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A Blog for the Discerning Bride

Archive for March, 2011

It’s a Guy Thing
categories: favor and gift ideas, for your ceremony, health and beauty

So often in wedding planning, the guys are pushed aside. The ladies take over with their fancy ideas and large opinions and more often than not,  it’s the guy that steps back and says “Yes Dear”. But just because he is compliant (for now) doesn’t mean he should be ignored. Your man has great ideas, a fresh perspective and heck, he’s super cute, right? So let’s focus on him today.

First of all, he’s gotta smell good. This man-friendly set called the Six Pack (tricky, right?) from Every Man Jack is the perfect way for your guy to start his day . The modern packaging and “Signature Mint” scent is all kinds of manly. The products are also free of dyes and products that can irritate skin, making them perfect for just about anyone, including the sensitive-skinned guy.

Accessories are the easiest way to spruce up your man on the wedding day. There’s something very cool and debonair about a guy taking his wedding prep seriously- they usually have pensive looks on their faces as they dress- but imagine the smile on your guy if he adornes himself with some personalized cuff links? Baseball makes everything fun, right?

 (from qacreate on Etsy)

(from Sherry Truitt on Etsy)

And what about ties? The Tie Bar is hands-down the best place to find a huge variety of ties for men and boys. A huge trend is to color- coordinate but pattern- diversify the groomsmen’s ties and I’m a fan!

(Image courtesy of Shawn Star Photography)

Bow ties are making a hugely stylish comeback:

(Image Courtesy of Austin Gros Wedding Photography)

(Plaid tie from xoelle on Etsy)

(Green Bow Tie from Dessy via Wedding Paper Divas)

And of course socks are awesome…

(Pirate Bot sock image courtesy of Sock It To Me)

(Big Dot socks from Happy Socks)

And for the guy who might need a little nudge, I give you Liquid Courage:

(from Liquid Courage on Etsy)

Shoes for a stylish aisle walk:

(from The Story of Kat on Etsy)

Having just little fun on the wedding day lightens things up. Here’s a way to make guests chuckle.

(from Pretty This Pretty That on Etsy)

This is one of my very favorite things I have found recently for weddings (it’s on Etsy of course). These Wallet Wedding Vows are a modern and sentimental reminder of your vows but how uber-romantic would it be for the groom to pull this out of his pocket and recite his vows from this lovely litte thing?  It’s compact (credit card sized) and sturdy. Join me in hearing the collective ooohs and ahhhs of the ceremony guests. Love it!

(Wallet Wedding Vows by Anandi on Etsy *note: allow 14-18 days for completion)

Phoenix photographer Ben Quillinan of BQ Photography says this about guys and photos: Guys are always nervous and not into having their picture taken. But when it’s about having fun rather than the picture, they relax and are perfect subjects. Once a groom realizes he doesn’t have to act differently in front of me or do any ridiculous posing, he’s back to himself and we have a great time. Bringing a couple smart-ass groomsmen along is helpful too. If the groom does start getting stiff, his buddies can snap him out of it pretty quick.

Let your guy have the spotlight, make him feel extra-special and allow him to have his fair share of the wedding fun- there’s plenty to go around!

Chatting Soon~Kelly

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Meet our Friends: Heidi’s Catering
categories: Meet Our Friends, Trends, trends in catering

As usual, I am willing to confess something today that might be a tad uncooth… I am obsessed with food. Recipes draw me in, a good menu will prompt me to drive long distances, Food Network is one of my go to stations, I pine over dinner plans and I even belong to a Supper Club for goodness sake! So now you understand why today’s featured vendor has my attention and hopefully it will get yours too. Heidi’s Events and Catering has been a stronghold in the event industry for years. They constantly innovate which makes them very cool in my book.

Heidi and I had a chat recently and I learned something VERY interesting about her- she’s a young soul. She didn’t say that but for a woman who has owned her own company for many years and has been successful but still works tirelessly to be on the cutting edge, she’s gotta be young at heart. She has chosen to take a path not many have chosen yet. She is running a near-perfect eco-friendly catering operation. This is a big deal people!  

But what does that really mean? First of all, Heidi’s does not use plastic. They flat-out refuse. So what do they use to serve their food? They have their own china so they will use that- 75% of their clients still request china- but they prefer to serve their creations with eco-conscious options such as cornstarch flatware and pressed fiber or bamboo plateware. VerTerra is a huge name in eco-forward disposables and Heidi’s uses their products which are made from leaves and water. That’s it.

Another thing Heidi’s does to help lessen their impact on the world is composting. They partner with a company that manages all of their food waste so that they do not fill their trash bins with it. This is actually not the cheapest way to manage their leftovers and waste but it is the most earth friendly way and Heidi is committed to walking the walk.

Another effort that Heidi takes on personally is recycling- she constantly trains her staff to correctly separate every single item that comes out of their kitchen. It’s pretty intense over there!

