Sunday, September 28, 2008

Favorite Fabulous Moment.....

Remember how I said there would be new things on the blog?
Here is one of them

We're going to be starting a new series of posts called " Favorite Fabulous Moment".
In these posts we'll be asking some of the fabulous photographers that we have worked with to pick their favorite fabulous moment from that wedding.
I'll be posting these at least once a week.

This first fabulous moment was sent to me by Miguel Irias. I have had the pleasure of working with Miguel on a couple of weddings and not only is he an amazing photographer who's work totally speaks for itself but he is a trip to work with.

I asked Miguel for a picture he sent me 3! :)
The pictures below are from Chrissy and Jeremy's Wedding on August 2, 2008. It was a beautiful destination wedding that took places at The Palms on SoBe.
That is one event I have not posted the pictures of yet because I have been lazy and not gone to pick up the CD of pictures he made for me. I promise I will get them soon!

Here were Miguel's favorite fabulous moments....

and why?

"Well, why they are my favorites?

First of all, she has a smile that says it all!

The chemistry between them just captivated me!

Perfect pair!

Full of love!!"

Fabulous New Website!!!

Is finally up!!
Well the first page at least!

More pages will be up in the coming weeks. So please be on the look out. To all our former brides, you may see your beautiful event there.

We'd like to that Carmen of Studio by Carmen who's amazing pictures were used to create the slide :) Your the best my friend!

Our blog also has a new address

Like I said last month.....there will be a lot of new things coming and we are very excited about them.


The fabbies,

Justine & Brig

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Hello Fall...I missed you!

So yesterday marked the first day of fall and it is my favorite time of year. My husband's as well, that's why were chose to get married in the fall of 2007.

In light of my favorite season, I have decided on a little vendor spotlight.

One of my favorite elements of my wedding were all the paper items. Menus, escort cards, programs and most of all my invitations.
My Menus I made myself picture by Studio by Carmen.

I highly recommend adding details such as menus. They make the settings look that much more elegant.

My invitations and escort cards were created by Ashley Wendus and her amazing little staff @ Smashing Cards . I decided to use Ashley after seeing invitations she had made for two of my friends. At that moment I had to have her do mine. I got lucky since I was having a small wedding because Ashley was no longer taking orders for the Fall/Winter season aka peak wedding time.

In the initial design consult Ashley asked me to send her pictures of all the inspiration for my wedding. Centerpieces, venue, my dress, bridesmaids dresses, basically anything had. The end result was an amazing and stunning Tri-fold invitation in gold and dark bronze.

I added red rhinestones to the seal to tie in my red accents.

This is a picture of my escort card taken by Studio by Carmen. Smashing Cards made the card and envelope that I later embellished with rhinestones as well.

Ashley has an incredible way of making the vision you have for your wedding and turning it in to an invitation. She can take inspiration from just about anywhere and create an invite that truly reflects that.
Here are two invites she created that she has posted on her blog.
One from a bridesmaids dress for a bride, the other from a room that she created for her portfolio.

So if you still have not found an invitations vendors contact will not be disappointed.

I leave you with some beautiful fall and winter bouquet ideas.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Banquet Event Order

I often find myself emailing brides about two weeks prior to their event asking if they have received a copy of their BEO so that I may look it over for them.

About 95% of them have no idea what this is. I found this in other planners blog who I love to read and wanted to share it with all you lovely ladies that read mine.

Thanks Liene!

When you get married, there is one piece of paper that is probably of equal or more importance than your timeline and that is the Banquet Event Order (more commonly referred to as the BEO).

The Banquet Event Order is what your venue or caterer will use to set up everything for your reception. This document is separate from your contract and you won't receive it until closer to your wedding date. The BEO includes exactly what you are eating, the number of tables you've ordered, the number of chairs at each table, the exact times food will leave the kitchen to make it to your guests while staying hot, etc. It is prepared for you by your venue, so you don't have to worry about creating this.

You or your wedding planner will have to sign off on this document prior to the wedding. Before you sign, make sure you go over it with a fine tooth comb. While you should read every document thoroughly before signing, this is definitely one to pay special attention to. For many catering managers and banquet captains, the BEO is essentially their bible for your wedding day.

