Category: Wedding Planning
Wedding perfect setting: Canadian Rockies, Fairmont Hotel's Jasper Park Lodge. Photo: Fairmont Hotel
“Mrs. Maxfield, I received word that you wanted to speak with me!”
I spun around to see Mr. Robert Famjoy, the front desk manager of the renowned Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, at the screen door to my cabin, after I what I surmise was his brisk, ten minute, cross-resort jaunt from the Fairmont Front Desk.
Nonplussed, I expected a call back, not a personal visit. His congeniality, his ever-present smile, his determination that whatever I wanted would soon be at my command, made my 15-day visit to the Canadian Rockies, and specifically, the sumptuous four days at Jasper Park Lodge, all the more, one for the made-in-heaven memory books.
Perchance, if this is what he does for me, can one only image what he and his well-trained staff, in the art of pluperfect service, will do over the course of a wedding weekend for the bride, the groom, the parent’s, in-laws, relatives, bridal party, and friends?
Now that Mr. Famjoy is at my door step, I enlist his encyclopedic knowledge of the history of this world class Canadian Rockies resort. My queries were focused on the bridal who, what, when where, and the possible role this immensely popular international destination could play in an out-of-this world destination wedding.
As I write this blog, I found I am not alone in my exuberance. Today, the storied editors of the New York Times Travel section gives a thumbs-up to JPL’s home, Alberta, Canada, and its unique winter event. In its NY Times Style Magazine, readers are further persuaded to capture the pleasures of the Canadian Rockies with a visit to Baniff National Park, home of Jasper’ sister cities, Lake Louise and Baniff.
Who’s Who at JPL?
Celebs?! Who all has graced these hollowed grounds since the 1922? A social media mogul and friends from Silicon valley flew in for the nearly week-long wedding festivities in early autumn. Networking, personal and corporate, was constantly in the air. The identities of the couple, their ceremony and reception at Jasper Park Lodge were, naturally, a well-kept secret. However, it was divined from a young waitress on the terrace who mentioned in very hushed tones “the big wedding & Silicon Valley.”
Hmm. Who else? Like Falstaff in Shakespeare’s Henry VI, Part I, Mr. Famjoy realizes that Discretion is the better part of valor and his lips are sealed for a litany of recent high profile personalities that have married, honeymooned, skied, snowboarded, golfed, relaxed and entertained themselves and others at this pristine resort.
He offers memorable Americans of the past: the Kennedys, Rockerfellers, Marilyn Monroe, Joe DiMaggio, Bing Crosby and famed others.
Could this be the “Happy ever-aftering” from the famous Broadway play, Camelot? Jackie O was quoted as saying this was Jack’s favorite song, which started the Camelot-era.
Camelot and Canadian Rockies' Jasper Park Lodge for "Happy ever-aftering," Album cover from the Orignal cast recording.
Jasper Park Lodge, a book on the resort that I picked up in the gift shop, further chronicles its visitors as famous film stars, heads of state, politicians, sports stars as well as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who penned the Sherlock Holmes mysteries and whose photo graces the wall next to Mr. Famjoy, who has begun to answer my next question. Tell me about those two magnificent cabins… He leads the way.
Point Cabin: the ultimate at JPL, a 5,000 square foot wooded cabin with a fairy tale honeymoon in mind. 2 fireplaces, Great Room, terrace, and modern conveniences of a Tribecca flat. Photo: Fairmont Hotels.
Within googling distance is Point Cabin, a 5,000 square foot, five bedroom luxurious retreat with private views of Windex-blue Lac Beauvert, towering pines, foot paths, and an occasional meandering Elk.
A stand-out in a series of stand-out accommodations, Point Cabin’s decor is in the high-style of an English Hunting Lodge with a Great Room and stone fireplace. Holiday Inn it is not! Vintage exterior, circa 1925. Charming in the autumn; dazzling in the white winter!
On the far side of this splendid cabin, is Outlook Cabin, known in Sovereign circles and bridal parties as, The Royalty Retreat.
