Weddings – Goals 2015

| Weddings

It’s April 23rd and as I am in sitting in an Atlanta airport for the third week out of the last four, I thought it was time to look at how I was doing in achieving my Goals for 2015.  If you will remember, I divided my goals into three parts with three things under each goal.

2015 NEW YEARS GOALS FOR LAURIELOUIS.COM

Let’s start with #1 – my website:
Hopefully you have been following my bi-weekly vendor spotlight.  If you have, you have learned more about some great wedding vendors including Childress Vineyards, Winmock at Kinderton, Samie Roberts and Susan Crutchfield.  In the near future, you will see a slider of pictures at the top of the Vendor Spotlight page will continue you feature our great vendors. As we continue to add vendors, you will eventually be able to sort them by their city. With regards to the front, you may have noticed that the background is now rustic wood and the sections are now faded pictures instead of boxes.  Finally, we now have a new weddings section that includes a video and my 2015 wedding designs.
if you are keeping count…#1 – FINISHED!

Now to #2. Over the past few months, with a little help from my friends, we have put together a database of wedding planners, venues, photographers and wedding magazines for each of our target markets.  We also included a few florists and cake designers to use for our vendor spotlights.  After talking to some wonderful friends in the wedding industry, I have also added several target markets.  They now include:  Charlotte and Asheville, NC, Virginia Beach, Richmond, Roanoke and Charlottesville, VA, Charleston, SC, Savannah, GA, Birmingham, AL, Knoxville, Chattanooga and Nashville, TN.  Our database is about halfway completed.  I have started working with Bridal Magazines in Virginia and Charlotte and you can find my ads in the The Knot – The Carolinas and Southern Bride, along with ACoastalBride.com. We have already reached out to the Charlotte wedding vendors.  We delivered 60 cute gift boxes to photographers, planners and venues last Friday with an invitation to introduce ourselves.
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Finally Goal #3.  As the year has progressed, I have decided that I need to concentrate on getting my name out in the wedding industry this year and that I should hold off on the wholesale line for now.  Don’t worry, LaurieLouis.com will still have an etsy shop that has customized coasters and lucite trays (both perfect for wedding, shower and bridesmaid gifts) as well as a limited selection of notebooks and a 2016 desk calendar.

Well, that’s a look at our goals and where we stand.  How are you doing on your goals for 2015?  I would love to hear.

Until next time, take in a baseball game and be sure to share your love on Facebook!
Laurie

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A Bride’s Story – Videographer

| A Bride's Story

Hi guys! In this week’s edition of A Bride’s Story – our good friend Amber is back…but don’t worry because Keri has promised to make another appearance before the wedding. For this week, Amber talks about a good friend of mine and hopefully a participant of our vendor spotlight soon – Sara Mathis.
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Happy Wednesday, friends! Twenty three weeks. Wow. I still think the wedding is taking forever to get here, but time is flying by! Dan and I did decide to hire a videographer and went with the lovely Sara Mathis of Sara Mathis Productions and couldn’t be happier! We initially had no intention of hiring one, but a few weeks ago I found myself reading lists of bride regrets (because once you start reading one, you have to read EVERY SINGLE one) and realized that most brides that had opted out of the videographer regretted it terribly. I don’t know that I would have, but why risk it? He and I will never be able to see everything on our wedding day and I am sure that there are going to be tons of things that we wish we had caught on camera!!

I absolutely cannot wait to work with all of our wonderful vendors! I know that while there will be hiccups and nothing will go perfectly (because, you know, Murphy’s Law,) I have complete faith in Laurie from (really? You all know where she’s from!) that our invitations will be impeccable, I have faith in Natasha from A SQUAD Bake Shop that our cake will be delicious, I have faith in Susan from Susan Crutchfield Photography that our photos will be timeless, I have faith in Sara from Sara Mathis Productions that our every breath will be captured, and I have faith in Dee from the Hilton DeSoto that our venue will be as breathtaking as ever.

The past few weeks have been a whirlwind. I, successfully, pulled off a surprise birthday party for Dan thanks to the help of wonderful friends and family. A special thank you to my sister in-law to be, Kim, she was with me every step of the way. From planning to shopping to day of execution. I am one lucky girl to be gaining a sister like that out of this marriage!! Those that know me can attest that I have a huge problem keeping secrets, specifically surprise type secrets, because I get too darn excited! How I kept from telling my BFF that I was throwing him this awesome party is beyond me, but I pulled it off and couldn’t be happier that he was genuinely surprised and everyone had a wonderful time!

