Invitations, though small in size, have a big job to do; they set the tone for the entire wedding celebration. They represent a couple's style and history together, and they give guests a preview of what to expect on the big day. The designs you choose carry the theme of your wedding from the beginning stages of save-the-dates to the menus, place cards and finally the thank-you notes after the ceremony.
Designers who offer custom designs will most likely offer the most options for invitations; they can combine their professional knowledge of trends and products with your individual taste as a couple, and come up with something truly unique. Amy K. Moore, partner & designer of Peacock Design & Paperie, LLC located in Reading, PA, says that current trends often play a role in what style a bride will choose. “Some trends that we have seen cropping up for our brides include a modern twist on lace, contemporary use of multiple fonts, and nature-inspired looks that include trees and lovebirds.” A design professional can take your suggestions and color schemes and show you examples of similar ideas, so you have a starting point to work from.
It also helps to speak to a designer one-on one, especially if you want the look of the invitations to tie in perfectly with the décor of the wedding. The closer you work with a designer, the more control you will have over the final product. While this may not always be the cheapest option available, you are much more a part of the creative process, and can adjust and add details as you go.
Sites like Etsy are (if you know how to maneuver them) a marketplace of endless creative options. With an endless supply of vendors, it's virtually impossible not to find something creative and unique that ties in with your theme. However, the eternal problem with online shopping applies heavily here; the photo looks nice, but what will it look like in person? The danger with ordering invitations from online is that you can not be sure of the quality until it arrives. You are also at the mercy of online payment and delivery, so tread carefully. There are many trustworthy sites to order from, of course, and sites like Etsy usually allow you to communicate with the designer before placing your order. However, keep in mind that there will be a few aspects you won't be able to control. Order your invitations to arrive two weeks before you plan to send them out; this way, you have some extra time to adjust if the delivery is delayed.
If you're torn between ordering online and ordering custom, split the work! Think of websites as places to order a little extra flair to add to your invitations; a custom envelope embosser or wax stamp is a great finishing touch for invitations, and provides another layer of individuality without leaving the entire invitation in the hands of the unpredictable internet. Etsy is also a great place to shop around for design ideas and price points, so that if you go to a custom shop, you'll already have a style and look in mind to show them.
It basically comes down to how well you know yourself: Do you prefer to take the lead in creative projects, or do you like to window shop? Do you feel more comfortable being able to see and feel a product before buying, or are you an online shopper? Does your wedding have pronounced themes and colors, or do you have more of a general idea of what look you want to achieve? Take into consideration your personality; some people are naturally more hands on during the creative process, while others tend to take a back seat and only need to see the finished product. Consider your budget and timeline, and plan accordingly. But most importantly, remember that a special day deserves special invitations. Take time to look at all the designs you can; the more you know about what you like, the easier it is to find an invitation that represents you as a couple.
Fear Not the Makeup Artist
While many brides are quick to book hair and nail appointments for the big day, fewer are in a rush to book a makeup artist. Professionally applied makeup can sometimes look heavy, even drastically changing your everyday appearance. And while the idea of looking like someone else at your wedding is certainly alarming, don’t be so quick to write off professional makeup. Whether you want a natural or a more made-up look, there are many benefits to using a makeup artist. Most makeup artists will offer a consultation or trial appointment several weeks before the wedding so that you can try out a few looks and get a better idea of what to expect on your wedding day.
Patricia Solis, a seasoned makeup artist in the Berks County area finds that brides who reach out to her for a consultation are still hesitant about booking her for the actual wedding day. “Eighty percent of the time, brides want a natural look,” says Solis. It’s my job to educate them and let them know that when they first see themselves, it is going to be obvious they have makeup on. Because most women don’t wear a full face of makeup on a daily basis, it can feel and look like too much at first. Then, once I snap a picture to show them what the makeup looks like in photos, they’re surprised at how natural they look.” The important thing to remember, especially for women who want a natural look, is that everyday makeup will most likely be too subtle for photos and won’t last all day. You spend so much time picking out your dress and hairdo, why wouldn’t you want your skin to look its best as well?
Bride Mariel Epps was very happy with how Trish, as she’s known to friends and clients, did her makeup on her big day. “Trish used a few pictures that I showed her and did exactly what I had in mind for my wedding day. She was so easy to work with and I felt flawless. I had so many compliments that day and the best part was that the makeup still looked fresh at the end of night. I loved it soo much I didn’t want to wash it off when the day was over,” laughed Epps.
We recently had the chance to have Trish to work her magic on us and we were more than pleased with the transformation. In about 30 minutes Trish had taken our best features and highlighted them in a way that still looked natural, and when paired with the skills of Tania Colamarino of AMA photography, were stunning.
Having a professional do your wedding day makeup can bring your look to a whole new level of gorgeous. So fear not the makeup artist. After all, this is a day you will never forget, and you deserve to have a look that is unforgettable.
You can see more of Trish’s work and contact her to set up your consultation at www.elegantxpressions.net.
Wedding Cake Reimagined
There's probably probably been cake at weddings since Marie Antoinette declared "Let them eat cake" but with so many new trends and designs, some brides are choosing to opt out of the traditional wedding cake in favor of more unique options. Here are a few of the most popular options and why they may be a better option for you.
The dessert tower has been giving the wedding cake a run for its money for quite some time now; put quite simply, it's much easier to dig in to and distribute on the big day. The tower also eliminates the danger of running out of dessert early or having too much left over, since all you need is a head count. Most popular to grace this tower is the ever-trendy cupcake. No cake cutting or icing smearing required here; each guest simply chooses his own cupcake and moves on. And you certainly don’t lose any beauty shrinking your wedding cake; cupcakes can be topped with equally exquisite and delicious detail. Still feeling a little blue over the idea of not having a wedding cake? Have a special couples cake made that you and your groom can share. This way, you still have something to cut together and take photos with while still keeping the guest option simple and easy to serve.
