The Bridal Blog

09Dec

Wendy & Tony’s Wedding – The Inn at Erlowest

This post is filed under: Real Wedding | Direct Link: Wendy & Tony’s Wedding – The Inn at Erlowest

Describe how you and your husband met: Match.com ;)

What was the proposal like? My family has taken summer vacations to Lake George since I was a very little girl. I always remember with great fondness those times we had together as a family. Eventually, my family purchased our own Lake House on the lake in Ticonderoga. When I met Tony I introduced him to my favorite place in the world, the Adirondacks. Tony quickly grew attached to our lake house and this very special place. He proposed to me after a tour of Fort Ticonderoga on our lake house balcony right on the Lake.

How did you decide on which vendors to use? Deciding which vendors to use was an overwhelming task for me as I lived four hours away and didn’t have the time in my schedule to drive up to the Adirondacks every weekend. This task was significantly simplified by my amazing wedding planner Shannon Whitney. She was instrumental in getting me the best vendors in the area that she knew would match my vision and budget!

How did you come up with your theme/color scheme? I have always wanted a black and white wedding. My entire wardrobe is black, white, and gray. The red was the accent color for the flowers. Black and white made everyone happy. The bridesmaids wore black which is slimming and makes the dress reusable for other occasions. The bridal party in pictures looked uniform and classic.

What made you decide to have your wedding in October? Fall is my favorite season. The weather is my ideal temperature and I thought our wedding guests would love seeing the Adirondacks in the fall which no one should miss seeing once in their life.

What was the most difficult part of the wedding planning process? The most difficult part of the wedding process was being away from the destination that I was getting married at. Shannon Whitney made that part less difficult for me.

What made your wedding unique? My wedding was unique because it was mine.

What was the most memorable moment of the day? The most memorable moment of the day was when I was able to have my first dance with my husband.

Do you have any advice for future brides? Relax and enjoy the day. There were so many little things that turned out different than planned. No one ever notices. The day is about being with the people you love and that love you and if you relax and enjoy the process the day will be perfect no matter what happens.

What’s next for you as a couple? Tony and I are going to start working on extending our family and try to have a couple of babies, hopefully not at the same time, after we return from our honeymoon in February.

Vendors:
Wedding Planner – Shannon Whitney of Wedding Planning Plus
Hair/Makeup – Make Me Fabulous
Photographer – Clark+Walker Studio
Venue – The Inn at Erlowest
DJ – Make Garrasi of Music Man Entertainment

09Feb

Through the Eyes of a Bride: Guest Entry by Elisabeth Draper!

Another Joe Elario Photography bride gives us some great advice on DIY projects! Elisabeth Draper was married to Jon on October 16, 2010 at The Inn at Erlowest on Lake George. Some of her other vendors included: Make Me Fabulous, Katie O’ Weddings & Events, DJ Jeffrey Scott, and Renaissance Floral Design. Elisabeth and Jon did a few DIY projects during their wedding planning and this blog entry is full of really valuable info on how you can too!

From Elisabeth…

Whether you’re the bride, groom, parents of the bride or groom, an attendant, or even a guest, you know that weddings can be EXPENSIVE! And in today’s tough economic times, many brides are aware that what they see in a magazine might not be attainable within their budget. Fear not–you can still have the details that you envision with some preparation, time and a little help!

The most important thing about DIY or do-it-together (DIT) projects is your ability to accurately (and honestly) gauge three things:
1) Can you really pull your project off the way you want it to be / look?
2) Do you have enough time for the project?
3) Is it more cost / time effective to pay for someone to help make your vision a reality?
I know that number three seems counter-intuitive, but hear me out!

Our save the dates and invitations were the major DIY projects my husband and I took on in preparation for our October 2010 wedding. My husband is an architect (and very artistic) and was determined to design these items. This was difficult for me because although I assisted with the concept for the save the date and invitation, I had little to do with the hard work that went into the actual design. Given work and other obligations, it took us at least three weeks to finalize our save the date design and approximately two months to design our whole invitation suite. The save the date (see below) was a postcard that we had printed by PS Print and worked in our Adirondack location.

Our invitations were inspired by a design I spotted online that we modified and made our own. We had the invitations letterpressed by Mercurio Brothers out of Berkley, California and they looked like this when they arrived. Fully assembled and ready to go, they looked like this. We hand stamped the tag with a woodgrain design, hand printed the names on the tags and printed the RSVP and exterior envelopes. Needless to say, assembling 200 invitations took a (really) long time, but we were thrilled with how they turned out!

We also designed our menus, programs, guestbook, and I hand wrote all of our placecards. We ordered almost all of our paper products from Paper Presentation — they’re located in NYC so everything arrived quickly and they were great.

This is where the third consideration I noted above comes into play. I realize not everyone has graphic design abilities…but there are folks out there to help. Locally, The Pink Orange (and NYWB member) is a great resource for a unique stationary experience. On the web, A Printable Press is a great resource for brides looking for invites on a budget.

Etsy is another amazing resource for brides who want a custom look but are low on time (in case you don’t know, Etsy is an online marketplace for handmade goods). I was certainly in this boat. As much as I love to be creative and crafty, working a full-time job while wedding planning didn’t always leave a ton of time for projects. My husband and I had a few ideas that Etsy helped come to fruition.

