Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Guest book or not?

So many of our brides ask whether or not they should have the traditional 'guest book' at their wedding or perhaps a signing mat. There is nothing anywhere that states you absolutely MUST have a traditional guest book so why not have a little fun and get guests to sign something that you will view over and over again?

A signing mat is wonderful because it becomes part of your household decor with all your guest's well wishes continuously reminding you of the wonderful day.

If you are hosting a Destination Wedding, why not consider purchasing a book on the history of that city and encourage your guests to sign the inside front and back covers. This will allow you to reflect on your day over and over again while the book itself becomes a keepsake that can be used as a coffee table book instead of being retired to the box or closet that eventually gets emptied and thrown away.

Another option - if you do plan on using a traditional type guest book, make sure you keep it out and re-use it over and over again each time you have a dinner party once you're married. Ask guests to write something special about the evenings they share with you. These will make additional wonderful memories to carry on even after the happy wedding day. Eventually you will have to add books to your first and original wedding day guest book.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Boutonnieres for HIM

When it comes to the BIG day itself, most grooms don't want a BIG flower pinned on their lapel and most would rather have nothing at all. However, with ideas like this, its easy to find a solution. Check out these gorgeous options for making your groom look great.

For more wedding tips and ideas, check out Wedding Dish BLOG
For more ideas and customized proposals, check out Charleston Florals

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Decoder Save-the-Dates

What a clever idea that will get your guests eager to see what's next from the moment they open your 'save-the-dates'.

From Michelle Rago

Decoder Save The Date

March 1st, 2010 · No Comments

Can you get better than this! Especially for the Inspector Gadget lover in all of us.

I love the retro playfulness this save the date brings to the excitement of the upcoming wedding.

Via: http://ruffledblog.com/

Posted in: non traditional brides · save the date · Trends · Papery · The Detail that made the Difference · Inspiration · Things We Love
→ No Comments

Diann Valentine

Before the Million Dollar weddings and the breath-taking locales around the world, I was absolutely delighted in the opportunities to orchestrate intimate and personal dinner parties. When a woman (celebrity or not) would come to me and put her heart on the line and ask ‘How do I express my deepest heartfelt emotion for the man I love?” It was in these moments, that I was able to creatively push the envelope. For a client’s New Year’s Eve dinner plans, I convinced her to allow me to turn a romantic dinner into something so much more. What started as a simple evening for her and her man…

turned into the beginning of a fabulous love affair with Diann Valentine’s hands all over it! From the hand-written invitation, to the personal chef, private saxophonist, a reconfigured living room and a fireplace that sparkled…no detail was left untouched.

It is in these times that I discovered such creative materials as crushed glass, mondo grass and Plexiglas and allowed my imagination to run wild with its uses. Fast Forward – it is these pure assignments that I find my soul longing for the most. Not the private jets, entourage in tow or the lush landscapes but ah! – this feels like a calling for me to return to my first love. What are the design jobs that I was willing to do even if there was no pay at all…Dinners After Dark! What is your first love?

Keep Spreading the Love,

You might also like:

GOWN BOUTIQUE of Charleston

When it comes to beautiful wedding gowns and bridal attire, there is a buzz in the air about the regal treatment and knowledgeable consultants at The Gown Boutique of Charleston. Our own wedding specialist, Christy found her dream gown there and received the royal treatment herself, so it is no wonder why we would still be singing their praises. Check out the helpful tips on their BLOG and call for an appointment if you are truly looking for that one-of-a-kind wedding gown and exceptional customer service.

At the Gown Boutique of Charleston we offer private appointments in which brides can peruse every style of dress imaginable. We stock one of the state’s largest collections of gowns that can be found in a privately owned bridal shop. Because of that, we have become a shopping destination for brides across the South. We also have a wide range of price points with gowns from approximately $1,200 to $6,000.

“We offer a very individualized, and special experience for each bride," says Terri Espy, who owns the Gown Boutique along with her daughter Krista Roach. With Terri’s talent for sewing and her background in design, along with Krista’s fashion and retail experience, opening a bridal boutique was the perfect balance of their talents. “We have been open since October 2006, and each year keeps getting better!”

Together as a mother and daughter team, we bring years of business acumen, excellent standards of service, intimate knowledge of fashion and fabrics, and a passion for weddings. We love getting to know our brides, and our relationship with each one extends beyond the gown purchase. It is important to us that each of our brides has her gown fitted properly and that she finds the perfect accessories to accent her gown. We are also here for each of our brides to provide any advice or help that we can give.

