Thursday, March 12, 2015
Here's my personal experience using technology with my big day!
Group Me - As soon as my friends said "Yes!" to my bridal party proposal they were given their first task: to download the Group Me (a group text messaging app) app on each of their smart phones. My maid of honor took on this task, named our group, added members, and even made the group's avatar a cute photo of my groom and I. The app allows me to send a message just once reaching each bridal party member.
Throw in emoticons, pictures, and videos, talk about efficient and fun!!! They've even given me opinions on bouquet ideas, my venue selection, and we planned a bridal show day all by using Group Me. The main reason I need Group Me is that several of my bridal party members are out of town and unable to be here with me as I plan. I highly recommend this app for planning brides because it truly allows for all of your bridal party to be with you along the planning journey!
Hashtags - Want an easy and free way to view a gallery of all of the pictures that you and your guests snapped all wedding day long? Create and share a fun, memorable hashtag and use it endlessly. With social media and camera phones you know you will thank yourself later when you have a vast collection of wedding photos. So get your thinking cap on and start coming up with creative and fun wedding day hashtags!
We're still trying to decide ours. Maybe our Ashley's Bride Guide readers can help me choose one? Here are our running ideas. (We welcome any clever ideas!):
Me and my bridal party
Even thought we're still deciding, here are some tips as you create yours...
1.) Think of something catchy and easy to remember, so your guests don't misspell it and can recall it through-out your big day.
2.) Think of his last name and/or your last name. Then, see if you can combine any of those to rhyme with wedding day sayings like these:
Jump the broom
Tie the Knot
Altar, Chapel (heading to the altar, going to the chapel)
I do, We said yes
Union, Nuptials, Wedding
Now, throw in your year or wedding date at the end in case anyone else shares the same hashtag on social media.
3.) Do NOT use any punctuation marks in between or spacing as this will not become a hashtag.
Now, use your Group Me app to ask your bridal party what they think of your wedding hashtag ideas!
#GoodLuck! #AshleysBrideGuide #EngagedBrideShab #HappyReading #HappyPlanning #BridalFun #GroupMe #WeddingHashtags
Monday, February 16, 2015
Most brides spend much of their time thinking about their wedding dresses before the wedding, but not what happens to it after. For those who do put some thought into the care of their gowns post-wedding usually opt to take dresses to their local dry cleaners.
But did you know that all dress cleaners are not created equal? While some garment cleaning services promise to clean and store wedding dresses properly, many of them don’t take the time to do so thoroughly. Imagine the surprise on a bride’s face when she takes a peek at her dress three years from now and finds it yellowed and dull due to stains and improper storage!
Photo: Association of Wedding Gown Specialists
Nashville’s Oakwood Cleaners gives brides its guarantee that once dresses are cleaned, restored and preserved by them, they’ll still be in great condition years down the road. As a certified wedding gown specialist endorsed by the Association of Bridal Consultants, Oakwood’s claim to fame is its hand cleaning, anti-sugar stain treatment along with its use of acid-free tissue and archival-quality wedding chest storage.
Ready for even better news? After your dress is cleaned and preserved at Oakwood, you’ll receive a written international guarantee that your gown will never be any color but white once you open the box again. And when your daughter is ready to wear, you both can take it to any participating certified wedding gown specialist who will and press your dress free of charge.
To learn more, visit Oakwood Cleaners in person at their Nashville, Hermitage and Franklin/Cool Springs locations or visit oakwoodcleaners.com.
Tuesday, January 27, 2015
Regalo Design, a full-service wedding planning company, launched a video series free of charge to help planning brides like myself. For someone on a budget this video series is a life saver! It is divided into 4 themes. They are: the when and where, the who (vendors), "The Wedding Planner's Secret," and the surprise ending "Project Wed."
By offering stories, Sarah Goude owner of Regalo Design, highlights importance lessons. For example, in deciding the when & where she tells the story of a rainy day and how that should be considered when comparing indoor versus outdoor venues and/or seasons. I learned to evaluate whether a venue offers an all inclusive package or allows outside vendors and the pros and cons of these options. Basically, what does your venue offer?
