Monday, December 15, 2008

Sneak Preview "Unique Wedding Invitation"

Check out this great idea I found over on J.Bailey Occasions. I fell in love with this cool Save the Date card, which is designed to look like a movie premier poster, featuring guess who? That's right, you the happy couple. Trust me your guests will not toss this aside or forget where they put it. It's absolutley a wonderful concept, especially for couples who are movie buffs.

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Rules of Engagement - (Engaging a Wedding Planner, That Is)

As a Wedding Planner it is my job to see to it that you have a flawless wedding. But let's face it, there is no such thing as flawless, at least not in the world of wedding planning. The harsh but true reality is that some things will not go according to plan. However, as a professional planner (and I stress professional), my job is to operate under the assumption that the best plan is plan B and in some cases, C, D and F, so that no one will ever be the wiser that catastrophe prevention is taking place behind the scenes. Therefore it seems to me that when thinking about hiring a wedding planner, the question should not be if you should hire one, but rather what you should be considering in the planner you do choose to hire.

Rule #1 Be Sure To Hire A Planner Whose Personality Compliments Your Own
Simply put, you should like your planner. Generally speaking, your planner will spend hours with you as you go through the planning process together. You want to make sure this time is spent with someone you get along with, someone who understands your vision for your day, and someone you trust, which brings me to rule #2

Rule #2 Trust Your Wedding Planner’s Judgment
Although each wedding is different, yours is not the first wedding your planner has planned. Because she or he is a skilled professional, they will be able to determine what will and will not work to make your wedding day run smoothly. Trust their judgment and suggestions. After all, their expertise in executing beautiful events is one of the benefits of hiring a professional wedding planner.

Rule #3 Communicate Your Vision and Make Sure Your Wedding Planner Is On The Same Page, and Does Not Have Their Own Agenda
You have been dreaming of this day forever, so it's important to be able to articulate the vision you have for the most important day of your life. Your planner should not dismiss your wishes or push her own ideas. Of course, there will be times when your planner will make suggestions that based on her experience will help things to run smoother, but those suggestions should be made to make what you have envisioned better, not different.

Rule #4 Be Realistic In Your Expectations
Although your planner is working for you and on your behalf, you are not her only client. Also remember, your planner has a life outside of planning your wedding. Calling her 50 times a day or at unacceptable hours because you can't make up your mind about where to seat your favorite aunt is not a realistic expectation of what the role of a wedding planner is.

Rule #5: Make Sure You Are Ready, Willing, and Able To Relinquish Some of the Control
By this I mean, let your planner do the job you hired her/him to do. So often brides hire a planner and then proceed to do all the work themselves. If you wish to do the planning, my suggestion would be for you to do it, and bring in a Day-Of -Coordinator to carry out the plans you have made for your wedding day.

To avoid a situation where planning your wedding becomes a nightmare and your wedding planner is featured as Freddy (from "Nightmare on Elm Street"), keep these "rules of engagement" in mind when seeking the assistance of a wedding planner to help make your day an Affair To Remember!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Selecting Your Attendants

A word of caution here, keep in mind that those who stand with you on your wedding day are a representation of you. Please choose your attendants with care. Be cautious about choosing out of obligation or duty. You'll want to select people who love you and have your best interest at heart, and you'll need to have people who are supportive, reliable and willing to lend a helping hand. This sounds like a no brainer, but you'd be surprised at the ugliness that rears its head during the planning: jealousy, sabotage, and the oh so familiar premadona attitudes. Questions to ask yourself when making your choice:
Why am I asking this person to stand up with me at my wedding?
What part of my life has s/he shared?
Will I be happy (or irritated) by this person's presence?

The bottom line is to choose people who you have shared your life with, those who live in your heart and share your dreams for a life of love and happiness.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Post Election Day Tag

I've been tagged by my colleague Randi Martin at Always Fabulous Events. The topic is Election Day Experience. This was one of those moments you'll never forget where you were when you heard the news. Of course everyone had a different, yet memorable experience this election day, and I am interested to know yours.

Here are the instructions: answer the questions below and tag at least 3 other people and indicate them in your tag. Let's keep it going.

1. Did you vote?
2. In which state are you registered?
3. What time did you go to the polls?
4. How long was your wait?
5. Did you incur any problems?
6. What was your reaction when you heard the news that Barack Obama won?
7. Who was the first person you shared your reaction with?
8. Who will you tag ?

Here are my answers.

