Celebration Time

Image via Real Simple

Celebration time!

I'm having a lot of fun inspiring & celebrating our wedding this week! On Monday, my Mom & I met with our wonderful florist, Liz, of Elizabeth Koleto Designs & discussed wedding flowers. I loved the opportunity to dig into the creative side of our wedding! On Tuesday, my Mom & I visited our reception venue, Hyatt Regency Jersey City. We enjoyed a delicious lunch at Vu Restaurant overlooking the Hudson River, then we took a short tour of the Manhattan Ballroom Foyer & Manhattan Ballroom. It was the first time my Mom was able to see our venue. On Wednesday, we went to the amazing Lovely Bride & found my wedding gown!!! Yipee! Oh, what a day!! Sounds like a fabulous week, right?

The awesome thing is we still have good times ahead. Friday is my birthday. Saturday is our engagement party. Sunday is the Fourth of July. Fun, fun & more fun!

Of course, I have tons to share with you! But right now, it's really important for me to live in the moment & savor the celebrations as they happen. I'm filing away the memories & taking tons of photos so this blog will be chock full of my wedding stories next week. Until then, take care~


The First Dress

I tried on this dress . . .

and this dress in a different color . . .

and this dress too! Plus about 13 more!
All images from Macy's

I bought the first dress I tried on!

No, not my wedding gown.

My Mom is visiting from California for our engagement party next weekend & we have tons of fun, wedding-related activities planned. The first item on the agenda was finding a dress for our engagement party. I needed a party dress that was cool for the summer heat & comfortable for a backyard party.

We started the day at the Olive Garden for their lunch special of soup, salad & breadsticks- yum! We needed the fuel for the big shopping day ahead. The hunt began at Macy's; the store was chock-full of beautiful, summer dresses. My Mom & I grabbed anything & everything that caught our eye. I ended up in the dressing room with at least 15 lovely dresses. I grabbed the one I liked the most & tried it on. I adored it- the fit was perfect & the style was unique. My Mom agreed. But I went on to try & model the others.

Much like Brides who buy the first wedding gown they try on, I bought the first engagement party dress I tried on. I couldn't top the look or feeling from that dress. As if I wasn't bursting with excitement for our engagement party before, I am positively brimming with anticipation now. I can't wait to celebrate with our family & friends!


Golden Splendor

A new twist on the pocket invitation
The invitation & enclosures are tucked away in the pocket

The invitation features an embossed pattern & a printed flourish

A close-up of the flourish decoration

The invitation & its matching enclosures

The Golden Splendor invitation is modern & old-fashioned at once. The shimmer, champagne pocket is an updated version of the popular pocket invitation. The square shape, shimmer paper, almond ink & combination fonts are marks of a modern invitation. Yet the graceful filigree pattern gives the invitation a classic, elegant feel.

As you've gathered from previous invitation posts, many Brides see the sample shown in the stationery book or sample displayed at Koru Wedding Shoppe & customize it to make it their own. The Bride & Groom who chose this invitation took it exactly as is- font style, font color, layout, etc. The only thing they changed is the wording. They thought it was ideal for their vintage-theme wedding. Sometimes things are perfect as is!


Proud to be a Bride

Bride in a script font
Graceful & fun!

The special touch of light pink & turquoise flower pins!

I couldn't love this look more!

I am the first to admit that I'm resistant to change. If it's not broken, why change it? If it's broken, why not fix it? Family & friends still tease me mercilessly about my beloved camera that I used for years even though it required duct tape to work. But I digress.

The Bride tank tops have been the most popular item at Koru Wedding Shoppe since it opened five years ago. Brides have snatched them up for bachelorette parties, wedding days, honeymoons & just because. Originally, Bride was spelled out in a block font made of clear crystals. My vendor contacted me about a year ago to let me know Bride tank tops were available in a script font & Brides were loving them. I was nervous to change a good thing so I kept stocking the original version.

