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May 2013 Archive

An “Unplugged Wedding”

In a technological age of iPhones, iPads, iPods, smart phones, digital cameras, twitter, tumblr, facebook, and instagram, it’s no wonder couples are starting to feel that their wedding is being over-run by cameras. Nearly every couple hires a professional photographer and they usually spend a few thousand dollars for these photos. The photographer scopes out the venue prior to the start of the wedding, finds the best lighting, positioning, and viewpoint to capture the moments in time that will become your best memories. As the photographer prepares to capture that perfect shot of your first kiss, five guests stand up in front of him with their iPhones and completely ruin the photographer’s shot. Bust.

At the end of the day, do we really believe that our iPhone photos, instagram posts and facebook tags are going to be better quality than the photo a professional could’ve taken of the same thing? Of course not.  We all know that those huge expensive cameras will take a better picture than our phones but sometimes we just can’t help ourselves! We’re excited! We want to share our excitement with the world! We just have to get that shot!

So eventually it becomes obvious that you would rather have the photographer take the shots rather than a slew of phones that may or may not ruin those photos that you’re paying a photographer to take… but how do you tell your guests that you don’t want them to take photos during your wedding? That seems just wrong doesn’t it?

We found a photographer who addresses this situation in a very well written and helpful way – explaining to your guests that you would rather them sit back and enjoy the day without feeling the pressure of documenting every second.

Take some time to read the full article and also see some of the photos taken by this photographer that were ruined by guest photographers.

Are you having an unplugged wedding?

Octagonal Barn Wedding and Other Unique Wedding Venues

This past weekend, one of our associate coordinators attended the wedding of her younger brother in Staunton, Va. The wedding reception took place in an octagonal barn or “round barn” as they’re usually called. The barn was decorated very simply but with a vaulted ceiling, wooden beams, and beautiful structure, it didn’t really need a whole lot of decorating and provided a gorgeous setting to celebrate their wedding. Who would’ve known that such a structure existed so close to home and is available as a wedding venue?


Are you looking for a unique and beautiful place to say your wedding vows?  Here’s a list of America’s “coolest” wedding venues and sure enough, there’s a round barn on the list! Check out 22 of the Coolest Places to Get Married in America.

Are you a Virginia bride looking to get married in the barn shown above? Please visit the American Frontier Culture Museum’s website for more information on their Octagonal Barn.

…and congratulations to the newlyweds, Cameron and Whitney!

Wedding Trends & Traditions of 2013

When planning your own wedding, there are so many traditions to discuss: white poofydress, black formal tux, bridal bouquet, wedding party, dinner buffet, first dance, best man’s toast, cake cutting… the list goes on and on. Many typical wedding traditions are still used in most weddings but as times change, so do the trends. Gone are the days of “we have to do this because it’s tradition.” You may WANT to do something based on tradition, but if you don’t? Do it your own way!  We love seeing couples create the wedding day that they want, incorporating elements that are unique to them and choosing personal touches that create a more intimate feel.

Trends change with the times and while some trends are everlasting, many of them change from year to year. One of our team members came across an excellent article about the top wedding trends of 2013 and we just had to share it.

Mindy Weiss is a celebrity wedding and event planner who has created and coordinated events for Ellen & Portia, Fergie & Josh Duhammel, Heidi Klum, Jennifer Lopez, Eva Longoria, and Jennifer Gardner & Ben Affleck, among MANY others. So when it comes to wedding trends, no one else could say it better than Mindy Weiss!


“Mindy Weiss Shares the Top Wedding Trends”

*As seen on the Bridal Guide, by Kristen O’Gorman Klein and Stefania Sainato

When stars like Jessica Simpson, Hilary Duff, Fergie, and Gwen Stefani need to throw a spectacular party, they know who to call — top planner Mindy Weiss. We had the pleasure of wining and dining with her recently at an event hosted by Perfect Circle jewelry insurance, where she gave us the scoop on what’s hot for 2013 weddings. 

1. Rose gold and yellow gold are in. She was surprised when her daughter-in-law requested a rose gold ring two years ago, but now, she’s seeing it everywhere. Also popular: mixing and matching gold tones.

2. Lace is everywhere right now, from table runners to vases to chandelier covers. She’s even draping a tent entirely in lace for an upcoming wedding! (Her décor motto: Go with a touch or just too much — never middle-of-the-road.) Lace was also huge on the bridal runways this season, and it’s showing up more on shoes and purses as well.


Photo Credit: Elizabeth Messina

3. Grooms are buying instead of renting. “My grooms are very concerned with what they’re wearing,” said Weiss. She’s seeing a return to classic — hand-tied bow ties, vests, black socks (“colorful socks are done”), and slim-fit Tom Ford tuxedos. Shoes and cuff links are becoming a big deal to her grooms.

4. More bridesmaids are giving their ‘maids color swatches and allowing them to choose their own attire in that shade. “It lets them show their personality,” she said. It also cuts down on complaints from bridesmaids who don’t want to spend a ton of money on a dress they’ll never wear again. In particular, her clients are clamouring for bridesmaid dresses by Monique Lhuillier.


