Thursday, December 31, 2009

Black-Eyed Pea Decor for New Year

We are only a few short hours away from ringing in 2010 and I know many are excited to put the pitfalls, shortcomings, politics, economic recession, housing market crash and others behind us. We are all ready for a new beginning, clean start, fresh inspiration and good things to come! This post is from one of my favorites, Amy Atlas, as she reminds us of the good luck and prosperity message behind Black Eyed Peas, not the musical group, but the legume and how you can help to share this message with others. Enjoy!

Black-Eyed Pea Decor for New Year

Sunday, December 27, 2009

20 things that Grooms like to do

I read this article in the January 2010 issue of Brides Magazine and just had to share! A lot of wedding traditions are changing and being modified by the couple so why not the role of the Groom? When I was married seven years ago the only thing my husband was interested in was knowing what time he had to be at the church, but that is all changing!

20 things Grooms like to do:
  • Asking his best friend to be his best man
  • Designing your wedding web site
  • Working on the playlist
  • Picking out the appetizers
  • Creating a wedding microbrew
  • Choosing what he'll wear
  • Comparing cake flavors
  • Researching the Honeymoon
  • Figuring out the map/directions cards
  • Going to the menu tasting
  • Proofreading invitations, programs, etc. (Guys like to find mistakes.)
  • Wielding the scan gun when you register (My husband's favorite part!)
  • Getting a day-before massage
  • Choosing your wedding day ride
  • Writing his vows (you'd be surprised!)
  • Attending the bachelor party
  • Unwrapping presents
  • Organizing pyrotechnics of any type- fireworks, sparklers, etc.
  • Practicing the first kiss


I am sorry it has been so long since my last post, but I've been busy working on lots of new projects!
  • My new niece finally arrived December 22, 2009 weighing 6 pounds 14 ounces and she is beautiful!
  • My new website is just hours away from being rolled out after months of work; a few editing issues that I need to fix and it will be rolled out!
  • I am two lessons away from obtaining my Professional Bridal Consultant License
  • My contest is ready to debut in the January issue of Northwest Arkansas Wedding Ideas
  • I am participating in the January 16th Premier Bridal Show at the Springdale Northwest Arkansas Convention Center from 10:00-4:00
  • My contest rules are almost ready to post on my blog!
  • I will be offering a 10% discount to brides who book with me at the Premier Bridal Show and another great discount to brides who book with me before February 13th!
Wow! Schedule a consultation today (479) 422-1697 to see how your next event will be "A Party to Perfection"!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

PSA from a Non-Bridesmaid

This came to my Inbox this morning and I felt compelled to share it with all of the Brides who are just beginning to plan their 2010 and 2011 weddings. There is a "planning protocol" that should be followed when you first begin to plan your wedding to avoid some of these pitfalls. Enjoy!

Cocktails & Details: The Wedding Planners' Fabulous Blog » Blog Archive » PSA from a Non-Bridesmaid

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Found on

Who cannot and has not spent hours searching through Etsy? I have spent hours on Etsy and found fabulous items from homemade thank you cards, to bolero jackets, to wedding programs, and to these great wooden signs from My Primitive Boutique that would be perfect for a vintage or outdoor wedding. The name plates (left) would work great as escort cards for your guests and the wooden sign (right) is perfect for an outdoor wedding or a venue off the beaten path.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Feeling stressed? A Coordinator can help.

One of my favorite Wedding magazines, Bride and Bloom has this wonderful article on their website. There are so many details involved with a wedding and it takes great planning and "been there done that" to know what to anticipate and come prepared to handle. A wedding coordinator can be one of the last things a newly engaged couple thinks about, but can be one of the best sanity savers and safeguards to make sure your wedding goes according to plan. Enjoy!

Where to start your wedding planning process

Two weeks ago officially started the Engagement season and with that, the wedding planning season. There are thousands of brides currently planning their Spring and Summer 2010 weddings and the reality is setting in; this is a HUGE process! Brides today are completely overwhelmed with the amount of information available to them in print and online. Here are a few suggestions to help get you started in a calm and organized manner. Enjoy!

