Sunday, March 15, 2015

7 Things Every Mother of The Bride Should Do

Some mothers of the bride are hyper involved in helping plan their daughter's wedding day, while other MOBs prefer to take a back seat. No matter which category your mom falls into, there are certain duties she is traditionally responsible for handling.
We consulted some top wedding planners to learn the ultimate mother-of-the-bride must-dos, plus asked them about some sweet nontraditional ways moms can lend a hand.
1. Shopping Support
Traditionally, mothers accompany their daughters in their search for a wedding dress, there to simply share in the joy and provide loving and honest feedback. Mom's far away? Email dress ideas back and forth or schedule a dress-shopping visit.
2. Researching Traditions and Finding Family Heirlooms
It typically falls on your mom to uncover religious or cultural traditions you — or your groom's family — might want to incorporate in the ceremony. She will also help you find the "something old" or "something borrowed," such as a stunning piece of jewelry that's been in your family for generations.
3. Go-To Contact
Your mom should be the one whose name you give to the caterers, florist, planners, entertainers, and venue to field questions and help coordinate. (Whew!) As celeb wedding planner Colin Cowie suggests, "Set your mom up for success with a list of creative contacts and a message book solely for your wedding day."
4. Playing Host 
From the moment guests begin to arrive in town through the end of the ceremony, the mother of the bride is the official hostess, helping each guest feel welcome. According to Diann Valentine, event maven who has planned weddings for Usher and Toni Braxton, "Receiving lines are not as customary, so making point to greet or visit with each guest is important." Additionally, Valentine suggests that the mother of the bride host a dinner party for the groom's family or an afternoon tea for just the ladies of both families. "This goes a long way to help them welcome her into their family with open arms."
5. Communicating Outfit Choice with Your Groom's Mom 
According to Colin Cowie, "Etiquette dictates that your mother follows your lead as to the color and formality of the dress she picks. The bride's mom buys her gown before the mother of the groom, and, once chosen, calls the groom's mother to describe her dress."
6. Day-of Dressing Assistance
"Helping the bride into her dress and placing the veil is, and will always remain, such a sweet, time-honored tradition," says Lynn Easton, owner of Easton Events in Charleston, SC, and Charlottesville, VA.
7. Second Dance
After you and your groom perform your first dance, then it's time for your mom and your dad (or whomever accompanies her), to take a spin. After all, your mom deserves her moment to shine, too!
No matter what, your mom will be there to help support you in whatever you need. There may be tension — between you and your mom or your family and your groom's — but it will pass. Emotions will be high, but your mom's there to be your rock — and your realist. Remember: She always has your best interests in mind.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

5 Things That Stress Out Brides the Most and How to Deal

"Wedding planning was the most stress-free period of my life," said no bride ever. Putting on a huge event on top of everything else you've got going on is sure to feel overwhelming, even for the most organized person. But the best way to manage stress is to know what's likely to trigger it — and how to work through the problem. We asked three wedding planners to share some of the major common stressors they see and their advice on how not to let it get out of hand.
The budget
"The budget determines everything," says Katie Webb, owner of Intertwined Events. "You don't want to start off your marriage in debt so you need to take a realistic look at the numbers, see what can be done and then stick to it. Shop around until you find someone you are comfortable with and that can work within your budget. It's always tougher to stay within your limits, but you will be much happier at the end of the day not to land on the wrong financial foot."
Decision making paralysis
Couples have a ton of options at every stage of wedding planning, which is great for customizing their big day, but can also quickly become overwhelming. If you're find it difficult to narrow down your choices, planner Shannon Dexter of All You Need is Love Events recommends making a timeline of to-dos and then sticking to the decision-making schedule.
Trying too hard to please everyone
"Many couples value hospitality toward their guests over almost anything else — which is gracious and amazing, but has one flaw: you can't please everyone, especially in one whirlwind evening," says wedding planner Calder Clark. "Let go of the small stuff and focus on the big picture: your marriage, your future, and the fun party you'll have to fête it."
Family members "helping" 
"Family dynamics can sometimes be the one of the biggest stressors during the wedding planning process. "You might find that your parents or in-laws want to 'lend a hand' or somehow get involved with planning," says Dexter. "If that's causing some unneeded stress, try finding a small task for them to do."