1. Absolutely
2. Pennsylvania
3. 6:45 A.M.
4. I don't know what my official number was in line, but I estimated that I was number 150. Once the line started moving it took 35 minutes to get into the booth to cast my vote.
5. Everything went exceptionally smooth. There were no problems. Perhaps everyone was on their P's and Q's because CNN was broadcasting from our polling location.
6. When I heard the news, I sat up in bed, and gave all praise, honor and glory to God.
7. I called my sister who lives in New York. She had turned off the news because she was too nervous to watch, so I was able to break the awesome news to her. I on the other hand had no doubt.
8. I'm going to tag:
Nicole @ Your Champagne Wishes Events, LLC.
Sony @ Bridal Bliss
J. Bride @ The JTA Experience

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Oh Happy Day

Yes we can, and yes we did! A change is here, hope has a new face and the future is now. I am still reeling over the history making victory of Barack Obama being elected as the first black President of the United States of America.
Although we as a people (black people) are experiencing a sense of euphoria over witnessing this historic event, for me, and I think I speak for most in saying that this is absolutely not about skin color, but as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said in his "I Have A Dream" speech, it's about the content of his character.
Barack Obama ran a pristine campaign. He stayed on target, he did not stoop to name calling and mud slinging, and he spoke to the needs of the American people offering a plan to heal a hurting nation. I believe he will be a great president, and I hope you will join me in praying for him and his family over the next four years (and beyond) as he leads us in the right direction. Praise the Lord, and God Bless America.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

FALLing In Love - Inspiration Board #4

Fall is my favorite season and October is my favorite month. I love the coolness of the breeze in the air and the beauty of the changing colors of the leaves. I also believe that October has become the new June as a very popular wedding month. So in honor of Fall and October, I hope you enjoy this inspiration board which showcases the beauty of Fall, and gives wonderful planning ideas for your fall nuptials. Although I can't take credit for creating this board, which I found on, I hope to be able to inspire your creative juices to flow as you begin to plan for your wedding.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Make A Note Of This

Finding useful favor ideas is a job in and of itself. I think this little notebook wedding favor, which I found on the, is a great idea. They are perfect to keep in the car or your purse or just about anywhere. They can be personalized with your choice of color and "LOVE NOTE" label with your names and wedding date. Each time your guests reach for this practical favor, they'll think of you and the beauty of your special day. Now how cute is that?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Hair Comes The Bride

Ladies, on an ordinary day our hair is our crown. Let's face it, we just feel better when our hair looks good and is behaving nicely. A bad hair day is definitely not something you want on your wedding day. I found these great bridal hair tips over on, and thought I'd post them to help with better planning for your do before you say "I do".

Six months before your wedding, have a major consultation with your stylist. Bring along your headpiece and a picture of the dress if possible. The more the stylist knows about the mood of your wedding, the better he/she can create the perfect hairstyle.
During the "test run," walk around with the hairstyle you plan to wear to determine it's comfort level. A good rule of thumb is: the simpler, the better, since pins can hurt, and intricate styles are often delicate.
Consider the time of day and type of wedding when choosing a style. Loose styles are appropriate for informal or daytime weddings, while up-dos portray a formal, evening look.

Remember that some hairstyles can add inches to a bride's height, and shorter brides may want to use this to their advantage.
Do not have any chemical treatments the day of the wedding. That is not the time for surprises!
Hair color looks its best during the first two weeks. So have hair colored a week or two weeks before the wedding.
If a permanent wave is necessary, have it done a month prior to the wedding. Hair that is too fine and over-conditioned does not style well, so deep conditioning treatments should not be used within four days of the wedding.
For best styling results, shampoo hair lightly the day before the wedding and if possible, do not wash hair the day of the wedding.
Stylist do their best work in their own environment with their own tools, so have your wedding party meet at the salon a couple of hours before they need to be at the ceremony for pictures. This increases efficiency, (and usually cost less!)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

It's In The Bag

I saw this adorable bridal bag at Simply Beautiful Words, and thought is was the cutest thing in the world. What bride wouldn't want to carry such a beautiful bag, which elegantly announces her bridal status?

For that matter, who among us wouldn't want to carry this unique and stylish bag, which gives the world a glimpse into our sense of fashion savvy? Visit the designer Dionne Green at Susej Design, LLC to see these beautiful creations. She only makes 100 of each design in her limited edition. Why not be one of the fashion forward few to own one of these beautiful bags? I sure am.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Pink and Green...Suh-weet - Inspiration Board #3

Okay, for all the AKA's out's one for you. Enjoy!

