Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Inspiration: A Carnival Affair vs. A Rustic Affair

The best of both worlds.. right here. We keep swinging back and forth on this, but I think in the end we will find a happy medium between a Carnival and Rustic theme. Here are 2 very different yet fun inspiration boards for both receptions..

1. and 2. carnival themed reception, 3. pop bottles, 4. popcorn rings, 5. drink tickets, 6. snow cones, 7. carnival tickets, 8. bouquet of red lovelies, 9. candy buffet, 10. amusement park rides, 11. details

Absolutely love the muted tones from the Rustic board. Dark framed lanterns and beautiful greenery compliment the light and airy dahlias and vintage pieces. Having said that, really digging the bright pops of reds and blues and outdoorsy details from the Carnival inspiration board.

I think in the end, we'll be borrowing quite a few ideas from both themes to fuse our reception into something to suit our personalities.
Despite a few set backs, we're getting pretty excited about the planning. The great venue search is about to begin and I have a feeling the competition will be fierce!!!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Friday, March 26, 2010

What's in a name

A year and a half from now, the better half and I will officially be hubby and wifey. I've dreamed of the decor, themes.. but never thought to practice writing my married name.

yikes moment.

Kind of embarrassed to admit it, but it's %100 true.

I've been signing the same way for years.. Now, I am faced with an identity crisis. I have to give up my hyphenated family name for a single married name and I am having a heck of a time adjusting to it. Figuring out a style, a nouveau flare, is a whole different ball game.

It's so strange to me!!

anybody else go through this?

Rustic inspirations

We've had a couple gloomy days, I thought maybe a little color and lovelies would brighten the mood up for the weekend..

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

DIY Brides Rejoice!!

Polaroid 600 film is making a come back... like for reals!!

'you wanna s'more?'

via merriment design

Growing up, my brother and I were huge fans of 'The Sandlot'. There is a scene in the movie where the guys are having a camp out and each take turns telling scary stories about the Beast (the neighbours dog who as it turns out isn't beastly after all..) This scene generated one of my all time favorite movie quotes..

Ham Porter: Hey, Smalls, you wanna s'more?

Smalls: Some more of what?

Ham Porter: No, do you wanna s'more?

Smalls: I haven't had anything yet, so how can I have some more of nothing?

Ham Porter: You're killing me Smalls! These are s'more's stuff! Alrite now pay attention. First you take the graham, you stick the chocolate on the graham. Then you roast the 'mallow. When the 'mallows flaming... you stick it on the chocolate. Then cover with the other end. Then you scarf. Kind of messy, but good!

I was thinking this might make an awesome quote for the DIY s'more kits we're planning on making for the candy buffet. I wouldn't start the quote until it got to this part.. 'These are s'more's stuff…" it would make it funny for my family.. I know my brother would get it right away!

Since we aren't planning on giving out favors, we thought maybe do little take away bags for the candy buffet where people can fill up what they want and take it home after the reception for a late night snack. Another plus would be If we decided to have our reception at a site were we could have a bonfire. It would work out perfectly and our guests could kick back after an all nighter of dancing and enjoy the s'more kits on site!

Now the fun part would be designing the packaging, and learning how to make the 'mallows and graham from scratch.. getting giddy already!!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Planning advice..

I think this will play a major part in our wedding day planning guidelines... sage advice from Amazing Wedding Receptions

Top 10 AWR Wedding Day Don'ts

1. Not knowing that articles in popular wedding magazines, specifically the "Do's & Don'ts" of a wedding reception, are often written by interns and staff who may have attended far less as many weddings as you. But because perception is reality, they must know what's best.


You know what is best and the Professionals from AWR know what is best, but only after we speak with you. We need to know first what you would like to do on your wedding day. What do you envision? What have you seen at weddings that you have attended that you liked or did not like?

I have been asked on several occasions to be involved in articles from popular wedding publications, that I just could not be a part of. Example: I was once asked "What are your top 5 songs that you play at a wedding reception, to get the crowd going?"

Well, my question back was who are the Bride & Groom, what age and ethnicity are they, and so on.... I even wanna know if they are a Red Sox or Yankee fan.

Needless to say when those factors were not being factored into the article, I asked not to be part of it. Rookies.

All of the AWR vendors also know how important it is to leave it up to the professional in that specific area (Photography, Entertainment, Floral, Videography etc.), and not to overstep our professional boundaries. Leave it to the expert. A Bridal Shop is not the expert on the vendors you should hire, they don't go to 85 weddings a year. Leave that to the wedding planners at the facilities & their expertise. They want what is best for you based on 1000's of Amazing Wedding Receptions that they have actually been in the room in witnessing.

