Posts filed under ‘Wedding Planning 101’

Mr. DeMille Wants to Know: Are You Ready for Your Wedding Close-Up?

photo courtesy of jessikafeltz.com

While weddings take months to plan, it feels like the actual day itself can go by in an instant. Making the following analogy ideal… Planning a wedding is to the actual day as Michael Phelps’ training is to the Olympics.

Phelps trained day in and day out for years in order to jump in the pool, swim less than a minute and take home the gold… 8 times. It’s madness, I tell you! Complete madness!

And while your wedding day might not garner you the same fame as eight Olympic gold medals did Sir Phelps, it’s still one you’ll hopefully want to remember forever. But how do you remember something forever when it’s done in a flash?

In pictures, of course!

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a schmillion times… Your wedding photos are hands down some of the most important – if not the most important – keepsake you’ll have from your day. So, it’s important to make them count!

Recently, theknot.com put out a list of the 50 (New!) Must Have Wedding Photos for Your Album, and I’m dying to know what you think (or what you would add!)! While I consider several of the items to be a bit of “Pete and Repeat” and slightly unorganized, I do think it’s crucial to get as many ideas as possible; hence why i even put a few more of my personal suggestions at the end as well! Whoop, whoop! So, without further adieu, here they are (with a couple examples from our big day courtesy of the ahhhhmazing Jessika and Jimmy Feltz!!):

1. A Really Good Kissing Shot

2. The Guys Getting Ready (see also #21, #41, #43 and #50)

Ohhh to be a dude on the wedding day. (photo courtesy of jessikafeltz.com)

3. Your Bouquet (see also #10, #14 and #49)

4. The Reception Tables

5. Your Shoes (see also #25)

Granted, this is merely the heel of my shoes... but I love this shot! (photo courtesy of jessikafeltz.com)

6. You — In Action

7. Your Favors

8. Your Wedding Party Kids — Junior Brides, Ring Bearers, Flower Girls, etc.

Haha! Yessss! (photo courtesy of jessikafeltz.com)

9. The Wedding Cake

10. Bridesmaid’s Bouquets (see also #3, #14 and #49)

11. The Ceremony — Pulled Back

Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church (photo courtesy of jessikafeltz.com)

12. Your Dress

13. Your Hairstyle

14. His Boutonniere (see also #3, #10 and #49)

15. Candid Shots of Your Bridesmaids

Love love love these ladies! (photos courtesy of jessikafeltz.com)

16. The Ceremony — From a New Angle

17. Your Wedding Party –Bridesmaids, Groomsmen, Ushers, Miniature Attendents, etc.

18. Your Guests

Might I suggest doing a Photo Booth? The pics WILL be epic. (photo courtesy of jessikafeltz.com)

19. The Scene (see also #32)

20. The Reception — Pulled Back

21. Getting Ready with Your Mom (see also #2, #41, #43 and #50)

22. A “New Angle” Photo (see also #46)

23. The Ceremony Details

Part of the Four String Quartet (photo courtesy of jessikafeltz.com)

24. Your Jewelry

25. His Shoes (see also #5)

26. A Sign of the Times Shot — Twitter, iPad, Facebook, etc.

27. Your First Dance

28. A Posed & Composed Couple’s Shot

From our editorial / aeroplane shoot :) (photo courtesy of jessikafeltz.com)

29. The Escort Cards

30. A First Look Photo

31. A Silhouette Shot

Feel free to include the groom too, hehe! (photos courtesy of jessikafeltz.com)

32. A Scene Setter (see also #19)

33. A “Magic Hour” Photo — reference term of photographers for right before sunset or right after sunrise when the light is best

34. The Wedding Dog

35. The Little Odds & Ends

One of our reception decorations standing proud. (photo courtesy of jessikafeltz.com)

36. The Getaway Car

37. A Dramatic Couple’s Shot

Again, from our editorial / aeroplane shoot! (photo courtesy of jessikafeltz.com)

38. A Funky Backdrop Couple’s Shot

39. A Movie-esque Old Hollywood Shot — Black & White

40. The Lighting

From inside one one of the trees :) (photo courtesy of jessikafeltz.com)

