Happy Weekend!

I wish I was here again!
Palms & Pacific Ocean in Pismo Beach, California

Happy Memorial Day weekend!

Do you have fun holiday plans? I have two wedding invitation appointments tomorrow, then I plan on relaxing & celebrating with my fiance for the remainder of the weekend. No pressure, no plans. I can't wait! I'll be back Tuesday. Enjoy~


Thank in Style

Would you like to make this card for your Bridesmaids?
Head over to Once Wed for detailed instructions!

How sweet & precious are these DIY Bridesmaid Thank You cards? I fell head over heels in love when I found them on Once Wed. It seems I'm not the only Bride looking to craft "Will You?" and "Thank You" bridal party cards. I have months to go but I love, love finding inspiration for the thank you cards. The adorable cards above involve making stamps which may be a bit beyond my limited skill level. Or maybe not. I have some time to practice!!

Whether you buy cards or make cards, I firmly believe you must ask your Bridesmaids in style & thank them with grace!


We're Getting Married

Our engagement party invitation

We're getting married!!!


One of the first things my Mom mentioned after we got engaged is that she & my sister wanted to host an engagement party for us. We'd never turn down an excuse to celebrate so we gladly accepted. My Mom & my sister whipped together a fantastic plan for a casual barbecue held in the backyard of my childhood home & attended by our local family & closest friends. I'm looking forward to our nearest & dearest mixing & mingling on a beautiful summer day.

The engagement party is their deal so I've let them take the wheel & plan this shindig. For the most part. One, I made a polite demand for angel food cake, my favorite dessert. Two, I asked to take care of the party invitations. After all, I have tons of great resources at my fingertips at Koru.

Truth be told, I had an invitation in mind from the Casual Collection. I didn't want to totally take over the process so I sent three invitations for my Mom & my sister to choose from. I put them in random order so they wouldn't know which one was my favorite. Option One was the Engaging Event invitation, featuring an engagement ring. Option Two was the Chic Couple, featuring a modern couple toasting martini glasses. Option Three was Bouquet of Beauty, featuring a subtle background of calla lilies.

Bless their hearts, they chose my favorite: Chic Couple!!! It's a fun, fresh design on shimmer paper that's perfect for our engagement party. For some reason, I'm obsessed with shimmer paper- I love the dash of sparkle. Why choose plain white paper when you can have a little shimmer?! My sister provided the cute wording & I chose a block font in mocha ink for the copy & script font in lipstick pink for our names to add a pop of color & emphasis. Viola- here's our engagement party invitation!

Our engagement party invitation was our first piece of wedding stationery. Right now, it's a tease for a great day ahead. After the party is said & done, the invitation will be a fabulous memento for us.


Copper Beauty

A save-the-date designed for Fall weddings

Leaf design, simple wording & clean font = BIG impact!

The leaf design had me at hello

A preview of what's to come:
The wedding invitation & its matching Copper Shimmer inner envelope lining

Let's continue the save-the-date invitation topic today!

Koru Wedding Shoppe has carried the Chloe B. Weddings book for a few years &, hands down, the Copper Leaf invitation suite has been my favorite since Day One. There is something about the shimmer leaf detail that conjures up images of a wedding on a crisp, fall day. Nobody has fell for it quite as hard as me. Brides & Grooms have ordered the save-the-dates or the invitations or the thank you notes but nobody has purchased the entire suite. Until now.

A Bride, Groom & Mother of the Bride came to Koru for wedding invitations in early Spring for a Fall wedding in New York City. The MoB was visiting from Colorado so they wanted to choose & order everything while she was visiting. Everyone fell hook, line & sinker for the Copper Leaf suite but they did due diligence & glanced at a few other stationery books. They kept coming back to the Copper Leaf suite & finally declared it the winner. Not only did they want to order the wedding invitations, they wanted the entire invitation suite from start to finish!

The wedding guests' first glimpse of this Fall wedding is the simple save-the-date, featuring the copper leaf design & mocha ink in a clean, block font. Then the leaf theme will be carried throughout the wedding from the invitation to the thank you notes. Love it!!!!


Capital E for Excitement

Start spreading the word with save-the-date invitations!

Capital E for Excitement: our save-the-date invitations arrive tomorrow!!! I can't wait to see them.

Not everyone does save-the-date invitations but we felt it was pretty important in our case. Number one, about half of our guest list is traveling from California. We want to give them plenty of time to save their pennies & make their travel plans, should they choose to join us. And we really, really hope they do! Number two, our wedding falls about two weeks after the holidays. It's a busy time for everyone & we thought the advance notice of our wedding is a nice gesture.

