A Planner plans: Words of Wisdom

As the wedding date approaches Mr. Charming and I have received an ASTRONOMICAL amount of advice. Mostly unsolicited.

We always take notes.

What I've learned over the course of our engagement, and courtship in general, is that your relationship is what you make it. There's no road map to the "perfect" marriage because in my eyes it just doesn't exist. If it does, it's usually just on the surface. The reality is, when you join two lives, there will be differences of opinions and approach, it's what will typically strengthen your relationship over time.

During our last counseling session, our Reverend gave us some real words of wisdom. When you love someone, don't love them to "death". Love them to life. Enjoy the life that you build with them, cherish their existence, pray for their well being more than your own, worship with them and recognize that your time on this earth is not promised.

Mr. Charming and I have had an interesting relationship. Not perfect by any means but the imperfection is what makes him truly charming. You see, I'm marrying the person who makes me feel everyday like I want to be better. For him, myself and my family. The one person who sees beyond the "surface", walks this walk of reality with me everyday and loves me, regardless.

The best advice I've heard so far...Marriage is a constant verb.



A Planner Plans: The dress

I'm not one for superstition. Mr. Charming and I are seeing each other the night before. We're are seeing either other prior to the ceremony. He has seen my dress. Although I actually wanted him to come with me on the shopping trip, he didn't because it's where he drew the line. He would like some element of surprise and I'm ok with that.

But traditional I pretty much am not.

The hunt for the perfect dress was a short one. In fact, it took about 10% of the effort it took to find my shoes.

My first stop on the journey was Country Way Bridals in Haddonfield, NJ. The ladies over there are fabulous and it was where I ultimately selected my bridesmaid dresses. It was there that I met my first love:

Melissa Sweet Mila (Source

I adored her from afar for days. I contemplated the purchase mainly due to budget. Although pricewise she was within my dress budget, logically, I just couldn't wrap my head around the cost of the dress. Something I'd only be wearing for 10 hours of my life. (Says the women with $835 shoes). A little crazy? Maybe. But I couldn't, so I moved on.

The next stops were pretty much all of the local bridal salons within a 30 mile radius and a few on a random trip to New York. Verdict? Ehh.

I found myself running into the same problem. The dreaded bridal sample gown.

A few things never worked in my favor. #1 Height. I'm a little under 5' 2". There is no podium in the world that will make me look like anything other than swallowed in a dress made for someone seven inches taller.

#2. Well endowed. I have a fairly petite frame, but am quite generously endowed in areas. The bottom half of my bottom is comfortable in an 8. If I was interested in seeing how half of the dress looked, I would have struck gold.

#3. Lack of imagination. I'm just not one for imagining how a dress is going to look. I need to actually SEE it to get the feel.

----I wanted to take a minute to let you in on something I forgot to mention at the beginning of the post. I went shopping by myslef. GASP. I know---

After about two weeks time, one Saturday I ventured into Kay Bridal in Maple Shade, NJ. I've passed the salon a million times as it's off of a major highway I frequent. That day I figured, what the heck and went in.

I had an amazing experience. First, there was no rushing. There were many brides there but my saleswoman took great care of me. Two, they had the dress that met all of my requirements:

One shoulder, comfortable, affordable, sophisticated yet not over embellished. Oh...and buttons. I am a sucker for a wedding gown that buttons down the back.

When we entered the fitting room, the consultant took one look at the gown and said-that one is yours. She encouraged me to try on the others that we had already grabbed but reiterated, it's this one. She was right.

So, without further ado, internet meet my Maggie. Fiorella is what I call her.



Source (Recycled Bride)


A Planner Plans: Decor-Um

Blue, purple, ivory, chocolate, gold. Those are the colors of my wedding.

Gasp. I know.

From the very beginning of our planning stages, I knew if there was one area i'd be knee deep into, it was the decor. I love decor. I love details. I love design. So when we started down this road I knew that there would be many times when I'd have to walk myself away from the ledge, aka, world of wedding blogs, and design our wedding, very much like we design for our POSH Touches package.

First step up: choosing my colors. I've often told my brides to "forget that it's a wedding", dumped a ton of swatches on the desk in the studio and told them to pick their favorites. That's pretty much what we did.

Blue. Blue is our favorite color. I knew that blue would be making an appearance in the wedding. Minimally though, more of an accent. Blue represents fluidity. Here is our blue:



Eggplant. I love the richness of this hue of purple. Deep, royal, sexy. As I began my linen selection, I fell in love with a purple Velvet linen. VEL.VET.


Chocolate. Along the lines of the eggplant. Sexy & silky.


Ivory. Bold. I love the look of an all ivory event. Alas, this was not going to work for our reception. Ceremony? Possibly.




I know it sounds a little crazy but in the little land in my head, it works. I envision a space filled with richness, with a sexy, silky, royal, bold vibe.

Gold. Regal. Everyone needs an accent color right?


Color can truly dictate the feel of an even. With a combination of fluidity, richness, sexy, silky, bold, regality and warmth, I think we will be ok. Can't wait to see how it all comes together, 42 days to go


Germantown Cricket Club

Last week I had the privilege of being invited for a private tour of Germantown Cricket Club in Philadelphia. My 10/16 groom Kerry, insisted that I come and see the space as he knew that I would be wowed, and I must say, he did not disappoint.

Founded in 1854, the country club boasts many activities including tennis, squash, swimming, bowling, cricket and fitness, situated on 14 acres in Germantown. On the drive up, I kept saying to myself, there's no way there's anything back here, and then I saw it. A fabulously gated country club, tucked away like a gem in a box. Awesome find.

