Thursday, October 27, 2011

Some Glitz for the Wrists

It's always cute when grooms find a way to let their personalities pop up in the wedding--and often hilarious.  At a wedding we did recently, the groom donned a pair of light-up cufflinks for the reception.  I thought it was adorable and showed a sense of humor, which is very much a necessity for getting through such an emotionally charged day.

Photo from the Cufflinks Depot.

It got me thinking about how else grooms can add some panache to their sleeves.  I discovered these amazing heart-shaped cufflinks (also light-up!) from the Cufflinks Depot (who knew there was one?).

Photo from Etsy.

I also remembered seeing these incredible cufflinks from the Etsy shop Tomatomade.  They make custom cufflinks out of vintage maps.  I think this would be perfect for a wedding!  The cufflinks could feature maps of the bride's and groom's hometowns.  Sweet, no?

Photo from Etsy.

That got me on an Etsy kick, and I found these, as well!  I feel like they're the male version of the "I Do" stickers that some brides stick to the bottoms of their shoes.  They're incredibly cute!  These ones are from the shop Tippy Tumble, which makes all kinds of gorgeous things.

Any other ideas for interesting, makes-you-take-a-second-look cufflinks?  We'd love to hear from you!  Feel free to leave us a comment below.

Photo from Andrew Kelsall.

Take care!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

How to Have a Great Engagement Photo Session

I had the privilege of shadowing a brilliant photographer, Renee Brock, during an engagement session this weekend with two adorable law students.  I’m only an amateur photographer, but the shoot was beautiful and I learned a lot from it.

First of all, choose your photographer well.  And I don’t mean choose an expensive photographer.  Make sure it’s someone whose style you like and whose subjects’ personalities show through their work.  That will make it a lot easier for you to open up for the camera.  Plus, the engagement session can serve as a test run for a photographer, so even if you don’t end up liking this one, it will help out in choosing one for the wedding day.

Don’t be afraid to open up!  By all means, let your freak flag fly.  You may not know your photographer very well, but he or she will have a much easier time of capturing your personality if you come out of your shell a bit.  This is the best way to avoid lame, cliché photos:  just be yourself.

Photo from Buzzfeed.

Pick a great location.  It’s best if you’re familiar with the location, and it's magical and golden if you have history with the place.  For instance, the bride I helped photograph this weekend grew up around farms, so they chose a friend’s adorable farm for the shoot.  It was gorgeous, and the typical, cheesy, sitting-on-the-tractor shots had no appeal for them because they associated it with mowing the lawn.  Instead, we got some gorgeous shots of them picking the fruit they knew by name and goofing around in a crumbly old farm.

Have fun!  This isn’t something to prepare for, really.  Just bring a sense of humor (and a change of boots for walking around a farm property—smart woman!) and your pictures will turn out great.  Don’t worry about fake smiles and weird poses.  If you or your spouse-to-be can’t smile for real, crack a joke.  Shake out the stiffness.  If a pose feels weird, don’t hold it.  And most of all, keep it spontaneous.  Some of the best shots, in my opinion, are made when couples go rogue and do something unexpected.

Photo from 100 LayerCake.

Last, use the photos well!  You can use your engagement photos for a huge range of things, from guestbooks to framed photos for your new home to sweet cards.  I remember Joanna of Cup of Jo used hers for their save the date, and it turned out adorably (like everything that woman does).

I hope your engagement shoots go swimmingly!  We'd love to hear how they turn out.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

On Behalf of Bridesmaids Everywhere...

They say that when you direct a play, you shouldn't be friends with the cast because by the end of the show, they'll all hate you.  I don't think the same concept should apply to brides organizing their weddings.

And that is why I am of the firm belief that bridesmaids' dresses don't have to be ugly!  They can be really, really pretty!  Bridesmaids' dresses do NOT have to look like this: 

Photo from ily den.

But there are some easy ways to avoid the typical ugly-bridesmaid-dress syndrome.  For one, you can just pick a basic color scheme and ask your bridesmaids to wear their own dresses that fit with the scheme.  That adds some great variety (but not chaos) to the wedding photos and ensures that each can pick a dress that flatters her body type in a color and cut that she likes.

Photo from 100 Layer Cake.

If you want a really super pretty lineup of bridesmaids, you can always go for a rainbow gradient.  I think this idea is incredibly adorable.  I'm the kind of person who always lines up my M&M's in rainbow order, so for the OCD guests in your audience, I have to tell you to make sure they line up in color order if they do this.

