Welcome to An Elegant Affair's blog! We are full service wedding and event planning company. We love weddings, and we love to share ideas about them! Please feel free to comment on our blogs!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Six Tips for Shopping for Your Wedding Dress

Shopping for your wedding dress is probably one of the most exciting aspects of planning your wedding! Enjoy today's tips on how to get the most out of your shopping experience.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Real Weddings: Anita and Maurice - May 26, 2012

It was a beautiful day on Clearwater Beach…the first day of the Memorial Day holiday weekend.   And  it was a great way to for Anita and Maurice (Mo) to start their new lives together.  Family and friends traveled from across the country to share in their special day. 

The intimate guest list gathered on the Starlite Majesty Cruise ship for the 12:00pm ceremony.  Immediately following, we set sail into the Intercoastal Waterway, and were treated to breathtaking views of Clearwater Beach. 

The bride desired a simple and meaningful day, and that is exactly what she received! The bright yellow colors in her flowers, centerpieces and linen were perfect for the occasion and the season.    Their guest book and cake, complete with sea shells, set the tone for their nautical nuptials.  And the guests raved over the homemade cookies made (with love) by the bride’s mom. 

I’ve never had a groom rave so much about wedding planning, but Mo was really pleased with our services and sees the value of hiring a wedding coordinator!

All photos courtesy of Rachel O'Brien Photography.

Many thanks to Brides N Blooms (flowers), Starlite Majesty (venue and catering), Rachel O’Brien Photography, Ronay’s Designs (linen) and Publix Bakery (cake) for such great service!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Five Tips for Improving Communication With Your Fiance': It's Not That Hard!

It been said that men and women are from two different planets, particularly in the ways we communicate. Men tend to be more matter-of-fact and are concerned about 'what' (i.e., what do you need me to do?), while women tend to be more sensitive and are concerned about 'how' (i.e., how do you feel?). These are generalizations, of course, but how do two people who come from two different perspectives mesh when it comes to communication? These 5 tips are based on my own experiences as a wife and my observations in working with engaged couples. Whether you're married or engaged to be married, the concepts are applicable to you! 

Start with the right attitude
And what is the right attitude, you may ask? What if you need to have a conversation with your fiance' to try to resolve a disagreement, or to let him know how you feel about a particular issue. Before you begin, try to calm whatever negative feelings you may have. If you are mad, the last thing you need to do is start speaking with anger in your voice and showing it in your demeanor. If you have been crying, try to calm yourself down before you speak. Your sadness or anger will get in the way of the other party hearing what you have to say!

Have an open mind
As your fiance' is talking to you, be open to what he has to say. Keep in mind that you are not a mind reader, so you need to be receptive to what is being said. Don't pre-judge the conversation and try to predict what he will say...he may surprise you!

Really listen to your fiance'
I'm sure you've heard this before....we have 2 ears and one mouth for a reason! When I say 'listen' I'm not just referring to the physical act of using the sense of hearing. I mean both hearing and absorbing what is being said. Along with listening to his words, also take in his tone of voice and body language. This will help you get the true meaning of what he's trying to communicate. And, please do not start planning your response before he stops talking! How can you respond accurately when you are trying to get your words together before he's finished?

Keep your conversation with your fiance' confidential
Your fiance' needs to be able to trust that what he shares with you will not be repeated (unless he gives you the ok to do so). Your mother, his mother, or your best friend are not parties in the conversation, and should not brought in after the fact. The relationship you have with your future husband is yours alone, and there is no room for meddlers and busy bodies!

Give and show respect
All men want to be respected. Show your fiance' that you respect his opinion and thoughts, even if you don't agree with them. Don't say things like 'that's dumb' or 'that doesn't make any sense' or 'are you crazy' when responding to him. This is sure fire way to shut down the lines of communication, that can be sometimes hard to rebuild.

Your Planning Assignment
Put these tips into practice! They will go a long way to ensure the lines of communication between you and your future husband remain open, and will help you have a healthy relationship. If you have issues in this area, seek out the advice of a professional therapist or counselor.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Edible Wedding Centepieces

Have you considered edible centerpieces for your wedding decor? Check out this article from Sleek Gossip, as well as a few pics, and let us know what you think!