With a conservatory, enclosed verandah, two fireplaces, two dining rooms, a Great Room, and a grand terrace with midnight light shows of the Milky Way and a possible sighting of the Aurora Borealis. It is fit for a Queen and King. Bride and Groom. More? Modern conveniences, at every turn. One of the remaining original nine buildings, it is continually updated and reflects a Tribeca or Beverly Hill sensibility of a modern kitchen, bath etc. Balmoral (the Queen’s Summer Home in Scotland) eat your heart out! You get my drift.
The JPL guest registry would also reveal that Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip of England prefer to stay there at Outlook Cabin. Her majesty’s travel planners understand that Jasper Park Lodge is a must-stay. What’s on your itinerary?
Having gotten the formalities aside, I ask Mr. Fomjoy, Now, that we have a Royal Honeymoon Cabin for the bride and groom, is there ample availability of Signature Luxury Cabins for the entire wedding party. I am driving the question because I can immediately imagine a splendid wedding weekend set-up: Outlook Cabin for the bride and groom; Point Cabin for their immediate wedding party; and…
Mr. Famjoy interrupts my train of thought to say, “We have smaller cabins for the in-laws, close family, as well as well-appointed guest rooms for all the friends and family.”
EEK! Two Elks stand within a few yards of us. Big-bodied Elk are grazing along there path through the pines with splendid vistas of sparking lake waters and geese landing and taking off in magnificent formation. I’ve seen some big white tail deer in south Texas; however, the Elks are big, beautiful and, alas, formidable.
Mr. Famjoy now has a twinkle in his eye; he advises on what to do if I run into an Elk unexpectedly while playing golf on Jasper Park’s course, rated #1 in Canada: Raise two clubs high in the air like you have antlers, and the Elk will think you are bigger and will go away!”
I immediately extrapolate and visualize the many JPL guests of honor: Marilyn Monroe, Queen Elizabeth, Sir Doyle and that illusive Silicon Valley Mogul lifting high their clubs to let their intruder-guest Elk on a little secret: they may appear bigger, they may be known by millions on sight, but they all have the incredible good luck to spend one enchanting evening, or possibly a honeymoon at a place that we romantically call, Camelot.
Next stop: A mountain high wedding above Lake Louise Canadian Rockies!
Asking your best girlfriends to be in your wedding may seem like an easy task, but you may want to consider putting a little extra umph when asking them, especially your maid of honor. Your wedding may be all about you and your groom, but your best friends are going to want to celebrate with you, plus they are meant to be your helpers through all the wedding drama and planning. It is not only a sweet honor to be asked, but it is a lot of work that they would be signing up for, so when you decide to pop that special question, do it right!
Seven Ideas on How to Ask Your Best Girls to Be Your Bridesmaids
- Spa Day: Take your girls out for some pampering to tell them how special they are and perhaps give out special bridesmaid robs, slippers, or a handy-dandy bridesmaid survival kit!
- A Cute Gift Box: Whether it is at your engagement party or if you plan a girls date with your bridesmaid hopefuls, giving your future bridesmaids a cute and personalized gift box can help you “pop the question”. Creme de la craft offers a great DIY gift box with easy how-to instructions. This is a perfect solution to the how-to-ask question because it can be perfectly personalized to you, your wedding, and your bridesmaids. You can choose designs based on your wedding theme, or do a different design based on the personality of the bridesmaid or your relationship with her.
- Send a Card: If your bridesmaids are long distance or you don’t know when you can get together, sending a card to ask them to be your bridesmaid would be perfectly appropriate. Whether you send one that is spunky or sentimental is completely up to you!
- Photo Strip/Collage: Make a collage or create a photo booth strip with a few of your favorite photos of you together and write a message on the back. This one is great because it is fun and sentimental.
- A Cute Picture Frame: Personalized gifts are one of the best ways to ask your bridesmaids to be in your wedding and a picture frame is absolutely perfect. These are great because they are functional, personal, and your bridesmaids can put pictures from the wedding inside! Etsy is a great place to look for a gift like this!