Photo from Indie Bliss.

Another great option, which I think adds a lot to the texture of the look of your bridal party, is to have a patterned bridesmaid dress.  It's not too far from the beaten path of solid color dresses, but is still fresh enough to give the standard lineup a new twist.
Photo from Green Wedding Shoes.

Of course, you can always go for the classic, matching look; that pretty much never fails, especially if you choose a pretty color.  J.Crew happens to have some gorgeous bridesmaid dresses...I don't think it's even possible for anyone to look bad in one of these.
Photo from J.Crew.

Any suggestions?  Or, even better, any horror bridesmaid stories?  We'd love to hear them!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Destination Wedding: Success

Many of you remember Sarah Hitt. She was our amazing intern who got engaged about a year ago. She wrote a couple of posts (Guess Who Is Getting Married and The Beginning Details) about her wedding planning process. 

Well Sarah's wedding was earlier this month. On October 8, 2011, I was lucky enough to be asked to be the planner who helps Sarah and Slayden celebrate their first day of married lives. Here's what Sarah had to say about her wedding weekend. 

Let me start by saying this: My wedding was perfect. And I can say without a doubt A Big To Do Event played a HUGE role in making that happen. Erica and her staff made sure not only all the plans were in place, but back-up plans and “just-in-cases” were ready too.

Having a destination wedding made me a bit nervous when dealing with island details and vendors. Having Erica there for the weekend made all the difference in the world.

I could write example after example of Erica’s detailed planning and execution of my event. Many people think they do not need a wedding planner because they can handle it themselves. There is a big difference between can and should. With Erica by my side (actually in the backdrop J) I did not have to worry about anything except savoring every minute of my special day. My family as well as guests have asked about Erica since my event and know she is a big reason the event went off without a hitch.

During big occasions the host already has a lot on their mind. Erica not only takes care of things so you don’t have to, she takes care of them without you knowing they were ever an issue. Erica allowed me to be fully present at my wedding without nagging logistics questions in my head. As valuable as Erica was to me, she was equally (if not more) valuable to my mom who otherwise would have been carrying the burden of logistics, tasks.

A wedding is arguably the most important event of your life. There is no one I would trust more than Erica with protection of this day.

Sarah (Hitt)  and Slayden Lee

P.S. With only a 30% chance of rain and fairly sunny skies we were optimistic when taking pictures. But what is a bridal party to do when it starts to rain on our parade? We didn’t even have time to think about what to do before up walks Erica with umbrellas color coordinated to match the wedding. As previously stated… A Big To Do thinks so you don’t have to! 

Friday, October 21, 2011

Easy DIY Project!

I just ran across this fabulous post on Elizabeth Anne Designs.

I'm loving the white with a pop of color!  It really makes the centerpieces stand out.  My only concern is that they would roll off of the table or something (because that is something that would happen to me), but you can probably prevent that easily by stationing candles or other items around the spheres.

Such an easy DIY. Just wrap string around a blown up balloon, spray with fabric hardener, pop balloon and now you have a precious centerpiece idea!  Just make sure you leave a big enough hole somewhere to pull the pieces of balloon out once you've popped it.

One of their suggestions was to hang these behind the altar or from some rafters.  That would create such a fairyland effect!  (And it would also keep them from rolling off of your tables at inopportune moments.)

What are your favorite DIY projects?  We'd love to hear about it!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Flashy Favors

Are you trying to come up with a creative, unique favor for your wedding guests? If so, I may have a solution for you. I recently came upon an easy, unique favor that guests would go crazy for.

It's a cute flash drive that you personalize with pictures and your own playlist!

Photo from Real Simple.

You can upload pictures for the guests to take a look at when they get home.
Add your personalized playlist with some of your favorite songs! Guests will be excited to see
if they made the slideshow, as well as hear some of your favorite music.  It's super easy and eco-friendly.

You can buy flash drives that fit with your color scheme, and attach a cute note
thanking the guests for sharing your special day with you.

Check out these adorable ones from Blogshop (I want one so badly!):

If you don't have time to upload the pictures and playlist to each flash drive,
some companies will do it for you.

Check out the Plan Your Meetings website and
go to the Promote Your Message. When you order your flash drives, your sales
representative will help you with the upload process.  You can also check out Lookin Up Promotions.

If you have any creative favor ideas, I would love to hear them!  Feel free to leave us a comment.


