A Cake By Any Other Name….

Happy Thursday!

Last night I was discussing dessert options with a client and discovered she and her husband-to-be are huge fans of everything sweet. They are planning a very unique wedding and don’t want to have a traditional wedding cake, so we set off in search of options.

I know a lot of couples are looking to make their day unique and a really fun way to change up tradition is to serve something other than cake to your guests. Today, I wanted to take a look at some of the fun substitutions for cake!

1) Macaroons are being used as wedding favors more and more these days, but how about a macaroon tower instead of a cake? You could do many different flavors and all of the colors would make for a beautiful display!

macaroon

Photo From: Pinterest

2) Still want the shape of a cake, but looking for something other than cake? How about a Rice Krispie Treat “cake”? This is so simple, beautiful, and so unique!

rice krispietreat

Photo From: The Knot

3) This is by far one of my favorites, S’mores! Someone having a backyard wedding or a woodland themed wedding should definitely consider S’mores! I saw one couple with a build your own s’more bar, and instead of cutting cake, they toasted the first marshmallow together and shared the s’more. It was definitely a fun touch!

smores

Photo From: Frost the Cake

4) Over on our main website, our Weekly Feature showcased my Sister-in-Law and Brother-in-Law’s wedding. Their wedding included an amazing donut tower that everyone raved about. This is a great way to give guests a food they can pick up and go with in a variety of flavors!

Donut tower

Photo From: High Image Photography

5) Another classic dessert that makes a great alternative to a wedding cake is an ice cream sandwich! You can either have pre-made ice cream sandwiches or have a bar where guests get to choose their ice cream and types of cookies.

icecreamsandwich

Photo From: Bride Bop

6) One last suggestions- for the couple having a morning wedding, a waffle bar is a great option. You can still have the tradition of cutting the “cake”, but give guests the option to create their own waffle.

wafflebar

Photo From: Bride Bop

There are so many other options out there to couples looking to break away from Wedding Cake! The only thing limiting you is your imagination.

Looking to create your own unique wedding? Contact us today to set up a free consultation!

Wedding Wednesday- Theme Edition

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Happy Wedding Wednesday, everyone! In last week’s edition of Wedding Wednesday, we talked about how to choose a photographer. We got such a great response to that post, we are planning to feature similar vendor posts over the coming weeks.

Today, I wanted to talk about “Wedding Themes”. There are a limitless number of themes to choose from these days, vintage, watercolor, shabby chic, Gatsby, steampunk, rustic, beach, vineyard, off-beat, eco-friendly, and the list goes on and on. With all of the talk of themes and many wedding magazines and websites categorizing everything by theme, a lot of couples feel completely overwhelmed by the options. We have had clients who are terrified to make a choice because it might not be trendy enough, it might be too trendy, or maybe it won’t go with their “theme”.

I want every couple planning a wedding right now to:

Stop. Take a breath. Breathe deeply. Let.it.go.! 

When you attend a wedding, what is it that you remember? You remember how beautiful the couple was, how touching their vows were, how fun the dancing was, the awesome band, silly Aunt Sue, and the love all around. Do you remember the pin-tuck napkins folded just-so? Probably not. Are all of the details what come together to create the atmosphere and the look, of course, but they are not what the guests are going to ultimately remember, and neither will you.

In my own personal wedding, I spent months agonizing over the florals because I wanted them to be j.u.s.t. s.o. without them looking like they were carefully arranged (crazy, right??). Now over a year later, I couldn’t tell you what they looked like to save my life. I can tell you all about the smile on my face, the love I felt looking at my husband(!), and how in awe of the whole day I was though!

