Seriously, how cute is my friend Stephanie (above?) I love this girl. She is absolutely just as sweet as she is cute. And she’s just as amazing at throwing parties as she is sweet. Stephanie runs Stephanie Larson Events, an event planning business here in San Francisco. Her company provides boutique wedding planning & coordination services in the San Francisco Bay Area. I’ve been fortunate enough to attend a few parties that Stephanie planned and let me just tell you, it was like a Pinterest board came to life. This girl has talent! One such event was our friends Brian and Mina’s wedding. It was held at Rome Valley Vineyards in Garden Valley, California and it was spectacular (not to mention a TON of fun.) Brian and Mina incorporated so many fun things into their special day, as you can tell from the gorgeous photos on Stephanie’s blog post. (Sidenote – the photographer is also a friend of mine and you’ll be meeting him in a few weeks as well!)
Today, Stephanie has some helpful wedding planning tips for us. So, let’s sit down with the real** San Francisco-based wedding planner and see what fab ideas she has for us today. (**Not that I don’t also adore the San Francisco-based movie, The Wedding Planner, and J-Lo’s impeccably dressed character, because I do!
BE INTENTIONAL WITH YOUR TIME
I recently become a new parent and while reading through a parenting book I came across the principal, “begin with the end in mind”. Although this seems like a simple organizational strategy, I think that it is a great reminder for planning a wedding too! If you are capable of visualizing how you would like to spend the hours that make up your wedding day, you should be able to remain intentional throughout the months of planning ahead.
Planning your wedding can seem like an overwhelming journey. Even with a small wedding, there are many different vendors and details that make up this single, important day. Together with your fiancé, write down what you would like your wedding day to look like. I do not mean what it should look like aesthetically, but what you would like your time to look like.
How much time do you want to interact together with your guests?
This is important to consider and you will most likely really have to work to find time to visit with your guests.
Would you like to attend your cocktail hour?
If the answer is yes, you will need to take your photos before the ceremony. Talk to your photographer as soon as possible to determine how long your photos as a couple and with family will take and plan accordingly.
Decide what time of the night you would like to be finished with program items.
These may include cutting the cake, first dances, and speeches. I often have couples who like to get the program items out of the way early in the night, leaving them plenty of time to dance the night away with their guests.
EDIT, EDIT, EDIT…….YOUR PINS
I love browsing and collecting wedding inspiration from the photo sharing website, Pinterest. That being said, it can become a blessing or a curse for brides planning their weddings. There is a downfall to having access to thousands of wedding images online. First, it can overwhelm your process in developing a design strategy and secondly, you can waste hours of time. I believe that Pinterest is most effective in wedding planning if used to communicate your ideal aesthetic to your vendors.
As you pin wedding images that inspire you, remember to constantly edit your pins. If you were to show someone your Pinterest boards, would they be able to identify the look you are going for? Remove the images that no longer fit your ideal wedding style and remember to label effectively. You can’t expect you vendors to know why you like a particular image if you have not been descriptive when labeling your pins.
DELEGATE IN ADVANCE
(Especially important if you do not hire a wedding planner)
Most couples have a few friends or family members who will offer their help as the wedding day approaches. Unfortunately, this still requires the bride or groom to delegate responsibilities in the very busy days leading up to their wedding.
To avoid missing out on available help, keep a running list during the months of planning which include a variety of small tasks that you would like taken off your hands. This way as people offer to help, you can refer to your list and delegate well in advance.
Last week, we shared with you some ideas from our friends over at Simply Bridal. Today, I wanted to share with you what I did for this fun, age old tradition.
When I got married, my something old was a platinum and diamond Art Deco style pin that was my grandmother’s. She was not living when I married, having passed away just a few years before, but she was definitely one of the most influential people in my life growing up. She had style and spunk and always, and I mean ALWAYS had a glimmer in her eye that made you wonder just what she was thinking. People used to comment on that little sparkle well into her 90’s. She was a darling woman of solid character who loved her family deeply and I really wanted to honor her at my wedding, so pinning the brooch that she had passed down to me onto my bouquet was a beautiful way for me to have her with me. I carried my bouquet with a sweet white linen handkerchief that my dear friend and maid of honor gave to me on our wedding day with my “old” monogram on it and the date of our wedding. It was such a thoughtful and sweet little gift that made a darling detail (and a lovely hand-me-down heirloom!)
