Brides

Brides, Bridal Gowns

An Evening with TLC's Say Yes to the Dress Star Randy Fenoli

Let me begin this by saying that I have these big dreams and goals that sometime consume my thoughts and this was no exception.  Thinking of all the items that I wanted to accomplish within my career this was the next item on my list.  Get an A list wedding expert to come to the Rockford Area.  And.... who doesn't love the TV show Say Yes to the Dress?  So naturally it was Randy Fenoli.  I knew that I had my work cut out for me and met with Giovanni's to discuss the opportunity with them.  They were graciously willing to partner and so preparations for An Evening with Randy Fenoli began. We met with several companies that were sponsors for the evening.  Those included: DC Estate Winery, SVL Productions, Death's Door Spirits and Vera's House of Bridals.

We enlisted a group of vendors for their support and as you will see by the photos provided below they did not disappoint.  Every individual business we talked with was willing to participate in this evening.  They are listed at the bottom.  Michelle Marcomb with B103 and Whitney Martin with WIFR served as our emcees for the night.

Randy gave a fabulous motivational speech with centered on his 3 E's ~ "Empower, Educate and Elevate".  He had the room immersed in laughter for most of his time with us and we enjoyed his gracious hospitality of meeting each guest that attended that evening. 

I can say that in my short time with Randy he is one of the most genuine individuals I have met in my career.  His knowledge of the wedding industry is beneficial to all and his message is that you are beautiful inside and out no matter who you are. 

Let's just say that after this, I have some more ideas definitely in the works!

~ Best,

Laura

Venue:    Giovanni's Restaurant and Convention Center

Event Planner:    Accent on Events

Photography:  White Shutter Photography

Lighting and Stage:  SVL Productions

Specialty Linens:  Beautiful Day Linens

Floral:     Event Floral

Music:      Luxe Productions

Bridal Gowns: Vera's House of Bridals

Cakes:  sugarjones

Travel: Camelot World Travel

 

 

Brides, Wedding Reception

We have the answers to your Bar questions

Red wine glasses
Red wine glasses

Bar options are one of the most confusing things to be agreed upon in a contract. Catering companies offer many different options for your wedding day, and sometimes it can be difficult to distinguish which option is best for you.Open Bar | With this option, the bar is stocked with everything needed to provide a night of fun and [lack of] memories. The bartenders keep a running tally of all drinks bought throughout the night, and an invoice is sent following the wedding reception.

Bar Tab | This option is very similar to the open bar, except that the bar invoice is paid in advance. The bartenders keep a running tally of all drinks bought and after the amount reaches the previously paid amount, the bar becomes a cash bar.

Cash Bar | Nothing is included with this option. Everyone pays for every drink, excluding soda and water.

Limited Bar | This option is pretty versatile. Some ways to offer a limited bar include:

  • Only open the bar for a certain amount of time
  • Pick beer, wine and signature cocktail options to offer for little or no cost
  • Only offer each guest (21+) a set amount of beverages at the bar

We hope this helps

~Best,

Emily

Brides, Weddings

Blended Families

Family Group At Wedding

Family Group At WeddingFirst comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in the baby carriage. As with many childhood plans, this verse from the familiar, childhood game often shows itself to be untrue. As the cultural tolerance for young parents and for single parents (whatever the circumstance) increases, the American schema for the nuclear family—naturally—evolves to include many different images of a healthy family. And the best news is, that each and every image of these families is healthy and beautiful. So, with this ever evolving image of the nuclear family, new terms such as “blended family” are adopted. A blended family can be simply thought of as a family made up of a couple and their children from all previous relationships. Currently, the average age of a woman having her first child is close to 25 years old, while the average age of a woman at first marriage is 27. So, these age differences bring me to the topic of this blog: blended marriages.

But, what is a blended marriage? A blended marriage is not just the joining together of two people, but rather the joining together of two families.

I believe that it is important for blended marriage ceremonies to occur if a blended family will be present after the marriage has been performed, especially so for children effected by the marriage. Including children in the marriage ceremony will demonstrate familial commitment both to the world and, more importantly, to the children themselves, thus creating a deeper trust for the kids. Because of this, a new dimension to the family’s relationship can begin to evolve.   