A Bride forced me out of my comfort zone. She asked if the tank tops were available in script & I agreed to order her the new version. I ordered an extra to test out at Koru. Well, the Bride adored her script tank top & I was pretty smitten too. The additional tank top only lasted a day or two before a Bride snatched up. The writing was on the wall: it was time to switch to the script Bride tank top!!

The new order arrived on Tuesday & there has been nothing but LOVE for the script Bride tank top! Plus, who can resist an adorable light pink or turquoise flower to add a little jazz? It's a winning combination if you ask me. Maybe change isn't so bad.

I must have the new tank top!!!


Orange: Have You Noticed?

Sunset Orange pocket invitation
Originally featured here

Enchanting invitation in Pumpkin Orange
Originally featured here

A modern invitation with a Monarch Orange accent
Originally featured here

Distinctive invitation in Pumpkin Orange
Originally featured here

Did you notice the streak of wedding invitations in orange?

I redid the stationery display at Koru Wedding Shoppe last week & as I stood back to look at the results, there was a lot of orange staring back at me. I scrolled through the blog &, sure enough, lots of orange.
I have been selling wedding invitations for 10 years (wow!) & it's the first time there has been a rash of orange invitations. I welcome this bright, happy color with welcome arms!

When I dug a little deeper into the meaning of orange, it's a wonder it hasn't been more popular before. Orange combines the happiness of yellow & the energy of red, according to Color Wheel Pro. Who doesn't love happiness & energy for a wedding? Color Wheel Pro goes on to say that orange is associated with joy, sunshine & the tropics. Again, joy, sunshine & the tropics are perfect for weddings!

Clearly, these Brides knew what they were doing when they chose orange for their wedding. Smart cookies.


Our Greetings from Hoboken, Part One

Our save-the-dates lined up like colorful soldiers
They're ready to be mailed!

And away they go!

Remember that I told you our save-the-date invitations had been seen on this blog before? Here's the full story!

When it came to inspiration for our save-the-date invitations, it turned out I had to look no further than our guest bedroom. Over the daybed, we have a framed "Greetings from Hoboken" poster because we love our hometown so much. The poster proudly features the Hoboken waterfront & each letter showcases a local historical building. We decided to have our marriage ceremony in Hoboken & the save-the-date decision was easily made. What was the best way to give our wedding guests the wedding information & a sense of place? Greetings from Hoboken postcards!

My original idea was to print & stick save-the-date labels on the back of the postcard. RZ hated the idea! He insisted our save-the-date information be printed directly on the postcard. Wondering if I had possibly lost my mind, I emailed the Greetings from Hoboken artist, Raymond Smith, & asked him if he would print our save-the-date information. Thankfully, Raymond didn't think I was crazy & he happily accepted to print the postcards. He was a delight to work with from start to finish. I had written the copy with the basic information of our names, our wedding date & our wedding web site. He helped with picking fonts, making the layout, etc. He patiently showed me previous examples, made mock-ups for us to choose from & delivered us the best save-the-date postcards!!

For any Hobokenite couples, I highly recommend working with Raymond for save-the-dates, out-of-town gift basket tags &/or thank you cards. We're getting rave reviews from our wedding guests &, most importantly, we love our save-the dates!

Coming Soon: Part Two will reveal the other side of our save-the-date postcard!!


Pretty in Yellow & Grey

A pocket invitation done in Mercury, Daffodil & Ivory
Notice the modern monogram!

The invitation features one of the most popular designs at Koru

For a pop of color, the outer envelope & response envelope are Daffodil

I love that the Bride & Groom ask their guests for music suggestions

The Pretty in Pink invitation showcased here spends its days garnering much attention in the front window of Koru Wedding Shoppe. Before Pretty in Pink was moved to that illustrious spot, it was displayed in Koru's stationery nook. Pretty in Pink inspired many Brides & Grooms, including the lovely couple's invitation showcased today.

The Bride & Groom liked the basic look of Pretty in Pink but they felt it was too traditional & soft for their wedding. Well, well, of course we can help! First, we picked colors that fit with the couple's wedding- Mercury grey, Daffodil yellow & Ivory. Then, we flipped the invitation to a horizontal layout. Followed up with clean, block fonts, the look was complete. The final touch was a cool monogram chosen for the pocket seal. Love, love!

