Monday, March 1, 2010

Bridal Showcase Spotlight: Brooklyn Bridal Show at BAM

Come visit me at the Brooklyn Bridal Show at BAM on March 7th, 2010. Invite Couture will be exhibiting our most recent custom designs as well as providing on site consultations for brides attending the show. We look forward to seeing you there!

Here Comes the Bride Brooklyn Bridal Show

Brooklyn, the borough of innovation and a hot bed of creativity, will be the location for a unique Bridal show in March. BAM, Brooklyn’s leading cultural institution and an international leader in performance arts, will host the show on March 7th in partnership with Great Performances, its exclusive caterer, and supported by Edible Brooklyn, the voice of the new food movement in the borough.

Enjoy cocktails, lounge seating, expert workshops, demos, and a chance to win a night at the Plaza Hotel. Guests will also take home wedding gift bags created especially by our vendors. Buy Tickets (Enter the code 'brooklynbride' to receive a complimentary offer!)

30 Lafayette Avenue
Sunday, March 7 2010 2-6 PM
No day of tickets available.

Friday, February 26, 2010

The #1 Way to Save Money on Your Wedding

Creative Commons License

It's no secret, weddings are expensive. Actually, they are beyond expensive. Weddings equal expensive no matter which way you go about it.

When you're just starting to plan your wedding, the very first decision that should be made is what your total budget is. Knowing this will later determine a variety of decisions for you later on down the road. For example, what your venue will be, what type of meals you'll serve, etc.

What is the next best decision you can make after determining your budget that will actually help you stay on budget?

Your total number of guests.

The fact is, no matter which way you put it the less guests you have the less expensive your wedding will be. It's all a numbers game. The less guests you have, the less meals, invitations, centerpieces, favors, etc. you'll be needing. Knowing this gives you a much better and more realistic chance of actually staying within your budget.

After determining your budget and your total number of guests you'll be inviting, it's then a bit easier to figure out where you can splurge and where you'll have to cut back. It also gives you a better perspective in determining the sort of event you want to have and realistically what you can afford. This method not only helps you save money and be budget focused, it can also help you actually afford higher end items should they be important to you.

For example, let's say you have an average bridal budget of $29,000. Let's also pretend you have crazy, expensive tastes. According to this budget your catering should fall in the $4,000 range not including the cake (depending on which calculation tool you use). So if you wanted to have your wedding at the Creme de la Creme wedding venue which charges $200/head for catering, you could still afford this on your budget granted you have a small wedding of around 20 people. Having only 20 people will also keep your other costs down as well. As another example with the $29,000 average bridal budget your invitations should be around $400. Guess what? If you only invite 20 people you can have those crazy silk box invitations that cost $20 each and still fit in your budget.

But then again if Mom and Dad insist that you'll actually need to be inviting 200 guests, that means you'll have to keep your catering costs at around $20 a plate. Your invitations would then have to come to only $2 each. You'll have to produce more invitations, centerpieces, etc and therefore might have to reconsider what style and quality of the items you are looking for to best fit within your budget.

So overall, when starting to plan your wedding, always remember that the easiest way to save money and get the quality items you are looking for is to consider the number of guests you invite. After all it's just a numbers game.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Bridal Showcase Spotlight: OHEKA Bridal Showcase

If you are a bride planning your wedding in the NYC/Long Island NY area, I highly recommend attending the OHEKA Bridal Show.

Back in '08 when I was planning my own wedding, I found most all of my vendors at this show and every last one of them did the most phenomenal job making my wedding the spectacular event I imagined it to be. The level of professionalism of the vendors who exhibit at this show can't be matched.

As an added bonus, the complimentary champagne and hors d'oeuvres makes for a great "girls" evening if you want to take your bridesmaids and the mom's with you. If you head out to this show, let me know what you think!


March 4, 2010

5:00pm - 9:00pm

ENJOY complimentary champagne & hors d'oeuvres prepared by OHEKA's Executive Chef, Chris Cappello.

MEET some of the most sought after professional bridal vendors on the East Coast.

TOUR the historic estate & gardens of OHEKA CASTLE.

VIEW magnificently designed wedding gowns and perfectly tailored tuxedos.

WIN a pearl tier wedding cake designed by OHEKA's Executive Pastry Chef, Daniel Andreotti.

Tickets: (Tickets are non-refundable)

$35 ADVANCE TICKETS (Purchase February 13 - March 3, 2010)


To Purchase Tickets:

Phone/Email: Contact Jennifer at 631-659-1400 x264 or


Monday, February 22, 2010

My Wedding Concierge

Congratulations to all you soon to be brides and grooms who were engaged over Valentine's weekend!

