by: Carlee

What could be more lovely than a blushing bride on her wedding day? TWO lovely brides, of course! Add in a soft palette of pinks and corals, gorgeous details, and a stunning museum backdrop… and I’m just swooning from the beauty and romance of this Philadelphia wedding. Marissa Moss was there to capture all of the love and lucky for us, both brides, Tab and Alexandra, are here to share their planning insight:

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What (or who) helped you most in your planning process and/or on your wedding day?

Tab: Our wedding planner Christina Hill (Chill Weddings) by far helped the most. We both work intense jobs on the west coast and had very limited knowledge of the whole wedding process, so she connected us with most of our vendors, kept us on task and helped keep a really relaxed atmosphere. (Marissa not included, she is an old high school friend and a fabulously talented photographer so I snatched her up well in advance). 

Alexandra: Christina was amazing! I think the second we met her (over Skype!), we knew she’d be a good fit. She’s super level-headed, made great vendor suggestions and worked hard to make sure we were getting our money’s worth. I felt as if she understood implicitly what Tab and I were asking for, despite the fact that we did a relatively vague job articulating our vision to her (I think we threw a lot of contradictory ideas at her!). On the big day, Christina was a godsend. She and her team were great at dealing with surprises (like when I forgot the final check due to our venue!), managing the guests’ needs and making sure everything was running smoothly (if it didn’t, we certainly didn’t notice). On top of all that, she’s a blast.

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What was the most important thing to you when deciding who to work with for your wedding?

Tab: We wanted to work with people who shared our vibe of maximizing fun, minimizing stress. It’s safe to say everyone who helped us was incredibly talented and dedicated to their work, but as important, they were low maintenance and very genuine.  

Alexandra: I think Tab knew she wanted Marissa as our photographer even before we got engaged!  She shot our engagement photos too, and I’m so glad she was willing to travel all the way across the country for us (twice!). She’s incredibly relaxed, has a fantastic eye and really captured all those small moments perfectly.

 Our other vendors were fantastic as well – Bill Schaffer from Schaffer Designs did an incredible job on our flowers. He came highly recommended by friends in the floral design business, and frankly, I can’t believe he agreed to work on something as small scale as our wedding (google him – he and his wife are rock stars!). I had originally wanted an outdoor wedding, and he managed to create something beautiful and relaxed in what could have been a really over-the-top and stuffy space. He had great design advice during the planning process, and the day of, accommodated some last minute requests for extras. I really hadn’t put much thought into the flowers (Tab was much more particular than me with respect to the arrangements, linens, etc.), but the day of, I was blown away by Bill and Kristin’s work.  I loved my bridal bouquet, and our guests couldn’t stop gushing about how much they loved it all.

 I also need to give props to our graphic designer, Carryn Golden (Golden Silhouette), and Tish Smith (Foam Floaterie), whose wedding cakes were the talk of the party. Carryn was incredibly patient and wildly talented; she did a fantastic job bringing our numerous ideas to life. We were lucky enough to get Tish right before she closed her popular South Philly ice cream shop and headed west, and she made us seven mini cakes in a variety of unique flavors (plum cardamom, lemon cornmeal, chocolate hazelnut). We didn’t want to do a traditional cake cutting, but we also didn’t want a generic cake – if you’re going to make room for dessert at a wedding, it should be worth it! Plus, it was a family imperative that we had good carrot cake. Needless to say, the guests loved it, and I know a few sneaky people managed to try every single flavor.   

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What was your inspiration for your wedding details and/or design?

Tab: If Alex had it her way we would have been married in a barn in rural Pennsylvania, but that wouldn’t have been very easy for our guests. We wanted everyone to enjoy Philly, and we both have childhood nostalgia for the Franklin Institute. We tried to keep a simple and naturally elegant aesthetic that still fit with the the museum. Clearly we love fun, bright colors. 