Everythings Coming Up Roses - Inspiration Board #2

Stating the obvious, this inspiration board was inspired by roses - the flower of love. In choosing a theme, the idea is to carry it throughout the components of your wedding. This board shows how using something as simple as roses can create a sense of harmony in your design element. Keep in mind that the idea of a theme is not to go for overkill, but to tell a story in an cohesive and unified manner.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Yay...Tag, I'm It!

This is too cool. I've been tagged by Katasha of K Sherrie + Company. Okay, I confess. I asked to play and she was kind enough to oblige (thank you). I admit it. I'm big on playing games, so here it goes. I saw this Dot…Dot…Dot list on Affairs With Elegance blog, and thought I'd make it my tag topic.

Here are the rules.
1. Link to the person who tagged you and post the rules on your blog.
2. Copy the following list, clear the information following the dots, and insert your answers to complete the sentence.
3. Tag 4 random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs
4. Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog

I AM…fearfully and wonderfully made
I WANT…to be one of the featured planners on Whose Wedding Is It Anyway
I HAVE…an addiction to books
I KEEP…a notebook and pen on me at all times to jot down ideas that come to me
I WISH I COULD… plan Oprah's next birthday bash…or better yet…her WEDDING!
I HATE…taking out the trash
I FEAR…the Lord
I HEAR…music in my head
I DON'T THINK…I'll ever get used to text messaging
I REGRET…very little (everything I've experienced…the good, the bad, and the ugly has made me who I am)
I LOVE…my family and friends
I AM NOT…shy
I DANCE…every chance I get
I SING…in the car, in the shower, at work…you name it
I NEVER…let a day go by without telling my mother that I love her
I RARELY…have two bad days in a row
I CRY WHEN I WATCH…"Imitation of Life" (Lakendra, of Affairs With Elegance and I share this one)
I AM NOT ALWAYS…right, and will admit it, when I'm wrong
I HATE THAT…there is so much violence in the world
I'M CONFUSED ABOUT… what people did before cell phones…why is it that in a crowd of 10, every other person is on their cell phone….I don't get it…is anyone talking face-to-face anymore?
I NEED…another vacation
I SHOULD…exercise more

Wow…that was fun. Okay let's see, who should I tag? I think I'll tag the planners of 4 of my favorite blogs…tag, you're IT!

Isis of Destination…Soiree
Randi of Always A Fabulous Event
Aimee of Creative Odd's and End
Tish of The Diva's Thoughts

Monday, October 6, 2008

Fairytales Do Come True

Wedding Date: October 18, 1992

Their love story began in 1989, when they met. She worked in a downtown law firm. He was a summer associate from Harvard. She was assigned to be his advisor, and as it turned out, he didn’t have much of an interest in corporate law, but he certainly had an interest in something, or should I say someone…and her name was Michelle.

I adore this couple, not just because they will be the first African American President and First Lady of the United States (that’s right, I’m claiming it), but because they are a couple with strong family values, who model what marriage is all about. They are solid in their faith, and they understand the importance of respecting, supporting, and communicating, with each other. Although they have extremely hectic schedules, they know that making time for each other is the number one priority for them and their family. I’ve collected a few quotes from the Obama’s on the subject of marriage and family to bring home this point.

Marriage Obama Style

Barack Obama speaking about time with Michelle
“What I realize as I get older is that Michelle is less concerned about me giving her flowers than she is that I’m doing things that are hard for me – carving out time. That to her is proof, evidence that I’m thinking about her. She appreciates the flowers, but her romance is that I’m actually paying attention to things that she cares about, and time is always an important factor.”
Source: Lynn Norment, Ebony, “The Hottest Couple in America”, February 2007, page 52-54

Michelle Obama speaking about Sundays as family time
“People ask how I’m handling his being away, and I say he’s home more now than when he was running [for office]. He’s breaking his neck to get home on the weekends.”
Source: Ebony, March 2006 v61 i5 p58(4)

Barack about being present with his family
“It’s important that when I’m home to make sure that I’m present, and I still forget stuff. As Michelle likes to say, ‘You are a good man, but you are still a man.’ I leave my socks around. I’ll hang my pants on the door. I leave newspapers laying around. But she lets me know when I’m not acting right. After 14 years, she’s trained me reasonably well.”
Source: Lynn Norment, Ebony, “The Hottest Couple in America”, February 2007, page 52-54