2. Too much down time between the end of your wedding ceremony and the beginning of your social hour.

This is huge and a really tough one to rectify because it is beginning the day with a planned lull, and lulls are a party killer. I consider myself to be a black belt at avoiding lulls at receptions & I have seen it all. But the 2, 3, 4 hours between the end of the Ceremony and the beginning of social hour, killer. Especially when the reception site is not able to accommodate your guest who arrive early, to a drink or place to sit comfortably. It is a negative on the day & guest don't like it.

3. Arriving late to your own wedding ceremony or wedding reception site.

Another important timing aspect of your day. Plan your wedding day with professionals like your DJ, Photographer & Banquet Planner who will ensure that you create a realistic format of your day's events. Timing is everything. Not a good idea to arrive to your Friday evening reception site with your wedding party 30 minutes after you were suppose to be announced and then ask to spend a little time in the Bridal Sweet, when the Chef is preparing a meal for 250 guest. Ending Dinner at 11pm is not good.

4. Choosing extremely light music during dinner.

Key word here is, extremely. Guest defiantly need to be able to speak, not shout at their tables during dinner, but foot tapping and fun should never be banned. It's always great when guest grab a dance between courses, and to go from 0 to 100mph when dinner is over is never easy. We need to have our guest primed to dance. Let it be as is and hire someone whom you know is a professional with great vast experience at weddings, and knows how to make an Amazing Wedding Reception?To much light music can make it appear that dinner took forever when actually it didn't.

5. Choosing music that does not reflect your guest list.

So now you've paid all this money for your wedding reception and you searched far & wide to find the best wedding DJ available. The DJ is now at the reception and looks at the guest, and then looks at the must play list, and it doesn't make any sense. It's a far older crowd than what the Bride & Groom chose for music.

Maybe you also decide not to allow any of your guests to request anything either. These two together make it very difficult to have your guest walking away saying this is the best wedding I've ever been to.That is my goal & the goal of many other great wedding DJ's. It's evident that you don't trust the professional who has your best interest at heart. The best DJ's want the best weddings.Some songs on the no list, sure, absolutely, but don't handcuff your entertainment.If you choose a play list and you want your DJ to only play what's on it, then choose a couple of 100 songs and tell him to read the crowd and go with it. You can plan on a 6 hour wedding reception being somewhere in the neighborhood of 85 songs.I like about 20 must have songs and going from there. But that's me. I love reading a crowd with a clue.

6. During the reception, the Bride & Groom constantly leave the ballroom for long periods at a time.

I'm talking long, 30 mins here, 20 mins here, and another 45 here. Right there is over an hour.

The best is when they give you about 50 specific versions of the must play songs for dancing and then keep leaving. That's fun. I'm kidding,chest pains!

Seriously, guest love seeing the Bride & Groom celebrating with them. Don't forget, they are there for you.

7. Placing of another focal point that attracts your guest to leave the ballroom.

Add-on's are great, but we really want to do our best to keep our guest around or on the dance floor.

Having the bar outside in the hall or lobby, not good.

Having photo booth out in the lobby during your 3 hours of prime party dance time, ah, no, not recommended. Photo booths are awesome & everyone loves them, but if we can fit it into the room easily, let's do it. It's a big difference.

Also if you have a nice outside area, make sure that your DJ will supply music out there all night. Wireless speakers are great because we can send a signal to those speakers so it is the same music inside & out.

8. After Dinner, the DJ is asked to announce that certain groups of guest (Family, friends, colleagues, and former schoolmates) meet outside of the ballroom for pictures, or worse yet onto the dance floor for pictures.

Of course, this stops any momentum of your party time.

Even though this is listed as #8, it is my worse pet peeve.

Because after the main course is served, you are mine. Your guests are mine. I want to rock this thing and then a photographer walks up to me and says, Can you announce for the Bride & Groom to go to the Lobby for pictures with their immediate family and then when they are done can you ask for the Bride & Grooms college friends to join them. That's fun.

9. Not realizing how important the ending of your wedding is.End it on a high note. Don't let your awesome, amazing wedding reception turn in to a dwindler wedding just because you wanted an 8 hr reception. It is not how long it last, its how it ends. Believe me when I say, there is nothing more awesome than a Bride or Groom looking at a full dance floor on their last dance of the night.