I’m afraid this blog will be on the short side because life being what it is, I am going to sneak a few hours with my wonderful fiancé, while I can, and snuggle up and watch some baseball!

Until next time, friends!

Amber
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In tomorrow’s post, I will catch you up on my 2015 goals.  In next week’s Vendor Spotlight, we will sit down with Kimberly Williams of Weddings by the Vine. If you are thinking about a vineyard wedding, be sure to check it out.

Until next time, take in a baseball game and be sure to share your love on Facebook!
Laurie

 

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Spotlight – Samie Roberts – Wedding Planner

| North Carolina, Vendor Spotlight, Wedding Planners

Are you looking for a wedding planner?  Well meet Samie Roberts.  She owns Something Perfect in Charlotte.  According to Samie’s website, the average wedding consists for 400 hours of planning, 168 guests to coordinate, fifteen vendors to manage and fifteen months to plan and Samie is here to help you plan.

Today, I sat down with Samie to learn a little more about why she got started, her process and what she does in her spare time.

Something Perfect Photos

Something Perfect Photos

What made you decide to start your business?  

I can remember wanting to help my mom plan events from a very young age.

I followed that passion to New York and knew I wanted to be in the events industry. It took a bit of exploring but I eventually found the kind of events I loved most: weddings. Opening Something Perfect was that next step and I haven’t looked back.

You worked in New York prior to Charlotte, right? What made you move to Charlotte?

I moved a lot as a kid but lived the longest in Charlotte so I’ve always considered it “home.” After college, I packed my bags and moved to New York City; I always dreamt of living there! I absolutely loved the city but I wanted to open my own business and the only place I could imagine doing it was in Charlotte. When my husband got the go ahead to work from home, we packed up our teeny tiny apartment and moved! Although I love going back to visit, I wouldn’t trade my home in Charlotte for anything.

Besides weddings, what do you do in your spare time?

I love to travel! It doesn’t matter if it’s stateside or overseas, I enjoy exploring new places, cultures and cuisines. I also like to hang out with friends and family, read, bike, try new real food recipes and visit new restaurants. Every Thursday night, you will find me glued to my TV with a glass of wine watching Scandal.

What’s your favorite restaurant?

I am definitely a self-proclaimed foodie (and so is my husband) so we are always on the hunt for our new favorite place. Right now, some of our favorites are Bakersfield, Rooster’s, Stagioni and Heirloom. We also love The Asbury for brunch!


I haven’t been to anyone of those places and I’m from here…I guess I need to start trying some new restaurants.  
What is your favorite part of your business?

All of the really interesting people I get to meet. Every couple has their own story and it’s so cool to really get to know them and their family during the planning process.

On wedding day, I have two favorite moments: The first time the bride and groom see each other that day… it always takes my breath away at the love that moment holds. And seeing the reception space come to life after months of hard work.

 What differentiates you from the other planners in Charlotte?

I have a background in the fashion and beauty industry in New York that I think has helped to position me on the cutting edge of trends. This is something that can be a huge asset during the design process. I also consider myself a great mediator.

How many weddings do usually do a year?

I typically do about 10-20 weddings per year.

What types of services do you offer your clients?

I offer everything from month-of coordination to full service planning. While I have “standard” packages, many couples choose to build something customizable so that it perfectly fits their needs and budget. I am also available to help with rehearsal dinners, engagements, bridal showers and hourly planning services.

How long do you typically work with a bride?

It really depends! I’ve had brides book me 18 months out while others have booked me two to three months before their wedding. No matter when they book me, I jump right in and get to work.

Something Perfect photos

Something Perfect photos

What trends do you see with the current brides?

Brides are shying away from traditional “Pinterest” ideas and instead focusing on creating timeless receptions that are very intimate and personal.

 What is the most popular wedding color so far this season?

So far, I’ve seen a lot of purples and pinks. I think that blue is definitely going to be a hot color in the next year based on what we are seeing on the runways right now. And I also don’t think gold is going anywhere for a while!

What times a year do you find are the busiest for this area?

