Monday, December 27, 2010

Your Day, Your Way

Who says you have to stick with traditional ideas for your wedding?

Weddings today are being planned with more emphasis on personalities than the traditional almond candies and little white guest books. Not that there is anything wrong with those ideas. An Italian or Greek wedding wouldn't be the same without those little candies. However, with more and more brides of today being internet savvy and with sites like The Knot, Martha Stewart Weddings and Wedding Wire, why wouldn't you want to step out of your comfort zone and add some fun ideas that will make your guests feel just as special as you both on the wedding day?

This idea came as a total surprise to us all but was developed as we were brainstorming about color (of all things). Because the bride was one of our own planners, we decided to make it a little less formal and a lot more fun and whimsical. Greens (in particularly apple green and copper) were obviously the color here and instead of doing caramel apples, we had a local bakery make up caramel pears, which were served as late night sweets as well as sent home with guests as favors.

The last touch was the poem I wrote for the bride and groom
about them being the perfect Pair and pulling the Pear theme throughout the wedding. BIG HIT!

Anyone that is thinking about hosting a southern wedding, can think about incorporating Sweetgrass into the theme. Sweetgrass Weaving is a local dying art because of recent land development. The more the land is developed, the less sweetgrass there is for weaving the wonderful treasures of artistic craft. Local weavers pass the art of weaving down through generations and sell their baskets, bowls, fans and even solitary rosettes as shown here. I particularly love to bring them in as escort card holders or small favors with the history of the culture attached to them, so guests can remember their wonderful experience not only at the wedding, but Charleston itself.

With so many brides wanting to create a green wedding theme nowadays, here's an idea that works well with any budget.

1. Start with locally grown flowers that are in season and think about donating all the bouquets after the wedding to a local nursing home after the wedding to allow them more 'life' after the wedding. They'll bring great joy to someone else's life, even if only for a few more days.

2. Make all your reception flowers out of seasonal potted plants. If you buy perinials, they can be replanted and bloom over again each year around the same time to remind the recipients of your anniversary.

3. This also works well with aisle markers. Buy small trees, shrubs and/or bushes and pretty pots to line the aisle. These wonderful markers will help adorn the landscape for the newlywed's new home.

4. For wedding favors, try this site for these fabulous little trees. It helps support a good cause and restore more trees in the community you live in. Perfect gifts for guests and they are so cute. http://www.arborday.org/shopping/gifttrees/weddings.cfm?TrackingID=133&gclid=CImz87PWjaYCFQrt7QodeUOTmw

All in all, there are so many unique ideas for making your wedding different and we love hearing from our BLOG followers. If you recently got married and used a unique idea, please feel free to contact us and perhaps we'll use it in one of our upcoming BLOGS. You can email us at info@acharlestonevent.com

Friday, December 17, 2010

HAPPY HOLIDAYS

I get a little overwhelmed each year as I take that final break from the hustle bustle of client holiday parties, last minute Christmas shopping, wrapping presents (which by the way, my kids do on Christmas Eve for me) and writing Christmas cards to friends that we haven't seen for ages. Of course, there's always letters and news inserts of 'family updates' that go into each card as well. By the time my family are ready to celebrate Christmas, I'm a little exhausted to say the least.

Then there's the joy of having house guests. Parents, children home from college, school friends and of course neighbors and dear friends that drop in during the few days we have off. I wouldn't change it for all the money in the world and this year, I've decided to do things a little smarter to help with the holiday entertaining.

I've baked, I've cooked and I've shopped for things I can pull out of the freezer at the drop of a hat. BIG LOTS has tons of old fashioned cookie tins that make wonderful gift packaging for those home-made cookies (as shown here on the left all ready to go).

The unexpected guest won't catch me off guard this year. The
bedrooms are dusted, sheets changed and fresh towels are hanging in the bathrooms for company. Small holiday goody baskets are filled and will be placed in guest rooms with chocolate mints and cozy holiday fleeces (that were purchased just for them) will be placed on their pillows at night.

I've also
bought a bunch of little Christmas baking tins, in the shape of stars and hearts (sold in your local grocery store) that I'll use for omelets in the mornings. Muffins are already baked and in the freezer and thank goodness for Pillsbury Crescent Roll pre-made pastry. Strawberry preserves, cream cheese and a wash of egg, makes great breakfast treats that are simple and ever so fast.
I've set up a permanent bar/beverage area in one area of the house so everyone can help themselves throughout the entire time they're staying with us and of course during festivities, we'll make up batches of special recipe punch, serve champagne cocktails and fun appetizers (from fun, fast recipes along with 'pull and bake cheese rounds') and everyone will still get some fun surprises.