1) Decide on your budget

As I've mentioned in previous posts, the average wedding in Northwest Arkansas ranges from $16,000 to $25,000. This is a large amount of money to plan this one "perfect" day and it is not recommended that you come home from your glorious honeymoon to mounds of wedding debt. According to the December 2009 issue of Brides, 59% of today's brides and grooms are paying for their wedding themselves. Decide who is contributing to the wedding and how much they are contributing. Are your parents covering 100% of the bill or are they willing to just cover certain categories (attire, catering and venues). Make sure that you set your expectations in line with your budget and decide which items are the most important to you and what other items are negotiable.
  • Remember that the easiest way to control your budget is to control your guest list.

2) Selecting your Venue(s)

Many brides tend to pick their wedding date because they desire a June or October wedding, their parents were married on the selected date, etc. only to find out that the venue they desperately want is booked. If you begin planning early enough you might get lucky and get both! Keep in mind when selecting your ceremony and reception venues the type of event you want for your wedding. Does the modern museum help with your sailing theme? Does the Celtic church help with your chic modern theme?

  • Keep in mind the number of invited guests

  • The season

  • The time of day your ceremony and reception begin

3) Selecting your date

Be cautious when selecting your wedding date that you are not booking on a major holiday or on a three day weekend. You can schedule your date, but this may affect your guest's attendance. Make sure that you give your guests plenty of notice (four to six months in advance) if you plan to marry on a holiday or long weekend so that they can make arrangements. Also make sure that your venue is suitable for your wedding season. Your guests will appreciate the proper venue and accommodations in the rainy and cooler seasons

4) Selecting your Style/Theme

This is where the fun begins! This is where you and your bridegroom get to personalize YOUR wedding day. You can choose a color scheme, theme, style, favorite hobby, favorite city/state/country, whatever you want and have fun. Once again, make sure that your venue is suitable for the style of wedding you are wanting.

5) Guest list

Begin compiling your guest list early. The best way to approach the guest list is to have you and your fiance compile your own lists and then have both sets of your parents compile their lists. Bring all four lists together, cross off any duplicate names and start from there.


  • If you have never met nor seen someone in twenty years, it might be best to send them a Wedding Announcement after the event.
  • When it comes to co-workers you are not obligated to invite your entire office. You can invite those that you are truly close to and send an Announcement to the rest of the office staff.
  • Make sure that your guest count is in line with your budget and venue capacity

6) Vendors

Wedding vendors are all vying for your business! You should research all vendors; check out their websites, blogs, Facebook pages, portfolios, testimonials, etc. Make sure that the vendor is someone credible and legitimate. Once you have selected your venue(s), wedding date and budget schedule an appointment with your top vendors. Be prepared with names of other vendors in case your top vendor(s) is booked for your wedding date. This isn't the case with all vendors, but photographers and wedding coordinators may only book one wedding a weekend.

There are plenty of details that need to be addressed when planning a wedding, but these are the biggest issues that should be handled promptly. Once these have been secured the rest of the planning should begin.

Call today to schedule a complimentary consultation to discuss your wedding needs!

(479) 422-1697

Book your event before December 31st to receive $50 off of your package price!

Etiquette Q &A

This question has become a touchy subject today with many men beginning to grow their hair; on both their head and face. Hope this settles the sensitive subject.

Q: We're going to have a very formal wedding at a country club, and my older brother, who's a groomsman, has grown a long, raggedy beard. I want him to trim it, but he says I"m being a control freak. Can I tell him to either shape up or ship out of the wedding party?

A: That depends. What means more to you: how your wedding party looks, or your relationship with your brother? (Hint: Go for the latter.) Back off until the wedding day. Then ask Mom to "encourage" him to run a comb through his beard before he walks down the aisle.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

New Moon Movie Premier Party!

