Real Wedding: Kelly Wilson and Nick North

The quintessential autumn wedding! Kelly and Nick executed fall perfectly with pumpkins and burlap galore. The decor was sweet and refined with rustic touches like escort cards strung with clothespins and a wine box ceremony. That fabulous dresser photos are featured on? Kelly's own. Her individualistic touches remind us to interject our own style into standard features. Such a simple and bold way to personalize your day! 

Vendors: {Coordinator: Simply Sweet Weddings} - {Location: Highland Springs Resort} - {Photography: Whismie Photographie} - {Videography: Boffo Video} - {Florist: The Bloom of Time} - {Entertainment: Scratch Weddings} - {Hair & Makeup: Tessa Stull} - {Linens: La TavolaGBS Linens } - {Photobooth: Night Owl Productions}

Real Wedding: Jenna Nelson and Ali Mortazavi

Jenna and Ali met at Loyola Marymount University both as active members of Alpha Phi and Sigma Chi, respectively. The couple displayed impeccable taste and a clear goal for the evening: have fun. Unique touches, like the creation of a painting of the ceremony, added a special sentiment and keepsake.  The Resort at Pelican Hill was the perfect venue because it was the half way point for Jenna's past in Carlsbad and present in Los Angeles.

A gelato bar, great food, cigars and a live band-- it was certainly an entertaining event that guests still reminisce about. The Mortazavi wedding was featured on Style Me Pretty with insightful tips from Jenna.

Vendors: {Coordinator: Simply Sweet Weddings} - {Location: The Resort at Pelican Hill} - {Photography: One Love Photography} - {Videography: Cloudless Weddings Video} - {Florist: Oak and the Owl} - {Painter: Chris Potter Painting} - {Entertainment: Bonnie Foster Productions} - {Hair: Jonathan Moss Hair} - {Makeup: Ashley Fiero - My Girls On Film Studios} - {Late Night Snacks: The Fry Girl, Inc.}

We both love trends, but overall, I tried to keep our wedding design fairly timeless... My one major piece of advice to brides is to choose your vendors wisely... I will forever be thankful to those who worked so hard to give me my perfect day!
— Jenna, Little Black Book Blog

Vendor Spotlight: fitlosophy, inc.


Wedding season is officially here, so whether you're getting ready for your wedding dress or bikini, our friends at fitlosophy, inc. has a great product to help you get reach your fitness goals!  The perfect addition to your bridal workouts!  The “fitbook" helps you create a plan, track your progress, and attain your goals.  Research shows that by jotting it down and physically writing your activities and dietary intake, you are more likely to stick with a program and achieve your goals.  See the right hand column of the blog to see where you can purchase your own fitbook, or scroll down to the bottom to see how you can win one! The Plan: 12 weeks is a great time frame to get in shape!  With the fitbook, you can set weekly goals making your long term goal of three months more realistic! The fitbook is a great size too! It is 5.5 inches so you can bring it in your purse when you're on the go!

Progress: The first week of any diet or lifestyle change is always the toughest. You learn to give up the bad choices you've been making and learn to love new ones you make! The fitbook also has space for you to record all workouts and food intake. This is great because having it on paper makes you feel more accountable.  As the saying goes, "It takes four weeks for you to see changes, eight weeks for your friends and family, and 12 weeks for the world." The fitbook is great for keeping you on track an measuring your progress, and keeping you motivated.  You'll begin to find yourself being held accountable for your workouts and for what you eat!

Goals: After 12 weeks you'll be in better shape and feel great! For brides, you can add the fitbook to your wedding keepsakes and reflect on the journey and progress you made.  Aside from before and after pictures that give you a visual of your transformation, the fitbook will show you changes through measurements and the food choices you've made!

Contest: fitlosophy, inc. was nice enough to give us a free fitbook to give to one of our readers looking to improve their health and fitness in preparation for their wedding!  To enter, leave a comment of your favorite workout to outside of the gym!  Do you like hike or go bike riding by the beach? Tell us your favorite "fun" workout for a chance to win a free fitbook.  All comments must be made by Friday, June 14th and the winner will be announced on Monday, June 17th.

