Tuesday, April 21, 2009
My right hand women, Janissa and Cyril, b&w coordinators, setting up the escort card table. 330!
Another cool, funky, fresh bellz&whistlez idea, "The Gutted Picture Frame!!" Myself taking a pic...this photo station was such a success! Thanks to 5&A Dime for the "-staches!!" Can you see the custom bellz&whistlez overlays behind me?!
Friday, April 17, 2009
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Upon a productive assembling day with the bride and groom (for this Saturday's wedding), a topic came up in our conversation: Wedding-day Etiquette (…or put simply, how to act on the big day). Sounds like a 5-yr-old hand-slapper sort of subject, but it was a valid one. For me, every time I visualize any kind of formal event, especially a wedding, I gravitate towards one word that always seems to sum up how a bride and groom should present themselves, and that word is: "graciously." But, I think it's more than just one word; there are actual ground rules for etiquette that are ideal to follow on a couple's big day. And one person who knew it all was Emily Post -- she revolutionized wedding-day etiquette.
Emily Post (1872–1960)
Today, the word, "etiquette," is still attached to Emily Post's name. Born in 1872, Emily was raised as an only child and attended Miss Graham's finishing school in New York, a private educational facility that trained students in cultural and social activities. By the time she was an adult, she began to write, developing novels, magazines stories, and newspaper articles, but what really stood out was one book in particular, Etiquette (full title Etiquette in Society, in Business, in Politics, and at Home), 1922. It was this book that would eventually become a best seller, proving its popularity over decades, and the initiation of The Emily Post Institute, founded in 1946.* Her family took over her business after she passed in 1960. Today, the institute is a renowned etiquette resource for major corporations and publications. They have enlisted in a number of subjects, including everyday etiquette, kids, business, and weddings.**
Her daughter, Peggy Post, is the recent author to the line of wedding related etiquette books. I have browsed through several of these books and found insightful messages. Some may seem a bit strict, but for me, I was able to understand clearly that the bride and groom are the focal point of any wedding, and that all eyes and ears are on them. Their books give insight to things like, properly greeting a guest, how to dine, how to verbally thank people. Awesome info!
"Wedding Etiquette" by Peggy Post, Emily's daughter
I'd like to share some notes:
- "Gracious" is my key word. IMPORTANT! Be gracious in your tone of voice, what you say, your posture, how you move across the room, how the two of you communicate, how you dine and take a seat, say "hello," acknowledge an issue, etc. On your big day, the two of you are the King and Queen.
- Greet your guests. IMPORTANT! Your guests saved the entire day for you. They made a decision to become part of your day by bearing witness to a milestone event. Exchanging a few words, or even a hand shake or hug, will be appreciated.
- Try to stay together. I know, I know. You both have friends you'd like to say, "hi," to, but frankly, guests want to congratulate the both of you, and almost always want to sneak in a candid photo with the two of you. And I'm not being literal, eg, going to the bathroom together, but try to stay together during important parts of your reception events, like dinner, photo montage, toasts, etc. As a coordinator, trying to find the groom who went off to take a peek at his friend's new ride in the parking lot while the video montage is rolling, isn't fun. Another thing, let someone know (either your spouse or coordinator) your whereabouts.
- Communicate with your coordinator/planner. IMPORTANT! While b&w works so that one coordinator personally helps out the newlyweds, it is still important to voice your needs and ask questions. If you're not happy with the food, are still hungry after dinner, want to take a restroom break, or want to know where your parents are, the coordinator is there to go find the answer. We're your personal concierge.
- Posture and smile. It can be uncomfortable, but you are the stars of the show after all! You eventually become accustomed to all the camera flashes from the professional photographer and your guests, so a good piece of advice would be to stand tall and poised. Ladies, designate a "beauty" assistant from your bridal party to let you know when you need to touch up makeup, or when bobbi pins are falling out, or even if your dress is not bustled properly. Last thing, smile! Your photos are one of the only physical momentos you'll keep, and you'll def want to look stunning.