Photo Credit: Elizabeth Messina

5. Centerpieces are shrinking. No longer are couples opting for tall, overpowering arrangements, even in massive ballrooms. Low centerpieces create a greater sense of intimacy.

6. Top colors: Creams and greens, especially pistachio. She’s also seeing a lot of lavender right now. What’s out? All-white weddings.


Photo Credit: Elizabeth Messina

7. For invitations, engraving is very “in” right now. Couples are opting to e-mail their save-the-dates, which allows them to splurge on formal, traditional wedding invitations. They’re also choosing to spend extra on hand calligraphy, vintage stamps (which are triple the cost of regular stamps) and beveled edging.

8. Lighting is “out of control.” Weiss said that “Clients are finally, for the first time, understanding the importance of lighting.” They’re allotting more of the budget to lighting, and they’re looking for interesting fixtures. Chandeliers are on their way out, and colorful lanterns are taking their place.



Photo Credits: Elizabeth Messina

9.  In photography, she’s seeing a return to classic. “The fusion of colors and filters are going away,” she said. She recommends going for a mix of traditional and artsy — in 20 years, you’re going to want that classic family portrait with Grandma. As a planner, it’s her job to make sure that the photographer takes all of your must-have photos.

10. Surprisingly, more couples are cutting videography from the budget. “They feel that no one watches it or that they’ll never watch it,” she said, although she disagrees and always tries to persuade her couples otherwise!

11. The top music right now: ’80s hits. They’re the tunes this generation of brides and grooms grew up with, so the music hits at everyone’s nostalgia. DJs are more popular than live bands right now, and they’re much “cooler” than in generations past. Weiss joked that “They can actually talk on the microphone — they’re not saying ‘give it up for the salad,’ which mortifies me.”

12. Food is all about farm-to-table, from casual backyard receptions to black tie ballroom celebrations. Couples are opting for long tables rather than round.


Photo Credit: Elizabeth Messina

13. Dessert displays are becoming more personalized. Generic candy buffets are being replaced by more creative themes, like popcorn or cookie tables. Cupcakes are over, and artsy wedding cakes (think Maggie Austin) are in.

14. Traditions are changing. We were very surprised to hear that many of Weiss’s clients are requesting to skip the big moment when they cut the cake. She compromises: “Sometimes we do it without an announcement.” 

The first dance is still a big moment, but couples are taking a more light-hearted approach by choosing a “cool” song, like an instrumental version of a rap tune. They’re taking dance lessons, but they’re not making the dance as dramatic as it’s been in the past (think: those crazy YouTube videos with intricate choreography that spans throughout the decades).

15. Brides are looking to the red carpet for inspiration. Nail polish is a big part of the wedding-day attire, and brides are buying clutches “they’ll never use,” she said. Earrings and arm candy are more popular than necklaces; “Gowns are so beautiful that you don’t need one.” 

Reception dresses are still going strong, and she’s hoping more brides will consider changing into a “going away” outfit, like the ones from Monique Lhuillier’s new collection. Other designer favorites: Carolina Herrera is making a comeback, and Jenny Packham rocked it this season.


Photo Credit: Curtis Dahl Photography

16. Couples are experiencing social media overload. How did brides ever survive without Pinterest and They’ve completely revolutionized the way that we plan, but they can make the wedding planner’s job tougher. “There’s so much information, sometimes it’s too much!” she said.

She recommends that you stop looking at these sites a month before the big day; you don’t want to see anything that’s going to make you second-guess yourself.

Couples are also hashtagging their weddings and encouraging guests to share photos across Instagram.

17. After parties are huge. “They just don’t want it to end,” she explained. Couples are even hiring DJs for the after party and making it a big event.


Photo Credit: Jay Lawrence Goldman

18. Pre-wedding parties are expanding. Engagement parties are still popular, though Weiss tries to talk her clients out of it. “Save the money for the wedding,” she advised. More brides are having multiple bridal showers to accomodate all guests, and the bridesmaids’ luncheon is back.

19. Rehearsal dinners are taking a casual turn. Couples are opting for theme parties, like Mexican fiestas, or family-style Italian dinners, and Mindy’s a fan. “It eliminates the pressure the night before and builds up the next night,” she said.

20. Destination weddings are hotter than ever. Last year, she planned 10; this year, she’s planning 30 all over the world. She said couples want the “summer camp” experience but don’t realize the expense it adds: “You have to do a lot of entertaining!”

—Kristen O’Gorman Klein and Stefania Sainato

Josh & Tiffany’s Wedding Video

Despite our best attempts at posting this gorgeous wedding video directly to our blog, we have finally admitted defeat to the blog and let it win. BUT… you can check out Tiffany and Josh’s amazing wedding video at the link below!

The team of wedding videographers at The Girl Tyler did an incredible job with this one and it was also so fun to have them around on the wedding day. They’re such a fun team to work with and I think Tyler even made an appearance on the dance floor to get her Wobble on… get it, girl.

Tiffany and Josh’s Love Story


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