Much like the Orange You Happy's pocket, the bright yellow outer envelope for this invitation puts an instant smile on your face. It's so bright & happy!

All in all, the Pretty in Yellow & Grey invitation is formal yet modern & edgy.

I love when a Bride & Groom are inspired by another couple's wedding invitation & they manage to make it their own. Can you believe Pretty in Yellow & Grey has already inspired another couple? That invitation will be featured soon :-)


Happy Father's Day

Sweet message & sweet treats!
Cookies & Image from Eleni's

Today's post is dedicated to our Dads, Grandpas, Uncles, Cousins, Friends, Neighbors:

Happy Father's Day with Love!!


Fine China. Really?

Now my dragonfly-loving cousin would love the June Lane pattern
BUT would she use the fine china?
From Kate Spade

I like the simply pretty Cypress Point fine china
BUT would the fine china ever do more than gather dust?
From Kate Spade

Task: Create wedding gift registries.

I remember registering at Fortunoff's with my sister for her wedding. She was handed a scanner & given free reign to register for everything & anything her heart desired. Pretty plates- check! Adorable, tiny salt-and-pepper shakers- check! One million thread count sheets- check! How cool! She kindly let me scan a few items to give me a taste for registering.

Now it's my turn to register for our wedding. As much as I loved the thrill of freely scanning the store, I decided to go the easy route of registering online. I kick-started our registry effort with Crate&Barrel & Pottery Barn.

Now, let me tell you, there are plenty of things my fiance RZ (as he will be called on this blog from this day forward) & I need for our home. Before we moved in together, RZ & I each had nice homes filled with nice things. By the time we combined households, many of our things had started to show wear & tear. Our kitchen is a hodgepodge of mismatched dishes, several silverware patterns, chipped glassware, tattered dishtowels, etc.

I had a wonderful time upgrading the sorry state of our kitchen, dining room, living room, bedroom & bathrooms through our wedding gift registries. Matching silverware- yes, yes! Coordinating serving pieces- sign us up! Soft, fluffy towels- yes, please! And of course we must have a wine cooler! Honestly, we don't need any of these things but if our wedding guests choose to bestow us with these great items, we will be forever grateful.

I couldn't bring myself to register for fine china or other fancy items like real silver silverware. One, our perfectly-sized condo has a storage limit that has been reached. We don't have room for a new coat, let alone fine china. Two, I never saw my parent's fine china until my married sister unpacked it to display in her dining room buffet. The fine china is absolutely beautiful & it was passed down from my Dad's parents. It was never used in our house. Not that my family didn't entertain, because we did, but our guests weren't trusted with the fine china. So I have a hard time registering for something that we don't have room to store & that we may never use.

Any thoughts? Pro or con fine china?

P.S. I caved & registered for fine china at Macy's. RZ says I'm shopping our way from a condo into a house. Well, that's another story.


Orange You Happy

The closed pocket in the happy color of Sunset

The seal introduces the invitation's design & color scheme

The invitation in its full glory

This pocket bucks the trend with its vertical layout

The invitation & its matching enclosure

I liken the day wedding invitation orders arrive at Koru Wedding Shoppe to birthdays. The brown shipping box looks just like a wrapped present to me. I eagerly cut away tape, toss aside packing supplies & search for the long-awaited gift, aka the wedding invitation sample. It's a wonderful surprise each & every time.

Today's arrival from Wedding Four by Marsupial Invitations was no exception. I opened the shimmer Magnolia envelope to find the Sunset pocket invitation inside & I couldn't help smiling. That bright, happy burst of orange will do that to you! From there, it just got better & better. The Ash swirl designs & Copper combination font of a clear, script & a clean block keep the invitation set from being too cute or informal. The design & fonts are consistent on the pocket seal, the invitation & the response card. Love, love the strong color combination & modern design!!

