Friday, September 30, 2011

Not Your Mother's Wedding

So it's FRIDAY, hooray!!! Today I just wanted to ruminate for a moment on some of the quirky places and ways that people have gotten married. I always wonder what the driving force is behind these unusual engagements. Do you get married under water in scuba gear because you just love scuba diving, or because you want to be on the front page of your local paper? Or is it something so unique and special to your groom that you couldn't do it any other way? Whatever your venue, your wedding is YOUR wedding, and you deserve to have it wherever and however you like. Below I've put together a fun list of the most unique places I could come up with to get married:

1. A graveyard
2. Riding camels
3. On a pirate ship
4. On top of the Sears Tower
5. At the zoo!
6. In the mall
7. At the DMV
8. while having surgery
9. In a hot air balloon
10. In the middle of a play, either as an additional act or during the intermission....hmmm.....

So these are ones that I came up with. Did you or are you getting married in some unusual way or at an unconventional place? Let me know, I would love to hear about your adventurous wedding! Happy Friday, all!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Picture Perfect

Wedding photography, possibly the single most important aspect of your wedding. I am not a picture girl. I have a host of random pictures on my iphone that I have taken randomly, and rarely for special occasions, and I don’t even know where my digital camera is. When I was planning my wedding, photography ranked low on my list. I suppose my indifference stems from hours of looking at the same posed pictures, and thinking ‘who actually cares about these other than the couple and the family?’  the answer is likely no one. BUT you MUST have pictures, if for nothing else than posterity.

                All that said, rank yourself on the picture spectrum. Are you a 2 or 3 like me, just wanting a few pics to show the grandkids one day? Or are you a 9 and uber excited for tons of high quality pictures and video to plaster all over your home and share with everyone? The good news is, no matter where you rank, you can likely find a handful of photographers in your area that will work with customized packages. Not all will, though, so make sure you ask for rates up front before you go any further.

                Now, once you work out a package with your vendor, you need to give them specifics about your wedding. They need to know where to shoot, and when, and if there are particular shots that you want. If you want lots of your grandparents, tell them. If you want lots of you posed with your wedding party, tell them. If you want all candid photos of your reception, TELL THEM! They will also need to schedule when to take pictures right before or after your ceremony, and everyone in your wedding party needs to be ready to go. It is your wedding, but it is an event with a timeframe, and when things go according to schedule, everyone is happy. Remember, your wedding photographer is one of the most important players in your wedding. They often end up being responsible for the flow of events.  My photographer was a pro at this, you can check her stuff out here

                The last thing you want to take into consideration when deciding on a photographer is their style. We went for the oh-so-popular Old Hollywood feel to our wedding. So it was important to me to have some photos that looked like old movie stills. No, not the kind you can take with your Hipstamatic app on your Iphone, the kind only a really good photographer can take. Also, you need to let your photographer know the mood. DO you want playful pics? Or romantic pics? Because they will need to capture those kinds of moments to optimize your package for you.

                I will also say for a gal that is not into pics, I also had engagement photos and bridal portraits. I was lucky to have a very patient and talented photographer friend take these for me, and I am so glad she did. You can check out her stuff at  She did my bridals, and I have to say, it was so much fun and I have that lovely portrait to pass down to my children one day.  Because it is not really about taking pictures to show your friends at happy hour or during your lunch break, it is about capturing memories. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Sound of Music

I can't believe I haven't written about music yet. This is wicked important at your wedding, no joke. Whether you are having a small formal affair or a huge blowout, you are going to need some music. But seriously, who has the time for scoring the interweb and begging friends for info on wedding bands? And then when you find a resource, how do you efficiently and effectively communicate what you want and your budget? Now, I personally have an 'in' into the music industry, so I will give you some helpful tips to make this process go quickly and painlessly while still getting exactly what you want:

1. Decide on live band or dj or both:  Once you decide on a DJ or a band, you can yes, google 'wedding DJs' and find a plethora in your area. Same for bands. There are a handful of reputable sites, like Gigmasters, where you can find quality musicians.

2. Pick your genre of music:  Ok, so you want a live band. Now you need to know exactly what type of music you want. If you want all country music, then search only for bands that specialize in country music.  Rock, standards, covers, etc.

3. Know your budget:  You have decided on a country western band to play during your reception, awesome. Before you contact The Honky Tonky Hoedown Quartet, you should know firmly what you can spend. Provide this information first. Most bands can find ways to work within your budget, depending on your needs.

