Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wedding Wednesday: RSVP PLEASE!

This week, we are speaking to you guests out there - the hosts can sit this one out.  And our concept is simple and easy and will make you a gracious guest very easily. 

SEND YOUR RESPONSE CARDS (or email, phone, website reply) BACK TO YOUR HOST!  PLEASE!  And this goes for guests of weddings, parties, showers, sprinkles, pancake breakfasts, charity luncheons, etc. and so forth in whatever format they ask you to respond in.

If your host has asked that you RSVP by a certain date, it is because he or she needs to know if you will be attending the event.  They need to give final numbers to their caterers.  They need to order the appropriate serveware and linens.  They need to print the correct number of programs.  Purchase the appropriate amount of favors.  Bottom line, they just need to know!!! 

Would you like to plan (and pay for) a guest not attending your event?  No?  Well, then please, do unto others as you would have done unto you and RSVP! 

For heaven's sake, on wedding rsvp's, it's already half filled out and stamped for you!  Don't make that poor frazzled bride call you well after the reply request date to find out your status!  She's busy!  She's stressed!  She should not have to worry if you are attending and whether or not you want steak or chicken!  She should know by now because you should have sent back your card. 

Got it?  Good.  Please do it. 

Friday, August 26, 2011

Happy Hour with AE: SWEET TEA & Lemonade

This weekend we are attending a SUPER fun Tea Party!  We get to wear hats and it's held in a garden!  Hats, Garden Party, Tea!  Love all three!  Dear friends, David and Dallas are traveling in from NYC for it and I will be donning a hat by the fabulous Gigi Burris.   So excited! 

 In honor of the tea party (called Tea 43206: 200 for Tea.  43206 is the German Village zip code), we are bringing you a YUMMY sweet tea cocktail (yes, it has liquor in it)!  Enjoy!  And if you are in Columbus this weekend, and want something fun to do - come drink tea (and wine and champagne and spiked lemonade, oh my)!  There are still a few tickets available. 

Tea 4 Two and Lemonade too! 

  • 2 large tea bags for iced tea
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 8 fresh mint sprigs
  • 4 cups lemonade made from frozen concentrate (or use Simply Lemonade for ease)
  • 1/2 cup vodka
  • Ice cubes
  • 8 lemon slices
Place tea bags in medium bowl. Add 1/2 cup boiling water. Let steep 4 minutes. Discard tea bags. Place mint sprigs in large pitcher; mash with muddler or handle of wooden spoon until slightly bruised. Pour in tea, lemonade, and vodka.

Cover and Chill.  Make this recipe ahead of time and chill in a pretty pitcher with lemon slices.  When your guests arrive, you will have a delicious and pretty tea cocktail to offer them!  

Serve in highball glasses or mason jars (we LOVE our mason jars)!

Even Easier:  Use Sweet Tea Vodka in place of the tea and vodka.   Sweet tea vodka can be found at your local liquor store and it's YUMMY. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

ASK ADY: Flaky In-Laws

Dear Ady,
My fiancé and I have been engaged for three months and our wedding is in 6 months.  We just found out that his parents are not going to give us any money for our honeymoon, as they had said when we first got engaged.  When we got engaged we discussed their generous offer and his parents told us to book our flights and resort for our 5 day stay in Aruba totaling 2500.  They both repeatedly said they were happy to give us 2 thousand dollars to pay for the honeymoon once it got closer but we should book our tickets with our money and they would pay us back. 

Now, they have decided that 2 thousand is too much and are only giving us 500 dollars!  If we cancel the trip, we will not get a refund but what’s worse is that I feel as though I can’t trust them.  I am beginning to wonder if this type of “support” is what I should expect for the next 70 years or if this is a one-time thing.  The bottom line is that it really hurts my feelings (and my fiancés) that they didn’t sit down and talk this over.  Do you think we deserved an explanation?  I don’t know if I should bring it up or just let it go.  We are starting our marriage off with a credit card bill for a trip we can’t afford and aren’t even going on.   Help! 