Monday, February 16, 2015

Ready, Set, Smile: 5 Picture- Perfect Makeup Hacks

The day you get married you'll be debuting a beauty look that, thanks to your wedding photos, will remain an indelible part of your history for, um, forever! Looking fab in your big-day photos isn't just about striking the right pose, it's also dependent on the makeup you wear (and don't wear). Here, celebrity makeup artist Ramy Gafni shares his top beauty tips to looking like amazing in your wedding portraits.
Lighten that hand.
Contrary to popular belief, more is not better when it comes to bridal makeup, says Gafni. The most important thing is to create an even canvas so any imperfections won't be emphasized in photos. "The type of foundation that works best depends on the individual and her complexion," he says.
Matte is your friend.
Shimmery products have a tendency to reflect back in flash photography. Steer clear of an illuminating foundation and instead, use a highlighter strategically — high on the cheekbones, under the brows, or on the collarbone. "Matte eye shadows are the most flattering on film, but if you're set on wearing a shimmery shadow, test it out in photos first," says Gafni.
Contour like you mean it.
"Getting those cheekbones to stand out, particularly in black and white, is all about the art of contouring," says Gafni. The easiest technique is to suck in your cheeks and apply a powder along the hollows. Add a highlighter on top of the cheekbones, and then sweep your blush to the apples of the cheeks blending upward toward your ears. "Flash photography can wash you out, so choose a blush that's saturated enough to look good under flash without seeming like too much blush in person," says Gafni.
So fresh and so clean.
An outdoor wedding boasts the truest lighting, but all that honestly means every little nook and cranny on your face will show. "Keep your makeup natural," says Gafni. Opt for neutral eye shadow shades like taupe and champagne, and a lighter blush in pale pink or apricot; anything darker will seem too harsh.

Empower your brows.
If there's one feature that frames your face more than any other, it's your eyebrows. Have them shaped by a pro six months before your wedding and then again a week to a day before. Enhance the shape and fill in any gaps with a wax-based pen.

6 Things Every Bride Forgets to Do on Her Wedding Day

No matter what type of calming pre-wedding rituals a bride does before her wedding, the day itself is often a flurry of excitement and nerves. However, a perfect wedding day doesn't just materialize if you don't take the time to slow down and appreciate it. Here are six things every bride forgets to do on her wedding day.
1. Breathe
Unless you want to be remembered by your friends and fiancé as a frantic bride, it's absolutely essential to take a breather at select moments during the day.
2. Appreciate the Moment
It can be easy to get lost in the minutiae during your wedding day, but remember to enjoy and appreciate your walk down the aisle, wedding vowsfirst dance, and cake cutting. These are moments you will wish to remember, and if you miss them due to an argument with your caterer or disappointment at a relative's absence, you'll miss the chance to relish the details of your wedding that make it truly special.
3. Take a Snack Break
Chatting with friends and family may be one of the highlights of any wedding, but it is impossible to hold a conversation when your only meal of the day was a spoonful of yogurt at breakfast. Place your groom and maid of honor on snack duty so you remember to eat periodically throughout the day.
4. Remember What the Day Is About
In the midst of dancing, dining, and drinking, it can be incredibly simple to forget that your wedding day is about your marriage and partnership with your husband.
5. Spend Time with Your Parents
As momentous a day as a wedding is for a newlywed couple, the event is equally pivotal for the bride and groom's parents. Take a moment to acknowledge their support and love.
6. Take Some Time for Yourself
A bride is surrounded by her bridesmaids, family, new husband, and guests during her nuptials, but a moment alone is an important facet of any wedding. If you feel as though you need the time to mentally prepare for your vows or take a peek at your wedding venue solo before your ceremony commences, do so; after all, your wedding marks the first time in your life when you'll be subsequently part of a pair.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Jewels & Bryan Photo Booth Wedding Pic