The Director of Catering & Banquet Services, Chris, took me on a tour of the Clubhouse which accommodates up to 230 people,as well as the Clarke, Manheim and Executive rooms which are perfect for more intimate affairs. The ballroom has an amazing stage and an enclosed brick porch which overlooks the grounds. They also have a little secret tucked away on the lower level-a bowling alley. Bowling!

My favorite part of the tour, the poolside area, where the Club hosts private parties as well. Well, that and the bowling alley. I also had the opportunity to meet the chef personally and sample the menu, which is amazing.

If you're looking for a unique venue in the Philadelphia area, with the feel of the city and the privacy of the suburbs, I'd definitely recommend the club. They have somehow mastered the art of catering to the more intimate side of events and eliminating the cookie cutter feel of many of the local venue.

And because posts are better with pictures, feast your eyes on these...



Centerpieces (included in the package)

View from the covered patio

Happy Wednesday


The point of it all

It's a common occurence at weddings for guests to pull me aside and inquire about how it REALLY feels to be a wedding planner. The first question, is it fun? The second question, is it like the movies?

I've learned to answer this question in the most honest way I know how and over the years, it really hasn't changed.

Is it fun? Not really. But it's one of the most rewarding positions I've ever had the opportunity to hold. I witness the joining of two people, two families, two hearts, under God, under love, united. I'm entrusted with the little details, the family drama, the secrets that would otherwise remain personal. I've watched families blossom and have had the opportunity to maintain friends with many of my couples.

Like the movies? Not hardly. Not ever.

On days like today, when I'm organizing after an amazing wedding and I get the following email from this Saturday's bride which reads:

Hi Isis!

JP and I are here in beautiful Riviera Maya and I just couldn't wait until we got home to say THANK YOU for everything you did for us. Saturday was amazing!! We had the BEST time! Please know that we know how hard you worked and we are very grateful to you for helping us make 11/13 a day we will never forget. We are so, very appreciative!!!!!

As you was a bittersweet day, particularly for me, and it brings me so much happiness to have had the opportunity to see my parents happy. My dad cannot wait to write a Thank You note to you and Maleakia! He LOVED you all!

Not only are you fabulous at your job, but you are an amazing woman. Thank you again and we would love to catch up with you when we get back!

With love,

Katie & JP

It's beyond a movie.

What we do affects lives, it affects people and it's days like today, that I am reminded why I love what I do.


A POSH Event: Larissa marries Julio!

Larissa & Julio are the kind of couple that when you meet them, you love them. I don't know if it's the way they compliment each other personality wise, their level of affection or how they are always cracking jokes, something about them totally draws you in. It's like the real life version of the movie Love Jones. Genuine love.

Throughout the planning process you could definitely see how well Larissa & Julio worked together as a team. She is a master of design and worked hard to make sure no detail was left to chance. Julio was totally my kind of groom. Involved and Enthused.

I shared a small glimpse into this wedding, shot by the talented Euan Henry, and today I'm so excited to show the entire production. Special thanks to The Crowne Plaza, South Jersey Party Supply, Synergetic Sounds & Lighting, DEEJAY007 , GO FESTIVE! and Mum's the Word Floral Shoppe for making what I do, just a bit easier.






Larissa & Julio, we wish you much success and continued happiness. Thank you for all of your support and for making Memorial Day weekend 2010 one to remember!


A Planner Plans: Food Glorious Food

Ahhh our wedding menu. By far the most anticipated portion of the reception for me.

In an effort to keep our wedding feeling totally authentic, Mr. Charming and I decided to forgo the typical wedding menu (GASP, I know) in pursuit of something a little more us. You see, after so many years in the industry, the thought of another filet, tilapia or chicken with white sauce makes me literally ill. I knew personally, this was not a route that we would travel.

Though our venue offers a wide variety of options when it came down to it, nothing appealed to us. Seriously. NOT.A.THING. So, after thinking about it we came to the conclusion that our wedding dinner will be....

*Drumroll please*


Mr. Charming is a meat and potatoes kind of guy, I'm a sea lover, he's allergic to seafood and the thought of a juicy peace of steak is not as appealing post wedding dress diet. Our compromise was to throw it all out the window and have what we really love...breakfast. After all, if you get married on new year's eve, you kind of can get away with almost anything...Right?

We're calling it our "Almost midnight brunch".

When we announced it to the venue, they were beyond thrilled and created a menu that causes my mouth to water all of these months later. In 52 days our guests will be introduced to our idea of a perfect end to the year:

Breakfast Croissants-Scrambled Eggs on a Croissant with Shaved Grilled Ham
And Havarti Cheese

Grits Station (Homemade grits served with bacon bits, pop-corn shrimp, shredded cheddar and mozzarella, tomatoes, peppers and onions)

Omelet Station (With a Selection of Meats, Cheeses and Vegetables)

French Toast & Waffle Station (Waffles & Cinnamon Raisin Brioche French Toast, Chocolate French Toast, Whole grain toast served with Fresh Fruit, Vermont Maple Syrup, berry compote, bananas foster, roasted apples, chocolate shaving and Whipped Cream )

Fresh Fruit display

And for those guests who actually want dinner, we will have a carving station complete with carved beef and salmon with roasted asparagus and tomatoes as well as a pasta station with a variety of pasta options.

Our guests will also enjoy passed mimosas throughout the night as well as our signature drink (in addition to the open bar).

