Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Transportation Itineraries

This is a wedding topic that bores most people, and I can certainly understand why - it's transportation logistics...enough said, right?! It may be boring, but it is definitely a necessary evil. About 2 weeks before your wedding, your transportation company is going to need this document completed. This goes for limos, trolleys, shuttle buses - you name it! One important thing to note, is that the transportation company that you've hired may or may not remind you about this important document - that's right, it's up to you to send it into them. Now, if you've hired a wedding planner, chances are they will take this item off your plate and complete this document for you. But let's say that you don't have a wedding planner or DOC, and you're wedding is quickly approaching...where do you begin? 

The first step in creating a transportation itinerary is to start with your wedding day timeline (another document that your wedding planner will help you create). How do you want the day to flow? Where will you be getting ready? Do you want the groom + groomsmen dropped off at the church first or do you want to arrive with your bridesmaids first? Where are you taking photos? All important items to think about. After you've drafted a solid wedding day timeline (and pondered these types of questions), you'll want to gather up addresses of all the locations your limo/shuttle bus will need to pick up and drop off at. It is extremely important that you provide full and complete addresses to the transportation company - this includes zip codes. Listing your ceremony location as "Church XYZ" is not enough. Even if it is a popular local venue, it's important to spell out the address completely for the driver(s). Once you've gathered up your addresses, it's time to put everything together into one complete and concise document. You'll want to include pick up and drop off times - this can be done with the help of an online map resource such as Google Maps or Map Quest. It's important to double check the distances between locations, as simply "guessing" that it takes 15 minutes to get from the salon to the church is not in your best interest to do. Remember, it's your wedding day, and you want things to run as smooth as possible - this includes an on-time arrival of your limo. After you've completed your transportation itinerary, have someone else review it for mistakes and typo's. Once it's finalized, send it off to your transportation company and have them confirm receipt of it. 

Lastly, it's important to remember that even the most clear, correct, and well thought-out transportation itineraries cannot stop your limo driver from making a wrong turn or getting stuck in traffic on the day of your wedding. As an extra precautionary, include a designated contact person on the itinerary for the limo driver to call incase of an unforeseen problem. It's also a good idea to call your transportation company the week of your wedding to obtain the driver's name & cell phone number. This way, everyone is in the loop and the lines of communication stay open!

Happy planning! : ) 

Monday, July 26, 2010

Real Weddings 2010 :: Jackie & Josh 06.26.10

Jackie and Josh were married on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon in June. The day began with hair and makeup for Jackie and her bridal party in the comfort of their hotel suite. Heather and Stephanie from Pretty Hair Salon did a fantastic job with pampering everyone! 

After hair and makeup were complete, the entire bridal party made their way to Mellon Park for pre-ceremony photos. Jackie and Josh chose to see each other before the ceremony in an intimate "First Look" session at the park. "First Look" sessions are becoming extremely popular here in the Pittsburgh area, and I'm so glad Jackie and Josh chose to do one. Their photos turned out absolutely beautiful thanks to their amazingly talented photographer, Caryn

Following their "First Look" session and a few quick bridal party shots {as shown above}, the bridal party made their way over to the Edgewood Club for the ceremony. Both the ceremony and reception were held at the Edgewood Club, which made things very convenient for their out-of-town wedding guests. Since the majority of their guests were not from Pittsburgh, Jackie and Josh were also kind enough to have a shuttle service for their guests. The shuttle service provided by Lenzner Coach Lines transported their guests from the hotel to the Edgewood Club, and then back to their hotel at the end of the night. 

After the touching ceremony officiated by Rev. Dina McGee, guests were invited into the living room of the Edgewood Club for cocktails & hors d'oeuvres. While guests enjoyed cocktail hour, we were busy transforming the ballroom from the ceremony to reception. Guests then returned to their seats to find a slightly different ballroom set-up, candle-lit lantern centerpieces, and a sweet treat at each of their place settings. 

It was a wonderful evening filled with lots of joy and love for this sweet couple. Special thanks to their DJ, Scott Miser, who kept the dance floor packed the entire evening! 

It was such a pleasure working with these two! Congrats to Jackie & Josh!

The Wedding Team 

Wedding Planner Simply Perfect Weddings
Ceremony & Reception Venue Edgewood Club
Photographer Caryn Azure Photography
Florist Carrie Anne Powell Floral Designs 
Entertainment Magic Moments Disc Jockey Service
Cake Autumn's Cakes 
Linens Mosaic
Rentals All Occasions Party Rental
Transportation Lenzner Coach Lines 
Officiant Rev. Dina McGee 
Hair & Makeup Pretty Hair Salon

{Photos courtesy of Caryn Azure Photography}  

Monday, July 19, 2010

Italy Recap :: Part 1 (Venice)

Ciao! We're back from Italy! It was a trip of a lifetime, and an experience I will remember forever. During our 12 day tour of Italy, I kept a journal of our daily activities, and wanted to share those experiences with our readers. I've gotten lots of questions from friends and family that are considering taking a trip to Italy, so I thought this recap would help give some insight to those of you looking for your next travel (or honeymoon) destination. I've included a few photos as well, which I hope you enjoy.

