Monday, February 18, 2013

Hair & Makeup

That's right! Something you do everyday takes thought and planning for your wedding!  Some brides think they will save money by doing their own hair and make-up, but my advice is to pamper yourself! A professional uses quality makeup that will last a long time and look great in pictures.  The professional makeup artist can turn that 'everyday look' into 'beautiful blushing bride!' 

Now you may find yourself asking "How do I choose a salon?"  Back in high school I went a friend's prom and got my hair done at Hair Cuttery.  The "professional" (literally doing air quotes) did not know what she was doing.... after giving her several suggestions I just took over and pinned it back myself.  This is not the experience you want to have the day of your wedding.  So talk to friends and family for suggestions on professional salons, then do your research.  What do their reviews look like, how close are they to where you will be getting ready/ceremony site, what are their prices.  They might not have all this listed on their website so contact someone.  Try and get this done 6 months ahead of time.  If you are having all the bridesmaids and mothers get their hair done the salon will need several stylists.

Once you have the salon booked set up a hair and makeup trial 2 weeks-2 months ahead of time (the salon will let you know their protocol.)

Now comes the fun part!  Find several pictures of hair and makeup styles you like.  Pictures are very helpful since most stylists don't know you personally.  When you go to your trial bring a bridesmaid!  This is perfect way to include your bridal party and it gives you support and feedback.  Make sure you are honest with your stylist.  Some things to keep in mind during and after your trial: How long did it take, how long does the make up stay on, how durable aka dance proof is your hair.  Remember you will be getting your hair and makeup done 2-5 hours before your ceremony and it will have to last until the end of the reception.

Don't forget to bring any hair pieces and/or veil to the trial and have a designated person (usually your M.O.H.) learn how to properally take out your veil.

Here are some pictures I brought with me to the trial & day of the wedding

Here are some pictures from my trial

 A great picture of the back of my hair demonstrating how 'danceable' it is!

Good luck in your salon search!! I highly recommend Balance Hair Spa if you live in Chester County, PA.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Wedding Favor

A wedding favor is a creative and thoughtful thing to give your guests.  When picking my favor I thought how can I tie it into my theme?  But I knew my guests wouldn't want a swimming cap that says "Amanda and Matt 4 Ever".  I think if you are going to put the time and effort into making something, as well as the $$$, it should be something your guests are going to use.  What better gift than alcohol!?  Matt and I headed down to Total Wine in Delaware and were in search of something good, but not too pricey.  We found Cruse Blanc De Sparkling Champagne. 

I added a cute saying on craft paper with ribbon from Michaels:
"Tomorrow we will sail off on a cruise as husband and wife. Please have a “cruse” of your own as a token of our appreciation for sharing our special day."

How to hand out the favor took some thought.  I didn't want to have the champagne on the guests table because I thought it would be too bulky.  I also didn't want the favor out at the beginning of the night because I was afraid guests would stash the gift under their table and forget about it.  When we met with the catering company at a finals meeting they suggested setting up the champagne bottles on a table in the lobby towards the end of the night.  The DJ made an announcement to take 1 bottle and there was also a sign on the table.  It worked out and we got so many compliments weeks after the wedding about what a wonderful favor it was!

DIY Ivy Pot

One thing I learned throughout the wedding planning process is even if the vendor (florist, photograher, etc.) doesn't work out you can still learn something during the meeting.  I got a great idea from a florist to fill the tall church window sills with ivy pots. 

 DIY has a whole new meaning after planning my wedding!

I went shopping with my mom for ivy pots for the church window sills and they were so pricey! About 10-20$ each, which added up with 10 church window sills.

DIY Ivy Pot

Step 1:  Purchased 5 inch clay pots, light green Apple Barrel paint and a paint brush from Michael's Craft Store a.  
Step 2: Paint the pots lightly.  One paint stroke should do, especially if you want the washed antique look.  
Step 3: Once the pots have dried, glue diamond rhinestones from Koyal Wholesale near the top of the pot.
 Step 4:  Buy soil and Ivy.  
I bought some ivy from Pickering Valley Feed and Farm in Lionville, PA (you can buy ivy at any garden store).  
Step 5: Plant the Ivy.  You don't need too much in each pot, it will grow and spread.
Step 6: Care for your ivy!! Water them 2-4 x a week.
Step 7: Add embellishments.  
When we were decorating the church the day before the wedding my sister and grandma added some crystal leaves purchased from Koyal Wholesale to jazz them up a bit!  They look so pretty!