- Jewelry! You can pretty much always count on jewelry to say what you need it to. For this, you could give out necklaces or earrings you want your girls to wear on the wedding day, or a cute charm bracelet to show off your friendship.
- Just Ask! At the end of the day, asking them to be your bridesmaid is just about the relationship you have, so if you are not up for a cutsie card or hand making gift boxes just isn’t your thing, then go ahead and just call each girl up, or find some face to face time, and just ask. Don’t even sweat it! It is not like you are proposing marriage!
Guest Post by: Sandy Malone, Weddings in Vieques
Dwayne and Rodney Byrum married on TLC’s Wedding Island 12/12/12.
You’ve had the ring for awhile or at least been eyeing “the one.” You’re ready to do it. At least you’re pretty positive you are. Your married buddies are telling you to go for it, your single friends will do ANYTHING to prevent the loss of another member of their Tues/Weds/Thurs night poker crew. It’s a dilemma.
But this is your life. It’s your job to make that big step, take the leap, ASK THE QUESTION. Somebody has to do it if you want to marry that person.
Timing is everything, right? You’ve overheard horror stories from your girlfriend’s girlfriends about how the desperate-to-impress boyfriend hid the ring in a chocolate soufflé, a Big Mac, and even one about a guy, who wadded it up in a paper towel to hide in his pocket, forgot it was there, and then, the couple spent the entire weekend hunting down the missing engagement ring in the hotel room (yes, they found it – and, yes, they were clients of mine, so it’s definitely true), and these stories both challenge and terrify you.
Why does there have to be so much drama? Why did that guy in New York have to hire a mariachi band to serenade his bride while he proposed? Why did your fraternity brother propose at the top of the Eiffel Tower? With Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and all the other social media out there, EVERYONE sees EVERYTHING. Way to set the bar high guys – gee thanks, right? I’d bet that a lot of men are terrified of disappointing their future brides with the manner in which they make the proposal, and it’s delaying the process.
REALITY CHECK – Most people do not care HOW you propose, as long as you DO propose with true feeing, and you actually HAVE the ring there. Don’t be intimidated by the guy who spelled out “Marry Me” in seaweed and flew his girlfriend over the words in a private airplane? Be impressed by the person who worked with a local pumpkin patch to make the corn maze spell something from above so he could propose from a hot air balloon – that was creative and a LOT of work. Yes, these are very visible, tangible, public statements of his love for her and they are noteworthy. But I sincerely doubt that those people love their fiancé(e)s any more than the people, who got the rings in a less dramatic format.l
1 – Have a ring. If budget is the reason you’re considering skipping the ring, get a less expensive ring and make sure to tell her that you want to get her something more when it’s feasible. I know plenty of couples who have upgraded the engagement and wedding rings several years down the road. My dad added stones to either side of my mom’s diamond after something like 15 years. It’s not about what the ring is – it’s that there is a ring at all. You must give her something that says “I am dead serious about this.” A proposal sans ring often makes his future intended feel like the question is spur of the moment. And while we want a proposal, nobody wants to ask the question if he’s not 100 percent certain he’s ready for the whole enchilada.
If the one you love turns you down because the ring wasn’t big, shiny and expensive enough, she did you a favor. Imagine what life would be like 20 years down the road with somebody who judges the value of a relationship based on the cost of the rock. Oh wait, you probably won’t last 20 years if she’s like that anyway.
2 – Have a plan, but be willing to be flexible. One of my clients recently told me about how the groom had taken her to a city with many parks they love to wander together, and it rained sideways all weekend. Fortunately, he didn’t let it rain on his big moment and he found a special (dry) location to pop the question. But the bride says he’s still bummed about it even though they’re laughing about it now. Remember, the important part is the proposal. There is someplace romantic no matter where you are – find it, make it your moment, and go for it.