Christmas Eve, we'll say good-bye to friends that have stopped by, pour ourselves a good eggnog, sherry or hot chocolate for the kids and then take our turns reading "The Night Before Christmas" before settling in for the night.

I'll wait until everyone is sleeping then I'll still sneak upstairs with the stockings that have been filled with small individually wrapped 'stocking stuffers' and leave a stocking at the foot of everyone's bed. In the morning, this was the trick that kept my children in bed an extra 45 minutes. The excitement of opening these small 'teaser prezzies' was just enough to give us that extra bit of 'lie-in time'. My kids are grown now, but still expect
this tradition and so it carries on. Hopefully it will be a tradition that they will themselves carry on through generations.

I know my household will be very blessed this year. My children will be home, my parents will be with us, my sister and her family, including in-laws will be with us and there is no doubt that Christmas Day we will be surrounded by love and joy. We'll count our blessings before eating a ridiculously great meal and then wonder why it all went by so fast.

Wishing you all the same joy and blessings as you celebrate this special time of the year. From our home to yours, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah or Happy Kwansaa! No matter what you celebrate, may it be filled with love, joy and happy memories.

Elyn Rahman ~ Proud owner of A Charleston Event & Bridal Library

Christmas Rum Punch

I was home sick this past Tuesday and one of the only good things about being sick is MARTHA STEWART on TV. Such wonderful tips as always. To find more wonderful holiday tips from this show, CLICK HERE
Christmas Rum Punch

A dash of seasonal cinnamon ensures this refreshing rum punch recipe from Locanda Verde bartender Naren Young will be a welcome addition to any holiday party.

Also Try: Horse and Carriage Punch

Ingredients

Serves about 9

  • Lime slices, for ice and garnish
  • Apple wedges, for ice and for garnish
  • Cranberries, for ice
  • 3/4 cup Citrus-Ginger Sugar
  • 2 1/4 cups freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 3 3/4 cups dark rum
  • 2 1/4 cups Grand Marnier
  • 1 1/2 cups Amaretto
  • 3 3/4 cups apple juice, preferably organic
  • 3 1/2 cups sparkling water
  • Orange slices, for garnish
  • Freshly grated cinnamon, for garnish

Directions

  1. Fill a 2-cup container with water and add lime slices, apple wedges, and cranberries; cover and transfer to a freezer. Freeze until solid.
  2. In a large punch bowl, mix together sugar and lime juice until dissolved. Add rum, Grand Marnier, Amaretto, and apple juice. Transfer to refrigerator until ready to serve.
  3. Add ice and top with sparkling water. Garnish with lime slices, orange slices, apple wedges, and cinnamon; serve.
From The Martha Stewart Show, December 2010

Read more at Marthastewart.com: Christmas Rum Punch - Martha Stewart Recipes

Monday, December 6, 2010

Tis the Season for Giving Back

GIVING BACK CHEER
This is my favorite time of year. I love the smell of fresh pine from hanging wreaths, the smell of cinnamon through the air, the festive colors throughout the stores and most of all, the great holiday parties going on all over town.

There's also a part of me that always gets a
little melancholy. I see so many people that cannot afford to enjoy the things we take for granted every day. There are people that have just lost their jobs or perhaps a loved one or are struggling with little ones who are just trying to make end's meet. An elderly neighbor may have just lost their spouse of 50 years and of course the family up the street just hit rock bottom because Dad was just laid off work.
Its sometimes hard to smile and be happy all the ti me when you see and hear stories like this. However, we live in the real world and it exists.

The holiday season, (no matter what religion you are) is being able to share your love and happiness, even in some small way with a stranger, a neighbor or someone else who needs it. It's called Giving Back Cheer" and it doesn't have to cost us a fortune.

