Friday, July 31, 2009

Wedding Professional Chats

Calling all wedding, event, or party professionals - if you would like to be interviewed for my blog - let me know!

I am happy to post your answers to our chat! - you can be local or not! Looking forward to hearing from you!
Just email me. mas at elegantengagements dot com

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Wedding Professional Chats

Business Name: Eventions Productions
Names: Rian Winther: Production Manager/ Head Lighting Designer
Phone: 610-485-5900
Website Address:

How and why did you get interested in the business? I was very fortunate to start doing professional theater while in high school and college. I learned so much about lighting and sound from the pro’s in the industry. I’m very lucky that I have a job that I can take that knowledge from the theater and use it in a different and creative way.

Why is lighting so important at a wedding? It completely changes the look and feel of a room. What once was in darkness can now be highlighted. Take your centerpieces for instance, you pay all this money for all these beautiful flowers and they sit in the dark all night. Why not highlight what is important to you. Not to mention what it can do for your photos and videography. I don’t know one photographer that doesn’t prefer to have lighting at an event.

What is your favorite aspect of your job? The initial design to the final product. I love watching when a bride and groom walk into the room for the first time. So far, I’ve made 6 brides cry(in a good way of course)!!

If a client has a limited budget what is a must have as far as lighting? I would say uplighting and a textured dance floor wash. Those two options go a long way on a tight budget.

Anything else we should know about Eventions? We are really excited about our new virtual lighting designer on our website. A potential client can design the lighting for a ballroom using our virtual ballroom, submit their design to us and get a quote. So far we have gotten a lot of great feedback from it.

What is your Dream vacation? I’m a big fan of Europe. I would say an all expenses paid 2 week trip to Paris, Rome, Barcelona and then one week in the Bahamas to relax. I don’t think that’s too much to ask!!

What can’t you live without? My girl, my cats and pasta.

Do you have a favorite Philly area venue? There are a ton to choose from. Right now I would say Artesano Iron Works. It’s beautiful, very cool and different from the cookie cutter places.

And your favorite quote? If we don’t learn from history, we are doomed to repeat it.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Hot List 2009

Elegant Engagements works very hard to create wonderful events for their clients. I am constantly doing research, networking and trying to think of ways to get the best bang for my clients buck. I love to watch my couples recite their vows and finally become married then walk into their wedding reception and say 'thank you - its better then what I imagined!'

I would love if my clients-past or present, fellow wedding professionals and my family and friends to cast your vote in the Fox Philly's HOT LIST 2009!


Please Share the Love! - I thank you in advance.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Wedding Gift Know How

Gift: a present.

Is a wedding gift expected? Yes - everyone that receives an invitation should send a gift. (exceptions could be business associates or people you haven't seen in years)

How much should guests spend on gifts? Although giving a gift is a social obligation, the choice of the gift is based on the giver's affection and relationship to the couple as well as the financial capabilities. Family members usually spend a little more on the couple. You DON'T have to spend the equivalent of the per person amount the host spent for you at the reception.

When are gifts sent? Traditionally they are sent as soon as the invitation arrives. They should be delivered as close to the wedding as possible. There is a myth that says you have up to a year - the sooner the better but remember its never too late. Gifts should be sent to the couples home
(don't bring a gift to the wedding, the couple already has enough to deal with that day.) Envelopes of cash or checks can be brought that day but should be placed on a table set up for this, preferably in a box with someone looking after it.

Is record-keeping really necessary? Yes - absolutely. Keeping a record helps you associate specific gifts with the givers so you can send the appropriate thank you and mention it next time you see that person. It is also a good idea to keep a record in case you need to reference it when one of your guests marries.

What happens if the wedding is canceled? The gifts must be returned, all of them. If it is too difficult to return in person they can be mailed. You don't have to return monogrammed items.

adapted from Emily Post's Wedding Etiquette

Monday, July 27, 2009

Kid's Table Decor

Are you having a 'Kids Only' table at your wedding?
If so -don't put a floral centerpiece on the table - think of something interactive for the kids.