For my something new, my sweet husband was dear enough to gift me a sparkling diamond eternity band on our wedding day. It made a sweet addition to the engagement ring and wedding band and every single time I put it on, I remember how fun it was when my brother brought me that little token of love passed along from my husband – along with a really sweet note, just moments before I walked down the aisle. (My hubs is a total keeper!)
For my something borrowed, I had a little trinket of my mom’s that she loaned me for the occasion and for my something blue, I had a piece of fabric from the bottom of my wedding dress (that had been cut off during the hemming process) monogrammed in robin’s egg blue thread with my new monogram and the date of our wedding, which I pinned to the inside of my dress skirt. If I ever have a daughter, I doubt that she’ll want to wear my dress, since styles and fashions change so much, but I thought that might be something that she would actually pin inside her own skirt as a reminder of her heritage and where it all began. Here are a few photos (below) from our wedding.
What fun traditions did you use at your wedding? Comment below!
All photos taken by Brooke Schwab Photography.
Well, our friends at Simply Bridal have done it again. They’ve put a fresh, new spin on an old tradition – the “Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue” adage, to be exact. It’s a fun tradition for brides, but can easily be forgotten until the day before the wedding and/or can feel like a tradition that is hard to put your own, unique spin on! For some of their unique ideas, see the cute infographic below. This topic has inspired me with a zillion gorgeous ideas for incorporating jewelry into wedding traditions. For some fun details from my own wedding, check back next week for a blog post dedicated to the way I incorporated traditions with a little flair!
In the meantime, comment below to let us know what your favorite memories from your wedding traditions were!
Let’s be honest. Most of us wrestle with the age-old, “What should I wear?!” question more often than not. Whether you are going to a cocktail party or hitting the gym, picking out outfits (and shopping for them!) takes some thought. And your wedding is no exception. When you’re planning your wedding, the bridal gown really does set the tone for the entire event. And I would say that it doesn’t stop there. The entire bridal ensemble is an important part of setting the tone – from your hair to your makeup, your gown to your shoes and everything in between. And bridal jewelry is no exception! Today, we have some wise words from a bridal gown expert on how to best match jewelry to your wedding dress. It’s not always an easy task, but it is one that is well worth the effort, because jewelry can absolutely make the outfit. So, here are some thoughts and lovely photos from our friends over at Simply Bridal…
If you’ve already found the perfect wedding dress for your very special day, congratulations! That is definitely a sign that you can breathe a big sigh of relief. However, in order to create a flawless bridal look, you have to make sure that you have the perfect accessories as well, including your jewelry.
Of course, the kind of earrings, necklace, bracelet or even ring (on your right hand) that you wear depends on the kind of gown that you’ve selected. However, we do have a few suggestions that can help you to find the pieces that will enhance your dress perfectly below:
Make sure that it accentuates the dress. If you are wearing a simple chiffon dress with straps and a floral headpiece, a diamond choker is probably not going to look as pretty as a pair of pearl stud earrings and bracelet. On the other hand, if you have a “belle of the ball” gown for an evening wedding, you definitely want your jewelry to make a statement of opulence. That’s why it’s a good idea to take a couple of people along with you as you are picking out what kind of jewelry that you should wear so that they can help you to select what will best accentuate the dress (including its style and pattern). Also, if you want some really expensive pieces (and you don’t own any), there are some places where you can rent bridal jewelry. Just make sure that whatever you do, it’s tasteful and it looks elegant. With the right eye and a bit of patience, you don’t have to pay a lot of money to get those kinds of results.
Consider the color scheme of your wedding. Although pearls and diamonds are a popular choice for bridal jewelry, choosing to wear colored gemstones or crystals that match the color of your bridesmaids’ dresses or the flowers in your bouquet are also a nice touch. Another bonus with this option is that you can select the kind of bracelet or necklace that you’ll be able to wear even after your wedding ceremony is over. (It could actually be a nice way to commemorate your wedding anniversary for years to come.)
Be sure that it looks like you. If you’ve never been fond of long dangling earrings or cocktail rings, don’t feel pressured to put them on for your wedding. No matter how beautiful a bride may look on the outside, a significant part of her radiant glow comes from how she feels on the inside. This means that you don’t want to select jewelry that causes you to feel anxious or awkward throughout the day.
Remember, jewelry is to add to your natural beauty and so make sure to pick out pieces that do exactly that. Both you and your wedding pictures will be so glad that you did!
SimplyBridal.com is an American online retailer of high quality wedding gowns, bridesmaid dresses, and wedding accessories, such as veils and jewelry. SimplyBridal ships to most of Western Europe, North America, and parts of Asia. Our products have been featured on Style Me Pretty, Wedding Chicks, and Rock n Roll Bride.