DIY Ivy Pot

Bridal Party Schedule

So you chose your bridal party for a reason!  Your brothers, sisters, cousins, best friends.. they are people you love, trust and will be there to support you on your BIG day.  You want your wedding day to be perfect, therefore you have to plan everything to a T.  I decided to write out a schedule for the weekend and email my bridal party ahead of time.  This gave them a heads up of what to expect.  Some of your bridal party members may have gone to weddings as guests, but have never been in a wedding.  Giving them a schedule ahead of time will also allow them to plan their weekend.  It is your wedding, but you want them to have a good time too!
Bridal Party Schedule

Groomsmen- Pick up Tux at Mens Wearhouse between today and Friday (try on at store to make sure it fits)

Friday August 24, 2012

6:30PM Rehearsal at Fairview Presbyterian Church: 800 Fairview Road Glenmoore, PA 19343  **Please do not be late**

~7:00PM Rehearsal Dinner at Springton Manor House: 860 Springton Road Glenmoore, PA 19343

Saturday August 25, 2012


Get dropped off at Bride’s parents house at 10:00am or  get dropped off at Balance hair spa  at 10:30am (826 North Pottstown Pike Exton, PA 19341- across from Inn at Chester Springs & starbucks/next to Sunoco Gas Station) **Remember to bring CC/Cash or Check: Formal styling $65. A wash and blow dry $25. Make up application $45.

12:45-1:00 Head back to Bride’s Parents house to eat a light lunch.

1:30 Get Dressed/take getting ready pictures.

2:15 Get in limo and go to the church


2:30PM Show up at church- DRESSED in tux and ready to go! Get boutonniere at church and go upstairs to sanctuary area to usher.

3:00PM Ceremony Begins

3:40-4:00 Bride/Groom are dismissing guests from pews

4:00 Family pictures outside of church on lawn/in barn

4:25 Bridal party gets in limo and heads to Springton Manor Park for pictures

5:15 Leave park and take limo to Columbia Station

6:00 Arrive- Bridal party goes to caboose for a quick champagne toast

6:00-7:00 Cocktail Hour

6:50- Gather Bridal Party

7:00 Bridal Party gets announced to “we go together”

7:05 Bride/Groom First Dance followed by Best Man and Matron of Honor Toasts

7:10ish Dinner.. After dinner will be F/D and M/S dances and cake cutting. After cake cutting- please help us get the dancing started!!

Cake Topper

When I think of a cake topper I picture a traditional bride and groom kissing.  These days there are so many options.  You can go simple, creative, big or small.  There are so many choices including fresh flowers, a monogram, family heirloom, fresh fruit, bell topper, a photo, figurine or a clay cake topper.  This is another decision you have to make by asking yourself: How much do I want to spend? Do I want it to be a keepsake? How big is the cake- how big should the cake topper be?

I searched online for a long time looking for a swimming themed cake topper (Since we met swimming our wedding theme was a touch of swimming with blue and silver).  Go figure there were so many sports cake toppers, but NO swimming toppers.  I went to Etsy and looked for a person that could design and make a customized swimming themed cake topper.  Luckily someone agreed to make it, but she took 2 months and it arrived a day before the wedding (talk about stressful!) So my advice is tell the person who is making your cake topper a date 1-2 weeks before your actual wedding.  The cake topper was about $100, which seemed like a lot, but it is an piece I can keep forever.

Swimming Cake Topper:
Each holding towels with our college colors, goggles in bride's hand and goggles on groom's head.

Something .. Old..New..Borrowed..Blue

Something New
Something Old  represents a link between the bride's family and the past.  My Nana was sweet and gave me a handkerchief.  The florist worked the handkerchief into my bouquet. 
Something New is optimism for the future.  Of course my something new was my wedding dress.
Something Borrowed symbolizes happiness and comes from a happily married family member or friend.  My twin sister lent me her wedding jewelry.
Something Blue stands for purity, love and fidelity.  My something blue was a blue hair piece from the Diving Cat Studio in Phoenixville, PA.  Etsy also has a lot of fun pieces. 

These pieces are nothing to stress over when planning your wedding. They are simply an old tradition and good luck charms to add to your wedding day.
There are so many ideas.

