Guest Blog: Registry Offering at The Chandlery in Historic Roswell

Today we have a guest blog from a company that specializes in personalizing your gift registry. Each couple wants to have something special that is unique to them, and The Chandlery is a great resources for these kinds of gifts. Sally from The Chandlery is our guest blogger today to share with you a little bit about what she loves and offers! 
Gifting and Giving – Personalize your Registry!
A Bridal registry is an important part to any wedding. I know, I know, that a registry is not part of the ceremony, the reception, the food, the drink, the dress fitting, the flowers, or the Honeymoon. However, your family and friends want to give you a gift celebrating your new lives together. A registry is very important to them.
Depending upon your age at the time of your wedding the needs are completely different. Keep that in mind and make sure that your registry best reflects what you want to receive. Remember, registering is not selfish. It is a gift that you give to your gift-givers.
Boutique Gift Store Registries are a new and up and coming trend. Typically these are stand-alone gift shops that provide gifts but also one on one personal service with your selections and will also offer you an entirely different selection of gifts from which to choose than the Big Box Retailers. Find your favorite local gift store and go from ‘must have’ to ‘really would love to have’…you will be so glad you did and so will your guests that feel more comfortable in a smaller setting with an associate readily available to offer assistance as needed.
Here are just a few examples of items that are offered for your registry at a Boutique Gift Store:
This gorgeous H. Shadron hand-painted bowl is made by a southern artist who now resides in St. Simons. You may select your bowl size and color. Heather will carve yours and your husband’s names and wedding date into this lovely bowl. It is food safe, decorative, and truly unique.

How much time did you spend finding the perfect wedding invitation? Have one to save forever by having it engraved into this special square plate. It can be hung on a wall, placed in a plate stand or put on a coffee table. Your invitation means a lot to family and friends. This invitation will mean more to you as the years go by.

This glass bowl is hand-blown by Simon Pearce in Vermont. The lovely etched-edged signature bowl is stunning. Again capturing your names and wedding date, this lovely bowl is a timeless piece to share in your new life with family and friends.

Do you love to entertain? Do you want something a little more sophisticated to show off your new abode after the honeymoon? Select from this gorgeous line of barware from Julia Knight. There are many colors and styles from which to choose. This unique designer serveware is one of a kind and will be a true conversation starter for years to come.

Your registry is really gifts to you and a gift to your gift-givers. They want to make sure that you receive what you really would like to have. A boutique store registry will make everyone happy.
Congratulations on your upcoming wedding!
Sally Johnson
The Chandlery

Sarah’s Wedding Part II- The Beginning Details

**Sarah was an intern with A Big To Do Event in 2010 and remains a friend of A Big To Do.  We are so excited to help Sarah plan her and Slayden’s big day. She’s keeping us (and you) informed on her progress through the process. For a recap of her progress so far, click here: **

This weekend marked three months until the big day! THREE MONTHS?! I HAVE SO MUCH TO DO! It is no wonder the average engagement is 14 months; we are having an eight month engagement and I feel like there is ALWAYS something to do!

So let me start with some advice:
– Keep a journal during your engagement. This journal should include everything from the proposal, to asking your bridesmaids, planning, fun memories and everything in-between!

Speaking of many of those events… I have lots to fill you in on!

Once I got my venues secured I had a few things I knew I needed to take care of. I knew choosing our bridal party needed to be one of our first tasks! We have some many important people in our lives and narrowing them down was a difficult task. I wanted to do something that would be unique to our wedding and special to my best friends.

I decided to buy bathing-suit bags for each of my girls. The front said, “Let’s hit the beach!” I wrote each of them a note asking if they would join me on the ultimate beach trip. It was something that was not a huge expense, but was special to each of them!

Now it was time to get organized. Creating the ultimate wedding binder would help keep my mom and me on track until the wedding! We divided the wedding into different sections such as: Attire, flowers, details, colors, budget, etc. We used sleeve protectors in the binder so I could pull pages from magazine and easily sort them! We also put a calendar in the front of the binder with a printable month for every month until the wedding. Lastly, we printed out a timeline of what needs to be done when to help (try) to keep us on track!

Until I could move on to any other decision I had to decide on a theme for the wedding. How you want people to feel when they leave the wedding is an important part of all you decision making. Do you want a romantic affair? A whimsical evening? Or a casual afternoon? While some of the “themes” will overlap it is important to decide what you are going for before you move onto the big details.