What a blast! Never a dull moment at The Brighton for a Guyanese-Trinidadian wedding. It was great to see Jewels and Bryan tie the knot and having so much fun with all their guests. Hope you enjoy sharing your photos.
Congratulations guys. It was fun working with you. We wish you a lifetime of happiness. To see all Bryan & Jewels, guest Photo Booth wedding pics go to our Facebook page.

How to entertain wedding guests

Obviously lush flowers and a gorgeous venue are some of the elements of a beautiful wedding, but picture-perfect décor doesn't ensure an epic party. Score a 10 out of 10 for overall experience by following these simple yet effective tips that will have your guests talking about your wedding for years to come.
1. Ask for Song Requests
To ensure everyone is having a great time and dancing the night away, have your guests request a song via the invitation response, recommends Key Largo wedding planner Lynn D'Ascanio of "Give this list of songs to your DJ, along with the name of the person who requested each song. That way, if the dance floor starts to thin out, the DJ can play songs off of the request list." This pretty much guarantees that the person who requested the song will get up and dance and encourage others to do so as well.
2. Don't Let Your Friends and Family Talk Forever
"Many fun events have been driven into the ground by deathly long speeches," points out Lynn Jawitz, owner of Florisan Wedding and Event Design in NYC. To keep the party popping, ask your speech givers to keep their toasts short and sweet.
3. Remember to Thank Your Guests
Speaking of speeches, it's important to let your guests knows how much you personally appreciate them coming. "It's hard to believe how often this simple step is overlooked," notes Jawitz. "Bite the bullet, make a speech (keep it short, of course) and just genuinely thank your guests for dropping their lives that day to share it with you."
4. And Keep Them in the Know
According to D'Ascanio, the best weddings are the ones that are organized and follow a timeline. "When the events of the day unfold in a timely manner, and the bridal party and guests alike are not left standing around wondering what's next or where they should go or what they should be doing, the entire day seems flawless."
5. Add in an Element of Surprise
Who doesn't love a special surprise at a wedding? "You could hire a group of singers or dancers disguised as wait staff to break out into song or dance during dinner," suggests D'Ascanio. Or you and the groom could perform a practiced dance routine yourselves for the first dance, offers Greg Jenkins, founder of Bravo Productions. "A 'wow' factor can be memorable and will ensure your guests have a blast."
6. Opt for a Short Ceremony
If possible, try to keep your ceremony simple and short in length. "A long, drawn-out ceremony takes away that guest energy level at the onset, and sometimes it cannot be recovered for the reception," warns Jenkins.
7. Give Birthday Shout Outs
Does your BFF have a birthday on the same day as your big day? Or is it his parents' anniversary too? "Have your MC acknowledge any birthdays and/or anniversaries with a dedicated song during the reception," advises Daniela Grafman, wedding & special events coordinator at Vision Entertainment Group LLC. People love attention. Plus, it's just a sweet gesture.
8. Hire a Great Band or DJ
After all, they can, in fact, make or break a party. Florida wedding planner Aviva Samuels of Kiss The Planner, recommends looking for a high energy performer, while being careful not to choose an annoying personality to be your MC. "Great vocals, great dance moves and great spunk will have everyone up on their feet until it's time to go home. Seamless song transitions and the ability to read the crowd when they want to hear more of the same sound or a desire to switch to a different sound is where a DJ's talent also comes into play."
9. Provide Transportation
If you're hosting a destination wedding or your wedding is in a remote location, be sure to provide transportation for guests from their hotel to your wedding and back, says Lauren Randolph, founder of My Hotel Wedding. "This way people don't have to worry about driving home drunk, which guarantees that they can party harder."
10. Allow Your Guests Plenty of Free Time
This is particularly important if you have a destination wedding or a bunch of guests in from out of town, says professional wedding planner Sandy Malone of Weddings in Vieques. "Back to back activities after a long trip will run them into the ground. Let them have some time and space to explore and they'll be refreshed and excited at all of your events." We concur.