- Angry At Her In-Laws Laura, Winter Park, FL

WOW!!!  Laura, this is a very tough situation.  First things first, the positive here is that you are marrying your fiancé and not his parents, so in terms of trust and support, you need to focus on what you will receive from him for the next 70 years, not his parents.  It's you and him and he’s the one you should count on for support. That said, they will be as much a part of your life as the two of you allow them to be so I am proud of you for taking this step even if you feel like you’ve been burned. 

Now let's focus on the issue at hand.  You being new to this family, need to take the lead from your fiancé.  He knows his parents better and will have better knowledge on this situation than you will.   Does this occur often?  Was this as shocking to him as it was to you?   If the latter is the answer, then you absolutely need to speak with his parents.  The problem is not the money you won't be receiving (a gift after all is given at the discretion of the giver, not the want of the receiver) but the impression that you and your fiancé have that a gift is being revoked.   This you need to be able to understand and unless they are truly flaky parents (in which case, good thing you are learning this lesson now), I have a feeling that this may have been a massive miscommunication or something else is going on, which you should probably find out about.  Unfortunate things happen to parents, too, and perhaps they truly cannot afford this gift for whatever reason, but you should open the lines of communication and get to the bottom of this.

So, now that we have discussed those too larger issues, let's move on to addressing the least important part of this problem, which is the issue of a honeymoon you now can't afford.  All hope shouldn’t be lost…You still have 6 months until the honeymoon will take place and you have $500 gifted to you from his parents and  it sounds like you were already prepared to contribute $500 to the honeymoon cost.   Put that $1000 immediately towards the credit card debt incurred by booking your honeymoon.   For the next 6 months, make some sacrifices (pack your lunches, make coffee at home, cook instead of going out; it is very easy to save if you are cognizant of your spending. I suggest you pay $100 per month toward your bill and that takes us to wedding timeframe.  Guess what!  You only owe $900 now!   You will probably be given monetary gifts that will cover that remaining $900 and you can use this for your honeymoon. 

I do think it's very important for you and your fiancé to come up with a game plan and tackle this together.  I also think it's very important for you to honeymoon.  That is a VERY special part of your new life as husband and wife and a time for reflection and quality time and relaxation before you jump back into the real world as a married couple. I know it's disappointing to think that you can't count on his parents for this support and possibly future support, but you and your fiancé need to count on only each other for financial support. 

Hang in there, Laura!   Get to the bottom of what happened, and PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE find a way to go on that honeymoon.  You will not regret it.  I promise you. 

Love,  Ady

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wedding Wednesday + Friends of AE: Jacquelyn Poussot, Photog Extraordinaire

Our good friend, photographer Jacquelyn Poussot, has written a special blog for us with tips on getting those "wow moment" pictures on your wedding day.  A good photographer will have an eye for and capture these shots when they happen, BUT, an even better photographer will help guide you on ways to ENSURE that these moments happen and that they are captured.  This is amazing advice from an amazing professional!   Read on and keep these tips in mind when it comes time for pictures on your BIG DAY!  Thanks JAQ!!! 

Jaq says:
Creating intimacy isn’t always something that comes to mind when you are planning your wedding day.  It is a day in front of people, on display, very much out in the open and in public and in front of a camera.  You are often rushed and performing rituals that are foreign and a bit formal… How then… and where can a wedding day allow for those ever important & essential introspective moments that invite intimacy?

As a photographer, I can tell you that “Those Moments” you share as a couple and “Things the photographer loves” overlap by nearly 90%!  And here is where I think they can be found, planned for and experienced beautifully!

1)   The first Look – this is the time when the couple can first take each other in – first hold hands and fall in love all over again.  It’s called “The First Look” so that you can SEE each other - so don’t be afraid to really take the time to LOOK at and into each other. Find a beautiful place with soft light and absolute privacy.  There should only be three: The Bride (check), The Groom (check) and The Photographer (check) – NO OTHERS.