There are many ways for a couple to modify a traditional marriage ceremony to include their children. Many of these ways can be easily thought of—we’d love to help you!—or found on your favorite virtual pin-board. These ideas range from as simple as a recognition during the ceremony to as involved as custom designed jewelry pieces for the entire family.   

However, in the end, it does not matter whether the kids are given spots in the wedding party, simply recognized during the ceremony or given personalized gifts. It is important to remember that no amount of recognition or gifts will have any significance for the children if they do not understand that they have a special and unique importance to the marriage. Not in the day-long-frills-and-lace-party-all-night sense, but in the lifelong-institution-for-better-or-for-worse sense of the word. It is only after this happens, that bigger things can happen!

Best,

~ Emily

Brides, Weddings

Winter Wedding Ideas

Drinks

Hi there! My name is Emily Palmer and I am currently in the second semester of my senior year at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. I am majoring in Recreation, Sport and Tourism with a focus on Tourism and Event Planning. I am beyond excited to be joining the Accent On Events team for the next few months as an intern. So, here is my first blog. I hope you like it! A couple’s wedding day is their chance to celebrate their personal love story with the people most important to them. And, with the recent snowfall I thought it the perfect time to blog about wintertime weddings!

Of course summer weddings are insanely popular, but I am here to tell you that winter weddings are equally as beautiful. While some couples know their date months—and sometimes even years—in advance, others do not. And that’s perfectly OK because every couple is different and unique. And while some couples are able to wait for a special date, sometimes love just can’t wait for the summer! Or, perhaps the season that many of us dread, winter, has a special significance to a couple.

But, what about the cold?

It is of course winter, so cold weather is—for the most part—inevitable. However, instead of trying to beat the cold, I recommend embracing it! This is the perfect opportunity for guests to be able to mingle with each other and catch up with old friends in a warm, cozy, indoor environment.DrinksThere are also other perks to winter weddings, one of which being the freedom to serve hot beverages. Think about it: hot chocolate, eggnog and coffee are beloved winter beverages and are easily made adult by adding yummy liqueurs such as Bailey’s Irish Crème, Kahlua, amaretto or even Grand Marnier.

But, not all beverages have to be hot to embrace the winter theme…I’m talking about peppermint. This holiday staple is a universal hit—it’s perfectly mixable in both kid-friendly and adult drinks. And hey, it would be pretty silly to serve peppermint flavored drinks at a summer wedding, right?

But, what about the snow?

Well, winter weddings provide gorgeous natural décor and multiple gateways to bring a wedding to life. The key to a successful winter wedding is identifying these things and using them to your advantage!Tablescape

There are many creative ways to embrace a winter theme across many traditional aspects of a wedding. Photos can be directed and styled to reflect the weather. Cakes, cupcakes or even cake pops can be beautifully embellished with snowflakes. Lighting displays can be assembled to create a reception environment reminiscent of the holidays or winter landscapes. And table settings can be customized to reflect winter in whatever way a couple desires.  

But, it is important to remember that at the end of the day, a couple’s wedding should reflect who they are as people and pay homage to their personal love story. A certain season coupled with wedding norms should not dissuade a couple from tying the knot during a particular time of the year because every wedding is beautiful and unique, just like each and every couple.        

~ Best,

Laura and Emily

Brides

Vendor Blog Series....Questions and Answers from a Wedding Florist

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At the beginning of the year - I developed a calendar for 52 weeks of wedding blogs.  One of my ideas was to ask the vendors that you work with locally to respond to some questions that as a vendor they are asked by clients seeking their services.  The first in our series is Event Floral.  The following questions and answers came from Erin Stoffregen.  I hope that you enjoy!! What makes Event Floral different from other florists?

Event Floral is an “event florist” meaning that we specialize in weddings and events. Our business and design team are built around the ebb and flow of event work, with the ability to execute multiple weddings in a weekend. Our dedicated team is available to fully service delivery, set up and decorating, and clean up of your wedding. Event Floral also offers limitless possibilities for coordinating accent décor including specialty linens, fabric draping, arches and custom ceremony settings, and rental items to create a complete and cohesive design aesthetic. As part of the planning process with Event Floral, we enjoy offering a complimentary “mock-up” sample of your centerpiece or tablescape as well as the opportunity to preview your wedding flowers the day before the wedding.

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Will you be doing my arrangements and bouquets or will it be another designer?