Pretty sick menu. If I must say so myself.


10 Shocking Secrets of the First Year of Marriage

A friend of mine sent me this link and I thought it made for good reading. Happy Thursday!

--By Marina Khidekel, BRIDES magazine

Think that your first year as newlyweds will be total bliss? Of course it will—but even paradise comes with surprises. Here's what to expect.

1. THE SHOCK: You'll gain a little love weight.
You've been dieting since the moment he put the ring on your finger. But chances are that celery-and-Fresca regimen will end as soon as the honeymoon begins. (Christening every Thursday "Pasta Madness"? Go for it!) "I starved myself for months to get in shape for the wedding—I even ordered my ring a size smaller to force myself to keep dieting," admits Melina M., 29, of Cambridge, Massachusetts. "Of course I've gained it all back—and a few extra pounds."
Putting on a bit of weight is normal for a newlywed. "Give yourself permission to enjoy your new life and the food that comes with it," says psychologist Elizabeth Lombardo, Ph.D., author of A Happy You: Your Ultimate Prescription for Happiness. But don't make chili-cheese dogs an everyday thing, or the pounds will keep piling on. Spanx has its limits.

2. THE SHOCK: Your B-list buds will go MIA.
You're a single girl with a tribe of friends. Once you're hitched, though, some may mysteriously vanish from the scene—unless you bribe them with Friday-night drinks.
If a friend is keen on getting married, jealousy may play a part, or she may be having a hard time dealing with a former free-agent pal's wanting to check in with her hubby before making plans. But don't worry—your closest girlfriends won't leave your side, especially if you make a conscious effort to keep them there.

3. THE SHOCK: Your sex life will be off the charts—sometimes.
After the honeymoon and a happy homecoming, life can turn, well...a bit PG. One night, you may just want to do the laundry. Or there will be a Project Runway marathon that you really, really want to watch. Before you know it, a week will have gone by since you and your spouse got romantic.
Nothing. Studies show that, over time, married people have more—and better—sex than singles do, says Scott Haltzman, author of The Secrets of Happily Married Women: "The sense of commitment helps loosen a couple's inhibitions and strengthens their sexual bond."

Related: 7 Financial Tips for Newlyweds from BRIDES Magazine's Editor-in-Chief

4. THE SHOCK: You won't unpack your china for six months.
Engaged girl's fantasy: kitchen shelves full of gleaming new china and stemware organized by color, pattern, and size. Married woman's reality: stacks of unpacked boxes in every corner.
Everyday things—working late, paying bills, taking the dog to the vet—will get in the way of setting up that idyllic space. Try this as a compromise: Open one box each week until you've achieved that sublime kitchen display. And then use the stuff!

5. THE SHOCK: You'll do the dishes; your husband will fix stuff.
It'll be like living in a Mad Men episode as you fall into clichéd roles—you're in charge of laundry; he hammers things. "One day, when our dryer's bell went off to signal that the clothes were done, my husband jumped a foot off the couch and shrieked, 'What was that noise?' That was when I realized he hadn't washed a sock since we'd been married," says Anna W., 28, of Austin, Texas.
Devise a plan, if you'd prefer to split chores 50–50. "Consider which chores each of you doesn't mind doing, and agree to divvy up the responsibilities in a way you both think is fair," says Lombardo. Studies show that when roles are clearly defined and equitable, everyone's happier.

6. THE SHOCK: Even though you'll have two paychecks, you'll still feel broke.
That "we'll have twice as much money" theory? Just an illusion. While you'll save on housing if you weren't living together before (and don't move someplace swankier), you'll also be spending more. For example, that hand-me-down couch was fine for a single gal, but now you'll want a nice sofa in a lovely home that looks as if grown-ups live there.
Don't fret too much, says Haltzman. The investments you're making now will pay off for decades to come, whether they're in furnishings, friendships (throwing dinner parties), or the future (loading up your retirement accounts).

7. THE SHOCK: You won't want to spend every moment with your new husband.
Your spouse may be your best friend, but he won't suddenly become your only friend.
"My husband and I have no problems maintaining individual friendships," says Meghan E., 29, of Richmond, Virginia. "The poor guy shouldn't have to be dragged to every new chick flick simply because he's married to me." She's right. Go out with the girls, and give him nights with his guys. You'll come home and swap stories—and your marriage will be the better for it.

See Also: 16 Surefire Ways to De-Stress

8. THE SHOCK: You'll go to bed mad, even though you vowed not to—ever.
Count on falling asleep fuming at least once that first year.
"It's okay if you're getting nowhere with a compromise," says Lombardo. "Forcing things will just make them worse." So don't be scared of getting some shut-eye. Most likely, you'll both wake up refreshed and ready to make up. Studies show the best predictor of a marriage's success is the couple's ability to repair the relationship after a fight, so as long as you resolve your conflict quickly, you can rest easy.

9. THE SHOCK: Being a wife won't mean you'll instantly have skills worthy of an Iron Chef.
"When I was single, I rarely turned on the stove in my studio apartment. Then I got a husband, new kitchen gear (all those shower gifts!), and my grandmother's take- care-of-your-man attitude," says Molly S., 32, of Baltimore.
Marriage vows are powerful, but they don't include instructions on how to make meatloaf. "I'd rush home from work and try to cook a spread worthy of a magazine photo shoot, but I couldn't take the pressure," says Molly. "Now making dinner might mean opening a bag of salad or a take-out menu," she says. "And we're both okay with that." Or you may find your husband grabbing the apron—now there's a win-win!

