Questions for Stacy: Home for the Holidays

Question:

Hi Stacy.  My fiancé and I recently got engaged, and will be spending time with our families over the holidays.  We’d like to use some of this time to get started on the wedding planning.  What sort of questions should we plan  on discussing with our families?

 Answer:

First off, congratulations! What an exciting time for you, your fiancé and your families. Tending to some wedding business while enjoying your family’s company sounds like a very smart plan.  Here are some topics I’d suggest you try to cover while you’re home for the holidays:

1. Who would we like to invite?  (We encourage couples and their families to make an A, B and C invitee list, as the venues’ capacity may dictate which list you are able to work from). This is also a good time to chat about whether or not you will invite children to the wedding.

2. What is the ideal wedding month/date for both families? While you won’t be able to run the date by everyone, we recommend coming up with a list of at least three dates that work for both families, just in case your venue of choice already has several dates booked, you’ll have a few back-ups.

3. Where is our ideal venue?  (If you have no idea where to begin, think of some locations that are special to your family ~ such as a summer vacation spot or venue in your hometown ~ or locations that are special to you as a couple such as the place where you first met, had your first date, got engaged etc.)

4. What is our overall wedding budget?  How much will each party plan on contributing (Bride’s family, Groom’s family, Bride & Groom)?

5. Who do we want to be in our wedding party?  Do we want to include children in the ceremony?

Photo by Saskia de Laat

Happy Holidays!
Cheers,
Stacy

Click here to read our last helpful Questions for Stacy blog entry!

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Questions for Stacy: When and Where Should I Set up my Registry?

Question:

Hi Stacy.  I am recently engaged and am wondering when I should set up my registry.  Additionally, with how many companies do you suggest I register?

 Answer:

Congratulations!  Setting up your registry is one of the most fun activities you and your fiancé get to do together, because it allows you to dream big and start to piece together the way you want your new home to look.  It’s a good idea to get your registry underway before you send out your Save The Date , as your friends and family might want to send you an engagement gift when they receive it.  It’s also a good idea to determine which companies you’re going to register with before you set up your wedding website, as this is where this information should live (registry information should never be included on any of the wedding-related mailed pieces, except for any showers that are thrown in your honor).

I think it’s wise to keep your registries to a maximum of three companies.  Some of our favorites are Crate & Barrel, Williams Sonoma, Sur La Table, REI, and Amazon.  An alternative option for the bride and groom who already live together or feel that their kitchen and bedroom are already well-situated is to register with a company such as HoneyFund or Wanderable, which allows guests to purchase dining experiences, adventures and overnight stays that a couple hopes to enjoy over the course of their honeymoon.  We’ve also had some clients sign up with a company such as JustGive, which works like a registry to send funds to the philanthropic organization of their choice.

Your registry should be as unique as you are as a couple, so have some fun putting it together!

Cheers,
Stacy
photo (40)

Click here to read our last helpful Questions for Stacy blog entry!

Questions for Stacy: Who should I invite to the rehearsal dinner?

Question:

Hi Stacy.  My fiancé and I are in the beginning stages of planning our Rehearsal Dinner. As far as guest list goes, who is typically invited?

 Answer:

Traditionally, the rehearsal dinner includes the Bride, Groom, their immediate family members and the members of their bridal party.  For many couples, this has evolved over time to include extended family and out-of-town guests.  It’s also a tradition for the Groom’s side of the family to pay for the rehearsal dinner celebrations, so the final guest count often depends on their budget for the evening.
A good solution for those couples who want to include more of their wedding guests is for them to host a welcome reception or coordinate a place for everyone to meet up after their rehearsal dinner.  That way they are able to enjoy a more intimate rehearsal dinner before meeting up with the larger group in a more casual setting.
Cheers!
Stacy
Photo by Gertrude & Mabel

Photo by Gertrude & Mabel

Click here to read our last helpful Questions for Stacy blog entry, which explains the difference between Escort Cards and Place Cards

Questions for Stacy: Escort Cards versus Place Cards

Question:

What is the difference between an Escort Card and a Place Card?

 Answer:

Good question: this is a common misunderstanding.  An Escort Card, which lists a guests name (and sometimes their date), is used to direct people to their assigned dinner table.  A Place Card, which lists each guests name individually, is placed at a specified seat at the assigned table  to indicate each guest’s seat.  When a guest has pre-selected their dinner entree, it is particularly helpful to use Place Cards at the event.  Place Cards indicate their entree choice to the waiters, who will easily know where to place each dish.