Do you remember when I wrote about two brothers who designed & purchased their wedding invitations at Koru Wedding Shoppe? The first brother's classic pocket invitation was featured here. The second brother's wedding invitation is shown above! How cool that they came to the same store, chose from the same invitation company & created two distinct looks?!


You've Got Mail

Home Sweet Home
AND our marriage ceremony location!

The Grand Entrance of the River Street Post Office
Save-the-Date invitations mailed HERE!

Today marks seven months until our wedding. Today I mailed our save-the-date invitations!

Our save-the-date invitations have been a work-in-progress for awhile. After ordering them, we waited one month for them to arrive. Upon their exciting arrival, we needed a few weeks to finalize the guest list & gather guests' mailing addresses. I'm really glad we got this task out of the way before we have to work on our wedding invitations because it took longer than I thought. I had the fun job of addressing & stamping each one which I did enjoy. I was so proud that I only made two mistakes. Last night, I double-checked each address & confirmed each postcard had a stamp. They were ready to go!

The timing of the save-the-date mailing was no mere coincidence. I was determined to have the postcards postmarked on June 15, exactly seven months to our wedding. I'm funny like that.

I got up bright & early so I could pop them in the mail before work. I bypassed our smaller, neighborhood post office in favor of the main post office on River Street. No reason, really, except it was a beautiful, sunny day for a walk. I wrapped the precious cargo in plastic for the walk because it would be just like me to drop them in a puddle & ruin them. Alas, we arrived safely at the post office. I checked each save-the-date one more time for address & postage. Then I dropped them in the mail slot to receive their postmark & find their way to our wedding guests.

Immediate family & close friends, our save-the-date invitation arrives soon in your mailbox! All others, I'm excited to showcase our save-the-date invitation here next week after our wedding guests have received theirs!!

Kaydee Cat

Kaydee cat was oh so pretty

And a natural-born trouble-maker.
Here, she nests in clean laundry.

Kaydee cat assists with a PSP game

Kaydee cat helps herself to delicious chocolate cake

Kaydee cat plays with her mice

Just as I did for my dog Gucci, I'm going to take a break from weddings & dedicate a post to my cat, Miss Kaydee Cat. One month ago, foreshadowing what was to come, I sat & typed this entry with a sick Kaydee cat in my lap. We said our final good-bye to Kaydee later that day & I still miss her tremendously. Our home is so empty without Kaydee & Gucci.

I remember the day I got my girl Kaydee like it was yesterday. My childhood cat Whiskers had recently passed away & I wanted another cat to keep Gucci company. My sister and I went to a grooming shop that also rescued cats. The cats were let out of their cages so we could play with them & decide which one we wanted to take home. Most of the cats milled about on the floor playing with each other. One beautiful, orange cat jumped onto the counter & started causing trouble: tossing pencils on the floor, trying to knock the phone off the hook, crumpling important papers, etc. I had to have this spitfire even after I learned we had the same name: Katie.

Everything I learned about Kaydee in those first few moments summed her up perfectly. She was a beauty! Kaydee had sharp, yellow eyes & a gorgeous, striped pattern of brilliant orange fur with pristine white paws like boots. She took great pride in her appearance, often giving herself a full bath if you dared to touch her. Throughout her life, Kaydee volleyed between pleasantly plump & scarily skinny causing one vet to suggest she was anorexic. Like any vain beauty, Miss Kaydee was notorious for her short, bad temper. She liked very few: me, my fiance, my Mom & Gucci. She tolerated most others. She hated a few too: my sister & my cousin, which we never understood because they're the biggest animal lovers I know. And if there was trouble nearby, she was sure to find it or to cause it.

Miss Kaydee was my princess. During the day, she reigned over her kingdom from the biggest, warmest patch of sunshine. At night, she switched to the softest, fluffiest blanket she could get her paws on. When ruling from her throne seemed a bit boring, she paired up with her furry best friend Gucci & they set off to find an adventure, aka trouble. My favorite was the time Kaydee hopped up on the kitchen counter & tossed my Mom's freshly baked bread down to an eager Gucci who thought it was the best treat ever. Kaydee & Gucci were furry best friends, partners in crime & my biggest fans. True to Kaydee's fiery nature, she was the first to give Gucci a quick paw slap if he got out of line; she was also the first to give him nose-to-nose kisses when she saw him. Kaydee & Gucci gave me endless entertainment, company & love for 18 years.

