Biggest Regret

No Photograph Today!

My biggest regret is not taking photographs at weddings when I'm wearing my wedding planner/coordinator hat. Just this past weekend, I had the honor of coordinating a wedding that took us from a sweet church ceremony to an amazing photo shoot at the Hoboken Terminal to a gorgeous reception at the W Hotel Hoboken. Not one single photograph.

Back when I was a wedding planning assistant, I had the luxury to take photographs during weddings. I was sent to the ceremony location long before guests arrived to reserve seats, place programs, etc. There was always a quiet moment to snap a photo of the pristine, decorated ceremony location. Then I was sent to the cocktail hour location as soon as the ceremony concluded to arrange the escort cards, place the guest book, etc. Again, I could find a still moment to snap a photo of cocktail hour all decked out for the wedding. And my very favorite part was being sent to the reception location way ahead of the party. I was quite busy placing menus, table numbers, favors, etc while many other vendors rushed around doing their jobs. But when everything was said & done, I had the opportunity to pause & admire the finished look of the reception location. It was always beautiful & unique & I always had a photo to remember it forever.

Now things are different as the main wedding planner. I'm running around with my Blackberry, my clipboard & my emergency kit. Often, I'm also carrying the Bride's bouquet, Bride's purse, the Bride's flip flops, etc. I don't have an extra hand, let alone the time, to stop & take a photograph. But I wish I did. It's my biggest regret as wedding planner.


Wow Wedding

Gorgeous Orchids
Image from Martha Stewart Weddings

As a wedding planner, a wedding boutique owner & a Bride-to-be, there is little I love more than weddings. Love, love weddings! This weekend, I am honored & excited to be planning & coordinating a wedding for a fabulous couple at the W Hotel Hoboken. Yes, the very same W Hotel Hoboken that RZ & I seriously considered for our wedding. If I can't host our wedding there, the second best thing must be planning & coordinating a wedding there. The W Hotel boasts about their "Wow Vow" & I can't wait to experience it through our lovely couple this weekend!

On another note, this is my final wedding planning job before our wedding in January. WOW!


Just Dandy

The seal offers a peek at the invitation design

The open pocket

Layers of color with the Chestnut pocket, Topaz backer & Ivory invitation

The invitation & response card perfectly match

Just love the dandelion!

For your viewing pleasure, I present you with a beauty from Wedding One by Marsupial Invitations.

The first thing you notice about this wedding invitation is the dandelion motif, very sweet & simple. H & D loved the dandelion from the start but we went through many versions of their invitation before we got it right.

First, the dandelion is available as a complete circle. H & D thought it would take up too much room as a full circle & they had no desire for their copy to be printed over the dandelion. We cut the dandelion in half & placed it to the right side & all was well. Then H & D chose a Chestnut pocket with matching font color & an Ocean backer with matching motif color. Since we met in late January & their wedding wasn't until Fall, we agreed to meet during the Summer to finalize the order.

H came back in July & we reviewed their earlier choices. This time, H wasn't thrilled about the bright blue Ocean backer & matching motif color. She wanted the color scheme to be lighter, softer. She picked the backer in a light blue called Topaz & the motif in a blue-grey called Ash, the closest we could find to Topaz. I placed the order & quickly received an email from the stationer saying they could match the design color to the Topaz backer. Yeah!

And finally, the design process on the dandelion invitation was complete & done. H, D & I are absolutely in love with the final result. This invitation is just dandy!


So Far, So Good

My supplies: styrofoam ball, fabric,
ribbon, scissors & glue gun

The first ten petals are ready to be flowers!
I outlined the circles with a juice glass & pen

Yeah, my first flower!

The first flowers start the pretty pom

My first DIY project, fabric pom poms, for our wedding is in full swing since I began on Monday. I'm having a grand time crafting. As always, I find it relaxing & therapeutic. I have cut, created & applied 50 fabric flowers so that my pom is half done. What do I think of the project so far?

1. The pom is only half done & it already looks pretty great. I can envision it decorating the aisle during our marriage ceremony!