You have found the perfect wedding gown with a gorgeous train. You have envisioned your entrance into the ceremony and the walk down the aisle. However, you may not have thought about what you’ll do with those extra yards of lace, satin and taffeta during your wedding festivities. This is where a bustle comes into play!

You may be surprised to find that most wedding gowns do not come with bustles in place. Not all brides are the same height or size. For this reason, bustles are added during alterations and customized to your gown design and liking.

Keep in mind that your bustle should lift the back of your gown so that it is about the same length as your hem.

It is important to find a seamstress you trust to do the alterations and a bustling. But look no further ladies…the Gown Boutique of Charleston does all bustles and alterations In-House! We take pride in doing custom bustles, and it is important to choose a fabulous way to bustle your gown because your gown will be seen more often with the bustle than without. We work to enhance the design of your gown with the bustle arrangement so that it looks just as beautiful bustled as with the train spread out.

For more information on the Gown Boutique and their beautiful line of designer gowns, check out their website: The Gown Boutique of Charleston

La Belle Mariee

La Belle Mariee - A Brides-To-Be Blog

By Denise Lynn Woods

Denise Woods is the Creative Director and Principal Planner for Denise Woods Weddings & Events
Check out this wonderful and creative event planner for great decorating ideas and photos from outstanding events throughout the country.

FEATURED COUPLE: Victoria & Talmadge

WHO - Victoria and Talmadge
Victoria was born and raised in Annapolis MD and received her BA in Communication Studies from Clemson University. After college she worked for FOX News Channel as a producer and later left to work for Chesapeake Bay Magazine as a Web Video Producer, Ad Rep and Marketing Coordinator. Just 760miles south, her future husband, Talmadge, was born and raised in Jacksonville FL. Tal received his BA in History from University of North Florida, after college he joined the Air Force as a Russian Linguist, today he is pursuing a graduate degree in International Administration from the University of Miami in Florida.

How it all began...
The story starts in December of 2007...Victoria and Talmadge met in Baltimore Maryland. Tal was in the Air Force and based at Fort Meade. Victoria was living in Annapolis MD and working for Chesapeake Bay Magazine. The first date was dinner at Sascha's 527 Cafe in the beautiful Mt. Vernon MD.
They both love football, sports, music, friends and family and quickly started to enjoy all of those things together.

The Proposal
On the weekend of July 25/26-After moving into our new apartment in Miami, Florida as Tal was preparing to start graduate school, we had finally arrived back to Jacksonville FL on Sunday July 26, 2009 to relax at Tal's parents house. It was about 8pm and the sweet summer sun was starting to set. Tal decided he wanted to go out for a bit and watch the sunset on the St. John's River since the sky looked immaculate. Arriving at the Walter Jones Historic Park just after 8:15pm we walked to the end of the dock and sat down, dangling our bare feet over the water, taking pictures of the clouds and sun and small-talking about how excited we were about the future and moving to Miami FL together. Before the sun was gone for the night Tal asked to walk along the nature trail on the riverfront boardwalk. The setting was perfect, large oak trees, spanish moss swaying from the branches, the calm St. John's River, and a purple and pink sunset. Tal insisted that I continue to take pictures of the sunset and then he said "You may want to take a picture of this.." I turned around and he was holding a dark blue Tilghman Jewelers box (the Annapolis local jeweler that my father has used for 25+years) in his hand with a beautiful diamond ring "I love you. Will you marry me?" Of course I said YES!

Why Charleston
Charleston SC was such an easy decision for us to make and based on many reasons we decided Charleston was truly our wedding destination!

With our families in Maryland and Florida it was a 'mid-way' point to say our "I Do's," whether driving or flying our family and friends will be able to join us at this central location.

Going to school in South Carolina at Clemson I've always enjoyed visiting Charleston, it reminds me of home (Annapolis MD) but with a southern twist. Like Annapolis MD it's rich in history, on the water, has a lot of boating/sailing, has a local market, lots of shops, restaurants and extremely nice locals. Tal loves history, old buildings, and beautiful homes and lets face it.. Charleston SC is filled with it all! We both love sweet southern hospitality and in this romantic city you're surrounded with it!
We couldn't be more excited to hold our destination wedding in Charleston SC-one of the most romantic places in the southeast.