Now that you've said "yes" and the realization that you are now getting married is setting in, what's a girl to do to plan your wedding? I must say that since I was married in '08, there is now a wealth of information available on the Internet that wasn't there even a year ago. Bridal Blogs (like the Invite Couture Blog) provide brides with a wealth of up to date wedding trends and information that's totally tailored to bride's individual tastes. If you have a rocker style, there are rocker bridal blogs. If vintage is your thing there are vintage bridal blogs. You just have to know where to find them.

With the hundreds of wedding blogs out there, where does one start? One newer service to check out is My Wedding Concierge. My Wedding Concierge is a wedding blog search engine. It works kind of like Google but without having a bunch of non-wedding stuff pop up that you're not interested in. Creator Phyllis Cheung created My Wedding Concierge to be a weddings specific source for brides to find area vendors.

My Wedding Concierge also has an iPhone app! How awesome is that?! Now you can easily take your wedding planning with you wherever you find yourself on the go!

I wish wedding planning was this easy back when I planned my own.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Valentine's Day Wedding Inspiration Board

I love that Valentine's Day this year falls on a weekend, giving us all more quality time to spend with our sweeties. Let's get this weekend off to a Valentine's Day state of mind with a Valentine's Inspired Wedding Inspiration Board!

Though I'm not usually a gal to migrate towards pink. In fact it's personally probably my most hated color choice, but I do think pink for valentine's day is a softer, more romantic color to bring in the holiday than red which just seems vampy to me. Pair it with lots of crystal, gorgeous handwritten calligraphy, satin ribbon accents and lots of candles and you have the recipe for a perfectly romantic evening.

Valentine's Inspiration

What are your plans this Valentine's Day? Not sure what my husband has planned for me, but he's never been one to disappoint or not surprise me in some crazy unique way. I guess we'll have to wait and see...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Wedding Trend: Proposal Photo Shoots

Sure, it's standard for couples to hire photographers to cover weddings. Always have and probably always will. Then, back not to long ago engagement photo shoots were all the rage and a trend that's here to stay. Now it's pretty standard for couples to book an engagement session in addition to their wedding.

I absolutely LOVE this new trend I'm starting to see all of my photographer friends do... proposal photo shoots!

Grooms to be, if you're about to ask your girl to share her life with you this coming Valentine's Day, definitely consider this option. Lots of photographers are now offering packages where they will document you popping the question. They document the before, during and after. The results are a lovely memory of one of the most special moments of a couple's life.

A special thanks to Alecia Lauren and Sharon Bushman for sharing these fantastic images of their client's most special moment.

So what do you think? Is this trend a keeper?

Name three important things to consider when starting a stationary/paper goods business :)Also: What is the best part of being your own boss

Wow, what an awesome first question to receive! Here would be my top 3 tips when first starting out in the stationery business.

First, would be (and I was guilty of this myself) is it's actually spelled "stationery" and not "stationary". I had even myself designed my entire website with the incorrect spelling, and am thankful a well respected stationer I was following on Twitter pointed it out to me. As she told me if you want to be considered a professional in the business you have to spell what you create correctly. Initially I took offense to her pointing that out to me but now in hindsight I'm very thankful she did and consider it the best piece of advice given to me while building my business.

Second, is to do your research and create a relationship with a really great printer (granted you are not purchasing your own equipment and doing it yourself). I tried a few different professional printers before I found one who's work makes my designs look amazing and who provides me with great customer service. Remember when building a relationship with a printer that you will be bringing them repeat business, so really developing a good professional relationship is key.

Third is not to send out or produce any designs you create that you are not 100% in love with. It's not fair to your clients and it's not fair to you. Kind of like how chef's in a kitchen will not put out a dish that isn't 100% up to their standards I feel the same goes with stationery design (or any kind of design for that matter). Adhering to this will allow you to put out designs that max your creativity and build a fantastic portfolio.

What's the best part about being my own boss? I love that I know that I am accountable for my own actions. That as long as I put the time and effort into it, it will pay out for me. Another thing that's special to me about now being a business owner is I'm 3rd generation in my family to be one. I come from a family of entrepreneurs and it feels great to me to do the same in a business that reflects my passions and personality.

Ask me anything

Monday, February 8, 2010

Meat Free Mondays

OK, so I'll preface this post with stating I'm 100% aware this has absolutely nothing to do with weddings, events or any kind of stationery or paper product. I did want to post about it though considering my own personal stance on global warming, as well as how it's an important part of Invite Couture's business model to be as green as humanly possible.

I love Gwyneth Paltrow's Goop newsletter and the one that went out this past week really interested me, so I wanted to share it. It talked about a new initiative called Meat Free Mondays. Meat Free Mondays is a movement to educate people about the environmental, climate-changing impacts of the factory farming industry, specifically with meat production. A quote from the organization's website notes:

"Many people are unaware that livestock production is responsible for 18% of global greenhouse gas emissions – that’s more than the entire transport sector."