2. The pom is taking more time & fabric than I anticipated. Since our wedding is 4.5 months away, I'm sure I can find the time to craft more poms. But I am worried about finding fabric- I want the same shimmer, crinkle fabric in white & cream. No idea where to find the fabric!

3. The instructions called for covering a Chinese paper lantern with fabric flowers. The styrofoam ball is much easier to work with because I make a small hole in the styrofoam, fill it with hot glue & insert the tip of the fabric flower so it's nice & secure. However, I'm worried about how I will get the pom to hang from the ribbon.

4. My fingers are now numb from the burning sensation of hot glue. On the bright side, I haven't adhered myself or anything else to the dining room table. Yet.

I will update you soon with my finished pom- so far, so good!


Riviera Engagement

The Riviera invitation
for a formal, Fall engagement party

Love, love it
Especially the inner envelope lining

A newly-engaged Bride came to Koru Wedding Shoppe in search of the perfect invitation for her formal engagement party. We had a grand time looking through options in the invitation books together. No matter what else she saw, the Bride loved the Riviera invitation from the Exclusive Collection II book by Carlson Craft the best. The Riviera invitation is described as lavish & opulent scrollwork patterns inspired by the beauty of the French Riviera. The winner!

We had a few minor adjustments to make before the invitation was ready for the Bride's Fall engagement party. The bright pink & platinum gray color scheme on white paper was changed to grape & champagne on ivory paper to subtly speak of Fall. The formal script & readable block fonts were good as is so we simply picked engagement party wording.

My favorite part? The champagne inner envelope lining. I'm such a sucker for the small details.


Me + Fabric + Glue Gun = ?

I want these sweet, fabric pom poms at our wedding!
Image via Hey Gorgeous

How darling are these DIY fabric pom poms? Let's take it a step further. How darling would these DIY fabric pom poms look as aisle decor at our marriage ceremony? Of course, done in our winter white/cream color scheme. So darling!

That's what I have been thinking ever since I came across these cuties. Since I love to craft, it makes sense that I should craft a DIY project or two for our wedding. The fabric poms seem like an easy, manageable project that I will enjoy making. I hope those aren't famous last words! I'm going to make two test poms before I commit to anything. I salvaged some random fabric awhile ago & I bought a glue gun, styrofoam balls & ribbon today. If you look at the step-by-step instructions, you'll notice I've already improvised a bit. I'm going to give this project a whirl!

I have a Plan B if this project doesn't work out quite the way I hope. My florist Liz has agreed to make the poms with fresh flowers for a reasonable price. I know those will look darling (yup, darling is the word of the day!). Still, if I can make them & add a personal touch to our ceremony, that's my preference. Wish me luck!

P.S. The DIY fabric pom poms would be oh so cute as nursery decor, holiday decorations, etc. If you'd like to make them yourself, head over to Pretty Projects at Hey Gorgeous & craft away!


Wedding Break

Charming, simple prints
Available at jessgonacha's shop

Everyone has a bad day now & then- today it's my turn.

I don't feel like being a Bride-to-be; I certainly don't feel like planning one more thing for our wedding.
Simply mention the words "Bridesmaid Dress" to me & I might scream. Or combust.

So my dear readers, I am filing away our wedding for the weekend. Not one single wedding-related thought. Instead, reading, crafting & walking. Refresh & recharge is the name of the game. I'm going to remember that I am loved & I will count my endless blessings.

Please check back next week because I have some gorgeous wedding invitations & wedding stories to share with you. Have a lovely weekend!


Adventures of My Maid of Honor

The stylish Bella Bridesmaid window in Madison, NJ

A rainbow rack of 300+ pretty dresses!

My Maid of Honor models the winner!

Bridesmaid dress shopping was a success! I went to my Bella Bridesmaid appointment with three, important things: my Maid of Honor Mary, the Cynthia Rowley dress style number 8011 & the color preference of Smashing purple. I was over my whining & crying about bridesmaid dress shopping & I was ready to have fun!

Mary & I met with the lovely Amanda, one of the co-owners of the Madison, NJ & New York City locations. I told her about the Cynthia Rowley dress I liked & she pulled several similar dresses from designers like Thread, Priscilla of Boston & Lela Rose. We sent Mary into the dressing room with about 10 dresses that she kindly modeled for me while I lounged on the couch. The Cynthia Rowley dress was the first one she tried on & I loved it just as much as I did when I first spotted it at Lovely Bridal Shop. However, I was surprised to like about three other dresses. Me, the one who feared I wouldn't be able to find anything stylish & affordable!!