Cheers,
Stacy
Photo by Gertrude & Mabel

Escort Card Station – Photo by Gertrude & Mabel

Place Setting that Doubles as a Menu - Photo by Gertrude & Mabel

Place Setting that doubles as a Menu – Photo by Gertrude & Mabel

Click here to read our last helpful Questions for Stacy blog entry!

Questions for Stacy: Hair & Makeup Services for Bridesmaids

Question:

What is the protocol for providing hair and makeup services for my bridesmaids?  As much as I’d like to pamper my bridesmaids by providing both services, my budget does not currently allow for it.  Do you have any suggestions for a good compromise?

 Answer:

Good question.  It all depends on whether or not you have a specific look in mind for photographs, as well as what you think your bridesmaids’ needs will be.  If there is a more specific hairstyle you’d like each of your bridesmaids to have, it would be wise to hire a hairstylist to achieve that look.  In our experience, women feel more comfortable applying their own makeup while leaving the hairstyling to professionals.  You might suggest that your bridesmaids pay a visit to their favorite department store makeup counter prior to the wedding for some tips on achieving their ideal look for your wedding.  To save money on makeup artists, you could check to see if anyone within the bridal party feels comfortable applying eye makeup for the other bridesmaids, allowing each bridesmaid to take care of their own foundation and powder needs.

Another alternative to taking care of hair and makeup for all of your bridesmaids is to let them know you’ll take care of one of their services – either hair OR makeup.  This way, they can let the professionals take care of the one service with which they need the most help.  You could also give them the option to pay for the other service on their own.  This will allow all your bridesmaids to look and feel their best while standing beside you on your big day, without breaking your budget.
Cheers,
Stacy
Photo by Gertrude & Mabel

Photo by Gertrude & Mabel

Click here to read our last helpful Questions for Stacy blog entry!

Introducing Our New Wedding Styling Series with Brianne Binder of BB Style!

We’re beyond thrilled to announce our collaboration with Brianne Binder of BB Style, who will be sharing her tips for the bride in search of the perfect outfit for all her events surrounding ‘the big day’. In the next couple of months, Brianne will share some of her favorite looks for events taking place in the City, at the Beach, in the Garden or in Wine Country. Our goal is to help guide you through the process of choosing the perfect outfit while taking the celebration, venue and locale into consideration. We hope you enjoy getting to know Brianne, her creative services, and her super talented ways as much as we have!

Photo by Matt Edge Photography

Meet Brianne : Photo by Matt Edge Photography

Let’s start with an introduction to Brianne’s company, BB Style:

BB Style is full service fashion and personal styling service in the Bay Area founded by Brianne Binder.  After almost 10 years working in Fashion Merchandising and Buying, she ventured out on her own to start BB Style. She is passionate about fashion and style and is a retail expert, which made the move to personal styling a natural one. She also curates a style Blog that showcases her personal style, posts behind the scenes depictions of creative projects she’s working on, and shares trends, tips and tricks, sale alerts and seasonal inspirations.

She has loved being able to work directly with clients to solve their style needs and help create the perfect style for their lifestyle, event or identity. Services are tailored to individual client needs, including wardrobe styling, personal styling, wedding & special event styling, and personal shopping. After all, everyone is different and has their own unique styling needs.

Photo by Matt Edge Photography

Photo by Matt Edge Photography

Wedding styling is particularly dear to her, having planned her own wedding last year (which was recently published on Style Me Pretty).  She fell in love with styling by way of creating bridal looks for her wedding party and almost all of her family, for both the wedding and weekend activities. Currently, she offers styling assistance for finding the perfect dress, completing your bridal look from head to toe, guiding beauty inspiration to compliment your bridal style and packages for styling for wedding party, groom and family.

BB Style strives to become your go-to styling resource, helping to overcome the roadblocks you are experiencing with your closet, shopping, or finding the perfect wardrobe for your wedding or event. She is always inspired by her clients, and feels tremendous reward in seeing them look and feel their best.

And now on to part 1 of our Wedding Style Series!

