Wish Upon a Wedding: The Fairy Godmother of Wedding Organizations

Because everyone deserves a happy ending...

When a co-worker forwarded me an email titled “Announcing America’s ONLY Wedding Wish Granting Organization,” my immediate thoughts went straight to “DE-LIGHT!”  Even before I opened the email and read the press release in its entirety, I knew there had to be something magical in store… and magic, my dear friends, is exactly what I found.

 Wish Upon a Wedding is a brand new (for real – their launch party was yesterday 1.28.2010) nonprofit organization whose intentions and goals are nothing short of extraordinary.  As America’s only wedding wish granting organization, Wish Upon a Wedding  fully intends to “produce weddings and civil union ceremonies at destinations across the United States for individuals facing terminal illness.”  If that doesn’t have *tear* written all over it, I don’t know what does.

After perusing through their Web site, I came across something that moved me.  Because I consider myself an eternal, hope-FULL romantic, I’m always looking for optimistic news, which seems to be few and far between these days.  Hence why fairytale-come-true stories are always topping my list.  As a self proclaimed cheerleader of love, there’s nothing that warms my heart more than seeing just how far a little love can be spread. 

By celebrating the courage and spirit of these couples, it is our hope that others facing similar situations will find hope, strength, and the promise of eternal love.  (wishuponawedding.org)

 This is truly inspirational, which is why I encourage you all to read Florence’s storyWish Upon a Wedding’s first recipient winner and see what you can do to help!  Speaking from experience, proclaiming my love to my Mister - in front of all our family and friends – has hands down been the most beautiful moment of my life.  So, anyone or organization whose soul intention is built around helping others, especially those as deserving as Florence, achieve this goal are gold star worthy in my book and merit all the help they can get!

So thank you, Wish Upon a Wedding, for bringing the *Bibbidi, the *Bobbidi and the *Boo to those who merit it most!  And cheers to everyone who’ll get their “happily ever after…”

Photo Courtesy of Fanpop.com

Save the Date Videos: Let Your Wedding Day be a Box Office Smash

“All right, Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close up.”  Sunset Boulevard

Yesterday, a girlfriend at work (whaaaduup, Nat!) asked me if I saw the Early Show on CBS that featured a couple’s Save the Date video… I was like, “Whhhhaaaaa?  A video??  For their save the date?  That’s incredible!”

Incredible, I came to realize, was the understatement of the century.  After perusing through a few YouTube videos last night, I became a woman possessed.  Save the Date videos have been around for awhile, and over the course of time, they’ve become - among other things - a force to be reckoned with.  So, reckon, I shall.

When I featured the blog post about the Mister & Me’s Save the Date Magnets, I have to admit, I was pretty impressed with myself and our pre-invitation mailers.  Armed with my Adobe Photoshop skills, I created something original in design and unique to us, and while I’m still proud of our little save the dates, I’d be lying if I said they weren’t dwarfed by the awesomeness of these videos.

Just like every couple is different, so were the videos they directed.  Dead sere, I saw everything!  Some couples treated it like a  movie trailer to a big ticket event; while others stuck with the more traditional video / picture montage approach.  In the end, however, it didn’t matter if they were telling story, being romantic or simply downright ridiculous, because with the conclusion of each video came the knowledge to Save the Date!  Below are some of the standout examples: ENJOY!

Poking fun at Bridal Stereotypes: [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=djcHDVrJjFk]

Takin’ the CUTENESS to a whole new level!: [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HLNsKpmaBiA]

Bringing the Humor with Beyoncé (P.S. That’s the groom on the left) : [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qRnHbrCDxmM]

Movie Trailer Madness: [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-8pbSdX7nc]

Traditional Montage: [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oKA5go_IW-g]

EPIC (aka forgot-what-I-was-watching) Movie : [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqs-b4Gjqqg]

Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed & (Go Ahead, Make Everything Else) Blue!

Photo Courtesy of W. Scott Chester

Formally known as just another “something,” blue is proving to be more than just another pretty face in the crowd for 2010 weddings… and I must admit, I’m a huge fan.

While 2010 is likely to bring all kinds of wedding trends, when it comes to color, blue is easily the go-to hue for brides everywhere.  According to The Wedding Report‘s 2010 Wedding Color Trends, over 20% of brides are planning on using blue as their primary color. 

This may not seem like much, but considering green is the next biggest competition at 11.3%, I’d say blue has more than a leg up on the competition.

