28 November 2009


Dear Planner:
 My fiance and I want to incorporate a few eco-friendly items/services to our wedding day. What are a few things we can do?
Happily Ever After

My Dearest Happily~
Whether you are just beginning or deep into your wedding planning, they are many things you can include in your wedding to make it more eco-friendly. A few of my favorites:

  • A Wedding Menu Board and/or Place Card Board:   Depending on the theme of your wedding, these can be created on foam board, black board and a few other options. I LOVE the foam board options. Incorporate your theme/monogram at the time and create away. Take the file to your nearest printer and the board can be printed quickly (usually within one week). You can also have a calligrapher create a board. I adore the romantic feel of calligraphy and what a wonderful touch for your guests. {Photo credit: Weddingbee.com}
  • Water Stations:  You may have noticed that many restaurants don't automatically offer water to you. It's not that they are being stingy or want you to order their bottled water. In most instances, they are trying to conserve water. You can do the same at your wedding. How many glasses go untouched? Have your caterer or venue offer a water station - complete with beautiful glasses and carafes, lemons, limes, etc. The guests can help themselves or you may opt to have a  water  station attendant.

  • Use potted plants as centerpieces: Tulips, Amaryllis, paperwhites are a wonderful choices. Let guests take the plants home and plant the bulbs at the appropriate time. For the centerpiece that keeps on blooming. {photo Credit: ehow.com}

  • Wedding gifts: Create a wedding gift registry with the I Do Foundation's partner stores and up to 10% of gift purchases will be donated to your favorite charity.

I hope this list helps you a bit in planning your wedding!

    20 November 2009

    Thanksgiving Week

    We are a little less than a week away from one of my favorite holidays, Thanksgiving. Sure, most people may think it's because of the wonderful food. That is partially true. I love the holiday because it brindgs family and friends together in the most wonderful way. My husband and I host the Thanksgiving Day dinner every year at our home. That doesn't mean that we  I cook everything. Far from it...... I roast the turkey and turkey breast and usually make stuffing and additional side (enough to feed at least 20 including leftovers) and a dessert. Family and a few friends round out the meal with wonderful dishes: ham, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, tossed salad, yams, cranberry sauce, greens,  green beans, sweet potato pies, cakes, apple pies and dirty rice. Yes, I said dirty rice. My sister and her family (mainly her family) LOVE dirty rice. Heck, they love ANY kind of rice. So, for the last 17 years, we've had dirty rice and it has become a wonderful tradition.  I LOVE having people over for Thanksgiving - must be the planner in me. It's wonderful to catch up with everyone. It's especially fun now that we have a tone of kids in the family. We always invite guests who may not be able to go out of town to be with their own family and adopt them as our own. After we have stuffed ourselves and play a few games, the BLACK FRIDAY crew attends to the planning our stragety for the next day. I know, I know - most of you HATE the BLACK FRIDAY shopping thing. Trust me, I don't get caught up in the madness of the crowd trying to get one of six must have items in the store. I ususally go in the other direction - to the cleaning supplies and other household items. It's become a wonderful family tradition were I get to spend another day with the ladies in teh family! My nephew also comes - I love hanging with him. I think he comes more because I want him to than he really wants to (did that make sense?).  Once we hit the major stores, it's off to breakfast were we try to recharge and then off to Keystone at the Crossing for more shopping. I love going to the Crossing because of the classy Christmas decorations.
    What traditions do you and your family have? I'd love to hear about it.

    Photo Credit: HGTV.com

    12 November 2009

    Southern Style Weddings

    Just in time for Thanksgiving and I am SUPER thankful for the newest edition of Southern Weddings Magazine from the wonderful ladies at Southern Weddings. If you recall the premier issue was GORGEOUS and full of wonderful ideas for your wedding. My brides ADORE this magazine. Guess what? My brides will be receiving this magazine from me very soon. The magazine hit the news stands this week! Grooms - don't feel left out - be sure to check out the Grooms Fashion Exclusive.

    09 November 2009

    Indiana Bridal Photographer Hosts Contest

    Austin Warnock is holding a wedding photography contest. His hope is to get responses from prospective brides that may have unique and creative wedding plans. Included in the wedding
    package giveaway is:

    an unlimited number of hours of shooting on their wedding day (covered by myself and an assistant)

    an engagement session

    High Resolution DVD copyright free

    The winner will be responsible for covering the cost of film (approximately $500 + any travel expenses)

    EST value of $4000.00

    Includes a 25% discount on all albums

    How to Enter:
    1. Submit a photo of both the bride and groom
    2. Give a brief description of the details/location/what it is that makes your wedding unique
    3. Date of Wedding

    Send the above information to austinwarnockphotography@gmail.com before Feb 1st 2010. Subject Line: "Contest" - Don't forget to tell Austin you found it here on our blog!

