Franklin Bridal Ball

Last night was The Franklin Bridal Ball. I was there to see what was up and catch any trends I could. As you can see I was in great company. Those are two really good friends of the Dish, Vicki Sanders of Branching Out Event Florists and Ashley King-Carter creator of Ashley’s Bride Guide. Yes, we apparently all got the memo: Green is tonight’s color!

There were many beautiful things there but I was inspired by some of the tabletops and centerpieces. It seems that ‘Shiny” is in!  I’ll have more dish on the people and things for last night in the days to come. Stay tuned.

Get Married

I just got back from a fabulous conference in Florida with some of the top trend setters in the industry. Over the next few days I want to go indepth on some of the people and products I ran across. So let’s get started.

I rode in from the airport with the darling Stacie Francombe, CEO of Get Married. Stacie and I have met on other occasions but this trip gave us a chance to really connect. If you aren’t familiar with you should be. What a great site.

Get Married is supported on the air waves with a daily TV show on Lifetime at 7:30 AM, EDT. TIVO it or better yet just watch it on line. I could spent hours watching the archived goodie on GM.

My favorite things on the site are the video quick tips. I could literally spend hours. The videos are beautifully done and not just fluff. The information is cutting edge and detailed. Click on the Planning tab and select Expert Advice from the drop down. Get comfortable, you will want to stay for a while. The Quick Tips are as billed, quick; there are just so many great ones that you will keep on watching. Yes, sadly I have found one more habit to consume my time. At least this is a good one.

Tomorrow for Flower Friday I’ll share what the amazing Preston Bailey had to say.

Centerpieces for a Casual Wedding

Last weekend was busy, busy. I wanted to share with you some shots from Friday night’s rehearsal dinner.

The goal was to have a casual country feel to the event. It was held in a beautiful location, the carriage house at Belle Meade Plantation. I know you wouldn’t think that using burlap for the table clothes would work for anything but in this setting it was spot on. Combined with the black chairs and black napkins it looked easy yet elegant. What do you think?

Vicki at Branching Out, along with the mother of the groom gathered a massive assortment of blue glass bottles and rustic lanterns. The vases were filled with simple individual stems to evoke a very ‘wildflower’ look and the lanterns withstood the strong breezes to add a bit of candle light. It was just perfect.

I particularly liked the use of mason jars for water glasses. I completed the look to give everyone a casual vibe to enjoy the late spring evening before the more formal events of the next day.

Wedding Wire Rocks

Like you I am always on the hunt for great planning tools and wedding websites. In all honesty, I have to say that I don’t check out every new wedding-centric site that pops up. Most of them are just lame excuses for sucking advertising dollars off wedding vendors. They have a list of vendors, a few out of date articles on planning and little else.

Today I ran across one that is worth its pixels and is about to get even better. Wedding Wire is a relative newcomer to the game; launched in June of 2007 it has just been scarfed up by Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia.

Wedding Wire was created by a team of entrepreneurs including 2 founding members of Blackboard. This is not some lame site put together by a former bride to be or a former magazine ad sales person. These creators have some serious internet chops. As proof, take a look at how functional the tools they have created for brides are. In addition to wedding websites, budget tools and timeline planners they also have the coolest drag and drop seating chart tool.

The galleries look to be fairly large and are searchable by color as well as item. So if you search “purple” you will get everything, bouquets, décor, invitation, favors or anything else in purple. The events page is searchable by zipcode and event type. If you are looking for all the upcoming bridal or trunk shows in your area this is the place to look. The communities look a little thin still but I’m sure that will come with time.

With the additional resources available to them now that MSLO owns 40% of the company you can bet that the content will be just as top notch. If you love Martha Stewart Weddings, then this is definitely the wedding planning website for you.

This one really has me excited.

Puzzle Guest Book

I saw the cutest idea for an out of the ordinary guest book last weekend. It was a large wooden jigsaw puzzle.

What they had done was create a collage of pictures of the couple as they grew up and of their life together. The collage was decoupaged onto a ¼ inch thick board which was then cut into a jigsaw puzzle. Are you with me so far? Good.