Wedding Etiquette for the Parents of the Bride and Groom

Two words: In-laws; for both the bride and groom. As you plan to tie the knot and share your entire lives with one another, keep in mind that your families will be intertwining, which means you both will be having a new set of parents (sometimes two new sets)!  InsideWeddings gave great advice on how to approach and include your parents and new in-laws up to big day! Reaching each other: Woohoo! You’ve announced your engagement to your families and friends, but now what?  Traditionally, the groom’s mother would call the bride’s family to arrange a get together and celebrate.  Nowadays, your announcement is much more important that who does what; you’re getting married!  So it could be the groom’s family, the bride’s family, or as a couple you and your groom can invite both side’s of the family to a gathering where everyone can meet, congratulate, and welcome you and yours to the family!

Money Matters:  Financials are always a very personal and sensitive subject, so proceed with caution. Traditionally the bride’s parents paid for  majority if not all of the day of wedding day arrangements and the décor as well as the engagement party.  Traditionally the groom’s parent’s paid for everything that leads to the wedding day with a few additional décor costs "(the rehearsal dinner, the bride’s engagement and wedding rings, the marriage license, and officiant fee, and the flowers)."

Today, wedding expenses and finances are divided up in any way that best fits everyone’s budget. It important though to give everyone notice prior to discussing the finances of your wedding. As the bride, who wants only the best for your big day, keep in mind that they are supporting you and you may need to compromise with some of their wishes.  Never expect someone to financially support your big day, be grateful for those who can and those who can't, either way you will be with the ones you love.

Lines of Communication: After your parents meet your future in-laws, encourage them to communicate directly with one another! This will make planning and coordinating with both sides of the family much more simple and fewer questions for you to answer!

Proper Attire: Your mom and mother in law will of course want to look fabulous on your big day. Traditionally the mother of the groom will ask the mother of the bride what she plans to wear, giving her the option to choose first. Regardless, your mothers should wear their personal preferences; but colors and styles that complement one another, and the wedding colors are always a plus!

Roles on the Big Day: On the day of the wedding, your parent's and the groom's parents should act as hosts throughout the day. They should all be included within the procession at the ceremony and greet guests at the reception. Your parents and in laws should also prepare to give a toast as well (usually father of the groom at the rehearsal dinner and father of the bride at the reception).  This will be a very happy day for them as well, so be sure they enjoy, have some bubbly, and celebrate with all the guests.

Venue Spotlight: Center Club in Costa Mesa

We are so excited to be featuring the Center Club in Costa Mesa on our blog!  Kaitlin Kuykendall, their fabulous private events director, was so nice to send us the description of this fabulous venue below as well as the gorgeous pictures...and I can confidently say, the club is even more gorgeous in person! We hope you enjoy.  Contact us at if  you would like us to put you in touch with Kaitlin for more information about holding an event at the Center Club. "Be the first to say "I do" at the newly reinvented Center Club in Costa Mesa!  Orange County's premier private business club has gorgeous new decor that would accent any wedding or event. They have recently announced a multimillion dollar make-over that includes: an upscale bar, that would be a wonderful place for your guests to grab a drink and mingle before you and your groom arrive, a brand new outdoor terrace, lovely for taking newly wed photos that provide an intimate touch, and a new ballroom, perfect for anydécor or wedding theme!"

Costa Mesa Center Club 1
Costa Mesa Center Club 1

"Truly unrivaled to other wedding locations in Orange County – Center Club's new Symphony Ballroom featuring elegant and sophisticated surroundings, floor to ceiling windows offering a view of a tranquil water garden, unsurpassed service and award-winning chef and culinary team creates a perfect and unforgettable wedding day. Have your special wedding day at Center Club and experience an incredible, unparalleled private club atmosphere that will be the perfect backdrop for the most memorable day of your life. Bring your wedding ideas and your creative touch to the Center Club and have your dream wedding!"

Costa Mesa Center Club
Costa Mesa Center Club

Vendor Spotlight: Sara C. Accessories

I have fallen in love with Sara C. Accessories! Her customizable purses add a unique touch to any bride's special day. Flipping through her catalog, I can't help but want to purchase them all! As a wedding planner, I love to see bride's put their own unique, personal touch into planning their wedding day. With Sara C's purses bride's can easily do this.

When you order one of Sara C's handbags you can immediately begin personalizing your very own purse. Sara tells me you can "customize your purse by selecting color, hardware color, lining color, and adding up to two short lines of embroidery text." If you want to take your custom order a step further, you can email Sara, and she will work with you to make all your ideas come to life.

Sara started her purses in 2007, creating tote bags and handbags for her friends and family. After realizing how much she loved designing purses, she decided to take it online. She the created her Etsy store where she started receiving requests for bridal clutches. Sara soon turned her attention to bridal designs.