Nothing gives any of us more pleasure tha
n seeing smiling happy faces and especially sharing our happiness with other people. Just imagine what it would be like if we could wake one morning and never see poverty again or never see hardship. Imagine everyone having a wonderful holiday season without pain or misery. Imagine everyone having HOPE in their lives? Even the slightest glimmer of hope...for an unfortunate soul could be the difference of life or death.
This post is not supposed to be depressing. Its supposed to be uplifting to those of us who can afford to give back a little cheer to others. Even if we don't have the financial ability to do so, perhaps a helping hand to an elderly person, hot meal to a college student, a subway sandwich and a coffee to a homeless person. Perhaps its just a matter of volunteering at a shelter, orphanage or animal shelter one day. It could be something as simple as talking to someone in line at the supermarket and giving them the gift of a smile and a warm compliment.
On Dec 2, A Charleston Event partnered up with some of Charleston's finest local businesses to help GIVE BACK CHEER to over 800 fortunate families who will benefit from help from Families Helping Families, the initiative of the non-profit Palmetto Project. Each year, Families Helping Families help families who have been selected through local agencies and services that truly need a helping hand.
Caters, local designers, bakers, entertainment specialists, and of course wonderful v
olunteers who came out to lend a helping hand in creating the 2nd annual GIVING BACK CHEER fundraiser event for charity. The Thomas Bennett House served as the backdrop for a festive evening of food, drinks and great entertainment. A silent auction was held and the items were donated by local businesses that truly want to GIVE BACK and help make a difference. The house even opened three days before the event to allow the public to do candle lit tours through the historic home, that was decorated in true holiday fashion for the season's opening event.
So this year, as A Charleston Event sends out happy holiday wishes to all our families, friends, clients (past, present and future), colleagues and vendors who always come through for us, we'd like to extend a further wish that you always stay in good health, that you always prosper and that you always have love in your lives. With this good wishes coming your way, may you also always share your good fortune with others and extend a helping hand and loving heart. Happy Holidays and a wonderful 2011 to you all!


Thanks to the following people/companies, more families are able to have a holiday filled with HOPE this year.
Thomas Bennett House
A Charleston Event
Charleston Florals
Live 5 News
N D Richardson Graphics
Knology
Event Works
Viamedia
New Dream Catering
Brick Lane Catering
Newton Farms Catering
Gourmet Bay Catering
Artistic Cakes by Linda
Lucy Sweets
Yoj Events
Low Country Renovations
MIX Premier Bartending
Matumedia
The Lowcountry Business Network
Anastopoulo & Clore, LLC
Posh Salon
Virginia College
White Tuxedo Productions
Head Turner Studios
Wild Flowers
Connie Duglin Linens
AV Connections
Archer Music
Christy Roper, Tracy Bollettino, Ellen Walsh, Nora Richardson, Chef Eric Gaffin, Francesca DiSalvo-Follmer, Terri Grooms, Ellen Stebbins, Glen Sojourner, Angela Hensley McKee, Linda McCormick, Dave Guevara, Shannon Ross, Elizabeth Cote, Zein Rahman, Nick Matutina, Lawson Roberts & DJ Nate, Larry Monteith, ALL the very many people who donated silent auction items and of course, Richard Bell Photography, Giving Back Cheer's Official Photographer

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Rachel & Jeff October 9

Rachel and Jeff's wedding day couldn't have been more perfect. Friends and family from all over the states attended the nuptials and celebrations that took place at the Cathedral of St. Luke and St. Paul, followed by a gorgeous autumn outdoor reception held at Lowndes Grove Plantation.
Rachel looked radiant as she was surrounded by flowers created for her special day by A Charleston Event's own Charleston Florals division.
Just before the wedding ceremony, the bride and groom got a quick chance to say hello, without actually seeing each other. This was the perfect time to set the tone of the day and have a little fun while doing so.
Here comes the bride on the arm of her proud father. Rays of sunshine streamed in when the doors of the old magnificent church opened to reveal Rachel for the first time to her groom and guests.

Three generations of proud women on a joyous wedding day as the bride, her mother and grandmother are pictured in this photo together.

Portraits of 'generations of family weddings' are shown here along with the original cap and veil worn by the mother of the bride on her own wedding day. This is what was left of a cathedral length veil worn by the Mother of the Bride. The bride's veil was custom-made from her mother's original veil and small remnants were used for A Charleston Event to create keepsake lavender sachets for the bride, mothers and grandmothers. These were presented to the women the night before the wedding, a precious reminder of how love continues through generations.


