Friday, December 2, 2011

What they're saying

I always enjoy working with my brides to make their weddings as perfect as they imagined AND stress free! I think my favorite part is being able to share in their special and most memorable day so far! Here is what a recent bride had to say:

“Shannon did a great job coordinating our wedding!  During the planning process,  she was very easy to work with and was quick to respond to any questions or  concerns we had.  Shannon provided a number of services for us, including  creating a floor plan and timeline for the reception, organizing the rehearsal,  orchestrating the ceremony, and coordinating with the vendors and bridal party  to make sure every detail was taken care of.   Shannon was there on our wedding  day to make sure that everything ran smoothly which allowed our parents and us  to be able to fully enjoy the celebration. She is great at her job, and we  highly recommend her!” 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Trend Alert: Color Blocking

I've said it before, but it bears repeating: The wedding industry follows trends in the fashion industry. There is a new trend that hit the runways earlier this year that is "popping" up in weddings across the United States. So what is this trend? It's color blocking. I had to do some research myself, but here is what I found via Kathy Romero. Your guests will definitely be in an awakened state as they take in all of these colors!

What is Color Blocking? It is a combination of colors that support and compliment one other (BizChick Blog). This style technique may be intimidating for some but with a few good tips and dash of bravery you will be color bold in no time! It’s a playful trend that doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon.

There are two important concepts in color pairings, the analogous and the complimentary colors. Analogous colors are three colors lined up next to one another on the color wheel that pair well together such as red, orange, and yellow. Complimentary colors are those opposite to one another such as yellow and purple. Whether you’re choosing blocks of colors that compliment or analogous colors that support both cater to the prominent trend of color blocking.(For more on Color Blocking see BizChick Blog and The Curvy Fashionista)

Using this trend for a wedding can be fabulous if you choose your colors wisely and edit down. Pick 2-3 blocks of colors that pair well together according to the color wheel. You don’t need to use the blocking everywhere, use it in doses. Every dash of color counts! Use it to make a statement at the escort card table, in your flower arrangements, on your invitations, and it never hurts to add a pop of color with your shoes. Ignite your senses and that of your guests with just enough color to be swooned not overwhelmed.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Real Wedding: Rachel and Tony

I knew that when I first met Rachel she had incredible vision and knew exactly what she wanted to incorporate into her wedding. Look at the result of months of searching, spray painting, crafting, and pounds and pounds of pumpkins!

(These were all taken from my iPhone, but the photos from Yocum Photography will be gorgeous!)

Rachel wanted something fun for the guests to do during the reception, so I created these fun Mad Libs for the guests. I hope they enjoyed reading them when they came home from their honeymoon!

The ceremony took place at 6:00 pm, just moments before dusk. Everything was gorgeous as it was lit by hundreds of candles!

The steps at Old Main lawn were covered and stacked with pie and Cinderella pumpkins and lit by lanterns and mason jars wrapped in burlap and grapevine.

A full table was important to Rachel so they were covered with burlap and filled with rustic lanterns, cut logs, mini pumpkins, photos and more!

An outdoor fall wedding with a pumpkin theme calls for this kind of decor! Roses, spray roses, seeded eucalyptus, celosia, button mums, hypericum berries and more fill these large Jack-o-lanterns.

We rented two actual wine making barrels from a functioning winery and placed an old door on top as our cake table.

The cake stand itself was an ingenious idea from Jennifer at Kruton's Catering. We couldn't help but incorporate it! Have you ever seen a cake on top of a Cinderella pumpkin?! :)

The bride's cake was four separate flavors of cake, filling and icing. Incredible flavors!

There were so many more fun details, but I'll wait for the professional photos before I share!


Flowers: Jules Design
Rentals: Eventures
Photographer: Yocum Photography
Ice Cream bar: Maggie Moo's in Fayetteville
Venue: Old Main

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Wedding Emergency Kit

It's finally your wedding day! While everything at the ceremony and reception are being taken care of by the professionals, don't forget to make sure you are are being taken care of too by including these essentials in your wedding emergency kit!