Simple would be butcher paper with a bucket of crayons and markers in the center tied with some balloons.

or more elaborate - a lollipop cone! Saw this at Martha - would be easy to recreate with a cone shape, paint, glue and some ribbon. There are instructions here.

This would also be great for a candy table at a wedding or at a Kids birthday party.
You could use rice krispie treats on a stick or chocolate covered strawberries or something not edible - think of the theme of your party.

Maybe I will try this for Gavin's 1st Birthday party - I am still dreaming up the perfect theme!!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Wedding Professional Chats

Business Name: Precious Petals
Names: Darlene J. Owens-Walls
Phone: 215-357-3870
Website Address:

Being a recent bride myself, I loving seeing a bride get exactly the look she is trying to achieve!

How many years have you been doing this? Since I was 15 years old!
How would you describe your style? Stylish and chic
What is your favorite aspect of your job? I love meeting with the brides and seeing their ideas from conception to reality!
What is your favorite flower? Simply a peony!
Where do you get your inspiration? from the flowers themselves and the venue!
Anything else we should know about you? Between my brides and my passion for flowers I love what I do!
What is your Dream vacation? I lived my dream vacation... Hawaii for my honeymoon for 25 days!
What can't you live without? my family... each and everyone one of them
And your favorite quote?
Two roads diverged in a wood
And I took the one less traveled by
And that has made all the difference

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

'There's No Place Like Home'

My cousin is getting married Labor Day weekend. She is planning to have her reception in her parents back yard. Since I have been helping them I thought you too would like to know the ins and outs of having an 'At Home' Wedding.

So here are some things you should think about and plan for:
-Do you want your ceremony and the reception at home? think of logistics and space before deciding.
-What does your backyard space look like? Do you have a large enough flat area for tables and a tent? do you need to use a side yard or inside space as well?
-Do you have adequate kitchen space or a garage the caterer can use to prepare the food?
-Think about the caterer you will hire - make sure they are experts and have worked home weddings before.
-Always rent a tent, you might need it to shield the rain or the bright sun - think of getting a clear tent so your guests can enjoy the stars as they dance the night away.
-Talk your rental company about tent placement and space layout - don't forget to tell them about underground sprinkler systems or other pipes and cables they should be worried about.
-What will you do about guests cars and parking? Think about offering valet service or offering a shuttle bus from the church or hotels.
-Do you want a band or a DJ? Check your areas noise ordinances and make sure to invite the neighbors!
-Are there easily accessible bathrooms? Make sure you have an attendant taking care of keeping them neat and stocked with guests towels and toilet paper.
-Consider having 'bathroom' signs made to hang from the doors and 'private' signs on the bedroom doors.
-Do have enough inside space in case of rain? What is your contingency plan? Make sure you have rented the sides for the tent and or have an alternative location on hold if you should need it. If you plan to have this sort of Plan B think about having a phone # guests can call day of to find out final location.
-Consider hiring a landscape consultant - you could plant flowers months in advance and this could save you money on cut flowers. Use potted plants. Take advantage of your homes environment.
-Definitely have a professional cleaning service come and clean before and after the wedding.
-Pack away nick nacks and other valuables(especially jewelry) but keep family photos out for more sentimental decor.
-Do use special family items for the wedding -special serving platters, vases and/or pitchers.
-Depending on the time of day you need to consider lighting. Definitely uplight the tent and use lots of candles.
-Bugs - Spray your yard with a bug deterrent weeks in advance (contact a landscaper) and put Off or Skin so soft sprays in the bathrooms for your guests to use.
-Consider your liability; contact your home insurance for a rider on your policy or for some extra insurance.
-Hire plenty of help; you are going to need it.
And lastly even though this is your home don't forget a grand entrance and a send off. Some people forget this because its their home but guests need to know where to enter the home, like to see you introduced into the party and a grand send off announces the weddings end and they should go home.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

YSC and Kate Aspen

Young Survival Coalition has partnered with Kate Aspen to offer Unforgettable Favors for All Life's Events, featuring the expressive Pink Ribbon Favor Collection. 100% of the net proceeds from your purchase of these and all favors in our store will advance YSC's vital programs that support young women affected by breast cancer.

