I often work with couples during a pretty stressful time in their life. These couples are planning a wedding, spending a lot of money on their wedding, purchasing houses, moving in together, etc. In addition to this chaos, they are trying very hard to look their best for their wedding day. I see brides, grooms, and parents of brides and grooms running to the gym after work and in between our meetings in an attempt to shed some weight quickly.
While I do not ever push weight loss products on my clients, I do like to make them aware of services out there, if they should ask. One place I always recommend is Essent Spa in St. David's. I like this spa and salon because it's easy to get to, it's clean, and it's upscale but not crazy expensive like other salons and spas on the Main Line.
Essent Spa also offers a wide variety of services that are not offered at other spas- and they cater to brides and grooms. With services like 'Bridal Boot Camp' and 'Groom Get Ready' they are a big hit with engaged couples.
One of the services Essent Spa offers is SculpSure, which is a non-surgical, laser procedure to get rid of stubburn fat. Remember when Coolsculpting was the big thing? This is sort of like Coolsculpting, except it is cheaper and takes less time! SculpSure is quickly becoming a huge hit in Hollywood, and celebs like Kyle Richards are promoting SculpSure.
On August 4th, Essent Spa will be hosting an exclusive event featuring SculpSure. Seating is limited so you will need to pre-register. Attendees can win services like free botox, and food will be provided. Times for the event are: 11am-1pm, and 6pm-8pm.
To RSVP call Essent Spa at 484-580-9063 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or register here
Go shopping, pick out a dress, buy a dress. Seems easy enough, right? Wrong! I don't mean to scare you but shopping for a wedding dress can be pretty stressful. Even veteran shoppers make some mistakes when wedding dress shopping. Chances are, you have never done this before! And that's okay! Throughout this blog I will break down wedding dress shopping for you in seven simple steps, so you can be a stress free, happy bride!
Tip 1: Have a budget, stick to your budget, and make sure everyone knows your budget.
If the sales consultant doesn't ask you about your budget, tell him/her. Make sure everyone you bring shopping with you knows your budget. Often times I see well-meaning friends hand the bride-to-be a dress that is several thousand dollars over their budget. Make sure everyone is on the same page.
Tip 2: Bring pictures and have a style in mind, but be open to other styles.
Actually, try on all styles of dresses! Most brides end up buying dresses that they did not think they would like. Back when I was engaged, the style was one-strap dresses. I kept looking at these beautiful style dresses on models in The Knot. I was dead set on buying a one-strap dress. Well, I tried on tons on dresses like this. And guess what? This style just did not look good on me. At all. I am short (5'3) and these dresses overpowered me. There was just too much fabric. I ended up buying a strapless ballgown. If you told me I would end up buying a ballgown prior to shopping, I would not have believed you!
Tip 3: Limit your entourage.
I know, I know. 'Say Yes to the Dress' is my favorite show, too. I love watching the drama of the mean mom who doesn't like the dress the bride fell in love with. Or watching the bride go $5,000 over her budget. But you should not be one of those people! Seriously think about who you are going to bring dress shopping with you. In my professional opinion- bring no more than two people. Yes, just two. Maybe three. No more than three.
The more people you bring, the more opinions you will have to listen to. Even the nicest entourages will not all agree on the same dress. You should not have to please anyone when searching for a dress. You should only worry about pleasing yourself. Especially if you are the one paying for your dress.
Tip 4: Have questions prepared.
Yes, you should do some homework prior to stepping foot in a dress shop. Come with a list of questions prepared for the sales consultant. Knowing the answers upfront will alleviate some stress later down the road. Some sample questions to ask:
Tip 5: Keep in mind extra costs.
Don't just look at the price tag on the dress and think, "Ok, that's in my budget. We're good!"
You need to remember to think about a few extra costs, such as:
Tip 6: You can not return a wedding dress.
Repeat after me: "You can not return a wedding dress. You can not return a wedding dress. You can not return a wedding dress."
I have several friends with two wedding dresses. Why? Because you can't return a wedding dress! If you are on the fence about buying a dress, think it over. Get out of the store, go home, and think about it. The worst thing you can do is to make an impulse purchase and be stuck with a dress you don't love.
Tip 7: Know when to stop looking.
