Friday, October 21, 2011

Fun Fact Friday!

Today I thought I would be fun to put up a  fun fact about weddings. Enjoy your weekend!


Friday, October 14, 2011

The Gift Guessing Game!

When invited to a wedding, there are many things that come to mind, like “What should I wear?” or “Are we available on that date?” But, more importantly, people wonder about what to get the special bride and groom. It’s a complicated job to pick out the “perfect” gift, but here are a few tips to go by.
First, how close are you to the bride and groom? If one of them is a family member or close friend, the gift obviously will cost more. Also, if you are in the wedding party, you would give more than if not.
So, let’s start with the most obvious and easiest. If the couple is registered at one or more stores, then a gift from one of them would be the easiest. Couples can spend lots of time at stores picking out items that meet their domestic needs or things that they would really like to help start their lives together. With a registry, it eliminates duplication of gifts and receiving gifts that the couple really does not need or want. If you want to purchase a gift on their registry, but want it a little more personal, then you can add something extra. For instance, if a set of wine glasses is selected, you can add a bottle of the couples’ favorite wine and a monogrammed wine stopper. A gift card from the registered store is also a good idea, so they can purchase something they did not receive. Or, you can purchase a less expensive item, but also add a gift of money as well. You can’t go too wrong with a gift of cash!
Since we are talking about cash, the dreaded question of how much cash should be given to the newlyweds is a tough one. However, a few guidelines can be followed. As mentioned above, if the couple is close to you, i.e.; a family member or a very close friend, the gift amount should be higher. Keep in mind that you should give what makes you comfortable, but for those close to you, a minimum of $100 is appropriate. If you are in the wedding party, $100 is a good amount as well. But, if you are just an acquaintance or co-worker of the bride or groom, then a minimum of $50 is suggested, but it really depends on the closeness to the couple. Also, experts say that the more expensive the wedding, the more expensive the gift should be. If you are invited to a formal black-tie, sit-down dinner wedding, your gift should probably be at least $150-$200. For a simple backyard wedding, with a less formal flare, a $50 gift is acceptable.
No matter what you decide, you should always bring a gift, and if you choose to give a gift of money, make sure you put it in a card to be given to the couple at the reception. Of course, if you cannot attend the actual wedding, then mailing the gift of money, gift card or present is appropriate. If you order the gift from the registry online, many stores also offer shipping directly to the couples’ address so you don’t have to worry about getting the gift to them.
The ideas above are by no means the only things you can give the new Mr. and Mrs., but it’s a good basis to follow, especially if you haven’t been to a wedding recently!


Back In Business

Hello readers and fellow wedding enthusiasts,

I am glad to say that starting this week, Something Borrowed will be back up and running on a weekly basis. Both Devin and myself have been extremely busy with school, but now that my most challenging class is over I have a lot more free time to dedicate to the blog. I apologize for the long break, but now the wait is over!


Saturday, September 17, 2011

Fall Fabulousness!

With autumn right around the corner, couples who are planning fall weddings are probably pretty set with the details by now.  But if not, and some clever fall wedding favor ideas are still needed, here are just a few.
 There are many creative themes that the bride and groom can adopt for fall weddings, including sayings such as, “Falling in Love”, “Falling for You” or “Apple of my Eye”. Of course, outside weddings are a must; which saves the couple some money because the fall nature is the perfect wedding backdrop.
The lovebirds can include these sayings with cute favors such as tea bags or hot chocolate packets with a fall scene and the couples’ names and wedding date inscribed on them. There are also many leaf shaped items that can be incorporated, such as chocolates wrapped in golden, orange or red foils.  Candles are another perfect fall favor and the packaging can be personalized as well.  Pear shaped mini brownie bites can also add a fall flare to any wedding as can chocolate covered or caramel apples. Mint tins and small boxes adorned with leaves are also a great idea and can be filled with candies. 
As for decorations, a popular trend right now is using pumpkins of all sizes. Many couples have incorporated mini pumpkins in their table centerpieces. The pumpkins can be painted to fit the wedding theme and can be used in almost every aspect of the wedding decor. Another great idea is the use of apples. They can be placed around the cake, used as candle, or used as centerpieces. 
The flowers of fall include flowers with shades of red, yellow, orange sun flowers, calla lilies, orchids, dahlias and of course roses. Fall also brings the use of other items such as squash, ornamental berries, greenery like Ivy, Bruce Spruce, dried leaves and a new trend that is growing quite popular: wheat and cotton.
Fall is a beautiful time of the year, and weddings can sparkle with rich fall colors and creative favors and décor.  Enjoy!