10. THE SHOCK: The world will feel like a better place.
Marriage is more than changing your last name and getting a joint checking account.
"Getting married is a declaration to the world that you want to be with each other forever, and a huge sense of security, devotion, peace, and love comes with that," says Lombardo. That intensity will not only deepen your bond but also give you quite a buzz. Says Krista N., 31, of New York City, "We were really supportive of each other before, but now that we're married, it feels like we're tackling life together, and that's a pretty great feeling."


A Planner plans: Keeping up with the Joneses

...and the Petries and the Williams'.

One would think that being a professional wedding planner, planning your own wedding would be a breeze. NOT.

The thorn in my side as of late has been the guestlist. Having watched many of my clients go through the struggle of keeping up with invitations and addresses and herds of people, I figured I'd be proactive and send out an email shortly after getting my little sparkly requesting addresses.

Slight problem.

That was about a year ago and apparently for many of my guests, many changes have occurred over the last year. Atleast 10% of our invitations now require replacement addresses (yay for the booming economy and the successes of house hunting) and though I am thrilled with all of the new locations we'll have to visit post wedding, for the purpose of invitations this is not a good thing.

Lucky for me, we have two of the most amazing vendors on our team LeTrice of LePenn Designs and Kathleen Turnure of Elegant Hand Calligraphy for all Occasions. These two ladies are two of the most patient women I've ever met. I've been fortunate enough to correspond electronically with both over the planning process, especially LeTrice. Over the last few months we have exchanged hundreds of emails regarding changes to our stationary and most recently the need for additional....everything.

As we prepare for invitations to hit the stands (smile) tomorrow, I've learned a valuable lesson. One last reminder to your guests to inform them if their addresses have changed, will not hurt. Lucky for us, LeTrice sent extra blank envelopes and Kathleen was prepared to step into action when we needed more.

Awesome right?

And because I just couldn't stand to wait for another's a sneak peak of what our guests will be seeing in their mail very soon...

Happy Friday!


Congratulations to Entwined Studio

Just wanted to send a quick congrats to the fab duo behind Entwined Studio, Matt and Angie, who were recently featured in New York Magazine. Not only do they have an amazing eye for detail, they are seriously two of the nicest people i've ever come across.


When searching for a professional photographer, a small component of the qualification is their ability to shoot. The larger component,the personality and the sense of ease that you have when working together. When you have accomplished fulfilling both of these, you're sure to have a winning combination. Mr. Charming and I are so delighted to have them document our wedding day.

Congrats Matt & Angie. We wish you much continued success!


A Planner Plans: Sweets for my sweet

Confession time. I am OVER wedding cake. Seriously over it.

I think after a certain number of years of exposure, just like anything, the novelty wears off. For me, that is the story of me and cake. I can't stand it. I can appreciate it, but give me a Viennese table full of brownies, cookies and pies and my heart is content.

So when it came to the great dessert debate, I realized Mr. Charming and I had a huge difference of opinion. Mr. Charming loves cake. Not just any cake but chocolate and not your average chocolate but roll over with your stomach cramping for ganache overdose chocolate. For him there was no other option.

I however, dreamed of s'mores. Roasting marshmallows, graham crackers and a bite sized morsel of chocolate along with a variety of cheesecakes.

Insert problem.

We arranged for our venue to offer s'mores but after months of consideration, decided it was just too messy.

So it was back to square one. Since I was obviously losing the battle on cake, I compromised and agreed to a small cake. 2 tiers, nice and simple, or so I thought.

I contacted Jen of Hudson Cakery soon after agreeing to serving cake at the wedding. Jennifer and I worked together on Bethany & Chris' wedding and I really just adored her. When we started developing options for the cake, she made it very well known, the possibilities were endless. Cake soon became yet another thing on the ever growing to do list.

This past week, Jen made a house call and brought with her what I affectionately refer to as sin on a spoon. Seriously. For tasting purposes, we were given a chocolate cake with oreo filling, chocolate chip cake with chocolate filling and an almond cake with vanilla filling, all with vanilla buttercream frosting.


I seriously sat grinning ear to ear and confessed that I was totally wrong. Not only did we HAVE to have cake, we had to have lots of cake.

Our final selections, chocolate cake with a layer of chocolate and a layer of peanut butter and almond cake with a layer of cherries and a layer of crushed almonds. Add to that a variety of cake balls including cheesecake, red velvet cake, carrot cake with cream cheese icing and s'mores cake, and you have yourself a very happy Mr. Charming and #Giddyplannerbride.

This is Jennifer.

Samples of each cake. Are these not huge?

Cake pops (melted a bit in transition but delicious nonetheless)


I was wrong and I'm glad I was. Not only am I now looking forward to the cake, I'm now practicing a serious amount of restraint to not eat the entire sample. They were huge. In a good way!



A Planner Plans: Cold Feet

Selecting my dress was easy. Way to easy. I went dress shopping by myself, narrowed it down to three options and then returned to the two salons with my mother, future mother in law and my maid of honor and anxiously waited for their approval. Easy breezy.

What was not so easy was what I would wear on my feet. I searched for months for the perfect shoes. Yes, months. I went to the Nordstrom near me so many times, I started making friends with the workers. I must've tried on every stiletto within a 20 mile radius that I could find in a shade of blue. You see, if I knew nothing else, I knew that my something "blue" would be on my feet.