41. Your Bridesmaids Before the Ceremony (see also #2, #21, #43 and #50)

Grouped together outside the church! (photo courtesy of jessikafeltz.com)

42. You and Your Dad

43. Getting Ready Photo of You (see also #2, #21, #41 and #50)

44. A Before the Ceremony Toast

45. Your Glamour Shot

46. An Artistic Angled Shot (see also #22)

47. A Stolen Moment Away

Just the two of us! (photos courtesy of jessikafeltz.com)

48. Your Fashion Shot

Hiiiiiiiiit it! (photo courtesy of jessikafeltz.com)

49. The Boutonnieres (see also #1, #10 and #14)

50. A Before the Ceremony Shot (see also any # that becomes before the ceremony, hehe!)

I would also like to offer few more shots you could benefit from… ’cause goodness KNOWS I did!

  • Cake Cutting
  • Other “Special” Dances (ie. father/daughter, mother/son etc.)
  • Speeches & Toasts
  • Bouquet Toss
  • Garter Toss
  • The FOOD! (Dead sere, these were some of my faves!)
  • Bridal Exit from Church
  • Wedding Party Entrance to Reception
  • Grandparents
  • Guest Book

November 15, 2010 at 11:47 am 1 comment

Because Every Bride Deserves the BEST…

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Weddings are expensive (boo!), which is why Marilyn’s Keepsakes la-Louvres helping our brides SAVE (whoo!)…

And today is no different!  With all the final details that go into making your day the BEST day, it’s easy to see how so many brides get the overwhelming itch to call it quits!  Buuuuut, if you do yourselves a favor and pop on over to Our Site… you’ll be up to your eyeballs in all things fabulous and rejuvenated to go another 12 Bridal Rounds!

And after you take advantage of our 20% OFF site wide sale, you’ll TKO any remaining pre-wedding stress and have one less thing to worry about!  Come on… what are you waiting for?  Marilyn’s Keepsakes is calling and it’s time for you to answer :) 

November 3, 2010 at 1:30 pm Leave a comment

Divine Destination: You Name the Price, They Do the Work

photo courtesy of hawaiiwedding.net

Brides looking to do destination weddings on a budget have one more reason to cheer… for Paradise Maui Weddings is here!  As the first “name your own price” wedding company, Paradise Maui Weddings is looking to create a once in a lifetime experience for all of their once in a lifetime brides. 

With wedding packages starting as low as $400 and ranging to as high as your budget will allow, there’s really no limit to what you can do with your destination wedding besides the ones set by yourselves.  Their packages include everything from in room hair and makeup professionals, authentic Hawaiian floral bouquet and lei arrangements, professionally edited photos and videos, as well as limousine services, pre-wedding planning, in-cred-i-ble ceremony locations and on-site assistance.

Seems pretty much perfect, right?  It’s no wonder this type of event planning is more appropriate than ever considering the number of destination weddings – even during this economic plummet – have been on the rise for the past few years.  While most couples think of destination weddings as an expensive splurge, it’s not always the case.

In fact, brides and grooms doing the destination scene more often than not report they actually save on overseas excursions!  Because both the guest list, as well as the bottom line details are often cut for destination weddings, the final pricing can be significantly lower than the more traditional, hometown honey “do’s.”  And according to “not-from-around-here” newlyweds it’s easier and more fiscally responsible to travel for nuptials than to stay at home and throw a big friends and family bash.

You know what?  I’ll take their word on it, because Maui seems like a more than ahhhmazing place to set your wedding scene!  So, if any of my beautimous brides-to-be out there are planning on diving head first into one of these destination dreams, don’t forget where you got the idea… and feel free to send said inspiration station an invite!  I love Maui!  Haha :)   

And don’t forget, here at Marilyn’s Keepsakes, we have all the perfect Beach & Destination Wedding Finishing Touches to really make your day a dream come true!