Heidi’s just released their new Spring and Summer menus (the reason Heidi’s caught my eye, of course!) and naturally, you will find items that are seasonal, local, and fresh. Frozen is a bad word in Heidi’s kitchen! If you are searching for a caterer for your wedding or any event, I urge you to reward Heidi’s earth-friendly efforts with a call. Your tummy and your conscience will be satisfied.

A few tasty tidbits you will find on their newest menus: Grilled Salmon with Cucumber and Melon Salsa, Grilled Pork Chop with Fresh Peaches and Bourbon Sauce, Pork Osso Bucco with Blood Orange Fennel Sauce and Tender Boneless Beef Short Ribs with a Balsamic Cherry Glaze.  

Heidi reiterated to me that although all of this earth-friendliness takes some work and costs a bit more, it feels good. This is why we are so proud to be associated with Heidi’s Events and Catering. Heidi, thank you and keep at it!

Chatting Soon~Kelly

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What do we do now?
categories: Tips and Advice, Uncategorized

Planning a wedding can be all- consuming. You are making tons of decisions, collaborating with family, friends and your honey and the unavoidable “what’s going to go wrong” thought constantly looms. Timelines visit your dreams, flowers demand your attention and RSVP’s must be kept in order.

But once reality hits (i.e., every day life), you may have some things in your new life that need to be sorted out and tackled head-on. Here are a few things you may have to consider now that you are married:

What to do with unused gift cards: With even our grandparents warming up to the idea that a gift card is an acceptable, even preferred, gift, we often find ourselves with gift cards that… no matter how hard we try, we just can’t use. Sometimes the dollar amount on the card isn’t enough to purchase the one thing you wanted from a store. Sometimes the purchaser misjudges our sense of style and thus the gift card will never ever be used. Whatever the reason, unused gift cards happen but they don’t have to go to waste. I have personally used Plastic Jungle and was really happy with the process. Go to the site, enter your gift card information, find out how much Plastic Jungle will pay you for it, and voila! You have “sold” your gift card for either cash or exchange. I figure $20 in cash is worth more than $25 on a gift card to a store I will never visit. 

You have too much stuff: One huge transition for many couples is negotiating the new living arrangements and the “stuff” you have that may not make the cut. You know what I’m talking about: honestly, who wants the plaid couch from college paired with the shiny new sectional? The pots and pans owned between the two of you are never going to fit in those cabinets, no matter how hard you try to stuff them in. And who really needs 23 beer mugs “borrowed” from the local bar and grill? (Confession Break: I met my husband while working at Chili’s Bar and Grill. 23 is an exaggeration.)   If you have not already consolidated your domestic goods, consider using a service like The Giving Effect:

This online donation site has a simple goal: “to get essential items to people in need.” Basically, you go online, find a cause in your area and go from there. You can help people, animals or businesses.  Also, in the style of Kiva (micro-lending to people around the world), you don’t just drop off items and that’s the end of the story. You actually get information on who benefitted from your donation. You become a part of their story. Now you know what to do with that plaid couch! And they also accept leftovers from catered events…know any catered events coming up?

Your communication needs a crash course: The transition from singlehood to married bliss is made easier when you communicate. We found these super fun ways to be very clear from I had a blast looking at everything on this website- I even got some shopping done!

and if those fail, as they most certainly will at some point during your first year of marriage, try these (I wish these had been around when I was a newlywed!):

Chatting Soon~Kelly

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Engagement: Meegan and Justin
categories: destination weddings and honeymoons, Engagement, photography

The Walt Disney Concert Hall does not look how you think it might…there are no oversized cartoon characters roaming around and there are definitely no Princesses looking to be rescued. What’s there to see then? Well in this case, one very chic engaged couple! 

Meegan and Justin met casually through Justin’s cousin but they didn’t really get to know each other until the law stepped in.  It’s a classic story: two people meet, several people go to Las Vegas to celebrate passing the California Bar Exam, two people fall in love…

If you are a frequent visitor of this blog (and I hope you are), you know I love Engagement Sessions for their romance and ease. What I also love is how they can be sweet and simple or daring and dramatic. I don’t quite know why but the breeze in the image below creates a Spiderman-esque feel. To me, it’s high on the drama scale!

One of my favs from photographer Hollye Schumacher:

Meegan shares with us: My favorite thing about Justin is how passionate he is about life and about me. Justin’s favorite thing about me is how driven I am.

Love this picture!

Meegan tells us about her upcoming wedding: Our wedding is at The Ritz-Carlton Highlands, Lake Tahoe in Truckee, California in June. I’m from the San Francisco Bay Area and learned to ski at Northstar, where the Ritz is located. My parents bought a cabin in Truckee about 10 years ago as well and have permanently moved to Tahoe. Justin and I have spent holidays and weekends up in Tahoe with my family and we absolutely love the area.

I also asked her what she is looking forward to the most on the wedding day and she said, “I’m most looking forward to marrying the love of my life and celebrating with our friends and family. I am very much looking forward to the father-daughter dance as well.”

Happy Wedding Meegan and Justin! Thank you for sharing your engagement with us.