After exhausting all possibilities both locally and on the web, I eventually gave up. Mr. Charming and the rest of the world would just have to accept that I was defeated by the possibility of shoes that only lived in my dreams. That was until I saw these:

Uggs Bailey Button Deep Cobolt Blue. I DIE.

You see, second to my obsession with jeans, runs my obsession with Uggs. I love my Uggs. Wear them as much as I can all year round. Yes, I'm one of those people. I love how comfy they feel, how warm I stay and I feel they are just the perfect compliment to a pair of skinny jeans or a cute winter dress. When I saw these in Nordstrom I took a double take.

Could I get away with Uggs under my formal gown? Would everyone think I was insane?

I decided to keep looking but something in me always brought me back to that same place. One day, I took Mr. Charming to the mall and asked his opinion. In typical Charming fashion he said "Who cares what other people say. You like them, I like them on you and it's about us." Just like that, I was $199 poorer.

Since my purchase I haven't exactly received a ton of support on my Uggs decision. My mother actually begged me not to wear them so much to the point that I picked up these beauties, as a backup:

BC Footwear women's bicycle built for two flat.

Though they are cute, something about them just doesn't feel "genuine" to me. Even with the replacements in hand, I still think back to my Uggs tucked under my gown, keeping me cozy and offering a little since of normalcy on an otherwise intense day.

I haven't actually decided which pair will make their debut on the big day. I will probably need until then to decide.

Did you have any small things drive you absolutely nutty during the planning process?


Today is Jennifer and Randy's wedding day!

This weekend was a huge weekend for POSH!

Yesterday we had the honor of working with Valerie & Frank and Jennifer & David. Collectively, the weddings included 580 guests, 19 band members; 2 lighting companies, 4 photographers; 2 videographers, draping installations, 6 limousines, 3 motorcoaches, 1000s of candles and a combined POSH staff of 9. It was quite the evening.

Today on 10.10.10 undeniably the most popular wedding day of the year, we have the honour of coordinating an amazing wedding for one of my favorite couples of the season. I have been working with this lovely couple for almost a year now and look forward to seeing their vision come to life.

Happy planning and a special congratulations to all the 10.10.10 couples today!


A Planner Plans: Green Eyed Monsters

We were unable to post on Friday because we were coordinating the wedding of our amazing couple Joan & Vincent. Now that their wedding is complete and they are luxuriating on the beach in Mexico, we are a bit back to normal (until this weekend's three weddings).

I've hesitated to right this post. Everything in social media tells you to remain positive, not to focus on negative, not to "bash" vendors or downplay products. The reality is however, people sometimes suck.

Yesterday I cried.

I consider myself a strong person. My greatest accomplishment, next to Chris, is never settling for no. I graduated with an MBA because someone challenged me to. I dual majored the summer before my Senior year to see if I could. At 23, I purchased my first home and seven years ago started this business which I love. I pride myself on being strong and yet I cried.

Hard tears.

I've told myself a million times not to let the planning get to me. Our wedding planning has taken a bit of a back seat as my priority and focus is assisting my clients. Mr. Charming and I work on limited time. We've worked hard, very hard, to ensure our guests remember the experience at our wedding. The emotions of the day. The joy that we share. That they get a true glimpse into our reality.

When the green eyed monster reared it's evil head into OUR situation, I found out that I am normal. Just plain normal.

I see it a million times with my Brides and I finally became that girl. With my couples, it's easy. I play defense. You will NOT contribute unnecessary stress to my brides. That scenario is easy. In my own life, not so much. I let people "get to me" and try to rationalize it when the truth is, people sometimes suck.

I can not offer much in the way of comfort, but wanted to let other Brides in similar situations know that with wedding planning, you find out who you're true supporters are. You find out who values you and who genuinely supports your relationship. It's a blessing and a curse. The good thing is, in the end, the only people left in the room will be the ones on your team. Rest assured.

I recently posted the phrase on facebook and today I've decided that like my good colleague Mark Kingsdorf, it's going up on my wall.

If you are IN a wedding and you are NOT the Bride or Groom, REALITY check: IT'S NOT ABOUT YOU. AT ALL.



A POSH Event: Sneak Peak- Larissa marries Julio

(Photo Courtesy of Euan Henry Photography)
Larissa & Julio were an amazing couple with an eye for detail and design like no other. I'm so excited to share with you the details of their holiday weekend wedding with you!



Totally inappropriate title, but the perfect way to introduce what I am anticipating will be one of the greatest pieces of our wedding experience, the music.

One of the most obvious passions that Mr. C and I share as a couple is our love for music. It’s always playing. We love a mix of old school r&b, soul, big band and a little bit of country. We’ve spent many of Sundays watching videos on YouTube of performances from some of the industry greats and belting out the lyrics as a team. We are dorks. Certifiable dorks.

It was three years ago that I first had the pleasure of speaking with Brian Lizzi. You know those people that it takes about 5 seconds of speaking to, to feel like you’ve known them forever? Brian is that guy.

I was doing vendor confirmations for the Fanelle Wedding and our conversation ended something like this:

Brian: "Have you ever heard our band play?”
Me: "No, I have not had the fortune".
Brian: "Well, I can promise you this. You will be angry with me at the end of the night".
Me-(Totally perplexed)"why"?
Brian: "Because our band is going to be so good, no one is going to want to go home".

Well, I took what Brian said with a grain of salt because, well you know, all vendors try to sell to the wedding planner/ It’s just what they do. True to his word, the end of the magnificent night came and went and after four straight hours of watching approximately 200 people up and at it all night, I was impressed. I was also sold. That would be my wedding band.