"I love that my customized purses make great bridesmaids gifts and are pieces that the bride and her girls can use long after the wedding is over."

I love the personalized embroidery that can be put on the inside lining of the purse. They make such beautiful keepsakes and add a unique flare to a bride's wedding look.

Make sure to check out her ETSY STORE, and like her on Facebook! Order your clutch through us and mention this blog post to receive 10% off your custom clutch!  E-mail for more information!

20 Questions To Personalize Your Big Day

We found a great article with 20 great questions to help personalize your wedding in the current edition of  Martha Stewart Weddings magazine by Editorial Director, Darcy Miller. She shares 20 questions to ask yourself to help gather up inspiration ideas in making your day your very own and only.  Darcy says, "Simply sit down with your fiance and write your responses, and you'll soon see that they paint a picture of your ideal celebration."  Check them out below and let us know if you are using any of these questions to help make your personal to you and your fiancé!   Follow Darcy miller on twitter @darcymiller for more wedding tips!

1. Where did you meet?

2. Where did you go as kids (summer camp, family trips, studies abroad)?

3. What did you do on your first date?

4. Where was your first vacation together?

5. What time of year do you love most?

6. What colors do you gravitate toward?

7. Are you obsessed with a certain flower?

8. What family heirloom would you cherish carrying on your day?

9. What song lyric or poem moves you most?

10. Do you have a pet?

11. What's the bar where everybody knows your names?

12. Do you play a sport or root for a team?

13. What's your go-to food?

14. If you could eat at only one restaurant, which would you pick?

15. What guilty pleasure do you share?

16. What are your hobbies, or do you collect anything?

17. How would you describe your dream date night?

18. What are your nicknames?

19. Do you have a desert-island book or a favorite quote?

20. What's your No. 1 film?

New Years Eve Inspired Photoshoot

Happy 2013!  It's hard to believe we already in the second half of January!  For our first blog of the year we wanted to showcase a NYE inspired photo shoot we did last November!  Kira and Tatiana worked with Amanda Doublin Photography and The Bloom of Time to create this gorgeous NYE inspired table setting at Sealegs Wine Bar.  I absolutely love the look, and cannot wait to see this shoot featured on Style Me Pretty soon!  Enjoy!

Vendor Spotlight: Blush Bridal Couture

What girl doesn't love fashion? And when it comes to weddings, we all know the dress is one of the most exciting parts! For us girls, we have thought about this one item of clothing since we were little, so when it comes for the time to make our dreams a reality, you have to check out Blush Bridal Couture!  I originally met Amy from Bridal Blush, one of the owners, when I participated in a photoshoot as a bride through OurTop5HotList and was lucky enough to wear a few of their gorgeous gowns!   

Best friends Amy and Anna opened their bridal boutique in Tustin, California, where they offer an intimate experience for their brides that is warm and friendly. They are so passionate about what they do, which you will feel just stepping in the door. "We are so thankful to have Blush as our baby! It's our pride and passion." 

Things we LOVE:

Things to know: 

  • Open Tuesday through Sunday
  • Walk-ins are welcome, but appointments are encouraged
  • Saturday and Sunday visits require an appointment
  • Wear a strapless bra into your appointment (if you forget they do have ones to borrow)
  • Make sure to keep an open mind.
  • Be mindful about how many people you bring, and who they are.

We love these girls, and we know you will too! Amy tells me they love staying connected with their bride's via Facebook, "It keeps us in touch and allows us to see how their lives's challenges etc. and they get to watch us grow."

Wedding Tip Tuesday: Invitation Etiquette - Plus Ones

The topic of plus ones comes up so often, I decided to explain the major rules when inviting guests to your wedding. When are you required to allow a guest to bring a plus one? How do you address the invitation for plus ones? Are you supposed to allow guests to bring a date? These are the questions that brides ask all the time, and I have the answers for you.

Who should I allow a plus one? Etiquette states that you must let your guest bring their significant other if they are married, engaged, or living together. Not only is it proper etiquette, but it is common courtesy to want your guest to feel comfortable on your special day, celebrating with you and the one they love.

