Friday, February 29, 2008

A Moment with Tara Guerard

As promised I sat down for a chat with Tara Guerard yesterday. Author of the beautiful book Southern Weddings and CEO/ mastermind of Soiree, Inc, she is a planner, designer and consultant specializing in extraordinary events.

The main purpose of my interview was for an article for my website, Think Like A Bride. Still, I couldn’t have this talented of a mind to pick and not get at least a bit for my dear brides.

Since I know this is something brides struggle with as they plan their wedding I asked Tara about establishing a theme for your events. In Tara’s words

“A theme is what brings cohesion to an event. The more of a recurring theme; the more of a statement is made.”

I asked Tara how she found the ideas for these cohesive threads that would tie her events into the beautiful packages that they are. Tara quite simply works to uncover her clients personality; their identity. Taking her cues from the tangible bits they have given her she then

“Clearly states their identity with visual images”

Sometimes you have to find a jumping off point. One bride she spoke of told her little else than that she liked all different colors and couldn’t decide on colors for her wedding and the flowers she liked best were Gerber daisies. Tara went on to build a entire look around gerbers in an array of beautiful colors, even using the image of a gerber daisy on the paper wardrobe. The bride was surrounded by bright colorful things that she loved. Perfect.

The other point Tara emphasized is that by carrying the same cohesive theme from save the dates through to the reception you were giving your guest a clear image of what to expect at the event. One of the hallmarks of a true hostess is thinking first and foremost about your guests comfort. By letting them know with visual cues the feel of your event in advance they will be all the more comfortable at the event. For instance, if you send out very formal invitations to your wedding your guests are likely to take that as a cue that you are planning a formal event. What a shame when they show up terribly over dressed to find a casual outdoor affair!

It is about cohesion. It is about that single ribbon that ties it all together. It is about finding a visual way to express your unique identity. Really, it does make it all so much easier.

Pick up a copy of Tara’s book to see just what a difference it can make.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

What Color is My Wedding? II

I spent some time catching up on the posts to Wedding Bee and the Wedding Plans group on Live Journal. I kept hearing a recurring theme. “I can’t decide on the colors for my wedding”

I suggested in a previous post that you look in your closet because chance are good that you buy clothes in colors you like that also look good on you. You do want to be surrounded on you wedding day by colors you love that also look good on you, right?

Here is another thought to ponder: go where the graphic designers go. These are 2 of my favorites. Lots of inspiration.

Kuler from Adode

ColourLovers Color+ Design Community for Creative Inspiration This is also a great source for patterns

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Friday, February 22, 2008

Always A Bridesmaid…

It’s about time! Everyone knows that a wedding is all about the bride but what about the supporting cast? There is an overload of information for brides on the web but not so much for the lovely ladies that have to deal with her. Bridesmaid launched yesterday to fill the gap in information.

Since it is a brand new site the communities aren’t packed yet but some of the things they are offering look like they might take off. If you think about it the average wedding has 5 bridesmaids and only one bride, right? If you get all of them together you should have a pretty big community with a lot in common (think Frankenbrides and ugly dresses).

I love the idea of their Flip That Dress page. List your used bridesmaids dress or pick up one that you might be able to use. How great would it be if you could get the entire wedding party to list theirs together, you might just save some other group of maids a few $$$ and a bunch of time. I spied a 2 piece Vera Wang maids gown for $60. That’s a bargain.

The one thing I would add is a page on how to remodel bridesmaid’s dresses so you really could rewear them. Once again, if you can get input from this potentially large community you could do some real damage to that corner of our closets filled with past gowns. Ya think??

Pass this site on to all the lovely ladies that are your supporting cast to make their live just a little brighter today.

They will thank you for it.

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Laser Cut Stationery

A while back I stumbled on the amazing cupcake wrappers at Paper Orchid Stationery and I finally had time to explore some of their other products. LOVE THEM!

Paper Orchid is the leading pioneer in laser cut technology. Now they are pairing with the wildly talented Kat Beilfuss of KatBlu Art & Design Studio to create a new line of couture wedding and special occasion papers. The combined efforts of Kat’s mad design skills and Paper Orchids tech has created something very new and exciting.

