Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tuesday Shoesday Pt 6

OK, so if you looked at the BHLDN website, you had to know that I would fall in love with the shoes.

Here's why I love them: they look like gorgeous antiques. They tell a story. Each have intricate details. The colors are gorgeous. The blue pair to the right are called elopement pumps.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Today I got to watch a show on WE all about Bling. It was called "Bling on the Bride." The part that stuck out to me was the part about engagement rings.

Some of the women talking about how big of ring they wanted and how size is directly related to how much a man loves you. One woman said she wanted at least 3 carats.

general manager was sure to remind people that it really isn't the size that matters as much as the 4C's: Cut, Color, Clarity, and Carat Weight. In fact Tiffany diamonds are cut more for beauty than size. Tiffany sacrifices more of a the raw diamond than customary to ensure the most brilliant and beautiful cut.

Currently, vintage is new again. More jewelry is designed with pave and cushion settings. But some people think that is too bling-y. I love vintage looking rings, but I think I would rather have an actual heirloom with a story.

I have to agree with the Tiffany's philosophy. I'd much rather have a half carat that sparkles intensely than a bling-ed out ring that is dull unless under spotlight.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Tuesday Shoesday Pt 5

I'm sure it comes as no surprise to any of you that these are Jessica Simpson Heels. They are the CHEETAH heels. A more modern take on a Mary Jane, they marry gorgeous colors for this spring with the blush camel and mahogany brown. I am in love. Consider something like this for you or your bridesmaids if you're going for a vintage feel.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy V-day from BHLDN

TODAY IS THE DAY!!!!! BHLDN launched!!!!! I've been waiting for this day for a while now. Knowing how much I love Anthropologie, I knew that their wedding line would be absolutely to die for. The good news is that it is.

I'm not even surprised that gray and blush are the two highlighted colors on the site. I love the design and colors. I hate the prices. That's the one stinky thing. But I decided to put together an inspiration board of my favorite things.

I adore the gloves. My little sister has a massive scar on her left hand from cutting her hand open with a key. So a gorgeous set of gloves would be perfect for her.

If you're going to blow the budget, it would be fun to blow it on something like fun hair accessory or a unique bolero. Both are stand out pieces that could dress up even a $99 dress from David's Bridal.

Even if you can't afford a $3000 dress or $280 shoes, check out the site to get ideas for the look you want.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Beating the Waiting Game pt 3

I've address two major waiting periods at weddings that need to be carefully planned for. Here's a recap.

The three most frustrating times of waiting are
  • Time waiting at the reception for you to arrive
  • Waiting in line for food
  • Waiting for open dancing to begin
Today I'll be addressing the last in the series. It's probably the most important of the three because it defines the difference between just a dinner and a full-fledged party. Let's dig in...

Waiting for Open Dancing to Begin

How it kills the party: So you've had dinner, listened to toasts, saw a video about the bride and groom, watched as the pounded each other with cake and you're just about ready to get your dance on. BUT WAIT! Now it's the first dance. And then the father daughter dance. And then the Mother son dance. Oh, and a tribute dance to the parents of the bride and groom. And let's not forget the wedding party dance. Fabulous! The bride and groom love honoring people in their lives, but when you aren't one of those people, this succession of dances turns into a huge bore. Unless you're performing choreographed dances, think about how long you're making your guests watch you sway back and forth. Chances are, they are going to check out early if you don't keep them engaged.

How to get the party started: I'm not suggesting choreographing dances here. And if you'd like to honor people, that's awesome. But lets look where you can cut out some of the dead time that makes the night drag on.

  • Love Story Videos/Slide shows- show them while people are eating. As soon as the last people have gone through the line, get it up on the screen.
  • Toasts- These can be done at a lot of different points in the night. I would suggest doing them right before or after the video/slide show (if you have one), because you already have everyone's attention (side note on toasts: don't let the whole bridal party give a toast at the reception, do that at the rehearsal dinner).
  • Cutting the Cake - do it right when you get there. Usually the cake is off in some corner so it's easier to get it out of the way first. This also gives whoever is cutting the cake more time to get that done before people are hankering for dessert.
  • Scatter dances to honor different people throughout the night (without switching gears too much in the music) and include other guests in them (invite all fathers and daughters out for the father daughter dance) or find other meaningful ways to honor those people.
  • If you really want to have all the different dances, consider making a slide show with pictures to the song of choice to be shown while you dance so that there is more than just swaying to be watched.
The important thing is that someone is keeping things moving. This can be a coordinator, DJ, or a host couple. This person should have a good understanding for the order of events. Avoiding a lot of downtime for set-up is important. That's why doing toasts and slide-shows while people are eating is a great idea so that they aren't focused on what is taking so long to set-up. Starting the dancing right when you serve dessert helps to keep guests distracted while they aren't a part of the action.