For me, I wanted people to leave feeling like they just left a dinner party with all their best friends. Since we are having a relatively small wedding, I want everyone to leave with their heart full after spending a long night with people important to them. Since we are in historic venues, we are keeping things classic/traditional in our attire and decorating.

Now you are up-to-date on the beginning details! Up-next I will cover the big stuff! Including my dress!

Catering Trends: Late-Night Stations

This week we are excited to have a guest blog from Connor at Epting Events. Epting Events caters many weddings and events throughout the Southeast. We have had the opportunity to work with the company a couple of times, and have had great experiences. I am really impressed with Connor, and the entire Atlanta team, and I know you will be too! Read on for more info.
End Your Event With a Bang!
Ever heard the saying that nothing good happens after midnight? Anyone who has eaten a juicy hamburger after a late night would beg to differ.  It’s easy to have so much fun dancing, mingling and laughing at a great wedding that you forget to eat until the buffet is already packed up.  Instead of punishing your fun-loving friends, reward them for their festive behavior by serving a delicious late night snack at your wedding!
Like every detail in the wedding, this little treat should represent the bride and groom.  Sources of inspiration could include beloved childhood treats, favorite past times, or local cuisine.  Have a groom from Philadelphia and a bride who loved baking with her grandmother as a little girl?  Pass mini Philly cheesesteaks, warm chocolate chip cookies and a shot of ice cold milk.  Most late night items are miniature, which makes them even more fun to eat.

The options are endless at Epting Events, but one of our favorite late night options is “The 21 Club”.  This station includes an attendant serving 21 Club Hamburger Sliders (complete with our special 21 sauce!), mini grilled cheese, and an order of fries with lots of toppings. If you don’t want a whole station, we can always pass items throughout the dance floor.  We’ve never seen anyone turn down a meatloaf slider while dancing up a storm to Lady Gaga!

Another Epting Event favorite is the Praline Station.  A true Southern sweet, pralines are a great way to introduce your Yankee guests to the South! We bring the old-fashioned copper cauldron and mix up the pralines over an open fire as your guests look on.  The smell is divine and gives your guests a sample of what’s in store!  No one can eat just one, so we recommend packaging pralines in custom bags or boxes for your guests to take home.  Another sweet item option (and one of my favorites): The Funnel Cake Station. These favorite fair goodies come complete with powdered sugar, warm maple pecan sauce and fresh strawberries. YUM!

Like always, the possibilities are endless.  Epting Events loves a challenge can’t wait to help tailor the perfect menu to fit the bride and groom and their wedding theme!
For more information you can go to the Epting Event website or email Connor!
We hope you love Epting Events and this great late-night snack idea as much as we do!

Guess who is planning a wedding?

Remember me? Last semester I led you through gifts, parties, questions and fashion for your wedding. You guessed right! Former A Big To Do intern Sarah is here because, I’M ENGAGED!

Even though I helped Erica for six-months, there is still SO much I am learning through this process (with the help of an amazing planner of course).

So here we are. Me planning a wedding, and you planning a wedding. So the only natural solution here is for us to help each other! For the next 5 months, I will be blogging about my struggles and successes of planning a wedding. Also, for the next 5 months you can comment, tweet or email me your questions or anything I need to know during all of this!

Lets go ahead and kick this blog off with my very first obstacle when I got engaged. Since I was 5, I have said I want to get married at Lovely Lane Chapel, a historic chapel on St. Simons Island where my family and I have vacationed all my life. When it finally came time to pick a venue I was very confused. Did I really want a destination wedding, or was my family so invested in the story, that I didn’t want to let them down?

After 4 days, and taking tours of 13 different locations for a reception on the island… I was more confused than ever. Sure I loved the chapel, and we had good options for reception venues, but is a destination wedding what I wanted?

My wonderful fiance gave me the best advice of all. On the phone one night while we were there I was venting about the decision, and how I just truly didn’t know. He said to me, “Sarah, you’ve been talking about this place since you were five. You love it, your family loves it. Don’t pick something else because its easier. We are all going to help to make sure it is your perfect day, even if it’s more complicated out of town.”

Our final choices ended up being Lovely Lane Chapel and Historic City Hall.

The wedding will have a romantic feel, with all dark wood in both locations, stained glass in the chapel and high ceilings with chandeliers in Historic City Hall.