If something is not on there, it will likely not be happening during your reception. If something is on there, but you don't want it to be, make sure it is removed prior to signing off on it. The venue staff will execute set up and service according to what is stated on the BEO. It is the document they use to make sure that all staff are literally on the same page.

If you are using a wedding planner, they will take care of reviewing this for you. If you are using a day-of coordinator, make sure they have a final copy of the BEO. This will help them ensure that everything runs smoothly on your wedding day.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Question: What do I tip my wedding vendors?

I get this question from brides all the time. So I figured what better way to provide an answer than to post it on my blog for everyone to see. This is part of our new Questions & Answers feature. If you have any weddings related questions you'd like answered please submit them to


Though you may think you've accounted for every imaginable wedding expense, there is one fee that might elude you: the tip. Rewarding vendors with a tip is expected, and it will serve as a thank-you for a job well done. But figuring out whom to tip, how much to pay, and when to offer it can be tricky.

While some vendors include gratuities in their fees, many will leave the amount up to you -- and the level of service they provide can influence what you give them. Tips can add up quickly, costing you a few thousand dollars. Gratuities for caterers alone can be $200 to $600 or more, for example, depending on the number of guests, your catering costs, and where you live. Most tips should be handed out the day of the wedding, so it's wise to assign the job to a friend or family member. A follow-up thank-you note is often a valued tip in itself, as your word can be a recommendation for the vendor.


While it isn't necessary to tip priests, ministers, rabbis, or other religious officiants (many of them, in fact, won't accept cash tips), if you want to thank them for their services, consider making a donation to their organization or house of worship. A typical amount is $75 to $100, separate from any fee you may be charged for the officiant's time.

If you belong to a church, your own minister or priest may perform the wedding at no charge. In this case, you could make a donation to the church, and as an extra thank-you, consider sending something personal, such as a gift certificate to a nice restaurant.

If your wedding is performed by a civil employee such as a judge, clerk, or other nonreligious official, then forgo a gratuity. Such officiants are paid a flat rate and are usually not permitted to accept tips or donations -- local law may actually prohibit it. A thoughtful card, however, is always appreciated.

Catering Staff
Many caterers include a gratuity in their contract to be divided up among the workers, but be sure to ask. If the gratuity isn't included, plan on tipping all staff members, including the catering or banquet manager, waiters, bartenders, chefs, and other essential workers who help serve guests.

"Most catering staff members receive a decent hourly wage, however, so you needn't go overboard on their tips," says Joe Piane, sales manager and executive chef at Piane Caterers in Wilmington, Delaware.

You can calculate the tip as a percentage of the cost of your total catering bill. Figure on paying about 15 to 20 percent of the amount for the banquet manager to share with the kitchen and serving staff. Another way to compute the gratuity is to offer a flat amount for each worker, which is often a more economical method, especially if your catering company is expensive. You'll want to give roughly $100 to $200 for the catering or banquet manager, $50 each for chefs (and bakers), and $20 to $30 each for waiters and kitchen staff, divided into separate envelopes.

Tips can be paid in advance to the director of the catering company, or you can hand them to the banquet manager toward the end of the evening.

Musicians and Deejays
Tipping customs vary, depending on whether you hire an independent band or deejay or book through an agency. For independent bands that book their own gigs, tipping is not customary.

"No matter what your deejay or band is charging, the money is going right into their pockets, so don't feel like you have to give extra, unless of course they really went above and beyond," says Kelly Scriven, owner of the Bride's Maid, a wedding consulting business in Whitman, Massachusetts. Valerie Romanoff, owner of New York City--based Starlight Orchestras, adds, "We're always pleasantly surprised when clients tip us and recognize the entertainment value of what we provide, but it's not expected."

If you employ your band or deejay through an entertainment agency, the company will usually either include a gratuity in the contract or suggest that you give each band member or deejay a little extra in cash. If your contract includes a "service charge," don't assume that it is the gratuity. "The service charge often goes right back to the company," says Scriven.