Fast forward a few years later. Shortly after we booked the venue I had a candid conversation with Mr. Charming. Of course, this one was going to be a bit more difficult. You see, when you date a wedding planner, there are some things you pick up by nature. One of which most people would assume. A band is WAY more expensive than the average dj. To make matters worse, a phenomenal band…is double that. My first attempt at the band conversation was pretty much a bust. Not only did Mr. Charming want a dj, his high school friend is a well known professional dj that has been on the radio and doing celebrity events for years. After failing miserably at that conversation, I decided to change my approach. I asked Mr. Charming if he would go with me to a complimentary showcase, followed by a lunch date with yours truly. He couldn’t resist. We head out to our planned excursion and low and behold... traffic. Traffic=late arrival. No sweat I thought, there is no way they will go on first. There are seven acts. We get in and wouldn’t you know it, there is my band, doing their last song of the set.


Since we were already there, we agreed to just stay and listening to the other bands that CTO had to offer. Mr. Charming had a great time, we sang along, we took notes, it was awesome. He still hadn’t heard MY band though. True to form, Brian came over at the end of the set and introduced himself to Mr. Charming. I explained to him that we missed the band and he introduced us to Carmen, the owner. Carmen and Brian then escorted us to the private listening room where we watched the band’s latest performance on the big screen. Mr. Charming was sold.

In 98 days I will get to hear my favorite band in my favorite room with my favorite people and my better half and I’m bursting with excitement. Yes, the expense is astronomical in comparison, but like anything else, when looking at your budget, you must prioritize, and we did. We’re pretty sure there will not be any “I wanna sex you up” playing on our big day, but I know that Brian will keep his promise to me, a promise he made three years ago, to give the guests an experience they will never forget.

Without further ado, our band, CTO 5th Ave



The Timeline

As we prepare ourselves for the close of our season with seven weddings left for the year, I've been knee deep in timelines. Make that waist deep.

In the area I'm pretty well known for my timelines. Upon initial glance, they look utterly ridiculous. Seriously, I know this. I always distribute them to the vendors with the caveat to scan for your name and confirm only those items. An average event timeline for us is about 9 pages and can go anywhere up to fifteen. A few years ago, I had a limo driver, whom apparently provided transportation for quite a few of our couples, come up to me and say I always smile when I see your timeline, I know I'm working with you and exactly what we're going to be doing.

Mission accomplished.

We've developed our timeline so that everyone, every single player on our vendor team, knows what is going on that day. Though we are there to facilitate the day, I figure maybe, just maybe, it would help to have an overview of the day that everyone can have access to, just in case. I know I would appreciate it if I was the photographer knowing that the videographer is arriving half an hour before my scheduled arrival, who they are and where they are going first, just in case I want to coordinate with them. I also know that the venue coordinator probably would like to know if they florist plans on coming for setup earlier than initially anticipated and will be making multiple trips during the day and grandmom's corsage will be left on the second trip, just to make my job easier.

I know I'm one of the few in the area, probably the industry, who do things this way and it's totally ok with me. I've seen some of my colleagues timelines and they range about 2-3 pages and I.Die. As a coordinator, it is a touchy topic though because you don't want to offend anyone or make them believe that you think they are incapable of executing a perfect event. It's what we specialize in. Instead, the vendors that actually get it, appreciate that they do not have to coordinate the "behind the scenes" as it is in writing exactly what the couple expects and they are able to confirm it is what they deliver. It's a win, win for all.

So, if you are preparing a timeline absent of a wedding coordinator,first call me we'd love to help. If that doesn't work out, here are the must haves for your document:

Name/Contact number for all parties involved
Arrival time (and conclusion time) for all of your vendors
Pickup/Drop Off locations for transportation
Prepping locations for the bride and groom
Ceremony program order
Reception timeline (general) including names with phonetic spellings and songs for formalities
Name of individual responsible for taking items home
Contact individual name and number on the day of.
Also include with your timelines copies of all the day's must haves as last pages. This includes directions to your venue, floorplan, checklists, etc.

Sample of our timelines (excuse the sloppy, ahem, "working" desk area):



I'm hoping this post helped some of you brides and grooms who are in the process of putting pen to paper. The best thing I can advise is when in doubt, write it down. Second best, call us! We'd love to help.


A Planner Plans: Stand by me

Will you be my At the alter and thru the craziness of wedding planning, friend, confidant and by my side girl? AKA bridesmaid?

Those were the words that began the email which I sent to the nine wonderful women that will stand beside me. Yes, you read correctly N-I-N-E.

I tried for the longest time to come up with a cute way to ask my bridesmaids to be a part of our wedding party and it was a major fail. I know these ladies. We've grown up together, laughed together, cried together and there was no card (hand made or store bought) that would ever be able to express how fortunate I feel to know them all. I used to host an annual girl's night out and invite all the girls to come into New York, stay at a hotel my treat, and go out for a night on the time. They are those type of friends.

Four of the nine I've known my entire life. We are family. I have one sister but was raised amongst many first cousins, close in age, close enough to feel more like sisters. I've known 2 of the remaining five girls for 20+ years and 1 for 18+. These women have been my very best friends for as long as I can remember. The next of the ladies, I proudly stood beside as her Maid of Honor one week from today. We met in college but quickly became the best of friends. Mr. Charming's sister rounds out the ninth addition of the group.