So get ready as we have to work through caterers, rentals, bands, florists and everything in-between.

Check back soon; our next post will be on fashion and save-the-dates!

Guest Blogger: Jenny Reed

This week we have a super fun guest blogger, Jenny Reed is a travel agent who is VERY experienced in honeymoons! She has provided us with a few questions to help you and your fiance decide the best honeymoon destination for you. Thanks again Jenny for joining us! Enjoy

What is Your Perfect Honeymoon?
The engagement was a romantic affair, the wedding date has been set and the details of the wedding are being checked off your list daily. The next step?  Planning the honeymoon! 
So where do you start?  What is your “ideal” honeymoon?  There are so many choices as well!   So here is a quick quiz to help you get started and see what destinations you favor. Once the location is decided all you have to worry about it what to pack!
When you think of the perfect getaway, you think of
 White sandy beaches and a crystal clear lagoon
Consider the Caribbean, the Hawaiian Islands or taking a cruise
 Towering mountains and a cooler climate
Consider Alaska, Russia or New Zealand
 A thriving city full of adventure and sights
Consider European cities like Paris and Rome, or Hong Kong or New York City
On your vacations, do you want
 Action and adventure
Consider a destination with lots of tourist attractions and night life, such as France, Britain, Hong Kong, Las Vegas or Mexico
Romance, peace and quiet
Consider a remote island, like Turks and Caicos in the Caribbean, Tahiti or Fiji
 A little of both
Consider cruising to Alaska, visiting the smaller islands of Hawaii, or the Bahamas
On your honeymoon, do you envision
 Meeting fun and new people
Consider cruises, where you get the chance to bond with the people you sail with
Exclusive bonding with your new spouse
Consider small luxury resorts in Mexico or the smaller islands in the Caribbean such as Bonaire or Aruba
 The opportunity to do both
If you would like the opportunity to do both, consider the all-inclusive resorts such as Couples resorts in the Caribbean or the all-inclusive Excellence, Secrets or Dreams resorts in Mexico.
Your estimated total travel budget is
Consider Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls, Yellowstone National Park, or Yosemite Park
Consider an all inclusive Caribbean or Mexico resort, a Hawaiian adventure or a Mexico or Caribbean cruise or Disney World
 $7,000 or above
Consider touring Europe, such as Italy, France or Spain, a Mediterranean Cruise or an Australian adventure
 Photo’s via Susan Stripling
Which of these best describes the travel experience of you and your future spouse?
 Visited parts of the US, never been out of the country
Consider nearby Mexico or Canada, or take the time to see some of the great American landmarks, such as Yellowstone National Park, The Grand Canyon, Hollywood or Disney World
 Visited most of the US, visited some foreign countries
Consider Britain, the European neighbor of America, France, Italy or the Caribbean
 Traveled in the US and abroad extensively
Consider Africa, Australia, Thailand, China, Japan or Dubai
Most of all don’t stress over the planning of the honeymoon!   Being together wherever you decide to go is all that really matters!
Jenny Reed has over 16 years of travel experience at her agency where she plans honeymoons for couples to worldwide destinations.   Ask away as she does not charge a service fee.  Please visit for more information.

To see more tips for Jenny check out her blog

Guest Blogger: Anne Barge Final Day

After all this talk about bridal trends this season you are probably thinking…”how do I get my hands on those?” This is where I stress the importance of trunk shows. Trunk shows will have the most recent gowns and therefore the most recent trends. The dresses that travel on shows are the best sellers and designers favorites.This guarantees that you will see the best that line has to offer.
Trunk shows are also a great place to get the best deal on the new dress. Usually stores will offer an incentive to purchase the weekend of their show. They will offer you a percent off and even sometimes throw in other perks. You can get more dress for your money this way.
Trunk shows are also super fun. Stores will go all out for trunk shows to really pamper the bride and make the day more special. Champagne and treats are involved people!
The final reason to go to a trunk show near you is the help that is offered. Lines will send representatives with the dresses and sometimes a designer or two will show up. They have insane knowledge of the dresses and can help you decide which trend is best for your body and wedding.
I cannot stress how much of an opportunity trunk shows are. To find the nearest trunk show near you visit a stores website. If you have one designer you absolutely love, check out their website for trunk show dates. (I recommend!
images via bippty boppity boo
We want to take a minute here at the end and thanks Ginny Brogan from Anne Barge again for giving up her time to provide all of us with these amazing tips and insiders information! It has been such a pleasure having you. I hope everyone has enjoyed this guest blog as much as we have! Be sure to check out more from Ginny on the Anne Barge Blog!

