Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Inspiration Board: Winter Gold Wedding

It's snowing! I thought this would be a perfect time to share a little inspiration for a gold Winter wedding...

{Photos clockwise from top left dress, invitation, shoe, decor, bouquet, favors, cake}

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Real Weddings: Catherine and Michael

In September, we had the pleasure of handling the event design and decor for Catherine and Michael's wedding reception at the Tonawanda Castle. The couple was looking for a warm, rich, elegant, but not over the top look that incorporated the colors and feel of Fall. All of the little details made this wedding truly spectacular and personalized. Thanks to Jennifer Allis Photography for these beautiful photos!

The process began with the selection of linen colors for the wedding.  Cathy and Mike chose a beautiful loden green shantung cloth for the guest tables, that was complemented with rich brown hues and beautiful fall colors in the floral arrangements.

Then, the talented Sarah at Belletristics designed a custom monogram for their day.  This monogram was used in multiple places and set the tone for the rest of the stationery, also designed by Sarah.

The wedding program featured a small square label with their monogram on the front, and corresponding designs on the inside.

The escort card table...

The menu cards were truly stunning.  They were multi-layered and mounted on a chocolate brown backer printed with gold leaves.  They were placed on top of two green glass charger plates and a chestnut colored shantung napkin.

Table numbers were designed and placed on wine bottles that were then opened and used at each table. The glasses you see in the photo were filled with a chilled cantaloupe and bourbon soup which complemented the decor. Catering was done by Torches Retaurant, and was delicious and innovative!

Cathy and Mike are very eco-conscious, and chose to give their guests tree seedlings as favors.  The tags on the favors featured their monogram and asked guests to either plant the tree or donate it to a local school or park.  When we broke down the decor from the wedding, not a single favor was left behind...that was definitely a first for us!

A view of the head table...

A view from the balcony.  We turned their monogram into a lighting gobo which was reflected on the center of the dance floor.

Our lighting designer used leaf gobos to stunning effect on the vast ceiling.  This really transformed the look of the room.

Cathy and Mike's first dance!

This was a very personalized and customized wedding for a wonderful couple!  It truly reflected them, and it was a pleasure to work on the wedding!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Outdoor Wedding Ceremony Locations in Buffalo

We have had a lot of clients lately asking us to assist with options for outdoor wedding ceremonies in the downtown Buffalo area.  Here are some good options to consider:

West Side Rowing Club/Frank Lloyd Wright Boathouse
Located at the foot of Porter Avenue right on the waterfront, there is an outdoor space that can accommodate a wedding ceremony.  There is enough room to have it under a tent as well if you desire.  For more information, contact Sharon @ 716-362-3140.

The Jacobs Center (formerly the Butler Mansion)
This beautiful mansion on Delaware and North Streets has an outdoor courtyard which can be used for wedding ceremonies.  There are multiple options on the grounds for a ceremony - the lawn can seat up to 150 people, the area by the gazebo can seat approximately 100, and the stairs on the North Street side seats approximately 50-75 people.  The inside of the mansion is used as a backup in case of rain.  You can also choose to have your cocktail hour at the venue and then move on to a reception at another location.  They do also hold wedding receptions.  For more information, call 716-645-2344.

Delaware Park Rose Garden
The rose garden can seat up to 200 people for an outdoor ceremony, and can be booked by calling the Olmsted Parks Conservancy at 716-886-0088.  There are also other locations in Delaware Park that are not "private", and you can hold your ceremony anywhere in the Park that you would like (as long as you don't mind the possible interruptions or uninvited guests!)

Japanese Gardens
The Japanese Gardens are located behind the Albright Knox Art Gallery.  It is a vast space, and you can hold a wedding ceremony wherever you would like on the grounds.  If you require seating, you do need to bring in and set up rental chairs.  This space can be booked by calling the Olmsted Parks Conservancy at 716-886-0088.

Buffalo Parks
There are numerous parks around the City where you can hold an outdoor ceremony.  For more information, contact Arlene at the Parks and Recreation Department at 716-851-9670.

There are also some nice locations where you can have an outdoor ceremony, but you are usually required to book your reception there as well...

Twentieth Century Club
The Twentieth Century Club is private, so you do need to be sponsored by a member to hold your wedding here.  It is an exquisite Mansion located on Delaware Avenue done in an Italian Renaissance style.  There is a gorgeous courtyard in the back where ceremonies are held.  Brides make their grand entrance down a dramatic staircase leading to the aisle.  Here are some photos from a recent wedding we coordinated at the location.

Templeton Landing Restaurant
Templeton Landing is located right on the water in the Erie Basin Marina, and they have two outdoor ceremony locations.  Ceremonies can be held on their rooftop patio or on the grass alongside the restaurant.  Here are some photos from a recent wedding we coordinated at this location...

For more information, call 716-852-7337 or visit their website at

Happy planning!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Party Time: Spooky Halloween Decorations

With Halloween comes the opportunity to get creative, and a little crazy with your party decor, food and drink.  Here are some inspirational photos for your spooky celebration this year...

{Photo credits: Martha Stewart}

Monday, June 28, 2010

Confetti: To Toss or not to Toss

Many of our brides question whether to partake in the age-old tradition of the bouquet toss at their wedding receptions.  Most of our brides this year are deciding to forego this tradition and consider alternatives. 

The history of the bouquet toss goes back to fourteenth century France, where guests viewed a bride as especially lucky on her wedding day, and would clamour to tear off pieces of her dress for their own good fortune.  Eventually, brides began to rebel against this practice and tossed their garters to guests, and later, their bouquets.