Alexandra: I was really worried that our reception space – this beautiful marble hall – would be far too formal, and wanted to soften it somehow. Our color palette and ideas were really more suggestive of something outdoorsy and relaxed, and luckily the people we worked with understood exactly how to translate that into the museum without making it seem cheesy or out of place.

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What was your favorite thing about your wedding?

Tab: All our loved ones were together under the same roof. Family and friends came from near and far including California, Canada, Florida, India, Singapore, and Burning Man, all to witness and support our love (and drink and dance the night away). That feeling was incredible. 

Alexandra: My favorite thing? The outpouring of love and excitement and celebration from our family and friends. Close seconds: when the woman of my dreams surprised me by interrupting the ceremony to say very nice things about me in front of everyone we love. When we were (thankfully) bullied into playing the Hava Nagila, the whole reception ended up on their feet and Tab’s father completely disregarded her request for no chairs! When guests discovered that Tab had temporary tattoos of our faces AND our dog made for everyone. When we had our first dance and everyone joined in. When we finally ate dinner at 3 AM on our hotel room floor.

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What is your best piece of advice for other brides?

Tab: We’re no experts but if you want to enjoy the most of out of a very short and incredibly important moment in your life, surround yourself with positive people and never lose perspective – you get to marry the most awesome person ever, in front of everyone you love!

 Alexandra: I think the most awesome wife ever said it all.

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Awesome advice, ladies! I love all of the personal details from Tab and Alex, including the super awesome and incredibly creative temporary tattoos OF THEIR FACES! Genius.

How about y’all? Are you planning any fun surprises or gifts for your guests? I’d love to hear your ideas!

Happy Planning!
Carlee

 

Vendors who made it all happen…

Photographer: Marissa Moss Photography / Wedding Planner: Chill Weddings / Cake Baker: Foam Floaterie / Catering: Frog Commissary / Design & Decor: Schaffer Designs / Reception Venue: The Franklin Institute / Makeup Artist: Bella Angel / DJ: LoveSick, Inc.


by: Michelle

I am blown away by this stunning pink and peach southern wedding captured by Carla Gates Photography and designed by Edge Design Group! Various shades of pink and peach compliment each other gorgeously and pair with the sparkle of gold perfectly! It’s a stunning elegant southern feté, and you’re going to just love it…

An Elegant Pink and Peach Southern Wedding An Elegant Pink and Peach Southern Wedding An Elegant Pink and Peach Southern Wedding An Elegant Pink and Peach Southern Wedding An Elegant Pink and Peach Southern Wedding An Elegant Pink and Peach Southern Wedding An Elegant Pink and Peach Southern Wedding An Elegant Pink and Peach Southern Wedding An Elegant Pink and Peach Southern Wedding An Elegant Pink and Peach Southern Wedding An Elegant Pink and Peach Southern Wedding An Elegant Pink and Peach Southern Wedding An Elegant Pink and Peach Southern Wedding An Elegant Pink and Peach Southern Wedding An Elegant Pink and Peach Southern Wedding An Elegant Pink and Peach Southern Wedding An Elegant Pink and Peach Southern Wedding An Elegant Pink and Peach Southern Wedding An Elegant Pink and Peach Southern Wedding An Elegant Pink and Peach Southern Wedding An Elegant Pink and Peach Southern Wedding

Did you catch the subtle bow accents? Aren’t they great? And the gold?! I love it- I’m now newly inspired to incorporate more gold in my style.

Are any of you incorporating a subtle accent- like bows- in your own wedding?

 

 Vendors who made it all happen…

Photographer: Carla Gates Photography / Floral & Event Design: Edge Design Group / Linens: I Do Linens / Venue & Catering: Chateau Elan / Cinematography: White Dress Media


by: Lauren

[Editor's note: If you haven't noticed by now, wedding cost is something that I talk about a lot here on ELD. Part of the reason for this is because I was absolutely unaware of the true cost of weddings when I was planning my own wedding. The other reason is that when I entered into the wedding industry, I actually learned why things cost what they cost, and it all made sense as to why weddings cost "so much"! And so, I have made it my mission to take both of those personal experiences with wedding costs and educate you about what I have learned. I've talked about why weddings cost so much before, but I felt like it was about time that I touched on the subject again- so I've updated this previously published post on why weddings cost so much...]