With that in mind, I knew exactly what I wanted to do for our save-the-date invitations as soon as we chose our date & location. Something simple, fun & inexpensive- I had no intention of blowing our budget upfront. I chose a postcard because they're not expensive to buy or mail. Now you may remember that our save-the-dates brought me dangerously close to Bridezilla-land when my fiance rejected my DIY save-the-date & sent me off to an artist to ask if he could print them for us. Thankfully, the artist is gracious & granted our request. I must admit, it worked out for the best because our save-the-date invitations are going to be just right!

Are those our save-the-date invitations pictured above? Nope. I chose to feature the best-seller from Koru Wedding Shoppe. We plan to send our save-the-date invitations to our family & close friends (not the entire guest list) on or about June 15, six months before our wedding (WOW!). I want our wedding guests to have the first peek at our save-the-date invitations, then I'll share them with you. It seems fair to me.

Would you like a hint? You have seen our save-the-dates on this blog already!!!


Will You Be My Bridesmaid?

The first Bridesmaid card in progress

The first Bridesmaid card receives its final touches
while the others wait for their turn

The complete Bridal Party collection handmade by me

The bridal party is an important part of our wedding & each member is a crucial part of our lives. They are special people to us whether it's our wedding day or an every day. When it came to asking my selected ladies if they would do me the honor of being my Bridesmaids, I wanted to make it memorable.

First, I crafted "Will You Be My Bridesmaid?" cards. I carry adorable bridal party cards at Koru Wedding Shoppe but two of my Bridesmaids had used them for their wedding. I hoped I could create something unique. I swear, it's not because my bridesmaids aren't blonde! I set about crafting with white card stock, purple paper, swirl shimmer paper, purple ribbon & the crowning touch of rhinestones. Each card features a Bridesmaid dress on a hanger with the ribbon & rhinestones as embellishments. It was lots of fun & I was proud of each creation that was made with love. The best part was penning a note to each girl about how much they mean to me & how much I would love them to be a part of our wedding.

Now I had to make plans to ask my selected ladies. With three local maids & two out-of-state maids, I could only ask three in person & I knew it would be difficult to coordinate four schedules. Miracle of miracles, all three said that they could come to our apartment for a Girl's Night In. All it took was chips & salsa, taco dip, chicken tacos & sangria to lure them. The night unfolded with good eats, chatter & laughter. I was having so much fun that I almost forgot my plan! Cupcakes were being served & my fiance was begging to come home (he'd been kicked out for the evening) when I realized I hadn't asked them.

I asked them to be my Bridesmaids & each replied "Yes!" Then I presented them with their bridal party card & a sweet Bridemaid necklace. It was so special & fun. I'm unbelievably excited that these ladies will be a part of our wedding, as they are a part of our lives. I'm blessed with the best bridal party ever!!!

Or so I hope. The final "Will You Be My Bridesmaid?" cards are sitting on my desk waiting to be mailed to the out-of-state maids. Cross your fingers!


Love Beach

A beautiful pocket invitation for a wedding in the Bahamas

The invitation & enclosure cards provide plenty of info for the traveling guests

The shell & marine ink reflect the wedding's location

I can't help it: I feel the need to escape to sunny days, warm breezes, white sands & turquoise waters. Thankfully, I've done a rash of destination wedding invitations lately so there are plenty of opportunities to visit to the tropics, even if it's only on a blog post. Today, we're going to the Bahamas!

What do you think of when you hear Bahamas? I, for one, immediately think of the gorgeous, turquoise waters. This wonderful couple had the same idea & they chose Marine ink to reflect those ocean waters (unfortunately, Marine looks dark in my photos). It's perfect for a destination wedding in the Bahamas. Just add the whimsical seashell on the ecru invitation enclosed in a shimmer, champagne pocket & perfection is achieved! Did I mention that their outer envelopes were addressed in Marine ink too? Seriously, it doesn't get better than this invitation.

Or maybe it does. The Bride & Groom are getting married at sunset on Love Beach in the Bahamas. How romantic!!!!


Book Band: check!

How much fun are we having here? LOTS!
We had to have this band for our wedding!!
Photo by Timothy Glenn Photography

My fiance & I decided our top three priorities for our wedding were the location, the photography & the music. It's pretty straight-forward. We want a beautiful location with fabulous views, great service & delicious food for our wedding guests- thank you Hyatt Regency Jersey City! Gorgeous photographs to forever remind us of our special day are an absolute must- details coming soon (hint here)! A rocking band is in order to make our wedding the fun party we envision- here's our story of securing the perfect band.