It's finally here! The New Moon Movie hits theatres this Friday and I know that there will be a lot of pre-parties, after parties and even more parties when the movie is released to DVD and Blu-Ray. One of our favorites, The Hostess with the Mostess, has created these great printable movie quotes in 8X10 and 5X7's for you to print out for your New Moon party! How fantastic!! While these can be printed on your home computer, it is recommended that you download the file and have a professional printer like FedEx or Kinkos print them for the correct coloring.

Send pictures of your New Moon party to me and I"ll feature them on my blog!

Day-of vs. Month-of Planning

One of the questions I get asked from prospective Brides is "What is the difference between the day of and month of planning?" With a little help form Melissa of Masterpiece Weddings, here is a short answer to this question. Enjoy!

There are similarities and differences between the day of and month of planning. Both services will be there on your wedding day to organize and orchestrate your wedding day. And you get to work with your planner, but the similarities sort of end there.

If you have a Full Service Coordinator they will do the following, plus a TON more:

  • Help with your budget
  • Review contracts and negotiate your contracts to make sure nothing is missing or duplicated
  • Attend your meetings with your vendors (offer our opinions)
  • Assist with decor
  • Help with the set up and possibly breakdown
  • Be "In-the-know" with every aspect of your wedding
  • Create an extensive timeline for each vendor involved in your wedding
  • Organize and Orchestrate your Rehearsal and Wedding Day
  • More extensive time on the day of your wedding
  • And much, much, much more!!

What can a Day Of Coordinator do for you:

  • Be at your Rehearsal and your wedding to organize and orchestrate the day
  • Meet with you 1-2 times prior to your wedding
  • Be there for a limited amount of time on your wedding day
  • Create a timeline
  • Coordinate your ceremony

I offer an array of different packages depending on the type of assistance that you need:

While You Were Sleeping (Full Service)

Love Actually (Month of, jump start, etc.)

Day Of (4 weeks prior to your wedding date)

I also offer A La Carte services that can be added to the Love Actually and Day Of Coordination for a special rate. It all depends on what services you need and how much you have already planned.

Please schedule an appointment with me today to see how I can make your event A Party to Perfection and take advantage of $50 off of your service package if you book my services before December 14th!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Defining your Vision

It is extremely exciting when you first get engaged! But all of the excitement can quickly turn to a racing mind, a large "To Do" list and anxiety. For most, the exciting part of the wedding planning starts with selecting your dress, color scheme and centerpieces a.k.a. the fun stuff. The less than glamorous details, but the most important need to be addressed promptly! Here is a link to help you get started. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Erika Dotson Photography

A big thank you to Erika Dotson for sharing her favorite wedding photographs with us! If you missed her interview, make sure to check it out!

Interview with Erika Dotson of Erika Dotson Photography


Erika Dotson and I have communicated back and forth for months trying to meet but never seem to be on the same schedule. In order to become more familiar with her work I have chosen to highlight she and her work. Her photographs will be in the next post. Enjoy!

APTP: What is your specialized style?
Erika: First and foremost I LOVE anything vintage but beyond that it's a pretty fair mix. I shoot between fine art, photojournalism, modern, creative; very unique are a few words to describe it!

APTP: What is your favorite shot to take?
Erika: Hmm...that varies with each couple and I like to try new things with each couple.

APTP: What is your favorite time to shoot a wedding?
Erika: I love to shoot an hour just before sunset. If you do a "first look" you'll have dreamy couple shots before the ceremony. Then, the lighting is perfect during your ceremony and then right after we are able to get the family portraits squared away with plenty of spare light.

APTP: What has been some of your most memorable photo shots?
Erika: I love when people get really into a theme for engagements. For example, if you love to travel together, dressing the part along with old suitcases. Or, if you love to watch movies we could take shoots in theatre with 3D glasses; pretty much anything that is different! The kissing shot in front of sparklers is always a winner!

