Monday, June 27, 2011

Wedding Photographer

I attended a wedding this weekend of a girl I've known since she was about 13. The bride was beautiful and the day was fabulous! I was a guest, so I decided to bring my camera and have some fun. Here are some of my favorite shots.

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

Monday, June 20, 2011

Choosing a Bridesmaid dress

I was thinking about one of my favorite lines from one of my favorite movies last night. From 27 Dresses... Bride: "Aren't these dresses great? And the best thing about them, is you can shorten them and wear them again!" Jane: "That is definitely so true!" As I'm watching this (for the 20th time. The opening scene has me in stitches every time I watch it) I'm thinking, "There is no way she will ever wear that again. Just like my bridesmaids probably never wore theirs again, nor did I ever wear my bridesmaids dresses again." And, we come to find out later, Jane's 27 bridesmaids dresses sit tucked away in her closet of her studio apartment, never worn again.
I have been married almost 14 years, and the trend of allowing your bridesmaids to pick their own dresses within certain color and style boundaries was just beginning when I got married. My mom tried to talk me into choosing that option, but I really wanted all my bridesmaids to wear the same dress. Why? I guess because it's tradition. Now that I'm older, my practical side is much stronger, and I actually prefer the look that so many brides are turning to which is allowing their wedding party to chose their own style of dress. When I was choosing my dress style, I DID chose a style that I knew would look fabulous on all my friends. My party consisted of women with several different heights and body types and I didn't want anyone to feel self conscience. But let's face it, bigger busted women don't look good or feel comfortable in strapless dresses, shorter girls look better in shorter skirts, skinny minis look good in just about every style, red heads look terrible in white, and there is a good chance that you will have a wide range of all body types, heights and color wheels in your wedding party.
So, I enjoy the trend of allowing your wedding party to wear a black dress, or a pink dress or whatever your color scheme may be. That way, your bridesmaids can choose a style they will love and feel confident about wearing. It also allows them to spend the amount of money they desire. Some are on tight budgets and are incredible bargain shoppers who could find a fabulous dress for much less money than the bridal shops will charge. There are some bridal lines that are catching on to this idea as well. They create a line of dresses that are the exact same color but
there are several different styles from which to chose. That way, each of your friends can choose the style they feel will look best with their body type and will feel the most comfortable. However, if you go with this option, try not to choose a color like lime green or lemon yellow. Certain skin tones look terribly washed out in these colors. Try to chose a universal color for your bridesmaids that will match your color scheme for your wedding. Or maybe chose a different shade of salmon, which is another color that not very many people can pull off and look great.
Remember, your friends are here for your big day and they want to please you. However, they, too, will be standing up in front of hundreds of people while you and your fiance say your "I do's". They will also appear in hundreds of pictures. You want them to look fabulous and feel comfortable in what they are wearing. Do you really want them to spend hundreds of dollars on a dress that is going to hang in their closet and never be worn again? Chances are, if they have some say in at least the style, they will not only wear it again, they will be grateful to you for your flexibility and generosity. And remember, someday you may be standing with them on their big day just like all the 27 brides lined up for Jane's big day. Hopefully, if you are considerate of them, they will remember that when choosing the bridesmaid dress you will wear while standing in front of hundreds of their friends and relatives....

Below, two of my favorite quotes from 27 Dresses concerning the bridesmaid dresses.

"What color is that? Vomit?"
"What was the wedding theme? Humiliation?" Kevin (Malcolm) Doyl

Erin Joyner, Wedding Coordinator, Bryan College Station, TX

Friday, June 10, 2011

Creating the Perfect Outdoor Wedding

Outdoor weddings are incredibly beautiful! Marrying the love of your life encased in the backdrop of God's amazing creation can produce a memorable day for everyone. However, outdoor weddings can be complete disasters as well. Here are some tips for creating a spectacular outdoor wedding based on my experience.

1. Have a back up plan for poor weather. Many outdoor venues have options for holding the ceremony indoors in case nature does not cooperate. However, if yours does not have this, then consider renting a tent or having an alternative location for your site. I have a friend who told me she wished she had known me when she was planning her wedding. She had an outdoor ceremony arranged with no back-up plan in mind. It poured down rain all day on her wedding day. At the last minute, they had to move everything to a church and although it worked out(and they are still married!), she would have preferred to plan for rain instead of frantically relocating at the last minute.

2. If it is summertime, plan an early morning wedding or later evening ceremony. My friends, Jim and Darlynne Beard, own an outdoor venue, The Greenbranch, and they will not allow their clients to have their ceremonies before 7:00 pm because of their past experience with the heat and sun. One of my brides asked me to coordinate for weekend of services only. The date and time had already been set before they hired me, so I had no input for the time. It was a July wedding which began at 4:00 in the afternoon in Texas. If you've never been to Texas in July, then let me tell you. It was in the upper 90's that day. Gratefully, the venue in which this ceremony was held, 7-F Lodge, has an indoor area, so was I able to allow guests to stay in the air conditioning until right before the ceremony began. Also, the ceremony was short (another aspect to consider if you chose to get married outside) so the guests were not too uncomfortable for a long period of time. However, if would have much more comfortable for everyone had the ceremony been held several hours later when it was not so hot.

