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."