I find most brides get engaged between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day. As far as months to get married, May/June and September/October tend to be the most popular in Charlotte … it’s so beautiful here during those times!

From a vendor’s perspective, what is the best advice that you can give a young couple?

Get a planner! I know, I know … I’m biased. But in all seriousness, hiring at least a day-of planner (even if its not me!) really helps your day to flow so much smoother. You, your mom and your guests all get to sit back, enjoy the day and not worry about every little detail.

And hire a professional photographer! This is not the place to cut corners. Photography lives on well past your wedding day; you don’t want to look back and say, “I wish I had hired an actual professional.”

What is your process? Do you meet with your brides beforehand?

I offer a free one-hour consultation before booking with me. I use this as an opportunity to get to know the bride and groom, learn more about their wedding and see if we would be a good fit for each other. It is so important that our personalities mesh well; we are going to be working together for a while!

If you could tell the brides one thing about your business, what would it be?

That there is a planning package for everyone at Something Perfect. If the full service, partial planning or month-of coordination packages don’t work for a couple, I can custom design an hourly planning package to help with timeline creation or design conception.

I hope you have enjoyed our discussion with Something Perfect today.  Want to know more about them and how they can help you with your event, be sure to follow her on social media:

Website:

Website: http://www.somethingperfectclt.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SomethingPerfectCLT
Twitter: https://twitter.com/SomethingPerf
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/somethingperf/

Don’t forget to share your love on Facebook!

 

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A Bride’s Story – Maid of Honor

| A Bride's Story

In this week’s edition of A Bride’s Story, Amber has decided to let her sister take the wheel…enjoy.
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When I was 9, my dad told me that I was going to be a big sister. I was REALLY pissed. I had been an only child my whole life (9 years is a long time on the earth when you’re that age!) and then all of a sudden, there was going to be this new baby that was demanding his attention.

Flash forward (an undisclosed amount of years) and here we are. My little sister is a beautiful, kind, and selfless soul. She rarely listens to me, often drives me batty, but always makes me proud. I couldn’t have picked a better sister if I had the choice. She is my best friend and I love her more than I could ever explain. I was honored when she agreed to be my maid of honor and I want you all to read a little something that she wrote as my first guest blogger in A Bride’s Story.

Amber
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Being a Maid of Honor

When you’re growing up, girls are always talking about how amazing your wedding day is. How amazing being a bride is. I remember thinking “oh I’m going to have it outside, all my girls in teal..etc.”.

I remember thinking how I was going to make my Maid of Honor want to go crazy. I knew I would rely on her for everything. Just like I already do. My maid of honor is one of those women that no matter what you do, no matter how many times you don’t listen to her – she is still by your side. Wiping away your tears, picking on you, helping you pick up the pieces from your many breakdowns.

I knew I would have my big sister, my best friend, be my Maid of Honor. She will eventually realize how crazy her little sister is. She will also realize she has no option but to be my Maid of Honor. Because, if she denies it, I would just tell our father on her. And she would have to do it anyway.

But no one talks about how amazing it is to be someone’s Maid of Honor. I can honestly say, I never thought how amazing it would be. To be relied on, to be responsible for so many things. To be able to stand next to your best friend, while they make one of the most memorable moments of their lives.

Once you move past the “Bridezilla” moments, and the “well this is what I want!” moments, you get to stand there knowing the bride chose you to be with them on this day. To share this major life event. She wanted you by her side when she said I do, and went from being an “I” to a “WE”.

I never thought I would know what it felt like to be in this position. Until my sister called me and made me remember how truly amazing she is; when she asked me to be her Maid of Honor.

Keri Lynn Burke
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In tomorrow’s Vendor Spotlight, we will sit down with Samie Roberts of Something Perfect. Be sure to check out tomorrow’s spotlight if you are planning recently engaged and looking for a wedding planner.

Until next time, take in a baseball game and be sure to share your love on Facebook!
Laurie

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Weddings – Creating an Inspiration Board

| Weddings

inspiration-board

When you were a little girl, did you spend hours going through magazines and dreaming about what you wanted your wedding to be like?  Did you have a three ring notebook or scrapbook full of ideas, flowers and samples that would some day be a part of your wedding?

