Something Blue That Suits You

 

I’d like to say that I am a pretty “modern” person, in the sense that I am always looking for the newest trends to follow. However, I think that a wedding is an extremely traditional ceremony and that we should follow some of the traditions that have been associated with weddings for years. The “something blue” tradition is one of my absolute favorites. I have seen many brides do all sorts of fun things to incorporate “something blue” into their ceremony. I’ve come up with three of my favorite ways to bring that “something blue” into a wedding.

BLUE SHOES

If you’ve seen Sex and the City: The Movie, you will remember Carrie Bradshaw’s iconic blue Manolo Blahnik satin pumps that Big gave her when he proposed. I adore these shoes. They are classic and beautiful. The sparkle on the toe gives them a little glitz. Wearing gorgeous blue shoes under your wedding dress is one way to get your “something blue” in. Who wouldn’t want to walk down the aisle in those shoes?

BLUE GARTER

The garter: another long-standing tradition in a wedding. People choose all different types and styles of garters to wear under their gown. Some people coordinate colors with their wedding, some wear the colors of the college they went to. I think a simple and elegant way to incorporate “something blue” into your wedding is to have a touch of blue on your garter. It doesn’t have to scream BLUE and look cheesy. This is a perfectly beautiful example of how a little something blue can add to a gorgeous garter. We found these on Etsy.

“SOMETHING BLUE” PERFUME BY OSCAR DE LA RENTA

If you just really aren’t into wearing anything that is blue, a great option is Oscar de la Renta’s “Something Blue” fragrance that he made specifically for the nuptials. The fragrance actually has a removable ring on top that you can wear anytime! How cool is that? Also, the pretty blue top is made of a rare gemstone called Larimar that is only found in the Dominican Republic. Just a little spritz of this perfume and you’ll have your “something blue” and smell irresistible too!

Hope you find your “something blue” that suites you!

–Caroline

Wedding Dress Codes – the 411

There is nothing I love more than getting an invitation in the mail and seeing a requested dress code on it. Ohhh! A special party! I can’t quite describe how excited I get about it. Something about that makes me smile. A lot. I am well aware that not everyone is like this. Many folks get stressed out about trying to figure out what they are supposed to wear. And what about those weddings or events that don’t mention the type of dress? What are you supposed to do then? Well, I’m going to give you my thoughts on it.

*NOTE* I am a lover of formality. Especially in dress. The more formal the better. While I tend to take a “there are no rules anymore” attitude when it comes to weddings, level of dress is not something I compromise on. Why? Because there is nothing better than a man in a classic tux. Like James Bond. And what woman wouldn’t want to go to an event as James Bond’s date? Exactly.

First, get over the notion that it is rude to ask your guests to wear a certain level of dress. If you have dreamed of and planned a glittering night for your guests, then ask them to dress the part. That is part of the evening. It is how you have intended them to enjoy it. It is all a part of the big picture. Much like how I feel about “clean” vs. original song versions on iTunes. Just download the original. It is how the artist intended it.

Now, on to those pesky terms: black tie, white tie, black tie optional, etc. What do you do with that? Well, let’s go through them.

White Tie

This is the most formal of all dress codes, worn to evening events after 6 o’clock. I have yet to attend a white tie event. I am kind of sad about that. In the case that you are invited to the next state dinner and you aren’t quite sure what white tie means, know that the dapper fellow will be wearing black tails, white waist coat and white tie. Gals, long formal gowns, please.

Black Tie

This is the less formal evening dress code. Basically, your classic tuxedo is what you are looking for – i.e. James Bond. There are a lot of variations on the tux these days. However, technically, black tie means black bow tie and cummerbund or vest. In most places, you can get away with a tie and vest. But, if you are going to a really nice event that notes black tie on the invitation, stick to the classic bow tie. Just trust me on this. Ladies, again, long formal gowns.

