Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Choosing Your Wedding Cake

A few years ago, one of my clients' number one topic for her wedding was the cake. The cake was more important than the venue, photographer, music or flowers. She said she attended a friend's wedding and the cake was so delicious, that is what she remembered above everything else. She wanted her wedding to be remembered for the fabulous cake.
When I planned my wedding (over 13 years ago), wedding cake cost around $3.50 per slice and you didn't have many options. We had a small budget, and cake was not at the top of the list for items to spend our money. I was not a huge cake fan, but I had never before tasted excellent cake. So, we ordered a cake from Albertson's, which turned out delicious and beautiful. I never had another thought about it until I became a coordinator and tasted fresh, made from scratch, astounding cake. And believe me, even in this small town, there are some phenomenal bakers. Several create these confections for close the $2.00 per slice, and they are well worth their price in gold. Who are these bakers? You'll have to ask me to find out, but I guarantee, you won't be disappointed!
If I had to do it all over again, I still don't think I would put the cake as high of a priority as Ricci and Jason , but I would definitely hire one of my favorite ladies to produce my wedding cake. My only dilemma now would be which one I would choose! It makes my mouth water just imagining it!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Setting the Date for your Wedding

Selecting the perfect date for your wedding can be quite a headache! There are so many aspects to consider. The most important one is knowing if the venue you most adore is available during the time you desire to speak your nuptials. After that, you can choose your other favorite vendors and hope for the best! One way to almost guarantee that you can pick your preferred choices is to have several weekends available on your end to choose from. It may prove easier to line everyone up if there are diverse options from which to choose.
A recently engaged friend told his fiancée that they could get married any weekend in March EXCEPT the first weekend of the NCAA tournament. This may make some brides cringe, but considering your intended husbands feelings on the matter is a great beginning for your future as husband and wife. Some other sport related affairs to consider are home football games. That may sound strange to some, but we live in Aggieland, and if you try to plan your big event on a home game weekend, you will not be able to book hotel rooms for your out of town guests.
In spite of the many available options that can seem overwhelming, it is certain that you will be able to nail down a date that will work for the most important people in your life. Be open to ideas and suggestions just in case that perfect weekend isn't available at the perfect venue with the perfect photographer. Keep your eyes on the prize, which in this case, is saying, "I do" to the love of your life.

Erin Joyner Wedding Planner Bryan/College Station

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Another Cake Rescue Story

When I attend a wedding that I did not coordinate, I struggle. It is difficult to sit and enjoy the ceremony without viewing it from an experienced and somewhat critical eye. Last night was one of those situations. I was looking forward to attending a wedding as a date night with my husband. It was at the Antique Rose Emporium (such a beautiful venue located between College Station and Brenham), there was going to be dancing, food and of course, my favorite; cake!
The ceremony started late, but ran fairly smoothly. The couple took pictures afterward and guests moved to the dining area for punch, cheese, fruit and crackers. Photos took a while as they often do, but eventually the bride and groom joined us. The minister prayed for our meal, and the DJ announced that the bridal party would be first in line. The first error I noticed was that the bride and groom never got in line. They were busy greeting guests and hugging everyone as the couple of the evening always do. However, one of my top priorities as a coordinator at the reception is to make sure that my bride and groom have time to sit and eat so that they can enjoy the meal they carefully selected for their guests. I don't want a fainting bride or groom!
After a long dining time (too drawn out, in my opinion) they cut the cake and immediately engaged in toasts. The toasts were emotional, extensive and touching. However, being the wedding planner that I am, my eyes and focus were on the cakes, which were NOT being carved by anyone. Once the toasts concluded, the cake table was still not being attended to, so my husband and I politely asked the maid of honor if anyone was supposed to cut the cake. She stated that there was no plan for this and the bride's mom had forgotten the cutting set. I kicked myself for not bringing my wedding emergency kit which contains a cake cutting set. But I was SUPPOSED to be a guest, right? I just couldn't help myself. I went to the caterer, got a plastic knife and serving spoon and began to cut and serve the cakes. I've become quite proficient at it; there really is a technique and skill to this age old tradition!
The rest of the reception, my husband and I danced, ate cake (of course) and enjoyed ourselves. We assisted the clean up crew which consisted of the family and close friends. For our efforts? Free cake, cheese cubes and ham. I've got four kids to feed: I'll take it!