The Citadel Sword Arch Guards witness one of their own graduates sealing his love with yet another kiss with his lovely bride.
With a little help from our friends at A Charleston Bride, the clear top tent at Lowndes Grove was beautifully draped with white fabric and completed the look for a festive reception in one of Charleston's most gracious venues - Lowndes Grove. The tables were set in Citadel Blue and white with pops of pinks and fuchsia tones. Small lounge seating and a smoking area for after-dinner cigars helped to maximize the ambiance of a romantic star-lit sky on a wonderful fall evening.
The Technical Event Company created the magical lighting for the event and this outdoor lit patio area for guests to sit in open air style to allow guests to enjoy the soft cool breeze from this magnificent waterfront property.
Of course nothing is more fun than Chef Nicco's mini sliders and fries towards the end of the evening for an added touch of nibbles.

Artistic Cakes by Linda created the wedding cake shown above, which served as the perfect end to a perfect meal by Patrick Properties.


Sparkler send off and then lights were distinguished for the evening. Its a shame it all goes by so fast!

Planning, coordination and design by A Charleston Event 843-494-9501
Floral Design and Decor Charleston Florals ~ the in-house floral division of A Charleston Event
Draping and swagging of Tent by A Charleston Bride
Lighting and special effects by TEC - Technical Event Company
Entertainment by Permanent Vacation
Images by A Charleston Event & A Charleston Wedding
Reception Site and Catering by Patrick Properties
Wedding Cake by Artistic Cakes by Linda
Rentals by Snyder Event Rentals , TEC and Charleston Florals
Candelabras by Peacock Events

For more information on planning a destination wedding in Charleston, contact the planners at A Charleston Event & Bridal Library to set up a personal consultation. 843-494-9501 / 843-388-8000

Monday, October 4, 2010

Vintage Style in Modern Times

Bill and Cailla tied the knot on October 2, 2010 at Magnolia Plantation and what a beautiful wedding it was. We don't have all the photos back yet but had to give you all a sneak peak at some of the small details of the ceremony itself.

A Vintage theme, with antique family linens and specialty antique blue mason jars were the highlight of the ceremony and reception. The mother of groom supplied an antique chandelier which we hung in the trellis for the focal point and this monogram letter was created for the main gates of the entranceway to the plantation.

Setting the stage for the ceremony chairs to be placed

What a gorgeous couple and a beautiful ceremony.

Design and planning: A Charleston Event & Bridal Library ~ Telephone: 843-494-9501
Floral Design: Charleston Florals ~ Telephone: 843-494-9502
Catering: Carolina Catering
Specialty Props: A Charleston Event
Chair Rentals: Group Dynamics
Entertainment: Permanent Vacation
Photography: (coming soon) Captured by Kate
Transportation: Absolutely Charleston
Bar: Icebox

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

TLCBN

On September 15, The new Loucountry Business Network had it launch party at the Vendue in and A Charleston Event was there to help setup and welcome local businesses to an awesome turnout of events. Over 250 people came out to show their support for this new and wonderfully exciting way to grow your business.

Spearheaded by networking guru Ellen Stebbins, business leaders from all categories showed up for the launch. At one point so many people showed up that people ran out of business cards. That didn't stop business owners from borrowing pens and jotting down names and contact information.

A Charleston Event provided the decor and setup for the event and GIVING BACK CHEER was the recipient of a 50/50 raffle which raised $160. Over $2,000 worth of products of local businesses were also raffled off.

Someone asked me why someone in the events industry would be interested in such a generic network of businesses. My answer was simple. Networking is a necessity in today's survival of business. Word of mouth is paramount to reaching new clients and meeting people in all walks of business and life itself is essential ti achieving your goals. Because our work is based on events, both small and large, both simple and elaborate and both small budget and high-end value, its a no brainer to me why someone would NOT want to be involved. We met people from the financial, insurance, web and media, contracting services, public relations, marketing, restaurant, real estate and even catering industries at the launch. We met people who we didn't even know were in Charleston. Now THAT'S a successful networking event.

For more information on contacting The Lowcountry Business Network, CLICK HERE

Friday, September 17, 2010

Wedding / Event Planner Scams

Normally I wouldn't post negative articles on our blog, but this story just hit a cord with us and it deserves to have front page attention everywhere so couples can do their research and not get sucked in by scam artists.