Well, in today’s age of the internet, Pinterest, numerous wedding blogs and websites, digital boards are all the norm and the buzz word is “inspiration board.”    Inspiration boards are a great place for you to help plan out your wedding as well a great resource for your vendors. As a matter of fact, one of the first things that I ask my future brides is – Do you have a Pinterest page.  This will help your vendors (invitations, cake decorators, photographers, wedding planners, florists) understand exactly what you are looking for.

Before you sit down to create your inspiration board, you need to answer a few simple questions:

What style of wedding do you want?  Do you want Rustic, Vintage, Nautical, Beach, Vineyard, Modern, etc.  What colors do you want?  I would choose 3 to 4 colors.  You need one main color and then 2 or 3 accent colors to match.  For color choice help, I follow The Perfect Palette on Pinterest.   Where do you want to get married?  Are you think a wedding venue, a backyard wedding, a church wedding or even a destination wedding.

Now that you have answered these simple questions, it’s time to start on your board.  There are several different online sites that can help walk you through the process…and don’t forget Pinterest.

I think my favorite Inspiration Board site is Style Me Pretty.  I love their pictures and their blog.  It’s very easy to use.  Once you sign up, click on inspiration boards and create your first board. Once you select the board layout that you want, all you need to do is drag and drop the pictures into the board.

Another website is Dessy. Once you sign up on their site, you can create your own inspiration board.  They even have the pantone colors that you can add to your board so you can make sure all your vendors match the same colors.

The final website that I like is Project Wedding.  Similar to Style Me Pretty, once you sign up and select your layout, all you need to do is drop and drag the images that you want in your board.

And of course, if you don’t want to use a website to create your inspiration board, you can always use Pinterest.  I would suggest creating 7 boards just for your wedding:  colors, style, venue, flowers, cake, invitations/favors and dresses.  Then go through and pin everything you like.  Then you can go through and narrow down what you really want.  Create one final board entitled wedding and move the selected item of each board that you have decided on to that board.  You have now created your inspiration board.

Now, after all these ideas, you find you don’t have the time to create your own inspiration boards…don’t worry.  There are plenty of websites that create their own inspiration boards for each theme and color scheme.  I would suggest starting with Google or Pinterest and looking up “wedding inspiration boards”…the boards go on and on and on.  You can also narrow them down by style and color.

One of my favorite inspiration boards:

Nautical Inspiration Board

Good luck and if you have a favorite inspiration board, feel free to share it on our Facebook page or our Instagram – hashtag #LLinspirationboard.

 

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A Bride’s Story – RSVPs

| A Bride's Story

HI guys!  When Amber sent me the blog this week she said – I think you will appreciate this! See, she knows that I had a party in November of which I invited 100 people.  I only had 30 RSVPs and of the 20 that said yes, only 14 came.  Being in the wedding business I know all about this subject and I can’t wait to hear your comments.
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Happy Wednesday, friends!! Seriously, 21 weeks, are we this far in already? Everyone keeps telling me how the wedding day will be here before I know it and then BAM! It’s 20 years later…well, I don’t feel that way at all. I feel the need to warn everyone that this blog may be a little more “ranty” than you are accustomed to from me, but I guess I’m just having one of those days. I feel like the wedding is taking the long way to getting here and I’m just twiddling my thumbs. I can’t wait to marry Dan and I wish the wedding was tomorrow!! It is probably my own fault, I was too much of a go-getter! I busted out the wedding planning so quickly that now I am just sick of everyone asking me how the planning is going because there’s nothing to tell! There won’t be anything to tell until after the wedding! I am not going to share every single plan I have come up with, most of the people that are asking aren’t even invited to the wedding and I don’t think it’s fair to constantly be telling them how great it’s going to be…like I am rubbing it in their faces! I’m not, of course, and I don’t think anyone thinks that at all, but it’s a real concern! My main rant that I have (and I am nowhere near running into this, but I know it’s going to happen) is RSVP cards.