Yesterday, we shared a beautiful bride with you. Today, we wanted to share her vision for her bridesmaids. Her attendants wore stunning long strapless gowns in a beautiful midnight navy blue for the black tie affair. The bride wanted classic designs for her girls that complimented their classic attire and wanted to give them a necklace and earring set as bridesmaid gifts (which is always a big hit!) We went with a simple black pearl design on sterling chain for the necklaces with matching black pearls for the earrings in a slightly smaller size. The result was clean and classic – and very elegant – just perfect for this Buckhead wedding!
I think the sets turned out beautifully (and most importantly, so did the bride!) and the girls absolutely loved them! How beautiful is this sweet bridesmaid in hers? Love it!
We absolutely LOVE working with brides here at Andrea Montgomery Designs. Weddings are such a special time for people and brides are always so excited to share their vision for their special day. We love seeing all of the different things people choose for their ceremony and reception and they are always as unique as the people themselves. It’s so much fun to work with a bride to help create her bridal jewelry vision and make it a reality for wearing on her special day and I absolutely love the thought that those pieces will become heirlooms. The bride will smile every time she puts on that special necklace, bracelet or earrings and will instantly feel just as beautiful as she did on that day.
We recently did a custom earring and bracelet design for a gorgeous bride in Atlanta and wanted to share with you a photo from her big day. She looked radiant and the designs complimented her features and her dress just perfectly. The earrings looked so fabulous swaying back and forth as she danced with her new groom and thebracelet was just the right mix of traditional pearls with a modern twist. All in all, this ensemble was a huge success!
I’m currently working on several custom bridal and bridesmaid jewelry orders. I absolutely LOVE this part of designing. I love making something unique for the bride and her friends – something that will enhance their dresses, make them feel even more beautiful on the special day AND be something that the will actually wear again and again (unlike those dresses, beautiful as they may be!) And each time they put that jewelry on, they’ll get to re-live their special day just a bit.
I’m on a crusade to stop brides from defaulting to that boring fake-crystal-set-in-cheap-base-metal jewelry that I have seen for way too long. I love the brides who want something beautiful, handcrafted out of gorgeous materials, that complements them beautifully. I love the girls who aren’t giving in to faux renditions of royal jewels and opt for something real – that will last – and that stands a very good chance of actually being worn by their daughters and granddaughters. (I mean, how many of us actually wore our mother’s dress?) Those brides make me smile and I absolutely LOVE working with them to make their dreams a reality. And I even love the challenge of staying within their budget, because we all know how expensive weddings are, but I firmly believe that you don’t have to compromise…you just have to be creative. Heaven knows all brides put SO much time and effort (and money) into their dresses. Why, then, is the jewelry left until the last minute and chosen from what they can find at the mall? End the madness, already!
Bespoke bridal jewelry. Get on board now. I’m committed to making it the norm, instead of just for the special few. Because it’s your special day – and you will love remembering it every single time you put those special earrings. And I guarantee your children will love trying it on and maybe even wearing it on their own special day. Today, I posted some new photos on our FB page. Check it out here. And let me know what your favorite bridal jewelry designs are. I would love to know!
We absolutely LOVE doing custom bridal jewelry. So, we are especially honored to accept this Bride’s Choice Award from Wedding Wire! Andrea Montgomery Designs is in the top 5% of vendors in the Wedding Wire community for demonstrating excellence in quality, service, responsiveness and professionalism within the wedding industry. Thanks to all of our fabulous brides who gave us excellent reviews on the Wedding Wire website. Check them out here.
Andrea Montgomery LOVES designing custom orders for brides – and this one was extra fun!
When effortlessly chic Sarah Jane approached me about doing her bridal jewelry, I knew that I was in for a treat. This bride has such a fabulous sense of style that is all her own and it really made doing her wedding jewelry so much fun! Her wedding was in gorgeous Aspen in the Fall and she wanted to do something different – so she incorporated purple into all of her wedding jewelry. I absolutely LOVED it! We had so much fun designing custom pieces for her bridesmaids (simple amethyst drop necklaces), flower girls (white freshwater pearl cross necklaces), mom (a stunning 24” purple quartz necklace) and mother-in-law-to-be (a double-wrapped bezel set purple quartz bracelet) . . . and of course, for the bride herself (large faceted purple teardrop earrings!)
Below is a photo collection of what we came up with. Thanks, SJ for letting me be a part of your unique vision and your special day!