May, 2009

May 09

Total Carrie Bradshaw Shoes

How great are these floret patent slingbacks by J.Crew?? Honestly, one of the worst things about being a married wedding planner is the regret about missing out on incredible fashions, finds, and fads that I didn’t think of at the time. These shoes would be mine if I was an engaged wedding planner!

May 09

Buff Bride Tips

I’ll begin this post with a disclaimer: I do not pretend to be a workout guru; I’m pretty much as nonathletic as they get! But, I have discussed with clients about various work-outs and experimented with friends with different videos, so I have a few favorites that I wanted to share.

#1 Pick: Billy Blanks and Taebo. Billy time, double-time, roundhouse kicks, jabs… it’s all very entertaining and a killer cardio workout. Billy is also very motivational. These workouts are even more enjoyable when done with a girlfriend or two. There’s nothing better than laughing off a killer set of lunges with friends. Also, Billy and the gang’s wardrobe choices are always unexpected and amusing. Billy and his daughter Shelly are totally sassy; I recommend their buffness and fun attitudes to anyone.

S0-So Pick. So Sue Fleming, the creator of the “Buff Brides” program is everywhere in bridal fitness (you can find her on Weight Watchers and the Today Show to name a couple places). Her workout video is VERY disappointing. It was boring, cliched, and too easy for even a fitness novice like me. For example, one of the moves is a simulated bouquet toss… funny, but not in the enjoyable Billy Blanks way. Her book “Buff Brides” is actually quite good, in contrast to the video/dvd. It lists and describes how to do a variety of toning exercises. You just need free weights and a workout ball. I can speak from first-hand and second-hand experience that these exercises are effective if done regularly.

May 09

Looking for Flats?

Looking for affordable flats to dance the night away in but still stay in step with the latest fashions? Try these lace ballet flats with a string bow, $68, from Special Occasions by Saugus Show,

May 09

The Benefits of Hiring a Wedding Planner

So I’m all packed for my trip, and I’m back to the blogging. I love my job; what can I say? I guess I understand now why my husband made me sign a no cell phone/email clause for our honeymoon!

More and more brides are hiring wedding planners, and there are many reasons why this is a good idea! For one, wedding planners can provide advice on where to start: It is tough to know where to start when you first start planning. It can also be overwhelming with all that you have to coordinate, so consider hiring a planner to assist you in figuring out your priorities and following through on them. Think you might need a wedding planner? Consider if you fall under any of these categories. If you do, you should think about hiring a top-notch wedding coordinator.

  • Do you desire your wedding/event planned from A-Z? If you don’t want to handle all the details, why not turn the experience over to someone who is ready and willing to take care of all of them and make your day unique and wonderful.
  • How about day of event coordination? All your hardwork and planning needs someone to follow through and a person you can trust to make sure to take care of the details you agonized over. A day of event coordinator is your personal organizer, double checker and master of ceremonies behind the scenes making sure every detail is in place.
  • Do you need help making the most of your budget? Budget is such a huge part of what you can accomplish on your special day, and why not maximize its effect by letting an expert tell where there are savings that could be had and where it is good to spend a little more? A wedding planner and coordinator would love to work within your budget to get the day you always dreamed with the funds available.
  • But you might have plenty of ideas, but need help implementing them: You want a special detail highlight like candle lit service or a special arrangement for the reception, but need help figuring out how to accomplish that- why not consider hiring a wedding planner who has lots of experience in working in wedding designs and decorations to help you carry out your vision?
  • Do you live out-of-town and need someone to do the leg work? I think getting married in a location where you do not reside creates extra stress and so many details need to be handled by someone in the same state and city where the wedding is occurring.

  • Do you need someone to address the stresses of the day? No matter what you remember about your special day, you don’t want it to be stress. A wedding coordinator is there to make sure that stress is on her and allow you to enjoy your day as it is intended to be-Your Day!