At Event Floral we have an extensive, experienced design team with each member specializing in an area or “department” of design work. Since the bridal bouquets are the most personal and widely photographed facets of your wedding flowers, I take great care crafting them myself. I then work closely with all members of our team on additional floral designs and event set up to ensure your vision and all its intricate details come to life on your wedding day.

EF1

What design styles do you work in?

The most refreshing part of what we do is that we are always creating something different, crossing lines between design styles and trends. The varied talents of our designers allows us great versatility to tackle a wide array of styles. Some current wedding style favorites we are loving include “Rustic Elegance” characterized by a more natural, relaxed feel while still embodying a timelessness and sophistication and “Modern Glam” which pairs luscious flowers, often in more structured designs, with luxurious accents of glass, rhinestone, or metallics.

If I provide you with a photograph can you recreate it?

Images are a wonderful, priceless tool in planning your wedding, and yes, we can certainly recreate a photograph. However, we always encourage couples to infuse their inspirations with personal touches. Maybe include a favorite flower, add an accent color, or select a different vessel for an arrangement to make your wedding flowers distinct and uniquely yours.

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Can we completely customize the flowers that we want?

All of work by nature is completely customized to fit your style, desires, and budget. We appreciate some flexibility to use our professional creativity within your color palette and style theme to include flowers or elements that may inspire us along the design process. We want your wedding flowers to reflect you, and we happily accommodate specific requests wherever possible.

How far in advance do you start to make the arrangements and bouquets? How are they stored?

We love when couples want to know more about the design process and floral care. Fresh flowers start to arrive early in the week, after which they are cut, placed in buckets of water, and stored in the cooler for proper hydration and longevity. The earliest we start designing with the flowers is three days out from an event. We keep bouquets and arrangements in vases of water or use floral foam as a water source. Everything is stored in our coolers with water replaced as necessary to ensure freshness.

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How do you keep up to date on the newest trends?

Keeping up on the newest trends is such a fun part of what we do. We enjoy scouting social media sites and keeping our eyes on popular wedding and floral design blogs. We try to share trends we’re spotting on our Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter pages as well as features on our blog. Additionally, we subscribe to many industry print magazines and online publications. We also attend industry expos, workshops, and inspirational events throughout the year.

What flowers are used in what season?

The floral industry is constantly introducing new varieties and expanding growing seasons so that many flowers are available virtually year-round. Flowers that are “in season” can offer cost savings and more beautiful, bountiful blooms for the price. Here are some favorites by season:

Spring: Tulips, Lilac, Hyacinth, Ranunculus, and Peonies

Summer: Peonies, Hydrangea, Garden Roses, Cradpedia (“Billy Balls”), Lisianthus, and Succulents

Fall: Sunflowers, Dahlias, Mums, Antique Hydrangeas, Amaranthus, and Berries

Winter: Fresh Evergreen, Winter Berries, Anemones, Roses

*For winter weddings, be sure to consider using more hearty blooms if you want to take outdoor pictures with your bouquets.

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What is the most unique arrangement that you have made?

We love playing with different styles, shapes, and sizes of arrangements and thrive on the challenge of creating something new and innovative. Some of the most unique arrangements we’ve created include pink and white oversized fresh floral “balls” that hung from the ceiling for a local fundraising dinner, cascading bridal bouquets made of crystals (sometimes even lit with LED lights), and custom ceremony or archway settings dripping with fresh flowers and greenery.

What do you suggest regarding bouquet preservation?

There are instances where bouquet preservation works wonderfully and others where it either doesn’t work well initially or after a period of time it still fades or deteriorates.  Our biggest suggestion is to hire a fabulous photographer. It is well worth the investment; your wedding pictures will last forever and be the best memory of your special day.

 

Accent on Events can assist you with finding the right florist and asking the right questions!!  Stay tuned for next week.....Wedding Photography

 

~Best,

Laura

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brides, Uncategorized

Wedding Planner, Coordinator, Designer, Producer....What does it all mean?