Monday, October 17, 2011

Music Monday: Reception Music

A couple of weekend's ago, I got a hankering to repaint my office.
While I was repainting, I was listening to an ipad app called "Aweditorium." If you haven't downloaded it, go do it now. It's all of the "new and not-on-the-radio, therefore not-at-anyone-else's-wedding" music. A lot of it is from artists overseas that don't get much mention in the States.

Via Aweditorium I heard this fantastic diddy that would be a fantastic addition to any reception playlist.

What do you think?

Friday, October 14, 2011

This one tops the cake

At a recent wedding, I came across some cake toppers that changed my life. ...Okay, they haven't changed my life. But they are pretty darn cute. All of the toppers are totally custom. You send a picture of the wedding attire (dress and suit/tux), and of you two, and they craft a handmade cake topper to look just like the couple on your wedding day! I'll let the pictures speak for themselves...

HOW cute are these details?

Prices range from $150 to $215. These precious toppers can be found on none other than Etsy. The brand name is Concarta.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Bouquets: Personalized and Pretty!

I love bold colorology when it comes to flower arrangements, but I especially love the personal touches that some brides have taken to including in their bouquets.  What better way to welcome marriage than with magnetic poetry or a pretty locket?

 Photo from Recycled Bride.

This concept opens up a whole new door to creative flower adornments.  It doesn’t have to be anything flashy, or even necessarily visible, just something sweet to add a touch of personality to the blooms, like maybe an antique pocket watch (wouldn't that be pretty?).  I could definitely go for a bouquet with pretty brooches pinned around the stems.  Another popular option is to wrap your mother’s or grandmother’s rosary around the bouquet.

Photo from 100 Layer Cake.

I think it would be incredibly sweet if a bride added a lucky charm to her bouquet—wouldn’t that be a fitting thing to have in your hands as you walk down the aisle?

And then there are nontraditional bouquets, which I love.  Paper flowers at a wedding are adorable, affordable, and immortal!

So cute, no?  (Above and below photos from a wedding we did in September.)

I love how quirky and bright this bouquet is! I think my favorite thing about nontraditional flower options is that you can use them to showcase your personality and make them fit with your color palette and wedding theme.  And it's so easy!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Music Monday: Solo or Processional Song

This past weekend, we had the privilege of working with Sarah and Slayden. Their wedding was one of the sweetest ceremonies I've ever witnessed. I was particularly moved by the solo performed during the ceremony.  I immediately wanted to share it with you all as an option for either a solo during the ceremony, or just as the instrumental version as your bridal entrance song.

Just beautiful.

To hear it without the words, click here:

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Groom's Uniform: Not Necessarily Traditional

It’s nice to see variations on the standard tux-wearing groom.  You pretty much can’t go wrong with a tuxedo on your wedding day, guys, but it’s just so refreshing to see something simpler.  There are plenty of ways to keep the jacket off and still manage to look dapper.

I don’t know why, but there’s just something about a bunch of guys in vests that says fun to me.

Picture from Ruffled.

It’s a way to avoid a stifling tuxedo on the wedding day but also manage to keep it pretty classy.  Maybe it’s just because I’m a huge Patrick Jane fan, but this is my favorite look for groomsmen.

It’s also nice when the guys opt out of jackets and vests altogether and go for a simple button down (or cardigan) and bow tie or tie.  You’ve got to be able to pull it off, but it can look great if you can!  I think this look is lovely at a fall or summer wedding:

 Picture from 100 Layer Cake.

Maybe it’s just the Southerner in me, but I adore bow ties at weddings.  They’re sweet, quirky, and still fit with the formal attire motif.  The idea is spreading like crazy; there are tons and tons of bow tie options out there.  It’s easy to pick one that represents your personality!

Green Wedding Shoes had a marvelous post about bow ties.  My particular favorite is this one from Etsy shop xoelle.

Unsurprisingly, men tend to be the big complainers at weddings when it comes to shoe pains.  They’re just not used to the formal-shoe-induced pain that women deal with on the daily.  Some groomsmen, anticipating this, choose to spare themselves and go with something a little more whimsical.

 Picture from Penumbras.

I adore this idea, and it’s not just because I live in my Converse.  It's such a great way to bring some character into the wedding and keep it aesthetically pleasing at the same time!  I’d love to see this same idea with Toms or other matching bride-groom footwear.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Music Monday: Father/Daughter Dance

Our bride last weekend surprised her dad with this song as their Father/Daughter Dance song. 
How sweet is this?!?

"God Only Knows" by The Beach Boys

Links We love

Blog Template by Delicious Design Studio