I was recently speaking with a Bride who was completely overwhelmed by all of the choices. She had 3 different themes she was working towards and she couldn’t pinpoint a direction. Choosing a theme alone was adding far too much stress to her big day. My advice to her, and to anyone dealing with a similar obstacle is this:

Ask yourself the following two questions (and these can be about anything, not just theme):

  1. Does this theme REALLY represent us as a couple or do I just think it is pretty and fun?
  • Your theme should really represent the two of you together, so why agonize over a vintage wedding when it means nothing to your relationship? Yes, vintage weddings can be gorgeous, but if it doesn’t represent you, it won’t feel like you that day and your guests will be confused too.

2. When I close my eyes and imagine my wedding, can I picture any other theme than this one and be happy? 

  • If you think you want a shabby chic wedding, but when you close your eyes, you can can just as easily picture a nautical wedding on a beach, then it is time to go back to question number one

The most important thing you can do is be true to who you both are as a couple! If you are still stuck, sit down together and look over your relationship- what places have been important, what have you been through together, how do you decorate or want to decorate your home, what colors and patterns are you drawn to, and is there a place you really want to get married (because the venue can help steer you in the direction of a theme).

Another important point is not to feel pressured by the “Wedding Machine”. There are plenty of magazines and websites that will make you feel like vintage is so last season and a Gatsby -themed wedding is your only option, but I am here to tell you that just isn’t true.

Every wedding will be beautiful and perfect, so long as there is love and everything about it reminds you of each other.

If you need some help finding your direction and bringing all of the details together, contact us today to set up a complimentary consultation!

Winners and Looking Ahead

Happy Monday, everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. We certainly did. We are so excited to announce we surpassed our goal of 100 “likes” on our Facebook page ! We had a number generator select our winners for the contest this morning. Our Grand Prize Winner, Renee Coolidge, won free event planning services (up to a $2500.00 value) and our Runner-Up Winner, Brittany Fielder, won 50% off event planning services. Congratulations ladies!! Also, a huge thank you to everyone who has been supporting us and sharing our page. We are so appreciative of all of the love and support.

Today, I wanted to share some of our upcoming plans with you. We are working on Fall and Winter look-books and also doing some forecasting for Spring. This part of being an Event Planner is one of my favorite parts! I love researching designers and fashion trends and planning for what is coming next! Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing some of our forecasts with you, so you will definitely want to stay-tuned!

We are also planning on attending several Bridal expos this fall and winter. If you have any suggestions of places you would like to see us showcase, please comment or contact us!

We are also starting to meet with more vendors to expand our preferred vendor list. We are looking for all different types of vendors- bakers, florists, DJs, stationary, officiants, venues, caterers, transportation, rental companies, etc. We offer discounted services to our preferred vendors and also marketing perks. For more information about how to become a preferred vendor, please contact us!

I don’t want this post to be all about our plans, so let me leave you with a few of my favorite trends for the fall and winter, which can basically be summed up in one word, Gatsby!

GatsbyPhoto From: Jenny Packham

Jenny Packham is designer whose current line screams Gatsby! Her gowns feature delicate, feminine details that draw the eye. Click the link under the picture to see more of her collection.

Marchesa-Look-10-backPhoto From: Wedding Illustrated

This Marchesa gown combines 3 fall and winter trends we adore- short sleeves, cowl back, and illusion back. This gown is sophisticated, elegant, and fun all at the same time.

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Photo From: The Knot

Just in case we hadn’t sold you on Jenny Packham already, this beauty is another Jenny Packham gown. This one features several trends as well- open back, metallic lace, coverlet, and sleeves.

glitter tullePhoto From: MSN Living

This Carolina Herrera gown is fun and romantic, featuring another hot trend, glitter tulle. We love the sparkle and could see this being a gorgeous New Years Eve wedding gown or even a gown for spring wedding that featured a neutral palette with bright florals.

This is only a sneak peak of what is to come! Stay tuned in the upcoming weeks for trend forecasting!

Happy Celebration Friday

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Happy Celebration Friday, everyone! We are working on several graduation parties for next year and it made us realize just how much fun you can have with a graduation party. This is a very important time in the graduate’s life, so the party should be equal mixes of past, present, and future.