Black Tie Optional (Invited)

This is a very ambiguous term. I have actually counseled people to not use this on their invitation. Mostly because it is very confusing. Really, this is the politically correct way of saying, “I really want you to dress up, but I don’t want to offend anyone by asking them to do so.” Like I said before. Get over it. Just ask for what you want. If you get an invitation that states black tie optional or black tie invited, know that your host expects you to dress up. So do it. Pull the tux out, wear a long dress. Maybe not one that is Oscar material, but you get the idea. Yes, you will be okay if you don’t wear a tux or if you prefer a cocktail dress. I personally believe that it is better to be overdressed than under-dressed. Just my two cents.

Semi-formal/Cocktail Attire

Guys, dark suits. Girls, cocktail dresses. Easy peasy.

What if the invitation doesn’t say what to wear? Well, this is where you interpret based on time, style of invitation, location, etc. I always err on the side of semi-formal dress for any wedding that doesn’t specifically say what to wear. Guys, a well-tailored suit will do amazing things for you. Unless it is an afternoon wedding, beach wedding, etc. where it will clearly be less formal, always do your part and dress nicely. It is one way of being respectful of your hosts and the importance of the event.

If you’d like to get some bullet points on what to wear, see Emily Post’s thoughts here. It’s not rocket science. But, always helpful. Here’s to being well-dressed – always! Until next time… XOXO, Julie

 

Invision Events offers wedding planning packages for Georgia and Alabama brides, servicing Atlanta, Columbus, Birmingham, Montgomery, Auburn and Mobile. Contact us at info {at} invevents {dot} com to speak with our full wedding planning and day-of wedding coordinators.

Engagements: Captured

I’m deep into the start of wedding season. I’m actually spending the week in my hometown of Mobile, Ala. getting ready for Whitney and Cliff’s wedding this weekend. Thus, I’m going to play the “I’m really busy” card (read: slacker) and do another photography post (read: low effort).

This time, I’m focused on the engagement photo shoot. Now, I’m a sucker for great wedding photography. But, engagement shoots are especially fun to me. It’s where you can devote the time to calm down, relax and just enjoy being with your fiance while a pro photographer captures your love in a casual, every day life type of setting (if you so choose). Full disclosure: I have had absolutely nothing to do with any of the photos that you are about to enjoy in this post beyond the fact that the folks in them are my super awesome clients having a ball with a few of my favorite photographers that I get to work with and subsequently brag on. I did not style these shoots. I did not even attend these shoots. I am simply admiring them and hopefully encouraging others to have fun with their engagement shoots as well.

I could spend time going into a few points for you to think about when it comes to your engagement shoot. But, that is for another post. Right now, I just want you to sit back and enjoy these lovelies. Until next time… XOXO, Julie

Brittany and Justin – Lucky Photography
These two are so cute! I can’t wait for their Wetumpka, Ala. wedding in May. It is going to be beautiful!

Adding a stop at Toomer’s Drugs for some lemonade during the shoot? Genius. And super cute! War Eagle!

Kristi and Josh – MJ Gillespie Photography
Their wedding here in Auburn, Ala. is just around the corner! It is going to be such a lovely affair. Seriously. Just wait for the photos.

Ellen and Ryan – FlipFlopFoto.com
Oh my goodness. I have been in love with these photos since they first appeared on Facebook (see them here). I have had such a great time working with Ellen and her family. Their rustic chic wedding at Children’s Harbour is coming in June. Get ready!

Rachel and Sean – Chanterelle Photography
These two gorgeous people are already married (remember their awesome wedding in Pike Road, Ala.?). But, I am still in love with their engagement photos. And, yes. They own a gym together. A couple that works out together, stays together. And looks hot together…


Sean and Rachel: New Orleans Flavor for an Alabama Wedding {Pike Road, Ala}

Meet Sean and Rachel. This gorgeous couple got married in May at Rachel’s aunt and uncle’s house in Pike Road, Ala. Sean and Rachel live in Florida, but it was the beautiful property that her aunt and uncle have that inspired them to hold their wedding in Alabama. The property was chock full of beautiful trees with Spanish Moss hanging from them and it served as the best backdrop for Rachel’s wedding design: a New Orleans flavored wedding – since Rachel grew up in NOLA. I was loving being their wedding planner.

