Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Happy New Year!

We at Grace Leisure Events want to take a moment to thank all of our clients and friends for making 2009 such a wonderful, full, interesting, challenging, and fun year for our company. We are so grateful to have worked with so many fantastic brides and families and hope to stay in touch with you all for a long time to come.

For those of you with whom we are working right now, we are really looking forward to your weddings and events in 2010. It is sure to be an unforgettable year, full of surprises and many happy occasions.

We thank you again for choosing to work with Grace Leisure Events. We appreciate you so much and look forward to many more memorable times together. Wishing you and yours all the best for 2010!


Sunday, December 20, 2009

Snow Day Planning Projects

There comes a time during every bride's wedding planning when she comes to a screeching halt and has nothing to do. You know what I mean: your vendors are booked, your venue is secured, your save the dates are in the mail, you have months before you need to mail your invitations, and you've already chosen your gown and selected your colors, flowers and bridesmaid dresses. What to do now?

My best advice is to make the most of this so-called "down time", and get some things done that you may not feel like doing, but that you'll be glad to have crossed off the To Do list once the final two months roll around and you feel as if the infamous list is absolutely endless. Let me give you some ideas for how you Summer (and even Spring and Fall) brides can make good use of all of these snow days and free time on your hands (never mind the presents you have to wrap and parties you need to attend...there's always time for those things!).

*Get a leg up on your ceremony programs. Select your readings, readers, and start mapping out the actual ceremony program. Set a meeting with your officiant. Get your "order of service" hammered out and start typing it up. Begin looking at different styles of ceremony programs and thinking about what kind you want to have. You may not need to print these until about a month before once everything is finalized, but this is the perfect time to get to work on a project that can be very time consuming. You'd be surprised how difficult it is to get the entire wedding party spelled correctly - not to mention the pieces of music!

*Choose your menu. Read magazines, look online, visit your caterer's website (and those of other caterers and venues as well) to glean ideas and inspiration. Even better, go out for dinner and get some great advice from your friend the foodie as to how to put together a tasty, seasonal, lovely menu that is appropriate for your budget and your affair. The last thing you want to be doing one month before your wedding is trying to decide whether to have asparagus or haricots vert, sea bass or catch my drift.

*Along the same lines, get working on selecting your wine choices. If you don't know much about wine, there are plenty of people out there to help you. Visit your local boutique wine shop or wine bar and get talking to the gregarious and knowledgeable men and women behind the counter. After all, they've spent most of their adult lives studying and drinking wine and most importantly, pairing it with food. Use their expertise to your advantage!

*If you're having a seated dinner, get your guest list in order for your calligrapher. That means having a clean, easy to read spreadsheet of names for your escort cards as well as your place cards, if you are having those as well.
-For escort cards, you will need to have each couple's full name.
For example: Mr. and Mrs. Matthew Scott Beason.
-For place cards, you need to have each person's full name.
For example: Grace L.P. Beason (no pronoun necessary).
-If you are using a calligrapher, they may be able to give you a template from which to work.
-If you are using an online service such as they will explain to you what they need from you.
-If you happen to be writing them yourself, you will need a clear and easy to read spreadsheet to work from.
-Make this list alphabetical. This will come very much in handy on the wedding day when people are trying to find their seats. Despite your hard work on creating your escort cards, some people inevitably need some direction and your "alpha" list will help your planner or catering director lead them to their table in a very quick and efficient way. This is a tedious and arduous process and you will be very glad if you have it finished long before the calligrapher (or whomever is writing the cards) needs it. It's never too early to start - once your RSVPs start rolling in, that is...

*You've heard this one before, but buy your wedding day shoes and wear them, wear them, wear them! I'm not talking about walking to work in them, but I am suggesting that you come home each day and wear them around while you are putting away your laundry, checking your email, or writing thank you notes (not while you are cooking dinner). The more you wear them (while keeping them clean), the more your feet will thank you on your wedding day. I don't care if you have the best made pair of Louboutins - they still hurt after 8 hours when they've never before met your feet. Trust me on this one!

These should keep you busy for at least a day or two! I'll come up with some more in the weeks to come. Not to worry, you won't feel any let down from the holidays with how busy you can keep yourself with your wedding planning. You'll be such an efficient bride, making such good use of your time. Martha - and her infamous To Do list - would be proud!


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Jessica and Shahid: Tradition With A Twist

Soooo sorry for my long absence. It seems I fell prey to the swine flu, or something similar, and have been in bed for nearly a week! Before that I was lucky enough to spend a few days in NYC to babysit my scrumptious niece. There's nothing like New York this time of year. It's just so darn festive and can't help but put you in the holiday spirit - swine flu or not!

I want to share a few more photos from the wedding we did in October at the Nasher Museum of Contemporary Art here in Durham. The wedding was a melting of two cultures: Indian and Chinese. Elements from each culture were infused in each part of the ceremony and reception with clothing, readings, music, colors, menu, ceremonies, and more. Rarely do I have the opportunity to be a part of a wedding where I learn so much about new cultures and traditions and I loved every minute of it. My eyes were wide open during the 10 month planning process and most especially during the wedding weekend itself. It was inspiring, educational, touching, and drop-dead gorgeous (if I do say so myself). Here's some more eye candy to feast on. I absolutely adore this couple and hope you will love looking over these photos, but also get some inspiration from their colorful, joyful, family-oriented and tradition-filled affair. Enjoy!
*All photos are by the lovely and talented Mr. Kevin Milz of Kevin Milz Photography.