Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

Check out this delicious (& really easy) caramel-dipped apple recipe from Kraft Foods. Try this recipe out for your Halloween parties this weekend, or even use these as guest favors for your wedding this Fall.

{This recipe makes 5 caramel-dipped apples}


5 medium apples, washed, well dried
1 bag (14 oz.) KRAFT Caramels (about 50)
2 Tbsp. water


INSERT wooden pop sticks (from bag of caramels) into stem end of each apple. Cover large plate with waxed paper; grease paper with butter. Set aside.

PLACE caramels in large saucepan. Add water; cook on medium-low heat until caramels are completely melted, stirring constantly.

DIP apples into melted caramel until evenly coated, spooning caramel over apples if necessary. Allow excess caramel to drip off. Scrape bottoms of apples, then place on prepared plate. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or until ready to serve. Remove from refrigerator and let stand at room temperature 15 min. before serving. Store leftovers in refrigerator.

Extra Tips

Prepare as directed, rolling bottom of each freshly dipped apple into one of the following: 10 coarsely chopped OREO Cookies; 1-1/2 cups JET-PUFFED Miniature Marshmallows mixed with 1/4 cup sprinkles; or 1/2 cup PLANTERS COCKTAIL Peanuts, chopped. Or, drizzle dipped apples with 2 melted squares BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate.

Happy Halloween from Simply Perfect Weddings!!

Photo courtesy of Kraft Foods.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Rag & Bone Bindery

I recently received an email introducing me to this stationary company and immediately fell in love with their products. Rag & Bone Bindery is a producer of high quality, hand-made photo books, albums, journals, wedding guestbooks, and other stationary items. All of their hand-made books can be personalized with one of their 30+ cover options, and custom calligraphy is also available for photo albums and guestbooks. So, whether you're looking for gift ideas for your bridesmaids or want a personalized photo album to display your wedding snapshots, I guarantee you'll find something that fits your needs! Check out their official website, here!

Photo courtesy of Rag & Bone Bindery.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Satin Hangers

With all the craziness in the days leading up to your wedding, the last thing you'll probably think about is what type of hanger you'll use for your gown. However, believe it or not this is actually an important detail you don't want to miss. Most likely your photographer will want to take several pictures of just your gown...usually hanging from a door or in front of a window; therefore, you'll probably want to use something other than the typical wire or plastic hanger. So, invest in a set of satin hangers like the ones pictured above and when your photos come back, you'll be glad you did!

Hangers pictured above from Bed Bath & Beyond [Set of 10 bone colored satin hangers - $12.99]

Monday, October 27, 2008

Anniversary Dance

This past weekend we had the privilege of coordinating Carol & Cameron's wedding and was particularly touched by Carol's Uncle Joe, who we came to find out has been married to his wife for over 50 years. Carol & Cameron incorporated the anniversary wedding dance into their reception and I wanted to share how this dance works with our readers.

The anniversary dance begins with all married couples out on the dance by one couples are called off the dance floor based upon how long they've been married, starting with couples who have been married less than 1 day (aka the bride & groom). The MC continues calling out couples who have been married 1 year, 5 years, 10 years, 25 years, etc... until the couple that has been married the longest remains on the dance floor. The couples danced to "At Last" by Etta James, which I think, is the perfect song for this great tradition!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Trend Watch: Tea Length Wedding Gowns

Tea length wedding gowns have been popping up around the country for some time now, but have yet to make a big impact here in Pittsburgh. However, I feel that's all going to change in 2009. Tea length gowns are quite versatile and don't necessarily have to be worn only for outdoor weddings. Maybe you don't envision the typical 'princess bride' gown and want to opt for something a little more modern or maybe you're having a Spring/Summer wedding and don't want to wear a traditional gown in the heat. Whatever your reason, I say go for it! Being a bride is about being unique and having a wedding that fits your personality, regardless of what anyone says!

Gown pictured above from Anne Barge - La Fleur Collection. Photo courtesy of NY City Weddings.

Wedding Planning Stress Busters

Feeling stressed and overwhelmed about your upcoming wedding? Check out our top 5 stress busters to get you back feeling like your fabulous self:

Tip # 1: Exercise - Exercising releases endorphins, which naturally help to improve your mood and fight stress. Even if you're just hitting the treadmill, make it a point to find time to work out at least 2-3 times per week. Beating stress and losing those last 5lbs before the wedding is a great motivator!