Throughout my life, I've heard that when one partner from a lifelong couple dies, the other partner doesn't live long, perhaps dying of a broken heart. My Gucci & Kaydee were a furry couple who always had each other. We put Gucci to sleep in January & almost four months to the day later, we had to put Kaydee to sleep. I suspect they missed each other too much to be apart for long. I miss them more than I could ever describe! My only comfort is knowing that they are healthy, happy & together in heaven.

Miss Kaydee, this one is dedicated in honor of you. If you have a pet(s), please give them a big hug & yummy treat in memory of Kaydee~


Yes, We'll Be Your Bridesmaids!

Image via Real Simple

I'm happy to report that I have a complete bridal party of four. When I last wrote about asking my bridesmaids, I had three Bridesmaids confirmed & one Bridesmaid pending. I was lucky enough to ask my three local Bridesmaids in person & I had to settle for mailing my handcrafted "Will You Be My Bridesmaid?" card to my out-of-town Bridesmaid. Everyone said yes!

I'm so excited about my bridal party because I adore each & every one of them. Many of them have been an important part of my life forever; all of them will always be in our lives. First, Mary, my sister, is my Matron of Honor. We don't like "Matron" because it makes her sound 100-years-old but we'll stick with it for now. In no particular order, the Bridesmaids are Andrea, my best friend; Christina, my cousin & Erin, my sister-in-law-to-be. Some are family, some are friends but all are considered both. They are amazing women & friends. I'm counting my lucky stars to have such a wonderful bridal party.

Now I need a wedding gown so we can choose outfits for the Bridesmaids!



The Enchanting Ensemble is full of color!

The wedding invitation with its matching inner envelope liner

Color and more color!
The Pumpkin response card with a Moss design

A close-up of the invitation & inner envelope design

The fun & fabulous flower power invitation has been gracing the front window of Koru Wedding Shoppe for a few months & gathering its fair share of attention. Now Pretty in Pink has taken its place & it's time to showcase this invitation on the blog!

From the popular Exclusive Collection II book, the Enchanting invitation is described as an enchanting invitation with romantic appeal. The sample invitation is shown in an Aquamarine/Orchid color scheme on white paper with a clean, simple block font in varying sizes. The Bride & Groom adored everything about the invitation except for the color scheme. That was an easy fix! We switched the invitation to a Pumpkin/Moss color scheme on ecru paper to better fit the couple's wedding. My absolute favorite part is the matching, patterned inner envelope liner- it's a nice, extra touch. As you can see, the overall look of the invitation is romantic & cool with punches of color.

The happy couple got married Memorial Day weekend & we send them our best wishes for now & forever!


Notes from the Bride

We have time before our wedding date . . .
but are we doing enough planning?
Image via Martha Stewart Weddings

You may be wondering about the radio silence on this blog about our upcoming wedding. I last mentioned our wedding two weeks ago when I wrote about our darling engagement party invitations. We've been merrily living our busy lives & not giving much thought to our wedding. Maybe the occasional short discussion here & there. When I planned last week's wedding, it hit me hard: we have so much to do before our big day!

The wedding is about seven months away & we have tackled the major things: set the date, created the guest list & budget, secured the venues, chose my bridal party, ordered & received save-the-date invitations, hired the band & chose (not hired yet) a photographer, florist & day-of wedding planner. When I look at it this way, I feel pretty good. Then I look at the seemingly endless tasks ahead & I feel overwhelmed. Leave it to the wedding planner to let her own wedding fall by the wayside!

When I feel overwhelmed, there is nothing to do except tackle the tasks one-by-one. It was as easy as revitalizing the topic of our wedding over dinner one night. We talked about everything & anything related to our wedding. That set things in motion! We registered for our Pre-Cana session in July- check! We are addressing & stamping our save-the-date invitations to be mailed next week- check! I took off one week of work in late June/early July to go dress shopping, meet with the florist, etc while my Mom is visiting from California. Ahhh, some wedding planning progress- such relief.