October 20, 2010 at 12:56 pm Leave a comment

Side ‘O’ Fries 4 That Bridal Shake: Hong Kong McDonald’s Is Now Saying I Do!

photo courtesy of ampedasia.com

That’s right, kids!  Looks like several of Hong Kong’s “Golden Arches” have upped the ante for wedding vendors everywhere!  We’re talking Happy Meal menus, Big Mac attacks and apple pie tower cakes (oh my!)!  According to msnbc.com news reports:

 If McDonald’s has its way, the traditional white wedding arch will be replaced with the golden ones.  Some of the fast-food chain’s restaurants in Hong Kong are now allowing customers to “supersize” their order to include McNuptials.  (today.msnbc.msn.com)

And all I can say is, thank GOODness my Mister and I have already taken the plunge… ’cause you already KNOW this would be all over his radar like white on rice!  Twenty-seven years old, and the man would still pick the entire McDonald’s menu over everything else.  (What this says about my cooking shall remain unmentioned… however, I’m guessing assumptions are already being made.  Eh.)

Anyhoot, the world’s most recognized restaurant – ha, there’s just something about calling Mickey D’s a “restaurant” that will always be funny to me – is officially open for wedding business and already booking January 2011 weddings!!!  Offering an appetizing spread of Happy Meal favors, apple pie tower wedding cakes, their full menu of meal deals and even party balloon dresses, Ronald and his crew have pulled out all the stops… well, and by “all the stops,” I really mean doing the same stops, mayhaps with just a few more stairs :)

What would really impress me is – however – is if they would offer different levels of packages.  Let’s say Small, Medium, Large and Supersize???  Supersize, of course, containing the option of a Ronald McDonald minister!  Yep, who’s with me!?!?! <waits for high fives>…<still waiting>… Alright, forget it!  <high fives self>  Yes!

However, there are a few things you may want to consider before booking your flights and jumping on board this dream wedding scenario.  Chief among them??  Exclusivity.  Even though Hong Kong’s Golden Arches are open for wedding business, they are not closing their doors to the rest of the world.  So tourist Two Buck Chuck and his sweet lady friend, Sideburns Susie, just may have a cameo in the wedding album while they get their order on during your vows.  Just saying…

Also, McDonald’s is a family establishment lacking a liquor license; therefore, NO ALCOHOL is allowed on the premise.  Sorry, crazy beer guzzling uncles, you’ll have to settle for strawberry shakes instead.  Other reports also suggest substituting the champagne toasts with soda… Classy!

So, if any of you are planning this for your wedded bliss, feel free to invite me!  And with all the money you’ll be saving on catering and rental equipment, you can even fly me out!  Haha… but for reals :)

October 15, 2010 at 11:58 am 2 comments

Check Yes or No: Do You Agree These Wedding Trends Should Go? (Opinions Wanted!)

(photo courtesy of 1weddingsource.com)

If you’re a bride-to-be who’s anything like me, you’ve more than likely been guilty of (or mayhaps a better term: fallen victim to) the inevitable, internet OVER-search.  With the World Wide Web access being so readily available and containing such a vast threshold of all the latest and greatest, it’s soooo easy to get sucked into the “Hottest Trends for 2010” or “Wedding Etiquette 101” or “What 2 Do 2 Cure the Monster-in-Law Blues” or… you get the drift.  And with all this pre-wedding curiosity bursting at the seams, wedding searches just may be the biggest version of unnoticed overload ever.     

Because there are so many options for brides to choose from, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed when it comes to planning your wedding.  So, why not try to sort through things by the process of elimination?  If your interest is to have an event that your guests will love as much as you do, why not look to see what other people or even you, yourself, are constantly complaining about and delete them off the list!?