Photo Courtesy of Beautiful Blooms

Brides are incorporating its cool tone into everything from bridesmaid dresses and bouquets to reception centerpieces and accessories… and making their guests “ooh” and “aww” accordingly.  No longer a just a sad shade for Picasso’s blue period, this cobalt encrusted hue epitomizes peace, tranquility and harmony.  <Sigh>Sounds pretty incredible, right?

Well, historically speaking, blue is also the symbol of unity, trust, confidence, loyalty and security; so, it seems like a no brainer that brides would want it to be a part of their day.  Buuut, if you still need some convincing, feast your eyes on some of the Google images I’ve collected to help state my case… Case dismissed :)

How-to Create Your Own Wedding Day Bouquets!

Photo Courtesy of Intimate Weddings

I may not know much, but I do know this: Weddings Are Expensive.  And I’m not just talking about the main venues (reception hall, food, booze, dress, etc.); I’m talking about eeeevvveeerrryyyythiiiing, and one wedding detail that are often times overlooked in expense are flowers.  My poor father – who was constantly being told by my well-intentioned mother, “Just shut up and pay, William… just shut up and pay” – had a very hard time keeping quiet about the florist’s bill… so hard of a time, in fact, that he decided not to keep quiet at all.  Haha! 

I’m not kidding you, the man almost fell out of his chair when he read the circled price hovering over the dotted line.  Then, while readjusting his specs and squinting his eyes, he almost immediately began making remarks that would hit home to fmost athers around the world.  “Are you kidding me?  For flowers??  Why on God’s green earth… (inaudible grumbles)… But they’re dead the next day!”  

And while I love love love flowers (what girl doesn’t?) I’m afraid I had to agree.  Like every bride, I had to find the balance between my dream wedding and our actual budget.  We started throwing out ideas, and we decided it might be fun to make the bridesmaid bouquets ourselves and save on the expense of having a florists bring them in.

What You Will Need:

  • Flowers (focal, filler & greenery)
  • Vase
  • Vase Filler
  • Scissors
  • Floral Tape
  • Finishing Ribbon
  • Straight Pins
  • + Any Additional Accessories of your Choosing (ie. lace, tulle, beads, etc.)

What You Will Do:

First, gather your flowers, vase and vase filler.  Be sure your vase is congruent to the size and shape you want your bouquet to be.  Add in the vase filler of your choosing to the bottom of the vase.  Sand, beans and pebbles all work nicely and will make arranging your flowers much easier.  

**Extra Tip** Whether you choose real or fake flowers is totally up to you!  But if you choose to do real flowers, check out FiftyFlowers.com.  They sale large quantities of flowers at wholesale prices and also provide tips on flower combos and arrangements.  For fake flowers, try a local arts and crafts store.  Places like Hobby Lobby and Michael’s have large selections of flowers, as well as a number of products you can use to “spruce” up your bouquet.

Next sort your flowers by color, bloom size and the amount intended for each spray and trim their stems to equivalent heights.  This will make it easy for you to build your bouquet, as well as keep it organized.

***Extra Tip*** When trimming the stems of real flowers, be sure to cut them under water with sharpened scissors.  This will help keep the bloom healthier for longer.

Then, using the vase as your holder, start placing in your flowers.  Because larger blooms are more difficult to maneuver, you should start with them first.  Work your way from the center, outward and alternate from color to color (when applicable) until a desired look is achieved.

After all your larger blooms have been added, start adding any “filler flowers” or smaller blooms into the bare areas of your bouquet, followed by any greenery.  This will give your bouquet a full and polished look.

***Extra Tip*** Great filler flowers can be found anywhere.  The most popular choices include: hydrangea, baby’s breath, asters, statice or limonium flowers and blooms, which feature several buds on a single stem.  

Once you’ve reached the desired amount of flowers and size of your bouquet, shift them around and rearrange them accordingly until you’re satisfied with the appearance.  If you’re not completely satisfied, try adding in accent accessories, such as bouquet pins, picks or anything with sparkle.

After you have your bouquet positioned perfectly, remove it from the vase using your hands carefully, making sure to disturb the arrangement the least amount as possible.  Then, using florist tape, wire or even a rubber band (depending on your preference), tie off the bouquet. 

Finally, finish off your bouquet with any desired accents, ribbons or jewels and – voilà! – you’ve just made your first bouquet!

***Extra Tip*** If you’re having difficulty getting things “juuuust right,” try using a hot glue gun.  This will ensure your arrangement stays in place.

Be Oscar-worthy at Your Wedding with a Wardrobe Change

“Dumpy economy. Schmumpy economy.”  Not even an economic crisis can prevent this dual dress, wedding trend from booming.  With a growing number of brides saying “Yes!” to not one, but two (sometimes even three) dresses, it seems as though future Mrs. everywhere deserve a pat on the back for causing the most fashionable, most fabulous, economic stimulus ever!