In honor of Celebration Friday we put together a Pinterest Board with some fun and different graduation party ideas and thought we would share a few with you!

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Photo From: Right At Home

These melon drink skewers are truly unique and are a fun way to spice up any drink- even just sparkling water! You can buy number cookie-cutters or hand-cut them out of various types of melon. These would also be great on a fruit display.

ImagePhoto From: Tip Junkie

This a very unique tabletop idea using a roll of thick black paper and white sharpies to create a chalkboard like tabletop. You can write the names of your guests, a fun memory from each year of school, have guests write well-wishes, or get creative and write or draw anything you want! We also love the ballot box on the table with cards for guests to write their names and memories or well-wishes for the Grad.

ImagePhoto From: Babble

Looking for a way to make the drinks at your party a little more festive? These easy diy graduation caps are a really fun addition to your party. Use heavy black construction paper to cut out squares and add a piece of yarn on top in one of the school’s colors as a tassle and voila!

ImagePhoto: Events by Victoria Lee

We love the symbolism and unique presentation of this display. It’s a very fun and eye-catching display that represents looking back fondly into the past before the Grad steps out the door into the future.

ImagePhoto From: Babble

This is a really simple DIY involving a roll of paper, washi tape, poms, and sticky notes. Guests can put their sticky notes up with well-wishes or memories that can later be added to a guest book or album from the event.

If you are interested in more Graduation Party or other event ideas, please visit our Pinterest site.

Contact us today to set up a complimentary consultation to discuss your upcoming event!

We hope you all have an amazing Friday!

Why Do I Need an Event or Wedding Planner?

One of the most common things we hear is:

“At the beginning I told myself, I can handle this, I don’t need an event planner. It didn’t take me long to realize I was wrong.”

Even the most organized and creative person can use a helping hand. After all, it’s your big moment. It’s your graduation, your baby shower, your anniversary, or your wedding… how are you truly going to be able to sit back and enjoy every moment when you are the go-to person and the one who has to handle any last-minute hiccups?

Today, we wanted to share with you five reasons why you should consider hiring an event planner:

5) Resources, Resources, Resources– Event Planners have worked with hundreds or even thousands of vendors. They know who to go to for the best service and price. Without an event planner, you have to rely on a lot of research to find a vendor, and even then, you have to hope the reviews on their website are true. An Event Planner can save you a lot of time by knowing who to call and how to get you the best possible service for the best possible price.

Services-and-vendors

Photo From: Park 55 Hotel

4) Knowledge and Information– It’s our job to know what the hottest trends are and how to get access to them. We know when things go on sale, when to book vendors for the best prices, and how to add little touches to make your event unique. Without a planner, you have to rely on a lot of research.

Did you know Ikat is one of the hottest trends this year?

ikat2

Photo From: The Wedding Cottage

3) Time is money- Your time is valuable. It is hard enough to try to find time to fit in everything you need and want to do, let alone all of the detail-planning necessary to host a great event. An Event Planner is trained to make all of the details come together in far less time and it is something they  also love to do. Without a planner, you almost have to find extra hours in the day to get it all done, and who enjoys that?

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Photo From: Glamour

2) The inevitable uh-oh– No matter how carefully planned and organized an event is, it is inevitable there will be one or two hiccups during the day. The DJ is running late, the basket for the programs is missing, your shoe breaks, the iron burned a hole in his shirt, etc. These speed-bumps happen to everyone. An Event Planner’s job is to be prepared for everything and they can make a quick and seamless fix that nobody will notice. Why add extra stress to your day trying to fix these things yourself when you could have someone make sure it all goes perfectly?

iron_burned_shirt_s

Photo From: Thrifty Fun

And the number one reason to hire an Event Planner:

1) Event Planners save you money- Huh? No, you read that correctly, Event Planners save you money. Yes, you pay an Event Planner for their services, but, they will save you a significant amount of money along the way. Event Planners often get direct savings from vendors that they pass along to you as their client. Sometimes the discounts are even as much as 15%-20%. As a quick example, we work with a Florist who gives us a 15% discount. We pass that along to you, and your floral bill just went from $2,000.00 to $1,700.000. We also work with a venue who gives us 20% off per person. So the original bill of $16,500 ($110.00/person x 150 people) is now down to $13,200. Even if you got our most expensive package which starts at $2,000.00, your savings are now over $3,600.00, which covers our services plus more savings for you.

keep-calm-and-save-money-15

Photo From: Fab Brunette 

It is well worth it to hire an Event or Wedding Planner for your big day to make sure you have a unique event while saving time, money, and stress.

Contact us today to schedule a complimentary consultation to discuss how we can help make your dreams a reality!

Wedding Wednesday!

Happy Wedding Wednesday!

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This week we wanted to talk about photography, a very important topic for many couples.

Memories of your wedding day are sometimes fuzzy from all of the love and joy (and let’s be honest, a little stress too!) you are surrounded by. It is so important to have a photographer you trust to capture all of the special moments for you to relive.

We recommend you start your search for a photographer as early as possible. In Southeastern, PA, which is where we do most of our work, we find photographers are being booked for prime wedding season dates ( later in March-early October) between 10-12 months ahead of time. This does not mean you can’t find an amazing photographer closer to your wedding date, it just means you may have to spend more time searching.

To start your search for a photographer, we highly recommend searching sites like Pinterest to see what style of photography you are drawn to. While there is no strict terminology for different styles of Wedding Photography, the more common classifications are Traditional or Classic, Photojournalist, Illustrative Photography, Portraiture, High Fashion, and Natural Light. Check out this article on Here Comes the Bride for more information on what these terms mean and for links to examples. Currently, Natural Light and Photojournalistic approaches to wedding photos are very hot trends. A Natural Light photographer doesn’t use a flash or other means to create light, they rely strictly on natural light to create amazing photos.

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Photo From: Deus Photography 

A photographer who utilizes a photojournalistic style captures candid moments and doesn’t rely on posing or directing to get shots. One of the finest Photojournalism photographers in the Philadelphia area is Ron Soliman Photojournalism. Check out this amazing shot:

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Photo from: Ron Soliman Photojournalism

Once you have found a style you like, we recommend you reach out to your Event Planner to help you narrow down your search. Chances are they will have worked with many photographers and can help point you in the direction of someone who has the style you are looking for that is within your budget. Speaking of budget, the traditional allotment for Photography is around 10%-12% of your total budget. Of course, there is an amazing photographer to be found for every budget, this is strictly a baseline.

If you do not have an Event Planner to guide you in your search, you can use sites like The KnotWeddingbee, and Wedding Wire to help you search potential photographers portfolios, style, packages, and pricing options. We have also found photographers by contacting  The University of the Arts school in Philadelphia and The Art Institute of Philadelphia. The Department Heads at the school can often direct you to students who are very talented. It’s a win-win for everyone. The student gets a great experience, they can often earn credits for school, it is great for their portfolio, and they earn some extra money. It is also great for you because you get a photographer who has a fresh eye and all of the most up-to-date training available. You also get the satisfaction of helping a student start their career, which is pretty amazing. Did we mention this also typically comes at a lesser price too?

Once you have found several photographers you like, the next step is to set up meetings. At the meeting, you should take this time to really interview the person. You want someone you can easily relate to, feel comfortable with, and trust. After all, this person will be responsible for capturing one of the most important days of your life. We recommend you bring a list of questions asking them about their style, portfolio, past experience, what they look for in shots, what is included with their packages, how long they shoot for, and what additional options they offer. Get specifics like rights to the pictures, number of prints, proof book, album options, etc in writing.

It is common for photographers to include an engagement session in their package and we highly recommend you take advantage of it. Not only is it a great way to get some really nice pictures of you and your soon-to-be spouse, but it is an opportunity to get to know the photographer and learn to be comfortable in front of the camera together. Don’t be afraid to ask for specific shots and ask a lot of questions.

