Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Blogger Brides :: "Trust Me...I Have Done This a Thousand Times Before"

Our next bride in our "Blogger Brides" series is Janice. Janice is a current SPW bride who is planning a wedding at LeMont in October. Janice and I have become quite close, frequently meeting up for monthly lunch/dinner planning meetings. I just love when I connect with a bride on a personal level - makes the planning process a breeze! Besides, who says the planning process has to be all work and no play, right?! One of the things I love about the wedding that Janice and her fiance, Rob, are planning is that they are truly focused on the meaning of the ceremony. Of course, they've had a lot of fun brainstorming ideas for their wedding decor (think: sunflowers!), but Janice and Rob truly understand the meaning and the main point behind the wedding day...the marriage. I'm definitely looking forward to their wedding. We've enlisted an awesome team of vendors that I know are totally going to rock their wedding day!

Without further ado, here is Janice's advice for our readers:

"Trust Me...I Have Done This a Thousand Times Before"

"I know you have heard that line before. I have too, but fortunately it hasn’t been during our wedding planning process. Rob and I are both very determined and head strong people. We have a very clear vision of how we would like our wedding day to turn out. We know there are many factors that we cannot control. However, we also know that there are many MORE factors that we can…to include what vendors we chose. 

We have already selected all of our vendors for our October 2011 wedding. Before we met with any of our vendors, we had a clear (well, as clear as can be when it comes to wedding planning) vision of what we wanted. We had decided not only what we wanted as far as décor, photos, music & food, but what we wanted from our vendors. Here were qualities that were non-negotiable:

• They must be warm, friendly people.
• Prompt at communication
• Creative
• Open to our suggestions
• Must never, ever say “Trust me…I have done this a thousand times before”.

The last one is a big one!! It makes my skin crawl when I hear stories on blogs and bulletin boards about how vendors have said that to their clients. And I (and Rob too) will argue, “No, you haven’t. You have never worked MY wedding before”. 

We have been lucky beyond belief with our planning process. Sumer has guided us towards some of the best wedding professionals in the business. After our meetings with all of our vendors, the choices were easy to make. They were almost effortless. No matter what we were discussing, all of them were creative, easy to talk to and listened to our ideas. When we have questions, no matter who I am working with, I know I will hear back promptly. And not one of them implied that working our wedding would be a cake walk because they have done this before. 

Now that I have rambled on for several paragraphs, you may be asking yourself, “What is your point”? My point is that when choosing your vendors, if you don’t trust them 100%, turn around and leave…as a matter of fact, RUN! One of the reasons I am enjoying the planning process so much is because I trust each and every one of my vendors. I know that Andy Booth is going to keep my party rocking, Jenni Grace is going to capture my moments, Bill Laughlin will make sure the food is fabulous, Carrie Anne will make my flowers unforgettable and that Sumer will keep me calm& everything running smoothly. I don’t have to worry about the “what if’s” all of the time because I trust my team. We both said from the beginning that we want to enjoy the process…and we are!"

{Vendor Credits}
DJ :: Andy Booth Productions
Photographer :: Jenni Grace Photography
Florist :: Carrie Anne Powell Floral Designs
Venue :: LeMont

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Blogger Brides :: Practice Makes Perfect...and it's Fun!

Today we are introducing a new series to the blog - "Blogger Brides". This series will feature both past and current SPW brides, who will share their wedding planning advice/experience with our readers. 

Today's featured bride is Jamie. Jamie is a current SPW bride who is getting married on September 10th (9.10.11 - what a fun wedding date!) at her parent's lakefront property in Northern PA. I am just itching with excitement for Jamie's wedding day - she's got incredible design taste, and I am so so so excited to see her vision come to life! 

Check out Jamie's advice for brides-to-be:

Practice Makes Perfect…and it's Fun!

"I am honestly enjoying the wedding planning process, and some of the things that I have found to be the most fun and most important part of wedding planning is practice! There are many things that you can practice for the big day like make-up and hair trial runs, cake and food tasting, and pictures. While these things may seem like things to cross off your “to-do” list…don’t forget to have fun doing them!

I am sure that every bride-to-be has heard and understands the importance of having hair and make-up trial runs done, but the one thing that I would recommend doing when you have your trial run done is to have pictures taken. Your wedding pictures are going to be one of the only things you have to remember your big day, and your hair and make-up may look different in pictures than they do in person. I had a make-up trial run and then asked my make-up artist back to do my make-up for our engagement photos. I am so glad that I did because I learned two things from having photos taken 1. My make-up artist recommended false eyelashes to glam my look up and I love the way they looked in pictures and 2. I want to add some more color to my face for the actual wedding. My skin looked very porcelain-like in our engagement pictures and I liked the black and white photos better than the color photos because I think that I didn’t have enough blush on. I am so glad that I was able to see this before our wedding day. 

While I am on the subject of seeing things before the big day – I would highly recommend getting engagement photos taken by your photographer. I feel like a hypocrite for saying this because I think that I said “I would never do engagement photos” about 100 times before I changed my mind. I couldn’t think of one reason why I wanted (or anyone else would want to see) pictures of Jon and I sharing ‘posed’ intimate moments until I started remembering my senior portrait photo shoot and how awkward I felt posing in front of a professional photographer. I am a sorority girl at heart and have posed for many of pictures before, but working with a professional photographer just feels different. I started getting nervous about how I would feel on my wedding day when a photographer whom I had only met once was going to show up and try and capture all these special moments that my fiancĂ© and I would be sharing. The last thing I wanted to feel on my wedding day was awkward in front of the camera. I am so glad that we did them because it was a great chance for us to work with our photographer, for us to get a little more comfortable kissing and sharing special moments on camera and I was able to see my make-up done in pictures. 

Some other things that you get to practice before the big day is eating! Most brides, myself included, put themselves on a pretty strict diet leading up to the big day, so the day that Jon and I got to do cake tasting was an extra special treat for me! When else is it acceptable to share 6 cupcakes and not feel guilty about it? 

When I tell people that I am enjoying the wedding planning process a lot of people give me funny looks and don’t believe me. Yes, my to-do list seems to be never ending, yes, it will get stressful no matter how organized you are or how much help you have, and yes, there are things that are not fun – like managing the guest list that seems to be ever-changing, but there are a lot of fun things that you get to do during the wedding planning process that are truly unique to being a bride-to-be, and my best advice is to enjoy every second of it!"

Thank you, Jamie for sharing this great advice with fellow brides! We couldn't agree more! : )

{Vendor Credits}
Photography by :: Michael Will Photography 
Makeup by :: Simply Beautiful Makeup Artistry