CBS News covered this story about a poor unsuspecting Arizona couple who decided on a destination wedding in Utah. They hired a local planner and 'thought' they'd done their homework until the day before their wedding, they realized they'd been scammed out of all their money. PLEASE watch this article: CBS NEWS CLIP


My colleague and I were discussing this and when she asked me 'why on earth I would publicize this', my reaction was simple. To protect other unsuspecting couples from going through the same thing. To take it one step further, here's our advice for some simple steps when hiring a wedding planner:
  1. When we supply references, they are verifiable references of clients AND vendors. How do you tell the difference? Simple. Not only will the client references that are supplied, come with email and telephone numbers, the brides should be happy to provide you with photos of their recent wedding. Most brides would LOVE to share these online. Also, call vendors in the city you are having your wedding. Ask about the planner. A good planner should have great contacts with tried and true vendors. We are all only as good as the professionals we associate ourselves with and vendors are usually pretty honest about referring planners. Hotels, caterers, cake bakers,etc. Ask about the company you are looking to work with.
  2. Make sure your wedding planner and ALL your wedding vendors are licensed and insured. This simple easy step is important. With the economy, so many people have lost their jobs and wedding planning appears to be a simple job that someone can do from home on their spare time. WRONG. Weddings are big business and warrant experience you can trust. You wouldn't take your car to a part-time mechanic who just works a couple of hours of week from his/her apartment complex, would you? Would you go to a part-time medical student to be treated for an infection or ailment? I think not. So why would you not hire a wedding planner with credentials, experience, business license and insurance to ensure you're protected? Ask to see their business license and insurance certificate. If a company has a problem supplying these, then I'd ask why?
  3. Get it all in writing! Contracts are made for a reason. Make sure everything is spelled out and do not, I REPEAT, do not take no for an answer. Contracts are meant for the protection of all involved. Not only the clients, but the planner as well. You should look for things like 'cancellation policy', 'in the event that a planner cannot provide the services listed below due to...etc.'. Ensure that a planner is prepared to oversee every contract for every vendor working on your wedding.
  4. How will billing and payments be handled? Our company has an internal billing structure and our clients get updates on all payments and cash flow accounts for in and outflow. They get confirmation each month on which vendors were paid and they also have the option of paying directly themselves if preferred. Be specific about payment terms. Make payment terms up front and stick to them. Ask for receipts.
  5. Have a direct line of communication with ALL your vendors. A good planner will copy you on all correspondence and you should be able to contact your caterer, site planner, entertainment company anytime you wish. You've hired a planner to work on your behalf, but never should you feel you cannot contact a vendor directly. A Charleston Event have a policy to include our clients in all correspondence and involve them in line of communication. There are exceptions, but do make sure you completely agree and understand these exceptions up front.
  6. Arrange your payment terms up front and send amounts that are tracked on a regular basis. Its all fine and dandy to tell you to put the entire amount on credit cards, but lets face it, $30K,$50K, $100K on a credit card can accumulate a very high rate of interest. Paying as you go along and tracking your payments will give you 'peace of mind'.
  7. A lot of establishments and catering companies will require you to leave a credit card number as a guarantee in case of incidentals or add-ons. I do not know of one facility that will allow our clients to book an event without having a credit card on file for guarantee booking. This applies to hotel accommodations as well.
Hiring a professional planner can still be the best bet when planning a wedding, especially a destination wedding. Just do your homework and you'll be sure to still have that happily ever after ending. So sorry for this poor couple who found out too late.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Who pays?



As a professional planning service, one of the first topics that most couples are concerned about is proper etiquette. Going further from there, proper etiquette relating to who pays for what. Nowadays, there are so many couples that pay for the complete wedding themselves or have a sponsor (family member) offer to help towards the expenses. I still swear by the old fashioned rule of thumb that is written in the 'Emily Post Book of Etiquette' but the following site bullet points the basics IF you are thinking of sharing the costs. Costs should be discussed with everyone present and agreed upon in advance. NEVER assume this just happens.