Day 4 with Anne Barge

Today were are heading into day 4 with Ginny Brogan from Anne Barge. Today, Ginny is going over shopping for a dress! Some of the most important information you can get as a bride. So read on! If you are just finding us, be sure to look over day 1 day 2 and day 3!

With all these great trends and gorgeous gowns you are probably wondering how you can get your hands on them. Easy as pie…call your local bridal store and make your appointment. If you have a designer you love, visit their website for their authorized vendors. Then, let the fun begin!

One of the most overwhelming experiences you can have is your first bridal appointment. After all, it is something you have never done before. So, here is a basic rundown of what you can expect. (I have also included little tips to make it easier for you, I have italicized them!) When you arrive you will meet your consultant and have a quick chat. Use her as a resource. She will know the dresses like the back of her hand and have some great recommendations for you. After your brief chat you will get to pick out some gowns. Be sure to choose a wide variety on your first appointment. You want to be sure you see a little of everything on your body. I recommend trying on a ball gown, trumpet, a-line, fit and flare and sheath to cover all the bases. Also, pull some lace and beading for kicks! Stores will vary on how many they let you pick, but once you have your choices it is time to try on. Wear simple clothes that are easy to change out of and your own strapless bra. This will save you changing time, but also save you from wearing a store’s bra. This is where things get tiring…you will try on dress after dress, and more than likely love more than one. Just start narrowing down choices and ruling out dress categories. After you have tried on everything you picked the consultant may pull in some ideas she has, or you may get to go back out and do a second pull. At the end of your first appointment, if you didn’t find the dress this time, the consultant will write down your favorites and off you will go. See, nothing scary…just exhausting for you as these dresses are heavy!
Above all, buying your dress should be fun. If you had bad and un-fun experiences at a store go somewhere else! There are other fish in the sea. Keep an open mind…even if you are not looking for your perfect dress it is looking for you! Enough with the corny relationship metaphors, Have fun and happy shopping.

Guest Blogger: Anne Barge Day 3

Today is day 3 with guest blogger Ginny Brogan from Anne Barge. If you are just joining us, be sure to catch up on day 1 and day 2.

One of the best things about the new trends in bridal is that they are so easy for everyone to wear. You just have to pick the right dress in the right trend. How do you do this? The key is knowing your body. From years of getting dressed you have learned what you love about yourself and what you would like to hide. Getting dressed in a bridal gown is no different. A great rule I always go by is always emphasize your smallest point, your waist. By emphasizing your waist you draw the onlooker’s eye to that point thus making yourself look smaller. This is a great example of doing that successfully…

Perhaps your waist is not the part of your body you are most comfortable with. Then go to the next line to emphasize…the vertical line. By creating a seamless vertical line you can literally stretch your body to be longer and leaner. The eye has nowhere to stop and thus will keep travelling up to your beautiful face and wedding day do! Here is an example of this line…

Finally, if you are just lost go to the “go to dress” .This is the full skirt with cinched waist. This will pull you in the right spot and hide everything else. This is a go to dress for EVERYONE. It creates curves if you have none, emphasizes the good curves if you do have them, and fits like a charm. Trust me, this is the bridal equivalent of the little black dress…

The bottom line is this…there is a dress out there for everyone. Even those with the craziest of bodies to fit can find one that makes them feel like a million dollars. Don’t give up or get discouraged…you just have to find the one that shows you off best!

Guest Blogger: Day 2 Anne Barge

Day Two with Ginny Brogan from Anne Barge. Here is Day One if you missed it.
We saw so many new trends at market this year. Here are the big ones!

One of the biggest trends we saw this season was texture. Texture was everywhere! Skirts made of thousands of tiny flowers, ribbon swirled into patterns, tulle piled high, and chiffon wrapped in itself. Buyers and press were literally reaching out and touching the gowns to feel the opulence.

Texturized gowns are a great alternative for someone who does not want beading or lace. It used to be that gowns fit into one of three categories – beaded, lace or plain. Well, not anymore. You can have a gown with one fabric, but oodles of interest.