It was such a sweet wedding. Staying true to the NOLA flair, the music in the ceremony was heavy on the Louis Armstrong (i.e. recessional to “A Kiss to Build a Dream On” – how awesome!) and they paraded to Second Line at the reception. So fun! To round it out, cajun food abounded at the cocktail hour. Yum. So, please enjoy the amazing photos from the uber talented Julie Lowry of Chanterelle Photography. Laissez les bons temps rouler!

Congratulations, Sean and Rachel! Y’all are awesome and I am so happy for you! – XOXO, Julie

A brief on wedding photography

Seeing as how so many of us are either on vacation this week, or coming back from vacation and don’t want to think too hard on anything, I thought I would take a slower week on the blog and post just some wedding eye candy. I decided that I would reach into my photo file and pull out some of my favorite shots just to reminisce and maybe go into what I personally like about photography. So sit back and enjoy some oldies-but-goodies and some recent photos that I just really love. And, I do have more recent weddings coming your way for the blog. I’m just running a little behind :) . Hope everyone is having a great summer!

For this chat, I thought that I would stick to one aspect of a wedding in terms of your photography: emotions. I love how one photo can capture the essence of what was being felt. Which is probably why I really love the photo-journalistic style of wedding photography. Posed shots have their place (I have some favorites of those) and of course you will want to have the scene and the details of the day captured. Your album wouldn’t be the same without those. But, I am the type of person who would prefer to have photos all over my walls so that I can look at them all the time. And the photos that speak to me the most are the ones with emotions tied to them. So many times, those photos are of an unguarded moment. Something un-posed or prematurely thought about. It’s honest and pure. While I could give you photos of floral decor, or ceremony set ups or reception design, I thought I would focus on something that I have absolutely nothing to do with in terms of the wedding – those perfect moments when you are totally in the moment and things are just right. Kudos to all my photographer friends who work so hard to catch these moments. I am constantly in awe of your talents!

Brooke and Tom – photos by The Decisive Moment; Brooke was an absolutely radiant bride. I loved working with her and Tom and I enjoyed every moment of their wedding. The shots below make me super happy. Happy enough that I have prints of these hanging in my office – my wall o’ weddings if you will. I also think that there is something about black and white photos that puts all the emphasis on the emotion of the moment. Shocking for me to love something in black and white… At any rate, these are some of my very favorites.

Kara and Ian: photos by FlipFlopFoto.com; Kara and Ian were so great. Super fabulous and absolutely meticulous in their planning and hopes for their wedding. But, after all the planning and design and work and watching everything come together flawlessly, the thing that really makes me happy as a planner is to see my clients have moments like these. There is nothing better.

Lauren and JP: photos by Our Labor of Love; Oh, the joys of this wedding. Lauren, being the artist that she is, was flawless in her wedding design. Her attention to the paper details is something you don’t get very often. But, in all her work, she never let the significance of the day get lost. She and JP were totally aware of every part of the wedding day and you could tell that they drank it in.

Tracy and Stephen: photos by Burnett Photography; Tracy was possibly one of the easiest clients I have ever worked with. Cool as a cucumber during all of the planning and even more so on the day of the wedding. She and Stephen were a dream and even with the July heat factoring in on their wedding day, there was nothing that ruffled their feathers. Not once. All day long. Fabulous.

As elated as Tracy is in this photo, the smile on Stephen's face may just say it all. Too cute!

Tracy and her mom having the time of their lives.

Here’s hoping that this tides you over for the next week. I am doing a bit of traveling and I hope to have a new batch of weddings to share with you soon. Until next time!

xoxo – Julie

My Favorite Wedding Design: An Inspiration Post in Black and White

When I get a new wedding client, I begin by making a story board of photos for the particular design that we are working towards – which has now gone digital with Pinterest. Just recently, I have found myself pinning a few more photos of things that I find inspiring. Not for any client or wedding in particular. Just for things that I, personally, am excited about. I get in various moods. Sometimes a spring design is really exciting. The next day, I’m dreaming of an intimate wedding in the vineyards of Napa. Well, I have a few Pinterest boards started for things that I love and I thought that I should start sharing them in a semi-regular column here on the blog. So, here’s my very first personal inspiration board post. And, just to throw this out there, I would DIE to make any of my inspiration boards come to life in a photo shoot if I can’t plan this for myself in real life. *hint, hint to any photographers, florists, etc. to jump on board…

Also, you are welcome to follow this board on Pinterest here.