In addition to the cupcake wrappers, Paper Orchid carries a complete line of imprintable invitation suites and some very cool filigree favor boxes.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Sunday found me at the Monogram Shoppe having a meet and greet with the brides of Fort Wayne, IN. It was a delight to be able to talk to these woman one on one and dig a bit into where they were having difficulty planning.

I had noticed at my seminar on Saturday at the bridal show that one of the biggest things standing in the way of many brides getting from vision to completion was a theme. I have talked about it here and here and even here so it came as no big surprise.

On Sunday I had a chance to take one particular couple by the hand so to speak and walk them through the process.

Lisa and Nick are planning a summer wedding on an unbelievably tight budget. When I asked them what their theme was Lisa pulled two skeins of embroidery floss from her purse and said “Well these are our colors.” Argh.

Digging deeper I found that they wanted a casual garden feel to their day, very summery and natural. Looking at the colors and hearing what they said I immediately thought of Provence. That lends itself well to the rustic outdoor feel they were going for and the colors just scream France. They had already settled on French blue linens and 16’ long banquet tables. Next they said they were thinking of using floating candles in yellow! My mind flooded with images of too many poorly done church basements, so I started offering alternate ideas.

Thinking “Provence”, I suggested that they hit Target or World Bazaar and get a handful of inexpensive square white plates in a variety of sizes. Next, it’s off to the local produce broker or warehouse club to buy a bunch of lemons and blueberries. Mound the fruit on the white plates with a few sprigs of thyme or rosemary tucked in as the main centerpiece elements, maybe 3 per table. Add some white baskets of rustic artisan breads, small bottles of olive oil, little dishes of imported black olives and simple white pillar candles to form a runner down these long tables.

Once Lisa and Nick got the idea the whole event began to come into focus for them. What might have been the same old worship hall reception just lept into fabulous with out much more effort or expense; all because they focused on a theme instead of just colors. Oh, I hope they think to serve tall slender glasses of lemonade with blueberries in it. How cute.

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Sunday, February 17, 2008

Backstage at the Runway

You just never know where I’ll turn up. This weekend had me speaking in Fort Wayne, IN to a group of wedding professional on marketing and then the next day to the brides about wedding planning courtesy of The Wedding Connection.

I’ll do just about anything to better understand every aspect of the wedding industry. While I was in Fort Wayne I had the opportunity to do another new thing. This time it found me dressing the models for a runway show. I have sat on the front row for my share of these things from New York to Harrogate but I have never been back stage to experience the madness first hand. On your wedding day you will probably take 15 minutes or more to get your wedding gown on; between getting it laced or buttoned and putting on you jewelry and veil it’s a bit of work. Well we did it six times in just under 20 minutes yesterday! It was bridal carnage. There were gowns flying and veils everywhere. I’m just glad I wasn’t the one coordinating it. Dawn Quick owner of The Wedding Place in Fort Wayne did a wonderful job of herding cats to produce this runway show. Not an easy task at best but add a gaggle of flower girl models and that clearly put Dawn in the running for sainthood. Also big thanks to our bridal model, Tomi, for overlooking the obvious handicap of having a novice (me) dressing her.

Today has me doing a meet and greet at the Monogram Shoppe, a full service stationary store. Good thing there is extra room in my suitcase. I do have a thing for beautiful papers. I mean come on; why else would I have 6 different sets of personal stationary. ;-)

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008 Honeymoon Give Away

Hey, I found a honeymoon contest for you. I sure hope one of my readers wins

To celebrate and the Empires State Building's Valentine's Day Wedding Event when 14 couples will marry in the chapel at the top of the landmark building, is giving a way a a 5-day/4-night trip to Mexico for two to any Palace Resorts hotel in Cancun, Riviera Maya, Cozumel, Isla Mujeres, or Nueva Vallarta can log on to for a chance to win.

The sweepstakes ends on March 31, 2008....

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Monday, February 11, 2008

Do You Need Wedding Insurance?

That's a good question.

It’s never a bad idea to protect your investments but bad things happening at or to your wedding isn’t something we really want to think about. The reality is that you are putting together a rather complex event; the more complex the more chances that something could go wrong.

By go wrong I mean it could be anything from the best man losing the rings to a sudden illness. Just last week I saw a news story featuring a couple whose house and wedding venue had been destroyed in the tornados that ravaged parts of Tennessee. As they interviewed this poor thing amid the rubble that had been the couple’s home she told the reporter that her one wish was to find her wedding gown so she didn’t have to try and replace the one she loved so much. My heart just broke for them. I feel certain that they had their house insured but what about their wedding?