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wedding checklistIn meeting with the clients we have had inquire about our services lately the question has come up as to what do all these titles within the Wedding Planning Industry mean: Wedding Planner, Wedding Coordinator, Wedding Designer, Wedding Producer?  So I decided to explain at least the main three (3) in more detail for you.  There happens to be a lot of blurred lines across the titles with regard to responsibilities. Hopefully this will clarify for you the meaning of the different titles that you see:

1. Wedding Coordinator: usually plans the day of coordination for the wedding day.  The wedding coordinator can be hired well into the planning process.  You have already met and signed the contract with vendors ~ the wedding coordinator makes sure that those vendors show up and know exactly what to do.  A day of or month of coordinator makes sure that everything runs smoothly on that day.  They assist you with the set up of the ceremony and reception décor.

2. Wedding Planner: assists with the planning of the whole wedding.  This is what we do.  I attended a seminar several months ago where Calder Clark spoke and put it best, "The Wedding Planner is the architect."  The planner handles all the logistics from the vendors to the venue.  The wedding planner is the first person that you want to hire so that they can assist you with hiring your vendors and making sure that you have stayed within the budget that you create together.  They help to steer you in the direction of hiring professionals and making sure that you don't spend money where you aren't going to need to.

3. Wedding Designer/Producer: assists with the décor and design of your reception.  I like to think of this position similar to an interior designer for your home.  They come up with the theme and the colors that will be used throughout the day.  They design your décor from what flowers you will use to what the texture of the linens will on the reception tables.  They work closely with the planner to make sure that your vision is incorporated in all aspects of the décor.

Hope that explains a little better in detail the roles of individuals that you hire for your big day.  There are a few Wedding Planners our there that also do a great job of incorporating design into your day.  Make sure that you know what it is that you are looking for and that they provide that service.  When meeting with professionals ask for their credentials and referrals.  They should be happy to provide those to you.

~ Best,

Laura

Brides

I'm Engaged.......Now What?

engagement ring

engagement-ringCongratulations on your engagement!  Let the planning begin.  Here is a list of our top ten items that you need to do in order to start the wedding planning process.

1. Create a Budget / Wedding Plan

2. Choose Your Date

3. Determine Your Style ~ Classic, Modern, Elegant, Rustic.  Research Inspiration Boards

4. Choose Your Venue ~ Indoors or Outdoors?

5. Research Your Possible Wedding Vendors ~ Hire Your Vendors

6. Start to Create Your Guest List

7. Organize Your Ceremony Site If It Is Different From Your Reception Venue

8. Wedding Dress Shopping

9. Ask Your Friends and Family To Be A Part of Your Day

10. Register For Gifts

We can assist you with the whole process including coming up with timelines and itineraries for your planning needs.

~Best,

Laura

 

Brides, Weddings

A Day at the Beach

About six months ago I attended one of my favorite conferences for wedding industry professionals. I always meet some very talented individuals there and this time was no different.  Several months later, I was contacted by Robyn Schwab from Robyn Photography asking if I would assist her with designing her booth for an upcoming bridal show. We met for coffee and talked for quite awhile and she told me about this group of talented photographers that she was a part of called the Photography Stylistas.  She said that they were working on their upcoming stylized photo shoot and asked if I would be interested in joining them.  I was thrilled to be a part of such a wonderful team of professionals.

So as you review the photos ~ this is what happens when 6 photographers, a wedding planner/designer, a bakery, 2 incredible models, a stationer and an amazing florist come together on a beach off of Lake Michigan to put together ideas for clients all happening with the weather not cooperating causing a down pour of rain!

Enjoy!

~Best,

Laura

Concept + Design: Photography Stylistas | Styling: Laura of Accent on Events | Models: Nicole Knothe & Nathan Grede | Location: Beach House in Wilmette, IL | Invitations + Details: Homeseed Paper | Cake: Amy Beck Cake Design | Florals: Ashland Addison Florist | Hair + Makeup Team: Elana Darrus | Wedding Dress Designer: May Queen | Pearl Earrings: Ultra Diamonds | Necklace: Stella & Dot | Bracelet: Stella & Dot | Engagement Ring: Ultra Diamonds - Rose De France Amethyst Cable Ring | Wedding band: Ultra Diamonds - Men's Tungsten Band | Bow Tie: The Tie Bar | Headpiece: ZipporahK Photography and Ashland Addison Florist | Wedding Suit: Male Fashions Co | Linens: Beautiful Day Linens | Signature Drink: Peach Champagne Cocktails

Photography Stylistas: Dominique Strom - Dominique Strom Photography & Design |  Christine Brizendine - Dabble Me This Keren Chookaszian - Keren Sarai Photography | Kristi Haddad - Markit Photography | Robyn Schwab - Robyn Photography | Zipporah Kapambwe | ZipporahK Photography