My posse roles deep! (Sorry I couldn't resist).

I quickly realized that I became the Bride I advise my clients not to be. To be honest, it's partially Mr. Charming's fault. Remember I mentioned he was an athlete? Well his friendships span 30 years and he was inviting EVERYONE to be a part of our day. Then reality struck. Large bridal party=Large expense and contrary to what I'd like to believe, we are not made out of money.

There would need to be some tweaking.

We decided (ok, I decided)early on in the planning process that we will not get married at the foot of a traditional aisle. This union is about our family and we want them to play a very active role in the entire event. Instead, we will either get married "in the round" or in a square configuration, surrounded by the people we love the most. My major concern with our large group, (we are at 20 including us) is that having 25% of the attending population, standing in a tiny space would look utterly ridiculous. But being in the wedding party they will obviously walk down, because that's just what you do.

Our compromise? Everyone will enter (my fab girls escorted by the groomsmen) and at the "foot" of the aisle separate and go to their seats. They will stand remain standing until I enter and be seated with the rest of the guests. Dilemma 1 solved.

Example of ceremony seating courtesy of my friend and colleague Juliet of Green Orchid Events


Issue #2. Floral costs. So.... 9 girls + 2 mothers + 9 groomsmen + 2 father figures + 2 ushers= ALOT of flowers. I always knew that I was not totally wowed by the idea of bridesmaids bouquets. Don't get me wrong they are lovely, but nothing hurts my heart more than setting them aside shortly after I remove them from the girls lined up during my couple's first dance, to go keep the cake company. I just knew I could not do it. I haven't exactly figured out if I will be substituting another object in the absence of the florals,I'm considering these fluerette cocktail rings (picture below) but for the time being, I have total faith in my ladies being able to keep their hands occupied during the ceremony. I've never understood the logic anyway. Dilemma #2 solved.

Fluerette Rings

Issue #3. Rehearsal Dinner. 30 people. Need I say more? Luckily Mama Charming has graciously offered to take care of this and we happily accepted. Dilemma #199 solved.

And because I would never tease you and end a post without atleast showing you what the girls will be strutting you go.


(Jim Hjelm Couture Alvina Valenta)


A Planner Plans: Get over yourself

These are the words that little voice in my head has played over and over and over again.

I design for a living. We plan events but we design desires. I have studied how to cultivate a vision into a day that is cohesive and "pretty". We're taught to soothe the senses with every event. So when it's your own the pressure is turned beyond high to produce.

The reality however, is this is not a production. It's our wedding. It's not a show stopping, must see, scalp tickets to type of event. If we didn't have all the "pretty" the emotion and the general feel of the day SHOULD remain the same. I have to remind myself of that on a daily basis. Some days are easier than others.

I want all the lovelies. I want to break out all the newness in my industry so my guests jaws will hit the floor. The truth is they are going to be awed regardless, because our wedding will not be like any they have seen. Breaking the bank won't make that any more or less true.

So, I have a deal with Mr. Charming. Our wedding our way. If something does not seem "authentic" to who we are, we pass no matter how tempting. This was the most ingenious idea EVER. I so wish I came up with it myself.

Once I realized I needed to get over "myself" and who I felt the industry dictates I as a bride needed to be, the wheels began to turn.

With a little assistance from my amazing colleague and friend, LeTrice Penn of LePenn Designs we were able to develop a "theme" for the wedding. I use the word "theme" very loosely as we are not doing matchy matchy in the least. Just like I tell my clients, I encourage couples to develop a theme so that they stay on track when the planning wheels go astray. For POSH clients, we've used themes that span the length of the spectrum, with my favorite being "texture". Our theme will be "The Tale of Two Cities".

When we sat down to figure out what it was that Mr. Charming and I had a passion for (besides each other of course) what kept popping in our minds were our birthplaces. I am a Die.Hard. New yorker. I breathe congestion and confusion, chaos and hustle and bustle. I love the bright lights, dollar cabs and a good meal at 1:00am. I understand a sandwich is a "hero" not a hoagie and live for clubbing on a weekday. Mr. Charming on the other hand is a total Philadelphian, bless his heart.

When trying to decide on a theme and feeling desperate for options, Le'Trice suggested that we bring in what we love the best. We will be incorporating touches of both cities throughout the reception and the ceremony, while trying not to suffocate people with too much of a good thing.

Our guests first clue to our theme would be the introduction to our event or the save the date.

(LePenn Designs)

The Philadelphia half of the equation was easy to incorporate. We are getting married here and you better believe a cheesesteak, a pretzel and a great cream soda will make an appearance at somepoint during the day.

The New York portion was going to take a little work.

We met up with our phenominal photographers Matt & Angie of Entwined Studios. I seriously love them. Seriously. We scheduled our engagement session in the dead of winter because, #1, there's nothing like New York in the winter and since we're having the wedding in Philadelphia, we had to mirror the season in my home. Number 2, snow+cold= a great excuse for a pair of jeans, lots of snuggling and my beloved Uggs. Here are a few shots from the day:




Awesome right?!

I've also purchased items from some pretty amazing etsy sellers that will be used for decor. I would tell you exactly what for, but my guests read as well so it will have to stay a surprise!

Etsy seller: PullingPetals

Etsy seller: HuntersHideaway

Etsy seller: paperfinger

I've learned alot since embarking on this crazy journey (amidst the busiest wedding season we've ever had). I learned that sometimes, you really just have to get over yourself and out of your way to make it all come together. As Whitley Gilbert would say "relax, relate, release"...and you will be ok.