Tip # 2: Maintain your "me" time - Take an hour every night to focus on YOU. Whether it's taking a relaxing bubble bath, reading a good book, or watching your favorite episode of "Sex and the City", it's important to maintain your alone time. Everyone needs a little time to themselves each day...especially in the months leading up to your big day!

Tip # 3: Schedule a spa day - Gather your bridesmaids and MOH and head to a spa for the day. Indulge on massages, pedicures, and manicures...after all, nothing is more relaxing than being pampered, right?!

Tip #4: Get a hobby - Now I know it's hard to set aside time for a hobby when you feel like you have 1,001 things to do for the wedding, but it's important to do something you love when you're feeling stressed. Take a few hours out of your week to do something that you enjoy...maybe it's taking a yoga class, scrapbooking, or even brushing up on your cooking skills for your husband-to-be!

Tip # 5: Take a vacation - As Fall is settling in on Western Pennsylvania, head south with your fiance for a few days of R&R. If you can't get the time off from work, then take a weekend road trip for just the two of you...even if you only travel a few hours away, it will be refreshing to get away and focus on each other, rather than the wedding.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Fall Inspired Bridal Bouquet

Whew! It's been a crazy last few weeks for us as we are preparing for our final '08 weddings. I just wanted to take a few minutes to let you know that we're still alive (& well) and to share this fall inspired bouquet with all of you. We are using this color palette as inspiration for one of my Oct '09 brides and I must say that I absolutely love this color combination! Something about this bouquet just reminds me of a great cup of coffee (or hot chocolate in my case) on a crisp fall day.

On another note, this weekend we're off to Duquesne Chapel to see Carol & Cameron get married! We'll be back with our regular blog posts next week!

Photo courtesy of

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Infamous "M"

When I was going through guest RSVP's for my own wedding this past summer, I noticed that several of my guests didn't fill out their response cards correctly. I didn't think much of it then, but then this past week had another person ask me what that "little M" on her response card was for. Therefore, I thought I would blog about it to clear up some of the confusion. The "M" line on a response card is simply meant for guests to fill in their names starting with Mr., Ms., or Mrs. Unfortunately, there is no great mystery behind it other than that! So...if you didn't know before, now you do! :)

Response card pictured above from Wedding Paper Divas.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Gift Registry Etiquette

Today I want to talk a little about gift registries and the proper etiquette that comes along with letting guests know where you're registered at. One of my brides recently registered for her wedding gifts and was given very large stacks of registry announcement cards by both places her and her fiance registered at. She then asked me if it was ok that she mail these along with her wedding response was absolutely not! I felt the need to blog about these announcement cards because it seems that not many people know that sending these out to guests in invitations is simply not proper wedding etiquette. Now, before I continue, let me just say that I am all for throwing out the traditional age-old rules of the 'do's and don'ts' of weddings; however, this is one that I wont budge on. It's hard to spread the word about this topic because the stores where couples go to register for gifts push these cards on the brides and tell them that it's acceptable to include them in their invitation envelope. However, if you stop to think about it you can clearly see the reason why they push these cards so much...simply put, it's a marketing strategy for them that gets people to shop in their store thus putting more money in their pocket.

There are numerous other ways to spread the word about your registry selection...your wedding website is an excellent way to let guests know where you are registered. If your guests aren't all technologically savvy there's no need to will spread regarding where you are registered...guests will ask parents and members of your bridal party and will then spread the word on to other guests.

Bottom line is this...guests don't want to be told where to buy your gift. Some guests may already have something in mind for you and others may just want to give you a cash gift. If guests want to know where you are registered, they will ask!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Submerged Centerpieces

As a wedding planner, one of my jobs is to help my brides with the overall design & execution of their wedding day vision, and that includes floral design. Even before the bride and I head to the florist for our consultation, I like to sit down with each bride and discuss flowers. One of the first things that comes up is what the centerpieces will look like. There are so many different types of centerpieces available to brides these days and one that is becoming increasingly popular as of lately, are submerged centerpieces (seen pictured above). Therefore, I wanted to share this blog written by April from Mocha Rose regarding submerged centerpieces. In her blog, she goes into great detail and answers pretty much any question you could have about this type of centerpiece. April is a wonderful florist here in the Pittsburgh area whom I highly recommend to anyone getting married! To see more of April's work, check out her website here.

