Green Invitation

Quite the looker & Green, too!!!

The bold graphic is available in Monarch (shown), Cotton Candy (light pink),
Mist (light blue), Canary (bright yellow) & Lagoon (turquoise).

I met Stephanie & Jay last July when they met with me about wedding planning. I liked them instantly; I could tell they were good people with good hearts. I knew I would be lucky to be a part of their wedding day. That's why I was absolutely thrilled when Stephanie called me last September (on my cousin's wedding day!!) to say they wanted to hire me for day-of services.

I was even more thrilled when Stephanie & Jay chose to get their wedding invitations at Koru Wedding Shoppe too. They are hosting a Green wedding & they wanted their wedding invitation fit into the grand scheme. As soon as Stephanie saw this wedding invitation, her eyes lit up. It's bold, modern & Earth-friendly. The invitation is printed on Green Seal Certified paper, made with 100% post-consumer fibers & created without the use of chlorine compounds. Also, the paper manufacturer uses a significant amount of renewable energy resources & responsible forest management practices. Gotta love it! This was clearly the winner & as soon as Stephanie had Jay's stamp of approval, we moved forward. The invitation is simply perfect for them & represents one simple choice of many to be Green. If you didn't think Earth-friendly could be stylish, this invitation proves you wrong!

I can hardly believe it but Stephanie & Jay's wedding is one month away! I'm so excited. Stephanie & Jay have done the work & planning for their Green wedding while providing me with hints & clues all along. It's going to be a real treat to find out every last detail of their Green wedding. Soon, they will hand over their careful plans & crafted details to me to make everything happen for them. I can't wait to make their wedding dreams a reality!

Anthropologie + Weddings

Drifting By Dress
from Anthropolgie

Do you recognize this dress from the catalog cover?
Cooling Palette Dress from Anthropolgie

I love Anthropologie; who doesn't? I pour over its beautiful catalog featuring those gorgeous clothes as soon as I snatch it out of the mailbox. It was music to my ears when I learned that Anthropologie is set to launch a bridal line including wedding gowns & bridesmaid dresses. Many Brides turn to Anthropologie for their bridesmaid dresses so Anthropologie obviously noticed the trend. There are hints that they may expand into wedding invitations & such too. Awesome! I have been trying to find out when the Anthropologie bridal line is set to launch & it seems like Spring 2011. Sigh. That's a little late for me. Maybe I'll talk to my fiance & see if we can push back the wedding a bit!


Wildflower Wonder

A letterpress invitation you can afford!

The darling wildflower design

I was a happy camper when Carlson Craft introduced its new line of letterpress invitations. The line definitely fits a need for well-priced letterpress invitations in the bridal market. I previewed a few for you back in March but I wanted to highlight one of my favorites today.

The Hannah & Michael invitation is unique with its long, thin silhouette, textured paper & wildflower design. The font style & font color can be changed to specification. This beauty is an eye-catcher! Rest-assured that your wedding guests will not think 'been there, seen this' when they open this wedding invitation. It makes me think of an outdoor, summer wedding in a flower-filled field. Or a woodsy wedding with chocolate brown & sage green color scheme. Truth be told, there are many wedding scenarios for this wedding invitation! Does it fit your wedding style?

Stylish & affordable too! You can't beat that!

To preview this letterpress invitation or our vast stationery collection, stop by Koru soon!


And The Winner Is . . .

Hyatt Regency Jersey City- our wedding reception venue!
The Manhattan Ballroom (top floor) boasts amazing NYC views!!

Downtown NYC views & Hyatt Regency (sliver of building on left)
as seen from the waterfront walkway outside the hotel

Hyatt Regency Jersey City & Manhattan
as seen from the NY Waterway ferry station

Hyatt Regency Jersey City!!!! If you've been following our hunt for the perfect venue, you may remember the Hyatt Regency Jersey City as Option Three. We decided to host our wedding reception at the Hyatt & we couldn't be more thrilled with our decision. We signed on the dotted line last Friday to make it official then we went out to celebrate. We're so happy!