Your Planning Assignment
Be open to the idea of an edible centerpiece! They can also be a nice gift for a guest at each table!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

What Does a Day-of Coordinator Really Do?

The team “Day-of Coordination” can be a somewhat misleading.   Several brides who have reached out to us are looking for someone to just “pull it all together.” But a wedding coordinator does far more than show up on the day of your wedding, review what’s in your wedding binder, and make things happen!  He or she gets involved weeks and months before your wedding and has a checklist of several things to do BEFORE your big day.  Some of these tasks include:

  • Meet with you to understand the vision you have for your wedding - you have been working on your wedding for months and months, so your coordinator needs to have a full understanding of your thoughts and ideas
  • Review all of your contracts – this will tell your coordinator exactly what your vendors will provide, when final payments are due, etc.
  • Contact and meet with all of your vendors to confirm the specifics of your wedding
  • Put together a wedding day timeline to ensure the smooth flow of your wedding day – this timeline is very extensive and includes specifics like what time your hair and makeup will start (and how long it will take), any travel time between venues, and what time your venues will be available for setup.
  • Visit your ceremony and reception venues to confirm the layout of the space and the setup you require – the day of your wedding is not the first time your coordinator has seen your venues!
  • Meet with the wedding officiant to review the ceremony and prepare to conduct the wedding rehearsal – Some wedding officiants like to run the rehearsal completely themselves, while others will work alongside the wedding coordinator to do it.  Either way, your coordinator and officiant work this out well before you arrive at the rehearsal.
  • Learn the names of the important people in your family and bridal party, and be familiar with any specific family dynamics – If there are particular family situations that can affect your day, your wedding coordinator needs to be fully aware of them.  For example, when the bridal party is introduced, your coordinator needs to know if your divorced parents will enter the reception together or with with someone else (if they have remarried).

And of course, on your wedding day, your coordinator and his or her staff will:

  • Ensure your venues are set up correctly
  • Confirm your vendors are ready for an on-time start
  • Resolve any issues that may arise
  • Make sure you and your bridal party are dressed and ready on time
  • Direct the flow of their entire day (ceremony and reception)
  • Assist in seating guests and making them feel at home
  • Make sure all the little details are handled (cake knives on the cake table, bride’s comfortable shoes under the sweetheart table, etc).

This is just a general idea of what many planners and coordinators will provide with this kind of wedding package.  Share with him or her if you require more so that your exact needs can be met.

Hiring a day-of coordinator really is an investment in your wedding.  You have spent countless hours planning, deciding, arranging, and choosing; who should you trust to make sure all of your plans, decisions, arrangements, and choices are carried out the way you desire them to?  Your mother or maid-of-honor may have with you throughout the entire planning process, but as your wedding approaches, it’s time for them to really step into the roles they are called to be.  Your mother has been anticipating your special day, as well as her moment in the spotlight, for quite some time, and the last thing she needs to be concerned with is “who’s going to set up the room?”or “what time are the flowers being delivered?”  And your maid-of-honor should be focused on making sure you are calm and collected, and ready to walk down the aisle!

Your Planning Assignment
Seriously consider this vital role in your wedding.  A day-of coordinator can give you peace of mind and comfort knowing your plans are in the hands of a seasoned expert.  Trust this responsibility to an experienced professional!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

My Animoto Video

Hello!  Check out this video I made...in less than 20 minutes!  Animoto is a great tool.  If you haven't given is a try, do so today!

My Animoto Video

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Wedding Veils and Headpieces: Options, Options, Options!

So you’ve started looking at bridal gowns (isn’t that fun?)….but what about your veil or headpiece?  Here are a few options for you to consider….your choices are endless!

Traditional veils
I love this option for semi-formal and formal weddings!  You can choose to go with just a flyaway veil (with or without a blusher), or a cathedral length if you are having a very formal wedding, or any length in between.  Here are a couple of examples of cathedral length and flyaway veils. To see all of the veil options available, check out Pinterest board called “Favorite Wedding Headpieces” at http://pinterest.com/anelegantaffair/favorite-wedding-headpieces/.

