Some Glitz for the Wrists

It’s always cute when grooms find a way to let their personalities pop up in the wedding–and often hilarious.  At a wedding we did recently, the groom donned a pair of light-up cufflinks for the reception.  I thought it was adorable and showed a sense of humor, which is very much a necessity for getting through such an emotionally charged day.

Photo from the Cufflinks Depot.
It got me thinking about how else grooms can add some panache to their sleeves.  I discovered these amazing heart-shaped cufflinks (also light-up!) from the Cufflinks Depot (who knew there was one?).
Photo from Etsy.
I also remembered seeing these incredible cufflinks from the Etsy shop Tomatomade.  They make custom cufflinks out of vintage maps.  I think this would be perfect for a wedding!  The cufflinks could feature maps of the bride’s and groom’s hometowns.  Sweet, no?
Photo from Etsy.
That got me on an Etsy kick, and I found these, as well!  I feel like they’re the male version of the “I Do” stickers that some brides stick to the bottoms of their shoes.  They’re incredibly cute!  These ones are from the shop Tippy Tumble, which makes all kinds of gorgeous things.
Any other ideas for interesting, makes-you-take-a-second-look cufflinks?  We’d love to hear from you!  Feel free to leave us a comment below.
Photo from Andrew Kelsall.
Take care!

DIY: Fabric pomanders

When hosting an event, you try to save money where you can. With help from the blogosphere, it’s easier than ever to find detailed instructions for DIY projects to give your event an edge. After stumbling upon this picture from another design blog, I knew I had to find out how to make these fabric pomander, and see just how much work they really required.
Here, they used a mix of fabric and floral pomanders.
After lots of Googling, i finally found a tutorial that I thought could help me. I found my instructions on WeddingBee. From there I went to work buying my supplies. Although I loved the patterned pomanders this couple used, I decided to go with a simple bright pink.

How to Have a Great Engagement Photo Session

I had the privilege of shadowing a brilliant photographer, Renee Brock, during an engagement session this weekend with two adorable law students.  I’m only an amateur photographer, but the shoot was beautiful and I learned a lot from it.
First of all, choose your photographer well.  And I don’t mean choose an expensive photographer.  Make sure it’s someone whose style you like and whose subjects’ personalities show through their work.  That will make it a lot easier for you to open up for the camera.  Plus, the engagement session can serve as a test run for a photographer, so even if you don’t end up liking this one, it will help out in choosing one for the wedding day.
Don’t be afraid to open up!  By all means, let your freak flag fly.  You may not know your photographer very well, but he or she will have a much easier time of capturing your personality if you come out of your shell a bit.  This is the best way to avoid lame, cliché photos:  just be yourself.
Photo from Buzzfeed.
Pick a great location.  It’s best if you’re familiar with the location, and it’s magical and golden if you have history with the place.  For instance, the bride I helped photograph this weekend grew up around farms, so they chose a friend’s adorable farm for the shoot.  It was gorgeous, and the typical, cheesy, sitting-on-the-tractor shots had no appeal for them because they associated it with mowing the lawn.  Instead, we got some gorgeous shots of them picking the fruit they knew by name and goofing around in a crumbly old farm.
Have fun!  This isn’t something to prepare for, really.  Just bring a sense of humor (and a change of boots for walking around a farm property—smart woman!) and your pictures will turn out great.  Don’t worry about fake smiles and weird poses.  If you or your spouse-to-be can’t smile for real, crack a joke.  Shake out the stiffness.  If a pose feels weird, don’t hold it.  And most of all, keep it spontaneous.  Some of the best shots, in my opinion, are made when couples go rogue and do something unexpected.
Photo from 100 LayerCake.
Last, use the photos well!  You can use your engagement photos for a huge range of things, from guestbooks to framed photos for your new home to sweet cards.  I remember Joanna of Cup of Jo used hers for their save the date, and it turned out adorably (like everything that woman does).
I hope your engagement shoots go swimmingly!  We’d love to hear how they turn out.