    Here's a litle bit of background info on Austin Warnock:
    I grew up in a camera store that was owned by my grandfather and have always loved and been enamored with cameras and photography.
    I modeled in New York City for big name photographers landing advertising campaigns for Prada, and worked on spreads for L'uomo Vogue.
    I moved back to Indianapolis after traveling the world for four years. I picked up my camera and began shooting bands and started getting published nationally. I started shooting weddings last year and really looked to bring a fine art documentary approach to the wedding day. I absolutely LOVE film and shoot about 90% film which seems to be nearly unheard of here in Indianapolis. I believe in film and love it for it's ability to bring out depth and contrast in the final image.

    08 November 2009

    ASK THE PLANNER SUNDAY - Who pays for what?

    I probably get this question more often than not from bridal couples. Of course, there are the traditional lists:

    Bride's Family
    All Reception Costs
    Church Fees
    Groom's Rings
    Flowers for Church, Bridesmaids and Reception
    Music for Ceremony
    Transportation for Bridal Party
    Gifts for Bridal Party
    Groom's Gift
    Lodging for Bridesmaids, if necessary

    Groom's Family
    Bride's Ring
    Clergy Fees
    Bride's Bouquet, Corsages and Boutonnieres
    Rehearsal Dinner
    Transportation for Groomsmen
    Gifts for Groomsmen
    Bride's Gift
    Lodging for Groomsmen, if necessary

    Bridal Party
    Your Attire
    The Shower
    If you're from out-of-town, Transportation to the Town the wedding is in
    Gift for the Couple

    Your Attire
    The Stag
    If you're from out-of-town, Transportation to the Town the wedding is in
    Gift for the Couple

    Believe me, I KNOW these list are old and most couples do not follow this. I suggest to my clients to only use this as a guideline. Each couple should decide what their budget is and discuss all other expenses per the list with their parents.

    06 November 2009

    Fall in Love with Indy - the ABC conference in Indianapolis

    I am so excited to be attending the Association of Bridal Consultants National Convention November 8-10th in Indianapolis, Indiana at the beautiful Hyatt in downtown Indianapolis. There will be hundreds of wedding planners/designers from across this country and many others. I am so excited about meeting and learning from each of them. I will definitely keep you all updated and share some pictures of the event!

    05 November 2009

    Two to Tango

    Some of you have been planning your wedding for a while and some have been planning your wedding for just a short while. Have you noticed that at times it seems that all of your conversations and activities with your fiance revolve around planning your wedding? You absolutely MUST take the time to keep your relationship growing. Two for Tango could be the perfect thing for you! What is Two for Tango? It is a new way to release your stress, get in shape and improve your relationship all at the same time. There are many similarities between dance and relationship. This event is for couples who want to learn how to respect the boundaries of their partner without stepping on their toes. Added bonus? You'll learn ballroom dance. How great would it be share what you learned during your first dance as husband and wife?

    Date: November 21, 2009
    Time: 10am - 5pm
    Location: Fred Astaire Dance School
    6213 La Pas Tr. #200, Indy, 46268
    Cost: $199 per couple
    Register at here or call 317.507.6883/317.833.9898
    Lunch will be provided

    A little about the instructors:

    Lacee Jacobs is a certified relationship coach through the
    Hendricks Institute and Center for Right Relationships.
    Lacee has over 250 hours of formal training and years of
    successful experience transforming couples.

    Chris Ford has taught ballroom dancing for over 27
    years and is experienced as a competitor, teacher and
    adjudicator. He is certified with the National Dance
    Council of America. Knowing what it takes by being a
    finalist in prior US championships, Chris believes that
    life is dance and dance is life.

    Sounds like a great time to me!
    Who knows, you may even see my husband and me there.

    02 November 2009

    Reduce your stress

    Let's face it - planning a wedding can be stressful. Add the the stress of everyday life and it can be downright overwhelming. What is a bride to be to do? There are actually several things you can do to help relieve stress:

    • Regular exercise. Not only will exercise relieve stress- you will get in shape as well.

    • Eat.........healthy foods. Drink LOTS of water.

    • Get a massage. Spend an hour or so with your favorite masseuse and feel your stress disappear.