What if a guest isn't married, engaged, or living with someone? As a couple, you and your groom can decide where you want to draw the line in the sand, when deciding who will be given a plus one.  Examples of some rules could be:

  • Only allow guests to bring their significant other if you have met him or her
  • Allow dates if they have been together for a set number of years (choose a number and stick to it)
  • Allow anyone who has a significant other to bring him or her

Whatever rule you decide on, make sure you stick to it. Bending the rule for some guests can cause more problems than it's worth and hurt the feelings of others.

How should I address the invitation to whom I am inviting? If you intend to allow your guest to bring a date, make sure to have your guest's name first, and their date's name should go next. If you know their name, it is expected to write it on the invitation. It is always preferred to write the name of their plus one, rather than write "and guest".

The invitation dictates who is invited. The way the invitation is addressed tells the guest who is invited. For instance, if you address the invitation "Mr. and Mrs. Jackson" you intend on inviting two people, whereas if you address the invitation "The Jackson Family" you intend to invite  their entire immediate family. It is important to remember, however, that whoever is omitted from the invitation is assumed to be not invited. For example, "Ms. Sarah Jackson" would mean only Sarah is invited, whereas "Ms. Sarah Jackson and guest" would clearly let Sarah know she is welcome to invite a date.

When you and your groom are going through your guest list, remember these helpful etiquette tips to help keep the decision making easy and stress-free. You have to remember that this wedding is about the two of you. In the end, a plus one shouldn't be taking the place of a guest that does mean something to you, and wants to be there to celebrate your special day.

Also, I wanted to point out that if you are looking to get invitations or any stationery made, one of my favorite vendors is Jen Simpson of Jen Simpson Design. She is the designer of all gorgeous invitations you saw on this post! Be sure to check her out on Facebook and Etsy as well!

Vendor Spotlight:

Once the beautiful planning of the wedding is over, it is now time for the bride to change her last name. However, my brides have found this long awaited step in their life, of changing their last name, less then a dream come true. It can be so difficult, and confusing to go through this process, and that is why I wanted to share with you this great company called, making the process of changing your last name a breeze.

This great service has created a 3 step process for brides, making it easy to follow and submit all your documents.

STEP ONE: Once you sign up on their website you are prompted to answer a few basic questions. This will help them calculate the procedures needed to be done, based on your state regulations. It will also help determine the forms they will have you fill out. The best part is if you feel uncomfortable filling out any personal information online, then they allow you to print out the forms and you can simply write in any missing information.

STEP TWO: Next your answers, from step one, will be taken and inputed into the appropriate forms for your review. You can look over all the forms to confirm the information listed is accurate. If you don't have time to look over everything in one sitting, no problem! They give you 6 months to look over all the documents, so you can rest assured that everything is accurate and correct. If you ever have any questions or need help, a professional is available to talk to through email, phone, or live chat!!

STEP THREE: Filing! You will be asked to print out all of the forms you have filled out and will then be given specific, detailed instructions on how to go about filing your paperwork. And there you have it! All done! Once papers are filed it is estimated that you will receive your new documents with in 2-3 weeks, depending on the office.

I completely recommend this to anyone beginning the name changing process. You will thank me! They do charge a small fee for using their service, but have given us 2 free gift cards to give out to our readers! To win, CLICK HERE, and share your proposal story, and my team and I will choose two winners! Winners will be announced next Tuesday, October 30th.

Can't wait to hear from you all! Have a simply sweet day :)

Vendor Spotlight: Flower Girl World

I just recently attended the Wedding MBA conference in Las Vegas, where I was introduced to this great company, Flower Girl World. After visiting their booth I checked out their website, and all I can say is......How Cute!! I remember when I was a little girl it was always one of my dreams to be a flower girl! It always sounded like so much fun! Although I never had the opportunity, I love how Flower Girl World has created a way to make the experience of being a flower girl extra special for the young girls in your wedding.

Flower Girl World has so many different things that I love about them. They sell children's books, telling stories about the fun of being a flower girl. They also teach young girls what to expect, and what her special job is as a flower girl. Their books are great for soon to be flower girls, or for  young girls who dream of being a flower girl.

Bridesmaid's gifts are a popular thought among bride's, but Flower Girl World has created a sweet flower girl kit that makes a great gift for your own flower girl.

The kit includes various things such as:

  • Practice Petals
  • Practice Basket
  • Glitter Flower Stickers
  • Official Flower Girl World Certificate
  • Wedding Day Activity Book
  • Memory Scrapbook
  • Collectible Bookmarks
  • Crayons
  • Kit Folder

Not to mention, their website is such a great resource for parents and bride's including helpful tips on making the experience of the flower girl the most special! They also provide games to play before or during the wedding, or at any bridal events. The website is a great tool for bride's and parents to prepare their child for being a flower girl. It will teach girls wedding vocabulary, wedding etiquette, and give them an insight into how special their job is as a flower girl.