  • Do you need a detail oriented person? You have worked out all the details, only to hand them over to a family member who may not remember in the excitement of the day where and what you instructed her to do, which does not seem very practical. I know as a wedding specialist, I strive to make sure each detail is at its best to make sure guests and the wedding party enjoy their experience to the fullest.

  • Do you need organizational advice? Keeping all the details organized and on schedule is key to making sure a wedding happens; this is a wedding planner’s bread and butter, so-to-speak.
  • Do you need reception management? A reception has many parts and making sure one part flows into the next is very important. From the cocktail hour until the final dance, a wedding coordinator can make sure the schedule and activities of the party keep moving and happening as intended.

What’s great about most wedding planning businesses, and this is true of Better Together Events LLC, is that all packages are customizable. In addition, most businesses will offer a variety of a la carte services. For example, I offer full calligraphy service and menu/program creation in addition to my wedding planning packages.
Lastly and most importantly, if you do decide you need a wedding planner, you should know that wedding planning is affordable. I am a firm believer that wedding consulting is not and should not be a service only for brides with larger budgets, but rather it should be accessible to couples with budgets of all shapes and sizes. So of course you should think of Better Together Events LLC for all your wedding plan/a la carte service needs!

May 09

The Meaning of Honor Attendant

One more post before I head out of town!

Bridesmaids have a lot of responsibilities leading up to the big day. Chief among them, paying for the dress, shoes, alterations, hair, makeup, and travel expenses. Partying is the second main bridesmaid responsibility: showers, bachelorette parties, bridal luncheons, engagement parties, and the rehearsal/rehearsal dinner are prime examples. Other tasks include staying in touch with the rest of the bridal party and assisting the bride when needed with pre-wedding activities (e.g. invitation writing).

The most important part about being a bridesmaid however is simply being there for the bride. They call bridesmaids “honor attendants” for a reason. As someone who’s been a bridesmaid twice now, I can personally say it’s an honor to stand up there by your friend’s side as she pledges her love to this person… this person who you can still remember her talking giddily about all those years ago… It’s an honor to be one of the first people to see her in that gorgeous white dress and get to see her transform from beautiful woman to beautiful bride.

And besides all that, it’s fun! And, if you’re single, don’t forget to try your hardest to catch that bouquet!

May 09

Honeymoon Packing 101

I’m headed out of town on vacation in 5 days (but who’s counting?), so I decided to create a post about honeymoon packing. As a side note, because of this vacation, Better Together Events will also be closed and away from technology/email until June 8, 2009. All calls and emails missed during vacation will be returned on the 8th and I’ll have some new blog posts as well!

A honeymoon is supposed to be relaxing, but sometimes the packing can be stressful, especially when you don’t know where to start. We’re here to help! Here are the essentials for all sorts of destinations. This checklist was adapted from one found in Real Simple magazine.