  • Emergency
    Band-aids for boo-boos
  • Mole skin works great to guard feet against blisters
    Hand Cream
  • Nail File
  • Fashion tape to keep your clothes in place
    Nail polish remover

  • Picture Perfect details
    Soft rice paper to powder your beautiful face
    Bobby pins (these are always needed)
  • touch up lip gloss in your wedding day color
  • Disposable razors in case you missed a spot

  • Drama
  • Tissues to dry your joyful tears or a hanker-chief
    Gentle eye drops
    Makeup remover

  • Close Encounters
    breath fresheners for close encounters
    toothpaste and a toothbrush (or substitute with whips)
  • floss (you never know!)

  • Don't leave home without
    Advil® for splitting headache relief
    sewing kit with pre-threaded needles
  • hand sanitizer
  • tampons (mother nature can be cruel!)

  • Calming
    Cushions for your dancing feet
    Pepcid Complete® to quiet your butterflies

  • Details
    Keep-your-cool with Dove® deodorant
    Nail polish for touch-ups and to stop stocking runs
    Static Guard®
  • Q-tips in case you need to touch up makeup mishaps

  • Better be prepared
    Scissors to snip unruly threads
    Krazy Glue®
    Lint sheets
  • white chalk in case someone steps on your dress before pictures

  • For the girls
  • Pucker up
    Clear straws to sip champagne without smudging your lipstick
    Clear lip gloss
You can also purchase all of these necessities in one Mojuba bag. Bonus, you can purchase one for your groom too!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Wedding Exits

You have spent months or even years planning your wedding and have even covered the details down to the color and design on the cocktail napkins. In all of the details, don't forget to plan your grande exit as Mr. and Mrs. at the end of the ceremony or as you and your new hubby leave your guests for the night.

The most important part of deciding what type of exit you would like to have is to ask your event venue what they allow! Some event venues forbid sparklers if alcohol will be present, others forbid real rose petals inside, while others forbid balloons and bubbles. You definitely don't want to purchase all of the exit goodies to find out they won't be allowed and be left without that great photo op!

A rose petal canon will leave you with a romantic feeling

Gorgeous drama as your guests release hundreds of lit lanterns into the night sky!

Create a fun glow with sparklers (definitely make sure children are supervised.)

Your guests could unravel rolls of colored streamers (bonus if they coordinate with your wedding colors.)

A romantic exit as your guests wave ribbon wands (this makes me think of royalty.)

Guests could toss cones filled with confetti for a colorful and plentiful send off.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Breaking down the lingo

We have all ran into the issue of receiving an invitation with "Black Tie" or "Black Tie Optional," and are stuck wondering "What's does that mean?" So I will break down the lingo for you either as a guest or if you are bride and deciding on how formal you would like your wedding guests to dress for your big day!

White Tie:
Men Wear tuxedos, long black jackets with tails, white vests, and bow ties. Think: long gloves with formal, full-length ball gowns.

Black Tie:
Men wear tuxedos, bow ties, and cummerbunds, and the women wear cocktail dresses or long gowns. You could wear a ball gown or a full A-line dress with beading and embroidery.

Black Tie Optional:
Men can wear a tuxedo or dark suit and tie. Women should wear long dresses, dressy suits, or a formal cocktail-length dresses. You can go with a simple ball gown or A-line or with an embellished sheath.

For evening, darker hues are apropos, but in the daytime, opt for lighter colors and fabrics. The men war suits and ties, and the women wear cocktail dresses or dressy skirts and tops. you should skip the ballgown. I typical think of "Sunday Best."

The men might wear seersucker suits or another light-material jacket with khakis. The women wear sundresses or skirts and tops. Light fabrics, like chiffon and cotton, are appropriate for your dress. This might be what you wear to a casual church service or a nice dinner out with your man.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Wedding Guest Complaints

With ALL of the hours you spend making sure your wedding is perfect, I"m going to offer some insights into some of the complaints wedding guests could have about your "perfect" day.

1) Bad Timing-Long pauses between the ceremony and reception are generally a bummer. If you cannot book the ballroom immediately following the ceremony, arrange for cocktails and hors d'oeuvres at an adjacent space.

2) Cash Bars-Sorry, a cash bar is never an acceptable money-saving solution. Swallow that expensive bill by thinking about this: you would never ask guests to pay for a cocktail in your own home; your wedding should be the same. *Offer a limited open bar with beer and wine or a signature cocktail to keep costs low.

3) Stranded Dates- Don't create a painful experience for your attendant's dates. Speed up the marathon photo sessions and seat dates together with the wedding party at the reception.