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This is one of my favorite shots from my engagement session with Life Images, Inc.

We hope this post has been helpful for you. If you are looking for a great photographer, let us know. We would love to help you find the perfect photographer! Contact us today!

Baby Shower Trends

There have been some really amazing trends in Baby Showers over the last several years. In our humble opinion, there is nothing quite like celebrating a beautiful mother-to-be and her child. We know a lot of people who are expecting, so we thought this would be the perfect time to share some of these trends with you!

1) Baby Sprinkle- This is one that has been growing in popularity over the last 4-5 years. A Sprinkle is a type of shower for women expecting a child other than their first. It used to be that an expectant Mother only got a shower for her first child as it was considered “tacky” to have more than one shower.  A Sprinkle is different from a traditional shower as guests typically bring diapers and wipes and a small gift card or children’s book, instead of the traditionally larger gifts found at a regular shower. Sprinkles also tend to have much larger guest lists that include both men and women and usually other children. Some people also choose to make the soon-to-be big brother/sister(s) the focus of the event by having a special cake and gift for them.  A Sprinkle is a great way to celebrate the birth of another miracle, because after all, there is nothing more precious than a child!

baby-sprinkle-confetti

Photo from: Occasions Online

2) Gender Reveal Party– This is another one you are probably familiar with, as many people are choosing to find out the gender of their child(ren) and sharing the news with everyone. There are many fantastic ways to reveal the Gender to your family and friends at the party, such as; cutting a cake to reveal pink or blue, releasing balloons from a box that are pink or blue, having confetti drop that is pink or blue, or having the soon-to-be Grandparents open cards with a letter on each one (B-O-Y-! or G-I-R-L) to name a few. One we personally love is this “It’s Time” Gender Reveal Party. Clocks are the centerpiece of this theme and  it incorporates neutral and aqua tones with some sparkle! Our favorite part is the mock cuckoo clock they made. They pre-recorded a cuckoo clock noise that was set on alarm to go off at a specific time during the party. A friend was the only one to know the gender and they clipped a piece of paper to the clock revealing the answer. When the clock sounded, their son ran over to read the gender to everyone. We think it’s a sweet way to incorporate the big-brother-to-be and a beautiful theme.

Its time

Photo from: Project Nursery

3) Grandma Shower– This one is much newer in baby shower trends, but we are seeing an increasing number of people interested in hosting one. The first Grandchild is a very exciting moment in most Grandparents’ lives. Why not have a special celebration for the Grandmother-to-be? People are choosing to have a party for the Grandmother-to-be and shower her with gifts like a diaper bag, diapers and wipes, a pack and play, books, and a few outfits to have at her house for when her new grandchild comes to visit. We are even seeing combined showers for the Mother-to-be and the Grandmother-to-be. We think this is incredibly touching and a wonderful tribute. What do you think?

Grandmother shower

Photo From: Crafter Hours Blog

4) Cash Registry Shower– Another recent trend, mothers-to-be are registering online at places like Deposit A Gift instead of traditional stores. Deposit A Gift allows mothers-to-be to say what types of things they want to buy and the attendees get to contribute towards whatever they want and then print a coupon reflecting what they contributed towards. What is especially great about this type of registry is the coupons are exchanged for cash, not the specific item. If the mother-to-be changes her mind and decides she really doesn’t like the Mickey Mouse themed room and wants to go with Winnie-the-Pooh, she can do that without having to take back everything guests purchased for her. It’s also a great idea for those expecting Mothers who choose not to find out the gender of their child. With this registry, they can buy whatever they need after the child is born. What would you think if you were invited to a Cash Registry Shower?

deposit a gift

Photo From: Angel Co

What are your favorite shower trends?

If you are interested in having Events by Victoria Lee help you plan the perfect shower, please contact us today!