Do you want to look at feel like a queen on your wedding day?  You can go simple or elaborate with a tiara, and can choose to include a veil that you can wear for the ceremony and remove for the reception.

A comb or clip is a great way to add a bit of flair to your hair!   Pearls, rhinestones, or feathers…they can be a lovely addition to your beautifully styled wedding do!

Another option to consider is a headband.  Check out the pic we’ve included below….it’s just one example of what is available!

Your Planning Assignment

Whatever you choose should line up with the formality of your wedding, the style of your dress, and of course, your own personal style!  The consultant at the bridal salon is a great resource to help you decide what will be perfect for you! Happy Planning!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Top Ten Questions to Ask a Wedding Photographer

Photo courtesy of Rachel O'Brien Photography
As you begin to make appointments with photographers, prepare yourself for the meeting by reviewing these questions:

How long have you been in the photography business?
You want to choose someone who has experience not only in photography, but in particular with wedding photography. Review the potential vendor's website to get some background on the person or company you are considering hiring. Also, look at their testimonials for feedback on what other clients have experienced (this applies when researching all types of vendors).

What is your style of photography? From the article "How to Choose Between the Different Wedding Photography Styles," there are 4 different styles: Traditional (more formal, posed), contemporary (more relaxed and informal), documentary (photographer will record events as they happen, also known as photojournalistic style), and artistic (photographer produces a unique set of images). When choosing a photographer, your individual preferences should be in line with the photographer's specialty. So, if you want more casual pictures, don't choose someone who specializes in only formal, traditional photography. For more information on the various styles, check out the article at http://www.wikihow.com/Choose-Between-the-Different-Wedding-Photography-Styles.

Are you a member of a professional association (such as Professional Photographers of America?
I believe it's important for any wedding vendor to be a member of a professional organization. Each organization has codes of ethics and standards to which their members pledge to follow. In addition, organizations strongly encourage or require that members continue their education to be informed of the latest trends and technology in their field.

Do you have liability insurance?
Some venues may require vendors to provide proof of liability insurance, so be sure to ask this question before you contract with a photographer (or any other vendor).

Do you have backup equipment?

The answer to this question should be a resounding YES! Backup equipment is absolutely necessary in case there is an issue with a memory card, lighting or camera. You don't want any special moments to be missed because of technical difficulties.

When are proofs available for review?
A photographer should provide an approximate timeframe when your proofs will be ready for viewing after the wedding. This will also be outlined clearly in their contract.

Will I have the copyrights to my pictures?
Some photographers offer full copyrights to the pictures as a part of their packages and services, and some choose to retain the rights to them. If you can obtain the copyrights, you will have permission to do whatever you like with the images (post on Facebook, etc). Make sure you understand clearly what the photographer's policy is regarding this.

What kind of packages do you offer?
When meeting with a potential photographer, he or she will provide detailed information regarding their packages and what items are included (number of hours, number of photographers, album type etc.). If there is a package that you would like to tweak, don't be afraid to ask!

Do you have assistants working with you on wedding day?
As noted above, packages should be clear on how many photographers are included to shoot your wedding. One advantage to having more than one shooter is that they are able to capture events from different angles. I strongly recommend more than one shooter...the additional expense is well worth it!

What are the options on wedding albums available?
If you choose to have a wedding album produced, inquire about the types of albums available. Also, find out if parent albums are available as well. For more information about the types of wedding albums, check out this article: http://www.ehow.com/list_7243396_types-wedding-albums.html

Your Planning Assignment
Choosing your wedding photographer is one of the most important decisions you will make. After your wedding, your pictures will be what remains of your special day. Don't trust them to anyone other than a professional! And as always, feel free to leave a comment on our Facebook page about this article. Happy Planning!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Mother of the Bride Dresses: Mom Should Look Gorgeous Too!