All photos courtesy of Hollye Schumacher Photography– thanks Hollye!

Chatting Soon~Kelly

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Inspiration: Fall Color!
categories: reception ideas, Trends, Wedding Inspiration

After the hubub over Pantone’s Color of the Year Announcement (Honeysuckle), inspiration boards were aplenty. Wedding guys and gals went crazy for the pink hue which was…bright and cheerful to say the least. We showed you how to pair the pink with other wedding elements to make it beautiful in our All About Color  piece featuring makeup artist Corinna Cooke .  Since the response was so encouraging, we decided to do more with the colors Pantone has deemed important this year, specifically Fall’s color palette.

 So what to do with these pretties? The key is to combine the colors so they make you and your guests FEEL something. That something can be tranquility, hapiness or even excitement but you defintely don’t want to feel bored.

Deep Teal and Bamboo make a stunning and sophisticated combo:

(Clockwise from top left: bouquet photo: Michael Frigale, dress: JCrew, martini photo: Kimberly Jarman Photography, lantern photo: Diana Rothery, Invitation: J. Sullivan Design Blog, Cake photo: Pinkerton Photography /Phoenix Cake Company)

Another color combo I love is Phlox and Cedar because you get the playfulness of the Phlox tempered by the calming vibe of the Cedar. Notice you don’t have to be 100% matchy matchy with your tones. Color layers and textures will add interest to your wedding day aesthetics:

(Bouquet photo and Bridesmaid photo: Melissa Jill Photography/Petal Pusher/Twirl, Invitation: Post Script Brooklyn, Purse and Lounge: Tucson Bride and Groom Photoshoot, photos by Chris Richards)

We will have more Fall wedding color coming your way!

Chatting Soon~Kelly

(For reference, here is Pantone’s Spring 2011 Palette. Notice the colors for Fall are more saturated but still in relatively the same color families):

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Real Wedding: Rebecca and Christopher
categories: fabulous reception sites, real weddings, trends in catering

Phoenix’s Desert Botanical Gardens is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful outdoor venues for weddings in Phoenix; there is an abundance of desert plants, flowers and natural art that provide a dramatic backdrop for weddings and the events team there is fantastic!  For Rebecca and Christopher, Desert Botanical Gardens was the perfect place to get married since most of their guests were traveling from the east coast to be with them. Imagine coming from the “not desert” to see this:

Bride and Groom Among the Cacti

Gorgeous right? Arizona has such a unique landscape and it makes for the prettiest pictures (and the Arizona light? Just ask any photog who has taken pictures here- the sun is unbelievable!). Rebecca and Christopher took their time planning and in the process, they learned two valuable things:

1. They make a very effective team and can have fun together no matter what the task is

2. They need a break from planning (they even secretly vowed to not plan anything else for a while)!

This hands-on couple did everything together from assembling the invitations to choosing their linens. I really love how the surrounding scenery compliments the purple.  To create a party atmosphere, they utilized high and low tables, open guest seating and a lounge area.

Rebecca wisely advises Brides and Grooms-to-Be to set their own rules and stick with what feels right for them. She and Christopher wanted to host an all vegetarian dinner even though almost all of their friends and family are not vegetarians. The result? Full bellies and rave reviews from the guests! Atlasta Catering created the most delicious menu: chilled gazpacho soup shots, brie and green apple quesadillas with raspberry salsa, mini vegetable pot pies and goat cheese/sundried tomato/hazelnut pesto flatbread. Can you say yum?

Pretty cupcakes from Tiffany’s Cakes and More

This thoughtful couple went all out for their destination wedding by hosting several parties that would virtually take guests on a tour of Phoenix’s finest eateries. They planned a bachelor/bachelorette party at Cibo on Thursday night, a rehearsal dinner at the AMAZING Coup des Tartes (Rendez-Vous) Friday, an after party at downtown’s  historical Hanny’s, and a brunch/pool party Sunday after the wedding. Phew! They sure did pack a lot in didn’t they?

This genius and ambitious couple opted to take a week off after the wedding and do the greatest thing: nothing! They basked in their newlywed status and hung by the pool. Are you picking up on the fact that these two lovelies are really smart?

The next thing on their planning agenda? An African Safari to Tanzania!

Rebecca and Christopher, CONGRATULATIONS to you and thank you for your help!

Chatting Soon~Kelly

Rebecca and Christopher’s Wedding Team:

Reception Site: Desert Botanical Gardens

Florist: Amy’s Floral Designs

Photographer: Shelly Love Photography

Videographer: Tyars Media (to see the wedding trailer, go here!)

Invitations: InviteSite

Caterer: Atlasta Catering

Cake: Tiffany’s Cakes and More

Entertainment: Desert House Productions

Make-up Artist: Colours Makeup and Skincare

Hair Stylist: Meghan Roth at Hair Pollution

Officiant: Reverend Michele Whittington

Transportation: Real London Bus

Rehearsal Dinner Site: Coup des Tartes (Rendez-Vous)

Bridal Gown Store: I Do I Do Bridal

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