Saturday, August 27, 2011

What’s the Most Important Thing?

            What’s the most important thing when planning a wedding? Well the bride and groom, of course!  All joking aside, for most couples, the wedding venue is the most important thing.  Finding the perfect wedding venue that is available for the special date that’s been chosen can be a tricky endeavor -- that’s why this should be the first thing couples secure.  The venue is the foundation of the wedding.  Some couples have a specific date that they must be married on and others may have a specific location where they must be married at.  Weddings can take place on the anniversary of when the two first met, in a special church or next to the ocean as the sun sets.

            If a couple is having a traditional church wedding, they should contact the church office first to see if the date is available, and if it is, reserve it right away.  With a church wedding, a reception location is also needed.  So, once the church is secure, find that perfect setting for the celebration.  If living in a small town, these venues are going to be harder to come by, so the availability will be more limited.  In a big city, there will be more to choose from, but there will also be numerous other people to compete with.  Venues such as hotel ballrooms can also be hard to reserve because not only do folks have their weddings there, they are used for business meetings, corporate parties and other large events.

            The bride and groom may decide that the date isn’t as important as the actual location where they want their nuptials to unfold.  If they want to make sure that the wedding and reception are at a favorite winery in the fall or on the beach in Hawaii, but the date can be flexible, then they may have an easier time.  However, it’s still the first and foremost thing that should be determined.  Once the venue is set, then the details can fall into place.  The dress, the flowers, the photographer, the decorations can all be selected and based around the special location.  For instance, if being married in a beach setting, the bride’s gown will probably differ than if she were to be married at a formal church.  Some venues will not need many decorations due to their existing elegance, but if the reception is in a relative’s backyard, then appropriate décor will have to be purchased.  For all these reasons, no matter where the wedding will take place, the venue should be secured first to guaranty that the show can go on!



Friday, August 19, 2011

Hot and Not

In case you haven’t noticed, weddings have become an extremely important part of our society. I mean they always have been, but now it’s all about who can have the most creative wedding, how many DIY decorations you can have, and for a very small minority of people, how much money is spent on their wedding. Did you know that the average wedding in today’s society costs over $25,000? Crazy right?!? 

Even though many weddings are super expensive, a number of brides are looking for any way possible to save money. Most of the time, decorations are the first thing to go. Instead of gorgeous DIY decorations such as mason jar flower vases or window pane placement settings, some brides are cutting corners to an extreme! Now ladies, there are some decorations that are just too tacky and cheap to be used in a wedding. For those of you who disagree with me, I apologize, but I feel like some decorations should be used for showers, birthdays, and other various parties and not weddings! 

For instance, keep balloons and streamers away from the ceremony and reception site. Some balloon arrangements can be made in an elegant and tasteful manner, but most of the time, that is not what brides use. Take a look at some of the decorations that are a “not” and how they can be replaced with something “hot”.

The first "Not" decoration we have are balloons. Now, like I said before, they have the potential to look really elegant if done right. However, this is an example of the type of balloon decoration that you should stay away from. 

As you can see, these balloon arrangements are extremely tacky looking. This is not something that should ever be at a wedding. You can easily find giant size round balloons that are much more tasteful and appropriate. Like the ones shown below.

The next decoration in the "Not" category are streamers. Streamers are perfect for a birthday party or a baby shower, but have no place in a wedding. 

Now these streamers can be easily replaced with a new trend that is also very inexpensive. Ripped fabric has recently taken over for DIY and vintage weddings and you can see why. All you wold have to do is go to your local arts and crafts store and pick out 3 or 4 different fabrics that you like. Cut or rip them into shapes and hang them where you would like. 

The final "Not" I have today is the abusing the use of lights. I love lights as wedding decorations, but sometimes people tend to go overboard. Simple lights complement any wedding decorations, but if you overuse them it will turn into a hot mess.

If you are looking to do something more unique, yet still beautiful a great idea is to use is mason jars or hanging lanterns.