Real - Life wedding crasher stories

While some people crash weddings for the free food and drinks, others just want to join the party and share a quick dance. And hey, we can't blame 'em; weddings are fun! These stories are living proof that wedding crashers not only exist, but that unlike in the popular 2005 film Wedding Crashers, they aren't always there simply to hook up.
"Our wedding was crashed by the wedding party from the venue across the street! Lesson number one of wedding crashing should be to not show up in very obvious bridal party attire from another wedding. I decided to have some fun with them, and since I had already changed into my little white dress, they didn't realize I was the bride. After a few minutes of asking them to tell me some funny stories about their good friend the bride, I let them know that their charade was up and that they should kindly finish their drinks and move along. Their faces dropped when they found out I was the bride, and they hustled out of there as quickly as they could.

"I knew everyone at my wedding, so when I noticed a middle-aged couple on the dance floor midway through I knew we had crashers. I was actually kind of happy though, what fun! I went over to them immediately and nicely introduced myself. They were a bit abashed and explained that they had gotten married at our venue 30 years ago to the day. They were back celebrating their anniversary, saw our wedding and popped in for a dance.

"My sister got married at a giant amphitheater, but it also has a separate building for weddings. On that particular day there was a Kid Rock and Uncle Kracker concert going on, so you can imagine what type of crowd that show attracted. As if hearing the music in the background wasn't annoying enough, I realized that these sweaty drunk idiots kept sneaking into the venue and using our bathroom! I ran into the ladies room and even saw them using all of her bathroom basket supplies! Same story in the men's room. To say that I raised hell is a definite understatement.
"When my husband and I were having our wedding reception, we were dancing in a conga line that I was leading and my husband leaned over to me and laughed, 'I dare you to go into another wedding'. So I did. I led our bridal party conga line down the steps from our room and up the steps to another reception. At first I wasn't sure how this would be received because the other wedding looked at me like I was crazy, but then the bride of the other wedding joined our conga line and together we brought back their whole bridal party to our wedding. My friends and family still tell this story and laugh hilariously about it. The only sad part is the videographer left before he got it on video.

"The night before a wedding I was planning, my husband and I escorted a very drunk (and very married) cousin of the groom back to her hotel room early. After I tucked her in, she escaped and went to the hotel bar and made new friends. She invited one of them to the wedding the following day. This particular man was already known as "Weird Pat" on the island. When I saw him arrive my head almost exploded. I explained that a verbal invite from a drunken wedding guest at a bar didn't constitute an official invitation and he couldn't stay. He protested until my husband pointed out that his 'date' was standing with her 300-pound linebacker husband taking family photos and that hubby would probably be none-too-pleased to learn of Pat's presence at the wedding. He left, and for the past seven years has been referred to as 'Wedding Crasher Pat' instead of 'Weird Pat'.

"About halfway through my wedding I noticed a man in his late 40s/early 50s dressed in a brown western style suit wearing a bolo tie. Each time I would catch a glimpse of him, he'd have a new drink in his hand. He even caught my garter! I couldn't believe the guts this guy had. My dad, who is usually pretty mild mannered, walked up to him very quickly and snatched the garter out of his hands, and then pushed him. This was a Marine Corps wedding so when the Marines saw my dad pushing someone in the middle of the dance floor, one of them yelled, 'F-i-g-h-t!' I never saw a man run so fast in a suit.
What do you think: Would you kick a crasher out of your wedding, or would it depend on the situation?