The thought is if everyone chose to eat at least one meat free meal a week, it could make a huge impact on global warming. I love that this approach doesn't preach that everyone should become a vegetarian, which I honestly do not believe is for everyone, but instead give the idea of how one small sacrifice a week can make such a huge difference in our lives and future generations.

If you still don't think you could give up meat even just for that one day a week, I highly recommend watching the now Oscar nominated documentary Food Inc. At minimum it helps to know where you're food comes from (both livestock and produce) so you can make the choices right for yourself and your family.

What do you think of Meat Free Mondays? Will you and your family participate?

Monday, January 25, 2010

Invite Couture Featured on Every Last Detail!

Every Last Detail Screen Shot Invite Couture Feature

I don't know about you guys but last week was an insane week for me. Oy vey!

One of the highlights of my week was being featured on Every Last Detail. I had the pleasure of meeting (and tweeting) with Lauren, ELD's editor on Twitter and after viewing her website I immediately added it to my Google Reader. ELD is a great source for new brides to get ideas for their weddings. Lauren's site is complete with gorgeous photography submissions, DIY imprintibles and a slew of other useful information.

So nonetheless I was super flattered when Lauren featured Invite Couture on her website!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Some Really Cool Logos

While surfing my usual twitter feed, I came across this great post from Guy Kawasaki on the Coolest Logos of 2009. Being a corporate graphic designer by trade prior to getting into the wedding and event business, I really enjoyed looking through this nicely curated collection of fantastic logos for various companies.

One of the things I love about logo design is designers really have an opportunity to say more about a company just through the visualization of their logo than any company bio can show. It's really a creative challenge to get the entire purpose and mission of a company across in a single glance at a logo. All the logos featured in the article are great examples of this.

Here's a few examples of the ones I liked from the article. What's your favorite?

Monday, January 11, 2010

Invite Couture Featured in Ralph Lauren Magazine!

Granted we're a bit past the holiday season at this point in time, I'm still excited to say I was interviewed by Ralph Lauren Magazine on a feature for custom holiday party invitations. RL Magazine is an online magazine featuring articles ranging from entertainment, business, travel and all things fabulous!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Bad Choice First Dance Wedding Songs

When planning my own wedding with my husband, we were probably most excited about picking the music. Everything from the procession music to our grand entrance song, and most importantly our first dance song.

The first dance is such an important part of your wedding. For us, it was important to us to not pick a quote unquote "traditional" song. We have a very eclectic taste in music and we wanted to showcase this at our wedding. The only thing not working in our favor is we listen more to the music and not necessarily the lyrics of any song.

After much discussion, the two of us were so excited to choose "Head Over Heels" by the ever so fabulous 80's band Tears for Fears. We loved the into of the song and thought it would make a perfect entrance, with us then launching straight into the first dance. My friends and family on the other hand had different options of this.

Apparently being we never really listened to the lyrics and there is some sketchy stuff said towards the end of the song that could be interpreted a number of different ways. Here's the lyrics:

I wanted to be with you alone and talk about the weather
But traditions I can trace against the child in your face
Won't escape my attention
You keep your distance with a system of touch and gentle persuasion
I'm lost in admiration, could I need you this much
Oh, you're wasting my time, you're just, just, just wasting time

Something happens and I'm head over heels
I never find out till I'm head over heels
Something happens and I'm head over heels
Ah, don't take my heart, don't break my heart
Don't, don't, don't throw it away (Throw it away...Throw it away...)

I made a fire and watching it burn (yeah) Thought of your future
With one foot in the past now just how long will it last
No, no, no, have you no ambitions, oh (What's the matter with...)
My mother and my brothers used to breathing clean air
(Nothing ever changes when you're acting your age)
And dreaming I'm a doctor
(Nothing gets done when you feel like a baby)
It's hard to be man when there's a gun in your hand.
(Nothing ever changes when you're acting your age) Oh, I feel so…

Something happens and I'm head over heels
I never find out till I'm head over heels
Something happens and I'm head over heels
Ah, don't take my heart, don't break my heart
Don't, don't, don't throw it away

And this is my four leaf clover
I'm on the line, one open mind, this is my four leaf clover

(La la la la la, la la la la la, la la la la la la)
(La la la la la, la la la la la, la la la la la la)
(La la la la la, la la la la la, la la la la la la)
(La la la la la, la la la la la, la la la la la la)
(La la la la la, la la la la la) In my mind's eye (la la la la la la)
One little boy, one little man (La la la la la, la la la la la)
Funny how...TIME FLIES!!!

My mother in particular didn't take to well to the line "it's hard to be a man with a gun in your hand". I kinda saw her point. Also, he's pleading the girl not to break his heart. Not exactly the most romantic song, huh?

