Wednesday, October 29

To see or not to see...

Many couples are being faced with the question of whether to see each other or not before the wedding ceremony. It's a tough decision to make, as most brides want that moment when their husband to be sees them in their dress for the first time to be during the ceremony. With the timing and situation most are faced with though, that sometimes just isn't feasible. Some ceremonies are starting later, and after the ceremony, there isn't enough light for photos, or even time before they would need to arrive at the reception.

The key to making this work for you is to look over the pros and cons of both, and if you do decide either, here are some keys to each:

If you choose to see each other before hand:
1) Make sure that you and the photographer work out a designated "first meeting" spot and time. This should be a special moment between just the bride and groom with the photographer in the background taking photos. It's an intimate moment, and should be reserved for just the two of you.
2) If you are going to meet up before hand, make it worth your while and have the time designated for some portrait photos of the both of you, and then photos with family and bridal party.
3) Don't over do it! This happens a lot. Couples think that they have hours and hours worth of photos to take, and after 45 minutes of it, they are worn out. Don't do that to yourselves. Take the time to map out who and how many photos you really need, and be realistic. Start with just two of you, pick out neat locations to go to, then meet up with the bridal party and family afterwards for photos with each group.

Here is one of my couples who chose to see each other before the ceremony, and had a very special moment of their first meeting in the wine caves before their formal photographs:

If you choose to not see each other before hand:

1) Take as many photos before the ceremony that you can. Bride and bridesmaids, groom and groomsmen, and sometimes family can be done as well.
2) After the ceremony, have a list for your photographer that has everyone needed for each photo, and make sure that these people know to stay after the ceremony. Finding them in the cocktail reception is difficult.
3) Start the largest group photos first. Let the grandparents and older relatives be in the photos they are needed to quickly, so they can go and relax before the dinner. You will eventually widdle it down to the bride and groom to take a few portrait shots.
4) Allow a break from the reception to take 10-15 minutes of photos with just the two of you, and if you can plan it around the sunset, that usually will get you the best possible light. It's worth it to take a few moments away, and you will be thankful for the beautiful photos after. Make sure to work with your planner and photographer on implementing this into the timeline.

Here is a photo of one of my couples who chose to wait to see each other, and took all their portrait photographs after the wedding and got great shots in Union Square during the holidays:

Either way you choose, make sure YOU are comfortable with it. Many people will offer their opinions, but ultimately, if you're not comfortable with it, it won't feel right. That holds true with all of your wedding planning!

Happy Planning!

Friday, October 24

A little Friday funny

I am getting ready to enjoy a rare weekend off, and by off, I mean no weddings. I still end up working, whether it's putting together timelines or answering emails at all times, but the thought of spending my Friday night with my family and friends at Gaspare's Pizzeria is bringing a big smile to my face!

I thought I would bring a smile to some of your faces by posting two photos that the wonderful Kerry Rodgers of Kerry Rodgers Photography sent me from our wedding together last weekend at the Hotel Vitale. The great thing about my job is you never know what you will be faced with at any given wedding. The key is being able to roll with the punches, and Kerry actually caught me in this photo trying to snatch a glass of champagne out of one of the groomsmen's hands on his way down the aisle! The best part was he refused to give it up, and when I told him there was no way was he going down with it, he actually took it down like a shot. It was a funny moment, but the couple was spared having a drinking groomsman standing next to them in all their ceremony photos, and they didn't know a thing about it until after the wedding. Another misstep avoided!

And the after shot... laughing it off

Wishing you all a fabulous weekend! Get out and enjoy this lovely weather we've been having.

As always, happy planning!


Monday, October 20

A treat for tired eyes

Hi ladies! Today I thought I would discuss something that affects most brides during the week of their wedding; lack of sleep which equals puffy, tired looking eyes. After the week I just had full of meetings, tastings, weddings and an engagement party I threw for my friends (and assistant) Taryn and Greg, I was completely worn out. My sleep was interrupted many nights dreaming about my DIY projects and a bit of anxiety if everything would go well. Yes, even the pros go through that! By the morning of the party, I was starting to look like I was suiting up for a football game with eye black under my eyes.