We never had a doubt in our mind who we wanted for our wedding band: The Love Jones Band. To understand this, let's go back to my fiance's brother & sister-in-law's wedding about a year and a half ago in Avalon, New Jersey. The wedding was a beautiful affair for a beautiful couple. Everyone had an amazing time at the reception because their band, The Love Jones Band, was talented. They knew how to engage the large, age-diverse crowd & keep them on the dance floor all night. The funny photo above shows my fiance (then boyfriend) & I partying to the music & having an awesome time (photo courtesy of Timothy Glenn Photography). To me, this photo alone says it all.

We hope we have that much fun at our wedding & we're confident that The Love Jones Band can make that happen. As soon as we had our date & location set, we reached out to Gary of Love Jones to see if the band was available, if they fit in our budget & if they'd travel to Jersey City for us. Quite a tall order! Thankfully, things worked out on all counts. It was meant to be. We can't wait for our wedding guests to enjoy The Love Jones Band at our wedding reception!!

Taste of the Tropics

Jullian's full stationery set is on display
at Koru Wedding Shoppe

A table number, escort card & menu fit for the tropics

The wedding menu describing a feast reflecting the local tastes

Matching table numbers & escort cards to show the wedding guests the way!

I'm in full "Life Goes On" mode today. Gucci & Kaydee are missed so much but I can't sit home & mope. I don't know how to function any other way. Since I can't wallow, watching bad movies & eating tubs of ice cream, I'm going to concentrate on something happy & fun.

On that note, I wanted to share with you a complete stationery set designed for a destination wedding in Puerto Rico. Can you get much better than thinking of palm trees & sunshine? I showcased Jullian's wedding invitation in January, maybe you remember. Her wedding invitation featured a Mango design with Slate print, just perfect for an elegant, tropical wedding. I was thrilled when she came to me last month to order matching menus, table numbers & escort cards. While you don't have to follow any rules, it's great to carry a theme throughout your wedding for a cohesive feel. Jullian's wedding guests will be greeted with escort cards informing them of their table assignment. Table numbers will guide them to the correct table. Finally, a wedding menu will detail their meal of local flavors. Each stationery item perfectly coordinates with the wedding invitation & each other. Jullian put a lot of heart & thought into her wedding design & it will show. Her wedding guests are so lucky!

I wish Jullian & Gregory a lifetime of love, laughter & happily ever after!


The Best & The Worst

Gucci & Kaydee, oh so spoiled!, sharing a meal.

In the past 18 years, my life has gone through many transformations but two things have been constants: my dog, Gucci & my cat, Kaydee. Whether I was walking through the door of my childhood home or my San Diego apartment or my many Hoboken apartments, I had a sweet dog & a fiery cat to greet me when I came home. It's always meant a lot to me because whether the day was good or bad, those two made me smile.

And, bless his heart, my fiance welcomed my pets into his life when we moved in together. There was no other option since Gucci, Kaydee & I were a package deal. Yet it was a very big deal because he'd never had a pet. He was equally amazed by the love & joy & frustration & chaos they bring into our lives. I can't imagine our life any other way which is what makes everything so difficult now.

We had only one furry face to greet us at the door for the past four months & we fear there may soon be none. Shortly before getting engaged, we put Gucci to sleep with great, great sadness. It took awhile to get used to the absence of Gucci's cute face & his big, brown eyes. Now, a few months after getting engaged, it seems Miss Kaydee misses Gucci too much & may be leaving us soon. Gucci knew I was in good hands & he felt it was time to go; I suppose Kaydee feels the same. Someday my faithful constants will just be a memory. I have found forever with my fiance & he is my new constant in my life.

I can't remember a time recently when I have been so unbelievably happy & so incredibly sad at once. I'm on cloud nine: I'm engaged, on the cusp of officially starting our life together. Yet I'm absolutely heartbroken to lose Gucci & Kaydee, my furry best friends. It's the best of times & the worst of times.


The Heart of the Matter

What's all that scuffle in the sand?
It's the exact spot where my fiance got down on one knee & proposed!

Three months ago today, my fiance proposed to me on Sagg Main Beach in the Hamptons. One of the most romantic, sweet & best days of my life! In honor of our engagement anniversary, I'm pushing away all thoughts of peonies, sweetheart necklines & mashed potato stations to reflect on us. After all, we are the heart of this exciting flurry of wedding planning.