I am so excited to collaborate on this fun style series for Stacy McCain Event Planning! With wedding season in high gear, we thought it was the perfect time to talk wedding style. Not just bridal style, but style for all of the events you have to celebrate leading up to the big day! All of those special events also require outfits. You want to celebrate in style, but what do you wear?!

Today, I share with you my picks for what to wear to your Bridal Shower, giving you style advice on outfits you can wear to a shower taking place in the City, at the Beach, in the Garden or in Wine Country. Finding the perfect outfit takes time and with a million other to do’s on your list, it can help to have some inspiration and tips for where you can find it.

A few tips from BB Style on styling your Bridal Shower outfit:

* It’s never too early to start looking for outfit options.  If you see something you love, grab it!  You can find the perfect shoes and accessories to compliment it at a later date.

* Wear something that has your wedding color (or an accent of your wedding color) to get you excited. Don’t be afraid to wear color.

* It’s your day to shine and be showered, so wear something that makes you feel great. Whether that something is heels and a cute dress or a flirty skirt and fun flats ~ have some fun with it!

* Details, details details… it’s all in the details!  Adding great accessories completes an outfit and makes you stand out.

* Wearing something white or cream-colored is always fun as a bride because you stand out and it gets you excited to wear white on your big day.

Check out my inspiration board for the Garden, the Beach, Wine Country and the City:

Bridal Shower Style _ BB Style

Garden Outfit: Madewell Floral Dress | Kate Spade Floral Stud Earrings | Kate Spade Pave Bow Bangle | J. Crew Clutch | J. Crew Metallic Sandals

Beach Outfit: Joie Lace Dress | J. Crew Tassel Necklace | Kate Spade Bangle | Coach Clutch | Zara Sandals

Wine Country Outfit: J. Crew Peplum Top | Saturday Skirt | Kate Spade Statement Necklace | Zara Metallic Clutch | Kate Spade Striped Wedge

City Outfit: Joie Embroidered Dress | Madewell Necklace | Stella and Dot Crystal Ball Studs | Ray Ban Sunglasses | DVF clutch | Zara Turquoise Heels

Find all the styles and looks from my Wedding Style series on Pinerest!

Be sure to check back in a few weeks for another feature in our Wedding Style series fearing Brianne and BB Style!

2013 Trends: Rentals with Hartmann Studios

Welcome to May’s installment of 2013 Trends, where we discover this year’s innovative and ever growing world of rentals. Many of our clients, have no idea where to start, what their options are and what they’ll need to pull-off their dream event (as I’m sure many of you can relate). Not to worry, we’ve got you covered. We  spoke with Melanie Leinweber and Kelly Burns-Gaoiran, expert Sales Associates with Hartmann Studios, to let us in on the latest event design and rental offerings.

Photo by Hartmann Studios

Photo by Hartmann Studios

Q: First, tell us a little bit about Hartmann Studios and your scope of services.

A: We specialize in the millions of details that work together to create an unforgettable event. In 1982, visionary, designer, and entrepreneur Bob Hartmann founded Hartmann Studios in a small warehouse in San Francisco’s South of Market area. A gifted artist, he created stunning environments for events all over the city and around the world, gaining a reputation for strong design and impeccable execution.

Presently Hartmann Studios has expanded its offerings to cover virtually every aspect of event rentals. The scope of our services is unlimited – from tenting and lighting to unforgettable tabletops. Our team of skilled designers and innovative staff work with clients to bring their custom event décor dreams to life. We work diligently with our clients to ensure that we can create anything they imagine.

Photo of the

Photo by Hartmann Studios

Q: Which items are typically found in a rental order?

A: Honestly, there is no “typical” event rental order, as every event is totally different! Most wedding orders contain the basics: linens, tabletop items, chairs, etc. However within those categories our selection of items allows a bride-to-be the creative flexibility to adorn their guest’s tables from the basic to overly elaborate. Our selection of items ranges from ‘shabby chic country’ to ‘big city super modern’ and everything in between.

Q: We work with budgets of all sizes.  In your opinion, what kinds of rentals are absolutely necessary for a bride and groom to incorporate into their wedding reception?