You can read the story about my first "cake save" here: The Day I saved the cake!

Erin Joyner Wedding Coordinator Bryan/College Station

Friday, March 18, 2011

Who Toasts Whom?

Modern weddings and receptions often throw tradition out the window.However, many of my brides want to know what is conventionally done at particular parts of their ceremony. With that in mind, traditional toasts are as follows:

1) Father of the Bride greets the guests (since he traditionally is paying for this great party) and offers a toast to his daughter and new son-in-law
2) The Best Man toasts the bride and groom
3) The groom welcomes guests and thanks them for coming thus signaling that the party has begun after the feast has been partaken.

Personally, I like toasts to happen right before the cutting of the cake. Champaign glasses are often near the cake, and the cake-cutting is a big deal, so offering toasts at that time draws the attention of your guests to the confection table. Once you are there, you can kill two birds with one stone so to speak and avoid disrupting the guests' conversations more than necessary. [I have been to receptions where the DJ was on the microphone too many times and interrupted our dinner conversation.] So, I think the flow of toasting first, then cutting the cake is ideal to help your reception run smoothly.

So, what do I think of toasts which follow custom? Honestly, I desire to bring to fruition whatever the bride and groom want at their reception. So, if they want Dad, Best Man, Maid of Honor, brother, sister, etc. all to toast, then I think that's excellent. However, I will say, that too many toasts and opening up the microphone to any guest who wants to make a toast can lead to some awkward moments and long winded well wishes. In my opinion, it's better to stick with the traditional, possibly adding the Maid of Honor to the list and then move on to the cake. I prefer open-mic toasts and well wishes at a rehearsal dinner so that close friends and family of the Bride and Groom can feel free to speak from the heart and share old stories. It's simply a more intimate setting designed for speaking kind words to the guests of honor.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Outdoor Wedding near a Pond???

You'll want to watch this video if you are considering a ceremony which takes place near water...

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Life's Firsts

This post contains nothing about weddings. However, today, I experienced two firsts in my life. Premier number one: I began training for a Sprint Triathlon. I will be racing with three other girl friends and we are shooting for a race in the latter part of the summer. I am extremely excited and nervous at the same time. Today's preparation included a mile of running and also, well, walking. We completed a mile, though, which means we have two more miles until we have completed the run part of the tri. My second first: my cell phone was stolen. I struggle with feeling guilty about that aspect. How crazy is that? Someone invaded my personal belongings, and I feel partly to blame. Regardless of how I feel about it, it IS the first time I've knowingly had something stolen from me, and the first time I have started something as monumental as training for a triathlon, so I thought they were worthy blog topics. Amazingly, I just didn't have time to think about weddings today.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

TOMS has Wedding Shoes!

The TOMS shoe idea is incredible. Buy a pair of shoes from them, and they will donate a pair of shoes to a child in need. Of course, it's a marketing ploy, but I'm a big fan of Capitalism and this is the free market at it's best! So, I want to put a plug in for TOMS. They have a Wedding Collection. I've not bought a pair of TOMS yet, but everyone I know who owns them says they are extremely comfortable. So, why not take the money you would use to purchase a pair of uncomfortable high heeled shoes from a department store and buy some TOMS, which you really could wear later, and help a child in need receive a free pair of shoes? The line includes shoes for brides, bridesmaids, grooms, groomsmen and kids. You could just have a TOMS shoes themed wedding. That way, everyone's feet are adorned in adorable footwear, which don't hurt at the end of the night, and a child somewhere in the world won't have to walk incredible distances without adequate protection for their feet. Here's a link to their site:

Friday, March 11, 2011

Unique Wedding Reception Desserts

Spring Break is here, which means one of my favorite places, JJ's Snowcones, will be opening soon! So, why do I mention this in my wedding blog? One new trend I've noticed with my brides is the aspiration to have something unique in the way of desserts at their reception. Most brides desire a traditional wedding cake, but still want to have something for which their guests can clearly remember. Some examples: candy buffets, cheesecake, ice cream sundaes, chocolate fountains. My mouth is watering just thinking about all the options!
The owner of JJ's are personal friends of mine, and they recently purchased a new ice machine. The purpose of this acquisition was to take JJ's from the small hut on Villa Maria to anywhere in the city. Soon after this investment, they were hired to serve their snowcones at a wedding reception. Snowcones at your wedding reception; now THAT'S an anomalous idea! If you've never experienced the delectable, heavenly flavored ice at JJ's, give me a call. I'll set you up with some free cones and a sweet experience that will leave your taste buds screaming for more. As for your wedding guests; if you treat them to this savory indulgence, they'll fondly recall your reception as the day they were introduced to pure, dessert bliss.