Check out the Flower Girl World website! I know your flower girl will love it, as much as I do!

Wedding Tip Tuesday: Spice Up the Morning of Your Wedding Day!

Every moment of your wedding day is special, including the getting ready process! So why not spice up the morning of your wedding and make it extra fun? I have compiled some great ideas to not only personalize your wedding morning, but that will make great pictures and memories for the future!

Get Ready In Style. Have all of your bridal party wear matching robes while they are getting ready in your changing room. This not only helps preserve your hair and makeup and hair when you change into your dresses, but it makes for adorable pictures while everyone is lounging around in the morning!

Write a Love Note. Send a letter or present to each other before the wedding. It can be a special card between the two of you that you can share before you walk down the aisle. It's easy to get caught up in the planning of the wedding, so this is a great way to make a moment of the day just about you two whether you are doing a first look or not, plus it makes a great keep sake for the future! Be sure to have your maid of honor, or planner deliver the letters/gift to each of you, and have your photographer snap a shot of you both as you open them!

Personalize It! A great trend right now, that I love, is a personalized hanger with the bride's name written in wire through the middle. A nice touch, is to also have a hanger made for each bridesmaid! This will make for great pictures, and also is a thoughtful idea for a bridesmaid gift. Etsy is a good place to find these types of personalized hangers.

Make Your Changing Suite Your Own. The smallest details can mean so much! Make your changing suite your own with a cute sign to hang on your door. This will help all the girls not only know where you are getting ready but adds such a sweet detail to your space.

Don't Forget the Champagne! While you and your girls are getting ready don't forget this is a celebration, so don't forget the champagne. A nice idea is instead of just doing mimosas, you can spice it up with a mimosa bar. Put out cranberry juice, orange juice, pomegranate juice, and any other blended juices you like. If you want more ideas on how to make a fabulous mimosa bar check out this great post on Kojo Designs. It lays out a shopping list of everything to buy, and everything you will need. So helpful!

So make sure not to forget the morning of your big day! You will be so happy you added these little details, and so will your bridesmaids!

Let me know what you think! Don't forget to leave me a comment below! Also, if you have any great ideas that you did at your wedding, or things you would add share them with me! I would love to hear from you.

Wedding Tip Tuesday: Time To Get Organized!

We are kicking off a new segment we like to call "Wedding Tip Tuesday." Every Tuesday look out for some great tips from us to help you plan the wedding of your dreams. This week we want to address one of the biggest challenges our brides face...Staying Organized. We understanding how difficult it can be to keep track of everything, so we have compiled 8 tips on the best ways to stay organized, and make the planning process as stress-free as possible.

1. Invest in a Binder!

Whether you purchase a professional binder, or you create your own, it is so important to have one. From magazine tear outs to vendor contracts to checklists you will be able to stay organized and keep everything in one place. Nothing is worse then when you cannot find an important document, or that great idea that you found in a magazine. Here's a list of different sections that every bride's binder must have.

  • Venue
  • Catering
  • Budget
  • Check Lists
  • Decor
  • Beauty
  • Cake
  • Wedding Dress
  • Vendors
  • Guests
  • Honeymoon

We also found some great Free Templates from Russell + Hazel that you can print for your binder. You'll find checklists, budget worksheets, and more! Click Here.

2. Pinterest. Pinterest will be your new best friend! If you are not acquainted with this website, it is a virtual inspiration board where you can create different categories or "boards," and search the web or the Pinterest website for new ideas, themes, colors, etc. When you find something you like you can "pin" it to your board, and it will automatically save it for you to reference when ever you want. It is a great way to keep track of all your ideas! It is also a way to express to your vendors your style and what you want your wedding to look like. We have started our own pinterest and you can get great ideas from our boards. Check it out! 

3. Creat a Contact Sheet. Create a list of all the important people that are involved in the wedding. This would include the wedding party, immediate family, vendors that you are using, and any other key people in your wedding. This will help keep all your contact information in one place, and you can easily share this sheet with anyone in your bridal party or your wedding coordinator so they don't have to bug you, asking for people's email addresses or phone numbers.