While you were looking for the perfect dress for your wedding, your mother (or mother figure) was probably with you at every appointment, sharing this very special time in your life. Now that you’ve chosen your dress, it’s time for mom to focus on and start to consider what she will wear. Here are a few thoughts I have about mother of the bride (MOB) attire:

What should your mothers wear?
What your mothers wear should fit the formality of your wedding. If you’re having an informal event, it would look strange if your mothers wore long gowns. They should look STUNNING, as your wedding is a day they have been anticipating for a long time! I’ve included some pics of dresses that I think are elegant, classy and stylish, yet not frumpy as some MOB dresses tend to be. What are your thoughts on some of these dresses for your mothers?  Note: we've pinned these dresses on our Pinterest board too! (http://pinterest.com/anelegantaffair)

Should your mothers’ dresses match in some way?
Not necessarily (in my opinion). I don’t think the mothers’ dresses should match exactly (they are not bridesmaids after all), but I think it’s nice when they coordinate colors. For example, if your colors include purple, it’s nice when your moms can wear a shade of purple to compliment your color scheme. Even if they decide not to blend into the color scheme, whatever they wear should be tasteful! As I write this, I am reminded of a wedding I attended years ago. The mother of the bride decided to wear a silver sequenced mini-dress that was so distracting that attention was drawn away from the bride. Although mom enjoyed the attention, her daughter was none too pleased. Moms, if you are reading this, don’t be that mother!

Your Planning Assignment
Brides, don’t be a dictator about what you want your mothers to wear. Allow her the freedom to choose a dress that is appropriate and flattering to her. And remember, this day is just as important to her as it is to you! Happy Shopping!

Monday, January 23, 2012

An Elegant Affair wins the WeddingWire 2012 Bride's Choice Award

{Riverview, FL} – January 23, 2012 – WeddingWire, the nation's leading wedding Marketplace, is excited to announce An Elegant Affair has been selected to receive the prestigious WeddingWire Bride’s Choice Awards™ 2012 for Wedding Planners!

The esteemed annual awards program recognizes the top local wedding vendors from the WeddingWire Network who demonstrate excellence in quality, service, responsiveness and professionalism within the wedding industry. While many industry awards are selected by the organization, An Elegant Affair was selected based on its stellar reviews from past newlywed clients.
An Elegant Affair is recognized as part of the top five percent of wedding professionals in the WeddingWire local vendor community, comprised of over 200,000 wedding professionals throughout the United States and Canada. The Bride’s Choice Award recognizes the best local wedding vendors across 20 service categories, from wedding venues to wedding photographers, based on their overall professional achievements throughout the past year.

“WeddingWire is thrilled to honor the success of the top-rated wedding professionals within the WeddingWire Community,” said Timothy Chi, CEO, WeddingWire. “Since the launch of the Bride’s Choice Awards™ program four years ago, thousands of outstanding wedding professionals have been recognized by the bridal community for their supreme service and dedication to the wedding industry. It is with great pleasure that we congratulate An Elegant Affair for their continued professionalism and commitment to enriching the wedding planning experience for engaged couples.”

We are happy to announce that An Elegant Affair is one of the very best Wedding Planners within the WeddingWire Network, which includes leading wedding planning sites WeddingWire, Project Wedding, Brides.com, Martha Stewart Weddings, and Weddingbee. We would like to thank our past clients for taking the time to review our business on WeddingWire. Thanks to their positive feedback we were able to receive the WeddingWire Bride’s Choice Awards™ for 2012.

For more information, please visit our WeddingWire Storefront today at http://www.weddingwire.com/biz/an-elegant-affair-llc-riverview/aa3aeaf673e0f110.html

To learn more about the Bride's Choice Awards™, please visit www.WeddingWire.com.

About WeddingWire, Inc.

WeddingWire™, the nation's leading marketplace serving the $70 billion wedding industry, is the only online wedding planning resource designed to empower both engaged couples and wedding professionals. For engaged couples, WeddingWire offers the ability to search, compare and book over 200,000 reviewed wedding vendors, from wedding venues to wedding photographers. WeddingWire also offers a comprehensive suite of online planning tools for weddings, including wedding websites and wedding checklists, all at no charge. For wedding professionals, WeddingWire is the only all-in-one marketing platform for businesses online and on-the-go. WeddingWire offers one simple solution to build a professional network, improve search visibility, manage social media and reach mobile consumers. Businesses that advertise with WeddingWire appear on WeddingWire.com, ProjectWedding.com and other leading sites, including MarthaStewartWeddings.com (NYSE: MSO), Brides.com and Weddingbee.com.