So the moral of the story is to be careful when choosing decorations for your wedding. Most of the "Nots" and turn into "Hots" with a little planning and a lot of creativity.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Don't Forget the Mothers

We all have a mom, and hopefully are all able to have her help during the wedding planning process. So when it comes to what she will wear let's make it count.

The Mother of the Bride/Groom (MOB) dress has a reputation of being bland, fussy and sometimes downright ugly. This strikes me as vastly unfair to the woman who bore us for nine months and then put up with loved us ever since.

The main problems I see with MOB dresses is that they aren't flattering or an extension of the mother's style. I can just imagine everyone being so busy with other elements of the wedding that the MOB dress gets pushed till the very last minute, probably the MOB's own doing, and a dress is picked without much discernment.

I am not saying the mother should be agonizing over which dress she's going to be wearing - that would be odd, but I do think the dress she wears on her child's big day should make her look good and feel happy.

Here are a few examples of where MOB dresses go well...and when they go not so well.

1: I have two issues with this dress. First, it's white! No one but the bride should wear white to the wedding. And second, it makes the model look like a shapeless blob, and who wants that?

2: I like the second dress because it's a pretty color and is flattering around the waist. The straps provide enough support to ward off "wardrobe malfunctions" and the model looks classy and put together.

1: These dresses scream "Office wear!" to me. The colors are bland and the shiny fabric is questionable.
2: I especially like the neckline on this dress - I think it could work for many different styles and body types. I would prefer it in a lighter color, but the silhouette and detailing are pretty without being over the top.

A wedding is not only about the bride and groom, but also about all the people who brought the love birds to the big day: siblings, friends, aunts, uncles, grandparents and parents. As mom stands beaming, and probably crying, during the ceremony, let's make sure her outward appearance matches her inner joy.

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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Featured Vendor: La Gioia Events

Ok ladies and gents, I am so excited to introduce you to our next featured vendor! La Gioia Events is a one stop shop in Vancouver for all of your an event coordinating, floral decor and linen and decor rental needs. I had the opportunity to interview Maria Di Antonio, owner of La Gioia Events and found out that her story was quite interesting. See how a family tradition and the Olympics made the dream La Gioia Events a reality. I truly believe that it is passion like her's that makes the wedding industry such a magical place. So, I hope you enjoy!

SB: Tell us a little bit about yourself.

LGE: My name is Maria Di Antonio, I'm the owner of La Gioia (joy-ya) Events.  I'm an Event Planner / Coordinator, Floral Designer and most recently Baker of yummy goodies.

SB: Name one fun fact about yourself.

LGE: I enjoy a good party.  I love to to entertain.  I love to travel and enjoy new cultural experiences.

SB: How long have you been in the event planning business?

LGE: I've been coordinating many types of events since 1993 in the retail industry, and weddings since 2007.

SB: How did you get started?

LGE: I began my event planning journey in 2003, actually probably a lot earlier than that.  Coming form an Italian family, we always entertained guests in our home and I always assisted my Mom with decorating the house and our dining table to wow our guests.  My training in coordinating began in 1993 in the retail industry.  After moving back to Canada from Italy in late 2002, I wasn't sure what to do with myself as the opportunities that I had in Europe were not available for me here in BC.  Vancouver was getting ready at the time for the 2010 Winter Olympics and my family suggested doing what I do best and that is coordinating events.  I decided to take a few courses at BCIT for Event Planning & Marketing, where I was introduced to Wedding Planning.  The courses introduced me to people in the industry and I fell in love instantly!  Shortly after I started La Gioia Events.

SB: What is event planning so important to you?

LGE: I believe it's important to do what you love to do and event planning is what I love to do.  I draw inspiration from everywhere and everyone.  I'm always looking for new ideas and am always wanting to try something new and event planning lets me do that.
SB: When did you turn your passion into a business?

LGE: La Gioia Events began in January of 2007, where I started event coordinating on a part-time basis.  In 2008, I began the floral decor service.  And as of January of this year, with the business growing through word of mouth taken it to full time, I added the linen and decor rental and coordinating on a full-time basis.

SB: What types of events do you specialize in?

LGE: Mainly weddings, but I also help create great Birthdays, Anniversaries, Bridal Showers and Baby Showers.

SB: What is your business motto?

