Thursday, November 20, 2014

Ask Primpy: New Q&A Series!

 We are launching a new series on the blog called "Ask Primpy", where we answer your most burning wedding planning questions.  I'm kicking this series off with the most popular question I hear from engaged couples which is..."How do we cut down on wedding costs?"

By far, the most efficient way to save money on your wedding is to cut down your guest list.  The cost per guest you incur usually includes catering, rentals and even the number of centerpieces needed (most couples are surprised by this but think about it--more guests + more seating = more centerpieces).  Because the number of guests directly impacts all of these things and more, this is where you'll see the biggest cost savings when planning your wedding.  

Cutting the guest list can be done in a number of ways, but there are certain things to consider before deciding if sweet Aunt Josie will make the cut or not. First, who is paying for the wedding?  If you and your spouse-to-be are responsible for most or all of the budget, then you pretty much have free reign on determining who will be invited or not.  If either of your parents are paying for the wedding, this is where things get much more complicated.  As the hosts, your parents can pretty much dictate the guest list.  So unless they have explicitly told you that they are leaving the list in your hands, avoid going bridezilla on them if they decide to invite their childhood friends, college friends and the guy at Starbucks who makes their coffee "just the way they like it".  After all, they are footing the bill!

Now if you are in charge of the guestlist, cutting the number of invited guests can be done in a number of ways.  Here are my top tips on saving big bucks for your wedding!

Have your ceremony and reception at the same location.  This can potentially save you a ton of money and stress.  You'll be saving big on transportation costs and having to pay for separate ceremony and reception rental fees.  And having all of your events at one location is less stressful overall since all of your vendors only need to show up to one location.  

Make it an Adult-Only event (aka leave the kids at home).  If this is the route you decide to go, it's fine if the only children invited are ones that are in the bridal party. 

No Unknown Plus Ones.  What this means is that instead of giving guests free reign on the RSVP to invite "Guest", make sure you actually know who "Guest" is and that person is invited by name. 

Consider having a destination wedding.  If you are really keen on getting your guestlist down, but know it'll cause lots of drama if you have a local wedding and don't invite certain local family and friends, my favorite solution is this...have a destination wedding!  For the most part, your key guests will make an effort to travel where ever your wedding will be and you won't offend guests (if you invite them and they can't make it, that's not your fault!).  Just note: if your destination is far enough to require getting on a plane, obviously this won't work if any of your VIP's have a flying phobia, so chose your location wisely.

Have a wedding planning question that is stressing you out?  Send an email to and we'll answer it on the blog!  And if you find yourself in need of a wedding pro, check out the various wedding planning services we offer at This Modern Love Events.  We'd love to help you plan a stress-free wedding day!

Friday, November 14, 2014

NYC Bridal Fashion Week 2014

Last month was that time of the year again--Bridal Fashion Week in NYC!  I was down there with the Sally Conant Ph.D., the Executive Director of the Association of Wedding Gown Specialists, where we spent the weekend running two booths--one over at Pier 94 for the International Bridal Fashion Week show and the Couture Show hosted by TheKnot at the Metropolitan Pavilion.  We saw some GORGEOUS wedding dresses from various designers' 2015 Spring collection and we had the honor of getting an invite to the biggest wedding industry bash of the year, TheKnot Gala (where I got to meet the famous Randy Fenoli from Say Yes to the Dress!)

At Pier 94, we saw gorgeous wedding gowns from both well-known and up & coming designers.

We also met with a fabulous new designer, Kelsey Ganna, from New Zealand.  Her line, The Flower Bride totally nails the boho/chic vintage bridal look.  We were swooning!

Over at TheKnot's Couture Show, we saw some fab gowns and got to chat with some of our favorite designers, including LA-based designer Madeleine Fig.  TheKnot had the most adorable set-up for the welcome lounge at their show!

After 3 days of working both markets, I got to eat, drink and dance the night away at TheKnot's annual wedding industry Gala at the New York Public Library.  There were over 1,000 attendees and I also got the chance to mingle with wedding industry elites such as Carley Roney (TheKnot's co-founder), Randy Fenoli (Kleinfeld Fashion Director and star of Say Yes to the Dress) and the tremendously talented Jannina Figueroa, owner and designer of Madeleine Fig.

Photographer Credit: Ready Luck Photography
 My awesome husband came with me and was the perfect arm candy--we had a BLAST :)

Entertainment was provided by Hank Lane Music who kept everyone dancing all night long with the incredible live band!

We loved every minute of it and can't wait to see what TheKnot Gala has in store for 2015 :)  Check out more amazing photos from TheKnot Gala here!
Thursday, October 23, 2014

Primp My Bride Real Weddings: Vintage Farm Wedding in East Lyme, CT

It's one thing to see photos of swoon-worthy weddings, but it's another thing entirely when you not only get to attend said swoony wedding, but are also good friends with the bride and groom (hi guys!).  Karen & Kam had a beautiful outdoor wedding on a farm in eastern Connecticut complete with delicious food, awesome guests and a rockin' DJ.  Oh and did I mention that instead of cutting a cake, they decide to pop the biggest bottle of champagne you've ever seen?!?

All photos by Ian Christmann of Catalyst Photography.

When was your wedding and where did it take place?