Stay tuned: I'm going to have so many fun stories to share with you!


Liberty House Love

The venue: Liberty House in Liberty State Park

Liberty House sits among rolling lawns & fabulous NYC views

Views of downtown Manhattan

Ahhhh, sweet relief. The wedding is said & done, a success story. The couple is happily married & enjoying their honeymoon in the Bahamas. I'm rested & relaxed. With all the flurry of activity & excitement leading up to a wedding, I can't help but love the true bliss that follows.

On Friday, it was my absolute pleasure to coordinate the wedding of Stephanie & Jay at Liberty House in Liberty State Park. Jay had promised his Bride a beautiful day & he delivered: the day was sunny & warm, just gorgeous. Before the ceremony, the Bride, Groom & Bridal Party went to Hoboken for a photo session in the historic train station & the picturesque waterfront. The Bride & Groom were so happy & so beautiful that I wish I could have snapped a few photos to share with you.

At Liberty House, wedding guests were greeted with Prosecco, sparkling water, crudite & soft music as they arrived & mingled on the back patio. Fans & parasols were available for guest to beat the heat & sunshine. The Bride's brothers ushered the guests to their seats in the Garden, offering each a program that coordinated with the wedding invitation. Finally, the Bride walked down the aisle & married her Groom. Happily ever after had begun!

Cocktail hour followed in the Tented Pavilion with delicious food, plentiful drinks & peeling laughter. The Bride & Groom greeted & spoke to each of their wedding guests as they entered the tent. Then the guests were free to eat, drink & be merry. Later, the Bride, Groom & their families stole away for a few photographs with the stunning skyline background. Meanwhile, guests plucked their escort cards (coordinated with the wedding invitation) from the wheat grass & made their way to the Grand Ballroom for the reception.

Ah, the celebratory reception in the Grand Ballroom. Again, I so wish I could've put down my clipboard & cell phone to snap a few photos for you. I'll try to paint the picture for you. Each table featured a navy blue cloth, a wedding menu (coordinated with the wedding invitation of course!) & a cast-iron tree decorated with a few rose blossoms & hanging votives. The floor-to-ceiling windows were lined with votive candles & offered full NYC views. A three-tier cake from Cake Boss was decorated with a fondant, NYC skyline. The fabulous DJ kept the guests dancing all night long. Best of all, the Bride, Groom & their wedding guests filled the room with big smiles & genuine laughter, the best sight for a wedding planner.

Oh what a night! A lot of careful planning & elbow grease went into making this wedding a success. The behind-the-scenes action was quite an adventure! Falling chuppahs, anyone? It takes a great team to make things happen: my assistant Allison, Lee of R.L. Morris Photography, Eric of document this! productions, Vincent of Hurricane Productions, Jennifer of Laura Clare Floral Design & Danielle & staff at Liberty House. Thank you, thank you for all of your efforts & hard work!

We wish Stephanie & Jay love, laughter & happily ever after!


Gone Wedding

Wedding season is upon us!
Image from Real Simple

It's the most wonderful time of year: wedding season!

On Friday, I'm coordinating the wedding of a fabulous couple, Stephanie & Jay, at the stunning Liberty House with amazing Manhattan skyline views. The wedding includes a ceremony in the Garden, a cocktail hour in the Tented Pavilion & a reception in the Grand Ballroom. Doesn't it sound fun? The Bride & Groom have lovingly planned a fabulous wedding with personal touches. I'm excited to let them sit back & enjoy their wedding day while I help make it a dream come true!!

Right now, I'm in the trenches of coordinating bouquet delivery to the hotel, explaining the ceremony chair set-up, tweaking the wedding day schedule, etc. It takes concentration!!

On that note, I will be taking a short break from blogging this week. Next week, I have some incredible wedding invitations to share with you. Maybe some tales from our wedding too. Until then, take care~
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