While you can do pretty much any flavor and color you could dream of with a cupcake, the tower opens you up to an endless supply of desert options as well. You name it, they can stack it in a tower, from éclairs and macaroons to individual dessert dishes and mini pies. Get even more creative by mixing several pastries together on the same stand or create two separate "His and Hers" towers to give your guests a variety.
The Do-it-yourself Bar
The great thing about a self-serving dessert bar (besides all the delicious options, of course) is the fact that it can be designed to enhance the look and feel of your wedding celebration. The idea here is to take a basic, classic desert and amplify it by giving guests the option to personalize it. For a homemade feel, try personal cheesecakes in mason jars with a spread of fresh fruits and toppings. Need a cold treat on a hot day? Plan an ice cream bar complete with all your favorite toppings and flavors. A desert bar is also a great way to provide your guest with something to eat between events. Having a peaceful outdoor wedding in the woods? Create a wedding trail mix for your guests to enjoy by mixing a variety of nuts, chocolates, and fruits. Having a bar set up through the day allows you to be versatile in what and when you serve without the stress of having to deliver food to each individual guest.
Dessert on the Move
The reception is all about celebrating. It shouldn’t be a stiff, impersonal affair; there should be dancing and laughter and music from beginning to end. Dessert should be the same thing; the idea here is to find a dessert that people can eat while moving around and socializing. Guests can help themselves to dessert when they want and enjoy it on their own timetable. Still “married” to idea of cake at your wedding? Try cake pops, a unique and adorable on-the-move cake adaptation. For those looking for a lighter alternative to rich pastries, try chilled champagne flutes filled with whipped cream, fresh fruits, and a drizzle of caramel sauce. For variety, try an assortment of mini desserts; this could be anything from chocolate mousse in double shot glasses to tiramisu in cosmo glasses.
With just a little creativity and inspiration, planning the dessert at your wedding will be a piece of…..whatever!
One of Lancaster County’s newest wedding venues, the fabulous Farm at Eagle’s Ridge provided the back drop for the charming, rustic wedding of Julie & Ryan.
Family, friends & nature were the threads that tied this beautiful celebration together with personal touches throughout.
From the cocktail tables hand-crafted by the groom and the father of the bride, to the stained glass window with a depiction of the beloved tree where the couple became engaged, the day was filled with special details that radiated the warmth, energy and love that embody Julie & Ryan as a couple.
“Ryan and I love the outdoors and we wanted to include as many natural colors and elements in the day as we could. Right after we got engaged, Ryan and I sat down and wrote a list of all things we love. We used this as a map to help us come up with ideas for all the details for our wedding day and Simple Soiree pulled everything together for us. I wouldn't change a thing about the end result!”
A big thank you to Miville Photography for sharing the photos which captured the day beautifully and also to Julie & Ryan for letting us be a part of your day.
Chances are bringing up the topic of wedding coordinators conjurs images of a lavish celebrity wedding planned on a Hollywood budget. However, these days more and more brides from all different backgrounds are hiring wedding coordinators because there's just so much to consider when planning the biggest day of your life. Still, one of the most common questions I am asked by brides is “Why do I need a wedding coordinator?” Above all your
wedding coordinator is there to serve you and make sure your wedding is everything you've dreamed of and planned for. I've outlined just a few of the reasons every bride should consider hiring a wedding coordinator.
1) Save money and stick to your budget.
You heard that right. Hiring a wedding coordinator will actually save you money because a good coordinator knows where to get the best deals, and can get you exclusive discounts through their network of vendors. Plus they’re wedding experts so they know how much a good florist, photographer, cake etc. should cost and they help you avoid being over-charged. Last, the wedding coordinator’s job is to stick to your budget. And since many
couples find themselves spending ten to fifteen percent more than they originally planned on their wedding, staying on budget is not an easy task.
2) Save time and create a network of expert vendors.
Researching wedding vendors that are reputable and can deliver
the type of wedding you envision takes a lot of time. This is such special time
in your life that you should enjoy it and celebrate with your fiancé, friends
and family, not stressing over where the best florist is. A wedding coordinator
works with all types of wedding vendors and knows who the best of the best is so
you don’t have to.
3) Stay focused.
Let’s be honest, planning a wedding can be stressful and overwhelming and sometimes it’s
more fun to put off that pesky to-do list and catch a new movie or grab dinner
with friends. If you hire a wedding coordinator you can still have a social life! Your wedding coordinator will make sure you’re on task and shoulders the burden of that ever growing task
list for you.
4) Stay stress free.
Nobody likes a bridezilla, least of all the bride herself. A good wedding coordinator keeps
your stress to a minimum and even makes planning your wedding fun because it
5) Ask an expert.
Everything from how you should word your wedding invitations to how to handle seating arrangements for divorced parents….we’ve handled it all before so we’ve got the answers.
6) Mediate. Mediate. Mediate.
So your mom is insisting you have a traditional church ceremony and you have your heart set on a backyard ceremony and reception? It’s great to have an unbiased third party as a sounding board in these situations. Yep you guessed it, that’s your wedding coordinator’s
7) Protect your Investment
Hiring a wedding coordinator is a bit like purchasing insurance for your big day. You’ve put a
lot of time, money, and heart into the wedding of your dreams. Your wedding
coordinator is there to help make sure your vision for your day is carried out
by all your vendors. We are your eyes, ears ad advocate for the day so the only
thing left on your “to-do” list is “ENJOY!”