Already purchased a dress? Great! Now stop looking at other dresses. Seriously. Stop looking at dresses! Refer to Tip #6. You can not return a wedding dress!
Ever been to a wedding that...well....just sucked? What was the reason? Maybe the food was terrible, or the DJ played music you weren't into. But a lot of times, guests don't enjoy themselves at weddings because of minor issues that could have been avoided. In this blog we cover some items that brides and grooms can do to ensure their guests have a great time.
How and where you seat your guests is huge. There are some very simple steps to take when planning your seating chart. Elderly people should not sit near the music. If possible, sit them near the bathroom. You can put your college friends near the bar, just make sure not to put any friends in recovery near the bar. Make sure your tables and chairs on not on top of each other. Everyone needs some personal space.
You should have actual seat assignments at your wedding, even if you are having a very casual wedding. Having seat assignments help guests sit down quicker. Also you don't want guests feeling awkward by not having anyone to sit with.
If you are having an outside ceremony or reception, you will need to take extra steps to ensure your guest are comfortable. If you are getting married in the middle of August and it's 95 degrees out, get air conditioning units in the tents. Or bring in some type of portable units. If it's December, bring in portable heating. If your guests are too hot or too cold, chances are that is the only thing they will remember about your wedding day.
Again, outside venues require a lot more work. You should have bug spray, sunscreen, fans, umbrellas, blankets, or flip flops available. These can be displayed in a basket or cute bin near the bathrooms. If you are getting married in a 'woodsy' area, consider getting the area professionally sprayed for bugs prior to the wedding.
Bathrooms. Yes, this is something you need to think about. Make sure you have enough bathrooms for your guests. You should have two bathrooms per 100 guests. Also, you will need to think about how the bathrooms will remain stocked and clean throughout the night. This is particularly important if you have to rent bathrooms for your event.
Food. If you forget everything else in this blog post, remember this. You need enough food to feed all of your guests! You should never run out of food at a wedding. Same goes with drinks. Although I have been to several weddings were they run out of beer, or wine, or the specialty drink. Just make sure you don't run out of alcohol all together. Also, when selecting food for your cocktail hour and reception, have a wide variety of options. You shouldn't only offer sushi and seafood at your cocktail hour, and only have crab cakes at your reception. Chances are some of your guests won't like seafood. You should mix up the food that is offered to your guests.
Communication. Communication is very important to your wedding guests. Make sure your invitations clearly spell out the important details of your wedding. Times, food options, transportation, and lodging information should be on your invitation and on your wedding website. You should also communicate if your venue will take place outside. Guests will need to know how to dress and what type of shoes to wear (some ladies prefer not to wear heels to an outdoor ceremony). If you are incorporating religious traditions into your ceremony, you should communicate this to your guests in your ceremony programs. Example: If you are Jewish and will be breaking the glass, explain what this tradition means in your ceremony program. It will help your guests enjoy the ceremony rather than be confused.
Last but not least- the married couple needs to say hello to everyone. Sometime during your reception you should get up and walk around to each table and thank your guests for coming. If you follow these simple rules I have no doubt your guests will leave happy!
Signature Drinks- check.
First Look- check.
Naked Cake- check.
Unplugged Ceremony- huh??
There have been a lot of new wedding trends that have grown in popularity over the last few years. Chances are you have been to a wedding where there was a 'signature drink', or a
'His and Hers' style drinks. Couples are now seeing each other prior to the ceremony- which is called a 'first look'. And traditional fondant wedding cakes are now being replaced by 'naked cakes', which are called that because there is no icing on the cake.
Recently, we have seen couples opt for an 'Unplugged Ceremony'. If you have no clue what this means, don't worry. We've got you covered.
An Unplugged Ceremony means just that-- unplugged. Guests are asked (politely) to not take any pictures with their cell phones or cameras during the ceremony. The professional photographer(s) will be the only ones taking pictures during the ceremony.
The thought behind this trend is that guests will be more mentally present. Instead of wondering if their flash is on, or how to zoom in, they will be focused on the commitment that two individuals are making to each other. This is a trend that really benefits all parties involved. Photographers love this because they no longer have to dance around guests to get a picture, and they don't have to deal with several flashes going off at once. The couple gets to actually look out at the crowd and see the faces of the people they love, instead of cell phones. And guests will enjoy truly being engaged in what is taking place. Two people professing their love for each other.