 

 

 

Brides, Weddings

iPhones/Galaxy at Your Wedding ~ Bridal Tips

iphone5

The proliferation of camera phones has raised a new point of discussion for brides and grooms hoping to capture the essence of their wedding through a professional photographer of some distinction.  How to handle wedding guests with cameras and their phones and preserve the privacy and security of the wedding events is a growing challenge.  Social media is changing the rules around the ceremony that was originally about the bride and groom.  As Kim Ode of the Star Tribune said, "On a day planned down to the mints, social media allow for random acts of mindlessness."

  • While some couples may embrace the technology, others wonder "how to keep their vows from going viral".  This concern has prompted wedding planners like me to formulate some guidelines covering social media at weddings.
  • Recognize that most couples make a distinction between the wedding ceremony and its more solemn aspects and the reception with its feel as a celebration.
  • If the bride doesn't want people to see her in her gown before she goes down the aisle, she needs to make sure that her bridesmaids understand that uploading photos of her in that special dress is forbidden.
  • I would suggest putting a notice in the program itself that this is an "unplugged" ceremony.  Reinforce this by asking the officiant to remind the guests to silence their electronics.  This will also assist the professional photographer that the couple has hired to be able to take the necessary photos the couple wants without Auntie in the aisle with her phone or ipad obstructing the view for the professional.  Some clients have had a sign placed at the spot where the guest book if placed as a reminder.

Social media at the reception is much more acceptable.  Photo sharing sites enable guests to download photos into a designated wedding album which makes it nice for the couple to see lots of action at their party.  We recommend the app WedSocial for guests to share photos.  It is easy to use and fun for the guests!

~ Best,

Laura

 

Brides, Grooms, Uncategorized, Weddings

Say Cheese!

picture

The Picture Dilemma

 
 The Problem: It’s the middle of July. You have been waiting for 45 minutes and now you are finishing the last of the roasted chicken and green beans. You sit in a hot, crowded room with 130 other wedding guests waiting for one of your best friends and her husband to finally finish the pictures and walk through the door. While this scenario is annoying, it can be avoided.
 
The Plan: Many engaged couples are planning their pictures before the ceremony; this cuts down on the wait time after the ceremony ends. Your guests have come to spend this special day with you; don’t make them wait forever to congratulate you.
 
If you are planning on having a meal at your wedding, this is an option you might want to consider. You have spent so much time and money preparing for this special day. Take time and enjoy it!

Brides, Uncategorized

Creative Ways to Personalize Your Wedding

BlogInvitation

Because the push to be unique is increasing important to our brides, here are some of the more creative ideas we have seen.

  • If yours is a smaller wedding, consider including a personal not with the invitation.
  • With the help from the US Postal Service you can create your own stamp.

  • Stats have shown that social invitations are opened more frequently on Saturdays.  Time your invitation mailings to arrive on Saturday if possible.  You'll receive more RSVP responses.

  • Pick a monogram and use it throughout the planning process.

  • Choose a unique start time for the ceremony.  For example use the date you met (5:23) or the date you got engaged (7:04) or other key dates in your lives.
  • Take lots of photos during your engagement and pre-wedding planning period and use them as table decorations at the reception.
  • Create an entrance at the wedding ~ something that says WOW and let's your guests know they have arrived.

  • Include your parents by having their wedding photos on display at the reception.  Include grandparents photos too if they are available.
  • To keep everything moving, plan a "surprise" for guests at the reception every 30 minutes.

~ Best,

Laura

Bridal Showers, Brides

Showers are Traditional

Bridal Shower 2

In fact, they date back to the 18th century according to Emily Post.  It seems that a father did not like his daughter's choice of husband and refused to give her dowry.  Friends of the groom's were insulted by the brides father.  In support of the groom, they collected "assets" among themselves, "showered" the bride with them and the marriage happened.  Today's showers have evolved over time. but there are still some "rules" or guidelines most brides follow. The bride's maid of honor is the usual hostess for a wedding shower, but any bridesmaid, friend of the bride's mother or groom's mother or distant relative can be hostess.  It is usual that no member of the bride's immediate family (nor the groom's for that matter) host a shower so that it doesn't look like they are soliciting gifts for the bride.  This also extends to the bride.  It is never OK for the bride to throw a shower for herself.

