Friday, August 28, 2009

Recipe For Success

Building a beautiful and successful event is like following a recipe of your own creation. You have to take it step by step, add just the right ingredients, and you'll come up with the most delicious dish you've ever tasted. The fun part is that the ingredients are largely up to you. While you do have to focus on things that are "mandatory" like selecting vendors, a venue, perhaps booking transportation, hotel blocks, and doing other mundane wedding tasks, the icing that is the design, decor, look, feel, and flow of the event, are all in your hands.
The recipe is made up of gorgeous linens...
Some kind of beautiful chairs with coordinating seat cushion covers and and maybe even a decorative and lovely charger plate...
A napkin to match and flatware and glassware that suits your style perfectly...
Unexpected touches like a patterned gold cloth on the bistro tables near the dance floor where revelers will rest their drinks...
And a color palette that suits your space and complements your individual style. Your wedding is your opportunity to highlight the design elements that you are drawn to. And while it's not a time to showcase everything you ever liked together in one room, if you take the time and care to extract certain elements of style that appeal to you greatly and above all, work in concert with each other, you will have created a recipe for an unforgettable affair.

P.S. Thanks to CE Rental and Classic Party Rentals, both of Raleigh, NC, for the fabulous linens, chargers, chairs, and other rental items.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

You Can Count On Me

Besides being a fantastic movie, I also think that "You Can Count On Me" is one of the greatest movie titles ever. And while Mark Ruffalo and Laura Linney play a brother and sister who look after each other, the phrase always makes me think of my girlfriends. Where would we be without our friends?

Being a bridesmaid in a close friend's wedding is one of the ultimate experiences one can have. Certainly a lot of us have experiences of being bridesmaids for family or one of 14 for a high school friend or get roped into handing out programs for a family friend we barely know, but there is nothing like being asked to be in the wedding party of someone whom you dearly love.

This photo arrived this week on a CD from Scott Robert Photography of Los Angeles, who shot the wedding of Milyeri and Neil that took place in Durham this March 7th. I find this photo so sweet because you can see how excited she is, how enthusiastic her friends are, and above all, how they are helping her on her big day.

Let's not make light of it: being a bride is stressful. Being a bridesmaid shouldn't be. We've all seen the parody on YouTube of the bride cutting her hair off in a moment of hysteria. Sure, it was a farce, but don't think I haven't witnessed something very similar to that episode in person only moments before a bride went down the aisle. There is a lot of pressure around being a bride and that is why brides (for the most part) choose their wedding parties carefully, and surround themselves with people on whom they can rely.

I'll never forget being asked to be a bridesmaid for the first time by my good college friend named Suzy. I was so excited and honored and couldn't wait to share my great news and good fortune with a couple of co-workers at The Knot. The two women I chose to tell were 30 somethings, who I imagined would understand my elation and be willing to do a dance of joy with me around the office to celebrate my wonderful news. Instead, they offered up terse quips about how they'd "been a bridesmaid 10 times and it's a pain in the ass" and how I'd "get over" my excitement soon enough and how it's "expensive", "time consuming" and "a drag". Weren't these people wedding professionals? I was heartbroken.

That said, I carried on my merry way and maintained my elation at my big duty all through the gorgeous wedding day at the Charleston Yacht Club. Suzy made me a bridesmaid for the first time and I'll never forget it. She is about to celebrate her 10th anniversary, and I can still remember how I felt at 23 in that dress and with those flowers. I felt special.

Being asked to be a bridesmaid is an honor. It's not something to whine about or complain about or gossip about with other friends who haven't been asked because believe me when I say, they often wish they had been. Being an attendant to your friend on the most important day of her life is a privilege and a joy, and I really hope you can enjoy it each time as much as I did the first time I walked down that aisle ahead of my friend. As a veteran of 11 bridesmaid experiences, I can tell you that each was unique, wonderful, and beyond memorable. But I wish I'd spent half as much time complaining about the cost of the dress or how my butt looked in it, and instead focused entirely on the good luck I had to have some of the most generous, supportive, loving, gorgeous, wonderful friends on the planet - and who without a doubt had weddings to match. I love them all to the moon and back and would walk down that aisle again for them in a heartbeat, too tight $350 dress and all. Wouldn't you?


Livi & Jeremy 8.8.09

We were fortunate to be a part of Livi and Jeremy's gorgeous Carolina wedding last Saturday at the Carolina Inn in Chapel Hill. Livi and I met nearly four years ago in our Junior League Provisional Class in Durham. (I was a fair weather Junior Leaguer and didn't make it past a year or so...don't know if Livi had more success with it!). Jeremy was a golfer at Carolina undergrad. Together they make a beautiful, fun, and unforgettable couple.

We'll have some photos to post soon but in the meantime check out this link to the trailer for their wedding video, as shot by KA Studios of Charlotte. Keith and Aimee are amazing wedding videographers and an absolute pleasure to work with. Thanks also to Tamara and Courtney of Tamara Lackey Photography, the Jamie McLean Band, the Purple Puddle, Corda Entertainment, Capital Style Limousine, and of course, Julie McCay and all of the fabulous staff at the Carolina Inn.