Ready to have an Unplugged Ceremony? Great! Now you just need to let your guests know. A simple way to do this is to put something on your wedding website. A simple "We will be having an Unplugged Ceremony. Please refrain from taking pictures during the ceremony" should be fine. You can also say "We are having an Unplugged Ceremony" on your invitations. The most popular way to let guests know is to have a few signs at your ceremony. You can get cute, professionally made signs on Etsy for very little cost. Below are two signs from weddings we recently planned:
If you're still unsure about the whole unplugged concept, do some research. Come up with a list of pros and cons of both options. Talk to a wedding planner or a friend who was recently married. Have them share their experiences with you. No matter what you chose, be firm in your decision, and enjoy the day!
As a wedding planner, I get a lot of questions about guest lists and guest list etiquette. Should I invite this person? Should I invite this person with a plus one? Should I allow this couple to bring their kids? Should I invite kids?
Guest Lists often cause fights among families. You fight with your significant other, your in-laws, your parents, your friends! A lot of times, there is no "right" or "wrong" way of choosing who you invite to your wedding. However, throughout this blog, I will cover a few questions you need to ask before finalizing the guest list.
"Making a Guest List will be the most political thing you do besides run for President!" This is one of my most favorite, and accurate, 'wedding quotes'!
Here are a few things to keep in mind regarding your Guest List:
A lot of couples get upset when parents start inviting their friends and coworkers to the wedding. However, if the parents are paying for the wedding, they do get a say in who is, and is not, invited. If the parents are not paying for the wedding, their guests can get added to the 'B List'. Yes, you will have an 'A List' and a 'B List'. If you are sending out Save-the-Date's you will only mail them to people on your 'A List'. Your 'A List' should consist of immediate family, close friends, and the bridal party. Your 'B List' will consist of plus ones, family friends, and co-workers. These are usually people that you would like to invite, however you need to see if your budget allows to it. Also you will need to keep in mind how many people your wedding venue can hold. It the venue holds a max of 200 people, do not invite more than 200 people. Not only will your venue be unable to accommodate this many people, your guests will be crammed in your venue. Do you want your guests to talk about how squished they were on the dance floor? Or how they had to wait 40 minutes to get a drink? You need to think about these things before your start inviting more than your venue can hold.
If, for some reason, you have a 'C List', throw it out. That's right. Throw it in the trash! People on your 'C List' just aren't going to make the cut. And that's okay. A lot of times these people wouldn't even expect to be invited to your wedding.
I get a lot of questions like, "I was in this persons wedding ten years ago but we aren't close anymore. Do I have to invite them?" Nope. Truth be told, they might be relieved to not get an invite.
Another question I often get: "We're having an Adults Only wedding, but my friend is breastfeeding and asked if she could bring her infant." Nope. Adults Only means Adults Only. If you don't want to offend this person just tell them you are already at max capacity. If your friend wants to attend your wedding, they will find a way to attend. If you feel uncomfortable explaining this to everyone, you can simply write "Adults Only Reception" on your wedding website and invitations.
"I just got a new boss a month ago. We aren't close, but I am inviting other co-workers to the wedding. Do I need to invite him?" Nope.
Here's a tricky one: "We invited my elderly aunt who lives an hour away. She doesn't drive and asked if she could bring a plus one so that she can someone to drive her. Should we invite her with a plus one?" Proper etiquette would say to invite this guest with a plus one. If you have another family member who lives close by, you could invite that family member with the understanding that they will drive your aunt.
"My cousin lives on the other side of the country and I know he won't attend my wedding. Should I still send an invitation?" Yes, you should still technically invite this person so they know you care about them. Plus, you might get a gift out of it!
"I am good friends with one of my co-workers. However, she won't know anyone at the wedding. Should I invite her?" This is one of those 'it depends' situations. If you really want this person to attend your wedding, invite them with a plus one so they will have someone to talk to. And seat them with people who they will have something in common with.
Here are some questions to ask yourself before adding someone to the Guest List:
If you answered 'no' to two or more of these questions, scratch that person from your list.
Ultimately, you and your fiance decide on who gets invited. Just use good judgement, keep in mind simple etiquette rules, and don't get upset. And consult a wedding planner for some unbiased advice.