Was it always like this?

Between my recent post on bridal party expenses, which you can read here,  and some conversations I’ve shared with others, I’ve been thinking a lot about the state of the wedding world these days (bear with me, this might get a little all over the place).  How did it get so trendy?!?! 

It’s common to hear brides say that “they have been planning their weddings since they were little girls.”  This may have consisted of ripping a few pictures from magazines or dreaming up a vision of the big white princess gown in their head, but I’d say, arguably, that for the most part little girls’ plans were mostly that, a vision. Typically, if you wanted to immerse yourself in wedding details you had to seek it out, buying magazines from the bookstore, visiting vendors, etc. The wedding industry was very much a tight niche that only the betrothed could access.

Fast forward to 2011 and the world of social media, and what do you have? In your face weddings.  Suddenly, we see weddings everywhere: on TV, in mainstream magazines, on every blog imaginable. We’re watching couples get a complete dream wedding makeover a week before they say I do, flipping channels to the screaming bridezilla having a meltdown like that’s standard and not even batting an eyelash while parents drop thousands of dollars in a swanky bridal salon for a dress their daughter will wear once. Some could even argue it’s become the trendy way to throw a party what with the Kardashian debacle, but that’s another story (check out this interesting graphic). My point is, it’s not just a life milestone anymore, its a social milestone and an outlet for entertainment from the media. Brides (and sometimes grooms) now have every detail of their wedding figured out before they even find their significant other. Thank you Pinterest.

More shockingly, I think this wedding boom is evident in the everyday bride planning her own personal wedding. Couples are willing to spend extravagant amounts on this single party because that’s how wedding’s work. I see clients all the time who have what we affectionately refer to as “champagne tastes on a beer budget.” They want it all, lighting, crystals, big floral arrangements, fancy lounge furniture, designer gowns, letterpress invites you name it. Often times they don’t even realize how much money these things actually cost.

It seems like with the wedding world in everybody’s face it’s not uncommon to see couples who are simply trying to “one-up” their friends and relatives all to prove that they can have the most over the top wedding of the year. It’s become a competition to see who can throw the best party of them all. Maybe this is the way it always has been, or maybe it’s just a testament to my upbringing, but I feel like weddings just used to be simpler. The wedding has always been referred to as the most important day of your life, so naturally brides wanted to make it special and go all out, but I think this remained on a very personal level between the bride, the groom, and the family. Maybe it was always over the top and I was just sheltered, or maybe it really has become trendy on a whole new level.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a fabulous industry to be in. I love what I do. I love the clients I work with (even the crazies). I love doing whatever it takes to make that day as spectacular as it can be for my couples.  I too love staring at the pretty pictures of lace and tulle and flowers on my pin boards and gawking at the ridiculous shows. I might not have had visions when I was younger but I sure have inspiration tucked away now. At the end of the day though, I just have to chuckle. When did weddings become mainstream and how did that happen? Who decided that this would be the next industry boom? Man were they right!

And for their sake I hope they are making a lot of money!



(Almost) Famous

I had a bit of a meltdown this Holiday weekend – but don’t worry it was a good one. Actually, that’s the understatement of the year, it was a fabulous meltdown!! How is a meltdown fabulous you ask? When your name appears on one of the biggest wedding websites ever thats how!! I know I’ve already shown video clips of my April wedding at Villa Woodbine, but now you get to see more of it. Style Me Pretty (we all know how much I love and adore them) just featured Amanda and Joe’s wedding as one of their Florida spotlights yesterday. Check it out (and my cred at the bottom EEEK!!!).

photo by Michelle Turner Photography

I am beyond thrilled but talk about pressure! Let’s hope there are many more instances to come. I’m going to go continue my freak out now….

(sidenote…the company I work for, Parrish Designs, was also featured on Style Me Pretty a few times this week. Here and Here. They were also the beauty behind Amanda’s florals. It’s a great week for everyone!!)

Shake it up a bit

I’m a big advocate of unique and creative events – especially when it comes to weddings – to break yours apart from the hundred others you experience in a year (give or take a few). I think this approach can also apply to events surrounding the wedding – showers, engagement parties, etc.

The blog FashionableBride posted a fabulous article today for Avante Garde Bachelorette/Bachelor Parties. I loved this article and thought these were great ideas! I’m not so much a fan of the “lets rent a limo get wasted and see strippers” approach, so here goes Fashionable Bride’s list of avante garde parties:

1. Rock it Out:  if you want to go the rental route, rent a party bus or limo and a hotel room to return to while you party the night away at a concert of your choice. Front row seats, luxury box – whatever it is – this is your night to live like rockstar. This is also a great approach for a co-ed party if you are looking to go that route.

2. Get centered or tee-off: if you prefer something daylight friendly why not treat the boys to a day of golf and the girls to yoga? The article actually spotlighted some of my favorite Miami spots such as the Mandarin Oriental, with a beach day on Key Biscayne and a party on the beach at Nikki Beach. Love me any excuse for a Miami getaway – you know – bring the party to me!

3. Big Easy Weekend – head to the french quarter to party it up with your crew in old world style. If you’re jonesing for some semblane of a Vegas style bachelorette leave it to Bourbon Street to tickle your fancy.

4. English Countryside – if you really want to splurge, rent a cottage in the english countryside and spend your time a classic pub. This also provides a great opportunity to see the world, engulf yourself in other cultures and add some variety to your scrapbook!


and while we’re on the topic of avante garde approaches – how about this for your engagement photos or trash the dress session:

I’m liking it.

Pinch me am I sleeping?

