Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Your Way = The Only Way that Matters

I’m sending you to another blog for the second time this week…
This coincides perfectly with a conversation I had with a bride and her thoughts on not having favors…she wasn’t feeling it, but also felt like she should or had to have a favor. Alas, we concluded that no one is saying “hmm, I wonder what favor they are going to have” or going to say “wow, they didn’t have a favor” and it was okay if she didn’t have the perfect favor. I stand by the fact that it’s okay not to have favors if you don’t want them. But the pressure about favors, about colors, about every detail is very real for many brides.

This post on the blog A Practical Wedding, “
What Happened When I Stopped Reading Wedding Blogs” is perfect. I agree wholeheartedly. It’s hard to not get caught up in “the perfect day” and what society or those 565,000 blogs or sites that I mentioned yesterday are saying to you. It does cause stress, and all for what?

Her advice in the blog is right on. I encourage you to do it your way, and be comfortable in that. If you and your fiancé are happy (your colors, your ceremony, your meal at dinner, your music), that’s what matters. It will be perfect, because it’s what you want. I also encourage brides to take a step back and have evenings of wedding-free fun with their fiancé, especially as the date draws near. Focus on the truly important things (saying “i do” to the partner you’ll spend the rest of your life with), and do it your way, that’s the only way that matters. Read this great post here:

Monday, March 30, 2009

cute DIY flower girl accessories and a blog to check out!

Check out this adorable pomander and flower girl basket a good friend and May bride created as the perfect accessories for her littlest attendants. How cute! She has great taste and wonderful talent with colors and details. Remember: you don't have to be a self-proclaimed Martha to create wonderful additions to your day. Look for more on her wedding soon!

And in the meantime....in the midst of what feels like about 565,000 wedding blogs and websites out there, her blog really is one that you should check out, the "i do" chronicles.
Yes, I think they'll be happy tears on May 2nd, and probably on May 1st too, if not before (we're cryers, we'll admit it)...but for now we happily chat about honeymoon locations, "will she ever feel ready", confirming vendors and more. And as we chat about every detail, she has blogged her way through her engagement (since December 2007) in a sweet, realistic, entertaining, and meaningful way.

Its a great glimpse into wedding planning, but also life and starting this next chapter after 7 years together. I hope she continues to blog about their celebrations, challenges, and excitement as they begin newlywed-dom. Check out the "i do" chronicles...

Friday, March 27, 2009

Wedding Shoes!

I love shoes! And I was pleasantly surprised when I saw the new Unforgettable Moments line by Lela Rose at Payless!

Yes, Payless! They really are cute and completely affordable at $24.99. For fellow shoe lovers out there, you don't have to settle on just 1 pair for your big day, you don't have to feel guilty buying 2 at this price. You can check out 64 pretty colors that are available in 5 styles at local stores (including Bloomington's College Mall store). The Jackie style is at left. One review I saw compared one style to a J Crew shoe, at a fraction of the price. Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Bouquets: After the Wedding?

You carry your bouquet down the aisle, perhaps display it at the reception…but then what do you with it? It’s beautiful, and you’ve considered its every detail for several months—colors, size, style, and more. Maybe you want to keep it and the precious memories that go along with it.

You could consider preserving your bouquet to keep forever. Be sure to hand off your bouquet to someone reliable after the reception, make sure they put it in water overnight and then take it early the following week to the florist for the best results. Check with your florist for recommendations of how or who can preserve your bouquet. You could also get crafty and use the dried petals in a shadow box or similar display with other mementoes from your wedding.

Not so sure about doing the traditional “tossing” of the bouquet (often times a smaller arrangement of similar flowers to your bridal bouquet) to your single-friends all gathered together in a mass as “Single Ladies” plays over the dance floor? I see fewer and fewer brides who want to do this, so what can you do if you don’t want to blindly toss a bouquet?

I love the idea of giving a smaller bouquet, or even your own if you don’t want to keep it, to a special guest. You could say a few words at the reception and give the bouquet to any number of people such as a woman who has meant so much to you, the woman who has been married the longest, or even someone who has been going through a difficult time or recently loss someone close to them. Or you could also give it to a new mother or newly engaged friend. It could also be a special moment to present it to your mother, in thanks, in love, and in excitement of all the future holds. The possibilities are endless. Who would you honor?

I think this is an graceful gesture to honor someone who has meant a lot to you and may fit in with your vision of your reception and friends gathered together better than “all the single ladies…”

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Happy Weekend (& Spring)!

Spring has sprung in Bloomington! Daffodills have bloomed this week throughout town and in our yard. And that means that summer will be here before we know it!

Also, if you're looking for a way to wrap up your weekend, We TV's Platinum Weddings is back with a new season starting Sunday night. There are 3 new episodes starting at 10 pm EST.

Think 900 guests, multiple dress changes, thousands of dollars of jewelery (a $30,000 engagement ring), 10,000 orchids...and that's just this Sunday night. Talk about inspiration...or perhaps just a girly indulgence on a Sunday night. Enjoy!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Favors: the icing on the cake?