2)   Make them wait– You are linked arm in arm with your father, who cradled you and loved you for all of your life.  As the doors open onto your ceremony and guests – walk one step over the threshold and then pause.  Take 3 deep breaths. Use these breaths to acknowledge your father, yourself and your fiancé down the aisle.  Don’t be afraid to make the room wait and let them see that you are taking these steps toward marriage with the most inner thoughtfulness.   Why photographers will love this – They will get a rare opportunity to capture both you and your fiancé’s face during these first moments of the ceremony.  And trust me- no one is going anywhere without you.

3)   Second Kiss – No one told you there was a Second Kiss?  Well…You have just been announced as Mr. & Mrs. – and you have stolen the first smakaroo from the lips of your, now, spouse.  You then retreat down the aisle, taking in the faces and cheers of your friends and family.  When you reach the back of the church, stop, turn around, gaze at your posse and then steal The Second Kiss before you shimmy out to your getaway car.   The location of this kiss is what’s unique.  At back of the aisle, the photographer can get a different perspective of the altar and include some of the glowing faces of your guests. 

4)    French Kiss – For the modern wedding, where people have flown in from just about everywhere to help you celebrate the beginning of your nuptial adventure, it’s hard to share the first day as JUST man & wife.  But contemplate for a moment, the possibility of keeping that hotel room for an extra night so you can stay in bed late and sip on yummy champagne.  White robes, over sized slippers and strawberries on the side you can now make your first toast to each other, en privee! ….Unless of course, you allow the photographer to sneak by for 10-20 min and capture your bubbly and joy.  I suggest to my couples a French Kiss  photo shoot- it’s short and sweet and it’s makes for a very special delivery on your 1 Year Anniversary.  Gifting you forever the footage of the sweet morning of your first, intimate, day of marriage.

Here are a few samples of Jaq's beautiful work.  For more tips and more and more of Jaq's work follow her twitter and like her on facebook!  Enjoy these pics, friends!  We sure did!!!!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Press! NBC 4

Here we are chatting with Mikaela Hunt on NBC 4 about wedding finances and couples beginning their lives together.  The first big step in merging finances as a married couple starts with your wedding planning.  Extra important to utilize the help of a planner to keep you on track and help you spend wisely.


Saturday, August 13, 2011

Ask Ady! What exactly does "and guest" mean?

Dear Ady,

I was invited to a wedding + guest and I don't have a boyfriend.  Can I bring a female friend instead?  The bride doesn't know my friend well, but she has met her once.  Or, is the "and guest" limited to romantic relationships? 


Broomfield, CO

Dear Susan,

This is a great question.  Thank you for asking me!  It has a bit of a tricky answer and requires good etiquette* from both you and the bride... 

Let's think about a few things first:
1. Do you know a lot of people attending this wedding?  If so, perhaps you will be comfortable without bringing a guest (hey! you might meet someone cute!).
2. Is this wedding large or small?  A more intimate affair may mean that the bride and groom either had some financial limitations or that they simply wanted to celebrate with only their closest friends and family.
3.  Did the bride and your friend hit it off when they met?  If they loved each other the first time they met, that's a great thing!  If they were standoffish or cold to one another, that's a bad thing. 

Do think about these questions and if you are still unsure, I offer this advice:  The bride (should) ultimately want her guests to be happy and comfortable and that is why she offered you the opportunity to bring a guest.  She also probably knows your love life status and knows whether or not you are romantically involved.  An "and guest" does mean that you may bring the guest of your choosing.  When you are offered that option, it is YOUR prerogative to choose whom your guest will be.   And, especially if this is a larger wedding, the bride may have the attitude of "the more the merrier!"

However, consider a few things.  Be sure to let the bride know who will be bringing well in advance.  At that point, it will be her responsibility to let you know of any issues she has with this (which would be ungracious of her but you will need to respect her wishes).  Also please remember that weddings are expensive and a guest of yours will be hosted by the bride and groom - be sure to gift appropriately to cover your friend's attendance as well as your own.  Make sure that your guest (and this goes for ANY GUEST and yourself) acts appropriately and ladylike throughout the affair. 