My favorite thing about the Hyatt is the Manhattan Ballroom. I have done many weddings in many locations & my pet peeve is hotel ballrooms that look just like any other hotel ballroom. You could be in Whippany, New Jersey or South Bend, Indiana or Temecula, California (these are just towns that mean something to me; I'm not putting down any specific hotel ballrooms). While I wanted the ease & comfort of hosting a hotel ballroom reception, I didn't want the bland ballroom that often goes with it. The Manhattan Ballroom is far from the norm with its floor-to-ceiling windows & its glittering NYC skyline views. The combination of a WOW! ballroom paired with a hotel wedding is the ideal scenario for our wedding.

The Hyatt is the perfect reception venue for us. It fits our criteria: close to Hoboken, great NYC views, within our budget & one wedding at a time. It doesn't just fit our criteria though- it goes above & beyond. We like the fact that our wedding guests have the option to stay at the hotel for their convenience & that we can continue to celebrate downstairs at the Vu Lounge once the reception has ended. Really, we adore everything about it! The location, the views, the ambiance, the food, the service, the people, etc. Am I gushing?! Everything impressed us & made us realize this was the winner. It did take awhile to work out the details but, in the end, it was worthwhile. We got exactly what we wanted for our wedding reception.

Now that we have a ceremony venue & a reception venue (check, check!), I have quickly turned my sights to other fun details of our wedding. We're working on our save-the-dates, photographer, band & florist. I'm loving every moment. What a huge relief to move beyond Item Six on our wedding to-do list!!

We can't wait to celebrate our marriage at the Hyatt Regency Jersey City surrounded by our nearest & dearest in January!


Ruby Punch

Carnation cuteness!
Image from Green Wedding Shoes, another blog I highly recommend checking out!

I was making my rounds on the wedding blogs I adore when I stumbled upon a feature about a dessert table on Green Wedding Shoes. I was drawn to it instantly, even though red isn't my color & I have no plans for a dessert table. It's the carnations that got me.

Truth be told, I've always had a soft spot for carnations. They're simple, sweet, inexpensive & available in a rainbow of colors. What's not to love? There must be reasons not to love them because they have a bad reputation. When I first started in the wedding business ten years ago, I met with Bride after Bride who declared that carnations were on their black list. If a carnation dared to make its way into their bouquets or centerpieces, the wedding day would be ruined. I'm not exaggerating.

I've watched quietly as carnations have made a comeback over the last few years. Now that I no longer fear an angry backlash, I'm comfortable admitting that I like carnations. I have plans to use carnations stylishly for my wedding. I've been able to find carnation bouquets, centerpieces & decorations everywhere, even in Martha Stewart Weddings.

I was delighted to find the dessert table on Green Wedding Shoes that showcases carnations because it truly inspired me. On the right, you'll see red carnations packed tightly together in a petite teacup to add a splash of color. It's just that- a punch of ruby red. I had thought about using carnations in a very similar way- loads of carnations massed together in clean, low arrangements. On the left, you'll see a few carnations displayed in a Coke bottle. Love, love this! I hadn't really thought about a few carnations standing on their own but I like the look a lot. For the right Bride, the carnation & Coke bottle arrangement would be so perfect for cocktail table arrangements. For me, I'd have to adjust the look a bit to fit our wedding style.

Hmmm, the creative wheels are turning!!


Bright, Sunshiney Day

Such a fun, vibrant message from Erin After After
If you've never checked out this blog, I highly recommend it

Today is truly a bright, sunshiney day in Hoboken. The truth is I would be smiling big & loving life even if the sunshine was hidden by clouds today. I am so, so excited because we are signing the contract for our wedding reception venue this evening. Yeah!

As you well know, it's been a long time coming for us to finalize our reception venue. The hunt started in March & I fully expected to wrap it up within a few weeks. Ha! Let's face it, we had a tough decision between the Chart House, W Hoboken & Hyatt Regency Jersey City. Then there was the unforeseen obstacle that our chosen location had our wedding date on hold for another party. Finally, it took longer to get from Point A of yes, we want to book this place to Point B of yes, we're ready to sign the contract. It's been a long journey but I truly believe that it worked out just perfectly. I wouldn't change a moment.