I was going to send Mary back into the dressing room with the four top contenders when I realized I truly liked the Cynthia Rowley dress the best. It's simple, clean & pretty. Officially, the dress is described as cocktail-length, strapless dress with pleated bodice & matching sash. I still loved the unique "Smashing" purple color I had picked out ahead of time too. There didn't seem to be any point in hemming or hawing over the decision. I had her try it on again for confirmation & sure enough, I loved it. Bridesmaid dress: check!

Phew, I'm so glad the bridesmaid dress hunt is over! I want to thank Amanda for her help & advice. Of course, I have to thank my Maid of Honor for her patience & excellent modeling skills.

I went to Bella Bridesmaid open to anything & everything (well, almost everything: more on that in another post). In the end, I went with my first instinct. My Bridesmaids are going to look fabulous on our wedding day!


Invitations. Seriously.

Will we go the more traditional route?
Monique Lhuiller wedding invitation available at Koru

Or a more modern route?
Marsupial Invitations wedding invitation available at Koru

I was shamed today: a May 2011 Bride ordered her wedding invitations. This Bride was so organized! She had her ceremony, reception, accommodations & rehearsal dinner information. I only have two out of those four. I'm a January 2011 Bride & I haven't ordered our wedding invitations yet. What is wrong with this picture?!

RZ is coming to Koru Wedding Shoppe after work & we are ordering our wedding invitations. You may remember we attempted this a few weeks ago & it simply didn't work out. No ifs, and or buts this time.

Tonight is the Night!


Five Months & Counting . . .

Festive "5" candle from Party America

Yesterday marked five months until our wedding day! WOW!


Plan B

Tomorrow is the big day: my Maid of Honor & I are going bridesmaid dress shopping at Bella Bridesmaid! As much as I have whined & cried about the process, I'm looking forward to it. It will be fun to spend a day with my big sister to talk wedding & shop for bridesmaid dresses.

If any of you are worried that we may not find a bridesmaid dress tomorrow, have no fear. I've got a Plan B! First, we have this sassy, purple number:

Or we have this cute, ivory option:

Hmmm . . . tough choice! Wish us luck tomorrow!!

(all above dresses are available at Macy's)


Thistle: A First!

A classic, pretty wedding invitation in Thistle ink

The pearl border compliments the pearl invitation liner perfectly

Oh Thistle, you are so pretty!

As soon as this fun-loving couple told me that their wedding ceremony is at St. Ann's Church & their wedding reception is at Hyatt Regency Jersey City, I knew I liked them. After all, those are the very same places that RZ & I chose for our marriage ceremony & wedding reception! I couldn't help but compliment them on their excellent choices.

Then they chose Thistle ink for their wedding invitations; I was smitten. It's no secret that I love purple, just look at Koru's Wedding Shoppe's official purple & green color scheme. Thistle is a particularly beautiful purple, very subtle with perhaps a touch of grey. I have always liked it but in over five years of selling wedding invitations, nobody has chosen it. A few Brides had their eye on it, only to be vetoed by the Groom. Along comes this fabulous couple who chose the same ceremony & reception sites as us AND chose Thistle ink!!! Love, love them.

So today, for your purple pleasure, I would like to present the very first Thistle wedding invitation from Koru Wedding Shoppe!



Our first major curveball; I'm sure there will be others.
Cute t-shirt from CafePress

Nothing like being thrown a curveball in the wedding planning process!

Today I found out our catering manager at the Hyatt is no longer working there. WOW! We were emailing each other back & forth as of last Wednesday about our rehearsal dinner & farewell brunch. I had sent a few emails in the meantime with no response but I figured she was busy with other urgent matters. After all, our wedding isn't for another five months. I had something that needed to be taken care of today- our wedding guests were being charged an incorrect amount for their hotel rooms- & that's when I called & got the surprising news. I was stunned.