Michelle about fidelity in their marriage
“I never worry about things I can’t affect, and with fidelity…that is between Barack and me, and if somebody can come between us, we didn’t have much to begin with.”
Source: Ebony, March 2006 v61 i5 p58(4)

“If I ever thought this was ruining my family, I wouldn’t do it.”
Source: Sandra Sobieraj Westfall, “The Obamas Get Personal”, People, August 4, 2008, page 57

“Time and love and sacrifice and struggles make you stronger.”
Source: Sandra Sobieraj Westfall, “The Obamas Get Personal”, People, August 4, 2008, page 57

So, as the story continues, after refusing for a month to go out with him, Michelle agreed to dinner and a movie. The movie they saw was “Do The Right Thing”, and you know what, Barack Obama absolutely did the right thing, by marrying a strong, beautiful, articulate, intelligent, supportive, and stylish Michelle Obama, and now just look at him. He’s about to be the next President of the United States, and you know what they say, behind every great man…you go Michelle.

Now this is love and it's a beautiful thing!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

The Art Of Asking

Being asked to be in a wedding is a tremendous honor. I found these adorable cards on Etsy.
What a creative way to ask your attendants to be a part of your big day. These cute little note cards can be customized to coordinate with your wedding colors.
You can present these cards to your wedding party in a formal setting by inviting them to a dinner party, and placing the cards at each place setting. You could also surprise them by sending them in the mail. It sure beats receiving yet another bill, don't you think? The ways in which to ask your wedding party to be a part of your special day are limited only by your imagination. As you'll often hear me say, love is in the details. Why not make your attendants feel extra special by using a little creativity in asking them to stand up with you at your wedding?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

What Do You Do When You Can't Go To Egypt?

Today on Oprah, she interviewed the cast of the new movie "The Secret Life of Bee's".
Queen Latifah, Dakota Fanning, Alicia Keys, Jennifer Hudson and Sophie Okonedo, are all stunningly beautiful, accomplished and successful in their careers. But just like the rest of us, life sometimes gets overwhelming and out of control for them too. Alicia and Queen Latifah both had an opportunity to go to Egypt. For Alicia it was about getting away from the busyness and craziness of her life to be refreshed and renewed. Oprah asked the ladies this question: "What do you do when you can't go to Egypt?" I love this question, because I can certainly relate to needing to be refreshed and renewed from the craziness of my own life. So, what do you do when you need to center yourself and recharge, and can't go to Egypt to do it? Well, we all need to find something to restart our batteries. Here is a small sampling of what I do:

Mornings are my most sacred time. It's the time before the rest of the world starts to vie for my attention. I use this time for daily devotions and prayer.

I'm very careful about letting other people plan my schedule for me. I fiercely guard my time and I am learning to say no to those things which don't line up with the goals I have for my life.

I don't allow other people to "should" on me. You know what I mean, you "should" do this or you "should" do that. I should do exactly the things that I have decided to do, with no input from others who mean well and a few who don't.

When my life gets completely out of control, I turn off all phones for a day. I know when the phone rings, it's someone needing something from me, which is okay most days, but at those times when I am completely spent and overwhelmed, I have to give myself time away from the phone and away from another request for my time and energy.

You get the idea. The lesson here is not just for celebrities, brides or the planners who love them. This lesson is for every human being who has a big life to learn how critical it is to our well being to be able to stop, recharge and reconnect to that which gives us strength and power to do all that we do and maintain our sanity in the process.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Thank You!

This past May, I planned a 40th birthday party for a dear friend, Vera Cleveland. The theme was White Linen 40th Birthday Celebration. Everyone wore white of course, and the décor was all white with some silver accents. The room was elegant and breathtaking, and the event was a huge smash. Vera and her guests are still talking about it. To me that is a sure sign of a successful event. Vera took the time to send me a beautiful thank you note, which I'd like to share.

Dear Stacey,

I just want to thank you so much for making my 40th birthday a great success. You know in life we have choices. You can choose Tiffany's or Zales, you can choose Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts, Ruth Chris Steak House or Outback, Lexus or Honda, Or you can choose Ordinary or Extraordinary. In my case I choose you, EXTRAORDINARY. You are the best and I would validate that statement at any given time.