 “Why do weddings cost so much?!”

 

I’m pretty sure this is a question that I think just about EVERY bride (and groom and parent and friend) asks. Don’t worry- I asked the same exact question when I was planning my wedding. And I never really figured out the answer until AFTER my wedding when I started working in the industry, learning the ins and outs and what it really takes for a wedding to happen. (Thankfully, since that’s a HUGE part of why I started blogging in the first place!)

Why Do Weddings Cost So Much?!

So at first, you’re SUPER excited to start planning your wedding, right? And yeah, you know weddings can cost a good chunk of change… but when you start getting the proposals and quotes from people, THAT’S when it really hits you. I think a HUGE part of it is that you don’t really have a good *idea* of what things cost beforehand. Whenever I give brides a ballpark range of what to expect for what something would cost, it’s always so much easier for them to think about and make a decision. There’s just something about knowing ahead of time, that helps SO much, don’t you think?

Here’s the thing: when I was planning my wedding I did always wonder why things cost so much. But I was so focused on the COST that I never really considered or bothered to find out the WHY…

1. Making it happen.

What does it take to make a wedding happen? Wedding professionals. I don’t know what it is about weddings, but for some reason, lots of people don’t consider working in the wedding industry as a “normal” job. Maybe because weddings are such happy and fun times, so it’s hard to think of any “work” being associated with them. (Confession: I was one of those brides who thought this!)  Or maybe it’s because there are indeed a few “hobbyists” in the wedding industry providing services to brides. Whatever it is that’s causing this thought process, it’s wrong. Wedding professionals aren’t charging what they charge just for the heck of it. They charge what they charge because it’s their livelihoods. Their career. How they put food on the table for their families. Sure, some charge less and some charge more, but it’s what they think they’re worth and what they need to live their lives. Oh and let’s not forget about experience, which is also a huge factor of wedding professionals’ costs too. And also, their TIME. They work during the week, and then they still have weddings on the weekend. Half the time, they’re not even being paid enough for the time they put in, but it’s what has to be done to make awesome weddings happen.

[Note: wedding professionals don't charge more because the word "wedding" is attached. This might be true for those who *aren't* in the wedding industry, but don't think it's true for those who are. Let's kill that myth right here and now.]

2. The *Things*

Yes, there are *things* that are needed for your wedding. Lots of them. And these things are also what “cost so much”. Rentals, purchases, food, alcohol, flowers, linens, etc etc. They’re all things, and are a HUGE part of the wedding costs. These things usually have to be purchased (or rented) FOR your wedding, so they can be functional AT your wedding. [Get ready for a baking/cooking analogy because that's all I can think of right now...] Think of it this way: You want to make cookies to bring to a party. But before you can make your cookies, you have to buy all of the ingredients. That’s what the things for your wedding are. They’re the elements, the ingredients, of your wedding. These things still cost money- they don’t just appear out of thin air. And trust me- you don’t want to buy them yourself. So that’s where wedding professionals come in, because they know/own/make/have access to those things.

Why Do Weddings Cost So Much?!

Images by Ashley McCormick Photography

3. Guests.

Yep, the guests. Guests are really why weddings cost so much. I probably say it once a month. The more guests you have, the more money you’ll have to spend. It’s more food, drinks, tables, linens, centerpieces, etc etc. And guess what? It’s something that YOU can have control over. If you don’t want to spend much on your wedding- keep your guest list small. That is the key to EVERYTHING!