From the moment I called the Hyatt about hosting our wedding reception, Tanya has been our contact & ally. She met with us, showed us the space & reviewed the options. She helped us finalize the details & sign our contract. She arranged our hotel room block for our wedding guests. She entertained all of my pesky questions from parking to linens to brunch. She did extra things like toasting our contract signing & arranging lunch & a tour for my Mom. I always felt Tanya was going above & beyond for us & we appreciated all of her hard work & effort. We definitely wish she had lasted until our wedding & we will miss her.

RZ is a bit worried that the level of service may go down with our next contact. I'm pretty confident that the Hyatt will hand our wedding over to another wonderful person to assist us until January. Time will tell!

And so we have our first official curveball in our wedding planning.


Pretty in Yellow & Grey Program

A simple ceremony program

The design is copied from the wedding invitation

The pocket wedding invitation that inspired the ceremony program

The Pretty in Yellow & Grey Bride came back to Koru Wedding Shoppe for matching ceremony programs. She was having a short & sweet ceremony & she simply wanted to list the members of the bridal party
who support & love them on not only their wedding day but every day. Naturally, she wanted to design to match her gorgeous wedding invitations. Easy, easy!

The Pretty in Yellow & Grey program is a single sheet with a backer. We used the same paper color, font style & design to match the Bride's wedding invitation. We flipped the layout to a vertical orientation to best fit the copy & added the bridal party list. The result is perfectly coordinated ceremony program.

Very simple; very striking!


Broken Tiara

It could happen to anyone:
a broken tiara & other little mishaps on a Wedding Day
Beautiful tiara from Model Bride

Often I am asked what I do on a wedding day as the wedding planner. I tick off the usual stuff: facilitate the wedding day schedule; coordinate the Bride, Groom, Bridal Party & vendors; cue events; set-up & breakdown ceremony & reception items; solve unexpected surprises (aka problems); calm nerves & relieve stress; etc, etc.

Today, as I reflect back on this weekend's wedding, it strikes me that the "etc, etc" may be the most important part of my job. It's the little things we do that really matter. Provide the Bride with a snack when lunch hasn't arrived yet. Fix the broken tiara. Pin the boutonnieres on the Groom & Groomsmen. Find missing family members for group photos. Pin bridesmaid dresses.
Let the unity candle lighters use our lighter because nobody brought one.

All this happened before the ceremony started.

We continued to hop in wherever & whenever needed until the Reception was said & done. Could everything have been done without us? Yes, of course. However, the Bride would have been stressed. And whatever poor soul, probably a Bridesmaid or Mother of the Bride, was stuck doing these tasks wouldn't have enjoyed the wedding as much. On the other hand, we are happy to take care of everything so everyone can be a carefree guest at the wedding. It's truly a joy & honor for us.

There's a little glimpse into the life of a wedding planner!


Too Much

Ask me about our wedding & I will most likely reply, "Winter White Wedding." Whites, creams, champagnes; simple & sweet. I'm very careful not follow in the footsteps of Marcy & Dan & describe a "Winter Wonderland Wedding" which brought them a wedding day blizzard. I'd like just enough snow for pretty photos but not so much our guests have a tough time traveling. In my ideal world, we have a beautiful dusting of snow on our winter white wedding day. Is that too much to ask?

Just imagine us posed here in snowy Church Square Park:

Or here, walking among the quaint, brownstone-lined streets & snowy trees:

Or perhaps here, coming down a staircase of snow swirls:

Oops, how did this photo get here?! I couldn't resist adding this photo of my cute boy Gucci when I came across it searching for the other winter pictures. Sadly, we won't be posing with Gucci (how I wish!) on our wedding day but I hope to snap some wedding photos with our new boy Bailey.

Who knows, maybe a snowy wedding day is too much to ask, although it would be really, really cool. Our wedding day will be perfect no matter what!


Overwhelmed Bride

A pretty bouquet to cheer me up today!
White Tulip & Chamomile Bouquet
Bouquet from Real Simple

I have quite a few wedding invitations to photograph & feature on the blog but I forgot my camera again. I'd say it's one of those days except it may be more appropriate to say it's one of those weeks. I'm feeling a bit like I'm stuck in second gear in life, not to mention in wedding planning.