3 – Choose a private place to propose – even if you’re surrounded by people. By this, I mean that you shouldn’t pop the question at the dinner table in front of her family or yours. You shouldn’t propose at somebody else’s destination wedding weekend and steal their thunder. This is a serious question – ask it in a serious manner… but with that said, if you are not a quiet or private person, and your personality dictates that you MUST propose at Fenway Park, at the Homecoming game of the high school you both attended, or on a message on the side of a blimp over a concert, that’s a lot of fun. Just remember, you still have to look her in the eye, hold her hand, and ASK THE QUESTION YOURSELF! Even if they’re putting you up on a big screen to do it, she’s not supposed to read the words somebody printed for you and say yes. She’s supposed to say yes to you.
There’s no reason to be intimidated about proposing based on other “Extreme Proposals” you’ve seen and heard about. The big deal is the proposal, the other stuff is just icing on the cake. If she wants to marry you, trust me when I say that breakfast in bed, joined by your puppy with the ring tied to his collar with a ribbon, is just as romantic, memorable and sweet as something done with a large audience. The important question is this: will she say yes?
Until next time, happy wedding planning from Weddings in Vieques and Weddings in Culebra!
| Owner, Weddings in Vieques
Sandy Malone is the owner of Weddings in Vieques, a Caribbean destination wedding planning company based on Vieques Island. A former Wall Street Journal
reporter and public affairs expert, Sandy has executed more than 400 destination weddings on Vieques and Culebra islands, and writes a wedding planning column for the Huffington Post.
The Aurora Borealis phenomenon experienced in early September, 2013 in far northeast Alberta, Canada. Traveling from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to capture the Northern Lights, the couple above, both physicians, were crossing western Canada on their second honeymoon. They both agreed, "This is the most romantic spot ever!"
When I penned the penultimate destination wedding reviews for WeddingWire, Chateau Lake Louise: Is There Any Other Place in the World to Be Married? I realized, like a bride-to-be on the eve of her engagement, I was more than smitten, I was head-over-heels in love with the Canadian Rockies. What to do? Return!
So, my 2013 autumn sojourn? Back to the Canadian Rockies to the ultimate mountain wedding destination.
My spirits are soaring. The perfect reasons to travel: wilderness photos and bespoke wedding planning.
Three resorts and a wedding
The Ultimate Canadian Wedding Resorts?
Fairmont’s Hotel & Resorts:
Jasper Park Lodge
Chateau Lake Louise
Today’s couples want a wedding destination with a twist.
Why not have your wedding and honeymoon span three world-class mountain resorts? All three Fairmont Canadian resorts are world-class, surrounded by stunning mountain ranges and peaks. Whether an outdoor sports enthusiast, or you prefer to just dine, dance and spa, the myriad of amenities and facilities available for both your wedding and honeymoon is incredible.
Three resorts! The possibilities? Endless. Think of a wedding at Jasper Park Lodge– the retreat for decades of celebrities, high tech moguls, sports stars and America’s leading families such as the Rockerfellers, Kennedys as well as the must-see stop for Queen Elizabeth II and her family.
All three resorts are located in Alberta, Canada within a half-days days drive of one anothe along the most beautiful drives in the world, the Baniff-Jasper Highway?
The Ultimate 3 Wedding Resorts in the Canadian Rockies is a three part series, coming to WeddingWire shortly.
The Aurora Borealis
Can there be another out of this world Canadian destination for newlyweds? Yes,the Aurora Boeralis.
This is a once-in-a lifetime-dream, to experience and photograph the illusive Aurora Borealis. It is also known as the Northern Lights.
I traveled to far northeast Albert, Canada, six weeks ago, to spend a long weekend with six other enthusiasts from Brazil, Australia and America. With two Aurora Borealis professionals– one a Ph.D and the other a top notch photographer– at our service, we scanned what is know as “one of the darkest places on earth” to best see the the magnificent Canadian skies lit with constellations, the Milky Way and the Aurora Borealis.