It really doesn’t matter what you are spending on your wedding, to you it is a large investment. The policies that I have checked out are not terribly expensive for the peace of mind they buy.

Something else you may need to know is that more and more wedding venues are requiring couples to carry liability insurance on their event. Hey we live in some pretty litigious times; they have to protect themselves too. You will get a better rate if you bundle that with your core wedding insurance.

Speaking of bundling; check with your regular insurance carrier to see if they have a policy to meet your needs. I know that Travelers Insurance offers it. If you already have coverage on your home or car from them I think this would bundle with that for a better rate.

If you are planning a destination wedding, don’t even think about passing on the insurance. The policy I looked at even covered transportation shutdowns; you know like canceled flights due to a blizzard or hurricane.

It is something you should think about.

Photo by Michael Hodge

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Thursday, February 07, 2008

Treats from a Friend

Friend of the Dish, Mark Currier, of M. Couturier and Atelier Couturier just sent me the link to his galleries from last Saturday’s wedding luncheon at the Hermitage Hotel. What a fantastic job. Mark was one of the sponsors of the event and it was a delight to catch up with him and his wife and business partner Christina.

I asked Mark what they had been up to and it seems they are on the road almost as much as yours truly photographing beautiful weddings all over the world. From Provence to Italy to Scotland they have captured the scenery as well as the wedding. Personally I am still smitten with their urban stuff so I included some along with the stunning bridge shot. Thanks for sharing Mark.

Mark keep me posted on your travels.


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Monday, February 04, 2008

A Truly Southern Wedding Lunch

Saturday proved to be a lovely event, the Nashville Lifestyles Wedding Luncheon at the Hermitage Hotel. I work at the Hermitage Hotel so often that the place, unbelievably beautiful as it is, has become somewhat old hat to yours truly. What joy to be a guest this time! Nashville’s beautiful brides were mixing and mingling over champagne in the grand lobby. I was there with friends Courtney Hammons and Patti Corn. Courtney was kind enough to get me a seat at the very last minute and what a seat it was.

I was privileged to spend lunch chatting over chicken and white wine with the speaker, nationally know wedding planner Tara Guerard. If you are not familiar with Tara, check out her book Southern Weddings. She is the undisputed queen of Southern charm and style when it comes to weddings. A stickler for details her slide show was a delight showing all the tiny bits and pieces it takes to take a wedding from pretty to stunning. Tara has promised me a one on one interview
once she gets back to Charleston.

B. Hughes Bridal and Formal was one of the sponsors. Karen Kaforey had some of her gorgeous couture gown adoring models that graced the lobby. They just floated about and decorated the space. I must confess that I kept having the urge to run after them and bustle their gowns since that job inevitably falls to me when I stage with a wedding planner.

As far as the vendors go, there were only a few and nothing really stood out in my mind. The day really was all about Tara Guerard and the pure splendor that is the Hermitage Hotel.

Southern Weddings

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Friday, February 01, 2008

The Lipstick Jungle

Last night was the premier party for Lipstick Jungle the new series based on Candace Bushnell's book. I have to tell you that the girls in attendance loved it. You should have heard the whoops and hollers when Kirby tore off Nico’s pantyhose…Definitely a must see, it premiers Thursday on NBC.

But on to the party itself. Even thought the weather was shall we say inclement, you know your wedding diva wasn’t going to miss a girl’s night out with other wedding industry insiders. Courtney Hammons hosted the event at a new art gallery/venue in the heart of the city, Take 121. Just too perfect for the premier of a show set in Manhattan, don’t you think.

I finally got to meet fellow bridal netizen Ashley King Carter. If you haven’t checked out her site, AshleysBrideGuide, you are missing something. It is probably one of the best local bride’s guides I have run across. It’s hip, lively and informative. What more could you want. BTW Kickin’ boots girl!

I also ran across a cool new vendor with a way cool new product: lasar cut confetti. Check it out at their site, designs in paper.

Have a great weekend; I’m off tomorrow to a Bridal Luncheon at the Hermitage Hotel. I’ll have all the details on Monday.

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