WHY A Charleston Event & Bridal Library
After choosing Charleston SC as our wedding destination it was clear that the planning would be a bit more difficult for my mother and I to do than having it in Annapolis MD! While my mother and father live in Annapolis Maryland and Tal and I are now in Miami Florida, planning a Charleston SC wedding seemed pretty challenging alone. We decided to start searching for full time wedding planners in the Charleston area to help make the V&T wedding planning much less stressful on my mother and I and to get some insider/local knowledge instead of trying to go into finding everything blind.
Searching on various websites online and in national and regional magazines we learned fast that there are MANY wedding/event coordinators in Charleston SC- so how did we narrow our search and better yet pic ACE & Bridal Library?
I sent some initial emails and made phone calls to many different companies- not to mention any names- but most of them didn't make me feel like a bride to be- they made me feel more like a huge stack of cash on the other end of the phone that they wanted to fish up right away. Once I called A Charleston Event and spoke with Elyn, I honestly didn't want to get off the phone! I think the first time we talked on the phone our conversation went on for almost an hour. Elyn really took her time to explain everything about their services and their company and how they would make MY wedding exactly what I wanted! She listened to what I had in mind, answered all of my 101 questions and made me feel like I was talking to someone I've known for years. Elyn and her team are so experienced, knowledgeable and well-rounded in not only wedding planning details but also in Charleston SC. I expressed my vision of what type of photography I was looking for and Elyn didn't have to think twice before suggestions the PERFECT photographers. Elyn is available to talk anytime you need her. It's not just a 9-5 job for all of the ACE team- this is something they enjoy and they are there for their brides WHENEVER you need them- that means a lot!
We couldn't have made a better decision to go with A Charleston Event & Bridal Library as our wedding planner/coordinator.

The Planning Process
We got a majority of our planning done in one trip to Charleston (that we took before the holidays) where we met with Elyn and some of her team. We attended pre-arranged appointments with selected vendors to help narrow down some decisions that Tal and myself had to make. Here are the vendors that we chose:

Ceremony & Reception: Governor Thomas Bennett House
Before choosing ACE we made a trip to Charleston to look at venues, the Thomas Bennett House was the second site we visited, and it was our last! After getting a tour of the beautiful house on a sunny Saturday afternoon while it was being set up for a wedding that evening, we both got into our car and practically had tears in our eyes! We both just looked at one another and said "this is it, it's perfect." Needless to say we didn't visit the other 6 venues on our list and instead went to celebrate and toast to finding our perfect wedding venue!

Elyn set up a meeting with Mic & Alan during one of our Charleston visits. These two photo journalists brought samples of their work, explained how things would work the day of our wedding, and just really produced a final product which is exactly what we are looking for. They focus on telling a story and capturing emotions in their work. We can't wait to shoot our engagement session with them and better yet our wedding day!
Elyn set up a meeting with Iverson himself and MaryAnn at the Thomas Bennett House. We are looking for a low country cuisine with a unique presentation. Iverson Catering is perfect for it all! So easy to work with, Iverson Catering is making our wedding menu based on our suggestions and wants (and even adding Clemson BleuCheese to a few dishes!) We are really looking forward to our day of tasting that's coming up!

DELICIOUS! After sampling Linda's cakes Tal and myself were in heaven! Fresh, moist, light and delicious! It was a hard decision to make which flavors we wanted since they were all heavenly. Looking forward to a traditional cake!

Ceremony Music: Classical Charleston
Elyn set up a meeting for us to meet with Andrew Mille, Cellist and Manager of Classical Charleston. We were able to choose our ceremony music after listening to sample music and by far Classical Charleston has excellent talent and stood out from the others. We believe Classical Charleston will help provide the perfect ceremony atmosphere at our garden wedding.
Reception Music: Alternate Take
I tend to get ahead of myself and take the reins! Tal and I love music so we started searching for music before we even had a venue or wedding planner! We found Alternate Take on Gig Masters.com. Fun music! Great sound! Great communication! And list of songs! Plus a little added bonus if we have songs not on their play list they will learn it in time for our wedding! Can't wait to boogie with them.
Elyn and her floral team do it all! And that's why we chose them to do our flowers! They have so much experience and know how to pick the best combinations of flowers and colors. I know nothing about flowers but have complete trust in Elyn and ACE! Can't wait to see mock ups on our next visit to Charleston!

Next Steps
We are just under 4 months out and the next on the top of my agenda is to get invitations out! I never thought picking out an invite would be so difficult, but I'm finding a lot that I like! I'm quite calm about things getting done because I have the ACE team and trust that our big day will be everything we've dreamed of! We head to Charleston this month to meet with Elyn and her team for more meetings, tastings, photos, mock ups and more fun.