Traditional Breakdown of Expenses
Printable version - click here


Wedding Gown, Headpiece & Accessories

The Bride's Family



Wedding Ring for Bride

The Groom


Wedding Ring for Groom

The Bride



Wedding Gift for Groom

The Bride


Wedding Gift for Bride

The Groom


Bridesmaid Gifts

The Bride


Groomsmen/Usher Gifts

The Groom



Bride's Bouquet

The Groom


Bridesmaid Bouquets

The Bride's Family


Mother's Corsages

The Groom


Grandmother Corsages

The Bride's Family


Groom's Boutonniere

The Groom


Groomsmen Boutonnieres

The Groom


Usher's Boutonnieres

The Groom


Ceremony/Reception Flowers

The Bride's Family



Altar Baskets/Arches

The Bride's Family


Canopy/Carpet

The Bride's Family


Kneeling Bench/Candleabrahs

The Bride's Family


Rented Items for Wedding

The Bride's Family


Rented Items for Reception

The Bride's Family



Invitations/Announcements

The Bride's Family


Wedding Programs

The Bride's Family


Napkins/Matches/Printed Items

The Bride's Family



Marriage License

The Groom


Medical Visit for Bride

The Bride


Medical Visit for Groom

The Groom



Church Fee

The Bride's Family


Clergyman/Officiant Fee

The Groom


Musician/Soloist

The Bride's Family


Church Janitor

The Bride's Family


Reception Hall Fee

The Bride's Family


Catered Reception/Professional Services

The Bride's Family



Wedding Photography

The Bride's Family


Video Photography

The Bride's Family


Orchestra/Band/DJ

The Bride's Family



Wedding Cake

The Bride's Family


Wedding Favors

The Bride's Family


Groom's Cake

The Groom's Family


Rice Bags

The Bride's Family



Rehearsal Dinner

The Grooms Family


Bridesmaid Luncheon

The Bride


Bachelor Party

Best Man/Groom's Attendants


Wedding Breakfast

The Bride's Family


Bridal Brunch

The Bride's Family



Bridesmaid's Gowns

Bridesmaid's


Maid of Honor Gown

Maid of Honor


Matron of Honor Gown

Matron of Honor


Best Man Formal Wear

Best Man


Usher's Formal Wear

Ushers


Groomsmen's Formal Wear

Groomsmen


Gloves/Ties/Ascots for Attendants

The Groom



Father of Bride Formal Wear

Bride's Family


Father of Groom Formal Wear

Groom's Family


Children's Formal Wear

The Children's Parents



Limousine Service

The Groom


Honeymoon Arrangements

The Groom


Travel Expenses to the Wedding

The Out-of-town Attendant or Family Member


Accommodations for out-of town Guests

The Bride


Gifts for the Couple

Guest, Attendants and Family


Traditional Guest Books ~vs~ New Ideas

Elizabeth and Brian's wedding on September 5 was beautiful. It had a lay-back feel with Family Games and a light, easy feel to the day. There was no doubt that a wedding was taking place, but after the small intimate and touching ceremony, everyone made their way over to the cocktail area and enjoyed refreshments, passed hors d'oeuvres, Bocce Ball and other lawn games.

There was a section of the site dedicated though to "Words of Wisdom" or better known as A Charleston Event's Guest Book area. This couple were nature lovers and loved the simplicity of river rock. So....we created that element just for them. Guests signed individual rocks and placed them into a bowl that the newlyweds will adorn their home. They will remember their wedding day fondly when they see the rocks each day.Old fashioned, more traditional guest books are small books with pages of well wishes that usually get tucked away into a closet and forgotten about. Today's savvy brides are thinking up clever ideas of making sure their book gets viewed and memories stay alive. This photo envelope book above offered by Target, allows photos to be taken, and the guest to write a message to insert into the book. These books come in an array of colors as well.

Probably one of my own personal favorites is the personalized 'Memories" guest book. The above book is created by Richard Bell Photography and their company actually include a book in your photography package. Nothing is more precious than the love you have for each other. When you book your photographer, ask him/her if they do engagement sessions. This serves two purposes, (1) it allows you to get to know your photographer before the wedding day and visa versa. You'll be old friends by the time the day comes along and its fun to share the memories of just the two of you together in a casual setting and (2) You'll receive some of the most beautiful photos of the two of you right before the wedding that no one else has viewed. If your photographer does not create these wonderful little books, do it yourself easily online. (Be sure to get copyright releases from your photography company prior to publishing any photos). Have your favorites from the session put into a guest book style (you can do this through shutterfly.com or mypublisher.com). You can even combine these photos with the two of you growing up, photos of family and friends or just create blank pages for messages. The choice it yours. Once your guests sign the blank areas with messages, I promise, this will become a tabletop book you'll cherish for years to come.

Other ideas for guest wishes include
  • Signing Photo Mat
  • Signing Ceramic Platter
  • Etching Silver Platter
  • Quilt Patches
  • Messages in a bottle (to be placed in a time capsule)
  • Hardcover book on the wedding Destination Location
  • Puzzles
Here's some other helpful sites to get ideas:

MyWedding.Com

MarthaStewart.Com

TheKnot.Com