Musicians should be tipped about $20 to $25 apiece; deejays get at least $25. Many bands offer a vocalist for the ceremony at an additional cost. Tip him or her the same amount as you would one of the other musicians. Hand out the tips in cash at the end of the night.

Stylists and Makeup Artists
Even though it's a particularly special day, you can still tip stylists and makeup artists as you would for a regular appointment -- 15 to 20 percent. For each assistant who helps with secondary tasks, such as shampooing, plan on giving a gratuity of $3 to $5.

You can hand out tips in envelopes directly to stylists, or leave them at the salon's front desk. If you're short on cash, it's fine to tip by check or include it on a charge. If a stylist comes to your home or the wedding site, tip as you would at a salon, but in general, makeup artists and hair stylists who own their own businesses are not tipped.

Photographers, Videographers, Florists, and Wedding Coordinators

For people who own their own businesses, as many of these vendors do, tipping isn't necessary. "They've already negotiated their fees and expect only that amount of money," says Jeremy Faryar of LIFEstories Film, a New York City videography company that specializes in weddings. For photographers, videographers, and florists who do not own their own businesses, tip $30 to $50; wedding coordinators should be given about $50 to $100.

If you feel that the service you received from one of these vendors was extraordinary (say, if the videographer stayed and took footage of an after-wedding party even though it wasn't in his contract), an additional 10 percent tip would be a nice gesture, says Ruth L. Kern, an etiquette consultant in Barrington, Illinois. Or you might send a thank-you gift such as flowers or a print from your photographer showing the vendor in action at your wedding.

Site Staff
Wherever you have your wedding, there will likely be many behind-the-scenes workers, such as coat checkers, powder-room attendants, or parking valets. Make sure you do not overlook these people -- while you may not have much contact with them throughout the celebration, they help keep guests happy. Sometime before the wedding, ask the site manager to instruct workers not to accept any tips from guests. Instead, plan on tipping them yourself. At the end of the evening, pay coat checkers a total of $1 to $2 per guest, which they can share. Powder-room attendants should receive 50 cents to $1 per guest, to be divided among them. Set aside $1 to $1.50 per car to give to the parking manager, who can then divide up the cash among the valets.

Seamstresses, Delivery People, and Drivers
Though they won't actually be at the wedding, these workers' preparatory roles are just as important, so be sure to thank them in some way.

The people delivering the flowers and cake should receive at least $5 each at the time they make their deliveries. A gratuity for your limousine driver may already be included in your bill, but if it's not, consider giving a tip of 15 to 20 percent of the cost (pay it in cash when the driver picks you up). For seamstresses, a cash tip is not expected, but sending a small gift such as a photo of you in your dress is a wonderful way to show your gratitude.

Source: Martha Stewart Weddings

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Roxy & David.....Nautical & Elegant

David and Roxy are an amazing couple that with their faith in God and each other made it through every obstacle to finally reach the day when they would become one.

On August 31, 2008 they said their I do's. Roxy looked absolutely stunning!
Roxy & David shared a beautiful first dance to the words of The Notebook's , that was followed by a very touching dance between Roxy and the pastor from her church who has definitely served and a driving force for her (Roxy's father passed away when she was a teenager. David then shared an awesome mix of Boyz II Men's a Song for Mama remixed in to Kanye West's Hey Mama. The guests loved it.

Their reception room was filled with tons of little nautical details. From the silver sailboat place card holders, the ship wheels on the cocktail tables and the adorable sail boat tealights on the tables. Everything was beautiful. They even had an artist drawing caricatures, it was a HUGE hit. He had a long line all night.

Roxy and David, you both truly deserved your beautiful day....FINALLY! :)
I hope you are enjoying San Fransisco and Hawaii!

Venue: Doubletree Grand Biscayne Bay, Miami,Fl Church: Old Cutler Presbytarian, Palmetto Bay, FL, Photographer: Miguel Irias Cinematography: Roman Empire Productions, Cake: Cake Designs by Edda’s, DJ & Lighting: Ubi's Music Productions, RJ, Linens & Chairs, AB Cover Designers, Florist: Nevot Flowers, Caricatures: Captain Cartoon

And what you REALLY come here for: