Friday, January 28, 2011

Bouquet Charms

Some of my favorite parts of a wedding are the small, simple details a bride incorporates into her day. I'm a firm believer that the small touches can make a big impact on the overall feel of a wedding. I just adore these bouquet charms that our October 30th bride, Brienne, attached to her bouquet. There are so many ways to honor your family ancestry and passed loved ones, and one of the simplest ways to do so is by attaching a charm to your bouquet. There are many different styles of bouquet charms, and one of my favorite sites for these (and a million other wedding related items!) is Etsy

What are you doing to honor your family ancestry at your wedding? We'd love to hear from our readers!

Photo courtesy of Caryn Azure Photography.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

2011 Bride's Choice Awards

We are very pleased to announce that Simply Perfect Weddings has won the Bride's Choice Awards 2011 for the 2nd year in a row! Thank YOU to all of our fabulous 2010 clients for your love and support - you guys ROCK! Much appreciation & love! xoxo

Here is the official press release :: 

Pittsburgh, PA – January 26, 2011 - WeddingWire, the nation’s leading wedding technology company, is thrilled to announce Simply Perfect Weddings has been selected to receive the prestigious annual WeddingWire Bride’s Choice Awards™ 2011 for Wedding Planning!

Recognition for the Bride’s Choice Awards™ 2011 is determined by recent reviews and extensive surveys from over 750,000 WeddingWire newlyweds. Our past clients are among those that shared their experiences on WeddingWire, the largest wedding review site in the nation.

Simply Perfect Weddings stands among the top five percent of wedding professionals in the WeddingWire community, representing quality and service excellence within the wedding industry. Awards were given to the top wedding professionals across 20 service categories, from wedding venues to wedding photographers, and were based on the overall professional achievements throughout the past year.

“WeddingWire is honored to celebrate the success of the top-rated wedding professionals within the WeddingWire community,” said Timothy Chi, WeddingWire’s Chief Executive Officer. “With the annual Bride’s Choice Awards™ program, WeddingWire has the unique opportunity to recognize the best wedding professionals across the US and Canada. We applaud Simply Perfect Weddings for their professionalism and dedication to enhancing the wedding planning experience last year.”

We are happy to announce that Simply Perfect Weddings is among the very best wedding planners within the WeddingWire Network, which includes leading wedding planning sites WeddingWire, Martha Stewart Weddings, Project Wedding and Weddingbee. We would like to thank our past clients for nominating us to receive the Bride’s Choice Awards™ 2011.

For more information, please visit our WeddingWire Storefront today.

For more information on the Bride’s Choice Awards™ 2011, please visit

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Wooden Doll Cake Toppers

Adorable, right?! This wooden doll cake topper is from our August 28th wedding of Marisa & Daniel. I love the modern twist of these toppers. These doll cake toppers are available on Etsy, and can be customized to match your exact personality and style (you can even include your pets!). 

To see all of the cake toppers that are available head on over to Etsy

Photo courtesy of Craig Photography

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Mini Cinnamon Rolls

I seem to be on a dessert kick lately (can you tell from our recent blog posts?!), and just couldn't pass up these mini cinnamon rolls on a stick. How perfect would these be for a fall or winter wedding? I love the idea of sending guests home with a warm treat after the reception is over. These cinnamon rolls would also work great for a bridal shower or Sunday morning brunch.

Photo courtesy of Zoe Bakes.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Preparing for Vendor Meetings

Now that you're engaged, you're probably ready to begin interviewing vendors. Before you head out to meet with your potential vendors, there are a few things you should know ahead of time. In wedding planning, proper planning is key; therefore, knowing how to prepare for your meetings ahead of time will save you a great deal of time and stress in the long run. 

What to Bring :: 
  • Basic details about your wedding day - date, location(s), times (if set), & approx. # of guests
  • Wedding budget (or at least $ estimates of what you are prepared to pay for each major wedding category)
  • Photos of your wedding day vision (especially if you are meeting with a wedding planner, event designer, or florist)
  • Dress or fabric swatches (helpful for florist meetings) 
It's also a good idea to come prepared with questions to ask the vendor(s) that you are meeting with. This not only helps the dialogue between you and the vendor, it also helps with understanding how each vendor works. If you are interviewing 3-4 photographers in the same day, your memory may be a bit hazy as to which one was which. Having a separate Q+A sheet for each vendor you meet with helps to keep you organized and on track when it comes time to make your final decision. 

Other Helpful Tips ::
  • Don't be shy to ask vendors for referrals of previous clients they've worked with - reading testimonials on their website isn't always enough. Thorough research is a must
  • Less is more when it comes to the number of attendees at vendor meetings aka don't bring your entire bridal party. You + your fiance or you, your fiance, + your parents (or whoever is paying for the wedding) is plenty. Too many people in attendance creates confusion and can derail your focus when it comes to making key decisions on which vendor you think is the best match for you.
  • Out of town couple? Ask vendors if they can set up an initial meeting via Skype (or video chat) instead of just a phone call. This may help put you more at ease about hiring a particular vendor. 
  • Lastly, if you change your mind about interviewing a particular vendor, please be kind and let them know ahead of time. Often times vendors have to arrange for daycare, take time off from their "day job", or are driving a far distance to meet with you. A simple one minute email (or call) letting them know that you've decided to go another direction will be much appreciated.

    Friday, January 14, 2011

    S'mores Bar

    Ok, so who's up for having a S'mores Bar at their wedding here in Pittsburgh?! I'm totally in! 

    Photo courtesy of Jolynne Photography. 

    Wednesday, January 12, 2011

    Unique Guestbook Idea :: Wood Wedding Puzzle

    Kudos to my awesome assistant, Meghan, for sending me this fun guestbook idea she found on Etsy. Meghan and I both share a love for unique wedding elements - we're suckers for anything fun and original! Since this puzzle obviously meets both of those criteria, I had to share. 

    How does it work, you ask? First, display your puzzle face down (puzzle can either be assembled or disassembled - whichever you prefer). Your guests then sign the back of the puzzle pieces (each puzzle piece has space for a name and a short message). After the guest signs their puzzle piece, they flip over their piece and put it in place. After all of your guests have signed the puzzle pieces, you will have a completed puzzle that can serve as a wedding memento for years to come. Cute, huh? 

    For more information regarding the puzzle, head on over to Etsy.

    Friday, January 7, 2011

    Insightful Blog Reads for the Newly Engaged

    With all of the hustle and bustle of the New Year, I thought I would share a few insightful blog reads that I stumbled upon this week. These reads are great for all engaged couples, but may be particularly helpful to the newly engaged couple who is just beginning their wedding planning journey. 

    Curious to know why wedding planners "cost so much"?! A must read by an industry veteran explains why we charge what we do. For an even more in-depth look into wedding planning pricing, check out this insightful read.

    In the process of looking for a wedding photographer? If so, you won't want to miss this read for help on questions to ask yourself before you begin interviewing photographers. 

    Trying to calculate your reception budget and compare venue/catering pricing? Here is a great read on how to discern catering service charges.

    Confused about where to start first in the wedding planning process? Check out this informative read that breaks it down step by step according to Emily Post.

    Unsure of when to send out save-the-dates and invitations? Here is a great read that includes a timeline for all of your stationery questions. 

    Happy Planning!

      Wednesday, January 5, 2011

      One Wed Unveils Top 10 Wedding Trends for 2011, one of the largest online wedding planning resources available to brides, recently unveiled their predictions on the top 10 wedding trends for 2011. Below is a look at their predictions. 

      1. Sophisticated Elegance Returns
      It's back to basics with elegant, sophisticated style in 2011. Wedding decor will be simple and understated, with modern design elements trumping DIY touches. Scripted calligraphy, custom monograms, and classic wedding cakes embody this trend. Brides will wear pearls, and grooms will ditch the Converse in favor of more tasteful wedding day kicks.

      2. Outdoor Venues - Where It’s At
      Couples tying the knot in 2011 will gravitate toward outdoor ceremony and reception venues. The raw, minimal backdrop of an outdoor setting leaves room for personalization and customization, a major perk for creative, hands-on nearlyweds. Lakeside venues, vineyard locations and spaces situated alongside sprawling mountains will dominate, and they’ll be spruced up with personalized touches that represent the bride and groom. You'll find some serious outdoor weddings inspiration in our real weddings blog category!

      3. Grey is the New Black, Crazy for Navy
      Gloomy no more, grey is the neutral IT color for 2011 weddings. Organic and natural, shades of charcoal, dove, stone, oyster and shell will be incorporated liberally into wedding color palettes and paired with vibrant hues to make the colors pop! And while grey remains the talk of the town for 2011, navy blue (and other deep blues) are definitely on-trend for the coming year. Wonder if Prince Will's royal wedding has anything to do with the crazy for navy trend... what do you think??

      4. Mad for Metallics & Bold Color Palettes
      Whether it’s two bright hues with a metallic accent, or several metallic shades used together, brights and metallics will be popular choices for wedding color palettes in 2011. Gilded gold, shimmery silver, and sparkling champagne will used alone or with accents of yellow, purple or teal. And since metallics make such a bold statement on their own, couples will scale back over-the-top decor in favor of a more restrained style aesthetic.

      5. Big Ball Gowns are Back
      Dramatic ball gown wedding dresses floated down 2011 bridal catwalks in droves. Wedding dress designers draped, ruched, and layered clouds of tulle, power netting, and chiffon to fashion wedding dresses with limitless volume. The outcome? Fairytale-inspired bridal style and whimsical wedding dresses for 2011 I Dos.

      6. Grooms Take a Walk on the Stylish Side
      Grooms are taking a stand in the name of fashion. Their tux choices will no longer be dictated by some “rent 5, get 1 free” deal. Instead, they’ll chose formal looks that represent their unique style. Bow ties will replace classic long neck ties, and embroidered dress shirts, engraved cufflinks, stylish lapel pins and the color of the season- grey- will grace the white aisles.

      7. Wedding Invitations Go Green
      The green weddings movement continues full speed ahead in 2011. From totally paperless wedding invitations and save-the-dates, to stationery printed on 100% recycled paper, invitations have truly gone green. Couples can find all they need with sites like WeddingPreParty (enabling online RSVP and party planning) and (offering coordinating stationery and wedding websites).

      8. Luxurious Textures-- from the Dress to the Tablescape
      Luxe textured fabrics will bring a sumptuous, opulent vibe to 2011 weddings. Wedding dresses will feature 3D applique, layered light fabrics (tulle, lace, chiffon), romantic ruffles, oversized florals, and illusion fabric with eye-catching beading. Textured linens will be layered to dress up reception tables, chair covers may be embroidered or beaded, and branchy centerpieces and floral arrangements will captivate wedding guests.

      9. Ethnic Influences, Cultural Wedding Details
      At long last, brides and grooms are embracing and showcasing their unique cultural traditions and ethnicity. Whether it’s a religious wedding ceremony ritual, traditional wedding day garb, cultural cuisine infused throughout the reception dinner, or wedding decor with bold, ethnic prints, you can’t help but embrace the unique cultures and ethnicities of couples in 2011.

      10. Revved-Up Wedding Receptions
      Who wants the best day of their lives to end? Not couples and guests in 2011, that’s for sure! Couples will plan a post-reception after party lasting into the wee hours of the night with drinks, entertainment, dancing, and snacks so that wedding guests can party all night long!

      Content courtesy of One Wed.

      Tuesday, January 4, 2011

      DIY Hot Cocoa Favors

      You may or may not already know this about me, but I absolutely despise coffee. My beverage of choice in the morning? Why, hot cocoa of course! I stumbled upon these cute little DIY hot cocoa favors on the Ruffled blog this morning, and immediately wanted to share. Super affordable (only 35 cents each!) and easy to make, these would make great favors for fall + winter weddings. 

      For complete detailed instructions on how to make these for your own wedding, click here

      Photo courtesy of Ruffled.

      Monday, January 3, 2011

      Happy New Year | Special Promotion

      Welcome 2011, and Happy New Year to all of our readers! We hope that each and every one of you had a wonderful holiday season. I'm sure a few of you may have gotten engaged over the holidays, and if you did, then please accept a HUGE congratulations from us!! We can't wait to hear all about it! We're glad you stopped by, and hope that you will find this blog helpful as you begin your wedding planning journey. We love feedback from our readers, so feel free to drop us a line if there is a topic you'd like to see featured on the blog.

      In honor of the New Year aka engagement season in the wedding industry, we wanted to offer a New Year promotion to one of our newly engaged readers. We did a similar promotion in October (our anniversary month) and due to the overwhelming success, we decided to offer it once more. 

      ONE lucky bride will receive 25% off a complete wedding management planning pkg - a savings of over $600! First bride to book this full-service planning pkg in the month of January gets the discount! {Last time we ran this promotion, it took less than 96 hours for the lucky bride to snatch it up!}

      Start the year off with your wedding planning on the right track, and contact us for more details!  

      Happy planning!