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Creating your wedding registry can be very exciting, but it is also a  little bit overwhelming. Ultimately, you can register for whatever you desire, whether that be fine china or an XBox 360.  However, there are a few things you should know before starting to compile your registry.

1. Am I supposed to register for fine, casual or both sets of china? Formal china will be a bit pricier then casual china because it is usually made from porcelain and bone china. It generally comes in a set of 5 pieces per place setting: a dinner plate, salad plate, bread plate, cup and saucer. Casual china will consist of 4 pieces per place setting: a dinner plate, salad plate, soup/cereal bowl and a mug. Many people think you should register for both types, but it is really up to your personal style. If you know your never going to use fine china then don’t waste registry space on it!

2. I want to register for crystal, but I don’t know the differences in styles? Like china, registering for crystal is simply a mtter of preference. However, knowing a few key terms will aid in your decision. First, the quality of the crystal is pretty easy to determine. The clearer the crystal, the better quality it is; if you can see bubbles and swirls inside the crystal, the lower the quality it is. Second is the style of crystal: plain, cut and rimmed.

Plain crystal is as it sounds, no decoration or cut, just smooth crystal. Cut crystal features a pattern that can range from relatively simple to extravagantly ornate, yet again depending upon your style.

Rimmed Crystal is the last style. This features a gold/platinum rim on the top of each glasswear. This is also a style of fine china so you can coordinate the two if your registering for both.

3. Am I allowed to register for something that is expensive? Absolutely, but make sure that you register at every price point. Your guests want to share in your special day and help you start your future together, but if everything is $100+ on your registry they may not be able to afford something. Make sure there are items that are $50 and under, $75 and under, $100 and under and so on. This will allow everyone to purchase you a gift and not feel overwhelmed by the price point.

4. Am I only supposed to register for kitchen/ dining items? No, generally most of your items on your registry will be for your kitchen or dining room. However, this does not mean this is only what you should put on your list. Many couples will register for bed linens, towels, bath accessories, art work, picture frames, storage organization, outdoor furniture, electronics, etc. There are a few items you should stay away from: lingerie (leave that to the bridal shower!), toiletries and stuff for your pet….other then that you have pretty free range!

5. How am I supposed to keep track of everything I have registered for/ what has been purchased? To help start your registry use a checklist like this one from theknot: http://wedding.theknot.com/online-wedding-registry/wedding-registry-checklist.aspx This will help you decide what you want and how many of each item.  Ususally you will register at 2-3 places, which almost all will have an online option. As the registrent, you are able to see what has already been purchased, how many of each item have been purchased and what still needs to be bought.

Hopefully these tips have given you some insight into wedding registries and will assist during this exciting time in your life!

Palm Beach Ink launches!

I was thrilled that the ladies of Palm Beach Ink invited me to serve as the hostess of their official launch party! Palm Beach Ink  was created by Mary and Britton to share the beautiful stationery designs that they love and use everyday with their friends and neighbors – making it accessible and affordable to carry on the tradition and art of the handwritten note.  While it certainly seems easier to send an email or make a quick phone call to say thank you or share news, it means so much more to take the time to actually sit down and write a few thoughtful words on beautiful paper. In a mailbox full of bills and advertisements, a personal note immediately stands out and says, “I care about you!” Who doesn’t agree with that?!

I was expecially excited about their new venture because in addition to their personalized stationery, Mary and Britton also carry lots of great party invites, thank you cards and even monogramming stamps – perfect for all those brides out there!

The Palm Beach Ink launch party was a huge success, with lots of pink (cupcakes and drinks of course!) new friends and old and of course, colorful stationery!  Check out the photos below.

By the way – have you ordered your holiday cards yet? Mary and Britton carry three lines of cards with great deals going on right now. Make sure to check them out at www.palmbeachink.com.

Seen at all Suzanne Neve Events!

 

Who doesn't love Pink Champagne?!

Awesome card display - so many to choose from!