The good news is I have many products in my arsenal that allowed me to treat and repair the look of my eyes by the time the party began last night. So, here are the products and tools I recommend for any bride (or anyone who ever deals with these issues):

1) Gel Eye Mask: This is something I keep in my fridge at all times. Sometimes I wake up with just puffy eyes, and I like to put an eye gel on (will discuss further below), and place the cool gel mask over it. I lay on the couch for about 10 minutes while I boil water to make some green tea. It's nice to relax if you can for a few moments and have some time to yourself, especially if it's the morning of your wedding. By the time I see some of my brides, they look like they've been on a week long bender, and most say they didn't sleep the night before whether it was anxiety or their bridesmaids keeping them up all night!

2) Origins No Puffery: I can never be without this product, and neither should any bride. I keep mine in the fridge also, and put the gel on for as long as I can when I wake up with that not so bright eyed look. Slather it on, put your coll gel mask over it, and ta-da, you are de-puffed. I don't recommend wearing it during the day, it can be a little too tacky under makeup.

3) Garnier Nutritioniste Skin Renew Anti-Puff Eye Roller: This is a brand new product that I have instantly fell in love with. It's perfect for a quick treat if you don't have time for the treatment discussed above. It is a small tube of gel with a roller dispenser on the top, so you quickly spread it back and forth under your eyes, and the cooling sensation of the roller and the treatment gel seem to de-puff and diminish the dark circles. You can even toss it in your purse, this is a must have!

4) Shu Uemura Depsea Moisture Replenishing Eye Mask: This is a product that the participants on the September bridal tour got to take home in their goodie bag, and it's such a treat! It is a hydrating, fresh sheet mask that intensely moisturizes dehydrated areas of the eye in just minutes. The shape of the mask perfectly covers the eye contour to significantly minimize the appearance of dark circles and puffiness. This is something easy to throw on your eyes as you get out of the shower, before you put on makeup.

5) Stay hydrated: Since this is free, you would think we as women would do it more, but the truth is, when we are stressed and overly busy, we don't drink enough water or eat well. That's why if you can keep a bottle of fresh water with you throughout the day, you can try and combat that sleepy look from within as well. With more water intake, make sure to keep the alcohol intake that week down as well, as it causes sleep disruptions, bloating and puffiness.

So, those are my tricks of the trade for keeping your eyes looking as good as you do in your wedding dress! They say that the eyes are the first to age us, and you want to look as fresh and youthful as you can in your pictures.

Here is a picture at the end of the party last night of me, the beautiful bride-to-be, Taryn, and my boyfriend Joe. We had a great time, and I'm looking forward to posting the professional photos here soon!

As always, happy planning!


Tuesday, October 14

DIY Brides - Check out this site!

Some of my clients are pretty creative, and sometimes they like to use their talents to create their own invitations, place cards, programs, etc. My good friend Nessa Sander, who owns Cardgirl Custom Invitations, just released a wonderful site for the DIY brides out there called Cardgirl DIY. There is just so much information, templates, and links to sites to help you get the supplies you need. I'm telling all my current clients about it, as I just used it last week to make my own wine labels. What a great resource and saved me a ton of time!

For those of you that want someone else to be the creative engineer for your wedding paper goods, definitely check out Nessa's site for custom invitations and other materials for your wedding. She can customize anything, and has made many of my clients very happy!

I have been working like crazy, October is our busiest month this year, but I'm hoping to post some more recent weddings here soon. They were all so beautiful and unique, so I'm anxiously awaiting the photos to share with everyone. We are also busy planning our second bridal tour set for January, an open house and all the weddings and events coming up for 2009. Should be another fun filled year with lots of fabulous weddings!

Happy Planning,

Wednesday, October 1

Photos from the Dream Bridal Tour

This past Sunday I had the pleasure of meeting a great group of brides that signed up for our first ever Dream Bridal Tour. To explain it better, it's basically a bridal show on wheels. We started with a lovely brunch at Pres a Vi in the Presidio, and from there, we hit up many of the local vendors for demonstrations and presentations on their services. We tasted chocolates, got waxing tips, tried on lashes at the Shu Uemura lash bar and dresses at Betsey Johnson. It was a long day, but we had a lot of fun, and the group got to walk away with a lot of goodies from the great vendors that participated. You can check out the full slide show from Andrew Weeks Photography by clicking here.

Here is the list of the wonderful vendors from the first tour:

Cocoa Bella Chocolates

The good news is that we are doing this again in January! It will be slightly different, but still the same amount of fun, information and goodies. If you are interested on being on our waiting list, please email us.

Happy Planning!