But who’s to thank for this diva-riffic duality??  You guessed it… celebutantes.  Like so many trends, we have our famed sisters to thank for trickling this treat down to the rest of us.  Everyone from Britney and Christina to Avril and most recently, Khloe Kardashian-Odom pulled the  showed off  but they aren’t the only ones.  This trend can be seen everywhere!

And it didn’t begin, nor will it end with celebrities.  In fact, it’s been a part of many bridal cultures for centuries.  Having multiple dresses has been associated with a number of different cultures and ethnic groups around the world.  Especially enriched in East Indian and Asian cultures, many brides of certain heritages will wear traditional garb during the ceremony and switch it up at the reception to really let loose… which I consider the main reason behind any girl’s decision to bait ‘n’ switch.

It’s about being young and having fun!  While many wedding ceremonies are viewed as traditional and sacred, their accompanying receptions are a time to PARRRTAAAY!  Hence why so many wardrobe changing brides tend to wear more formal, fairy tale or traditional gowns during the ceremony, and jazz it up at the reception!

While this wasn’t in my budget, I soooo encourage any bride-to-be who can afford it, to be like Nike and “just do it!”  I mean seriously, it’s like having the most fun dress up day… twice!

And finally, for your viewing pleasure… by merging photos from Google Images, I’m proud to present some of my favorite celebrity, wedding wardrobe switches!

From Vera to Velour, Khloe Kardashian was all kinds of FaBuLoUs!!

Christina Aguilera transformed from "Oh Wow!" to "Ow Ow!" on her wedding day!

Even though she didn't find her "happily ever after," Britney still rocked out both her wedding dresses!

Our favorite Bachelorette, Trista, also pulled the 'ole switch-a-roo!

Avril went from glowing bride to ready to rock'n'roll!

Impress Your Guests with a Star Studded Exit

All Aboard! It's Trolley Time! (Photo Courtesy of Erin Chris Photography)

A Poem for the Getaway Girl in all of us…

It’s time for stretch limos and fancy cars to take a rest.

Because brides and grooms want to “WOW!” their guests!

And there’s no better way to leave a lasting impression,

Than an exit devised by pure imaginative obsession…

For real though, it’s all about avant-garde getaways these days.  Not only are they a super fun way to tie in your personalities to your big day, but they also create incredible photo ops and leave the guests cheering for more. 

I mean think about it, we’re a world obsessed with grand finales and happy endings; so, what better way to “exit stage right,” than with something that has “Mr. and Mrs. (Insert Your Name Here)” written all over it?  Whether you choose a customized mode of transportation or simply just try something fun… I can guarantee your guests will love sending you off with love when you leave them in style! 

Here are some of my favorites…

Tandem bike for two? Whoop-it-tee-do! (Photo Courtesy of Grazier Photography)

Newlywed nerves? No way! (Photo Courtesy of Google Images)

Fairy tales DO come true with carriage rides! (Photo Courtesy of An Urban Affair)

ReV up the love! (Photo Courtesy of Kurt Photography)

This is just plain hilarious! (Photo Courtesy of Google Images)

Saddle up your partner and ride into the sunset! (Photo Courtesy of Emily Porter Photography)

Be a motorboatin' maniac! (Photo Courtesy of Claudia Akers Photography)

Jet settin’ has never looked this good! (Photo Courtesy of Richelle Dante Photography – love her!)

    

Carrie Underwood: Keepin’ it Country for Her Wedding & I Dig It!

(Photo Courtesy of Google Images)

One thing that I will forever and always stress to any bride is how important it is to look and be “you” on your wedding day… of course the prettiest, most fabulous version of you… but you, nonetheless – hehe!  After all, the man waiting at the other end of the aisle proposed to you – the woman he loves most; so, it would be really nice if you could let that be who he sees on your big day!

All that being said, you can imagine my delight when I read this on People.com:

“I’m Southern,” she (Carrie Underwood) says.  “I like big hair and eyeliner.  I want my wedding day to be me, so I’ll probably be rocking some big hair and some eyeliner.”

F.A.B.U.L.O.U.S.  I always knew that country cutie was one smart cookie, but I had no idea her genius was so down to earth.  I’m assuming since we have so much in common – blonde hair, stunning good looks, impeccable singing voices and sheer genius, haha! – that we’re basically best friends… sisters from another Mister, if you will.   (Yeah, I took it there.)