I hope this helps! 

xo,  Ady

*  A code of behavior based on the consideration of others.  -Emily Post

Friday, August 12, 2011

Happy Hour with AE: Moscow Mule

We recently ran accross this tasty little drink on a visit to Denver, CO.  I was hesitant at first.  Not too crazy about anything with MULE in the title, but our dear friend, Katie Church, convinced us to try it (she makes a MEAN one) and now we are HOOKED!  You will be too!

  • 1 ounce vodka
  • 1 tsp. simple syrup (you can make your own by heating sugar and water)
  • Fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 cup ginger beer
  • 1 sprig fresh mint
  • 1 slice of lime
In a copper mug, pour vodka over ice. Add sugar syrup and lime juice. Top with ginger beer and stir. Garnish with mint sprig and lime slice.  If you don't have a copper mug, a mason jar (always a fave) will work.  Did you know you buy Mason jars at Target in a 12-pack!?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wedding Wednesday: HIRE A PLANNER

She planned her own wedding... 

Hire a professional!

(This may sound a little self-serving and it just might be, but trust us, we are serving you more!)

Please, please, unless you have unlimited free time (who does?) and have planned many events for 100+ guests, (in which case you probably aren’t reading this blog), you have got to hire a wedding planner.   You will not regret it.  If you are shaking your head and asking yourself “But why?  Planning this will be a cinch”, then keep reading.

It all seems pretty simple, right?  You pick out a location, think about your favorite menu items, décor you love, your favorite stationery, color palettes you want, memorable tunes and voila!  Party planned.  Well, there are two distinct differences here.  Thinking about what you want and getting what you want, the way you want it (without having any meltdowns) are two entirely different things.  Trust us, it gets difficult fast, questions begin to mount and so does the anxiety.  Don't do this to yourself!

An wedding planner is a professional who can talk the talk and walk the walk (so to speak).  We have experience using event jargon with vendors, we know the industry (and also what items should cost and what terms are appropriate in negotiations) and simply have the skill and experience to seamlessly bring your vision to life. 

Imagine this during the planning process:
You are locked into a contract with a venue.  The chairs they provide are mauve and that does not fit your color scheme.  Ok, so you rent chairs.   The venue now wants to charge you what seems like an extraordinary amount for these new chairs.   Do chairs really cost $3500?  Am I being taken advantage of?   Why do I need 7 extra people to unload said chairs? Aren't we talking about chairs here?   Are you getting stressed thinking this through?   Call your local planner.

How about this one on the DAY OF:
You are enjoying your first glass of champagne, your hair is set in hot rollers, everything is going as planned, you are relaxing and enjoying the morning with your bridesmaids.  The phone rings.  You pick it up, it's your florist.  He/She actually had you on the books for the FOLLOWING Saturday.  They are very sorry, but there will be no flowers available for your wedding.  Call waiting - it's your DJ, he lost the playlist you sent him and the special CD with the special version of your first-dance song on it, can you please resend to him within the next hour?  What to do now?  Who is going to handle this?  Am I really getting on the phone with everyone in the Yellowpages to get a replacement florist while tracking down my laptop to resend this music?  My glass of champagne is now flat and warm (and your hair is about to be too; flat at least).   Again, if this is stressing you out - DEFINITELY call a planner. 

David and Adrianne at a Milly
show during NYC Fashion Week
 Still not convinced?  We will be at Big Rock Little Rooster on Saturday, August 27th as part of the Vera Wang trunk show.  We are currently scheduling appointments and giving out complimentary advice to brides.   Join us!  We would love to chat with you.  Email us if you would like to set an appointment.   Contact Big Rock Little Rooster for a dress appointment.  Tons of GORGEOUS Vera Wang dresses.  NO pressure!  Promise!  That's what this blog is for!  :)

Added bonus:  David Thielebeule, Accessories Director at Allure magazine will also be available doling out bridal fashion advice.  He can help guide you on chic, sleek and fun color combo's for your wedding day, too!  Makeup expert, Lindsay Remley and Hair Guru, Josie Schweitzer will also be available.  It's quadruple the fun!  Quadruple the experts.  USE US!