Julie’s Dream Wedding Design Yes. This is what this post is all about. Thank you in advance for letting me be completely self-serving with this post. I can design for just about anyone’s style, taste, season, etc. But, if I were to pull photos for my personal fairy tale, then this is what you will get. No, this is not what my real wedding looked like – although, there are some similar threads. I had a slightly smaller budget than what this wedding would require. But, this really does sum up what I love more than anything. Formality. Anything I do or plan for myself inevitably becomes more formal than first proposed. As my sister, Lisa, once told me, “Julie, you aren’t an uptight person. But, you like uptight things.” It’s true. I LOVE it. So, I will walk you through my design and we can all dream together of attending such a shindig. One day…

When I say formal wedding, you would assume black tie, correct? To explain what black tie design means to me: black and white. Or silvers. And greys. Not really any color. Obviously, black tie events that have loads of color happen all the time. I’ve designed some of those. But, for my own personal taste, it’s black and white. To those who know me, this will come as no surprise. It’s almost odd how much I love the combo of black and white. In fact, my whole house is done in black and white and grey. I own more black dresses/pants/clothes in general than any normal person should. My husband and I drive one black and one white vehicle respectively. I have a black and white dog. I also have a brindle dog, but still… Just goes to show you, this fantasy design is pretty engrained. As a side note, this is how your wedding should be – an extension of your personality. Never try to be something that you aren’t. I wouldn’t be happy with a beach wedding (as gorgeous as they are) any more than the beach wedding personality would be happy with this design.

Since I haven’t been shy about how the invitation is everything to a wedding, I’ll put my money where my mouth is and start there. For my fantasy, I need the invitation to scream black tie. An invitation with custom calligraphy. Black ink. Letterpress or engraved (below is letterpress, I believe). Perfection.

Next up: Attire. I have always loved Badgley Mischka. I follow their evening wear designs from afar. I can’t say that I own any Badgley Mischka. But, their designs are lovely. I give you their designs in both Bridal and Bridesmaids options.

Shoes by Badgley Mischka as well.

Jewels by Harry Winston, natch.

Next item: Location. I think a gorgeous hotel in Paris would make me happy. Like Le Meurice. Quintessential Paris style. Merci.

I suppose we need some decor. White. Everything white. With silver accents. And candles.

And, to round out my fantasy, dessert. Simple cake. The best way to end a night.


So, what do you think? Would any of you like to attend my fantasy wedding? Is this too expected? What would you do for your fantasy wedding or event? Anyone up for a photo shoot???

And, be sure to visit the Pinterest board here. It has even more photos to round out the vision.

Peyton and Tyler – Married!

This wedding makes me smile all over! Peyton and I knew each other through a mutual friend as we all were in the events industry here in Auburn. Peyton planned events for the College of Science and Math at Auburn University. So, when it came time for her own wedding, Peyton was smart enough to know that she couldn’t handle the day all on her own. To be sure, she is one of the most detail oriented people I know and I loved following her progress in her planning. But, she decided to ask me to oversee her wedding day activities and make sure they all went as planned.

I was thrilled to be her wedding planner! Peyton has great taste and working with someone in the industry who knows events from a different angle is kind of a treat. We both knew the vendors well, we both knew how things should go. It was great! It was a warm wedding in July. But, things were perfect as guests gathered for a beautiful ceremony at Auburn United Methodist Church and then for the wedding reception at the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Art. A Toomer-tini greated guests (homage to Auburn’s Toomer’s Drugs Lemonade), station dinner and dancing on the patio. My husband, Dallas, served as my dutiful assistant that day and we had a blast. It was more than clear that Peyton and Tyler were happy, happy, happy!