4) Stranded Guests-If your wedding reception and ceremony locations are far apart or far from accommodations, you should provide guest transportation. Besides the obvious safety concerns of drinking and driving, your guests should remember what a lovely time they had at your wedding-not what a pain it was to get there.

5) Unaccommodating Accommodations-Failing to provide information for convenient and affordable accommodations for long distance guests never goes over well. Don't force guests to be their own travel agents, and don't secure the only room block at a 5 star hotel. Make sure to block off rooms at several hotels at different price points.

6) Silent or Tardy Dinner Bill-If your four hour reception falls during meal time, understand that your guests will be expecting just that- a meal. And they'll expect that meal during normal lunch or dinner hours. If you will be running late due to pictures, think of feeding your guests before you arrive to keep them happy!

7) Ungracious Hosts-Failing to acknowledge any gift or thoughtful gesture with hand-written, personalized thank you notes is always an etiquette faux pas and never a breech that will go unnoticed. I can still name the couples who did not send a written thank you note!

8) Bar-If you choose to have an open bar at our reception, make sure you have adequate staff. I recommend 1 bartender for ever 75 guests. Make sure that the bar is stocked and everyone is ready to go as the first guest arrives. Nothing will kill the party mood like waiting in line for 20 minutes for a drink!

9) Room- Make sure your venue isn't too crowded and there are plenty of places for your guests to sit or place their drinks. Your guests will not enjoy being bumped into while they're holding a plate and drink.

10) Temperature-If your ceremony is outside and in full sun offer guests umbrellas, customized water bottles, and programs that double as a fan. It's always nice to have shawls available for ladies who might get cold in your ceremony or reception venue. You can even have these match your theme or monogrammed.

11) Food-Your guests are wanting to be "wowed" at your wedding. Wow them with food! Believe it or not, some guests actually complain if the cocktail hour offers too much food! Tease your guests with the cocktail hour of what lies ahead for dinner! Put effort into your menu selection (it can be ethnic foods to pay tribute to your heritage, a childhood favorite, family recipes and so on.) Work with your caterer or venue to see how they will be serving the guests. If it is a plated meal, will they serve each table at once or each dish (all chicken first, all beef next, etc? ) Guests want flavor, the food to be at the expected temperature, and "not your average chicken dinner."

12) Children-If you are going to have children at your wedding offer them their own table filled with goodies (playdough, coloring books, craft projects, beading, etc.) Offer them goody bags to play with at their table if they are young and need to be with supervisors. You can hire someone to watch children in the venue while they play, watch movies and even eat a pizza. Of course, being the gracious host you are, have arranged the details and ordered the pizzas! :)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Naked Wedding Cakes

I have to say that I'm absolutely in love with these "naked cakes!" However, I will tell you that if you google "naked cakes" you will get more than you bargained for! Regardless, these are making headlines fast. These cakes are budget friendly, eye catching and perfect if you are a DIY bride (if it's not perfect, no one will notice!)

You can garnish your cake with flowers

(image from cassandradyane)
(image from Martha Stewart)

(Image from Bridal Bar)

This was Hillary Duff's wedding cake

(Seriously cannot remember where this cake image is from, but it's everywhere)

I"m actually going to make this last cake in "Funfetti" for my son, niece and nephew for July 4th! I"ll let you know how it goes!


Thursday, May 19, 2011

So, who does pay for what?

While you were deciding on your wedding budget, you might have had the discussion with your parents and soon-to-be inlaws about who is able and willing to pay for what for your wedding. While the bride's family pays-for-it-all scenario may still hold true, these days bill-paying tends to be more equitably shared among parents and the couple. Here is a quick rundown of who's more likely to pay for what today:

Pre-Wedding Parties
The bride's family covers the first engagement party (the groom's side can throw one of its own); his side pays for the rehearsal dinner.

Each family may throw an engagement party (the bride's family can host the first one, if it likes); anyone can host the rehearsal dinner-even an aunt.

The bride's family pays fore very invitation, program, and place card-and even the stamps.

The couple can pick up the tab, maybe choosing to DIY the save-the-dates or invites to save money.

The bride's parents take care of the music, venue fee, and aisle runner. The groom covers the marriage license and the officiant's fee.

If the wedding is being performed at one family's house of worship,, that family covers the ceremony costs. Otherwise, anyone can pay.

