Friday, January 15, 2010

Spotlight Buffalo: The Ellicott Square Building

The Ellicott Square building built in 1896 is a really unique place to host your Buffalo event. The lobby can be rented out, and you are able to choose any vendors you would like to bring in. With its two grand staircases, marble mosaic floor and glass ceiling, it is an impressive space. It does take a little more work to hold an event in a non-traditional venue, but this allows it to be customized and more uniquely yours!

Here are some photos of a recent wedding I did at the building. These photos were taken by Expressions Studio.

We lined the entire balcony with about 150 votive candles. It looked amazing once it became darker. What a photo!

Monday, January 11, 2010

You're Engaged - Now What??!

So he popped the question...and you said yes. Congratulations! The excitement is winding down, and you what?? Here are some steps to help get you started...


Step 1 - Sit down with your fiancee and discuss the type of wedding you would like to have. This includes the size of the wedding, type of ceremony (civil, religious, etc.), who will be paying for the wedding, and an approximate budget. This is a good time to discuss what is most important to each of you for the day.

Step 2 - Meet with any appropriate parties (parents, etc.) to discuss the plans and make sure everyone is on the same page.

Step 3 - Choose a location and set a date. Keep in mind major holidays, school schedules, vacations, and how many people may have to travel to your location.

Step 4 - Begin to think about the big picture. How will the day look and feel? What will the rough time schedule look like? Collect design ideas from websites, blogs and magazines. Check out The Knot for great inspiration, including a notebook you can save your favorite photos to. Attend local bridal shows for inspiration and ideas. A great local show we are involved with is the Buffalo Bridal Expo on January 31st at the Seneca Niagara Casino. Bridal shows are a great way to get acquainted with vendors, view and touch items firsthand, and see what your town has to offer.

Step 5 - Assemble your team. You will be dealing with a number of vendors for your wedding. It is important to interview multiple vendors and see who you feel will work with your style, budget and personality. After all, this is such an important day and you deserve vendors who realize the importance of a wedding, and will do everything they can to make sure you have a wonderful day! Here's a list to get you started...

Reception Venue
Ceremony Venue
Wedding Coordinator
Musicians for the Ceremony
Musicians for the Reception
Rental Company
Rehearsal Dinner Location

Planning a wedding takes a lot of time and organization, but it all leads to a wonderful day that you will cherish forever. Happy planning!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Wedding Etiquette: Division of Expenses

I have been receiving a number of questions lately from my 2010 brides and grooms regarding the etiquette of how to divide the wedding expenses. This is a tough question to answer, especially in today's times. Many more couples today pay for their own weddings, rather than in the past when it was more or less expected that the parents of the bride footed the majority of the bill. There are many reasons for this change; some couples are waiting longer to get married, weddings are more expensive and more complicated than in previous years, and many couples I work with have already established households together prior to marriage.

{Photo credit - Impressions are everything}

So most couples today are either paying for their own weddings, their parents are pooling resources, or a combination of all these things - there isn't one standard that is considered proper etiquette for today's couples. I consulted my Peggy Post etiquette book and materials from the Association of Bridal Consultants, and both confirm that it is quite common that the groom's family pays a larger share of expenses than in the past. They simply can offer to share the expenses by contributing a set dollar amount,or they can offer to pay for certain parts of the wedding such as the liquor, the flowers, etc.

If you want to know the traditional age-old etiquette, the majority of the expenses are paid for by the bride's family. The following costs were typically paid for by the groom and his family:

  • Bride's engagement and wedding rings
  • Groom's gift to his bride
  • Gifts for groom's attendants
  • Bride's going away corsage (oh my - let me many of my brides have had a going away corsage?!)
  • Boutonnieres for groom's attendants
  • Corsages for immediate members of both families (unless bride has included them in her florist's order)
  • Officiant's fee
  • Marriage license
  • Expenses of honeymoon
  • All costs of rehearsal dinner
  • Accommodations for groom's attendants
  • Groom's apparel
  • Transportation and lodging expenses for groom's immediate family

Any way you break it down - weddings are expensive. It is important that all parties sit down together to discuss expenses, set a budget, and stick to it.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Real Weddings: Lynn & Jonathan Part 2

Here are some more photos by Priore Photography from Lynn & Jonathan's September wedding. Overall event design by Distinctive Occasions. The wedding reception was held in the impressive Statler Towers Terrace Room. The Statler Towers are a beautiful location for a wedding reception. They have 3 different rooms to choose from, the Terrace Room being the most impressive in my opinion. Catering by Park Lane Catering is top notch and reasonably priced.

The wedding colors were chocolate brown and blue. The centerpieces consisted of brown branches with hanging led votive lights, surrounded by blue and white hydrangea. The tall centerpieces worked very well in the room with its high ceilings.

Large twig trees with hanging votives and crystals framed the staircase.

The sweetheart table...we used Lynn's bouquet as a centerpiece.

Table numbers and menu cards designed by Belletristics looked beautiful, and are a great option for the DIY bride. Lynn & Jonathan chose to name their tables after constellations, which tied in with the story of their first date. Unique table names are nice way to incorporate your personality and your story into the wedding day.

Cute cocktail napkins were available at the bars...

This was a beautiful wedding of a really special couple. Lynn & Jonathan & their large families were so much fun to be around all day - thanks for letting us be part of your celebration!