So, here are the highlights from their wedding. It was gorgeous! Thank you to Greg Johnson of Greg Johnson Photography for the wonderful photos. Congratulations you guys!


DIY Weddings – The Crafty Post

It should go without saying that “Do-It-Yourself” and weddings go hand in hand. Weddings are generally thought of as a woman’s domain and I know scores of women that just love a crafty project. I, myself, have been known to tackle such a project. In general, I wouldn’t say that I’m a “crafty” person. I would probably have to search for a while to find my glue gun. However, I will definitely jump into an involved project if a – I can’t find what I want or b – I know exactly how I want it and it would be best if I just did it myself (my long suffering husband can attest to this).

I was thinking about my various projects (wedding related and otherwise) as I flipped through my current copy of Martha Stewart Weddings. This issue is dubbed their “DIY Issue”. I consider Martha Stewart the be all, end all of DIY and crafty genius. So, I was loving the issue. After a while, though, I got to thinking about how you can take DIY too far. As much as I love personal touches, I just want to explain where DIY needs to stop and someone else needs to take over. Not that Martha’s projects are too much at all. It’s just that many people can get caught up in the DIY spirit and really take on too much. I have spent some time thinking about it and the following items are my Rules for DIY.

1. Hands on projects must end before the wedding day. Whatever items you decide that you will be constructing for the wedding, be sure that they can be/are finished before the day of the wedding. For example, that means that I don’t agree with or suggest that you, or anyone who is emotionally attached to the wedding, try to take on your own floral arranging. Most flowers will need to be dealt with the day of the wedding. You don’t need to worry about anything other than making sure you enjoy your family and friends as much as possible on your wedding day. Not the flowers. So, what items would be eligible under this rule? Invitations, favors, custom decor pieces. Anything that isn’t perishable. My favorite DIY item is invitations. They have to be done and in the mail at least 6 weeks before the wedding. While invitations can be stressful, at least that stress isn’t adding to the wedding day its self. Your wedding director will be able to help you set out all the pre-made centerpieces, guest book, etc.

2. Anything that has legal stipulations that comes with it should not be considered DIY. Food, alcohol, sometimes transportation should be left to the professionals. Please. Self catering is the worst thing I have ever heard of. It will not help your budget if anyone gets sick and then sues you. Or, if you are careless with your bar. Weddings don’t need to have police visits.

3. Second-degree DIY. This what I call it when you have talented family or friends who you can call upon for various wedding duties. And usually, these are budget friendly. Our favorite, right? I am all about working the “friends discount” system. But, be careful what you ask for. Getting anyone that you are really close with to do wedding day activities (food, photos, directing, etc.) can mean several things. First, those friends/family won’t get to enjoy your wedding. They are working. No fun. Second, what happens when something goes wrong with one of those items? Now, you are dealing with someone you are close with and not just a hired vendor. It makes things very confusing. Personal story: I love it when my friends and family get married. Not only am I just over-the-moon excited for them, but I want to be as available as possible for them. I would handle it all for them if they wanted me too. But, when my best friends got married and asked me and my husband to be in the wedding, I knew that it would be a little difficult for me to serve as wedding director. I do have a team that could have stepped in when I was otherwise preoccupied. But, Joanna didn’t ask me to do this. Instead, she hired another group of directors to help her with her wedding day. And guess what? I had the best time ever at a wedding. My husband and I got to celebrate our friends’ wedding like everyone else. Of course, during the planning, I was available as her consultant. But, that day was strictly about our friends and being happy with them. It was the nicest thing ever.

Just to make plain that I am not anti-DIY, here is a list of things that were DIY at my own wedding: all printing (The envelope liner photo is from an old Martha Stewart. I did that exact same collage-type liner for my invitations), favors and dress. Yep. My mother (seamstress extraordinaire) made my dress. It was the best part about my whole wedding. We spent hours designing it (inspiration from a Carolina Herrera gown) and I am still in love with it – 7 years later.