When I receive an invitation (wedding, birthday party, shower, etc.), I try to respond the day I get the invitation. I am a little neurotic about these things though and like being organized. Not to mention that you know when your family and friends are having birthdays, weddings, showers, etc.; so it’s a bit closed minded to not have any clue that you may be invited to such an event. I have heard the horror stories about brides having no clue how many people are coming to their wedding and having to call guests two weeks before the big day and ask them if they’re coming! You have to do the obligatory lie, “I’m sure your response card was lost in the mail, but we just need a final count!” We all know the truth though, they were too forgetful or rude or whatever to bother responding so the host can actually be prepared. Forgetful I can understand, we all overlook things from time to time (why I try to respond within 2 days-I know my brain can be like Swiss cheese), but for a wedding that you have received a Save the Date…you should know your answer before the invite ever hits your mailbox, which means you really have NO excuse, other than poor manners, to not respond in a timely fashion.

The flipside of that, and we all know this happens too often as well, someone will RSVP affirmatively and then not show up! Short of a hospital visit or force of nature, this is never okay! Rude doesn’t even begin to describe this person. I would (and will) be infuriated if someone says they’re coming to our wedding and doesn’t have the common decency to give us a heads up before not showing up. Hosting a party for 120 people isn’t cheap! Doing it in a prime location like Savannah isn’t cheap! Choosing one of the nicest hotels in Savannah to do it…let’s just say Dan and I may wind up living on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the next few months (I hear it’s good for weight loss ha!). I know I am going to have late RSVPs and am going to have to call people, I know people will say they’re coming and will not show up. I know it’s going to happen, but that isn’t going to stop me from being pissed as all get out over it! It’s also not going to stop me from using my soapbox to tell all of my nearest and dearest…don’t be that guest! You got an invite because we really and truly want you there, if you can’t come-we understand, but please show us enough respect to let us know!

I just read that again and wow, that is kind of mean! I stand by every word though. Whatever invite you get from a friend or family member, respond as soon as you can. Think about how you would feel if you invited 20 friends over for a party and 10 said yes, but no one else responded. So you only buy enough food and drink for 10-15 people and then 25 people show up! Now you don’t have enough food or drink and you have people that weren’t even invited crashing your shindig! I do promise that if you invite Dan and me to anything, we will let you know ASAP what our intentions are. Although, you should probably email me, since I’m the secretary in the family. ;)

Until next time, friends!

Amber

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Tomorrow’s blog will be about inspiration boards.  Be sure and check back tomorrow.
Until next time, enjoy some sun and be sure to share your love on Facebook!

Laurie

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SPOTLIGHT ON: Charlotte Limo, Transportation

| North Carolina, Transportation

On your special wedding day, you can enjoy the luxury and elegance of one of Charlotte Limo’s limousines and party buses. Today we sat down with Charlotte Limo to get a better idea about their business and how they can help you.

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How did Charlotte Limo come to be?

The company was founded after the owners were clients of a local transportation company and decided that the service wasn’t up to their expectations.

What type of transportation do you have?

We have limousines and party buses.

What is your service area?

We are happy to service the entire state!

Do you find that you do more weddings or more bachelorette/bachelor parties?

We find that our service is divided pretty equally between party and elegant events. This can be attributed to the fact that our customer service is top notch.

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What is the typical rental time for a couple?

Typically 3.5-6 hours, but it’s up to the individual.

How far in advance should brides/grooms book a weekend?

This depends on many factors, but it’s first come first served, so be sure to call as soon as possible to ensure the date is still available.

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Inside look at the limo

 

What trends do you see with the current brides?

The DIY Bride is definitely a trend that is showing up more and more.

What is your busiest time of the year?

Our busiest time of the year is from June to August.

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If you could tell the brides one thing about your business, what would it be?

We’re the top transportation company to call when you want fantastic service for your wedding.

I have enjoyed our discussion with Charlotte Limo today.  If you would like to know more about their packages, check out their website at:  http://www.CharlotteLimo.com.  They are currently working on their social media so we will update this post once they have their links.

Don’t forget to share your love on Facebook!

 

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A Bride’s Story – Honeyfunds

| A Bride's Story

Hi guys!  It’s really funny that Amber decided on this subject this week because my aunt told me last week that a friend of hers had received an invitation where the bride and grooms were older and wanted money for their honeymoon.  I didn’t know at the time there was name for it, now I do.
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Happy Wednesday, friends! I read an article on Jezebel yesterday about Honeyfunds. I have since learned (thru the author’s perspective and subsequent comments) that this is a hot button issue. For those of you that don’t know, a Honeyfund is basically a honeymoon registry. You can register for everything from plane tickets to dinner out on your honeymoon. It is supposed to give the couple a memory instead of “stuff.”