On Behalf of Bridesmaids Everywhere…

They say that when you direct a play, you shouldn’t be friends with the cast because by the end of the show, they’ll all hate you.  I don’t think the same concept should apply to brides organizing their weddings.

And that is why I am of the firm belief that bridesmaids’ dresses don’t have to be ugly!  They can be really, really pretty!  Bridesmaids’ dresses do NOT have to look like this: 

Photo from ily den.

But there are some easy ways to avoid the typical ugly-bridesmaid-dress syndrome.  For one, you can just pick a basic color scheme and ask your bridesmaids to wear their own dresses that fit with the scheme.  That adds some great variety (but not chaos) to the wedding photos and ensures that each can pick a dress that flatters her body type in a color and cut that she likes.

Photo from 100 Layer Cake.

If you want a really super pretty lineup of bridesmaids, you can always go for a rainbow gradient.  I think this idea is incredibly adorable.  I’m the kind of person who always lines up my M&M’s in rainbow order, so for the OCD guests in your audience, I have to tell you to make sure they line up in color order if they do this.

Photo from Indie Bliss.

Another great option, which I think adds a lot to the texture of the look of your bridal party, is to have a patterned bridesmaid dress.  It’s not too far from the beaten path of solid color dresses, but is still fresh enough to give the standard lineup a new twist.

Of course, you can always go for the classic, matching look; that pretty much never fails, especially if you choose a pretty color.  J.Crew happens to have some gorgeous bridesmaid dresses…I don’t think it’s even possible for anyone to look bad in one of these.
Photo from J.Crew.

Any suggestions?  Or, even better, any horror bridesmaid stories?  We’d love to hear them!

Destination Wedding: Success

Many of you remember Sarah Hitt. She was our amazing intern who got engaged about a year ago. She wrote a couple of posts (Guess Who Is Getting Married and The Beginning Details) about her wedding planning process. 

Well Sarah’s wedding was earlier this month. On October 8, 2011, I was lucky enough to be asked to be the planner who helps Sarah and Slayden celebrate their first day of married lives. Here’s what Sarah had to say about her wedding weekend. 

Let me start by saying this: My wedding was perfect. And I can say without a doubt A Big To Do Event played a HUGE role in making that happen. Erica and her staff made sure not only all the plans were in place, but back-up plans and “just-in-cases” were ready too.

Having a destination wedding made me a bit nervous when dealing with island details and vendors. Having Erica there for the weekend made all the difference in the world.
I could write example after example of Erica’s detailed planning and execution of my event. Many people think they do not need a wedding planner because they can handle it themselves. There is a big difference between can and should. With Erica by my side (actually in the backdrop J) I did not have to worry about anything except savoring every minute of my special day. My family as well as guests have asked about Erica since my event and know she is a big reason the event went off without a hitch.
During big occasions the host already has a lot on their mind. Erica not only takes care of things so you don’t have to, she takes care of them without you knowing they were ever an issue. Erica allowed me to be fully present at my wedding without nagging logistics questions in my head. As valuable as Erica was to me, she was equally (if not more) valuable to my mom who otherwise would have been carrying the burden of logistics, tasks.
A wedding is arguably the most important event of your life. There is no one I would trust more than Erica with protection of this day.

Sarah (Hitt)  and Slayden Lee

P.S. With only a 30% chance of rain and fairly sunny skies we were optimistic when taking pictures. But what is a bridal party to do when it starts to rain on our parade? We didn’t even have time to think about what to do before up walks Erica with umbrellas color coordinated to match the wedding. As previously stated… A Big To Do thinks so you don’t have to! 

Easy DIY Project!

I just ran across this fabulous post on Elizabeth Anne Designs.

I’m loving the white with a pop of color!  It really makes the centerpieces stand out.  My only concern is that they would roll off of the table or something (because that is something that would happen to me), but you can probably prevent that easily by stationing candles or other items around the spheres.