Year round Kate Aspen also donates 10% of the net sales proceeds from their Pink Ribbon Favor line - - three meaningful designs In Favor of a Cure™ to support YSC programs.

I know many of us have been touched by breast cancer and are always looking for ways to give back. These favors might be perfect for your wedding or shower. I love the plantable pink ribbon cards or the palm tree cookie cutters.

Check out Kate Aspen Today!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Wedding Professional Chats

Business Name: DVideography
Names: Dave and Sheryl Williams
Phone: 610-989-0158
Website Address:

How and why did you start the business?
A film and video hobbyist since my teens, I started shooting weddings and events professionally in 2001. In less than two years, it became our full time business.

How would you describe your style?
Our style balances the most unobtrusive coverage with the most creative angles, movement, and sound for a combination of cinematic visuals and authentic documentary storytelling. The most common feedback we receive is that our clients didn't even know we were there, yet we managed to capture the fun and emotion.

What is your favorite aspect of your job?
What truly excites me the most is when I know we have just captured a special moment - something that my clients' children and grandchildren will hold dear. I also love the occasional opportunity I get to see the look on my clients' faces when they watch their movies for the first time.

What is the starting price for a wedding?

What exactly is HD videography?
HD is technically anything above the dimensions of a 1280x720 picture. What that really means is a clearer, wide screen image that looks better than standard definition recordings, especially on larger screens. Even if the end product is delivered on a regular DVD, because it was shot in HD, it still looks better. But the best way to experience HD is to take HD delivery, either on BluRay or as an HD movie file which can be played on computers or from low-cost HD players available in many stores.

What do the readers need to know about it?
The important thing to realize is that HD is quickly becoming the norm but not all HD is equal. Many consumer cameras are now HD but this does not mean that a consumer HD camera is the right tool for the job. Professional HD videography, just like anything else, should be viewed in its entirety. Ask to see recent work and ask for referrals. Any videographer worth his weight should show LOTS of video online.

Anything else we should know about you?
We all work as a team for our clients and I will bend over backwards for them. We have not advertised in many years because of our very loyal clients who come back to us time and again. Almost all of our clients are referred to us.

What is your Dream vacation?
Before my kids get too old, I'd love to spend time with them on an island. Maybe Hawaii? They love the water and an experience like that would be wonderful.

What is the greatest length gone to get the perfect shot?
At a destination wedding we did in the Bahamas, I convinced a helicopter pilot that we didn't need him for the entire hour ($600) but only a few minutes to get the establishing shot of the hotel. He agreed to take me up for $250. The Same Day Edit the next night was a hit and my clients truly appreciated the arial shots that were the icing on the cake.

What can’t live without?
Rice Pudding

And your favorite quote?
It's better to beg forgiveness than to ask permission.

Where is your favorite place to shoot?
St. Thomas, USVI

Please share with us you favorite video clip or highlight reel.
Some of my favorites are some of the most intimate, like this trailer from a recent Cairnwood wedding:

Monday, July 13, 2009

Wedding Professional Chats

Business Name: Fresh.Designs.Florist.Incorporated
Names: Susan Davis
Phone: 610-459-1608
Website Address:

How and why did you get into flowers and then into wedding flowers?
My business partner and I wanted to do something artistic, creative and original. I had always wanted to work in the wedding industry because I am a hopeless romantic. We tried our hand at a few things and ended up doing flowers. One of out first large jobs was for President Jimmy Carter at the Ballroom at the Ben. We were pretty new in business so that was very exciting!

How many years have you been doing this?
We have been in business for 21 years! Began in 1988.

How would you describe your style?
We love very full lush arrangements and tend to stay with the most current trends. Our style can be soft and romantic, classically elegant or contemporary and clean. It just depends on the brides vision. We listen to her ideas and create her dreams.