    • BREATH - take a breather. I always advise my brides to take a few days off from the planning process. You may have looked at a MILLION photographers websites and now they all start looking the same. This is a sign it is time fr you to step away.

    • Plan early. Start your planning process early - then, you'll have the luxury to step away from the planning for a bit.

    • Stay organized. Start a binder when you first start planning. Use separate tabs for each of your categories.

    What tips do you use to help relieve your bridal stress?

    We'd love to hear.

    01 November 2009

    ASK THE PLANNER SUNDAY - engagement ring shopping

    Ms. Planner,

    I am shopping for a ring, and I am a little overwhelmed by the 4 C's! Is there a guideline for prioritizing cut, color, clarity & carat to get the best dazzle for my special lady? Also, do you recommend an independent appraiser?

    Bull in the Jewelry Shop

    Dear Bull in the Jewelery Store,
    Congratulations to you on your upcoming engagement and for being a wise buyer. As you know, the 4C's a major when deciding on the perfect ring for your perfect lady. Let's review the 4C's:

    Color: With the exception of "fancy colored diamonds", the more colorless a diamond is, the more valuable it is. Jewelers grade diamonds on a scale from D (colorless) to Z (light yellow). Anything more yellow than D is considered fancy and is much more expensive.

    Cut: Many people make the mistake of thinking that cut means the shape of the diamond. Rather, it means the way the diamond was faceted to allow light to reflect from it. In a well cut diamond, light enters the diamond and reflects straight back to the viewer's eye. Some cutters will sacrifice cut to create the largest possible diamond, thus making too shallow or too deep of a cut and causing light to "leak" out the sides and bottom of the diamond.

    Cut can be something very difficult for a layperson to evaluate, which is why it is important to get an AGS Certificate or a GIA Certificate verifying the quality of your diamond. Cut is graded Ideal, Premium, Very Good, Good, Fair, and Poor. Generally you should seek an Ideal to Very Good Diamond. Budget-conscious shoppers may opt for good.

    Clarity: Diamonds frequently have inclusions, or small flaws, air bubbles, scratches, or other minerals inside the diamond. The less inclusions a diamond has, the more valuable it is, and the more beautiful it is.
    The scale for grading diamond's clarity is:

    •F Flawless - no internal or external inclusions.

    •IF Internally Flawless - no internal inclusions, slight external inclusions.

    •VVS1-VVS2Very Very Slightly Included - minute inclusions that are very difficult to detect under 10x magnification, even by an experienced grader.

    •VS1-VS2 Very Slightly Included - minute inclusions that are invisible to the naked eye and seen only with difficulty under 10x magnification.

    •SI1-SI2 Slightly Included - invisible to the naked eye, yet easily seen by an experienced grader under 10x magnification.

    •I1-I3 Included - inclusions are visible to the naked eye and affect brilliance.

    Stones that are VVS2 to F are very rare and thus very expensive. Most couples will opt for something between SI2 and VS1, and will never know the difference.

    Caret:This refers to the size of the stone. While some value caret above all, others prefer a small ring regardless of budget. If you're buying a ring as a surprise for someone, consider how flashy their other jewelry is. If they're not someone who wears a lot of designer labels or big jewelry, perhaps you'll want to opt for a smaller stone. This site has a very useful chart to see how the most common sizes look on a model's hand. Ideally, you'll be able to try on a variety of sizes within your budget to see which size looks best on you or your love.

    There really is no guideline for prioritizing the 4C's. What I would suggest is finding out what she may want. More often than not, you'll have an idea of the style of ring she is looking for.

    If your special lady is looking for a big diamond, prioritize the carat first, then color, cut, clarity.
    If she is looking for the brilliance of a flawless diamond and doesn't mind the size, then go for one with an excellent cut and clarity.

    I would definitely recommend using an Independent Appraiser. I think it will give you a peace of mind about your diamond purchase. The seller may be a bit biased about the diamond they are selling you. They may also have overinflated the cost. While I do not believe this to be the case with every jeweler, it may be the case with some. Better safe than sorry - right?

    I also heard a horror story of a bridal couple taking a diamond to an Independent Appraiser - who found the diamond to be of high quality, etc. The couple purchased the stone and after it was set took it back to the Independent Appraiser - who quickly saw this was not the same ring. It was in fact, a CZ (cubic zirconia).

    I hope this has been helpful to you! Please keep us posted. We'd love to hear your proposal story!

    Have a LOVE-ly Day,


    Photo: Tiffany & Company
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