Mary & Britton - Palm Beach Ink Owners!

Mr. & Mrs. Forrest!

After lots of planning and preparation, we are so excited that Mat & Jillian are married! They are truly an awesome couple – so genuine and fun-loving and you can’t help but to want to spend time with them.  Below are a few sneak peek photos from their photographer, Emily Harris, who did a wonderful job at capturing Mat & Jillian’s amazing energy. For more photos, check out Emily’s blog.

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Anyone who knows me knows that I think that personalizing your wedding is an absolute must! From centerpieces and favors to stationary and formalwear – every detail of your wedding should reflect who you are as a couple.

Recently, a couple that clearly embraces humor and music used their wedding processional entrance to show their guests what type of celebration they were in for…

This couple clearly gets what it means to personalize their wedding! Even if you are not as adventurous (or as coordinated!) as them, you can still follow their lead when planning your first dance. Often times first dances can be an awkward five minutes with your guests watching you wander aimlessly in circles. Take this opportunity instead to show them what kind of couple you are.

Elegant and timeless? – Learn a Waltz!

Hot and heavy? – Show them your Salsa!

Children of the 80s? – Flashdance it is!

Whatever you choose – just do what expresses you best as a couple! For more entertaining wedding first dance videos, check out the link below.

Wedding First Dance Videos

I was speaking on the phone with a good friend of mine today who told me that she was at a wedding reception this weekend where the only option offerred to guests was a cash bar. Since they were not informed of this in advance, my friends did not have any cash and subsequently drank water the entire evening. I can understand the need to be frugal in today’s economy, but there are certainly many options available to couples that can be inexpensive and will show your guests that they are just that – your GUESTS!

Food and alcohol are traditionally the largest expenses that a couple incurs when hosting a wedding reception. You can however offer your guests a more selective bar with a few special touches that everyone will appreciate. My favorite way to do this is to offer a specialty drink. This can be something that is a favorite drink of the bride and groom or something that fits with the theme of your wedding. Make sure to highlight the drink to your guests by placing it in a pretty container like the ones shown below.

Pretty Containers

You can also create a name for the cocktail that fits with the theme of your wedding and post the name and ingredients for your guests. By creating a specialty drink you are personalizing your wedding and don’t need to offer a full bar. Here are a few great examples of signaure drinks. Enjoy!

Martha Stewart’s RASMOPOLITAN

rasmopolitan

  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) citrus-flavored vodka
  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) raspberry-flavored vodka
  • 1/2 ounce (1 tablespoon) Chambord
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon Simple Syrup
  • 2 tablespoons cranberry juice
  • Raspberries, for garnish

Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice. Add vodkas, Chambord, lime juice, simple syrup, and cranberry juice. Shake or stir until well chilled. Strain into a martini glass. Garnish with raspberries; serve.

Martha Stewart’s WATERMELON BLOODY MARYS

watermelon bloody marys

  • 12 cups watermelon chunks (from one 4-pound watermelon, rind removed), plus pieces, for serving
  • 1 teaspoon sugar, or to taste
  • Ice, for serving
  • 1 1/2 cups tomato juice
  • 13 dashes hot sauce, such as Tabasco, or to taste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seeds, ground with a mortar and pestle, or celery salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 to 1 1/4 cups vodka
  • Celery stalks, for serving

Working in batches, puree watermelon (with seeds) and sugar in blender. Strain into a bowl through a fine sieve, pressing with a rubber spatula; discard solids. (You will have 5 1/2 cups juice.)

For children’s drinks: Divide 2 1/2 cups juice among 4 ice-filled glasses.

For adults’ drinks: Stir remaining 3 cups watermelon juice with tomato juice, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and celery seeds in a bowl set in a larger bowl of ice. Season with pepper. Stir in vodka and divide among 4 ice-filled glasses. Garnish adult drinks with a piece of watermelon and a celery stalk.

PINEAPPLE FUSION

pinapple fusion

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Muddle sugar, superfine and pineapple in a chilled rocks glass. Fill with crushed ice. Add ABSOLUT Citron. Stir.