So, have a good time making your wedding as personal as possible. Just keep these tips in mind to keep you from being too stressed out come wedding day.

XOXO – Julie

Budgets, Calendars and the Well Planned Wedding

thedecisivemoment.com One of my favorite ceremony designs for Brooke and Tom's wedding.

I am a Twitter follower of many of the wedding industry movers and shakers. You know them – Martha Stewart Weddings (@marthaweddings), Colin Cowie (@colincowie), Preston Bailey (@prestonbailey), Style Me Pretty (@stylemepretty) and others (FYI – follow Invision at @invisionwedding. Do it. Now). Come to find out, many of them were attending the Engage!11 conference this past week and I got to read all their fun tweets from the events. This conference focuses on the luxury wedding market. We are talking large budgets. And, it got me thinking. While any wedding vendor will tell you that they would love to have luxury wedding clients all the time (and I’ve had my share), I want to let brides know that they don’t have to spend a fortune to have a beautiful, gorgeous, personal wedding. Let me try to define the difference.

I’ll be honest. A wedding that has a large budget is really fun to work on. Why? Because. It’s a fantasy. It’s where you can fine tune design. It becomes its own thing. It has a life of its own. I get the chance to get lost in the art of floral design, be the paper snob that I really am deep down and marvel at exquisite designer gowns.

But I have also found that the beauty of a wedding has less to do with the amount of money you are spending and everything to do with the amount of time you have to plan it. There are lots of tricks to finessing a budget to get the things you want at your wedding. Plenty of DIY options on various wedding projects. But, regardless of what you are spending on it, if given the right amount of attention, even a budget wedding can be perfectly designed and executed. These are the weddings that are featured on wedding blogs. These are the weddings that are looked at for years and elements copied. These weddings might look simple and easy. But, believe me. Every single detail was thought about. It didn’t happen by accident.

I have planned weddings with all types of time frames and all types of budgets and I would say that to give really good attention to details, you need at least a year. Of my favorite weddings that I have done, I have had 15 months to plan. One thing that will help you a lot is knowing what you want and don’t want. That gives you the extra time and brain-space to be able to fine tune the minute details.

Regardless of how much time you have – hire a wedding planner! I know you would expect me to say that. But, it’s the truth. A planner/designer (and make sure they can do both) will help you keep all your elements working together. Give them the freedom to have an editing eye over the whole thing. Putting together the entire picture. That is where it all starts.

So, call me!

Tracy and Stephen: Bright and Cheery Summer Wedding {Auburn, Ala}

I have a bad habit of posting my wedding photos in no order what so ever of their taking place. But, I think you will forgive me once you see the sweet photos of one of the nicest couples I’ve gotten to work with as a wedding planner.

Tracy and Stephen decided to get married in Auburn, Ala last summer. Tracy, being a teacher, wanted to have the wedding in late May or early June. Being as those few weeks are some of the most desirable wedding dates in Auburn for her chosen venues (Auburn United Methodist Church and Moores Mill Country Club), they settled for a July wedding. It would be a warm wedding, but still great.

I worked with Tracy to make her vision of a simple wedding come to life. Sunny is a word that comes to mind when I think of their wedding style. Bright. Cheery. Happy. Colors that were catching, but soft. Blues and yellows were her palette. We had a great time putting it all together. She was one of the happiest and carefree brides on her wedding day that I’ve ever worked with. Made my job as a director pretty easy!

Shout outs go to: Kimberly Nelson Floral Designs for the gorgeous flowers (Tracy adored them!), Jamie Burnett of Burnett Photography for her wonderful eye and fun personality in capturing their day on camera, Auburn United Methodist Church for the gorgeous ceremony spot, Moores Mill Country Club for their perfect reception setting in the pavilion and yummy eats too, and Robin Fowler of Sonshine Cakes for another delicious and beautiful confection (I could eat her cake all day). Now, on with the show.

Congratulations Tracy and Stephen! You guys were so much fun! – XOXO, Julie