While there is something to be said for tradition, some people prefer not to call out all their single friends to catch the bouquet in the hopes that the one who catches it will be the next to marry.  Here are some alternatives to consider:

1.  The Anniversary Dance - This is a dance for all married couples at the wedding.  During the song, the emcee asks people who have been married less than a certain number of years to leave the dance floor.  The couple who has been married the longest remains and is given the bride's bouquet.

2.  Have a "dance off" for the bouquet - invite males & females to the dance floor for a dance off.  Form a circle in the middle of the dance floor where guests dance one by one in the middle.  The dancer who wins the most admiration from the crowd or from the bride & groom gets the bouquet.

3.  Give the bouquet to a special female in your life to honor them.

4.  Do the bouquet toss, but open it up to anyone (single or in a relationship) who wants to participate.  As a fun extra incentive, offer a prize such as cash, a restaurant gift certificate or a spa package!

5.  Keep it!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Confetti: Free Wedding Websites from Wedding Paper Divas

Wedding Paper Divas is a company that I frequently refer my brides & grooms to for a variety of invitation and stationery needs.  They have a stylish collection of contemporary styles that I love!  For a limited time only, they are offering free wedding websites.  You can choose from over 35 of their stationery designs, and it comes with many more features.  What I think is so great about this is that the design of your site can match your stationery and the overall theme and feel of your wedding.  You don't find this with any of the other free sites.  So head on over to Wedding Paper Divas and see what they have to offer before this deal expires!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Party Time: Movie Themed Baby Shower

We recently planned a baby shower for parents-to-be, Lauren & Brad.  I was trying to figure out a way to still make it cute but incorporate the men.  So I decided upon a movie themed shower, starring, of course - the baby! 

The theme was introduced with this fabulous invitation, designed by Sarah at Belletristics.

Guests enjoyed treats from a popcorn and candy bar.  Flavors included strawberry, caramel, hot pepper, vanilla butternut (this was the most popular!), root beer & more!

In keeping with the theme, guests drank soda out of paper coke cups with straws, and the room was decorated with floral popcorn containers and movie themed decor.

Flowers by Johnny did a wonderful job with these creative, fun flowers!

The cake, designed by Ohlson's Bakery, was designed based upon the invitation. 

I wanted to keep the games to a minimum, but did have a game called "Give the Baby His Bottle", in which other men challenged the dad-to-be in a drinking contest (milk out of a baby bottle of course!).  Needless to say, this game took a bit of time and patience!

Favors were popcorn & soda flavored jelly beans in these adorable "Ready to Pop" containers!

Congratulations and best wishes Lauren & Brad - you are going to be great parents!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Inspiration Board: Fresh and Pretty

We have been getting ready for a lot of outdoor weddings this Summer, and I thought I would share this inspiration board for a fresh and pretty yellow wedding....enjoy!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Real Weddings: Carrie & Jeremy

I recently obtained the beautiful photos from Carrie & Jeremy's October 2009 wedding that were taken by Expressions Studio.  Their ceremony took place at St. Stephens Church in Lackawanna, and their reception at the Ellicott Square Building in Buffalo.  It was a beautiful day and their creative ideas and personalities shone through in many of the details.  Let's start with Carrie's fashion - her gown and shoes were just stunning!

Some photos of their huge bridal party - they took many of the photos at Forest Lawn.

The church was beautiful and ornate - check out the ceiling...

The couple is very pro-Buffalo, and it was important to them to incorporate things relating to the City. They named each of the reception tables after streets in Buffalo, and these cute signs were hung from all the centerpieces.

The happy couple during their first dance...

Thank you for letting us be part of your special day, and we wish you happiness for many years to come!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Confetti: Wedding Gratuities

As we are approaching the busy wedding season, I thought it would be a good time to share some thoughts and advice on tipping all those service providers who work so hard to make your wedding day a success.

Some things to consider:
  • First and foremost, you should keep in mind that a gratuity is a discretionary expression of gratitude for service that exceeds expectations.
  • In general, if a vendor owns their own business, you would not normally tip them unless you feel they have gone above and beyond for you.
  • Gratuities are often included in the bill or contract, so be sure to read carefully to avoid double-tipping.
The following is a general guideline to get you started thinking about wedding day gratuities:
  • Limousine Driver:  15-20% of the total bill
  • DJ:  $50 and up
  • Clergy Member (priest, minister, rabbi):  Usually a donation ($75 and up)
  • Public official (judge, city clerk, etc.):  Usually a flat fee ($75 and up), although some will not accept it
  • Waiters, Waitresses, Bartenders, Banquet Captain, Banquet Manager:  15% for servers, 15-20% for captain/manager, 10-15% for bartenders
  • Coatroom Attendants:  $1 per guest (or pre-arrange a flat fee with your venue)
  • Parking Attendants $1 per guest (or pre-arrange a flat fee with your venue) 
  • Photographer, Videographer, Wedding Coordinator, Florist, Baker:  Only for extra-special service
  • Organist, Musicians:  $20-$25 each
  • Hair and Makeup Stylists:  15-20% of the total bill
If you have a wedding coordinator, they can distribute gratuities on your wedding day. Our clients provide us with sealed envelopes at the wedding rehearsal, and we take care of this for them. If we feel that a vendor has not met or exceeded expectations, we may choose to advise our clients of this and adjust the tip accordingly. If a vendor they may not have considered tipping does an extraordinary job, we make sure to advise them of this as well. If you don't have a wedding coordinator, you can give this job to a trusted member of the bridal party.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Real Weddings: Lindsay & Ryan

Our clients, Lindsay and Ryan were married in May of 2009. Their wedding was recently chosen to be featured in the Spring 2010 issue of Buffalo Brides magazine!  Their ceremony took place at St. Louis Church downtown, and the reception was held at the Roycroft Inn in East Aurora.  You can read all about the fabulous and personalized details of their day here...

What a nice keepsake to have and an honor to be featured in this local magazine!