For your carry-on bag(s)
  • Airline boarding passes and other travel tickets
  • Passports, visas (I know it seems obvious, but my husband got stuck in France once because he didn’t have his green card.)
  • Driver’s license(s)
  • Credit, ATM, auto-club, and telephone calling cards
  • Money/traveler’s checks (note: for foreign currency, just go to your local bank so you have some available cash for cabs, etc.)
  • Hotel, theater, restaurants, or other reservation confirmations
  • Photocopies of all travel documentation (e.g. passport). Also photograph your luggage contents in case of loss. Leave a copy of your itinerary with someone back home.
  • Prescription medicine (in the bottle)
  • Contraception
  • Aspirin or ibuprofen and travel-sickness pills
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Small makeup bag
  • Brush and comb
  • Camera
  • Any valuable jewelry
  • In-flight reading
  • Light sweater
  • One change of clothing, including underwear
  • Headphones for in-flight movies
  • Travel pillow and blanket
Checked Bag(s) – All Destinations
  • 2-3 pairs of shoes or sandals (stick with ones you’ve worn before and have broken in)
  • 3 pairs of light cotton socks
  • 2 pairs of shorts
  • 2 pairs of pants
  • 2-3 skirts or dresses
  • 4 tshirts or casual tops
  • 2 blouses or shirts
  • lingerie
  • enough underwear for every day, plus 2-3 extras, 2-3 bras
  • evening wrap or jacket
  • evening bag
  • swimsuit
  • shampoo and conditioner
  • soap and face cleanser
  • deodorant
  • hand and body lotion
  • lip balm
  • personal-hygiene items
  • floss
  • qtips
  • tweezers
  • nail file and clippers
  • razors and shaving cream
  • insect repellent (where appropriate)
  • sunscreen and sunglasses
  • contact-lens solution and extra contacts
  • eyeglasses
  • chargers for cell phones, ipods, and digital camera (leave home with everything fully charged)
  • electrical adapter for destinations outside the U.S.
  • extra camera batteries and memory cards
  • various sizes of re-sealable plastic bags
  • maps, guidebooks, and a translation dictionary (if needed)
  • travel alarm clock
  • addresses of family and friends for postcards
  • comfortable daypack for carrying guidebooks, snacks, and essentials
  • travel umbrella and raincoat
  • travel medical kit (band-aids, antacids, antihistamines, diarrhea medicine, antibacterial cream)
  • foldable, lightweight tote for bringing home souvenirs
Add-ons for Beach Honeymoon
  • paperbacks
  • aloe vera gel or after-sun cream
  • beach bag
  • 2nd swimsuit and cover-up
  • flip-flops
Skiing Honeymoon Add-ons
  • waterproof ski pants and jacket or snowsuit
  • turtlenecks
  • heavy sweaters
  • long underwear
  • gloves or mittens
  • warm hat or headband
  • neck warmer or scarf
  • goggles
  • skis, poles, and boots
  • waterproof socks
  • hand and foot warmers
  • ski lock
  • ski bag
Safari and Sightseeing honeymoon add-ons
  • comfortable walking shoes or hiking boots
  • small compass
  • mosquito netting (if needed)
  • binoculars
  • clothing in natural colors (avoid bright and white clothing, which can distract wildlife)
  • safari or sun hat
  • wildlife guides

Other useful tips?
- Remember to consider checked baggage requirements. With the airline industry in a bit of economic distress, they are adding new fees and baggage restrictions all the time.
- Put shampoo and other bottles that could potentially leak in ziploc bags to prevent them from spilling all over your clothes.
- Don’t overpack, but make sure you have good clothing options! Isn’t that the ultimate packing challenge?

May 09

Active Honeymoons Done Right

I was recently asked to blog about active honeymoons, so here it is!

The first place that comes to mind is Costa Rica. I’ve known a few brides who’ve honeymooned there, and it epitomizes an active honeymoon to a T. Touring volcanoes, hot springs, natural canopies, banana plantations, and waterfall gardens, Costa Rica has it all, including gorgeous beaches for the days you are feeling less adventurous. Costa Rica is also relatively affordable compared to the more long-distance adventure locations, like Tahiti and Fiji, and it offers a variety of accommodation options, ranging from resorts to more rustic, mountain bungalow settings.

If you’re feeling very adventurous, try an African Safari, on my “must do sometime in life” list.
White-water rafting, elephant-back safaris, canoeing, game viewing and scenic flights will keep the pulse racing throughout your entire trip. If those aren’t enoough, add shark diving, whale watching, and sailing to the list. Remember that an African safari really requires at least two weeks, if not more, as it takes awhile to get there, and, come on, once you’re in Africa, you mind as well take your time! Where to stay? Check out this incredible hotel in Cape Town, the Twelve Apostles.

Other active honeymoon locations? Mexico, Belize, Australia, and New Zealand.

When planning your active honeymoon, it’s even more important to be organized than with a beach vacation. Think about visiting a travel agent, buy tickets and confirm hotels early, and start packing weeks before your trip – you’ll need much more than a bathing suit and some shorts!