We had three nights of lights, a very rare occurrence even on the 59th parallel. Light shows in every hue, on every horizon.
A young, married couple, both physicians from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil exclaimed to me, the last night at 2:30 am,”This is the most romantic place ever!”
Today’s couple want a honeymoon with a twist! Plan your wedding ceremony nearby and set off on an adventure: the Aurora Borealis!
Next stop: Jasper Park Lodge
When Bride Stephanie Fenn got engaged, the budget for the wedding immediately reared its ugly head as problematic. So, with careful planning and the cooperation of her family, she began to navigate ways in which to get the wedding of her dreams to cost under $5,000.
First stop: The Dress
I made a couple appointments with different dress shops, one being David’s Bridal, and the another was a shop called Ann’s Classic Affairs. We went to Ann’s Classic Affairs first because it came recommended from a friend, who said it had a large selection of affordable and modest gowns – having a sleeve and higher neckline was something I was specifically looking for. I went in doubtful I was going to find anything in my price range, but when we told the owner what we were looking for and what we could afford she walked us over to her clearance dresses. At first I was like…’you could of just laughed and told us to leave,’ but then she went over their prices on alterations and how they could make our budget work (under $1000).
I tried on four dresses and ended up back in the very first dress I tried on. It was a size 14 -and I was a 4- so to get me in they had to use the big clamps. They assured me that they could get it to my size and that it would be flawless. So we bought it, scheduled my fittings, and got a gorgeous ballroom gown with beaded and lace detail that made me feel like a princess It was truly perfect for my storybook theme and landed us well under our budget of $1000. The dress itself was $500 and cost roughly $300 for all the alterations. This gave me room to purchase jewelry, a head piece, and two garters-one to throw and one to keep. I guess I can’t say I am a relatable example for the bride that tries on every gown in ten different dress shops, but I would just say that if you got a tight budget, don’t be afraid to dive into the clearance racks!
The moral: If you have a tight budget look into clearance dresses and try shopping in non-”name brand” stores. If you do pick out a dress that doesn’t quite fit without alterations, then you want to make sure to pay attention to the cost and reputation of the stores alterations. Another solution would be to try renting a dress. This, of course, is a solution that would only work for brides that don’t wish to keep their dress.
If there is a will, there is a way!
I thought about making my own wedding invitations – it was what both of my older sisters did for their weddings- and I knew that a DIY invitation with a wedding invitation kit could be just as beautiful as any printed from an invitation company, but I just didn’t want to. Perhaps it was a bridezilla moment, but I had an invitation in mind and I didn’t have a clue, or ,as a full time student, the time to make them. So, after finding the ONE on Invitations by Dawn, I approached my parents with the $500 cost. Their reaction was predictable-’that’s fine, but remember that means we can’t buy….”. So, I came up a solution: A Wedding Garage Sale! I put out a post on Facebook requesting donations from family and friends and asked to take any clothes, books, technology, or furniture off their hands. About a month later on a Saturday we held our sale. Most items were under $5, some even under a $1, but it turns out that a sign saying ‘help us pay for our wedding’ and some cheerful negotiating inspired people to buy and then buy more. We made about $650 in one morning. This not only allowed me to get the invitations I wanted, but it added $150 to our budget.
The moral: If you are on a low budget, get creative and generate extra funds! A garage sale, like Stephanie’s, could generate anywhere from $400-$800 if done right. It isn’t asking for handouts. You will be doing the work, and earning the right to be picky about the invitations you order. Other creative ways to earn extra wedding cash would be a bake sale or a car wash. Just try to figure out a service you can offer, and fill it!
One thing that really helped me save money was borrowing from brides that preceded me.
I got all of my white round table clothes from a girl who had her wedding the weekend before mine and whose mother just so happened to be best friends with my new mother-in-law. The trade was that we would help them set up and take down their wedding reception decor. Then, because I didn’t want to have just plain white table clothes, I got inspired by a image I found on Pinterest that had two squares of colored cloth that formed the extra color and design I wanted.