Happy Anniversary Mr. & Mrs. Gee

Farrah is my kind of girl. Fun, loving and remarkably talented. Her husband is equally as fun and a politician in the state. When you add these two together, the combination is a good kind of scary.

I still can't believe it's been 3 years since we helped this couple plan their remarkable event. The evening ceremony took place on the stairs/landing of the Trenton War Memorial and the bride took her walk to her new groom down a candlelit aisle. After the ceremony, the guests (including some secret service agents, local policitians and nba players) entered the backstage of the Memorial, 4,000 sq feet which we transformed into an intimate all-white lounge atmosphere. Drinks, dessert and dancing took place for hours to follow.

I still remember Farrah's reaction to seeing the room for the first time. We were in transition of changing our name from PureNSimple to POSH and when we opened the doors she hugged me and said "now this is a POSH event!". I never forgot that feeling and the floorplan of Farrah & James' fabulous dessert reception hangs in the studio as a constant reminder to stay "true" to who you are, even when it's outside of the norm.

Congratulations to three years Farrah & James and may you celebrate many, many more!



A POSH Event: Kelly marries Vincent: Part III

We are wrapping up our series on Kelly & Vincent's wedding and I just wanted to share with you some of the lovely details of the day:

Escort Card Display which greeted the guests upon arrival to the reception

Menu Cards crafted by our talented bride Kelly

Centerpieces by Nancy Saam


Candy buffet

Favor Display

And my favorite picture of the day because it really reflects Kelly & Vincent as a couple. Fun, loving and ready to go!

Kelly & Vinny, it was our pleasure assisting on your big day and we shall see you in a few months for the wedding of Katie & JP!


A Planner Plans: Decisions, Decisions

My mother is one of nineteen. My father, the youngest of 5. I easily have 50+ first cousins, 10 of which I spent almost everyday around. My parents love to entertain, (I'm pretty sure that's where my event gene was cultivated). Mr. Charming was an athlete the majority of his life, so is his brother. We are social butterflies times 10.

Slight problem.

My venue, after the inclusion of our 7 piece band and their massive stage, holds 120 MAX. Yes, that's right. One hundred twenty people.

We had a few options, the larger ballroom which was also available that evening, will hold upwards of 600. I've actually assisted with a wedding there with just around that guest count. It was huge! While the space is tempting, having a room that can accommodate 600 people would cause quite the problem. Why? Well, Daddy Petrie is the entertainer of all entertainers. He LOVES to invite people over. Remember the episode of the Cosby show where Theo graduated and Mr. Cosby brought lawn chairs? THAT.IS.MY.LIFE. So, as tempting as it would have been, I knew that opening those gates was one route we would not take. So, smaller ballroom it was.

When Mr. Charming and I first discussed this option we both laughed because the thought of only having 120 people (remember 50+adult first cousins for myself alone)was ludicrous. I've hosted barbeque's with almost that many people. But our wedding is no bbq and we refuse to become the "free" entertainment option for new years eve.

There had to be rules. Tight rules.

So here's how we cut our list (future brides and groom's take note).

1. If we didn't not know your real first & last name and only referred to you by a childhood nickname, you didn't make the cut.
2. If we hadn't seen you physically in 2 years, you didn't make the cut.
3. Adults were only allowed to bring dates if they were married or engaged (exceptions not even for the bridal party as these are people we've known atleast 20 years..more on that to come).
4.No children, or tweens. As a matter of fact, we restricted the age limit to 21 years or older. Even though 70% of our guests are from out of town, we felt our wedding just wasn't child friendly, and retained the services of the Wedding Sitters to watch the littles ones.

With these rules in hand for us, we gave each set of parents 15 invites each and split the remaining 90 (ok I took 50) between us two.

Mission accomplished.

When we first set out on this task, it seemed really far fetched. How do you not offend your great aunt twice removed? Your co-worker from 10 years ago? Your tweeps (twitter peeps) or the 2000 facebook fans who are so excited for your planning? You stay focused. We realized that if we wouldn't normally invite you to a $130 dinner, our wedding was certainly not the time to start-that logic helped alot.

This was the first of many, many difficult decisions to come and we made it through. Alive. A little bruised (not all of our guests were delighted with our choices) but together.

And just in case you forgot internet, this one is for you dad!

Have a great holiday weekend!


A POSH Event-Kelly marries Vincent-Part II

We last left off here...

After the full mass, the couple was off to the venue for pictures. When I say that this couple had a dream team of vendors, they truly did. It was raining during the ceremony. HARD. The rain continued during cocktail hour but neither Mary Quinn or Louis Anthony were the least bit frayed. We were outside, in the rain, umbrellas drawn and at one point we giggled b/c it looked like the paparrazi was in full effect.

The florals at the wedding were in a word stunning. Nancy Saam Floral Design did a great job and they are just the nicest people to work with. Guests grooved to the tunes of Opera3000 and Claudia and her team at Laurel Creek Country Club provided an awesome spread as always. At the end of the night, we opened up the candy buffet and I witnessed, for the first time, an Italian Streamer Dance.

It was truly an amazing night.

And now for some eye candy courtesy of the fabulous Mary Quinn photography:

As the exited the ceremony

Papparazzi Shot (Well worth it I think)

Guest Table

Sweetheart Table

Candy buffet- Designed by my assistant Malakeia

Italian Streamer Dance-Definitely one of my faves

Stay tuned for part III of this series filled with lots of juicy details!