Recently, lemondrop.com – a self proclaimed sweet, tasty and tart blog – published an article on wedding trends they hope will disappear titled, I Now Pronounce You Annoying — Wedding Trends That Need to Go.  Written in a sarcastically humorous tone, the author introduces the “Debbie Downer” trends by stating:

The older you get and the more weddings you attend, the more they stop being fun and start sucking the life force out of you. (lemondrop.com)

Haha, I’m guessing the author is not friends with these guys…

Pic from Wedding Crashers, the Movie (courtesy of wedding-999.blogspot.com)

And while the sentiment being expressed is over exaggerated, its underlying message is not. Here are lemondrop.com‘s Picks 2 Nix, but what I want to know is if you agree:

  1. “Half-a-Dozen Parties Before the Actual Wedding.”  Stating annoyance in the fact that a wedding is not just a wedding, but an Engagement Dinner, Bridal Shower, Bachelor / Bachelorette Party, Rehearsal Dinner, Ceremony and Reception… are weddings becoming too costly – and, in turn, too annoying – for guests to remain excited for when the actual day arrives?
  2. “The Long, Intensely Religious Religious Ceremony.”  Because not everyone on a couple’s guest list will necessarily be of the same religious denomination, is it too much to ask for everyone to participate in a ceremony that may or may not last over an hour when they don’t actually practice the faith? 
  3. “The Bouquet Toss.”  While a time-honored tradition – no doubt – is the bouquet toss becoming more of a necessary evil, filled with self-conscious single ladies battling for a bouquet or is it still a fun and essential part of the reception’s routine?
  4. “Stupid Toasts.”  Laying reference to the excess length (and inevitably, the excess amount of undisclosed information) a wedding speech can emit, do you think it’s more important to keep things moving along or let your best man recall the ultra embarrassing time you blankety-blanked the blank, down to the very last, nitty gritty – painfully discomforting – detail? 
  5. “DJs Who Demand You DANCE!”  In lieu of the fact that in due time, all the beer drinking patrons will eventually make it to the dance floor, is it necessary for DJ Jazzy (fill in name here) to constantly announce for everyone to “get up off of that thang!” or simply just let them “dance when they feel better?”
  6. “Video Testimonials.”  Stating that only the most “obnoxious, drunk and unstable guests take the opportunity” to divulge in such a awkward process, are video testimonials becoming the TMI portion of a bride and groom’s happy day?

Now, more importantly than this list, is your opinion of it ORRRR even better yet, other things you’d like to add!

September 29, 2010 at 1:46 pm 2 comments

Pretty Postage: How to Save Money on your Wedding Invitations

photo courtesy of stylemepretty.com

According to the Bridal Association of America, the average couple spends a whopping $659 on their wedding invitations and that doesn’t even include the cost of postage!  So, as more and more couples start cutting the fat from their wedding budgets, invites seem to be taking up an unnecessarily large piece of the monetary pie.  And unless you’re willing to take a risk on an empty reception hall, invitations are absolutely essential.  Sure, e-vites are informational, but they lack a sense of formality and tradition.  So, how do you get what you want without paying a pretty penny?  Here’s some advice :)

Paper – Here, you will need to think a little out of the box. Stationary retailers are expensive for the same reason any retailer is more costly: markup.  But if you stick with office suppliers, wholesalers, or any paper-carrying company that offers bulk sizes, you can purchase printable card stock for mere cents.  Always remember that the more folds and detailing on each invite, the more costly the total will be; so stick with basic, flat cards to avoid the extra fees.

Design – This is the part where a couple’s home-made creativity can really shine.  Make sure you have a printer that’s up for the task with plenty of ink.  It may sound intimidating, but a multitude of design templates and programs have popped up recently to provide DIY brides more personalized options when printing at home.  For those of you who still find templates too daunting, there are still many options.  If you’re lacking a design guru friend willing to work for free, consult the web for a vast array of pre-made design templates and make sure the design you choose goes with your wedding theme and colors.

DIY –These details will provide that budget-friendly, je ne sais quoi you’ve been looking for. And by doing-it-yourself, you save the inherent overhead you’d be paying for someone else to do it.  The following invitation extras can run the gamut from basic to extravagant, but here are a few ideas that are popular today:

  • Ribbons:  The most enduring of trends, a classic ribbon tied around the card that complements the themes and hues of the invitations adds a feeling of elegance.  Many brides also punch out two holes near the top, thread the ribbon through, and tie a beautiful bow for a chic touch.