LGE: I believe my business name says it all... "La Gioia" (pronounced "Joy-Ya") in Italian means "joy", and that is what I like to bring to every event. 

SB: What types of services does your company offer?

LGE: I'm like a one-stop shop. I provide Event Coordinating Services, Floral Design, Linen & Decor Rentals, Invitations, Favors and yummy baked goodies (cookies, cupcakes and cakes).

I offer 3 types of event coordinating services...

Day Of Coordination - you've already booked your venue, flowers, caterer and transportation and someone will be there for you on the Day Of to make sure that everything runs smoothly.

Putting the Dream Together Coordination - this package is for the couple who has all the logistics around their wedding day completed, but still need help putting the dream togther.  This service can be added to the Day-Of Coordination.  We can coordinate your booked vendors from the flowers, linens, and centrepieces to the small details, turning your dream into reality.

The Ultimate Dream Day Coordination - from the conception to the Big Day itself.  We will walk through the steps in creating your dream day.  This package is the ultimate stress-reliever for the Bride & Groom.  Using our conversations and current wedding trends as a guide, we will customize every detail of your day, making it unique to you.

SB: What is your favorite part about working in the wedding industry?

LGE: What I enjoy most about my job is that it doesn't feel like a job.  I love seeing all the smiles.  I love assisting people in creating beautiful memories and watching their dreams come true.  I treat every event as if it were my own and every client as if they were my family.

SB: What is your favorite moment at a wedding?

 LGE: I love it when at the end of the night my Brides come and give me a big hug and tell me that their wedding was even more than what they dreamed it would be.  Which is why my logo is "Turning your dreams into reality..."  

SB: How many weddings do you work with in a year?

LGE: As many as I can ;)  I'm currently at 15 spread throughout this year and am already booking for next year.

SB: Is there a specific type of wedding you like to work with?

LGE: I have to say that each wedding is unique.  In the past four years, I haven't had one wedding that has been the same as another.  What I can say is that my favourite kind of venue is outdoors.  There is just something romantic and peaceful about having a ceremony outside.  Especially with a warm breeze flowing through you.  However, living in a rainforest we always require a back plan, and we have many great tenting companies that can assist with that.  Tenting has come a long way.  It can be very elegant or very simple and even exotic depending on how you decorate it. 
SB: Any last words?

LDE: Some people think that wedding planning and coordination is an extra expense.  I believe that it is so worth it.  Planning a wedding can be like a full time job (and in my case it is).  If you have never planned a wedding or have had friends or family who have, there is so much to learn and not much time to do it all, especially with many venues that are booked a year in advance.  There are so many vendors in this great city of ours to research and interview.  Having someone who has contacts and has worked with vendors that they can trust to do the job, and to do it right, can save on time and money.  You could ask friends and family and friends to assist, but why not enjoy that time with them instead?  If you do like organizing, then by all means do book your venue, flowers, officiant, caterer and is so worth having someone there to make sure that everything runs smoothly.  By hiring a coordinator, you can enjoy your day and create those special memories with your family and friends while someone else worries about all the behind the scenes action, so that you won't have to worry about them.  

Well let me just say that I find Maria's story fascinating! You can tell see really loves what she does and is in it for her passion and love of event planning. If you are interested in contacting Maria, or would just like more information about La Gioia Events there are several ways to connect. You can visit the La Gioia Events website or if you are searching for some of La Gioia's gifts you can click here. La Gioia Events also have Facebook and Twitter pages and love to get followers. So go stop by and say hello!

*The pictures shown on this post are courtesy of La Gioia Events.


Monday, August 15, 2011

Identity Crisis: Wedding Style

The first dance, a reception staple, is having a identity crisis. For years it was a simple dance to a sweet, romantic song. Now couples are starting to incorporate energetic, sometimes silly, dancing and pop songs.

The first dance doesn't know what to do with itself. Is it a quiet moment for the bride and groom to share during the festivities? Is it a way to introduce the couple's style to their friends and family? Is it entertainment for the guests? Who knows?

To help the first dance sort itself out, let's look at some of its different forms.

This first video got over 12 million views on Youtube and is greatly entertaining.

This video, while similar to the first, has a goofier tone. The couple doesn't take themselves seriously at all and are obviously having a blast.