So we quickly went back to the drawing board and decided on the Ronettes "Be My Baby", of Dirty Dancing fame. We took dancing lessons and learned to Samba, which definitely made for a memorable first dance for both me and my husband and our guests. We received so many compliments on our song choice throughout the evening from our guests.

Don't make the same (almost) mistake my husband and I almost made and do yourself a favor by not picking one of the below songs. These songs are known for people thinking they are "in the moment" love songs, but google the lyrics and you'll be surprised.

  1. Every Breath You Take- The Police a.k.a the stalker song
  2. I Will Always Love You- Whitney Houston a.k.a the breakup song
  3. My Heart Will Go On- Celine Dion- a.k.a the singing to my dead boyfriend song
  4. Lips of an Angel- Hinder- a.k.a the cheating boyfriend song

What do you think? Was my husband and my first choice wedding song a bad one? What other bad wedding songs have you heard/thought of?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Southwestern Turquoise Wedding Inspiration

Last week it was the talk of the wedding planning industry that Pantone announced that turquoise would be the color of 2010. I LOVE turquoise, especially turquoise and silver southwestern inspired jewelry.

What better color palette for an outdoor, southwestern wedding than using a range of neutral tones accented by turquoise and silver?

Turquoise is a very strong color, so for your turquoise inspired wedding make it an accent color on a neutral palette as opposed to the main focus for a very luxurious and elegant take on the trend.

Eva Mendez at the 2009 Golden Globes proved that southwestern, turquoise jewelry looks gorgeous paired with white formal wear. Get your bridesmaids involved and allow them to pick up their favorite southwestern turquoise and silver jewelry to personalize their own look and stay with your theme. Also, as an added flare to your bouquets, have your florist wrap the bouquets with beaded turquoise bracelets.

To incorporate the silver elements of your color palette, have your bridesmaids wear a soft, gray/silver color (they'll love you since they can wear it again!), and use antique silver vases for your centerpieces.

Southwestern Turquoise Wedding Inspiration Board

Images: Tent, Eva Mendez, Gray Ruffle Dress, Antique Silver Vase, Cream Floral Arrangement, Turquoise and Silver Necklace, Turquoise and Silver Jewelry, Succulent and Silver Arrangements

Anyone else love turquoise and silver jewelry as much as I do?

Monday, January 4, 2010

Eco-Friendly Stationery How To's

green field and flowers

Photo: Creative Commons License

One of the easiest ways to go green for your wedding or event is to make your invitations eco-friendly. There are tons of vendors out there who offer eco-friendly invitation products (myself included), but what exactly makes an invitation eco-friendly?

  1. The Paper, Stock and Materials. There are several different paper options for today's brides and party hosts. Recycled seems to be the obvious choice for eco-friendly invitations, but there are other options as well. Many vendors offer FSC Certified stocks, which are created from trees from sustainable forests and processed in mills using sustainable energy. Another option would be to go with 100% cotton paper. Most cotton papers are tree-free, and created using leftover cotton linters leftover from the textile industry. Paper vendors are also getting more and more creative. There are several that now offer papers embedded with seeds, so your guests can plant them after your event as passed. That's a unique way to recycle your guests won't soon forget!

  2. The Printing Process. Vegetable and soy based inks are preferable over petroleum based inks. These inks are low in VOC's and better for the environment. Choose single color printing over multiple colors can lessen the environmental impact as well. Another less thought of printing choice is digital offset, which doesn't use the same film and chemical process to create the plates to print your invitations. Also when choosing a printer, several use green energy to run their presses, making them a greener option.

  3. The Number of Pieces. Take into consideration to order the number of invitations you think you'll need and not to way overestimate them to eliminate waste. Also, if you can try to condense as much information onto a minimum number of insertion cards to not only save you money, but also to prevent waste as well. Having a wedding website makes it easy to do this, being you can post additional information about your wedding (like hotel information) as well as give guests a place to RSVP on the Internet.

Does anyone have any green printing tips I might have missed? Please share!

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year, New Blog

Photo: Edz Gazette

Happy New Year!

As part of my New Year's Resolutions (yes, I know it seems I have a lot this year!), I've decided I want to be a better blogger. Part of that process is figuring out what you want to say so you can become more focused in spreading the message you want to send.

So with that in mind, I decided it was time for a Blog Mission Statement...

Invite Couture Blog's Mission Statement:

Invite Couture Blog is home to my online notebook. It's home to my ideas, thoughts, inspiration and tips on artistry and creativity. My goal is to provide my readers with a resource of ideas to better express themselves and personalities while planning and creating special life events they are sharing with their friends and family.

New Year, new goals, new promises to deliver on. I'm excited to start this new year off with a bang.

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