On the flip side, if you are having a fall or winter wedding, rent some heaters to keep guests comfortable.

3. If you get married in the summer, consider what heat does to your cake, flowers, hair, make-up and other aspects of your special day. I would highly recommend that you hire professionals to take care of these areas of your ceremony, because they are trained to keep everything looking fresh in the heat. See this previous post I wrote about what the heat can do to a store bought cake.

4. Have a plan for keeping away insects. Some brides and grooms place insect repellent at each table for guests to spray and keep the mosquitoes away. You can also utilize citronella candles for a more romantic atmosphere as well as the Tiki torches for a more tropical feel. No matter what you choose, it is something that is necessary so that your guests greatest memory of your wedding WON'T be getting eaten alive by mosquitoes.

5. If there is no indoor or enclosed area (such as a pavilion or covered patio) at your venue, rent a tent for your cake and food. The wind can blow all sorts of critters and dirt and ruin your meal and cake. Having this extra protection can guarantee that your food does not get contaminated by the natural elements.

6. You will most likely need a sound system so you can mic your officiant. It's more difficult to hear him/her in an outside location.

7. Consider your decorations for your event. There are so many beautiful aspects of being outside that too many decorations can take away from the natural beauty of a location. Ask your florist to show you pictures of decor they have used at your particular venue before making decisions on enhancements you will use for your wedding.

8. Keep your guests hydrated. Whether the conditions are hot or cold, have plenty of liquids to keep your guests comfortable. If it is sweltering, then keep iced water and tea on hand. Alcohol dehydrates, so make sure you have plenty of other liquids to balance out this effect. If it is chilly, then serve hot chocolate and coffee to keep your guests toasty. Water is also a great asset in the wintertime. You want your wedding to be everything you dreamed it would be, but you also need to strongly consider your guests comfort level in all aspects of your ceremony.

9. Have a website for guests to view in order for them to know if the wedding has been moved if the weather is not cooperating. Websites are the newest way brides and grooms utilize technology to keep their guests informed of wedding plans and for RSVP's. Beware, though, older generations don't always embrace this type of communication and may or may not remember to RSVP!

10. Hire a wedding coordinator. He/she can help you think through aspects of hosting an outdoor wedding that you may not consider. He/she can also lead you to the very best venues in your area for having an outdoor ceremony. Plus, on your big day, you can relax, get your nails, hair and make-up done while he/she takes care of all the details for you!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Honeymoon Getaways

Next to your wedding plans, deciding on the honeymoon is definitely the most important decision you will make regarding your big day. My husband and I decided to keep ours simple. We had a wonderful time at some locations in Texas which are now very special to our hearts since we spent there the first several days as husband and wife.

I was curious about beaches, and found this Top 10 list. These venues are exotic and remote, but seem wonderfully romantic. You will have to travel far from home if you are a U.S. native, but to many, the trip would be well worth the time.

For those of you who would prefer to stay stateside, there are amazing beaches in California, Florida and Michigan. If you prefer the mountains, my personal favorites are the Rockies where there are many opportunities for white water rafting, skiing, hiking, or just sight-seeing in the mountains. There's always the entertainment locations like Las Vegas, Disneyland/World or New York. Sonoma, Arizona is breathtakingly beautiful as well as the Grand Canyon. Another hot spot is the New England area (for history buffs) and I hear the fall colors are awe-inspiring.

Whatever you fancy, make sure you plan well and set out to enjoy one another. Your first moments together as husband and wife are ones you will treasure for the rest of your lives!

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

Friday, June 3, 2011

Kate's Dress Spurs on New Wedding Gown Trends

It's ironic; I was thinking about my wedding dress just yesterday and wondering what I will ever do with it. I, like so many other women, had my dress specially cleaned and boxed to save for my future daughter in hopes that she would be honored to wear her mother's wedding dress.

Almost fourteen years later, I have four sons, and no candidate to wear my wedding gown, unless one of my future daughters-in-law might possibly want to wear it. It makes me sad, because my gown is absolutely beautiful, and I probably could have sold it 14 years ago. However, with today's trends in strapless dresses, mine is clearly outdated with beautiful, lacy, long sleeves. Then a thought occurred to me; my dress is a similar style to the new Duchess of Cambridge and I wondered if Kate's style of dress would start a new trend. While looking at facebook today, I found my answer in this blog.

Just because trends are moving back to more traditional with lace sleeves doesn't mean I'll be able to sell my wedding dress, I realize. I'm not even sure I would be able to part with it. However, since that is the style I chose, it's still my favorite, so I will enjoy watching my brides trend toward lacy sleeves and long trains again. Thank you so much, Kate!

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