I wasn’t going to be able to afford buying square table cloths in the varied sizes, so I went with my parents to a material store and picked out cloth in my colors. I gave the picture example, the dimensions of the table, the material, and thread to my dad and told him not to mess it up (he is the one that sows in my family). The tables turned out EXACTLY how I wanted and cost us about $80 for all 10 tables.
The moral: Don’t forget to ask around. Brides should have each other’s backs, and if you know a bride that was married recently, don’t be afraid to ask where she got her materials for decor, and even, if you could use some of it. A wedding is one of those things that you don’t want to go trying to reinvent the wheel on. Get advice, ask around, and learn from other brides!
Guest Post by: Jennifer Taylor, Taylor’d Events by Jennifer
Photo: Alex Studio
It isn’t easy planning a wedding, especially when you’ve never ordered a cake for 250 people or booked a cover band. Many couples do not have a lot of extra time to call vendors and shop around for the best deals. Desperate for help managing all of the logistics and costs – and hoping to save a little energy for their honeymoon – many couples are deciding to hire a wedding planner. What used to be a luxury service only celebrities and elite couples could afford is now becoming the norm for the more than two million couples expected to tie the knot in 2013.
Avoid costly mistakes: Survival tips for do-it-yourself brides and grooms
According to The Wedding Report the average cost for a wedding is around $25,000. There is a growing number of couples who try to keep costs down by planning their own weddings. But if you haven’t planned a wedding before, you can make costly mistakes.
Here are three of the biggest I’ve seen couples make and my tips for DIY wedding planning:
1. Not being organized: This is where I see people wasting the most money and time. Paying attention to the details up front is the secret to having your wedding go smoothly. Your planning will pay off in peace of mind – and pocketbook.
2. Don’t minimize memories: One of the biggest mistakes I see couples making is cutting back on the things that matter most, like photographs. I always tell my clients to think about what their priorities are; you don’t want to scrimp on making memories. If you want a great photographer, but they are out of your budget, hire them for the hours you can afford.
3. Not asking before the big day: Even though people have access to the internet these days, I still find that everyone from the groom, to the Maid of Honor, to the mother of the ring bearer has questions. This can result in painful and costly mistakes. Don’t be afraid to ask a professional. Wedding planners across the country provide many different offering for all kinds of budgets.
Jennifer Taylor’s love for wedding planning became apparent as she was naturally drawn to help her friends plan their weddings. In 2004, Taylor’d Events by Jennifer was born and she’s been busy planning and translating her client’s vision of the perfect wedding day into reality. Jennifer has been named Top Planner in Seattle and has been named one of the Top 100 in the United States and Top 100 Worldwide by the Wedding Industry Experts. Her exquisite work has also earned her the Wedding Wire Bride’s Choice Award for four years running and Best Day of Wedding Coordinator in 2010. And in 2011, she was in the Top 3 of the same category.
Located just south of Naples, the Amalfi Coast is easily one of Italy’s most enchanting destinations. Along this breathtaking strip of coastline, honeymooners will discover colorful towns backed by rugged mountains and fronted by bright blue seas, romantic vacation getaways tucked away in the hills, many historic sites, and countless natural attractions. While this destination has long been a hotspot for celebrities and the rich and famous, it’s also quite popular with locals and foreigners alike. Soon after arriving, you’ll see why travelers from across the globe have been gravitating to this spot for centuries.
Must-Visit Amalfi Villages
While there are numerous towns and villages worth visiting along the coast, Ravello, Amalfi, and Positano are certainly three of the most intriguing. Start with Amalfi, the town that gives its name to the coastline. Situated midway between Sorrento and Salerno, Amalfi is a bustling, café-lined port town and a hydrofoil launch pad to nearby islands and towns. It’s perhaps most famous for the Grotta dello Smeraldo, a famous cave with crystal-clear waters. Be sure to linger in Piazza del Duomo and spend time visiting the beautiful Duomo di Sant’ Andrea with its intricate bronze door. Don’t forget to meander Amalfi’s narrow pedestrian streets high above town for a great view and a unique glimpse at its amazing architecture.