And since BFF’s share everything, I believe I have the perfect wedding ‘do for you… mine!

It’s big, long, blonde and country…

(Photo Courtesy of Jessika Feltz Photography)

It looks good from all angles…

(Photos Courtesy of Jessika Feltz Photography)

AND, not even The Governator can outshine its celebrity swing!

(Photo Courtesy of Jessika Feltz Photography)

Okay, so it’s not the real Governator, but it’s still a pretty sassy ‘do!  I loved my hair because it was so “me,” and considering the fact when I Google “Carrie Underwood,” I get nothing but big haired results, I’d say she’s following the golden rule rather nicely!  Way to be you, Ms. Underwood!  And *CHEERS* to soon joining the Mrs. Mafia!

 ***Extra Fact*** Carrie Underwood also shows up hand over fist when Googling “wedding hairstyles.”  I’m telling you what, this girl’s got it on lock, and here are some of the ‘do-riffic reasons why…

(Photos Courtesy of Google Images and People.com)

To Re-Gift or Not to Re-Gift… That is the Question.

(Photo Courtesy of Zazzle.com)

You can forget all that “to be, or not to be” high jinx Shakespeare rambled on about… because this is the true question, people!  In recent years, regifting has made its way to the forefront of etiquette questions loitering around the wedding water cooler.  In part, because many people have a hard time looking past the tacky “white elephant” nature of it all to see the fabulous side regifting has to offer.  (That’s right.  I said fabulous.)

Tragically, the regift phenomenon tends to be shown in a negative light.  While regifting has probably been poppin’ off since the beginning of time, it wasn’t until a 1995 episode of Seinfeld, when the term “regift” was coined.  Thus creating a worldwide buzz about the authenticity and originality of gifts.

Who can forget the scene in Old School, when Frank (played by Will Ferrell) is caught not once, but TWICE trying to regift the exact same bread maker he had just received as a wedding present?  Unfortunately for Frank, he broke two of regifting’s cardinal rules.  First, he tried giving it back to the person who gave it to him.  Fail.  Then, he tried to schmooze it in at a child’s birthday party in front of the same cats who saw him muck it up the first time.  Double Fail.

Clearly what Frank didn’t realize is that while people will always regift, they need to do it both tastefully and tactfully.  I mean, let’s just call a spade a spade.  People can argue the tact of this trend all they want, and while the appropriateness level will always be debatable the use of it is undeniable.  So, if you ever find yourself in a state of “to re-gift or not to re-gift” (don’t act like you haven’t already), there are certain things you should keep in mind if you want to remain fabulous…

  1. Don’t regift to the original gift giver.  The tact on this is not debatable whatsoever.  It’s painfully obvious and heinously rude.
  2. (An extension of rule # 1)  Don’t even regift in front of the original gift giver.  If there’s a chance they’ll be present when the gift is (re)opened, don’t even think about it.
  3. Be mindful of the person receiving the regift.  This is the most important rule of all!  For example, don’t try to give a six year old a bread maker.  (Frank!)  While one man’s trash may be another man’s treasure, some things are just plain trash.  If you truly want to give something nice, I can guarantee, you won’t find it rummaging through your tattered Goodwill bags.
  4. Don’t use the gift prior to regifting.  This also has “Tack City!” written all over it.
  5. There are courtesy options available for the nervous regifters.  You could call before regifting.  For instance, “Hey Hannah, I know you were really hoping for a crock pot, and we actually received three… would you be alright if we gave you one of ours?”
  6. If you prefer to remain an incognito mosquito regifter, be sure to cover your tracks.  Rewrap the gift with love and make sure any remnants, name tags or gift receipts are removed… ’cause this, my friends, is a dead giveaway.
  7. (An extension of rule # 6)  Do NOT regift anything that was personalized for you.  I highly doubt Bob & Susan will ever want “Jim & Becca” hand towels.
  8. If you’re the receiver of a regift – even when it’s totally obvious – be kind and gracious to the person who gave it.  You never know the circumstances (hello?!?  plummeting economy, much!) or the chances you’ll end up in their shoes. 
  9. ***In the event of a WHITE ELEPHANT EXCHANGE*** Ignore all these rules.  In fact, reverse them all.  The more deplorable a gift… the better.  

Regardless of your stance is on the remixed question of Shakespeare’s classic, the truth is… regifting happens.  Heck, there’s a Web site (regiftable.com) dedicated to this notion alone, and the U.S. has even recognized December 18 as National Regifting Day!  So, if people are doing it, why not make the best of it?  Instead of running away from the cliché, give others the insight to these tactful regifting rules, and hopefully **fingers crossed*** we can make the world will be a better place… one (re)gift at a time. 