A: We work with brides of all size budgets as well! We feel we understand the thrifty bride who is looking for the biggest bang for her buck quite well. We believe that in order to achieve this goal, it is important for the bride to incorporate custom touches to the items provided by the Rental Company, Venue and/or Caterer. Incorporating small touches like specialty linens or upgraded glassware can make a huge impact. Placing a colorful patterned napkin on a white china setting can change the entire look of a table without stretching a bride’s budget too far. Another exciting and budget friendly trend we have recently seen is customizing the head table with upgraded specialty chairs, glassware, and table-top design which still match to the rest of the guest tables, but make the head table stand out against the rest.

Photo by Orange Photography

Photo by Orange Photography

Q: A lot of our brides and grooms want to create the sort of reception that makes their guests feel comfortable and relaxed. What sorts of rentals do you offer that can help achieve this look and feel?

A: Creating a comfortable space for the people who mean the most to you at your reception is key! We have a plethora of items to create an intimate and comfortable setting in any venue. Our selection of lounge furniture will not only give your guests a comfortable place to sit, but also successfully incorporate the theme and overall look of your wedding in to any space. Building a custom lounge space within a cozy cabana or small nook will allow all guests to take a break from the dance floor and relax in a beautiful but comfortable setting.

Q: What 2012 trends will we be seeing less of in 2013?

A: The year 2012 was the year of vintage rustic weddings! Corals, blush tones and ivories were big and country chic was the hot trend. So far this year we have seen our brides moving towards a much more modern feel. We’re seeing a shift from the soft and muted naturals of 2012 to brighter jewel toned color themes. We are excited about blending in the 2013 Pantone color of the year, Emerald, with the more modern and glamorous items we carry.

Photo by Noah Hawthorne

Photo by Noah Hawthorne

Q: Are you seeing any innovative rentals requests in 2013?

A: We’re proud to offer the newest and most exciting rentals to help brides create a truly one-of-a-kind event. We recently received a ton of new lounge furniture, and we’re getting more new products all the time.  Many of the new items we have – such as bars, kiosk tables and wall flats – can be customized with a monogram or graphic from the wedding invitation to create a more personal touch.

Q: What kinds of trends are you seeing in terms of wedding day flow and the rentals that are associated with such a day?

A: We’ve been seeing a lot of informal wedding receptions! Couples are ditching the sit down dinner with floral centerpieces for a more relaxed reception.  Receptions featuring heavy appetizers and finger food allow guests to mix and mingle without being sequestered at tables of 10. Many brides are coming in and setting up comfortable lounge settings in lieu of formal dining.  We’ve even created some blended areas for guests to play games like bocce and croquet. Giving guests a more interactive space has been a big trend in 2013, with photo booths becoming more creative and popular than ever before. The “Pinterest” generation of brides has taken the “fun” reception to new heights, giving guests the opportunity to make flipbooks and other interactive party favors.

Q: Would you be able to share a before and after photograph of a space to exemplify the way rentals can transform a reception and ceremony room?

A: We’re proud of every wedding we do, but here are a few recent ones that turned out pretty great!

Before and After Photos from The Bentley Reserve

Before and After Photos of The Bentley Reserve

Q: Keeping in mind that this all depends on the space, guest count, etc. – how much do you suggest a couple set aside for their rentals budget?

A: A surprising factor some brides encounter is the fact that having a backyard wedding is not always as inexpensive as it seems. Saving on venue costs appeals to most brides, as they assume they can apply the money they save by hosting the wedding in a home towards a splurge on their décor. However many brides forget that while décor is the most fun way to spend a budget, essential items like china, flatware, glassware, tables, lighting, and sometimes even power have to be brought in. When renting a venue, many times these items will be included in the rental price, allowing the couple to use their budget to enhance the space they are renting. In a backyard wedding, much of the budget is dedicated to providing the party basics, which could leave couples missing the custom lighting and design moments they’ve been dreaming about.

Hartmann Studios table at the 2012 Dining by Design Event

Hartmann Studios table at the 2012 Dining by Design Event

Q: If you had an opportunity to create your ‘dream wedding’ featuring your very favorite Hartmann rentals, what would it look like?

A: Working at Hartmann, we get to look at beautiful weddings all day, so this changes on a daily basis! We’re currently obsessed with a wedding we did at Santa Lucia preserve; we think it’s the perfect blend of modern with rustic touches!

Photo by Hartmann Studios

Photo by Hartmann Studios

 Thank you, Melanie and Kelly, for sharing some helpful tips and ideas as we leap headfirst into the 2013 wedding season!

In case you missed it, click here to see last month’s Trends feature on Color!