This video is the closest to the traditional first dance. There's no shimmy-ing or songs with "Big butts" in the lyrics, but the couple still showed their special style by choreographing a beautiful classic dance.

This last example is one of my all time favorites. The couple choreographed a swing dance number for their first dance which wow-ed their guests and showed their enthusiasm and excitement.

So where does all this leave the first dance? I think the answer, though ambiguous, is this: the first dance should be a blessing for the couple. Whether that means surprising the guests by getting down with Baby Got Back, waltzing or swing dancing, the couple should be excited to do it and enjoy every second of it.

If you're going to be first dancing soon, there are many resources to get you started. The list of 50 classic first dance songs is great if you're looking for something more traditional (or a fake song for the beginning of a surprise dance.) How to Choose a Song for the First Dance is also helpful if you can't immediately think of one. Another thing to remember is that many local dance studios offer private classes for couples who want to look polished during their first dance.

Whatever type of first dance you choose, have fun and own it and you'll be happy with the outcome.

See you on the dance floor!

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Bridal Shower Galore!

Planning a successful bridal shower can be a lot of fun, but also a lot of work. It is usually the maid or matron of honor’s job to host the shower; however, it is not uncommon for the bride’s mother, sister, or soon-to-be in-laws to help out. The host is in charge of making the guest list, setting the date and location, sending out the invitations, the food, the entertainment and most importantly… the theme. 

 The theme of a bridal shower may be hard for some people because there are so many to choose from. My advice is to choose one that fits the bride’s personality as well as one that makes all of the guests comfortable. If the bride’s great aunt and grandma will be there, it is probably best to not have a sexy theme. Another suggestion would be to select a theme that fits with the wedding theme. If the bride is having a vintage wedding, then a vintage tea party bridal shower would be a great match. Below are several themes that will guarantee a good time for everyone. 

Around The Clock-
The around the clock theme has been used for years and is perfect for a bride who is moving into a new house once she is married. Each guest is assigned a certain hour, or time of the day and their gift to the bride must correspond with the time they were given. For example, if a guest was given 8:00 a.m., then she could buy a gift that has to do with drinking her morning coffee such as a coffee maker or a mug with espresso beans. Each table can be decorated with clocks and various pictures of the bride growing up. The food can also match with different times of the day, like various fresh fruit and yogurt parfaits for breakfast, small sandwiches and salads for lunch, and small finger food like chicken fingers for dinner hours and of course cookies, brownies and a cake for dessert. Entertainment can include bridal bingo, and putting events in chronological order. Last but not least, favors for this theme can include small clocks or kitchen timers for the guests.

Garden Tea Party-
A tea party theme is perfect for the bride who is a girly-girl. If the bride has everything she needs for the home, have guests bring unique gifts such as vintage looking frames, accessories, unique teas, etc. The guest will be forced to get creative with their gifts, which many times, leads to a fun experience for the bride when opening her gifts. Decorations should include mix and matched tea cups, saucers and plates for table centerpieces as well as small flower vases with one of two flowers in each of them. Also, feminine candles and garlands of delphiniums would be a great addition. Food should include finger sandwiches, vegetables with a garden ranch and a variety of cookies that can be included in a cookie bar. Each guest could design an over the top hat and have a fashion show for fun. And when it’s time for everyone to go, guests can leave with personalized tea bags. 

Not afraid of letting it all hang out? Well, then a lingerie party is perfect for the bride with a wild side. This theme is perfect for a bride who wants to combine her bachelorette party and bridal shower together. Have each guest bring something related to lingerie, whether it is a Victoria’s Secret gift card, a cute nighty, or a fun game for the couple to play. Food can include chocolate and champagne, red velvet cupcakes or any other romantic foods you can think of. Decorations should be fun and playful with hot pink and bows and candles. Entertainment can include games such as Never Have I Ever, Would you Rather, or Dirty Minds. Favors can include sachets or perfume samples for the girls. 

A Drink Social-
Does your group of girls like to go out for drinks? If so, then a drink social theme is great for your bride. Have guests bring two copies of their favorite drink recipe as well as a small gift such as a martini glass or a bottle opener. During the party the guests will take turns sharing their drinks with everyone and sampling some of the favorites. Have the guests put one of their copies in a bowl and mix them up. Have each guest draw from the bowl and the recipe they receive will be their favor. Serve finger foods that you would find in a bar, such as sliders and fries. You can get creative with the decorations, but make sure they are fun and inviting to everyone.