APTP: What new trends are you seeing in wedding photography?
Erika: Texture and vintage feel photos as well as a more fine art approach. All the stuffy poses are gone!

APTP: Who is your "ideal" client?

  • Someone who loves
  • Someone who takes into consideration the advice I love to freely hand out.
  • Someone who is easy going and doesn't get super stressed.
  • Someone who enjoys every second of their wedding day.
  • Someone who is crafty and has a major eye for every little detail.

APTP: What is your favorite part of the job?

Erika: I absolutely love that I get to work with such happy families! That's the best part. Everyone is always happy at weddings and it's a good work environment! I love to travel too!

APTP: Why did you choose photography?

Erika: I have always wanted to be an artist since I was little. I had a serious interest in high school and have just continued to pursue. I had several opportunities fall into my lap and I ran with them!

APTP: What has been the best advice you have been given?

Erika: Always exceed your customer's expectations!

APTP: What advice do you want to share with brides who are looking for a wedding photographer?

Erika: Be sure you don't go for the budget because in the long run you could spend $$$ on your photographer and hate your images. You would have wasted more money than if you spent $$$$ and love your images forever! Also, it's imperative that you get along with your photographer! You will be spending more than just your wedding day with this person!

I would like to thank Erika for taking time out to let us get to know her on a personal and professional level! I have asked her to share some of her favorite wedding photographs with us and they will be in the next post.

You can find Erika at

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Found on Etsy

I spend hours searching Etsy for inspiration, the hottest items being sold and just gorgeous products. I L.O.V.E. anything ultra feminine, chiffon, ruffles and detail. I also tend to like items that are a little "before" their time, but just had to feature some Bolero's. I believe Bolero's add that extra detail to a wedding gown that take it to a total wow factor. It can be elegant like a lace bolero, soft and flowing like chiffon or eye stopping in a bold color or adorned with jewels. Which ever style you choose you can make sure that your guests will remember this piece.

White Orchid Chiffon with ostrich feathers

Silk chiffon with a nuno felted silk flower

Elegant Lace

Emily Rohm

This would be a great option for the Mother of the Bride and comes in different colors. Bonzie has great items and I had a difficult time just choosing one to highlight!


Uptown Urban Crafts

Perfect for a winter wedding!

Magic Laboratory

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The escort cards vs. placecard conundrum

While the wedding invitation is the most important element of a stationary suite, the *escort card and place seat card can be equally important. Whether you choose escort cards or place cards, they can help to carry out the theme from your invitation suite or wedding theme to the reception and carry to make your event cohesive. There are thousands of unique versions available today and the sky is the limit!

You can spray paint river rocks to include the names on the front and the table assignment on the back

You can tuck the escort or place cards into pinecones, sand, wheat grass, coffee beans, candy or whatever else to help carry out your wedding theme. These also include a pig, chicken and cow to indicate the guests' entree choice.

You can tie your escort and place cards to your favors. A sweet treat from the start as the escort cards were tied to pink and green lollipops and anchored in boxes filled with jelly belly's.

These escort cards continued the wedding color theme and wrapped around scratch lotto tickets!

Add meaning to your props: These escort cards were pinned to the tree for the family members and placed on the table for friends.

Black buttons listed the guests' names and the pink card listed their table number

*Escort cards include the guests' name and table number that are displayed in a central area (they can be displayed on a table or hung from a tree) and organized by last name, which guests use to find their table assignment. Placecards seat guests at a specific seat at their assigned table. So, escort cards seat guests at a specific table, while placecards assign each guest a specific seat at the table.

Pictures from The Knot

Friday, November 6, 2009

Wedding Black Out Dates for 2009-2010

We are in "season" in the wedding industry. This is the time of year that thousands of brides are becoming engaged and planning their summer weddings. As you begin to pick that perfect wedding date, keep these Black Out Dates in mind!

Setting the Date - Wedding Dates to Avoid in 2009 and 2010
Here are some dates you’ll want to avoid when planning your 2009 or 2010 wedding.