You know when we had our initial consultation, I knew what I wanted and you were right there with me. We were on the same page. You saw the BIG picture. You brought out the best ideas. You made my event FABULOUS (like me) the way that I wanted it. The place was beautiful. It was breath taking when you walked in. You greeted the guests with a warm welcome. Even in my moments of panic you took control and made me feel that everything was going to be ok. And really it was.

You just keep doing what you do and God will truly continue to bless you. You have a warm and loving heart and you make things better even when they don’t seem like it.

I enjoyed working with you and I look forward to working with you in the near future.

Love and blessing,

Vera Cleveland

P.S. Start getting ideas ready for my 50th. That is really going to be out of this world. The theme is going to be 50 & Still Fabulous. (LOL) I am looking for the yacht at this present moment.


Vera, you are so welcome. I enjoyed working with you, and believe me, I'm looking forward to planning the next event!

Stay tuned for pictures.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Cut Cost Not Quality

Who doesn't want to have a beautiful wedding? I think it's safe to say that most, if not all couples have this as their ultimate goal. But with a beautiful wedding comes an extravagant price tag, right? Not necessarily. When planning a wedding or any type of event, it's important to remember that it's not all about how much money you have to spend. What makes the difference in having a beautiful wedding and not breaking your pockets to do so, is how you spend the money you have. Following are a few cost cutting ideas to consider when planning that beautiful wedding, without going to the poor house to do it.

Dress For Less
Shop wholesale
Check out E-bay for gowns
Consider renting vs. purchasing
Have gown made
Consider wearing an evening gown vs. a “wedding” gown
Shop for Bridesmaids dress after New Years or during prom season
Shop David’s Bridal $99 sale
Check out Jessica McClintock stores
Purchase a simple plain gown or dress and dress it up yourself with appliqués, trimming etc.
Consider purchasing a sample gown
Check out thrift shops or consignment stores
Borrow a dress
Buy shoes in summer where white shoes are everywhere and avoid purchasing “wedding” shoes
For the groom: Consider wearing a suit vs. tuxedo

Smile Pretty For The Camera
Don’t pinch pennies on photography
Use contracted time for ceremony & reception – forgo the at home pictures. Have friend or family member snap these shots
Have photographer take pictures at ceremony, photo location, and a few detailed reception shots. (Eliminate the need for at home pictures or staying during the entire reception)
Schedule cake cutting, dancing and bouquet and garter toss early and release photographer early
Provide disposable cameras to be used by family and friends to get candid shots at the reception

You're Invited
Print invitations yourself from computer
Consider purchasing standard, plain invitations, and dress them up yourself with photos, ribbon, etc.
Have a local printer or copy center print invitations from a disk provided by you
Use lightweight invitation cards with postcard response cards – to cut down on postage
Mail order or online order invitation vs. going to a printer

Party Time
Cut down the guest list
Serve juice and soda (non-alcoholic beverages) vs. liquor (dress them up to be beachy)
Serve cake and punch vs. a plated meal
Consider hiring student from the restaurant school to cater and serve as wait staff
Purchase your own liquor – wholesale (Make sure facility will allow you to bring in your own liquor) – Also you still need to have a professional bartender
Ask caterer about cheaper alternatives regarding desired menu

They're Playing Our Song
Play taped music vs. having a DJ or Band
Designate a friend or family member to play CD’s

Let Them Eat Cake
Purchase a plain cake and decorate it yourself
Have a sheet cake vs. a tier cake
Get a small decorative cake for pictures and supplement it with a sheet cake
Have a friend or family member who bakes make the cake as a present
Consider having a tower of cupcakes with your initials on them to serve as cake and favors

Tip Toe Through The Tulips
Consider carrying one tropical stem with ribbon vs. bouquets
Let the venue stand on its own – take advantage of the site’s décor
Consider candles or small arrangements vs. elaborate flowers as centerpieces
Consider using local in season flowers
Use lots of greenery and filler and accent with just a few flowers
Opt for a small and simple bouquet
Forgo purchasing a toss bouquet – toss one flower from your bouquet, or toss the whole thing if you are not going to preserve it
Combine fresh flowers with silk flowers
Bride bouquet – fresh flowers, all others silk
Buy in bulk from Cosco’s, Sams, BJ’s
Purchase from a grocery or produce store
Use small Styrofoam balls decorated with flowers or seashells vs. bouquet for bridesmaids

Do Me A Favor
Make donation to a charity in each guest’s name
Favors and trinkets get left behind. Choose something meaningful and something guests will use