Get the party started early and keep it going.

If you can eliminate the frustration guests usually face, it will make your wedding truly a night to remember for everyone who attended. Thanks for reading!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Beating the Waiting Game pt 2

In my last post I started talking about one of the biggest mood killers at weddings: waiting around. There are three times in a wedding that can really kill the party and give guests a negative attitude. I talked about the time between the ceremony and reception in my last post (be sure to check it out). This post I'm going to talk about something that can make many people very crabby, being hungry.

Waiting In Line For Food

How it kills the mood: You get through the ceremony, drive to the reception, wait for the couple to arrive, cut the cake, and then dinner is served... except you have to wait for all of the 200 other guests to get their good first.

Buffet style receptions are especially common here in Nebraska. Most people believe they are cheaper by default (not always true, check with your caterer for their pricing on sit-down v. buffet). One thing that is true is that a poorly planned buffet can bring a hopping party to a screeching halt. Trying to corral 250 guests through a single buffet line takes a considerable amount of time. Usually first people are done before the last even make it through.

How to beat it: My first piece of advice is not to let the line build up. Ask the host couples or DJ to dismiss the tables as the line dies down. The second thing you should think about is the number of people you're serving 75-100, you'll probably be ok with one single-sided buffet, but any more and you need to start considering multiple buffet lines to allow more people to get food at once. Think about the space. Does it make sense to service different sides of the room with different buffet lines? Anything thing to make it go smoother and faster will help keep your guests happy.

What you really want to avoid is people being uncomfortable, i.e. hungry and standing in uncomfortable shoes. If you have a generous cocktail hour, it helps beat the hunger. Having tables wait to be dismissed until the line dies a little helps to keep them off their feet. These small touches make a big difference.

But most definitely find out about sit-down dinner pricing and logistics. It doesn't make any sense to do a sit down dinner for 250 people with just 5 servers and no carts to deliver the dinner on. Make sure that if you do go with a sit-down dinner that they will have enough help to get the meal served quickly and efficiently.

I hope those insights help. Check back tomorrow for the last and probably most important post in this series.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Easy Free Web site from Google

Google docs have been one of my favorite things for quite some time now. So today when Google released their wedding formatting for Web sites, I was ecstatic. Marrying the two things I love, the organization of Google docs with weddings, what could be more perfect?

So I just had to check it out. I had to make a site for myself. And I have to say, I LOVE IT!

Google makes it so easy. If you can read, you can create your own wedding site. There's such customization. It's awesome.

But it doesn't stop at the site, there are great planning tools. And those tools link seamlessly with the site to help you calculate guests list and get everything perfect for that day. Forget about the other wedding sites that give you tricky to use URLs. Google makes it super easy and simple.

I made a little site for me and Kelly (not jinxing myself). Go ahead and take a look at it: https://sites.google.com/site/kateloveskelly/home
(Not an overly complicated URL)

I checked out some of the the other spreadsheets. The budget one was really great. It's a premade excel sheet which is awesome because I really despise having to format excel.

Oh and the best part about all of this business: IT'S FREE!!!!!!

Beating the Waiting Game pt 1

Having been a guest at probably 50+ weddings over the years, I can tell you that there is nothing more frustrating than waiting around for everything to happen. On your big day, you don't want to be worrying about your guest having a good time. That's why it's important to put careful time and planning into your scheduling ahead of time.

The three most frustrating times of waiting are
  • Time waiting at the reception for you to arrive
  • Waiting in line for food
  • Waiting for open dancing to begin
Of course there are some other times that are slow going, but I think these are the three that can really make or break the party. In the next three articles I'll address why these three times can ruin the party for your guests and how to avoid them.