So you’re ready to set the date and want to pick one when all your nearest and dearest will be available and enthused to share in your wedding day. This list of 2009 and 2010 blackout dates will help you avoid booking a wedding date that may inconvenience you and your guests.I"m saying that any of these days are off-limits, (and if you’ve got your heart set on one of them - go for it!), but you may want to check around before setting your wedding around the following dates.

Days of Religious/Cultural Observance

Palm Sunday Weekend

•April 5, 2009
•March 28, 2010
Easter Sunday Weekend

•April 12, 2009
•April 4, 2010

•Friday, December 25, 2009
•Saturday, December 25, 2010
Some churches may not host a wedding during the day of rest. Check with your congregation to be sure.

The Month of December/Early January
December is a busy travel month for most Christians, so think twice before hosting a December or early January wedding if many of your guests will have to travel.


Rosh Hashana

•Sundown on Friday, September 18, 2009 until nightfall on Sunday, September 20, 2009
•Sundown on Wednesday, September 8, 2010 until nightfall on Friday, September 10, 2010
Yom Kippur (begins at sundown the night before)

•Monday, September 28, 2009
•Saturday, September 18, 2010
Passover (begins at sundown the night before)

•Thursday, April 9, 2009
•Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Hanukkah (begins at sundown the night before)

•Saturday, December 12, 2009
•Thursday, December 2, 2010
Friday Evenings and Saturdays before sundown
Jewish sabbath


Sacred Month of Muharram

•Thursday, December 17, 2009 – Friday, January 15, 2010
•Monday, December 6, 2010 – Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Sacred Month of Ramadan

•Thursday, August 20, 2009 – Saturday, September 19, 2009
•Tuesday, August 10, 2010 – Thursday, September 9, 2010

•Begins Saturday, December 26, 2009 through Friday, January 1, 2010
•Begins Sunday, December 26, 2010 through Saturday, January 1, 2011

Holidays/Three Day Weekends
You don’t necessarily need to avoid these holiday weekends, but be sure to consider their pros and cons. On the pro side: You’ve got an extra day for celebration, which makes hosting a Sunday event (a good way to save money) a possibility. On the con side: Travel and lodging costs may be higher, and many guests may already have conflicting plans on these holiday weekends.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day (always on Monday)

•January 19, 2009
•January 18, 2010
President’s Day (always on Monday)

•February 16, 2009
•February 15, 2010
Patriots Day (Massachusetts/New England regional, always on Monday)

•April 20, 2009
•April 19, 2010
Memorial Day (always on Monday)

•May 25, 2009
•May 31, 2010
Independence Day

•Saturday, July 4, 2009
•Sunday, July 4, 2010
Labor Day (always on Monday)

•September 7, 2009
•September 6, 2010
Columbus Day (always on Monday)

•October 12, 2009
•October 11, 2010
Thanksgiving (always on Thursday)

•November 26, 2009
•November 25, 2010
New Year’s Eve

•Thursday, December 31, 2009
•Friday, December 31, 2010
New Year’s Day

•Friday, January 1, 2010
•Saturday, January 1, 2011
Other Major Holidays
Valentine’s Day
It may be the most romantic date for a wedding, but your floral bill will be through the roof.

•Saturday, February 14, 2009
•Sunday, February 14, 2010
Mother’s Day (always on Sunday)
Just make sure Mom’s OK with it before booking this date. Florists will charge more for this day too

•May 10, 2009
•May 9, 2010
Father’s Day (always on Sunday)
Same goes for Dad

•June 21, 2009
•June 20, 2010
It could be the perfect date for a theme wedding or costume party if that’s your desire, but remember that families with kids may not want to miss out on trick-or-treating.