And please don’t be afraid to leave me your opinions or perhaps your additional rules!  It’s always great to hear what other people think!

Wedding Traditions with a Twist: Let Your Guests Shine Too!

(Photo Courtesy of Jessika Feltz Photography)

I’m always amped to see what brides and grooms have in store for their guests.  Whether it’s something jaw dropping and newsworthy or just plain fun for them, it’s wonderful how every couple makes their event their own… and what’s even greater… is when you can take the ideas you love the most and make them “your own” too!

At a friend’s wedding in August, the bride and groom du jour decided to do all their formality stuff up front (ie. cake cutting, toasts, spotlight dances, etc.).  They wanted to get it all done right away; so, they wouldn’t have to worry about stopping the dance floor once it was on and poppin’!  (Yeah, I took it there.)

In order to alleviate any potential “I don’t want to be the first one out on the dance floor” awkwardness, they also artfully decided to follow the traditional father/daughter and mother/son dance with an encore presentation of both where guests were invited to bring their sons and daughters / mothers and fathers to take a spin as well.  It was absolutely beautiful and really got the guests out of their seats and onto the floor.

But herein lies their genius… before the song could even finish and a courtesy hug of thanks and exit were completed… the DJ hit everyone with a party time favorite…

*(Doon doon doon doon doon doon doon doon) I like big butts, and I cannot lie!*

That’s right… Sir Mix-A-Lot, people!  Who could possibly resist the poetic genius of “You can have them bimbos / I’ll keep my women like Flo Jo”?  The answer is: no one.  You know a song’s bringing the fury when everyone from a three year old nephew to an 80 year old grandpa are not only shakin’ their groove thangs, but singing the words!  Yep.  I’d say their clever ploy was nothing short of a beaming success.

So successful, in fact, that the Mister and I decided we wanted to take this idea and run with it.  We not only wanted it to be a way to get people on the dance floor, but because we both come from large families and knew there would be a lot of parent / child combos fannying about, we figured it would create several photo ops our photographers to work with.  But our fabulous photo team didn’t just “work with” it; they turned it out!  Below is a sample of the memories and dance floor diva shots…

(Photos Courtesy of Jessika Feltz Photography)

One Bride’s Genius = Several Bridesmaids Dress Delight

This past weekend, I had the distinct pleasure of attending my girlfriend Corrie’s wedding, and in a word… it was a delight.  I have had the honor of knowing the now Mrs. Laker since Freshman year of high school, and she has been nothing short of an extraordinary friend, and more notably, an extraordinary person.  She knows one speed: unstoppable and has had more adventures in 25 years, than most will have in a lifetime.  She’s unique, daring, fabulous and absolutely hilarious and her abundant kindness could only possibly be topped by her incredible sense of style … so, you can imagine… I was pumped to see what she had planned for her big day!

And surprise-sa-freakin-surprise, it was brilliant.  The whole day – well, at least to the uninvolved eye – went off without a hitch!  Everything was beautiful, and one thing I particularly lllllllloved (please note the emphasis on love) was her choice of bridesmaids dresses.  In complete Corrie fashion, she gave all of her bridesmaids only one restriction in purchasing their dresses: make sure it’s black.  

There was no hullabaloo about length, cut, material or design.  She just wanted all the bridesmaid dresses to be black, and even though every girl had on a completely different look, they coordinated seamlessly through the timeless look only black can achieve and the breezy confidence that came from each girl of wearing something she loved.  It was executed on a coolness level I’m convinced only Corrie could achieve, and I would gladly encourage any bride to be out there struggling with finding the “perfect bridesmaid dress” (*hint: this doesn’t exist - hehe) to seriously consider this as an option.

It cuts the risk on finding a dress that “will work” for every girl in your wedding party and gives an opportunity for every girl to “work it!”  Even if you’re worried about the formality of the color black for a less formal, afternoon wedding, don’t be.  Black is the one shade that will always be in style and can be coordinated with any color you’ve already planned, imagined or even invented.  It’s something different and REALLY works well for a bridal party that consists of several different shapes, sizes and personalities!

And for the perfect “little black dress,” visit shopstyle.com, which can narrow your ideal by size, color, cut and price!

A few of the bridesmaids showing off their "little black dresses."

Gathered around the bride!

Corrie, the bride with a million ideas, posing with her gorgeous Mama!  (For cereal, TWINS!)

Corrie, the bride with a million genius ideas, posing with her gorgeous Mama! (For cereal, TWINS!)