Time Waiting at the Reception for You to Arrive

Why it kills the mood: There is no worse feeling than getting to a party before it's gotten started. Most of us would rather be fashionably late and arrive while things are in full swing than get there while the host is still setting up. Wedding guests feel the same. You want them to arrive while something is going on so they aren't thinking about what they'd rather be doing.

How to save it: I will get one thing out of the way, if you are not taking all of your photos before the wedding because you want to wait for the groom to see you coming down the aisle, PLAN on scheduling at least a two hour gap between the end of the ceremony and the beginning of the reception. It's going to take you more than an hour to take those photos and the commute between the ceremony space and the reception space will add up quickly. Don't rush yourself. But let your guests know that they don't need to rush there. They can go home for a few hours or maybe go buy that present they didn't have time to get ahead of time.

If you do only plan for you to have the common hour-long limo ride with a stop at a bar or a park for quick pictures, remember that means that your guests will probably be waiting for you for about 40 minutes to an hour. Here are some ways to make your guests feel welcomed.
  1. Plan to have host couples to arrive first to get things started.
  2. Plan for a cocktail hour so that hungry guests can have a snack or allow dinner to be served.
  3. Plan some sort of 10-15 minute silent looping slide-show.
  4. Provide activities for kids: coloring books, a craft or some sort of entertainer.
  5. Plan a fun, time-consuming memory keeping activity: photo booth, wish tree with cards at each table or provide a looping photo slide-show.

It's really important that the vendors are ready for your guests when they arrive so they guests feel like they aren't too early. Make sure the host couples know that their job is to be the host and make sure that people feel welcomed.

Check back tomorrow for Part 2 and how to make the dinner line go by faster.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Jessica Simpson: Pinup Perfection

The other night I was perusing the Jessica Simpson Collection Web site. Looking at shoes and bags I stumbled upon her intimates section, which I didn't know existed. And true to form, I love it. After doing makeup on Sunday for a vintage shoot, I have a deep appreciation for these reminiscent undergarments. The photographer told me how it's really difficult to find things that work for shoots.
I love vintage inspired things. I would love to do a boudoir shoot in these sets. They are so gorgeous. Another great way to add originality to a boudoir shoot is to pick really original pieces to wear.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Tuesday Shoesday Pt 4

OK, ok. So not what you suspected. These are the Rebok EasyTone Reenew - Lux shoes. I'm bringing these up because any bride or anyone who is going to be heading to nuptials this summer is probably worried about being in your best shape.

These are my Tuesday Shoesday pick for this week. Go to your closet and make sure your workout shoes are in good shape. Now is a good time to replace them and get excited to get back in the gym.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Boudoir & Pinups

This week I've felt pretty lucky to have stumbled upon some sites and met some great people who do boudoir and pinup shoots. With Valentines Day coming up, I know several women who got photo shoots done for their men. Here's a little of this and that.

Gold Standard - Racy Steeves
I stumbled upon the work of Stacy Reeves on another wedding blog last week. I am enamored with her work. She does beautiful, artful, tasteful shoots that would make a fabulous gift or keepsake. She charges a pretty penny for her services, but the finished product is definitely worth the cost. She, however, is based out of Dallas. I am seriously considering saving my money to have her do pictures of me just for myself to have someday to remember the body I once had.

Artful - Brian Watt Photography
Brian is one of the most talented photographers I know. He approaches it from a more artistic perspective than most photographers out there. He knows how to take gorgeous photos and is a master editor. Shown here is a photo of Model and Dancer Stacey Leo.

Lincoln Original - Boudoir Boutique
Boudoir Boutique specializes in boudoir photography. The Web site has limited information. They are based out of Lincoln and offer convenience of a Havelock Studios.

1940's Pinups - Images by Ken Merchant
This past Sunday I got to work with a photographer who specializes in 1940's pinups. He has several genuine 40's vintage outfits. Here is a head shot of the makeup I did. Ken likes his images to be as accurate as possible. He draws inspiration from Vargas. His rates are very reasonable. Ken is based out of Omaha.

Always check with your photographer doing your wedding or engagement to see if they offer boudoir photography. Most will but don't advertise the service since many women who do have the pictures taken don't want them on a photographer's Web site.

Hope this post helps points you in the right direction.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011