The Paper Hat located in Kansas made our idea for custom “fun fact” cocktail napkins become a reality. Our ring bearer bowl was purchased from Paloma’s Nest in Austin, Texas and engraved with a lyric from the song that was played during our ceremony and the date (and is now in our home). Lastly, we ordered custom muslin bags for our favors (tulip bulbs) with our initials on them from a shop called Flirt Deux from Georgia.

If you don’t think you can handle a project on your own but still want to save money, don’t be afraid to ask for help. You’ll probably find that most family and friends will be excited and willing to lend a hand. I enlisted my friends to help tie and assemble our invitations and my husband’s family was so helpful when putting together our out-of-town bags and our favors!

DIY / DIT projects may help you save money and will definitely add a personal touch to your wedding. Be aware of your own abilities and limit–my Mom is a master gardener and LOVES flowers, but we both knew that we didn’t want the added stress of trying to DIY our bouquets and centerpieces! Remember to allocate enough time for your projects and don’t be afraid to use Etsy, your vendors, and your friends and family for help!

11Oct

Natalie and Ryan's Real Wedding: The Inn at Erlowest

This post is filed under: Weddings | Direct Link: Natalie and Ryan's Real Wedding: The Inn at Erlowest

Natalie walks us through her wedding planning and fills us in on how she made all the important decisions to make her special day perfect!

It all started with my colors! It took me a while to pick the exact shade of bluish-green (like the color of Ryan’s eyes) that I love but I finally found it at Lily in Amsale’s silk chiffon dresses in Ocean. I fell in love with these dresses for a few reasons: the light, flowy, summer material, and the not so bridesmaid-y look. There were several different styles to choose from and it was very important to me to let each one of my friends pick whichever cut they wanted to suit their own personal styles. To play on their individuality I worked with Louise McManus of Louise M. Jewelry to design pieces for each bridesmaid. We decided on clear crystal chunky necklaces tied with yellow ribbon (that we matched to the guys’ ties)! My friend Tanya had a busier neckline so we chose yellow crystal earrings for her, and my sister Becky (MOH) wore a bracelet and earrings that complemented my bridal jewelry (also made by Lousie!).

The color yellow actually came from my shoes that I purchased at the beginning of 2009. I searched far and wide for these J.Crew Augusta Peep Toe’s. I love the color yellow and was excited to be wearing a pair of shoes that I would definitely wear again. It was hard to keep them in the box for a year and a half!

The guys – I wanted Ryan and the guys to look awesome! I thought gray suits were the perfect choice for the end of June and love yellow/gray color combination. Ryan and I both thought it would be a great idea to have the guys purchase their own suits. We worked with Jason from Men’s Warehouse and settled on Ralph Lauren suits. Jason was great to work with and so helpful in shipping suits all over the Northeast as none of the guys (not even the groom) were local! It took a while to find a tie to match the yellow in my shoes, but I finally found the striped Countess Mara one! I wanted Ryan to be set apart from the other guys so we picked out a classic gray/black/white tie. I have to say I couldn’t be happier with the way all of the colors pulled together! Our group shot is awesome!!

The flowers were absolutely amazing and more than I had ever imagined. I had the pleasure of working with a family friend, Leah Harrington of Leah Harrington Floral Design. The detail and attention that Leah put into the floral arrangements was admirable. I was in love with my bouquet and actually considered bringing it on my honeymoon with me to enjoy it before it died (in retrospect, I wish I did!). There were so many (too many to list here!) special touches that Leah did. For example, adding Ryan’s hometown, Maine blueberries to the bouquet to symbolize the love of two people joining together in marriage. She ordered flowers from around the world for our wedding day…garden roses from California, orchids from Singapore and lisianthus from Holland!

Our first dance was one of the most special moments of the day. My brother, Tim and his friend Adam played and sang our song, “Up and Away,” by Dave Matthews. Ryan and I are huge DMB fans and this song was special to us because we saw Dave perform it live when we went to Bonnaroo in Tennessee in 2003 when we first started dating.

I LOVED my dress and had a lot of fun looking for it. My advice to brides would be to try on everything! You never know what it will look like on you! Everyone always says, “you’ll know when you find your dress,” and I never believed them but it’s true! I narrowed it down to two and then started having dreams about the wedding and I was wearing the Jim Hjelm dress from Lily Saratoga. My dress inspired me to make lace wrapped candles to put on the tables. I found DIY lace votive instructions on Martha Stewart Weddings and made over 200 votives! They looked so pretty when lit. As a tribute to our parents and grandparents I made a display of pictures from their weddings and found vintage labels to print their wedding dates on!

We are so thankful to have worked with an amazing group of vendors! Katie O’ was our day of wedding coordinator and she rocked! Katie and her assistant, Carmelina, kept everything organized and flowing. It was such a relief for me, Ryan and our families to know that we didn’t need to worry about a thing. They even sewed (yes, sewed!) my bustle after it broke! Grand Central Station Band’s music was awesome and they kept the dance floor packed all night! Christopher Feml from Townsend and Company Hair Salon did everyone’s hair and changed my hair style 2 times throughout the reception! I have my friend, and make-up aficionado, Polina Geseleva to thank for the beautiful make-up. Big Joe and Jp Elario’s pictures speak for themselves, amazing! Thanks to them we can re-live our wedding day whenever we want. Al Woodard captured the whole day on video, some of which we got to preview on the Elario blog!