I have no real opinion on Honeyfunds, I think if any of our friends or family chose that route, we might pick something from the registry, but more than likely we would give them cash and they can spend it however they choose. I grew up giving cash at weddings, but the couple never outright asked for cash. I can see the argument that asking for cash is tacky and having a Honeyfund is supposed to be a way to sidestep the etiquette dilemma. I never really thought about this, but registries began as a way to help the (often young) couple get their home set up as they usually had nothing and never lived together before marriage. In today’s society not living together is the exception though and most couples have everything they need by the time they tie the knot.

This brings me to the article…the author was basically screaming at people that they should just give the bride and groom whatever they want. (I need to add in here…UGH! Don’t be that couple!) Their reason for wanting the Honeyfund is because they live together, they don’t need anything from a traditional registry. I agree with their reason. I don’t agree with the outrageous way they chose to present their argument. When I say that the author was basically screaming, I am not exaggerating, there was so much profanity and insulting in the article that I was somewhat distracted from the point. I suffer from a potty mouth myself, but when I am trying to make a point I try very hard not to use profanity in order to make it. I am not saying I never resort to profanity, but it’s definitely not over the top to anyone outside of my immediate family and close friends. The killer for me, of all the insanity in the article, was the idea that if guests didn’t want to contribute to a Honeyfund-they shouldn’t be invited and who would miss them anyway? That struck a nerve with me.

There are plenty of people that we would love to invite to our wedding, but money and space are not on our side. When choosing who to cut from our initial lists, we NEVER ONCE chose someone based on the gift we might receive. Is it proper etiquette to give a gift? Yes. Is it required? Absolutely not! As you all know very well, we are having a destination wedding. That means that anyone coming to our wedding has to pay for transportation to (most being airfare) and staying in Savannah. We will be grateful for every single present we receive, but I will not be angry with anyone for opting out of this tradition. The biggest gift that any of our guests can give to us is their presence at our wedding. Or a pony. I wouldn’t say no to a pony…

One final thought for all of you, my dear readers, don’t ever walk into a situation expecting anything. The world does not owe any of us a single thing. Our parents don’t owe us. Our siblings, spouses, friends, aunts, uncles, cousins, animals, etc….none of them owe us anything. Give because you want to, not because you’re expected to. I love getting presents, but more importantly I love to give them!! My favorite part of any present is the look on the person’s face when they open it. I am far from perfect, I don’t want to make this sound like “everyone should be like me,” but I do feel very strongly about the sense of entitlement running rampant in our society. Sometimes it is an effort, but the reward for knowing you made someone’s day even a little better is almost always far greater than the effort exerted. Until next time!
Amber

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Tomorrow’s Vendor Spotlight is on Charlotte Limo.  Be sure to check out tomorrow’s spotlight if you are planning your engagement party or just looking for wedding transportation.

Until next time, enjoy some sun and be sure to share your love on Facebook!
Laurie

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Guest Blog – Top Table Planner – Adam Leyton

| Weddings

Hey guys!  If you remember a few weeks ago, I did a blog on wedding apps.  Today, Adam Leyton from Top Table Planner is here to talk more about his app and why it’s a perfect app for many couples.  I can tell you that as I was working on the apps blog the other week, the first thing I told Amber (A Bride’s Story) was that this was definitely an app she needed.
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TopTablePlanner-Couple-Laptop

Arranging The Seating For Your Wedding Doesn’t Have To Be A Nightmare

The wedding seating arrangement is something that often brings about a feeling of panic for many couples.  Whether it’s complicated family politics that are to blame, or that fact that you’ve entrusted your husband-to-be with the seating arrangement and he’s left it right to the last minute, the seating plan is widely recognized as one of the hardest parts of planning a wedding.  It doesn’t have to be that way though, and by following a few simple rules you can have all your guests seated in no time!

Firstly, start early! You don’t have to wait until all your RSVPs are back to begin working out where everyone is going to sit. Most of your close friends and family are probably going to be coming anyway so you can work out where they’re sitting even before the invitations have been sent out.

The head table can often be one of the trickiest parts. Don’t feel you need to stick with the traditional head table layout though. There are plenty of alternatives, such as a sweetheart table for the bride and groom.  Seating close family can be tricky if you have parents who are separated. Asking parents to each ‘host’ their own table in front of the head table can work really well.