At the wedding guests were asked to take a puzzle piece and sign the back with a Sharpie. Cool, no?

The tag next to it read in part, “You are all an important “piece” of our lives and together you have helped shape the people we are today.”

The couple plan to put it in a floating frame after the wedding so they can view both sides. What a lovely, personal keepsake from such an important day.

Sorry about the pictures. Silly me worked a wedding and forgot my camera. Duh. I have sent a note to the photographer to get a better image and as soon as I get it I will update this post.

My Favorite Bouquet. Ever.

I have always thought that flowers in and off themselves are works of art. Sometimes arrangements and bouquets can get a bit too contrived and you miss the independent beauty of individual blooms. Just to give you an idea, this is the image I have on my desk top.

Over the last few days I have been working with images for a website I am building and ran across this bouquet. Oh my. I am pretty sure that this composite bouquet has to be my favorite bouquet ever. In this creation, Vicki Sanders of Branching Out Event Florists has captured the intrinsic beauty of a Stargazer Lily and pushed it to the limit.

A word of warning: each one of those petals is individually wired and taped. Then the ‘bloom” is composed out of the petals. The petals of lilies aren’t the hardiest little buggers, so you always have to make extra in case a petal becomes damaged in construction. Having said that; don’t expect a bouquet like that to be a low cost option. It certainly makes a statement though. Can you just imagine how fabulous it smells. Ahhhhhhh.

Top photo by Christine. Bouquet photo copyright David Wright Photography.

Live Journal

Is anyone else out there a fan of the wedding planning group on Live Journal? Well I am. This has to be the nicest most helpful bunch of brides on the net, none of the snarky juvenile garbage that you find in some of the other wedding communities. If you have ventured into the communities at the then you know what I mean.

You can follow them as they plan their weddings right along with you. The comments are almost always both amazingly helpful and supportive. You may only post or add comments if you are a member of the community. It’s open to all and you can join here.

The tag cloud for this group is huge; I mean there must be over a thousand* tags in it. It runs nearly the entire length of the first page of the archive. So if you can’t find something close to what you are wanting to know you must be looking for something really off the wall. I didn’t find a search feature though. If you know where there is one, let me know. *Ok so I’m a geek. I just ran a word count on the tag cloud and it’s only 996.

There are even links to other more specific communities like Bridal Weight Loss Support and Wedding Makeup.

Whether you are a bride or a wedding professional this is a must read. Just keep it nice.

Note to Brides

I had a wonderful time last week connecting with a group of fellow wedding professionals. As always, the conversation turned to work and you my dear brides were high on the agenda.

My friend Peter, denizen of all things rental, got off on a riff about phone messages.

“Please Christine” he said “remind them to leave me more then their first name and a convoluted message about their event”

Peter is right. It used to happen to me all the time. I used to get messages like this.

“Hi Christine. This is Sarah and I wanted to let you know that we wanted the first tier to have the raspberry filling on the lower and uppers spaces and the orange/apricot in the middle space and please make the top tier in chocolate only but if you could put a bit of amaretto in the soak the would be perfect.”

Great. No problem. Be happy to oblige. But which freakin’ Sarah are you and when are you getting married???? Yes I know, just use caller ID to call her back. Great plan if I knew what time she called. I can get a bunch of calls in one day and isolating the right one can be a trick.

As much as we like you to feel that you are the only bride we have, it simply isn’t true. If you are calling your wedding planner you can probably get away with the above message, but any other vendor is likely to have multiple wedding on any given weekend. Add to that the reality that we will be working with a bride for sometimes up to a year and you can see that we are often juggling 50 or more brides at one time.

Any time you must leave a message on voice mail for one of your vendors, please help them out by leaving a last name and a WEDDING DATE. Most of us file things by wedding date so that will help a lot. Also leave your last name. I clearly remember one weekend that I had three Ashleys. Unbelievably two of their cakes were almost the same. It tended to get a bit confusing.

We want to do the best job possible for every one of our brides, sometimes a bit of clarity helps.

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