With all of the talk of 'themed" weddings, potential hostesses wonder if they need to plan a shower in keeping with the theme of the wedding.  The answer is no.  The shower simply celebrates the upcoming marriage.  The closest events come to a "theme" is kind of gifts guests bring to the shower, such as spa items, kitchen items, or lingerie.  Some showers are for couples.  Gift items for those should appeal to both genders like "stock the bar" parties, tools, outdoor equipment, etc.

Who should come?  Only guests invited to the wedding should be invited to the shower.  The only exception is for a workplace shower where not all work colleagues may be invited to the wedding.  Nor is it necessary or even feasible to invite to a shower, every female who is invited to the wedding.

Including gift registry information on the shower invitation is acceptable (but this is the only place).  Brides should open all shower gifts at the shower and thank each person as the gift is opened.  Each gift must be followed by a handwritten thank you note.  If multiple showers are given for the bride, guests attended more than one shower need only to give one gift.  If a guest cannot attend a shower, she should not feel obligated to send a gift.

 

~ Best,

Laura

Brides, Gift Registries

Online Gift Registries

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While the bulk of wedding gift registries is still run through big box stores, department and specialty stores, there is a growing segment of that industry that is utilizing the reach and specificity of on line communications.  At one time considered somehow "tacky", on line gift registries have come into their own and have proven to be a real advantage to couples and their guests. It's easy to build an on-line registry.  Your guests can shop from their homes (or phones), which is a huge convenience if they are out of town.  You can select the items you want in stores and then list them on your e-registry.  You can also list your registry on national sites like theKnot.com and weddingchannel.com if your chosen retailer has a partnership with those sites.

Once registered, you can log on to your site anytime to add, delete, or change preferences.  You can also see what has already been purchased.  Some sites will include the information about who ordered what.  This will prove helpful when writing thank you notes.  Gift enclosure cards do not always remain attached to the box containing the gift.

There are also new sites that specialize in "non-traditional" registry offerings.  While there is still discomfort about "registering for money", some couples have been utilizing these sites.  For couples who prefer to accumulate cash for a major purchase, there are depositagift.com and myregistry.com.

Whichever method you choose for your gift registries, remember that under no circumstances should those sites be included anywhere in your invitations.  Depend on members of the wedding party and family to spread the word about your gift registry preferences.  It is fine to place the information on the couples wedding website if they have created one for guests.

Don't forget that although gift registries now include non-traditional items, gifts for a lifetime are remembered most!

 

Brides

Wedding Shoes......A Must!

One of my favorite items to pick out for weddings is the shoes...well any type of shoe is fun to pick out for me!  I am a shoe lover and today I wanted to bring you several of my favorite wedding shoes.  Make sure that you have comfortable shoes since you will be on your feet most of the day.  There are so many brands and styles to choose from.  You can even wear one type for the ceremony and one for the reception.  It is up to you!   Enjoy ~

Best ~Laura

Brides

Musts for the Bride-to-Be ~ It's Engagement Season!

Engagement Ring

 

 

 

 

As engagement season starts and weddings are starting to be planned at the expense of other aspects of your life, take the advice I give you and Practice Self Care. Do whatever you need to do to unwind, relax and sleep well.  Take your vitamins, get healthy exercise and find emotional outlets for the stress you are under.   You need to be strong, healthy and resilient.

Get and Stay Organized ~ start early and document every decision around your special day

Set a Budget and Stick To It ~ Sit down together with your fiance and agree on priorities

Remember to Be Grateful For All That You Have and All That Others Are Doing For You ~ Don't forget to thank everyone.   ~ This is your wedding - not a copy of someone else's.

Let Go of Bridal Guilt ~ No one can make everyone happy all the time.  Worrying about it takes up far more time and energy than is deserved

 

Best ~

Laura

Brides

Questions for a Wedding Planner

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Should you hire a wedding planner or are you preparing to do it all yourself? Most busy working brides today need the help of a professional planner – for all or part of their weddings. A professional wedding planner’s advice and expertise can save time, money and sanity so don’t dismiss the idea out of hand. When you meet with a wedding planner to talk about how much or how little you need him/her to do for your wedding, here are six key questions you should ask to guide that informational meeting.