Next think about the obvious groups – wider family, groups of friends, co-workers etc. Once you’ve got them sorted, you’ll probably find you’ve got 75% of your seating arrangement done!

Try and think about people who may get on with each other – the meal is a long time to be sitting with someone you have nothing in common with. Always try and sit single guests with other people that they know, and never use it as an opportunity to try and play cupid. It’ll be really obvious and they probably won’t thank you for it! Tables that hold eight but a group of ten? This can leave a tricky ‘leftover’ couple to fit in. It’s worth asking your venue if they have one or two different sized tables. Alternately you may find that splitting the group into two 5s (or a 6 and a 4) opens up a solution.

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Finally, using TopTablePlanner  is a great time saver. You can import your guestlist and start seating your guests straight away. Being web-based you can log in to your account wherever you are, on whatever tablet, laptop or PC and make changes.  Your account gives you 5 plans to save, so you can start again with a totally different version if you hit a block. Once finished, you can email a copy to your venue – much less stressful than scraps of paper!

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To get a feel for the software, just use the free trial – no login or signup is required. For personal use, a six-month account costs just $20 and includes five plans that you can rearrange as much as you need!

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Article written by Adam Leyton, Director at TopTablePlanner. After experiencing first-hand how complicated arranging the seating for a wedding can be, Adam developed and launched TopTablePlanner in 2007. Since then, the software has helped thousands of couples in over 100 countries with their seating arrangements.

Until next time, enjoy the spring weather and share the love on Facebook!

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A Bride’s Story – New Goals

| A Bride's Story

Hi guys!  I can’t believe that we are getting so close to Amber’s wedding.  The countdown has begun and with that, today’s blog deals with goals that a lot of people have, whether they are getting married or not.
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Week 19

Hello, friends!! Sorry for the brief hiatus, but a sinus and double ear infection had me down for the count last week! I am finally starting to feel better though and wanted to jump right back in! Here we are, eight months out from the big day and the biggest worry I have right now is one that most brides have…weight loss!

Every bride imagines herself at her ideal weight, with her hair and makeup flawless, the dress falling perfectly, and every photo looking like something out of a magazine. Every woman, at least deep down, knows that this will not likely happen. I am fully aware that I will probably wake up with a massive zit the size of Mt. Vesuvius on my chin and will have to rely on my bridesmaids to cover that ick up! However, there are plenty of things that I can start now to avoid some of those problems. With eight months, I figure that is more than enough time to work off the spare tire that comes from a fiancé that cooks far too well for me to be able to say no to a second helping!!

I figure if I put my goals out here in public than I have all of you to hold me accountable! I don’t have unrealistic goals, just the usual, about ten pounds and some muscle tone. My plan is to cut out soda (which for those of you that know me well, you know that is a massive undertaking), drink more water, and start by walking in the mornings and evenings. This brings me to my second (and frankly most important goal) to quit smoking. I know that I won’t be able to build up any stamina if I keep up my disgusting habit and know that Dan is more than ready for me to quit smoking! I have tried and failed to quit smoking more times than I can count, but I can’t think of any better reason to make it stick than starting my new life with Dan as a non-smoker.

I have hemmed and hawed about whether to share specifics of the progress and am still unsure if I will be doing that. Every woman has her own body issues, weight goals, etc. and I don’t want to make anyone (myself included) feel poorly for not losing what we think we should. One of my blogs each month will have some sort of recap of my progress, even if it’s just an overall breakdown of what I have been doing, not doing, or even struggling with. If anyone has any words of wisdom about either quitting smoking or losing a few pounds at home, I welcome any and all advice! I will point out that any regime I begin will have to be at home because all money right now is going to the wedding and I do not have a spare penny for a gym membership or a trainer!

Until next time, my friends!

Amber

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As Amber mentioned, please leave your words of wisdom in the comments.  They will be helpful not only to Amber but most of us.
Tomorrow’s blog is a guest blog by Adam Leyton, Director of Top Table Planner.  Top Table Planner is one of the wedding apps from our blog the other week.  And in next week’s vendor spotlight, we will talk to Charlotte Limo.

Until next time, enjoy some sun and be sure to share your love on Facebook!
Laurie

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