4. Use a Calendar! We can not stress this enough. Whether you use a planner, google calendar, or iCal, find a calendaring system that works best for you. I personally couldn't live without my iCal from Apple. I can schedule reminders on appointments, and color code all of my events based on their category. But however you decide to mark down your dates, and appointments, it is so important that you stick with it. Make sure you regularly check your calendar, and consistently update it. This will save you from headache and confusion. We promise!!

5. Guest Seating Chart Made Simple. While browsing through Pinterest we found this great idea, from Once Wed, for making the daunting task of organizing your guests seating arrangements fun and easy! Click here to learn how!

6. Draw a Diagram. The day of your wedding you will be too busy to worry about how your ceremony and reception room will be set up, so delegate! Draw a diagram of the ceremony and reception area and write in where you want your decorations and wedding items to go. This way  your wedding coordinator will know exactly where you want everything, and you can rest easy the day of your wedding.

7. Create an Itinerary. Creating an itinerary for your bridal party and immediate family is a great way to make sure everyone is on the same page, and you don't have to constantly answer questions on the "when" and "where" of all your wedding events. I love this Wedding Timeline card we found on Etsy! Check it out!

8. Book Your Planner Early! Nothing can help relieve the stress a wedding can bring more than the help of a wedding planner! Planners can help from the smallest detail such as bustling your dress to packing up your things at the end of the night. As a coordinator, I don't want my brides to have to think of anything other than enjoying her day, and being able to help in the planning and coordination can really help with that. However, if you do have a tight budget, hire a planner at the very minimum for "Day of Coordination."  This will still help relieve the stress on the day of your wedding, and can help you stay organized!

There you are! 8 Tips on how to stay organized while planning your dream wedding! Don't forget to stop by again next Tuesday for more great tips from me! Until next time!

Check Out Our New Website!

I am so excited that we have launched our new website!  Lindsay Nicole Design, who designed our blog, has re-designed our site and blog and made it all in need to travel to two different sites now!  Please check out the new site and let us know what you think!  More pictures and things to keep coming, of course! Also, if anyone is in need of a re-brand, a new website, blog, or just a site or blog facelift, you HAVE to contact Lindsay! :)

Sweetly, Holly

"Rustic Romance" Shoot Sneak Peek

I was so lucky to work on a series of three stylized photoshoots with the amazing Top 5 HotList vendors. The first look-book comes out this Friday and I absolutely cannot wait to see it!  In the meantime, here is an awesome behind the scenes of the Rustic Romance shoot!

our TOP5 Professionals Behind the Scenes of "RUSTIC ROMANCE" a SoCal Style Shoot from our TOP5 hotlist on Vimeo.

Vendor Spotlight: Vantage Point Productions

I am really excited for my vendor spotlight on Vantage Point Productions.  Steve and I began our relationship on Twitter when we realized we were both Dodger fans!  How embarrassing are we!  Since then I have been following he and his wife's work and they are so inspiring (Laura is the creative director).  They easily convince any brides who are "anti-videography" that they definitely need it!  Vantage Point Productions has also been voted by the readers of EventDV Magazine one of the "Top 25 Studios in the World" five years in a row!  Which, in case you didn't know is a huge accomplishment for their industry!  In addition to his contributions to the industry, Steve is an amazing mentor to several other videographers in Orange County which I think is so awesome.  You must check out their website to see more of their work as well as their packages!  Check out two wonderful trailers below as well as their Q&A.  (PS. You know a videographer is great when you tear up during a six minute trailer of a bride and groom you do not even know!)
Twilight or Harry Potter? ......... Potter
Cat or Dog? ………. Chihuahuas
Mac or PC?  ……PC

Sweet or Salty?..... Salty

Beer or Wine?  …. Wino

Mountains or Beach.  ……….Mountains at  Beach

Neat or Messy? ………..The Neat shall inherit the Earth
What is the last book you read?.................... Sideways
Most embarrassing moment? ……………….Anwsering these questions
Favorite sports team? ……………Dodgers…Holly told me to say that
What was the last movie you went to see?   …………Super 8
Who would play you in a movie?................... Richard Gere, of course!
What is your favorite drink?  ………………..Any color of Martini
What is in your refrigerator right now? ………………..A deceased pig
What’s your favorite place to eat? ………………… Home
What TV reality show or game show would you go on? ……………any wedding related one
How many pairs of shoes do you own? …………I’m Metro….26
Where did you grow up? ……………….Grow up? What is that?
Where have you gone to school? …………Catholic  Girls School
What is your advice to people planning a wedding?..........hire a great wedding filmmaker
What is your best marriage advice? …………………Stay married
One of your favorite wedding moments? …………………Blaming the planner for a problem