Have a family member with an upscale car chauffer you
Rent a car vs. a limo

With This Rings
Purchase from a wholesale jeweler
Consider purchasing rings from the Estate case
Consider catalog shopping

Etc. Etc. Etc.
Purchase your own make-up and have a friend or coordinator do your make-up
Have make-up and hair done by beauty school student
Ask around to see if anyone can donate to your cause – perhaps as a gift – either in service or lending you materials for decorations, etc.
Guest book – use a beautiful journal vs. “wedding” guest book
Utilize Coordinators knife, server, basket, pillow, glasses, etc.
Regarding the above items, do not purchase any “wedding” items – much cheaper to purchase these items not attached to the term ‘wedding” and dress them up yourself

Sunday, September 21, 2008

101 Facts About Me

1. I am a Christian
2. I believe in and love the Lord Jesus Christ
3. My Mother is my best friend
4. I love to read
5. I'm a creature of habit
6. My favorite movie is "Pretty Woman"
7. My favorite colors are yellow and purple
8. I am a middle child
9. I am a hopeless romantic
10. I love all things wedding
11. I was born in 1976…oops I mean 1967 (-:
12. I'm a stickler for being on time
13. My favorite number is 21
14. I'm 5'7" tall
15. I've never broken a bone in my body
16. As long a I can remember, I've wanted to own my own business
17. I love Oprah Winfrey
18. I drive a Honda Civic
19. My pet peeve is people who don't take responsibility for their own actions
20. I will break out in song anytime any place
21. I like to do Sudoku puzzles
22. I've been friends with my best friend Sonya for over 27 years
23. I like country western music
24. I eat chicken everyday
25. I have two sisters: Stephanie and Candie
26. I am a Dallas Cowboy fan
27. Although I live in Philadelphia, I cannot stand the Philadelphia Eagles
28. I like hot cake and cold pie
29. I'm a chocoholic
30. I like dogs (the smaller the better)
31. I don't like cats, I think they're sneaky
32. I took my first cruise this year, and now I'm hooked
33. My anchor bible verse is Romans 8:28 (look it up for yourself)
34. I'm very fickle (it drives my friends and family crazy)
35. My middle name is Mellynn (my mother liked the spelling)
36. My aunt Sweet Pea named me Stacey
37. I can't stand to be hot
38. Even though I need to do more of it, I hate working out
39. I recently lost 30lbs.
40. I'm a music lover
41. I wouldn’t mind going on vacation alone (in fact I think I'll do that next year)
42. I enjoy my own company
43. I like to make people laugh
44. I hate constant complainers (not the people but the act of complaining…it reveals an ungrateful spirit)
45. I get excited about each new bride & groom I plan a wedding for as though they were my first client
46. Although I love shoes, I hate wearing fact they are the first things I kick off when I come through the door
47. I'm an organized person
48. I'm a pack rat (is that an oxymoron?)
49. I'm good at what I do as a wedding/event planner
50. Secretly, I'm very competitive
51. My favorite ice cream is Butter Pecan
52. I go to the 6:30a.m Sunday morning Worship Service
53. When I was 14/15 I packed my bags to run away to marry Erik Estrada
54. My girlfriend Gail who does my hair, named my alter ego Stasha, because that's who emerges when my hair is done
55. My signature scent is Cherry Blossom from Bath & Body Works (thanks Donny for turning me on to it)
56. I've kept a diary since I was 12
57. I will meet Oprah Winfrey before I die
58. I love corny jokes (the cornier the better)
59. I refuse to get a PDA (I'm going to always stick to paper)
60. I have a burden for women and girls with low self-esteem (we are all fearfully and wonderfully made)
61. I am not a morning person
62. My favorite cartoon character is Lucy from Charlie Brown (I just wish she would let poor Charlie Brown kick the football…just once)
63. My favorite wedding planners on Whose Wedding Is It Anyway are Linnyette Richardson-Hall (The WeddingDIVA) and Mary Dann
64. I'm the life of the party…in fact, the party doesn't start until I arrive!
65. I'm deathly afraid of mice, rats, (anything with a tail)
66. I believe in "me time", and I believe you have to take it, because no one is going to give it to you
67. I love to take long drives on beautiful Spring and Fall days
68. I hate text messaging (I can call you and say what I have to say quicker than I can text it)
69. I'm confused about what people did before cell phones. Why is it that in a crowd of 10, every other person is on their cell phone? I don't get it….and it's just plain rude
70. I hate to admit it, but I am an emotional eater...Admitting it is the first step(-:
71. My favorite season of the year is Fall
72. If I should ever get married, I will plan for an October wedding
73. My nick names are: Stacey-Lacey, Stacey-Lacey-McPacy, Miss Stace, Strick, Strickee, Miss Thang, The Queen, Baby O, Face, Stacwa, Stasha, Auntee, Diva, The Brat, Hollywood, Fabulous, Wedding Planner Extraordinaire and recently in Dunkin Donuts, a perfect stranger named me Cherry Blossom…I like that
74. I've been on one blind date (and that's all it took…never again)
75. My most productive day of the week is Friday…I know that's strange
76. My favorite type of movie is a romantic comedy of course
77. I hate making small talk
78. My favorite book is…oh who am I kidding, there are way too many to count
79. I tend to be a workaholic
80. I don't make excuses, I make things happen
81. I equate myself to a swan, because on the surface they are beautiful, calm and graceful, but underneath the water, their little feet are paddling like crazy to get to where they are going. That's how I feel most days
82. I love babies
83. I'm Just A Bill is my favorite School House Rock (but isn't it everybodies?)
84. Did I say I love Oprah (-:
85. My favorite flower is a tulip
86. I enyoy writing
87. My favorite subject in school was art
88. My least favorite subject was and still is math….yuk!
89. Staying in bed all day is one of my guilty pleasures
90. I am an HGTV junkie
91. I cried on my 30th birthday and rejoiced on my 40th (what a difference a decade makes)
92. I absolutely love fish, they calm me
93. I love the water (can't swim a lick, but it calms me too)
94. As I've gotten older, I believe that when it comes to make-up, less is more
95. I've been planning weddings for over 14 years
96. While everyone's eyes are on the bride as she makes her entrance, I always look to see the groom's expression….it's priceless
97. I want to take ballroom dancing lessons
98. I hate drinking out of plastic cups
99. I jump start my morning with a cup of Dunkin Donuts coffee, medium extra, extra
100. Blogging has become my new obsession
101. It's not easy being me….but no one else can do it better (-:

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Who Should You Invite?

In my 14 years of planning weddings, it has been my experience that the number one area of contention between the bride and groom during the planning process is the dreaded guest list (second only to the budget of course)! To help ease the stress of deciding who to invite, and hopefully eliminate those awkward disagreements in front of your wedding planner (wink, wink), following are some tips to consider when developing your guest list:

• Remember, the idea is to surround yourself with the people in your life who are the nearest and dearest to you. Your weddings is no place for mere acquaintances or strangers.

• Keep in mind that the number of guest you invite will affect the cost of your wedding and where you want to hold the ceremony and reception.

Steps To Developing Your List

1. Start with close friends and family and expand from there.
2. Determine if single guests will be allowed to invite an escort to the wedding.
3. Will children be welcomed to attend?
4. Keep in mind your budget, location, and desired ambience.
5. Keep a list of those you would like to invite (B List) but can’t due too constraints such as budget, room size, etc. As people send back their regrets (from A List), mail out additional invitations (from B List). Expect that perhaps 25% of those invited will not be able to attend.
6. Discuss how many names the groom, bride, grooms family, and brides family will be allowed to contribute to the guest list. Try to divide the list evenly between bride and groom. Each parent should be able to invite 1/3 of the guests.
7. Remember, the invitation list should include immediate family, officient, wedding party, and their guests.
8. Think about this: How many of the 300 people you have on your list, have you actually seen or spoken to in the last 5 years? Humm….

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Good Night, Sleep Tight

I have been inspired by one of my favorite blogs, Hostess With The Mostess, and I can't wait to plan my next baby shower using this adorable "Bedtime Story" theme. I'm telling you, this idea is too cute! I wish I could take credit for coming up with this idea. Check out the tables which have been decorated to look like beds. That's simply a genius! The other suggested decorating idea of using framed pictures of sleeping babies brought Anne Geddes to mind. You know she takes the best pictures of all those precious babies posed in cute outfits and different props. Just think of what a wonderful conversation piece this idea would be in addition to serving as a unique decoration element.

Oh, and let's not forget to include your favorite bedtime story. Do you remember what it was? Mine was "The Little Engine That Could". I think I can, I think I can, I think I can...I knew I could, I knew I could, I knew I could...

Oops, sorry I digress, but you get the idea. So much can be done with this idea, and I can't wait to get started.