Here are some websites to help you:

Something Old
Something Blue
Something Borrowed

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Send Off

Rose Petals Send Off @ Church

We had a rose petals congratulatory send off after the wedding ceremony.   We bought a couple bags of rose petals from Produce Junction for a 1$/ bag!  My Aunt Tania decorated the baskets and my cousin's held the baskets as the wedding guests grabbed a handful.  The white, yellow, pink and red pedals didn't match my blue and silver theme, but they looked amazing in the pictures and were romantically beautiful! So fun!

Some things you want to keep in mind when planning your send off: Is it easy to clean up? Is it good for the environment? Check with the vendor to see what you are allowed to use.

Some ideas: Rose petals, bubbles, sprinkles, streamers and confetti.

Streamers Send Off @ Reception
We had a pop out streamers send off at the end of the reception.  We bought them from Party America because they had the best deal.  All the little things you buy for your big day add up so I made sure to shop around and to always look for coupons or free shipping.  The pop out streamers look great in pictures- close to FIREWORKS!  The vendor also liked that the streamers stay attached so clean up is easy.
Side note- make sure you test things out before hand.  We were at our engagement session with David (our new photographer who photographed the wedding) and he wanted a picture of us shooting the pop out streamers.  He was going to count to 3, well Matt popped the streamer on 1 and it was a DUD.  After laughing and thinking "Oh Crap.." I tried some other streamers at different angles to figure out what would look best in pictures.  Turns out you can't hold the streamer straight up, you have to hold it out.  To coordinate the send off we had our DJ announce the send off would happen at 10:30pm and the guests got a reminder 3 songs away.  The person handing out the streamers needs to communicate how to use the pop out streamers and when to let the go.  It didn't go as we thought it would because most of our guests had a fair amount to drink, but we got a couple good pictures.

Wedding Shoes

Wedding Shoes

For the longest time I thought my 'something blue' would be my shoes.  After +/-5 hours of searching online and having to send some back from not being comfortable I decided to go to DSW.  I found the Lulu Townsend Bridal Valissa Pump in silver.  They met my heel height requirement of 3 inches and I was able to walk down the aisle without tripping!  They are a satin shoe with a rouched satin overlay with a jeweled embellishment (perfect to match my dress!).  I was willing to spend 100$ on shoes and was super excited that my shoes were only $49.95!

Things to keep in mind when looking for your wedding shoe:  Comfort, heel height, fabric (Silk or satin are traditionally the two most popular choices for wedding shoes), shoes to match your style and to try them on!

"It's no big thing, but you make big things out of little things sometimes"- Robert Duvall

I added an "I DO" silver bling sticker on the bottom of my shoes, which made for some fun pictures! The stickers were less than 5$ total from AC Moore Craft Store.

Remember you will probably only wear them once, but for 5-10 hours straight.

Monday, February 11, 2013


Photographer - It's never too late!

Choosing a good photographer is one of the key components to planning! Once your day is done, all you have left is the memories and pictures.  My husband and I met with 1 photographer after she was recommended by our friends.  We really liked her; her personality and her work.  All the examples she showed us were fun and creative.  OR so we thought!  Fast foward 7 months and we go to our engagement session.  A beautiful park with so much potential for cute engagement pictures.  The engagement session was over in 15 minutes- STRIKE 1! We get the pictures back and can't even finish looking through them..yep, they were that bad- STRIKE 2! My family and friends were saying things such as "you look like you guys just met".

It took a lot of encouragement to switch photographers (especially since it was 2 months before the big day) but it was well worth it in the end.

My mom and I went on a search mostly using the internet. One thing I learned is that a talented photographer who wants your business will have a large gallery on their website so you can get a feel for their style. David ( ) called me back within 15 minutes and met with us at a Starbucks that Saturday.  During the meeting he asked things like "What's your favorite show" and "What do you love about Matt".  I had a really good feeling, which you should have when meeting the person who will be with you for 75% of your wedding day.

Things to keep in mind when choosing a photographer: Have a style in mind that you want (pinterest is great for finding wedding styles). Set up interviews with the photographers to see if your personalities mesh.  Look at full wedding albums with a critical eye- ask yourself questions such as "Did they capture key parts of the day" and "Are all their pictures in each album the same or does each wedding/couple have a different feel/style". Lastly, compare packages.  Photographers can be expensive, but remember this is all you will have to remember your big day!

Last tip on photography.  Photographers want your business.  If a photographer is not booked on your wedding day and your day is quickly approaching, try and get a deal!  No harm is asking!

Good luck in photographer search!