•Saturday, October 31, 2009
•Sunday, October 31, 2010
Major Sporting Events
Super Bowl

•Sunday, February 1, 2009, Tampa, FL
•Sunday, February 7, 2010, Miami, FL
World Series

•Wednesday, October 28, 2009 through *Thursday November 5, 2009 (*if Game 7 is necessary).
Final Four/March Madness

•Saturday, April 4, 2009, and Monday, April 6, 2009, Detroit, MI
•Saturday, April 3, 2010, and Monday, April 5, 2010, Indianapolis, IN
Potentially Unlucky Days
Friday the 13th

•Friday, February 13, 2009
•Friday, November 13, 1009
•Friday, August 13, 2010

Ides of March

•Sunday, March 15, 2009
•Monday, March 15, 2010
Days of Remembrance
September 11

•Friday, September 11, 2009
•Saturday, September 11, 2010
Pearl Harbor Day

•Monday, December 7, 2009
•Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Daylight Saving Days
You may not want to risk guests or, even worse, your vendors showing up an hour early or late:

•Sunday March 8, 2009 – Daylight Saving Begins
•Sunday, November 1, 2009 – Daylight Saving Ends
•Sunday, March 14, 2010 – Daylight Saving Begins
•Sunday, November 7, 2010 – Daylight Saving Ends

Courtesy of

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Wedding Receptions: 17 Ways to Spruce Up Your Site - Wedding Reception Planning - Wedding Reception Ideas - By

I love the Knot. It offers so much information that a bride can easily go into information overload. You can spend, and I have, hours and hours reading tips, trends, message boards and viewing photographs. I came across this article today and wanted to show you a few of the ideas that are being used. These are all beautiful regardless of the feel you want at your wedding; outdoors, modern, family style, intimate, or all fun!

Don't be so square, or round. Mix your tables to add a more casual feel.

Suspending paper lanterns creates a great focal point, color and ambiance

A cue from your reception venue: This one is at the Wildflower Center in Austin, TX.

An all white Modern Museum wedding in New York

A gorgeous chandelier focal point

Colored lighting and fabric to set a mood

Family style seating with a charming rustic feel

Using a sophisticated color palette of black and white and adding a "pop" with green fabric and wheat grass

Friday, October 30, 2009

Etiquette Wednesday

Timing is always a big concern of any bride. I addressed an issue similar to this when meeting with a client last month. Enjoy!

Question: I've been busy with school, so I"m a bit behind with planning. Is five months before the wedding too late to send out save-the-dates?

Answer: It's cutting it close, but you can definitely still send them-especially if you already did all of the work and just need to address them! We typically suggest sending save-the-dates at least six months before the wedding, but since they're not required, you can do it whenever! There are really just two "rules" The first is to make sure that there's more than one month between when guests get the save-the-date and when they receive their invitation. The second is to send the save-the-dates early if you're having a destination event-at least six months before your wedding. You want to give people as much time as possible to book their trip. If you're marrying closer to home, a save-the-date tends to be more of an extra, so if you don't have the time to send them, don't worry. Spread the date by word of mouth instead.

Calderon Halloween Party

On Saturday October 24th, we threw a Halloween Party for the Calderon's and a packed house full of their dressed up guests.

I just love this! Her husband actually did the work, we just provided the instructions. I think it turned out great.

I painted wooden wall letters to spell "Boo" and threaded them with an orange Halloween ribbon. I stained cheese cloth in tea to give it the mummified appeal and stationed felt spiders on top; A hit with the little ones!

The main food station before the goodies.
We were feeding the masses so I prepared:
  • Swedish meatballs
  • Black Bean Salsa
  • Seven Layer Dip
  • Quiche
  • Mummy Munch (Puppy Chow)
    Fondue Bar

What a centerpiece! I just love making these.

It may remind you of this

The couple actually spent three hours tracing and cutting out these bats!

The fireplace before the full effect:

I colored the water, added floating candles and painted letters to spell "EEK". These were placed at the bottom to help anchor the silk web.

The couple and their guests played Murder Mystery, Limbo (a huge hit), Guitar Hero, Smash the Pinata and more games well into the morning. I think a great time was had by all!