What is your favorite aspect of your job?
Working with all the different styles of bouquets depending on the bride.

What is your favorite flower?
I love Vibernum. It is only available for a short time and it makes everything look instantly beautiful when added to any arrangement.

Where do you get your inspiration?
Nature, Television, Art, Magazines and my brides!

Anything else we should know about you?
We are a passionate family business. Everyone who works here has done so for many years! My husband and I just adopted two babies, now 12 months and 7 months old. They come to the shop and love to play with the flowers. So we have a wide range of ages working with us! I have my masters degree in counseling and this helps me to hear my clients and help them to navigate through the details of a wedding!

What is your Dream vacation?
I want to go to Egypt, the Holy Land and Greece!

What can’t you live without?
Chocolate and Coffee!

And your favorite quote?
Proverbs...."An empty barn stays clean but there is no profit from an empty barn" and "the vision is achieved through much work!"

Friday, July 10, 2009

Table Runner DIY

I love Ballard Designs!
They have so many great home decorating ideas and this month some great tips.

On their website I came across directions on how to make your own table runner. These would be great for a baby or bridal shower.

How to Make a Table Runner

How to Make a Table RunnerThe Easy Way!

A table runner can add life and personality to your table. It can also protect it from warm serving dishes and fresh arrangements filled with water.

So how can you make one? It really is a simple, no sew project. And we will be happy to walk you through the process.

  • Choose a fabric that is relatively thick – cotton or cotton/poly blends (for a relaxed look) or a satin or brocade (for a more formal look).
  • Measure the width of your table – your finished table runner should be about one third the width of your table. Add one and one half inches to all sides to allow for hemming.
  • Measure the length of your table – your finished length should be the length of the table plus twelve inches on both ends for the overhang. Again, make sure you add an additional one and one half inches to allow for hemming.
  • When cutting the fabric make sure you allow one and one half inches along all edges for seams. If your want your finished runner to be 18” wide and 90” in length, then you would cut your fabric 21” wide and 93” in length.
  • Measure one half inch all around the edges folding and pressing the raw edges onto the wrong side of your fabric.
  • Now fold the seam over again - one inch to create the hem and press into place.
  • Place the No-Sew Hemming Tape inside the one inch seam that you just pressed – use the directions on the No Sew Tape to seal the hem.
  • You can keep the corners square or if you wish or if you want pointed edges on either end, just fold the corners to meet in the center of the fabric attaching the ends with No-Sew Tape.

There are many options for embellishing a runner. If you choose a plain cotton fabric, try using a rubber stamp and fabric paint stamping a design along the border or creating an allover print by randomly stamping the fabric. Try using a feather or a leaf dipped in paint and pressed onto the fabric for an organic, outdoor look. If you have a beach theme, try pressing the outline of some different sized shells in a random pattern. Instead of a tassel at the end on your runner, why not attach shells tied with raffia? Or if you have a more formal look, purchase some crystal drops at your local craft store to hook onto the ends. Whatever your table theme, making a table runner can customize your look and your guests will be amazed!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

What is Your Emergency Kit Must Have?

This is a repost from a few years ago but I thought it was important to list again.

A standard practice of wedding planners is to carry an 'emergency kit' - to deal with all sorts of issues that could come up at a wedding. I know you all remember Jo Lo's special jacket in the movie The Wedding Planner.

So what is an Emergency Kit??

There are many different types but I know they are all bigger and more involved then a 'special jacket'. Mine is a small suitcase that I can throw over my shoulder. Some things that I can't live without:
stain remover - yes I can get red wine out of the gown
breath mints
Big saftey pins - yes all bustles come loose
bobby pins
tape-clear, masking, duct, floral
flame lighter
hair spray
cd of standard wedding songs

I also keep spare unity candles, cake knife, ring bearer pillows, black socks, hand held sewing machine, umbrellas and a bottle opener handy.

Some weddings I end up using many items from my kit and I am so thankful I had it to save the day; Better to be safe then sorry.
What is your must have item?
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