photo courtesy of handmadebymeda.blogspot.com

photo courtesy of taylorjilldesigns.com

  • Stamps:  Getting a personalized or monogrammed stamp is an effective and affordable tool when it comes to the paper products of your wedding.  Embellish your invites and RSVP cards and then seal the deal when you adorn the envelope with your customized wedding design.  And get really fancy by creating a melted wax seal and closing your envelopes shut with with a look that’s truly vintage!

photo courtesy of marilynskeepsakes.com

photo courtesy of elizabethannedesigns.com

  • Flowers:  If you want your invites to really look fancy without the frivolous cost, add some fresh blooms. Keep in mind that extra weight equals extra postage costs, so keep the flowers minimal.  Try tying a single sprig of baby’s breath into bow on the invitation. For a flatter finish, adorn the invites with pressed flowers; simply use a spray adhesive and press.

photo courtesy of make-your-own-invitations.com

photo courtesy of weddings.thefuntimesguide.com

Postage – Mailing costs often seem trivial, but can really add up if you’re not cautious, especially for guest list that seem to scroll on for days!  As mentioned above, keeping the weight of each invitation to an absolute minimum will save you a pretty penny; every extra ounce per envelope will cost you.  With that in mind, send your RSVPs as postcards.  This avoids the extra weight of an excess envelope, and costs less anyway.  Also, avoid square-shaped envelopes or ones that don’t fit within the traditional requirements – they’ll increase postage fees by 50%.

So as long as you plan ahead and avoid excess costs, keep your eyes peeled for great bargains, and put your mind to a little DIY, you’re wedding invitations will look like a million bucks without the hefty price tag.

September 20, 2010 at 1:14 pm 1 comment

Kid Friendly, Wedding Approved: 5 Fun Fall Favors Everyone Will Love

photo courtesy of stylemepretty.com

While there’s always discussion on whether or not children will or won’t be attending certain weddings, there’s not a single doubt in my mind when they do make the “A List,” they’ll have nothing but love for these creative, autumnal creations!

*Candy Apple Creation Stations

Feel free to set up a table and cover it with stick sturdy apples, warmed caramel, melted chocolate and all the crushed candy toppings you can find, and let your guests enjoying making their own treat to eat or take with them when they leave!  It’s a great way to involve your guests as well as keep the kiddies occupied.  (And no worries about hyping them up on too much sugar… they’re not going home with you!  Haha!)

photo courtesy of recycledlovelies.com

photo courtesy of inspiredoccasions.blogspot.com

*Pumpkin Carving Campgrounds

photo courtesy of reverseshot.com

Okay, you don’t really need campgrounds, but the name just rolls off the tongue; so, I went with it :)  Anyhoot, this is something – when done under adult supervision – can be a really great way to create lasting memories, as well as super fun photographs for your album.  Hit up your local pumpkin patch, buy in bulk and let the fun begin!  Feel free to accompany this reception section with pumpkin carvers, gloves and aprons… and if you’re worried that the carving may cause too much stress, use acrylic paints instead!  And let the kiddies paint on their favorite face!

*Coloring Book Bonanza!

There’s no question that kids love to color.  Whether you choose to man your coloring book station with fairy tale / dream-come-true images or Marvel comics finest character pages, there’s no doubt that kids of all ages will love gettin’ their color on during your big reception!

photo courtesy of weddingcustomcoloringbooks.com

*Disposable Glam Cams for Kids

And even more so than coloring, kids love feeling like grownups; so, why not arm your mini attendants with disposable glam cams for their very own “I feel soooo biiiig!” photography debut?  They can get goofy pics of each other while trying their best to capture the day as they see it.  And trust me on this one… some of their finds will be priceless :)

photo courtesy of greatexpectationsky.com

*Face-painting, Magic Tricks and Balloons… Oh My!

Pending your budget, sometimes the most well received children stations are the most over-the-top ones!  So, bring in a magician, a balloon animating clown or even a face painting wizard to really let the kids get “wild” at your wedding!  Of course, it never fails, sometimes these sections become even more populated by adults.  I mean, come on, who doesn’t love a butterfly painted face or giraffes made out of rubber?  Uhhh, no one!  Duh :)

photo courtesy of blog.catchmyparty.com

September 10, 2010 at 1:45 pm 2 comments

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