Photo courtesy of The Knot.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Real Weddings: Photo Preview

While having coffee with one of my assistant's yesterday afternoon I ran into Joey Kennedy, the photographer who shot one of my August '08 weddings [Jessica & Brian]. He informed me that their pictures were up and ready and I had to take a peak! Pictured above is one of the images from their wedding day. Joey (from G & G Studios) is a very talented up & coming photographer here in see more images from Jessica & Brian's wedding day along with Joey's other work, check out his blog!

Photo by Joey Kennedy of G&G Studios.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Candy Buffet Supplies

One of May '09 brides sent me this link today and I had to share it with all of you! Scoops-Scoops is an online retailer of all things related to candy buffets...candy scoops, jars, favor name it and they've got it! They even have a candy buffet FAQ section as well as tips & tricks to help you pull off a great candy buffet at your reception! All this talk of these sweet treats lately is making me quite hungry! :)

Thanks to Chelsea for passing this link on to us!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

More Eye Candy!

Pretzables is a Cleveland based online retailer guessed it...pretzels! Artisan chef, Lisa Paige Blair is the master mind behind these delicious looking pretzel creations. She'll custom create your very own goodies for any type of whether your looking for chocolate covered pretzels for your dessert table at your reception or want to spruce up your holiday party, these will sure do the trick! If your in the Cleveland area, check out their retail location or if you don't feel like living home...they'll ship them directly to your front step!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Invitation Etiquette Help

Need help with the wording of your invitations or have a question on how to address your envelopes? Check out Verse It for everything from wedding invitation wording to the proper invitation etiquette. This is a great guide and reference point for all brides!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Eye Candy

I was in total awe when I came across Amy Atlas Events the other day and had to share this delicious eye candy with all of you! Amy is an event planner in NYC who also specializes in signature dessert tables...I can certainly see why as she is clearly very talented! After seeing her work I wish I would have had a candy buffet at our wedding now...hmmm...maybe I'll incorporate one in the next party we throw...

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Heart Shaped Sugar

I absolutely adore these little heart-shaped sugar molds from Sur La Table. My mother-in-law actually got these for our wedding (in red & white) and they were a huge hit among our guests! At only $29.95 for a 64 count box, how could you pass this design detail up?!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Child Friendly Wedding Treats

Recently I chatted with one of my '09 brides about child friendly wedding treats (aka things to keep the children out of our hair so we may enjoy ourselves) and wanted to share some of our ideas with our readers. I like the idea of having a goodie bag for each child under the age of 8...some things you may want to include are:

  • Mini notepad
  • Mini coloring book (or activity book for the older children)
  • Pencils (no pens please)
  • Crayons or markers
  • Play-Doh
  • Healthy child-friendly snacks (fruit snacks, fruit roll-ups, granola bars, etc...)
  • Craft project materials (ex: girls can make their own beaded jewelery, boys can decorate their own baseball caps or t-shirts, etc...)
  • Board games/Puzzels
  • If you have a access to a DVD player, you may want to bring along a few kid friendly DVD's

When you've compiled your goodie bags, put everything in mini canvas totes (feel free to color coordinate with your wedding theme) for easy distribution. Also, please keep in mind where children will be using the contents of their bags...will you have a 'play' room separate from your reception dining area? Or will children be allowed to use their activities in the main ballroom or dining area? Please be cautious when giving young children markers or crayons as your linen vendors wont take too kindly to marker scribble all over their table cloths. My advice is to designate a room near the main reception area where children can play together after they've eaten their dinner. If you decide on such a room, it is extremely important to hire a babysitter or appoint a chaperon (or two) to watch the children. This will ensure for a stress-free and happy occassion for everyone involved!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Bridal Shower Idea

One of my bridesmaids actually introduced me to Our Name is Mud and since then I can't help but love their adorable personalized ceramics! I've seen their personalized signature plates before, but then stumbled upon this adorable 'secrets of a happy marriage' jar and thought what a cute idea for a bridal shower! If you're a bridesmaid or MOH then this is a must have at your upcoming bridal shower. Check out all of the ceramics available for a variety of occasions at Our Name is Mud.

Happy 1 Year Anniversary to Us!

I can hardly believe it's been a year since Simply Perfect Weddings was born...time has flown by so incredibly fast this past year! While I am very proud of the accomplishments we have achieved, I must say I couldn't have done it without the support of my wonderful family and friends. 2008 was a terrific year for us and 2009 is only getting better! In celebration of our 1 year anniversary, we'll be unveiling some new changes throughout the month of October...stay tuned for those!

Lastly, I want to say thank you to all of the wonderful vendors around Pittsburgh who have helped to make our 2008 wedding season a success!

Photo courtesy of The Knot.