Erin Joyner, Wedding Coordinator, Bryan/College Station, TX

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Rumor has it...

The rumors are flying surrounding the wedding dress designer of Kate Middleton, the future Queen of England. Who has been selected for this treasured honor? We don't know for sure, but sources are saying that Alexander McQueen has been given the nod. McQueen is well know for using bold, intense color and feathers.

One of his better known designs was worn by First Lady, Michelle Obama at a recent state dinner. Feathers and color wouldn't be fitting for the Royal Wedding, but one fact is certain... Kate will look amazing in whatever model she chooses.

Erin Joyner, Wedding Planner, Bryan/College Station, TX

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Comments on the Beta Centerpieces

Some of my friends commented about this post on facebook, so I wanted to share their comments with you in case you are thinking about using Beta Fish or other types of fish as part of your decor...

From Christy: "My friend Lori did those years ago and I had my beta (Lola) for years! It was great! Highly recommend!"

From Sarah: "My friends Lara and Topher did it at their wedding 3 1/2 years ago. It looked so great! They had an aquarium together while they were dating and still have it, so it was really meaningful. The cake was decorated like a coral reef, too!"

Erin Joyner, Wedding Planner, Bryan/College Station, TX

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Royal Wedding

I have enjoyed following the details of this event simply because I love weddings and I'm curious about how the rich and famous will celebrate their special days. In researching the particulars of William and Kate's wedding, I came across this website which does such a great job analyzing it, I thought I'd just reference it. weddings
I wonder if they'll need a fabulous and professional wedding coordinator from Texas to help with this amazing affair. I think I could find the time and resources to fly over to England. I've handled numerous mothers of the bride and groom. The Queen of England should be no problem :)!

Erin Joyner, Wedding Planner, Bryan/College Station, TX

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Something seems a little fishy....

Recently, my 8 year old purchased a 29 gallon fish tank and we began the journey of becoming fish owners. If any of you has ever owned a fish tank, you know that the tank has to go through a cycle to get the ammonia, nitrites and nitrates balanced so that fish can thrive. In order to do this, you are counseled to begin your tank with certain types of fish which are sturdier than others and are better able to handle the increase in ammonia that inevitably happens in the beginning. So, we began with one Molly and one Platy which have survived and thrived. One of them had babies, and six of those has survived. Because of the success from these 8 fish, we felt that we were ready to add more fish. So, we bought a guppy (who can kill a guppy?) and three neon tetras. The guppy died in a day, so we replaced him with another who also died quickly. We had our water tested: too much ammonia. Yesterday, we were changing some of the water in order to help with the water stabilization process (we have lost 2 guppies and 2 neon tetras), and I was reminded of a wedding in which I attended a couple of years ago. Our friends had discussed some of the details of their wedding with me to glean from my expertise. The bride, Amy, told me about her centerpiece idea, using male Beta fish, and I thought it sounded fun and unique. The thought was that guests could take the fish home afterward and then they would have a party favor as well. A unique idea it turned out to be indeed... They had done a fabulous job decorating and the centerpieces were lovely. When we got to the reception, our kids were extremely excited about the fish in the middle of the table. However, upon further examination, we realized our fish was dead. Oops! We decided to just stay quiet about it so that our friends wouldn't be upset. Well, as the night went on, we started hearing other people state that the fish at their table was dead. An hour into the celebration, we realized ALL of the beautiful betas had kicked the bucket. We talked to our friends about it afterwards and all had a good laugh over it. Apparently, they didn't realize that you have to stabilize the temperature of the water when putting the fish into new water, so all the fish were basically shocked to death. It's a funny story now, but also a good lesson to learn when planning your wedding. Make sure you do your research before choosing a unique decoration or any other idea you plan to implement in your wedding!

Erin Joyner, Wedding coordinator, Bryan/College Station

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Wardrobe Malfunction

If you and your future husband are planning to do a choreographed dance routine for your first dance together, you might want to practice in your dress to avoid a possible wardrobe malfunction like this bride experienced...

Erin Joyner, Wedding Coordinator, Bryan/College Station