I am going to be one happy Bride-to-be at 7pm this evening when we sign the contract & make this official! I can't wait to share the details with you. Until then, Happy Weekend~


E-Session Preview

There is the Manhattan skyline we love so much!
Maxwell Pier in Hoboken
Photo by Timothy Glenn Photography

Springtime in Elysian Park of Hoboken
Photo by Timothy Glenn Photography

I had another post planned for today when I received an email with the very exciting news that our engagement photos were ready for viewing online. As soon as I saw the photographs, I knew that I needed to share them immediately. Well, immediately after I spent one hour admiring each & every one. They exceeded my expectations by leaps & bounds! Our photographer, the talented Tim of Timothy Glenn Photography, is so talented & he managed to make us shine.

The classic black & white photographs posted above are two of my favorites. Honestly, it was hard to choose among the photos! For more photos, please visit see Tim's posting on TGP's blog.

Sometime next week, I will post more photos & describe our engagement session in detail. Until then, enjoy~


A Tale of Two Brothers

A classic pocket with a seal featuring Q
This invitation brings two brothers together!

The invitation sports a flat ribbon instead of the Q design

Lots of useful information for the guests!
Response card, Reception card, Accommodations card & Directions card

Both brothers love their Q initial!

Now that Koru is rapidly approaching its fifth anniversary (wow!), I've had the pleasure of helping past Bride's sisters & friends with their wedding invitations &/or wedding planning. It's a treat to help Bride's nearest & dearest. What I have not done is help a past Groom's brother or friend. Until now.

Last week, a wonderful Bride & Groom came to the shoppe for their wedding invitations. It didn't take long for them to pick an invitation. Soon, we were knee-deep in the designing process, my favorite part. We had to consider paper colors, font colors, font style, motif, etc. The Groom declared that he would like a design that could play with his last name initial: Q. He looked through the shoppe samples & he was thrilled to find an invitation that played up a Q. Upon further inspection of this sample, he said, "Hey, this is my brother's wedding invitation!"

What are the chances? It's a small world, especially in Hoboken. I'm happy to be helping a past Groom's brother. I can't categorize this as a referral since the Groom had no idea his brother had gotten his invitations at Koru. Unlike sisters, I guess brothers don't sit around & talk about where to buy their wedding invitations. Funny enough, these brothers & their fiances chose from the same invitation designer, Marsupial Invitations. The first Q brother chose a classic pocket invitation in a mocha/cranberry color scheme featured above from Wedding One. The second Q brother is creating an updated classic that plays with strong colors from Wedding Four. Stay tuned for the second Q invitation: coming soon!

By the way, this isn't the only time the first Q brother's wedding invitation has inspired another couple. Do you remember Pretty in Pink from March? Pretty in Pink & the Q invitation are the exact same invitation, although they look completely different. Simply change the colors & design & you've got a unique look. Pretty cool, huh?

Never Hurts to Ask

Planning, planning & more planning.
During the process, don't be afraid to ask questions! Image from Real Simple

I field a lot of questions from Brides at Koru Wedding Shoppe. Some of the questions are the norm, some questions are out of the ordinary. I've heard everything from "Do you carry fan programs?" to "Do you know a photographer who can help me with an album using photos from my destination wedding photographer?" I do my best to answer every Bride's question or point them in the right direction to find what they need. A few Brides seem embarrassed to ask & I always tell them, "It never hurts to ask."

I find myself taking my own advice as we plan our wedding. It's funny to hear my voice in my head as we face things in the planning process that I've advised Brides about many times. So far, my advice has been helpful & good!

As my fiance & I hunted for the perfect reception venue, we decided on a winner but we were concerned it might be too expensive for our budget. The venue had a per person price & a minimum price guarantee. If we have our ideal wedding with 125 guests, the minimum price guarantee was more than we would spend. I knew we had a better shot at negotiation with a wedding during the slower winter months, yet I was still hesitant to ask. Then I heard myself saying "It never hurts to ask!" The worst they could say was "No." I asked & the venue was kind enough to lower the minimum guarantee to fit our budget. We are so, so grateful. I'm so glad I asked!!

Now that we're set to sign the reception venue contract on Friday, I have set my sights upon our save-the-date invitation. I had planned on a bit of DIY project- a fun postcard with a save-the-date label on the back. I made a mock-up & my fiance rejected it upon first glance. He hated the label! He suggested asking the artist to custom print our save-the-date information on the back of the postcard. Honestly, it sounded a little Bridezilla to me. Then I thought, "It never hurts to ask!" Sure enough, I asked the artist & he is happy to help us with our request. Again, I'm so glad I asked!!

Remember: it never hurts to ask!

Are you wondering where our wedding reception is being held? Do you want to know what the save-the-date postcard looks like? Patience! All details are coming SOON!


Another Classic Beauty

Another classic updated with modern touches

The modern monogram sits among the embossed details

Let's stick with the Classic Wedding Invitation theme previously discussed here & here. Today, I'm going to feature another modern classic. The invitation was introduced just a few months ago & it's quickly become popular for its stylish good looks.

This Bride had a small wedding planned with a big story behind it. She & her fiance were planning a large bash near New Hope, Pennsylvania when they found out her fiance's sister was expecting a baby on their wedding day. They were stuck in a bad position. Did they steam ahead with their plans & potentially miss meeting their niece or nephew? Would their wedding be the same without her fiance's sister? Would her fiance's parents have to choose between attending their wedding or their first grandbaby's birth? With kindness & grace, the couple scrapped their big wedding plans & chose to marry earlier on a smaller scale.

Instead, they invited about 15 of their nearest & dearest to stay in a New York City hotel for a long weekend, including a trip to City Hall for their marriage with a wedding cake celebration in Little Italy to follow. Simple & sweet.

Although the hotel rooms were booked & the plans were set, the Bride still wanted a wedding invitation as a memento. Classic was clearly the way to go. She found the ecru invitation decorated with a delicate, embossed pattern & everything fell into place. Instead of the classic black, script font, the Bride chose a softer, mocha ink color. We added a modern monogram to the top of the invitation & added a coordinating flourish at the bottom of the invitation. The results are stunning!

I have to admit, the story behind this invitation is almost as cool as the invitation itself!


One Such Classic

A classic invitation recently designed at Koru Wedding Shoppe

A close-up of this classic's cream paper & black, script font

Last month, I blogged about the Classic Wedding Invitation: black, script font engraved on ecru or white paper. I decided to write about the classics because I had rash of Brides asking for them at Koru. Those invitation orders are arriving & it's time to share them with you!

One lovely Bride came to me seeking a traditional invitation for her small, seaside wedding in June. With only 15 close friends & immediate family attending, the Bride was all about keeping things simple. She wanted a classic invitation, although she was open to some modern touches. She quickly settled on a cream invitation with ragged, pearlized edges (hard to see the edging in my photos, sorry) & a traditional black, script font. To finish off the look, we paired the invitation with an inner envelope lined in pearl. The pearl lining of the inner envelope highlighted & complemented the pearlized edge of the invitation.

The Bride was thrilled with her invitations & I sent her off to Eat, Drink & Be Married!


Bouquet Head

From Fab Sugar

I was getting my daily dose of celebrity gossip from People when I noticed a link for bridal bouquet hair pieces. I was way too curious to pass this up. I followed the link to FabSugar & found this photo featuring, sure enough, a bridal bouquet perched in the model's hair. According to FabSugar, Douglas Hannat revealed his Spring 2010 Bridal Collection with every model sporting a bridal bouquet in their hair. Really?

I have experienced a Bride or two or ten complaining that their traditional bridal bouquet is too heavy to carry for long. Can you imagine those heavy flowers on your head? I mean, there is a tasteful orchid tucked into a chignon & then there is a bridal bouquet taking over a hairstyle.

Even if this becomes the most popular trend for weddings, I can safely say that I won't be wearing my bouquet in my hair. I'm happy to carry it, thank you.

What do you think? Would you wear this? Will this really be a trend?

Greetings from Hoboken

Greetings from Hoboken!

I'm baaaack!

I'm sorry for the short break from blogging. From the start, I set my goal to blog every week day & I try to stick to that schedule. Real life has gotten in the way lately! Let me tell you, the break isn't due to shortage of things to share. That means there are some fun posts coming your way!

On our wedding front, we have tons of awesome things happening. We chose & booked our reception site! Literally today. How exciting is that?! The goods news will be shared soon. In the meantime, I was determined to move beyond that pesky Item Number Six on our wedding planning timeline. We skipped ahead a bit & started shopping for a fabulous photographer & a rocking band. Those things are works in progress with details to follow. This Saturday, my fiance & I are thrilled to have an engagement photo session with my talented brother-in-law, Tim of Timothy Glenn Photography. I have drooled over his engagement & wedding photos for years & it's such a thrill to be the subject! Last but not least, I started working on our web site which is a bit more work than I expected. I hope to have it wrapped up before too long.

At Koru Wedding Shoppe, things are in full swing as well. Tons of great wedding invitation orders arrived & I'm excited to post them here. Unfortunately, that good intention, those invitations & my camera are never in the same place at once. I'm staging a photo shoot at Koru on Thursday so be on the lookout for those invitations. Plus I feel so lucky that I have meet with some incredible couples in the past few weeks for invitations so more beauties are in the works.

Phew, what a busy, fun time! Today is just a short, sweet Greetings from Hoboken!

Hint: This will be seen again for our wedding!


The Best Laid Plans

Our official wedding timeline. Someday, we will move beyond number 6.

Our wedding timeline poses with a few of my other wedding planning essentials

One of the first things I did as a Soon-to-be Mrs. was create & print a wedding planning timeline. It's a basic, step-by-step guide to successfully get from "Yes!" to "I Do!" that I personalize & give to my full planning clients. The planner in me was really excited to have a wedding timeline that is ours, all ours! I envisioned effortlessly tackling our timeline task by task until we are married.

Well, that was the plan. We're permanently stuck in the "First Things First" category. Specifically, item number six: Reserve a Reception Site. You know we chose three contenders based on our preferences & visited Chart House, W Hoboken & Hyatt Regency Jersey City. Our first road block was one site had our wedding date on hold for another party. We quickly learned a lesson in patience as we waited to find out if the other party booked. After over a week of waiting, we received the green light that the other party had not booked & we could proceed to consider this site. We carefully reviewed our options & chose a winner for our reception.

Great, right? You must be wondering why I haven't posted about our chosen reception site as I promised. Let me tell you, nothing is ever easy. Although we have a clear favorite, there are some details to be ironed out before we sign on the dotted line & officially book this reception site. Back & forth & back & forth we go. Who knows, everything could fall through & we may go with one of our other options. I don't want to make an announcement until it's a done deal. With each day that passes, I glance longingly at item number seven & I hope we get to it someday. Soon!!!

Even a wedding planner can fall behind.


Hello Spring

My home stretch of Seventh Street in Hoboken

Look at this gorgeousness that is Spring!

As we walked home from church on Easter, we passed under this canopy of flowered trees on the last stretch of Seventh Street before reaching home. I had to stop & take a photo, since this floral beauty doesn't last forever. I wish it could but then it wouldn't be so special. Like so many things in life.

A sunny, warm Easter. Pretty, flowering trees overhead. Warm laughter wafting through the air from an outdoor cafe. My fiance by my side. I think I fell in love with life in Hoboken all over again.


Vow Wow

The details are amazing: the stained glass windows, carved columns, painted walls, etc

We will exchange vows at this altar! Here, it's all dressed up for Easter.