We got married on August 16, 2014 at White Gate Farm in East Lyme, CT.  Although August in New England is typically known to be hot and muggy, the day was absolutely gorgeous--70 degrees and partly sunny with a nice breeze!

How long did it take you to plan your wedding?

We got engaged in March 2013 but decided to wait a few months before delving into wedding planning--we just wanted to enjoy being engaged!  We started making wedding decisions in the summer of 2013, which still gave us a full year before our wedding to plan.

When did you know that your wedding gown was "the one"?

I had been struggling to make a decision between two dresses I had tried on--problem was I was on my own so didn't want to make a decision until I had the opinions of the ladies who mattered most to me.  In a stroke of luck, both my mother and future mother-in-law were both visiting Connecticut one weekend, so along with my future sister-in-law, they all came to the dress shop with me.  They liked the first dress I tried on, but when I saw the expression on their faces when I came out of the fitting room in the second dress, I knew it was "the one"!  It was a Justin Alexander gown and I got it at Bliss Bridal in Cheshire, CT.

Rank your top 10 favorite moments from your wedding day!

10. Getting ready in the morning.  Few things are better than sleeping in and having a latte delivered to your door first thing in the morning. The morning of the wedding was this and so much more!  Sipping lattes and getting pampered with my sisters and sisters-to-be is my version of fun. And having the most important women in my life help me button my wedding dress was beautifully symbolic of the wedding day.

9. Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.  I hadn't remembered it was tradition to wear something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, until my sister-in-law gifted me a beautiful blue monogram embroidery to sew into my wedding dress. ‘Something blue’ – check! ‘Something new’ (dress) – check! My ‘something borrowed’ was especially meaningful. I wore a strand of pearls from my husband’s grandmother, which had been worn by the women in his family on their wedding day. My ‘something old’ was a handkerchief from my grandfather’s mother, which came in handy during the exchange of vows.

8. Popping champagne.  I am never one to say ‘no’ to dessert – but cake lands at the bottom of the list of my favorite sweets.  And with a husband who would rather have a second entrĂ©e than a sugary treat, we figured we would invest our money into something we love – champagne!  Not only was it epic to pop a 9L bottle of Schramsberg Blanc de Blanc (vintage from the year we met!), but the champagne was delicious and the photos were even better!

7. The food! Anyone who knows my husband knows he is serious about food. Which is why hiring A Thyme to Cook was an easy decision. They source all of their ingredients locally and were able to use our own honey for the chicken course. Oh – and they took notes from our floral design and incorporated lavender into the lemonade and chicken.

6. The first look with my father.  These days it seems that more and more couples are opting for the photography trend of first looks before the ceremony. But it was important to me to be old-school and see each other for the first time as I walked down the aisle.  I was torn between wanting to capture the emotion of a ‘first look’ on camera but also waiting to see each other as I walked down the aisle. Instead, I did a ‘first look’ photo with my father and they are my favorite photos of the two of us!

5. The last slow dance of the night.   The final slow dance of the night was “Better Together” (Jack Johnson) – a song that fundamentally defines our relationship. Already loving slow dancing with my hubby to one of our favorite songs, tears filled my eyes when our family and friends encircled us with their arms around each other.

4. Our wedding officiant.  It was important for us to have a meaningful relationship with the person who would marry us on our wedding day. We wanted someone who knew and loved us both as individuals, but also as a couple. So the decision was obvious. Our officiant was our dear friend who introduced us the first night we met and who has watched us grow in our relationship. His ceremony was the perfect mix of hilarious and heartfelt – and his sincerity, evident.

3. The toasts.  It's always flattering to have someone stand up at an event to tell stories about how wonderful you and your spouse are together and as individuals. We had asked my husband’s brother (best man) and my sister (maid of honor) to each make a toast at the reception. They both exceeded expectations in flattery and story-telling – what more could you ask for?!  I had also been nudging my stage-shy father in the weeks leading up to the wedding to make a toast. After some cajoling, he agreed to make a short toast, briefly thanking people for coming.  So it was very unexpected when he took the mic and began imparting marriage advice and his wishes for a long and happy marriage!  I can barely remember the details of what he said since I was in shock – but from the photos, it appears he was melting my heart!

2. Celebrating with family and friends. Guests traveled across the country and around the world to participate in our wedding. Seeing people from all the parts of our life together under one tent was awesome. But more than that, our guests knew how to party. The dance floor was never empty – and isn’t that the hallmark of a good celebration?

1. Marrying my husband.  Our wedding day was filled with happy tears and laughter for me – but never more so than during our wedding ceremony. Even with a faulty microphone and wind that kept tussling my veil, there is nothing I would change. While the details of the reception, flowers, music, etc were fun to plan (but stressful at times) the significance of those moments ultimately hinged on the reason for this wedding celebration – the beginning of our marriage.

Wedding Vendors
Photographer: Ian Christmann of Catalyst Photography
Location: White Gate Farm
Caterer: A Thyme to Cook
Planner: Josh Chalmers of Earth2Events
Florist: Gira
DJ: DJ Renzo Hernandez
Hair/Makeup: Simply Gorgeous by Erin
Groom + Groomsmen Suits: Enson's
Bridesmaids Dresses: Weddington Way
Videography: WeddingMix