- Try to minimize (or better, control) the alcohol intake on your wedding day. It's easy to become dehydrated simply by the effects of stress and being on your feet all day. (The drunken debauchery/wild night should have already taken place -- at the bachelor/bachelorette parties.) If you can't seem to hold off from your favorite cocktail, visit the bar some time towards the end of the evening, after the dance floor has opened. Ladies, using the restroom is challenging and requires addt'l help.
- Send out "thank you" cards as soon as you have time. Ahh, the day after: opening the wonderful presents and cards and counting the honeymoon funds. So fun! In reality, some guests can't wait to hear your reaction when opening the gift they spent an afternoon trying to find. Though you may verbally thank them in person, it's still proper to send out a formal, written thank you note. Also, try to do this in a reasonable amount of time; the sooner (days or weeks), the better.
Monday, April 13, 2009
Sunday, April 12, 2009
A little note, I'm only going to show photos of my "practice pillow" and refrain from showing the real pillow since I'd like to share the details for our upcoming event after it takes place. Bummer!
I finished the first part, the pillow, which was rectangular shaped. Size=10x5.5; Fabric: Polysatin (I didn't iron it flat before I stuffed it, so the edging isn't quite square). Read more to see the final product!
NOTE: It is very challenging to work with satins or any slippery fabric, and I think my attempt turned out to be all right...thank goodness for my satin footer.
I added satin ribbon and lace trim and offset its placement.
Voila! I added a cool button I found in my button collection and it was done! Again, I didn't iron it before I stuffed it, so the edges aren't nice and flat -- it was just a practice pillow.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
If you haven't visited Etsy.com, you're missing out. Etsy's tag line speaks for itself: "Your Place to Buy and Sell All Things Handmade." I regularly visit the site to check out hand made art, whether it be engraved materials, paper, pillows, totes, jewelry…you name it. The site showcases the works of many talented artists around the world. One day, just one day, I'll find time to use my sewing machine to make some hand made goodies to sell…and I'll definitely be utilizing Etsy!
These hand sewn clutches are fab finds and don't cost an arm and a leg. If you're planning on buying a clutch for your big day, consider a hand made, one-of-a-kind accessory…and check out Etsy's site. You'll be supporting our small businesses, the self-employed, and the hard-working artist community! One last tid bit, these clutches double their purpose, as they can easily be worn again…on a night out!
Above: Viabella "Spa Blue" | $49
Above: La Vita Lola "Hollywood Regency" | $55
Above: Percy Handmade "Kiki" | $30
Above: Fiazco "Jill Collection Lined w/ Robbins Egg Silk" | $65
Monday, April 6, 2009
Daring Divas: Would you ever wear a dress made out of paper?
Europe is so fashion-forward. I spotted dresses and accessories…made out of paper! Imagine that for a daring bride!
We were shopping in London when I found these. From far away, I thought they were made out of pleated fabrics will cool prints, but when I got closer, I realized they were pieces of magazine sheets folded and assembled to create clothes! Wonder how much time it took these designers to put such interesting visuals together.
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
To give you an overview of our trip, my husband, sister-in-law, bro-in-law and good friend, Anthony embarked on the most chaotic adventure in Europe. We traveled on our own in the beginning and in the end, but in the middle, we joined the Top Deck tour. We visited a total of 8 countries in 17 days: England, Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Vatican City, Austria, Switzerland, and France. It's a pretty intense, on-the-go sort of adventure, so if you're looking to sit on the beach, enjoy massages, or sleep in, this is the complete opposite.
The Top Deck Tour is based in the UK and caters to a select age demographic -- about 25–30 yrs old. It says it's for 18–30 somethings, but from what I've heard and experienced, a majority of the travelers are slightly older. In any case, the coach is full of easy-going, adventurous, party-loving adults. The tour we joined was the Winter Essentials Tour (Europe) and is probably best suited for couples who are in travel mode and aren't immersed in wedding plans, a wedded couple who is celebrating their first anniversary, or a group of friends who simply wants to explore the world. The great thing about a fast-paced tour is that each traveler gets a taste for countries they'd like to visit a second time around. Check out Top Deck's site to see the packages they offer. (*They offer discounts to groups of 4 or more along with advance-booking discounts). Note: On this tour, it feels like you live out of your luggage and getting ready seems to take anywhere from 5 minutes to 20 minutes -- that's it. We got up every morning around 6AM -- seriously! It is very fast-paced, and it's important to stay healthy so you can keep with the rest of the tour.