I’m often asked about trends in favors, good resources, or ideas for favors. I think the most important thing to remember is—don’t have favors just to have favors at your reception. They are not a “must have”! A favor should be something meaningful to the couple (think tree seedlings, a donation in guests honor to a meaningful charity, etc.) or perhaps something edible. More and more couples are doing some type of sweet treat late in the night or for guests to take home. You’re giving your guests something yummy to take home with them and not cluttering their life with something they can never use.

Candy buffets have become more and more popular over the past few years—they could be color themed (all white candy for example), include your favorite candy (a good friend of mine’s fiancé loves chewy runts, the perfect start to their candy bar), or nostalgic candy. They are also visually appealing and fun at receptions. Check out this good blog on candy buffets: http://www.favorideas.com/wedding-blog/candy-buffet-ideas/
I also love homemade treats, or having a baker utilize a favorite family recipe to bake cookies, scones, or dessert bars. These treats perfectly packaged with a short and sweet thank you note could be the perfect ending to your perfect day.

Other edible ideas:
Small cupcakes from your baker, chocolate covered coffee beans or small bags of your favorite coffee, or think local. What’s locally popular? Pizza Express breadsticks in Bloomington, jam from Dillman Farms, or chocolates from the Blu Boys. Or are you a gourmet cook or a foodie? What about olive oil with a custom label. Having a fall wedding? What about caramel apples or mini-loaves of pumpkin bread or muffins? the possibilities really are endless. What do you and your fiance love? Start there.

Some good websites:
www.beau-coup.com {I LOVE this site, so many great packaging options and beautiful tags and labels.}
www.marthastewartweddings.com {They have a great feature on favor packaging. Search: “Favors: Think Outside the Box”}
http://stuck.bigcartel.com {Beautiful labels that you can print from your home computer, and you don’t have to order 100 of the same, these could be customized for a candy buffet, a late night treats bar, welcome packages, etc! Their website also has the label templates to download.}

Good candy websites:
www.plushpuffs.com {for gourmet marshmallows!}
www.madmacnyc.com {French macaroons! Or try Blu Boy Chocolates in Bloomington for local macaroons!}
http://amyatlas.com/index.php/main/portfolio/ {for all of the candy buffet inspiration you’ll ever need!}

And lastly, I happened upon these
cute labels and idea from Betsy White, a great stationary company. Another perfect packaging idea.
I’d love to talk with you about your favor ideas or designing the perfect candy buffet or desert bar for your special event.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Beautiful Gifts for Bridesmaids

I’m in love with Sonya Renee jewelry. It’s gorgeous, modern, and feminine, I love it all. I also think it would make perfect bridesmaids gifts or other gifts for special women in your life. There are beautiful monogram neckaces, initial pieces that you can add colored stones to, bracelets, earrings, linen jewelry pouches and more. They also have a unique bridal collection that you should check out. Your best girl friends will forever have a treasured keepsake with this jewelry.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Is a Coordinator Really Necessary?

I’m often asked why couples would need a wedding planner or coordinator. They remind me that reception sites often have venue coordinators, churches sometimes have staff that assist at the ceremony…so why am I needed? I’m needed because someone needs to be there for the bride and ensure everything runs just as she wishes. My hope is that banquet managers at receptions are ensuring the food is hot, the wait staff is being efficient, and the room is set as we had planned. I'm there to ensure the evening flows as the couple planned, needs are taken care of and everyone can have a good time. A wedding coordinator:

1) Has seen many different weddings in many different ways. She can provide insight, thoughts, and answer your questions, as well as provide valuable local information and recommendations.
2) Will understand exactly what you want from when you wake up on your wedding day to when you leave with your new husband and tuxes have to be returned.
3) Will ensure everything runs smoothly and each detail is taken care of so you can enjoy your day.
4) Will be an advocate if anything goes wrong. She can take care of any problems that arise before you even knew they happened.
5) Will bring your ideas to life. She will listen to you and then take her to-do list from you. She’s not planning your day, just executing it so you can enjoy every minute.
6) Will care about you and your day as much as you do!

So take care of yourself and your sanity, and consider hiring a coordinator to take care of details. I think you’ll realize it was a good investment.

Photo: Me going through the flow of reception events at a Nov 2008 wedding. Photo Courtesy She Designs Photography.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


I've finally gotten around to starting my blog to accompany the business I've recently started. My company is love, lillian weddings & events based in Bloomington, Indiana. I'm excited to be venturing down this path and am looking forward to working with great brides, fun clients, and talented vendors and partners. To get started a few snippets about me with more to come very soon:

*I've been planning and coordinating weddings & events for over 5 years now. I was a maid of honor for a dear friend after we graduated from college and she told me what a blessing I was and how helpful I was, always thinking ahead and considering details. Little did I know I would be doing events professionally and for fun 5 years later. I have since worked with budgets large and small, done events across the country, and fallen in love with every aspect of event planning.
*I'm meticulous about what I do.
*I'm blessed to have a wonderful, supportive husband who is very patient and loving. (especially as I consider every detail of my business venture--"this color or that one," "worded this way or that way," "hold on, I'll be there in a second, I have to (fill in the blank with something wedding related.") More on him later...
*I'm also blessed with wonderful friends who are also very talented and have supported me along the path.
*I truly love working with brides and their families to design and execute their special day.

On this blog, "love notes" I look forward to sharing fun things I find, new projects, "real" events & weddings, and inspiration for you here.
Until next time,