10. You don't trust your wedding professionals and play the role of a wedding coordinator during your own wedding.

Waiting too long to hire your wedding team and not hiring a true wedding professional, willing to build a foundation of trust with you. It is trust that is needed so that you can actually enjoy your own amazing wedding reception. Timely communications is a must, throughout the planning process. If they don't e-mail or call you back from the start, that's what you can expect the whole time through.

Top 10 AWR Wedding Day Don'ts
via Amazing Wedding Receptions

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Little details: Hand painted..

There is no better time to bust out the craziest little details than at your wedding, right? (Just save the mood swing (crazies) for another day)

After browsing the Flickr world for some much needed carnival themed inspiration, I absolutely FELL in love with these hand painted Coney Island inspired shoes... aren't they a beaut?

by darabrownstudios via Flickr

My curiosity lead me to search for more hand painted lovelies.. and I wasn't disappointed...

Down the Rabbit Hole - Alice inspired pumps
Golden Blossom by Vinogradlv

via Scholarly Articles

via Craftastrophe

Now those are some snazzy dancin' shoes... don't ya think?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Reader Questions Answered..

Wondering when you'll start posting to Marry Melodies again. It's been a while, and I really like your blog! Give us the deets! -e-mailer who will remain nameless..

I guess I've been caught. I won't make up any excuses as to why MM hasn't been as active as it has in the past 6 months, but be assured, posts are coming!! I love getting mail, and this message really surprised me this morning, in a good way. So I'd like to Thank you, 'e-mailer who remain nameless', I really love feedback and this has given me the push I needed to kick start the MM again.

Lots of love all,
If you can't wait 'till Monday, make your way over to An August Wedding to see the beginning stages of planning our upcoming 2011 nuptials. **For those of you who haven't heard yet, the better half got engaged on New Years Eve Central Park, NYC details here.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Fun times at the wedding show?

Overwhelmed should be the word..

It was very strange to walk by kiosk after kiosk of makeup, gowns, fake hair, photographers.. Djs.. everybody just ready to pounce on you like a cheetah to get your business. There were a few downers, but highlights included designer cupcakes (we didn't exactly get to touch or eat them, but they were still pretty to look at), the swag bag full of samples and a (usually expensive) bridal mag.

We ended up bumping into a couple friends of ours at the show which was great since I know a lot of the wedding prep stuff isn't really my better half's idea of fun. When my friend suggested we check out the gown sections, I jumped at the chance!!

Most of these dresses were pretty gotty, so it was really fun going through the rack commenting about all of them. Years ago, I decided not to opt for the traditional long flowing diamond/bead encrusted dress, but if I were to go that route it would have been a great place to buy it! Since most of the gowns were from last season (or before then even) some of the dresses were insanely cheap!! Seriously, we saw a couple dresses marked at $350 down from $1400.. just crazy!! You could tell that some of the vendors end up bringing some pretty outdated gowns, (think Geena Davis in Beetle Juice) so you really had to look for amazing deals.

The better half and I got a kick out of the fashion show.. I would never have my mom wear some of the 'showcased' mother of the bride dresses..

The major department store registry sections were also great to visit.. just say you're going to register with them, and they just give you a ton of stuff for free!! Linen Chest gave away a lovely china platter just for giving them your e-mail addy! (not too shabby!)

I'm not sure where we plan on registering yet, but I think Sears and Home Depot are our top picks right now. Since we've been living together for over 4 years, we already have every kitchen gadget and small appliance you can think of.. so it'll be interesting to see what we come up with.
Oh and the bling! I think we found a local jeweller (a few blocks away from our house actually) who could do a couple adjustments to the wedding band I was looking at buying. The prongs on my engagement ring kind of stick out from the mount and it's been very difficult to find a wedding band to fit properly without looking out of place. But it's still in the early stages of figuring out if I want a simple band or something with a little more sparkle. Plenty of time to decide that.

So to cap it off, would I go back? Probably not, but it's always fun to look at all the pretty shiny things.

maybe I'd go back..

we'll see...

Friday, March 5, 2010

Ottawa Wedding Show!!

The Spring Ottawa Wedding Show is this weekend
March 6 & 7 2010 at the Ottawa Civic Centre (Landsdown Park)
Showroom is open daily from 10AM to 5PM both Saturday and Sunday!!
Don't miss it!!
oh yeah, bonus... entry is FREE!!