In Honor of Alyssa Acuna and and Ben Stone

It was so fun to work with my NYC couple, Alyssa and Ben!  Ben has the most adorable English accent by the way.  Alyssa, Ben and I did their consultation via Skype which was a first for me!  I only got to see them twice before the wedding, but when I first met Alyssa in person I felt like we were already best friends!  All of the vendors were awesome which is no wonder why their wedding will be feature on Grace Ormonde's blog this year!

The Team: {Coordinator: Simply Sweet Weddings} - {Location: Waterfront Hilton} - {Photography: Focus Photography} - {Florist: Empora Flora Artistry} - {Entertainment: Aykut Events} - {Bakery: Tom Girl} - {Hair: Jill Guin} -  {Makeup: Lynn's Makeup Art} - {Linens: La Tavola} - {Videography: Alumiq Productions} -  {Lighting: Atmosphere Entertainment}

How to Give a Good Toast

After cocktail hour it is time for dinner and to listen to some toasts. As many people know public speaking is the number one fear people have, yes, even above death!  Martha Stewart Weddings gives a  great article for a guide to toasting!

Troy Grover Photography

Who Speaks?
At your reception, only the VIPs should stand up to speck. The time for your sorority sisters to all speak about the many memories they have with you from college is at the rehearsal dinner- that's your open-mic night. Because the reception is larger, and the company is more diverse, the longer, more personal speeches should be kept for the evening before.

The host (i.e. the bride's father or parents) is first up. This is to welcome to groom's family into theirs and thoughtfully acknowledge any guests who had to travel. Also, this address is to say a few touching words to the newlyweds.
Next comes the best man and the maid of honor to speak, in that order. Their words can be funnier, more nostalgic, and light-hearted.
After that one or two other people can approach the mic. If you have siblings or non-hosting stepparents who want to say something this is the time.

When to Speak?
There are limited opportunities to get guests' attention without interrupting the fun. Even though you might be drinking Champagne at the start of the cocktail hour, thats not the best time to make toasts. Its hard to ask people to be quiet when they just came from a quiet ceremony. They want to catch up with friends and you want to get the energy going so its important to match your timing to the style of your meal.

For Seated Dinner
The father of the bride should welcome everyone and give a brief toast as guest first sit down to dinner. According to Martha Stewart the rest of the speeches can come at the tail end of the main course, when everyone is almost finished eating, although I like to do the maid of honor and best men speeches after the guests receive their first course so the couple can visit tables during the entree! The groom and/or bride should step up after the cake cutting.

For a Buffet
The transition between cocktail hour and dinner is the ideal window for the host's welcome. Have others speak after the first dance and save the bride and groom for dessert time.

For a Cocktail Reception
There are no rules, so to speak, at this setup. A good strategy? Ask the host to say a few words at the very beginning, have the rest of the toasts follow his lead, and then get the party started.

How to Make It Memorable
Whether you decide to talk or not, use-or pass along- these helpful hints!

Don't Wing It
Its important to map out what you're going to say- the beginning, middle, nd end. If you have a plan you won't ramble, which will make you feel more confident.

Keep It Short and Sweet
Tell them to aim for three to five minuts tops. Any longer and guest get antsy.

Limit the Storytelling
Remember: Most of the room didn't go to high school with you or the groom. Only tell stories that will resonate and entertain everyone.

Talk About the Couple
For other speakers, it's fine to start with, "I've known Carrie since third grade," but make sure you weave in the groom, too. The day is about both of them.

How to Avoid Trouble
Emotions, alcohol, and a microphone can make an already nerve-racking speech go all kinds of wrong. Here's what to do if...

A Tipsy Toaster Is on the Verge of Sharing Too Much
First, encourage your speakers not to hit the bar until after their moment in the spotlight is over. If it's too late for that, have your coordinator or next toaster on the agenda inch closer to the speaker and reach for the mic. It's not seamless but it works.

Your Maid of Honor Is Absolutely Terrified to Talk
See if she might be more comfortable reading a pre-written poem! Or if the stage fright is too much for her, give something to say. She's your friend and when it comes down to it, no one will know the difference. If sentiment is what you're hoping for, you can always ask her to write you a letter.