Days 1 & 2 – Up, up and away…we’re off to Italy!

Our journey to Italy begins with an overnight flight to Dusseldorf, Germany. We arrive in Dusseldorf bright and early where we have a 3 hour layover. After a bite to eat (nothing like a delicious soft pretzel at 7am!), we board our flight to Venice. At this point, we haven’t slept in 24+ hours, so we dose off for a few. In the middle of our flight the pilot announces that we are flying over the Swiss Alps…boy am I glad I woke up when I heard that! I was lucky enough to have a window seat and it was one of the most amazing views you’ll ever see! Snow covered mountains as the sun is just beginning to rise…absolutely breathtaking!

After a quick 2 hour flight, we land in Venice! We grab our bags and meet up with our family & friends (there are 9 of us traveling together), and the rest of our 40 person tour group. Venice is made up of 100+ small islands all connected by canals and bridges, so naturally there are no cars in Venice…only boats. We are welcomed to Venice with a leisurely water taxi ride to our hotel, on the island of Lido. Our entire group was jetlagged and sleep deprived, but our boat ride into Venice had all of us excited for what was to come! We pull up onto the shore of Lido where we are greeted by our tour director, Monique. She escorts us to our quaint (and absolutely adorable!) hotel right on the water, Hotel Riviera. After a “meet and greet” with our fellow travelers, we headed out on the island of Lido for some gelato and pizza. Lido had the best gelato out of anywhere in Italy, and it was super cheap too…only 1 Euro for a small cup of heaven! ; ) Early night tonight…I think we were all in bed by 8! Excited for our journey ahead…goodnight!

Day 3 – Sightseeing in Venice

Bon journo! Early wake up call this morning to catch a boat across the lagoon to Venice. Upon arrival into Venice, we have a guided tour of Doge’s Palace, St. Mark’s Basilica, and St. Mark’s Square. The rest of the afternoon is free to explore Venice! First stop on our free afternoon is lunch…we were starving! We went to a local Italian sandwich shop where we enjoyed delicious panini’s. Of course we had to save room for dessert too…another stop for a quick gelato! We spent the entire afternoon strolling through the streets of Venice admiring all of the flower window boxes, beautifully decorated gondola’s, and charming architecture. I am instantly in love with Venice and have to keep pinching myself that I’m really in Italy! Towards the end of the day we made our way to the famous Rialto Bridge that overlooks the Grand Canal…one word…Stunning! After a few photos, we headed back to Lido on our water taxi to get cleaned up for dinner. I had been admiring all of the outdoor Italian eateries and was thrilled that we ended up having dinner at an outdoor restaurant that I had my eye on since we first arrived! This dinner was literally the best spaghetti and pizza I’ve EVER had…absolutely delicious! On the way back to our hotel we stopped for yet another gelato (yes, I know this is our 2nd gelato stop of the day, but can you really blame us?!) and watched a street concert with an Italian band playing Michael Jackson songs…quite entertaining considering there was a clear language barrier with the words to the songs. Awesome day today…we’re still a bit jetlagged, but still having the time of our lives!

Day 4 – Sightseeing in Venice

Today we have the entire day to ourselves (i.e. no wakeup call and no guided group tours), so we decide to head back across the lagoon to Venice again. We spent the morning in Venice strolling through the streets picking up a few souvenirs along the way. There is a heat wave in Italy as the hot & humid weather is coming up from Africa. Temperatures reach a boiling 100 degrees today! After a quick bite to eat (pizza again), we took a boat back over to our hotel in Lido for a few hours of R&R. Later that afternoon, we traveled back over to Venice and decided to take a boat ride up the entire Grand Canal (normally we got off near St. Mark’s Square and just made our way to the Grand Canal on foot). So glad we decided to do this…amazing views and some great photo opportunities! After we made our way up the Grand Canal, we attempted to find a restaurant recommendation that we received from one of our Italy guide books, but were unsuccessful. Fortunately though, we found a small little restaurant down an alley way where the owner greeted us with friendly hospitality and lots of wine! After we left dinner we got caught in a sudden rain storm and decided to make our way back to the boat. I’m certainly not complaining though…the rain instantly cooled things off, and running through the streets of Venice was surprisingly lots of fun! Tonight is our last night in Venice, and I am starting to get a bit sad (I wish we had another day to spend in Venice). So far I am extremely impressed with Italy and excited to head to Florence tomorrow morning!

Check back later this week for my recap of Florence! 

Until next time...ciao!