Because it’s like my dreams are coming alive. Why’s that you ask? Well aside from my extremely quirky (and realistic) dreams as of yet – that’s a story for another time – this following wedding is the epitome of my latest dreams. I have found myself being drawn to the same style of weddings lately – maybe it’s because we just closed up the summer wedding season which is always beautiful, or maybe its a nice swing of trends, or perhaps I’m just getting tunnel vision currently – whatever it is – i’m loving it.

“It” – is a simple style, laid-back but still feminine and glamorous, outdoor weddings. Case in point the event below. The following wedding took place in Manhattan Beach in Southern California. Photography was done by Erin Hearts Court, florals by JL Designs, and once again showcased on my mecca Style Me Pretty.

The couple planned most of the event themselves (with help from their floral designer) and took the event location – The Shade Hotel – as inspiration for the feel of the wedding. I absolutely love the color palette of whites, greens, and grey executed beautifully through the cymbidiums, hydrangeas, tulips, and calla lilies.. I think it is very chic and elegant, but also very natural in feeling (not to mention the pale green is one of my favorite colors – heyo!). The husband did all of the designing of paper goods, website, invites, etc, so it was definitely a DIY wedding – also one of my favorite parts!!

The grey bridesmaid dresses are from JCrew (love!), and look awesome against the green bridesmaids bouquets. Those bouquets by the way – are tied for one of my number one details from this event. Why? Because every bridesmaid carried a bouquet of a different flower. OBSESSED! I especially love the super parrot tulips (the green/white ones in the bridesmaid picture toward the end). They are so unique!

The personalized bouquets are tied with the ceremony decor – specifically the fabric draping on the “ceiling.” This is the second time I have seen this style of treatment and I think it is so beautiful. I can’t look at it enough.

Enough about the details though – how cute are the pictures of the couple?! Laying in the sand, chillin on a vintage beach cruiser – they capture the event so perfectly.

OK, enough swooning. If you want more pictures check out the gallery on Style Me Pretty. I will keep dreaming.

Party in a Box

No, not the JT skit sorry. Party decor in a box. That’s right. There is no longer a need to spend hundreds of dollars to throw a small get together, shower, or seasonal party. Behold ACME Party Box Company. My new best friend. A lot of their products are vintage chic and kind of bohemian – which I totally love juxtaposed with an uber modern backdrop. Anyone? How about country chic? Maybe?

Anyway, you can purchase pre set boxes, or search by party themes and choose sets of items individually. They have everything from favor bags and place card items, to table runners and even mason jar drinking glasses. That’s right. You can even get all of your plates and utensils in your box. Some of them have premade invitations to match. SO EASY RIGHT?!?! The decor is just so cute as well.  Check it out:

LOVE IT! LOVE IT ALL! The holiday and kids party boxes are adorable as well. Yay for ACME saving the party day.  I’m so glad I happend to surf through this site today. It just made my day for sure.

Every penny counts

I found this link on one of my regular blog reads today (shocker!), and I was really excited I’m not going to lie.

“Cost of Wedding”: here has used industry surveys, bride surveys, and just general regional information to calculate the average cost of a wedding based on your regional zip code.

Cool right? According to Cost of Wedding – on average, US couples spend $19,581 for their wedding. However, the majority of couples spend between $14,686 and $24,476. This does not include cost for a honeymoon or engagement ring.

Interested to see what the site had to say about Miami I hopped right on. I then proceeded to laugh. I know everybody has different budgets and circumstances when it comes to their wedding. I’ve worked with a lot of brides who have very low budgets, and I have seen brides come through my office with astronomical budgets – the kind that make you ask where they came from. I suppose these two extremes could balance each other out, but I was anticipating a pretty high average. I was shocked to see that the average cost for Miami was….

between $14,906 and $24,843

I’m sorry come again? They do caution that if you select well-experienced professionals, designer labels, popular venues, etc etc. you can expect to pay anywhere from 50-100% higher (uh yea).

Despite the flaws in calculation for Miami, (I tested it out with other areas, including my hometown, friend’s hometowns, etc and they were all a bit more on par) the site is pretty cool. It will break down the average costs for each area: accessories, florals, entertainment, invites, what have you – and I thought it was pretty helpful to see a comparison of the average per item.

Seasonal Parties

So it’s almost that time of year – Holiday time! (My favorite time, and the only excuse for a “winter” we have here in Florida). A lot of people throw seasonal parties, especially for Christmas or New Years. While I would obviously recommend using a party planner (cough cough), there are a few things you can do to prepare early for your party, thanks to tips from Apartment Therapy.

1.  Check out the calendar. Make sure that your date of choice doesn’t conflict with anything happening in your circle of friends or even in your community.

2. Skip the Evites. Though this is a quick and easy way to get the word out fast, it can often go unnoticed in the email inbox. Not to mention snail mail invites set a better tone for the event.

3.  Start bargain hunting. Looking for great decor items or real table settings (Glad has its moments), thrift stores and garage sales are a great place. You can always sell it later.

4.  Menu Planning. If you’re providing the food yourself, test out some recipes before the party. AT also recommends trying foods that can be made early and frozen.

5. House Cleaning. Pick a few projects around the house that need to get done and start knocking a few out each weekend leading up to the event, this way its not all left towards the last minute.


I personally thought these tips from Apartment Therapy were great – and if I had the space in my current abode I would LOVE to throw a holiday party. For now, I’ll just have to hope someone else asks me to help with theirs. 🙂 Check out the link above for more on each of the tips and the great blog that is AT.