The bride's family pays for the big-ticket items like centerpieces. The groom's side springs for the bride's bouquet, boutonnieres, and corsages.

All the flowers are paid for together, by the bride's or groom's side, or the couple themselves.

The bride's family pays to document the occasion.

One family pays for the photos for the video Or the couple hire the photog, and the families each buy their own prints and albums.

You guessed it: The bride's family picks up the entire tab-food drink, decor, and music.

The groom's family covers specifics like liquor or music; the bride's family pays for the rest. Better: Everyone pitches in according to what they can do.

So, let's hope everyone is on the same page and comfortable so you can start planning!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

How to establish your wedding budget

You're finally engaged and excited to share the news with everyone! I don't blame you because this is such an exciting time in your lives. In all of the excitement and joys of deciding what type of wedding you would like, the very first thing you and your finance need to establish is your wedding budget.

You will both need to sit down with both sets of parents and decide who is willing and able to pay for what and how much they are willing to allocate to your wedding. There are the traditional roles parents play when it comes to paying for wedding items, but I"ll blog more on that topic later this week! You and your fiance can also decide how much you are willing to allocate to your wedding.

In addition to seeing who will contribute, how much and to which aspects of the wedding (your parents will pay for the ceremony and reception venue while your soon-to-be hubby's parents want to contribute to the food and alcohol,) you can also use this formula:

(# of months you have before the wedding) X (amount you can put aside each month) X (your parents' contribution and any other savings) - (5 percent (set aside for cost overruns))= Your budget!

So, let's say that you are 13 months from your wedding date, you are able to set aside $300 each month ($3900), your parents are going to contribute $15,000, and you allot for cost overruns. Your wedding budget would be roughly around $17,900.

You need to make sure everyone is comfortable with what they are able and willing to contribute. This will definitely keep things from feeling awkward and keep things in perspective as you begin your planning process.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Inspired by color: Wedding Dresses

White wedding dresses are still one tradition many brides stick to, colored dresses started hitting the runways in late 2010 and making quite the impression. Reese Witherspoon tied the knot in March wearing a blush gown that was custom made by one of my favorite designers, Monique Lhullier.

I just love the soft colors of these blush pink and peach dresses! Then you add ruffles and appliques and I"m sold!

I just love the texture and color of these dresses!

You would definitely make an entrance into the reception wearing this:

A very unexpected color, yet still soft and feminine:

How about your something blue?!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

What they're saying

I had the great pleasure of working with Lindsey and Tanner on their March wedding. I've said it before, but what a wonderful and fun couple!! I received this from Lindsey: "I could not have asked for a better wedding planner for my big day then Shannon with A Party to Perfection. Whether it was helping me with a layout of my programs, organizing the breakdown of the reception, or offering to give me the back of her earring due to my wedding earrings not staying on, she truly is AWESOME at what she does and makes a bride feel so special and less stressed. :-) I loved every minute of our special day and she was right there to help me get through it and make sure everything I wanted was taken care of. Thanks so much for everything and making our wedding day such a breeze!" Of course, you're only as good as the vendors you work with and Lindsey picked great vendors for her fun and oh-so-her wedding day: Catering: Kruton's Catering Photo booth and lightning: Dancenhance Entertainment DJ: Brock Entertainment Florist: Candy Bouquet #1445 featuring Designs by Suzanna Photography: Blair Photography

Friday, April 8, 2011

2011 Trends: Rainbow

If you are like me, you may never think of creating or incorporating a Rainbow theme into your wedding. Images of Rainbow Bright just doesn't give me that "wedding" feeling!

However, trends and ideas can always be tweaked to your every whim!

While you do not necessarily have to dress your besties in rainbow dresses, per se, you can definitely dress them in a rainbow monochromatic scheme (think dark pink to light pink, dark blue to light blue.etc.)

Or, you can dress them in complimentary hues that cover the colors of the rainbow Delight your guests' senses both visually and tastefully with a rainbow inspired cake

How fun would this be to dig into as a guest?!

Rainbow themed signature drinks, dessert buffets, bow ties (they're making their comback!) and who doesn't want to add that special touch with fabulously colored shoes?!

Or you can have each bridesmaid wear a different color shoe to "pop" in a less obvious rainbow theme.

These are meant to mimic the French Macaroons and could be fitting as decor

Love the look of these colorfl Macaroons

I don't know if I could choose just one!