MANGO MOJITO

mango mojito

Fill a chilled highball glass with crushed ice. Add ABSOLUT Mango, lime juice, simple syrup and sugar, superfine. Top up with soda water. Garnish with 1 slice mango and 1 leaf mint leaf.

It seems these days everyone is trying to save and weddings are no exception! Sometimes saving is as simple as thinking outside the box. The traditional wedding reception occurs on Saturday evening, making it the most expensive time to celebrate your nuptials. By now, most people know it can be less expensive to get married on an alternative day of the week, with the next most popular being Friday and Sunday, respectively. Switching the day of the week isn’t the only alternative though. Why not consider changing the time or style of your reception? There are many different ways to do this – check out our list below for some inspiration…

Brunch Anyone? Who doesn’t love brunch? It is by far my husband’s favorite meal and one of my favorites to cook. A casual brunch reception can help cut your food and beverage costs signficantly. A brunch buffet can be beautiful and more filling than a full dinner. Brunch is the perfect time for some food stations as well – omlettes, waffles, carving stations. Certainly most of your guests will not expect a full bar at this earlier hour so a coffee bar (with flavored whipped creams and chocolate chips!) and mimosas are a nice treat.

Cocktail Reception: A cocktail style reception is a classy and fun alternative to a formal reception. Cocktail receptions are traditionally shorter because there is less time needed for dinner service and are typically held between 4pm – 7pm.  They offer a more social environment, with no formal seating, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres.  Get creative! Offer a specialty drink that represents you as a couple, maybe a cigar roller and some lounge furniture. I guarantee your friends will love this laid back atmosphere!

Tea Time! While this one is not for everyone, it can work for some couples. A reception held during the mid afternoon with a variety of punch flavors, lemonade and sparkling water in pretty containers as well as finger foods and pastries can make an elegant presentation while saving you on costs.

Dessert Reception: Dessert – my husband’s second favorite meal (and yes it is a meal in our house!) A dessert reception later in the evening is always fun. Offer mini versions of all of your favorites paired with champagne and cordials. You can purchase or rent a chocolate fountain and display pound cake, fruit, marshmallows and brownies to dip in the chocolate.

Whatever you chose, make sure that your reception is a reflection of you as a couple and fits within your budgetary guidelines. Every couple is unique and each wedding should be too! chocolate_fountain

Dollars and Sense

According to costofwedding.com, on average, US couples spend $20,398 for their wedding. However their wedding budget is typically 50% less than the amount spent.  That’s pretty scary!

The numbers for Palm Beach County are significanly higher, with couples spending on average between $35,034 and $58,389. This does not include cost for a honeymoon or engagement ring.

Understanding average wedding costs NOW can help you create and stick to your wedding budget later. I use a simple spreadsheet to create and track budgets for my clients.  Below is a general idea of how your overall wedding funds should be allocated. There is obviously some flexibility on these items but understanding how much money you have left in your budget will help you plan and help your vendors provide you the best value for your money.

Ceremony – 5%

Attire – 10%

Photography – 15%

Stationary – 5%

Reception – 40%

Music – 5%

Flowers – 15%

Transporation – 3%

Gifts – 2%

In addition to creating your wedding budget, it is helpful to also create a reliable tracking system to help keep you organized.

Finally there are a few items that many couples forget to include when planning their big day.

  • Tips for your vendors – 15-25% is customary for certain services
  • Trial runs – make-up and hairstyling – about $20-$100 each
  • Overtime fees if your reception goes longer than expected
  • Last minute dress cleanings or tux pressings – anywhere from $50-$100 each
  • Postage for invitations and stamps for RSVPs – cost depends on how heavy your mailings are and how many you send
  • Marriage license fees – approximately $15-$90; depending on state

*From Elegala.com

By taking the time to create a budget you are ensuring that you will not have any additional unnecessary stress throughout your planning process!