Such an easy DIY. Just wrap string around a blown up balloon, spray with fabric hardener, pop balloon and now you have a precious centerpiece idea!  Just make sure you leave a big enough hole somewhere to pull the pieces of balloon out once you’ve popped it.

One of their suggestions was to hang these behind the altar or from some rafters.  That would create such a fairyland effect!  (And it would also keep them from rolling off of your tables at inopportune moments.)

What are your favorite DIY projects?  We’d love to hear about it!

Color Palette: Plum and Gray

This color palette is one of my favorites lately. It has been super popular this season, and who can blame anyone for loving it? I know I do!  It works great by itself, but is simple enough for you to throw another color into the mix, like a light blue.
(Gray and Plum)
Photo from Foglio Press.
I love these plum and gray invites by Foglio Press! Sarah does amazing work and I especially love the swirls on the top and bottom (so pretty!).  It lets your guests know that your big day is going to be completely amazing.

Photo from Des Moines Wedding Savvy

 I love the fabric of these bridesmaid dresses. They are easy to dress up or down–whichever suits your fancy. The greenery in the bouquets look absolutely fantastic with them as well!

Photo from Junebug Weddings.

 I am in love with this bridal bouquet! The lilies are amazing and it would look so great against a bridal gown or, like in the picture, a purple bridesmaid dress.

Photo from A Wedding Cake

I may just be a five-year-old at heart, but what about the words “dessert” and “table” together doesn’t make you feel like clapping your hands together?  It’s even better when the table is absolutely gorgeous, like this one.  With a dessert table, there’s something for everyone!

Photo from Wedding Wire.

The plum tie and vest look so good with the light gray jacket.  It’s so easy to create a classic look with these two colors!  It works so well.

Photo from Zappos.
It’s almost criminal to create a color palette without some great shoes.  Aren’t these amazing?  The color, the design…how could you resist?  I would want to wear them all the time.

I hope this gives you all some great ideas for the gray/plum color palette.
Let me know if you have any more great ideas or want to see a specific color palette!

Flashy Favors

Are you trying to come up with a creative, unique favor for your wedding guests? If so, I may have a solution for you. I recently came upon an easy, unique favor that guests would go crazy for.
It’s a cute flash drive that you personalize with pictures and your own playlist!
Photo from Real Simple.
You can upload pictures for the guests to take a look at when they get home.
Add your personalized playlist with some of your favorite songs! Guests will be excited to see
if they made the slideshow, as well as hear some of your favorite music.  It’s super easy and eco-friendly.
You can buy flash drives that fit with your color scheme, and attach a cute note
thanking the guests for sharing your special day with you.
Check out these adorable ones from Blogshop (I want one so badly!):
If you don’t have time to upload the pictures and playlist to each flash drive,
some companies will do it for you.
Check out the Plan Your Meetings website and
go to the Promote Your Message. When you order your flash drives, your sales
representative will help you with the upload process.  You can also check out Lookin Up Promotions.
If you have any creative favor ideas, I would love to hear them!  Feel free to leave us a comment.

Music Monday: Reception Music

A couple of weekend’s ago, I got a hankering to repaint my office.
While I was repainting, I was listening to an ipad app called “Aweditorium.” If you haven’t downloaded it, go do it now. It’s all of the “new and not-on-the-radio, therefore not-at-anyone-else’s-wedding” music. A lot of it is from artists overseas that don’t get much mention in the States.
Via Aweditorium I heard this fantastic diddy that would be a fantastic addition to any reception playlist.

What do you think?

This one tops the cake

At a recent wedding, I came across some cake toppers that changed my life. …Okay, they haven’t changed my life. But they are pretty darn cute. All of the toppers are totally custom. You send a picture of the wedding attire (dress and suit/tux), and of you two, and they craft a handmade cake topper to look just like the couple on your wedding day! I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves…
HOW cute are these details?
Prices range from $150 to $215. These precious toppers can be found on none other than Etsy. The brand name is Concarta.