1. Here are the vendors and venues I am considering using. Do you know anything about them? Who are your favorites and why?

  • The planner can often give you some good feedback about a particular vendor and/or steer you away from potential trouble.

2. How many weddings of my size have you done?

  • If you are planning on a small intimate gathering and the planner specializes in huge society weddings, you two may not be a good match.

3. If I hire you for my wedding, what is your role and what is mine?

  • It is a good idea to have clarity around who is responsible for what and in a tight situation, who has the final say? Do you need to have the planner clear every little detail with you or can he/she make decisions based on early parameters you two have established?

4. How many weddings do you do each month? Do you have enough staff to cover all the weddings you book? You don’t want to be one of a multitude in June if the planner doesn’t have the staff to handle all of its commitments.

5. Ask for a client and vendor list and ask if you may call them for references.

6. Ask for an explanation of how he/she charges. Is there a flat rate, a sliding scale, extra charges for add ons?

7. Do you belong to any professional organizations or have any credentials for being a wedding planner?

The goal of all good wedding planners is to save you time and money….and most importantly for you to enjoy one perfect day!!!

Brides

Some Planning Tips

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As one wedding planner put it, “Just because you have planned something, doesn’t mean it is going to happen.”  Here are some tips to help insure that everything works well at your wedding.

Getting Ready.  Of course you want to look your best on this big day.  You may have booked a hair stylist for yourself and your bridesmaids.  Maybe someone is doing makeup for all.  In order for everything to flow, treat this as a salon appointment and require everyone to be on time for the appointments.  Work with the stylists to establish a sensible timeline and insist that your wedding party be on time.  A lot goes on before you walk down the aisle, and you don’t need to add undue stress to the list.

Photographs.  Every couple wants the album of perfect pictures from the wedding.  Check out several photographers and insist on seeing their work.  Some specialize in formal shots and other are masters of creative vignettes.  Some do both.  Make sure that everything goes smoothly by giving the photographer a list of the people you want to make sure are included in your wedding album.  Your planner should make sure that each of those persons are available for photos.  The photographer should spend his/her time shooting pictures, not searching out the people you want in the photos.

If you are planning a cocktail reception, make sure the caterer has wait staff ready with trays of cocktails as the guests enter.  For the first five to ten minutes staff should focus on getting beverages into guests hands.  Once that has been done, then they can start passing the canapés.  Stress the importance of this to the caterer.  You don’t want lines at the bar if you are having an open bar.  Your planner can make sure that guests are not standing in lines waiting.

Order of Service.  Think of your guests.  If you have elderly relatives, make sure that they are served first.  Unless you feel strongly about it, consider having the head table served last.  That gives the couple a chance to chat with guests and socialize.

Be aware of “down time”.  Weddings can lose energy after the food course.  Guests are at different points in the meal.  This can be a good time to introduce one or two toasts.

For many other helpful ideas to keep your party flowing nicely, please contact us for assistance.

Brides

Dress Hunting

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For many brides the most exciting part of being engaged is the process of finding “the perfect dress.”  At one time it was a process shrouded in mystery.  Now thanks to many TV shows devoted to gown selection, brides have some ideas about how to go about this wonderful experience.  Some principles have stood brides in good stead for decades.  Here are some areas for today’s brides to consider before they begin to look for that gown. Many brides have a good sense of their own fashion preferences.  They know what looks good on them.  Think about what you wear and why it looks good.  What are your fashion preferences?  Are tailored, frilly, feminine, or casual?  Do you want a gown that reflects those looks or is your wedding gown going to be a complete departure?  Think about the “look” you want for your wedding.  Look at magazines, check out websites and make notes of the styles that catch your eye.  When you go into a wedding salon, one of the questions you will be asked is “Do you have any styles in mind?”  The wedding consultant who will be assisting you in your selection process will prefer to start with gowns that reflect your personal tastes.

Be honest with yourself about your body shape.  If you are tall, you’re lucky.  Lots of gowns are made for tall brides.  If you are short, you’re lucky.  Many designers see the petite bride as their specialty.  If you are heavier in the bust, or in the hips, or thighs or shoulders – be honest with yourself and let the wedding consultant work with you to find the perfect dress to accent or camouflage certain areas.

Think about color:  Gowns are shown in bridal white, soft creamy ivory, silver, gold and all shades in between.  What are your most flattering shades?