About halfway between Sorrento and Amalfi lies Positano. This much-photographed town somehow manages to hug the near-vertical cliffs of the coast. It’s arguably the region’s best-known resort town thanks in part to its colorful homes that are seemingly stacked on top of each another. It also packs in just about everything a visitor could covet — great food, shops, attractions, and unforgettable views.
Finally, don’t miss out on Ravello, a pleasant town located high above the active coastline. This unique spot features a lovely Duomo, ample gardens built for romantic walks like Villa Rufolo and Villa Cimbrone, an old town packed with historic sites, and amazing views of the Gulf of Salerno.
Eating and Drinking Experiences
The cuisine and local drinks of Campania and the Amalfi Coast is more than just pasta, pizza, and wine. The food here is quite diverse and taken very seriously. As a direct reflection of the landscape and inspired by local ingredients, the cuisine is truly one-of-a-kind.
Start your food journey with La Caravella in Amalfi. Expect creative, authentic Amalfitan dishes, a terrific wine list, and amazing ambiance. With high ceilings and gorgeous artwork, the interiors are absolutely stunning. Also, try Mamma Agata’s famous cooking class in Ravello. You’ll get to pick your own produce in her garden, try your hand at making Limoncello, and work in her state-of-the-art outdoor kitchen located on a beautiful terrace. Take your culinary skills to the next level and bring home some amazing stories.
Meanwhile, the Amalfi region is well known for its fresh seafood, particularly tuna and anchovies. Taste some of the region’s finest specialties and daily catches at Al Convento in the seaside town of Cetara. Also, don’t miss out on tasting the world’s finest Limoncello, no doubt the region’s most famous overall specialty. This refreshing drink is served cold and perfect as a digestive following a meal.
Beach and Boat Excursions
Just about every coastal village along the Amalfi Coast has a unique place to swim and take part in water sport activities. When it comes to top beaches, start with Baia di leranto, a gorgeous deserted beach along the coast just before its westernmost point at Punta Campanella. The beach here is only accessible by foot from the village of Nerano, so grab picnic supplies for your memorable trek. Next, head to the tiny beach at Marina di Furore, backed by colorful houses, a restored village, and situated within close distance to Italy’s only fjord.
Finally, one of the best ways to explore the coast is by boat. Look to set sail through Le Sirenuse and embark on a memorable ride on an old wooden vessel. Or take to the seas via schooner or luxurious yacht with La Dolce Vita, an experienced outfitter based in Positano.
Let’s face it. Your maid of honor is your wing girl. So, when it comes to your wedding it’s not only nice, it’s necessary to give her a bit of the limelight. The traditional way to distinguish your maid of honor is to have her dress be a different color or length than your maids. This is still a popular and fantastic option, but we are also seeing more creative ways to make your maid stand out. In a word, it’s all about ACCESSORIES! Here are some fun ways we have seen our brides outfit their maid of honors:
- Shoes: Have your bridesmaids wear neutral shoes or sandals and have your maid wear colorful shoes that coordinate with your wedding color scheme.
- Jewelry: Statement necklaces are hot, hot, hot! But having all your girls wear statement necklaces can sometimes be a bit much. Why not just have your maid of honor rock a statement necklace?
- Glitter: Glitz is not just for the bride. We love the trend of having the maid of honor incorporate some glitter into her ensemble. Maybe it’s a glittery version of the maids’ dresses or maybe it’s just a sequin bodice. Either way, it’s a fun way to have your main girl shine.
- Flowers: Talk to your floral designer about making your MOH’s flowers stand out: think more and contrasting flowers, different color ribbon or a lace wrap instead of ribbon, or more jewels, feathers and/or bling.
Also, remember that it’s not just about making your wing girl distinctive from your wedding party, it’s about making her feel special. Don’t forget to ask your photographer to take pictures with just the two of you!