4.  Provide timeframes and particulars:  You can spend $3400 on your band, great.  But now you need to tell them for how long. Oh, and Uncle Andy wants to give a speech after the first dance? Ok, tell the band that. Special requests? yeah, they need to know that too. Any details needed to be included in your proposal. Remember, it's your wedding, but this is their job, so they are operating on a clock and only with the information you give them to do their job.

So what if you don't know what kind of music you want? Well, most times bands will have websites and you can listen or see some of their music to get a feel for them. Shameless plug:  My husband sings for a wonderful 16 piece Big Band called the Vendetta Big Band that plays all around town and various parts of the great state of Texas. They like other musicians, use several online resources to get their music out their for brides and people planning events. They often have sets designed for occassions such as weddings, but always cater to individuals and will customize depending on your needs. Remember, this part should be fun, but more importantly, quick and easy.  Know what you need before contacting anyone and it will make both your lives easier!  If you would like more information and resources for contacting and engaging wedding bands for your special day, feel free to ask in the comments section. Happy Planning!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Cold Feet or Cement Boots

Weddings are fun and exciting, especially for the bride and groom, but don't forget to stop and take a few minutes here and there with your fiance to reflect on the commitment you are making to one another.  For your own reasons, you've decided to make a lawful and in some cases, religious vow to be committed to one another for life. For that reason, you should really step back from the frenzy of wedding plans to ask yourself, and your fiance, what that means to you.

Things of global importance tend to be religion, politics and family planning. Weigh out how important these issues are to your partner and discuss them if you haven't already. I am constantly surprised by people that say they never discussed these issues prior to the aisle walk, and now are in a marriage that has some unresolved issues. Aside from the Big Three, also discuss any other concerns or needs that you have, no matter how small. Your partner rarely can infer everything about your expectations of them through actions. Sometimes you need to just say 'I don't want to move around at all' or 'I intend to keep my job and maybe start a new business while we are raising a family'.  I once dated a guy for years, and when the time came to talk about the future, he informed me that he expected me to support him through medical school and then stay home and raise our children. It was a huge shocker and ultimately ended our relationship.

So clear the air and find out where both of you stand on the issues, even if the only one to discuss is what part of the bottle to squeeze the tooth paste from. These kind of discussions will make you feel closer and more secure as you head towards your big day. Everyone gets a few jitters on their wedding day, but let them be about your future mother-in-law wearing white, or best man getting a stomach virus instead.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Let Them Eat Cake!

Weeeeellll, HELLO stranger!  I know, I know, look at the date on this blog? It's like returning a call to my mother; I mean well, but the time gets away from me.  Well, I'm back from a short hiatus that was well spent getting on track at work, starting a new business AAAAANNND...getting pregnant! So now there is going to be a little Shameless Bride Baby!  In the spirit of pregnancy and all the joys that come along with it, I thought I would discuss the wedding cake.

Now, again, this is one of those touchy issues that always set off some forward thinking brides. Some brides don't like wedding cake, and some quirky brides want something different and trendy. My response to those gals is - do it anyway. Why? Because guests expect wedding cake, that's why. Now, I have been to some very lovely weddings without cakes, and they compensated for the lack of cake with delicious desserts.  But part of me really wanted a piece of wedding cake. Something about the ritual of cutting this towering confection and sharing pieces with every guest is sacred to me. It is the one collective action of all your guests at a wedding, and for me, the wedding cake is what made our marriage official.

Okay, so now that I have talked you into spending an enormous amount of dough (heh heh) on a huge sugary cake that you will take home in droves (delicious, sweet, sticky droves), let's talk flavors. White on white. Nice. I like a good traditional white cake with royal icing. Better? try a different flavor on each layer.  Or different icing or filling. What is your hubby's favorite flavor? Try to marry his with yours. It is amazing what pastry chefs are doing these days, so I bet whatever you come up with, they can do it. I went traditional white, strawberry, chocolate. But wait, it gets better. White icing with the white cake, raspberry cream and raspberry jam layers for the strawberry (ohmigodsogood) and coffee buttercream for the chocolate. The top of the cake is the chocolate layer, which I cannot wait to open on our 1st anniversary! And I'll be darned if it is ruined, I will call the bakery and have another one made! I WILL have my wedding cake for my anniversary!

And how do you decorate it? Well, anyway you like, silly. This is this the fun part, and the only thing I regret is going so classic with my design and not having a little more fun with it. Add some color, have different sized and shaped layers, but tiny Day of the Dead skeletons as cake toppers, go crazy! This is one aspect of the design process you don't want to miss.  Because it will define your wedding in a lot of ways and oh what a sweet sweet payoff.