Moments after the proposal, we held hands & took a long walk along the deserted beach. It was just us. My fiance explained that he chose a winter beach over a crowded restaurant because he wanted the proposal to be ours, a special, private moment between us. Strip away everything else & our lives come down to us. How lucky we are! The sentiment was so incredible that I tucked it away in my heart to remember forever.

And, despite my horrible memory, I will always remember. I will remember when the wedding planning reaches a crazy stage. I will remember when our jobs drive us to drink. I will remember when our packed schedules run us to the ground. I will remember when the stress is almost too much to bear. We are at the heart of it & that's all that matters.


Ceremony Classic

The cover of a ceremony program, featuring an olive knot

The inside text, detailing the order of the ceremony,
the members of the bridal party & a short 'In Remembrance' note

Yes, I'm talking about the classics again! Today is a little different because I'm not featuring a classic wedding invitation; instead, I'm showcasing a classic wedding program.

The wedding ceremony program above is one such classic. The ecru vellum cover includes the Bride & Groom's names, the wedding date & the ceremony location. Inside ecru cardstock pages include the order of the ceremony, the members of the bridal party & a short note in remembrance of deceased relatives. The black, script font matches the Bride & Groom's wedding invitation. Everything is tied together with an olive ribbon for a subtle touch of color. This program is a classic beauty!

The Bride & Groom ordered one program per couple at their wedding ceremony. Long after the newlywed couple begins their married life, programs are a fabulous keepsake for wedding guests. And who doesn't want to be remembered as a classic?!


Vendors, Vendors & More Vendors

Who will make our wedding cake?
Who will take photographs of our wedding cake?
Yup, we're choosing our vendors!
Image via Real Simple

Despite the fact that I'm a wedding planner, our wedding planning process has gone much like any other couple's experience. We got engaged & started down the path of planning our wedding. We tackled the biggies- selecting a date, setting a budget, establishing priorities & booking ceremony & reception venues. Not much different from Jane & John's wedding planning.

Until now: the vendors. Many Brides & Grooms say finding the perfect vendors can be an overwhelming process. You open any bridal magazine & you find hundreds of local photographers alone. It's hard to tell who is good, who is reliable, who best matches your needs & budget, etc. When I help my planning couples find vendors, I try to match them with five vendors who fit their style, requirements & budget. From there, I urge them to meet with at least three of them to review their work. Ultimately, they choose the vendor whose personality & work they like the best.

I have the exact opposite problem; I know so many talented, reliable, wonderful vendors from photographers to bands to wedding planners. I trust that any of them could make our wedding dreams a reality. But I can't very well book five photographers, ten bands & six wedding planners. So we must choose from all the talent! It's not easy but it's a lot of fun.

Come along with us as we choose our wedding vendors in the upcoming weeks!


Happy Mother's Day

Spring Peruvian Lily arrangement
from Real Simple

Today's post is dedicated to our Moms, Grandmas, Aunts, Cousins, Friends, Neighbors:

Happy Mother's Day with much love!


Crafting for Mom

Crafting supplies: patterned paper, shimmer paper,
adhesive ribbon, edged scissors & more!

Crafting in Progress!
Gram's card done & Mom's card in the works

I have been happily crafting for a few months now, making Valentine's Day cards, St. Patrick's Day cards, Easter cards & more for my family & friends. I skipped Hallmark for Mother's Day too & made my own creations for my Mom & my Grandma. I would've made cards for my fiance's Mom & Grandma too but he wanted the sappy inscriptions from Hallmark. With only two cards to create, I thought it was best to reuse materials from past projects.

I opened up my crafting armoire & a ton of great materials begged to be used. I started with a plain white card with a deckle edge. Then I layered it with two coordinating patterned papers that I edged in a sunburst pattern. To ease the transition between the patterned papers, I covered it with a pretty, adhesive ribbon. Finally, I made a heart out of shimmer paper & wrote "Mom" & "Grandma" with glitter pens. It was a very easy & very relaxing craft project!

My humble masterpieces for Mother's Day

A close-up of my Gram's card with purple flair
Pink has always been her color but lately she loves purple

A close-up of my Mom's card in a blue/turquoise scheme
I didn't have much in green- my Mom's fav- so I picked something fun

The unfortunate part of this great project is that the cards didn't mail themselves; the little stinkers refused. They're sitting on my dining room table with no hopes of making it to California for Mother's Day! Maybe my Mom & Gram can take a peek here for proof that I was thinking of them & making something for them with love.