Naughty and Nice-
Have a mixed crowd? A naughty and nice theme is a fun theme for everyone. Split the guest list in half and have one half bring the bride “nice” gifts and the other half bring “naughty” gifts. For the food, you can include sweet foods like cookies and candies and foods with a kick like chips and spicy salsa or hot tamales. Decorations can include devil and angel type things and entertainment can include having someone read out instances that everyone answers naughty and nice. The guests that have the same answer as the bride get to stay in the game until one girl wins a prize. Guests can receive red and white candles as their favors. 

 So no matter if your bride is fun and flirty or sweet and innocence, there is a bridal shower that is perfect for her. Remember, this may be the last time that many of the guest see the bride before her wedding, so it is important to create a fun atmosphere where everyone will enjoy themselves. Spend the time celebrating and wishing the bride good luck!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Before "I do"

Here at Something Borrowed we focus on the big day, but for this post I want to write about the big question.

"Will you marry me?"

It seems simple enough, only four little words, but the meaning is tremendous. It causes a grown man feel like an awkward school boy, and can make the woman feel like a queen. Throughout history the proposal has had its own traditions and lore, with each asker trying to find new ways to make the moment special and unique.

Thanks to the advent of portable video cameras, many public proposals have been caught on tape for the enjoyment of millions.

One of my favorites is a recent proposal. Ginny was at a movie with her family when a trailer came on the screen that showed her boyfriend Matt asking for permission to marry her. It was very sweet and touching...and I won't ruin the ending.

Another favorite is from 2007, right after Boise State won the Fiesta Bowl. During the post game interview with Ian Johnson, the reporter unknowingly butted into a proposal... (Start watching at the :59 mark)

For those who are having a difficult time coming up with the perfect plan, here is a list of proposal ideas to jump start the process. Also, here's a link to seven proposals gone wrong.

Proposing definitely isn't an easy task, but in the end it's worth putting extra effort into because it will become a life long memory.

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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Bringing The Man Cave To Weddings

Oh the man cave -- the only room in the entire house that most guys care about. So, why not have a man cave area at your wedding reception? I know there is some confusion and a lot of scrunching of the noses, but think about it . . . many times when you go to weddings, especially if they are more formal, you can look around the room and see at least 1/3 of the men there with a bored look on their face. Well, with a man cave, you can change that! 

The man cave idea was first mentioned by The Knot as a new trend for 2011, and I think it is a great idea. Depending on your wedding theme, you can make the man cave a fun place to hang with the guys or a sophisticated lounge. I suggest putting the man cave somewhere near the open bar, so that they can have easy access to drinks, instead of having to walk all the way across the room. If your hubby is a brandy man then set up a brandy bar in the area, if he is into good ole' beer, then set up a big ice chest. Another idea would be to have a TV in the area. If there is a big sports game on, or a UFC fight the guys will flock to the man cave and let the ladies have some fun on the dance floor. Set up a cigar bar for the men with all of your husband's favorites. If you want to get really fancy, then you can even hire a cigar roller. You can use personalized matches as your wedding favor for the guys as well.

If your man is a total gamer, then set up an Xbox with all of his favorite games. You can also set up a band hero competition and whoever wins has to perform on the dance floor for everyone. Want to make it more of a bar scene? Try to find a place with a pool table and set up darts for the guys, or make it a casino night with a poker table. Have your photographer spend some quality time with the guys. I guarantee you that you will find some great pictures that you wouldn't have been able to get otherwise.

Now ladies, I know you are thinking that if there was a man cave your groom would be no where to be found for the entire wedding, but that's not true. The man cave is more for the men who were invited to the wedding. Of course the groom will wander over there several times, but if you close off the area when something important is going on such as the first dance, cutting the cake, or the bouquet toss, then your man will still participate in the wedding. This is a great idea for large weddings with a lot of guests that may not want to sit through a three or four hour wedding reception. And don't forget that the ladies will see this as a positive as well because they won't have to worry about keeping their date entertained.

Overall, a man cave at a wedding is a win-win for everyone! It will leave a lasting impression on all your guests and leave them feeling happy that they were part of your special day.