4. What YOU Want.

You can be your own worst enemy when it comes to what your wedding costs- I know I was! A wedding that costs “so much” could just be the result of what YOU want! But hey, it’s AWESOME to know what you want, and hopefully get it for your wedding day! :)

I was actually inspired to write this post because of something I saw on a local photographer’s blog. She had seen a bride’s posting on Craigslist about photographers costing too much money, and she wrote a little response to the bride. It’s SO informative and something that not everyone realizes- definitely go and read it! Oh and after I wrote this whole post, I forgot that I wrote a Thursday Tips similar to this a while ago. It’s a little bit of a different breakdown though, so be sure to read it next! :)

It’s important to me that you know something: I don’t share this information to “inflate” the expectations for what weddings cost. I do it to educate you about weddings, and to share the truth with you… because in my experience, there’s a ton of fluff out there, and not enough truth! It is my goal to help brides and to hopefully keep some of you from making the same uneducated wedding planning mistakes that I made.

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Okay, so out of the things I mentioned above, which is the most IMPORTANT to you? It doesn’t matter if you’re just starting your planning, halfway through, almost done, or already married- I’m sure one of these things is/was what you absolutely have/had to have!

I would love to hear from those of you who are fairly into your planning or already done- in what area did you spend the most? I love your comments, so tell me tell me! :)

Why Do Weddings Cost So Much?!

 

*Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in January 2012 and and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness. 


by: Lauren

The vintage glam details of this emerald green wedding are just absolutely stunning! A romantic, garden ceremony, an emerald, gold, and white color palette, and lasercut table numbers are just a few favorites that Sarah Tew Photography captured beautifully. The lovely bride, Gina, is here with us today sharing about her wedding planning experience:

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What (or who) helped you most in your planning process and/or on your wedding day?

Pinterest was a huge help during the planning process, I was able to visualize all my ideas and keep them in one place to easily show vendors. I also had a great support team – my mom and bridesmaids who helped with so many of the details.

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What was the most important thing to you when deciding who to work with for your wedding?

It is really important to first like their work/product, but for me it was even more important to connect with the person and like their personality. You need to be surrounded by people you are comfortable with and trust, especially as things get tense and stressful towards the big day. I felt at ease with the people I worked with which made the whole process a breeze.

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What was your inspiration for your wedding details and/or design?

I love the mix of old and new, so there had to be vintage elements. I started with a few must have elements – lace dress, white lanterns, and honey (as the favors) and everything just developed from there.

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*Love these table numbers? Get them HERE!*

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What was your favorite thing about your wedding?

Favorite part was the first-look photos, getting ready that moring and so much going on I couldn’t wait to see my fiance, the moment he turned around there was a sense of calm again. Favorite thing – it’s hard to choose but I loved the way our ‘grooms cake’ made of Murray’s Cheese wheels came out and our polariod guest book – everyone had a blast taking candid instant photos.

A Vintage Glam Emerald Green Wedding A Vintage Glam Emerald Green Wedding A Vintage Glam Emerald Green Wedding A Vintage Glam Emerald Green Wedding

What is your best piece of advice for other brides?

Out of anyone attending your wedding, make sure its you and your husband who are having the most fun!…you deserve it! You put so much time and energy into planning the perfect day, so take a deep breathe and enjoy every second of it.

Oh I love Gina’s advice! It’s easy to get caught up in making sure that your guests have a great time, yet forget about having fun yourself. Keep her words in mind and make sure you have the most fun out of anyone at the wedding!

Gina and her husband Jamie included two of their favorite things- craft beer and honey- in their wedding as “escort beers” and favors. Are you planning on incorporating any of your favorite things into your own wedding? What will you be doing?

 

Vendors who made it all happen…

Photographer:  Sarah Tew Photography // Floral Designer:Floral Fantasies By Sara // Event Venue: The Roundhouse At Beacon Falls // Caterer: The Roundhouse At Beacon Falls //Bridesmaid Dresses: Amsale // Shoes:Badgley Mischka // Tuxedo and Mens Attire:BLACK by Vera Wang // Makeup Artist:Igor Santos // Dress Designer:Jim Hjelm // Officiant: One Heart Ceremonies // Invitation Designer:Rebecca Hoagland // Hair Stylist:Rocco Barbetto // DJ: Total Entertainment // Table Numbers: BHLDN