The five of us ventured in London for a few days and then took an overnight ferry to Amsterdam, where we had two days to roam the canal-lined streets. On the third day in Amsterdam, we met our tour host, Sam Yates, a vibrant, 28 yr old Aussie who has been hosting TD tours for a little over a year. She was a definite factor in setting the overall mood of the coach and provided us with history on the sites we passed. I give her lots of love, since she took on several roles: tour guide, historian, event planner, hotel liaison, and friend. Everyday seemed chaotic, but Sam was so organized, I noticed she pulled out an envelope with all the paperwork and details for each country we entered. Checking 47 people into hotel rooms (nearly every or every other day) isn't a piece of cake, and from my experience coordinating one big day, doing this for 11 to sometimes 40 days straight is insane! Nonetheless, Top Deck only hires people who are capable, willing, and talented enough to take on such a crazy job, and Sam is awesome at what she does.
For me, the highlights of our tour were:
- the site seeing (esp in Amsterdam! and throughout Italy)
- gnawing on pork knuckles (in the Philippines, they're called "crispy pata") and chuggin' on a liter and a half of lemonade beer in Munich at the Hofbrauhaus
- Fritattensuppe (pancake soup) in Austria
- experiencing a gondola ride with the hubby in Venice
- making lots of new friends on the tour
- seeing some of the most popular art pieces and landmarks in the world
- shopping in London, Italy and France
- dining at La Fate in Rome, Italy at our friend, Andrea's, family restaurant
- eating authentic Spaghetti Carbonara (where can I find this in LA!)
- St. Peter's Basilica and the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican City (a must see!)
- the Fat Tire Bike Tour throughout Paris
- and witnessing pickpocketing in the Paris Metro
- oh, and did I say shopping? ;)
- The bridge that London is famous for isn't the London Bridge, but the Tower Bridge. People mistake the name often.
- The Red Light District is now being regulated by the NE government, in which galleries and clothing shops are rumored to take over.
- The Hofbrauhas in Munich (Munchen), Germany is famous for historic gatherings made by Adolf Hitler and his army. The ceilings used to be covered in swastika symbols but have been painted over. It is now a hot spot for great food and liter beers -- yes, we had an amazing time at this very social restaurant that seats 3,000, indulging in sausages, pork knuckles, sauerkraut and German beer!
- Modern day Rome is a city built above another city (which is Old Rome). You can actually see how low Old Rome used to sit. If they were to uncover everything beneath the current roads, the entire city of Rome would be a museum. There are so many undiscovered treasures in Rome!
- Vatican City is debated to be its own country! It has its own zip code and currency. It's truly one of the true wonders of the world and should be visited, regardless of a person's religion. Just the amount and quality of art within the Basilica and Sistine Chapel will blow any traveler away.
- Past popes are buried in a lower floor within St. Peter's Basilica.
- Switzerland still uses the Franc, while most of Europe is using the Euro. The abbreviation for Switzerland is CH, which stands for Confederation of Helvetica.
- In Paris, they fly the flag of the nation that each Tour De France winner declares. Why didn't they ever hang the USA flag when Lance Armstrong won? (Hmm).
- I didn't realize that pick pocketing is common in Paris. So folks, hang on to your stuff, esp in the metro or public transportation (in Paris, Rome, and when traveling, period). These thieves are sly and quick..and professional. And they jump out right in time for the doors to close and nothing can be done. I saw it happen a couple times (to tourists, too!) and it freaked me out! Imagine not only your wallet being taken, but your passport. :(
- OH, and we definitely felt how weak the dollar is compared to the euro. A can of Coke averaged about $7-8 US dollars. Two ham and cheese crepes and two coffees cost us $55. Make sure you check the exchange rate before you travel.
- You get a better exchange rate using your ATM/Credit card for purchases versus withdrawing money from a European bank.
- Travelers are not subject to pay the European tax. You have to spend a minimum of $150 on a purchase to qualify for the 12.5% VAT returned to you when you leave. But remember to have your receipt stamped and get the appropriate paperwork to present to the VAT officers.