When you go into a store to try on gowns, go prepared.  Wear good underwear – especially a bra and any foundation garment you think you may wish to wear under your gown.  If something special is needed for the gown you ultimately choose, your wedding consultant can help with that.  You should wear a shoe with the approximate heel height you’ll wear for the ceremony.

Don’t focus on your dress size.  I watched a TV show in which the bride refused to consider a dress that looked fabulous on her because it wasn’t a size 2.  She stated that she only wore a size 2.  Well forget about the number.  Every designer has his/her version of sizing.  That’s why you are working with a wedding consultant.  She knows her merchandise, the designers she has selected for her store and she will find you the perfect dress with the perfect fit.  Don’t worry about the size and don’t order a smaller dress “planning to fit into it.”  Be guided by the consultant.

Give yourself plenty of time to order the gown, be prepared to make a deposit on your order and think carefully before taking a group with you.  One person whose taste you respect is truly enough – two tops!  It is a special time for you to pick out the gown that means the most to you – not to cousins, godmothers and sorority friends you’ve gathered to participate in this event.

We’ve had years of experience in helping brides find the dress of their dreams.  Contact Accent on Events to assist you.

Brides

Setting the Date

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He asked and you said “yes”.  Congratulations to you both.  Your engagement signals the beginning of a wonderful and exciting time in your lives.  Where to start?  Setting the date! As you consider various dates, times and places for your wedding, here are some points to think about.

Think about your budget.  It is true that some months are more expensive than others.  (Think about the Law of Supply and Demand you learned in Econ 101).  In popular months (usually May through September) some reception locations, photographers, florists, and bands may charge more for their services.  If you can wait for a less crowded month, you may be able to stage the same wedding for less money.

Think about the season.  If you have been dreaming of a Christmas wedding your whole life, then go for it.  But think about the time needed for preparations and plan accordingly.  If you want a certain church, certain reception site and a certain gown and flowers, you may have to adjust time frames.  Your answer is to book early and be prepared to be flexible on dates and/or times.

If you are on a fast track at work or have a job that requires huge blocks of your time, be sure to engage the services of a professional wedding consultant.  He/she will end up saving you both time and sanity (and maybe even money).

Consider scheduling your wedding around a holiday.  That can give you both a theme for your wedding and time for your out of town guests to attend.

If your plans include a destination wedding, you will need to be more flexible in your dates and times.  Decide which is most important – the date of the wedding or the place of the wedding.   Once that decision is made, you can proceed.

We are used to working with schedules and helping busy brides create a schedule for your event and follow through with all the details necessary to create a day to remember for you and your guests.

Brides

I'm Happy....But Stressed

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The good news?  You’re engaged.  The less wonderful news?  You’re feeling the stress. It is a happy time, but we know that stress can set in as you try to deal with the myriad of details that threaten to drown you.  You have decisions to make about the ceremony and reception locations, what to wear, attendants to select, whom to invite, what flowers, music and photographers to choose.  There are budget questions to solve.  All these issues can generate a case of “wedding jitters.”

To relieve your stress or at least make it manageable, we offer these key points:

If money issues generate the stress, take the time as a couple to determine your priorities.  List the items of most important to you both.  From a list of 10-20, select the top 5.  These five – listed in priority order – are the items on which you are less likely to compromise.  Then as your review your budget, you can “borrow” from the other items on your list to keep the budget in balance.  If you have your heart set on a particular gown, you can help pay for it by saving money on flowers, photography, etc.

If the stress is coming from family, be clear about the source of the stress and firm about communicating your feelings.  Talk out the issues you see with your parents, friends, and those involved.  Be gracious but firm about expressing views and concerns.  Don’t “stuff” the feelings so they end up hurting a relationship.

If the stress is coming from the crush of events and the sense of being overwhelmed by everything you sense must be done, SHARE the responsibilities.  Hire a wedding planner, enlist the groom, ask your parents to take over specific jobs.  Get yourself a wedding planning book (hard copy or online version) and be faithful about entering plans made,  Follow its suggestions for organizing projects.

Get enough sleep and take care of your health by eating well.  Make good use of your gym membership and exercise away the stress.

When it all seems too much, speak with us.  We can help you put it all in perspective and remind you of what is really important in this wedding you are planning.