Check out these textured gowns:

For the past few seasons the economy made extinct the beaded dress. Well, beading is back baby! Buyers and press could not get enough of the gorgeous beaded bodices that returned this season. What once people thought of as an added expense they now see as sparkly frosting. The girl who loves to sparkle can now breathe easy and return to bridal shopping. Phew…that was a close one!

Check out these beaded pieces:

A huge trend in the bridal world the last couple of years has been destination weddings, and the designers have finally heard the call. More and more brides are getting married in exotic and fun locals, and now they have tons of options to choose from. Stores used to carry a handful of flowey and short gowns for their traveling brides, but as the demand for such dresses grew so did their clout in the market place. This season instead of one or two destination gowns in their line, designers were showing four or five! I guess the law of supply and demand holds true…demand grew and supply multiplied.

Check out these travelling glories:

Lace has always been a bridal staple. Dresses typically had either Chantilly lace or Aloncon lace. This market the most beautiful thing happened…lace was placed onto of lace! Yes, two or more layers of lace on one dress. The result was absolutely beautiful depth. Aloncon placed on top of delicate Chantilly was my favorite use. The chunky corded Aloncon caught your eye and then you gasped as you noticed the beautiful Chantilly underneath. It was like taking a bite of Chocolate cake then noticing the icing had raspberry in it! You know what I am talking about!!!!

Check out this glorious lace:

All dresses are by Anne Barge and Bagley Ischia Bride. For information contact

Guest Blogger: Anne Barge

We could not be more thrilled with our Guest Blogger this week. Ginny Brogan, from Anne Barge is joining us all week. After just returning from bridal week, Ginny had the inside scoop for everything up and coming this year. Check back everyday for a new post!

On Ginny:
The Anne Barge blog concept was born six months ago as a way to connect brides directly to the designer. It offers tips on how to wear wedding dress, buy wedding dresses and more importantly how to have fun along the way! While the blog does highlight Anne Barge it offers general tips and ideas for all wedding gowns. I have been writing the blog since its conception just months ago, and have been in the high end bridal industry for seven years. It is my hope that our blog helps brides understand the bridal gown process better and relieve some of the stress of bridal gown shopping. On the personal side, I reside in Atlanta with my husband, baby girl Zoey and our dog Luda. I am very fortunate to live in the greatest city, work for one of the best designers, and spend my days with the spunkiest girl in the world. To all our brides out there…”Happy Reading and Happy Shopping!”

On Anne:
For as long as she can remember, Anne Barge has wanted to be a bridal gown designer. Throughout her school years, Anne was always designing gowns for her paper dolls and school friends, always knowing one day it would be for real.
After a history in the bridal industry, in March of 1999, Anne launched the Anne Barge Bridal Collection which combined classic designs in the finest of silks with museum quality beading and embroidery… not before seen in the worldwide bridal market.
Today the line is represented in Neiman March and the finest stores throughout the country, UK, Spain and Japan. With an atelier above Atlanta’s Four Seasons Hotel, her own private label and an international presence, she as made her life long dream a reality. The gowns have been features in magazines and newspapers internationally as well as having been selected as the winner for the 2003 Today Show Throws a Wedding.

This past weekend we debuted our two new collections at New York bridal market. We spent five days in the big apple setting up, having a runway show and meeting with buyers. It is always a whirlwind weekend, but this market was officially a success.

What is bridal market? Bridal market is when we debut our newest collection of gowns. Both press and buyers come to see the new collection. Press will decide what to feature in their magazines, websites and blogs, and buyers will order new stock for their store. This keeps both publications and stores stocked with fresh ideas and fresh inventory for brides.

A lot of work goes into bridal market. We create a brand new collection; produce a runway show complete with lighting and music, schedule one-on-one appointments with our stores, and schedule press seating for the show.

Obviously the biggest part of bridal market is the new collection. It is the bulk of the work, and literally takes months to produce. We begin by brainstorming design ideas, and send them off to be made into muslins, the dress made in cheap cotton fabric. Once the muslins come in we fit them on a model to make sure they fit well on the female body. Then, the muslins are sent back to the factory for corrections. While they are there we are researching new beading, lace, fabric and notions. Once everything is put together the dresses come back to us in their completed form. We go over them once more on a model with a fine tooth comb. Nothing leaves our door for the show without being 100% perfect.

At the end of the day, all this work is done for the bride, and we love it. After all, without the brides who would be our muse?
For more information visit Anne Barge online.