What's happening with our wedding planning these days? Lots & nothing at the same time.

RZ & I didn't have time to review our wedding invitation options the other day. He did give his stamp of approval to one invitation. However, he didn't even look at the other invitation. Until we have time to compare & contrast, I'm holding off on choosing & ordering wedding invitations.

Because we want to include the Rehearsal Dinner & Celebration Brunch information with the wedding invitation, I reached out to the Hyatt Regency Jersey City to find out when & where we could hold both affairs at the hotel. At first, I was told they had plenty of room for us. It took me about five days to get back to them &, in the meantime, a sales conference booked the entire hotel. Major bummer! I'm back at square one, reaching out to local restaurants to see about their options & pricing.

Also on the to-do list is reserving wedding day transportation for us, our bridal party & our wedding guests. This happens to be of my least favorite tasks when I'm helping wedding planning clients. Naturally, it's no more appealing when it's our wedding. So I've been putting it off.

And so it goes . . .


Sweet Shower Details

On Monday, I wrote about the fun celebration of Marisa's bridal shower. The entire affair was planned & executed with love from the pretty decorations to the yummy food to the entertaining games to the thoughtful touches. Today, I wanted to share some of the sweet details.

First, the lovely tables decorated with bright pink linens, gorgeous flowers & heart wine stopper favors:

The Maid of Honor & Bridesmaids received awesome goodie bags: a monogrammed beach bag filled with a beach towel, monogrammed notes & Bridal Party t-shirt from Koru Weddding Shoppe:

Last but not least, the delicious cake. Don't you love the "From Miss to Mrs." saying?


Bella Bridesmaid

Sarah by Thread
Thread dresses available at Bella Bridesmaid in Madison

While I'm busy whining & complaining about shopping for bridesmaid dresses, my poor Bridesmaids are probably wondering if I'm planning to send them down the aisle naked. My Maid of Honor took one for the team & reached out to ask me if we could start shopping. Sigh.

I decided to start with the one bridesmaid dress I like that doesn't cost a small fortune: a Cynthia Rowley dress available at Lovely Bridal Shop. I saw it when I bought my gown & I loved its clean, simple lines. Plus the dress came in a beautiful shade of purple! However, Lovely Bridal Shop is mostly for Brides; they simply carry two bridesmaid lines. Not exactly the best place to go if we're interested in seeing & comparing different dresses.

If any of my Brides ask me where to shop for bridesmaid dresses, I tell them Bella Bridesmaid who have convenient locations in Madison, New Jersey & New York City for my local maids & a La Jolla, California location for my Cali maids. I know the owners, I adore the sweet shops & I love the selection of stylish dresses. Bonus: they carry the Cynthia Rowley line. It seemed quite obvious that Bella Bridesmaid was the place for me to look for a bridesmaid dress. If anyplace could make the dreaded experience of bridesmaid dress shopping more pleasant, it's Bella Bridesmaid.

The appointment is made. I will keep you posted as we hunt for the perfect bridesmaid dress at Bella Bridesmaid. Let the bridesmaid dress games begin!

Shower of Wishes

Yesterday, I had the honor of attending my friend Marisa's bridal shower. Family & friends gathered to shower Marisa with love & good wishes. It was a fun, special celebration for a beautiful Bride-to-be.

I had a wonderful time at the bridal shower- almost as much fun as I had preparing for it!

First, I had the golden opportunity to craft my first bridal shower card:

Instead of buying items from Marisa's registry, I shopped at my very own Koru Wedding Shoppe. Marisa had mentioned she liked the sassy Newlywed tank top. What could be better for her Aruba honeymoon? Here it is:

Last but not least, I wanted to get Marisa the Soon-to-Be Mrs. hoodie. But her wedding is quickly approaching. And maybe I should stick with the honeymoon theme. So I went with the another version of the Soon-to-Be-Mrs. hoodie. It's pretty cute: Mrs. So & So est. Wedding Date. I ordered a white hoodie & light pink embroidery in brush script to match the Newlywed tank top:

I hope Marisa enjoys her new tank top & hoodie on her honeymoon! Best wishes always~

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