Civil War. In gratitude for assistance by the Americans, thousands of Mexicans crossed the border after Pearl Harbor to join the U.S. Armed Forces.

Cinco de Mayo celebrates freedom and liberty, two ideals which Mexicans and Americans have fought shoulder to shoulder to protect, ever since the 5th of May, 1862.


Wedding Maps

Ok, so I have a new favorite site which I found out courtesy of a fellow wedding Planner (thank you). For all of you couples planning destination Weddings and even for those who are local but holding different Wedding related events in multiple areas, Wedding Mapper is sure to be a welcomed addition to your neat stash of wedding websites.

Easy to use and fun to design, this website allows you to customize a FREE electronic Wedding map for your guest! Long gone are the days of the hand-drawn diagrams (although I love to design walking maps), now its easy to create yet ANOTHER item your guests will enjoy.


Civil Unions

As I write this post, I realize that it is quite controversial in nature. This evening I was fortunate enough to be able to attend a 3 hour speaking engagement on Civil Unions given by an Amazing Coordinator out of the Philadelphia area.

As of 2006, NJ became the third Jurisdictions in the U.S.(behind California and Connecticut) that offer civil unions or domestic partnerships granting nearly all of the state-recognized rights of marriage to same-sex couples. Defined as a "union similar to marriage", this controversial term will certainly affect the Wedding Industry as a whole as we move to recognize commitment in different forms and forums.

What I found most interesting about tonight's discussion, was the statistic that in a poll of individuals asked "what comes to mind when they hear the term CIVIL UNION", 32 percent were unfamiliar with the terminology. Political indeed, it surprises me the time line of progression in the movement towards equality within the Gay and Lesbian community.

While I am certainly not one to impose my beliefs on those around me, being a professional within the industry, I do recognize the importance of love and difficulties that arise when that love is restricted. I'm proud to say that our company does offer couples the ability to have professional assistance in planning their commitment ceremonies and civil unions and we recognize that love does concur all differences be it race, faith, age or gender related.


Initial Vendor Meetings

Like many Wedding Vendors, we offer all potential Clients the opportunity to meet with us for approximately one hour to discuss their Wedding "particulars" prior to booking. After recently participating with fellow Association of Bridal Consultant members @ a local Bridal Show and my Initial Meeting with a wonderful couple last week, my advice to Brides is "COME PREPARED".

I can't emphasize how important it is to be prepared, not just when meeting with your Wedding Consultant, but with all of your Vendors. Prepare a list of Questions (and not just the generic ones that you can rip out of any magazines, but questions that apply to what You need for your specific Wedding) to ask the Vendors. Bring pictures, swatches, any items you may have that will give the Vendor a clear picture of your Wedding Vision.

There was a obvious difference between the couple I met with last week and the Brides who attended the Bridal Show, mainly, many Brides wandered the facility and seemed intimidated to speak to the Vendors. The couple I met with last week however, Bride was completely prepared to make the most of her alloted time.

If you plan on attending a Bridal show, do not hesitate to approach any Vendor participating in the show and ask the questions on your mind. After all, what better time to "pick our Brains" then when we are readily available and able to discuss your planning progress. For a more in depth conversation, most likely you can book a "block of time" with the Vendor, but atleast you'll be familiar with their style and have a higher comfort level since you've met the individual.

Hope this helps as you search for your perfect Vendors!