The next video covered the who, as in what to know about selecting vendors. Sarah's best advice is to choose your "supporting actors" (vendors) based on professional history, referrals, and reviews. As she emphasizes, "choose wisely" when it comes to vendors as they influence greatly how your day goes from photographers arriving on time to DJ's playing the right music. In video three, Regalo Design reveals the secret! She shares the value of creating a written plan! This truly helped me understand how much fun my day can be, if I have the help and organization I need. She urges type A personalities like me to delegate and to write it ALL down!
The most exciting part of the series is the huge gift at the end. Regalo Designs is offering a wedding planning academy called Project Wed! In this academy we, planning brides, can learn how to develop a timeline, budget, guest list, vendors list, decor and ceremony options. This course will also offer exclusive vendor deals!
The Regalo Designs video series has truly been the glowing diamond ring I couldn't take my eyes off of as a newly engaged bride! I feel I have gained clarity and more knowledge by listening to an experienced planner like Sarah Goude. Her excitement and calm presentation have boosted my wedding planning confidence and have supported my desire to hire a planner if not for the entity of the planning, at least for the month or day of! This future bride feels a lot wiser, eager, and prepared to plan her special day!
You can learn more about Project Wed here.
Wednesday, January 14, 2015
Ever so often, we get a chance to sit down with experienced Nashville wedding planners who are willing to give us a peek into the latest in wedding trends and finds. This time, I was able to steal a few minutes from Toni Smith, owner and lead planner for Celebrations By Design. I asked one question: What are you loving that Nashville brides might also? Her answer this time: high fashion bridal portraits by Gregory Byerline Photographer.
- Toni of Celebrations by Design, an event planning boutique -
I've known Gregory for years as a killer wedding photographer. (I know Gregory won't mind me bragging on him for just a bit.) What I didn't know was that he loves to capture beautiful brides and their gorgeous gowns and turning that once-in-a-lifetime bridal moment into art. Toni says, "With his fashion focused eye, he takes bridals to another level. He thinks outside the box and adds a modern twist to a traditional concept. He has a keen abilty to get the shot and he works so well with brides. He loves bridals and it shows."
Gregory Byerline is the bridal portrait specialist for the cosmopolitan, sophisticated, and decadent Nashville brides. And with one look at portraits below, you can see why Gregory Byerline is on Toni's list of favorites.
Gown: Olia Zavozina Couture Designs
Gown: The Dress Theory
Gown: Maggie Sottero
Gown: Betsy Johnson
That's super cool Gregory!
Want a wedding planner who is as good at planning your day as she is at keeping a pulse on what's hot? Contact Toni of Celebrations by Design. For a fashion-focused photographer for your bridal portraits, contact Gregory Byerline.
Monday, January 12, 2015
In case you hadn't heard, Regalo Design just released and amazing FREE three-part wedding planning video series last week. This series gives brides some amazing insight into the world of a wedding planner.
The first video in the series discusses the major questions you should be asking when you first get engaged. What date are you going to choose, and where is your wedding going to take place. Those may seem like easy questions to answer, you've probably been thinking about them for a long time. However, before you make that decision, I urge you to watch the first video and I'd be willing to bet you'll walk away with insight you didn't realize you needed.
The beauty of a wedding planner is that they do this every day. And Regalo Design has planned hundreds of weddings. Normally you would have to hire a wedding planner to have someone walk you through these questions, but Sarah from Regalo Design is giving you this information for free.
When I asked her why she was doing this she said, "My husband, Damon, and I had the most amazing wedding day you can imagine. I get to give that gift to our clients on a daily basis. But there are people out there, regardless of the reason, that are going to plan their own wedding. I did! So I wanted to give them some tips while they're in the middle of it."
Planning your own wedding can be a daunting task. The good news is that now, you can have advice from a pro that does it every day. And it's 100% free!
The next two videos in the series (one is releasing today!) are going to cover even more topics. One is a question that every bride faces... who are the vendors you're going to hire to make your day amazing? Sarah has some great questions that you need to make sure you know to ask for everything from photographers to bakers. The final video in the series will reveal the "wedding planner's secrets.
UPDATE: The video series has expired. Starting January 20, you can re-access the videos for a very limited time, here.