The view as you leave the church

The stained glass windows glowed in Sunday's sunlight

Way back when we booked the Church of St. Ann for our marriage ceremony, I promised photos of the inside of our beautiful, historical church. We finally had the chance to snap a few photos after Easter Sunday service. Here they are! Don't you agree this church is gorgeous?

I can't help but think "Wow, this is where we are getting married!" every time we attend church.


One Dress, Two Dresses

Ballgown for the ceremony: Carina dress from Amsale

Casual Elsa dress for the reception: The Little White Dress made famous by Amsale.

Interesting tidbit from the April issue of Brides magazine: 5% of Brides buy more than one wedding dress, according to a survey from The Wedding Report. I get it. You wear a big, princess dress for the formal ceremony. Then you slip into something stylish & comfortable for the fun reception. I have planned weddings for Brides who have a costume change between the ceremony & reception. It's a cool idea.

Wait: there's more! 3% of those Brides purchase two gowns & 2% buy more than two gowns. More?!

Wow. As a Bride, I see things a bit differently now. I'm overwhelmed at the thought of finding one perfect dress, let alone two or more!


Happy Easter!

A simple version of my Easter cards

I decorated these paper eggs!

My final creations when I ran out of the other cardstock

I made this card first, then decided to make each card a bit different

No envelope leaves my hands without a seal or sticker

Here are my Easter cards that I created! Do you like them? I'm happy with the final products. It's a bonus that I had so much fun making them! I hope my family & friends enjoy them.

I was short two envelopes & I took the cards with me to the store to find coordinating envelopes. When the saleswoman saw my creations, she told me I should go into the card-making business. For a moment, my mind starting racing. Then I returned to reality & remembered my hands are quite full with my baby, Koru Wedding Shoppe. I thanked her for her compliment & went on my merry way.

Happy Easter & Happy Spring to all~


Gucci Baby

Gucci & I taking a walk on a summer day

Gucci coming or going, I can't tell, sporting his winter coat

Gucci is so happy to be riding shot gun, his preferred spot although he was supposed to stay in the backseat

Gucci working hard at Koru. Luckily, he didn't demand a high salary.

One of our final photos of Gucci.

Today I'm going to take a break from weddings & dedicate a post to our beloved dog Gucci. He was known & adored for his sweet nature & love of human food, especially hamburgers. Gucci was my furry best friend, my biggest fan & my loyal sidekick. For about fifteen years, he was my dog as we navigated life together. I couldn't even begin to write about the countless adventures we shared. I was lucky to have him by my side during the good & the bad. For the past three years, he was our dog after he successfully wrapped my boyfriend (now fiance) around his paw. Our life revolved around Gucci- not one day was planned without careful thought to Gucci's feedings, walks & care. Now our days seem a bit empty. We love & miss Gucci so much!

Gucci is missed at Koru Wedding Shoppe as well. He was the official shoppe dog from day one. He decided he was in charge of guest relations. Gucci made sure every guest was greeted at the door & every Groom had the chance to pet him while their Brides looked at wedding goodies. As old age slowed him down, Gucci ran the show from his doggie bed & preferred that people come to him. I always teased that I could make a fortune if I could have charged guests for petting Gucci.

About two and a half months ago, we received the heartbreaking news that we should put Gucci to sleep. I was fortunate to spend the last week with him, spoiling him with hamburger meals & showering him with unlimited love. My boyfriend (now fiance) came home early every day & spent as much time with us as he could. When Thursday came, our final, full day together, I could hardly believe it. Suddenly, 18 years had gone so fast, too fast! That day passed even more quickly. Our daily ritual of Gucci's night walk was tinged with deep sadness as we realized it was the last walk all of us would take together. I still get mopey on Thursday nights. Nevertheless, we are grateful we had the opportunity to give Gucci the send-off he deserved; we sent him with lots of love.

So, Gucci, this one is dedicated in memory of you! For our readers who have a pet(s), please give them a big hug & yummy treat in Gucci's honor~
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