Oh well. It's the thought that counts! Right?!


Monique Stunner

Oh so classic & oh so beautiful!

The wedding invitation & its outer envelope

The wedding invitation & the travel enclosure

Today is another "Stop the Press!" day. I had another post planned when an invitation order arrived last evening at Koru Wedding Shoppe. Let me tell you, it's like Christmas opening an invitation order. There is nothing quite like admiring, touching & feeling this little creation that you worked hard designing & creating. In this case, I fell in love with the invitation!

This is the first Monique Lhuillier Fine Papers Collection invitation order I have received in awhile & I needed to be reminded how much I heart these invitations. Thick, luxurious papers, crisp, gorgeous printing & incredible designs- what more could you ask for?! Not much, I assure you.

You may remember this Bride & her fun save-the-date invitations for her Cabo San Lucas, Mexico wedding. For her wedding invitation, she wanted to go the classic route.
She found everything she wanted & more with this classic gem from the Monique Lhuillier Fine Papers Collection. Classic: wedding white paper, black lettering & engraved printing. Modern: horizontal layout, combination lettering & raised border. The invitation is classic with a few modern touches just to keep things interesting. We tweaked things here & there for the destination wedding. The larger Reception card was used as the Response card. The extra room was needed to prompt guests to fill in their flight arrival & departure information. The Reception card was also used as a Hotel Accommodations and Details card with some extra travel information for the guests. Perfection.

Love, love this invitation. I'm not the only one. In the Bride's words, "We really appreciate everything you have done for us & we LOVE the invitations!" In the calligrapher's words, "The envelopes & the invites are gorgeous!" Music to my ears!


E-Session Hoboken

I color myself lucky for many reasons, one of which is that the talented Tim of Timothy Glenn Photography also happens to be my brother-in-law. It comes in handy since I'm getting married! When Tim suggested a engagement session, I jumped at the chance.

Then I started to worry. Where would we take the photos? We're not models; would we photograph well? What would we wear? My worry only increased after looking at engagement sessions posted on wedding blogs that included costume changes & numerous props- so not us. As it turned out, we had little to stress about besides what to wear as Tim took care of everything.

The day of our e-session dawned cloudy & cold. Hoboken was the location of choice &, believe it or not, there are plenty of spots to choose from in this square mile. We started on Sixth Street & followed Tim's vision. First, he led us down Court Street, an old cobblestone street with a gritty, city look (see painted brick wall & black & white photos). Next, we went to Stevens Park lined with green benches & spring trees in full bloom (see last photo). Then we wandered to Elysian Park with meandering brick walkways, flowering trees & a fun playground (third photo). Finally, we went to Maxwell Pier which boasts amazing New York City skyline views (see first photo). At each spot, Tim was patient & good at guiding two people who aren't comfortable in front of a camera. Just look at those photos!

We are so happy we had an engagement session & we couldn't be more thrilled with the photos. They're the perfect mementos of this special time in our lives. The photos captured us, not to mention Hoboken, so well. We had a tough time choosing but we've already printed, framed & displayed our favorite photos in our condo. I had an even tougher time choosing a few to post on the blog today & last month. Haven't seen enough? For more photos, visit Tim's blog &/or join Koru Wedding Shoppe on Facebook. Enjoy~

A BIG thank you to Tim of Timothy Glenn Photography for the great e-session & wonderful photos!!


Just Keep Calm

Keep Calm & Carry On bandages- precious!!
Available from A&G Merch
Found on Weddings Fresh

Love, love the "Keep Calm and Carry On" message!

Ever since I found the water bottle from Paper Source, I have seen the "Keep Calm and Carry On" message in many places. On Being Erica (one of my favorite shows that I recommend checking out), Erica has a "Keep Calm and Carry On" framed print in her bathroom. Quite perfect really. A nice reminder as you primp for your day.

Then I came across these darling "Keep Calm and Carry On" bandages featured on Weddings Fresh. The possibilities are huge here! Tuck a few in the Wedding Day Emergency Kit (whether you make your own or buy one, no Bride should be without one!!) just in case. Make sure plenty are available in your bathroom amenity baskets. Add them to your out-of-town gifts bags. Gift a few, along with some other goodies, to your youngest guests. If anyone needs to use one of these cuties, they are guaranteed to smile & carry on with the celebrating.

Are you a Mom? You may be able to stop your kid's tears with those bright colors & fun message!

Have you seen the "Keep Calm and Carry On" message somewhere? It seems to be popular. Maybe it's because we need this message so much these days!

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