Before you bolt out the door, there are just a few caveats on how to shop like a pro. Read on and find out the 3w’s of wedding invitation ordering: who, when, and where. Also get a handy guide on Who’s, Who including who you should not miss, as well as which vendors said adios.
How to shop like a pro.
Be prepared. First, go on Excel and make a master list of your guests. How many guests translates (count couples and solo folks) into how many total invitations?
Please order 10% extra. This is a general rule of thumb. You do not want to go back and order a minimum. Generally, the price will be higher per piece.
Who’s the best?
The best wedding invitation album vendors of 2013? These rank top because of consistent quality of product, exemplary service, on time delivery and they are an established brand with a presence in the marketplace.
You do not want to miss: Crane & Co., William Arthur, Checkerboard, Kleinfeld Paper, Smock and Vera Wang in the Haute Couture, higher-end price group. You can lower the price of the invitation with help from a knowledgable sales person at a stationery store by eliminating hand work, and selecting thermography versus engraving.
If your wedding ceremony and reception are at the same place, then you do not need both pieces. On the wedding invitation print,”Afterwards at the reception”.
Timeless luminaries in the mid-range? Carlston Craft, and Embossed Graphics. This budget range is really the mid-range. There is no cheap wedding invitation out there. If it is really cheap, ask yourself, “What did they cut back on to lower the price?” Can you live with that?
Where and When? (see below video of The Lettermen for musical accompaniment)
The best time to order is as soon as you have your guest list.
I would try to order the save-the-dates at the same time as your wedding invitation. You have so many must-do’s for the wedding that you want to check these two off as soon as possible. Also, pencil in the wedding program to start at least 6 weeks before the wedding.
When to send the Invitations?
Save-the-dates goes in the mail soon after your engagement, even if it is a year in advance.
Your wedding invitations should be sent 4 weeks in advance.
To send out the invitations six weeks in advance presents problems: invitations get misplaced, memories fade, calendars do not get a glance and guest just plum forget about the event.
Ten years ago, brides sent out invitations six weeks in advance, if their wedding was on a major holiday, so their guests could make travel and accommodation reservations in advance. Ten years ago, there were no save-the-date cards. Gasp!
Where to order?
Since your friends are getting married, you probably already know about the best place in town to order your wedding invitations.
An established stationery store, who carries Crane, Checkerboard and Carlston Craft albums have the experienced staff to assist you with your order. You will sit down with a professional, who will give you advice on what items you need; the design, paper, color; correct wording, proper etiquette, scheduling, proofing and addressing. Chances are they could become your new best friend.
Several of the top wedding invitation companies are no longer in business. With consolidations, owners retiring and the economy, we saw beloved firms such as Encore Studios wave goodbye.
This summer, Lallie, who commanded the attention of billionaires as well as the girl next door in their thirty-eight years, closed its doors. It was the top-of-the-top custom designer and had a signature look all its own.
They both will be missed for their unique contributions; however, we have a myriad of firms that are sure to make a bride smile with pride as she sends the wedding invitations in the mail.
Recently exclusive to 24 Carrots, Newport Beach Civic Center was the perfect backdrop for a modern-inspired wedding styled shoot. We love combining two of the hottest wedding trends into one, and bright green accents gave such a cool twist to nautical! Check out the awesome photos that JL Photographers captured to highlight this fun space. See the rest of the shoot and several other inspirations here.
Venue: Newport Beach Civic Center // Planner: Kerri of LVL Weddings and Events // Catering: 24 Carrots Catering // Photography: Lauren of JL Photographers // Florals: Whitney Rose Events // Paper Goods: Ampersandink Designs // Tabletop Rentals: Signature Party Rentals // Linens and Large Rentals: Fusion Linens // Hair and Make Up: Design Visage // Wedding Gown: B Bride designed by Jenny Yoo // Tie: Friar Tux // White Banners: Elegant Wind Waves