Wondering What To Do For Your Bridesmaids?

Brides are always wondering…wondering what they should do for their bridesmaids, wondering what fun activities they can all do together, wondering if they are obligated to pay for their bridesmaids dresses, and the list goes on. Well wonder no more, it’s Happy Hour! The Penterra Spa in Kirkland offers happy hour from 3pm-6pm Tuesday through Thursday weekly. What a great way to spend time with your gals a few days before your wedding, in an atmosphere where you can relax, enjoy a wonderful glass of wine or mimosa, and spa services for less. Buy one service get one 50% off…perfect way to treat your bridal party before the big day, and save at the same time! Check out the Penterra Spa’s website for more information.

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Bridal Bouquets – Rules Don’t Apply

The bridal bouquet is the ultimate wedding day accessory…and it must fit! Are you shabby sheek? Have a passion for creating beauty with paper? Want a DIY project? Or are you just looking to be creative with your wedding. These days there are NO RULES in weddings…and there are LOTS of ways to get creative and make a lasting impression your guests won’t forget. There are countless alternative bouquet ideas out there, here are just a few that left that lasting impression on me!

Have you always wanted a spring flower for your summer wedding bouquet? Anything is possible…These flowers are pretty to look at and impossible to kill…they’re made from paper! Robot in Bloom offers wedding packages starting as low at $250…Now that’s a deal!

Are you thinking of ways to use grandmothers old vintage brooches? Or have you been collecting them yourself over the years? What a creative idea to make a bouquet out of brooches. If your starting from scratch Anthropology carries hundreds of different style brooches and you could even DIY. The above bouquet is a style by Amanda Heer of Fantasy Floral Design, the original vintage brooch creator.

These are made from Wood! Could you ever tell?! Check out or to see more unique wood arrangements.

Moved from the ocean to the city and trying to incorporate your hometown love into your wedding?! GO FOR IT…Make your bouquet out of sea shells…or wheat if you grew up on a farm…the idea again is… THERE ARE NO RULES!

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Table Top Contest

The 3rd annual table top contest was held this past March at the beautiful Columbia Winery in Woodinville. The Association of Bridal Consultants also known as ABC along with the International Special Events Society, also known as ISES participated in the contest. There were 16 entries.

Judges choice, our esteemed judges, Laura Cassidy from Seattle Metropolitan Magazine, Blair deLaubenfels of, and Jenny Klimenkoff of Far 4 selected Stephanie Salemann’s entry for their choice. Stephanie represented Twelve Baskets Catering, and named her table “Something Old, Something New. She had the only table that used pillows for chairs! Very unique!

Peoples choice, first place was awarded to Viennese Waltz designed by Stacy Kvam of SK Wedding and Event Design. Her co-designer was Patty Holder of Brittany Flowers. 2nd Place was awarded to Something Old, Something New! Stephanie Salemann of Twelve Baskets Catering. Third place was fun. There was a 3-way tie between Sherry Smith of McKenzieKate Weddings and her co-designer Lana Spagnoli of Seattle Flowers. Brian Dale of Wave Link Music and his co-designer Jillian Cook of Wave Link Music and Lacie Powell of The Bellevue Collection for the Garden of Eaten’. After a round of applause, members and guests selected Lacie Powell’s Garden of Eaten Nancy Shaw, owner of AA Party Rentals received accolades for their involvement. At least 80 percent of the tables used complimentary items from AA Party Rental.

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Why Hire a Wedding Planner?

One of the most valuable things that a bride (and her groom and immediate family) has to anchor her through the entire wedding process is her sense of well being. A wedding planner’s main focus is to maintain that great sense of well being from the first meeting until the happy couple is off to HoneymoonLand!

She maintains your budget while maintaining your sanity.
An immediate way that a wedding planner can aid in supporting your financial well being is by utilizing their extensive knowledge of vendors, processes, locations, and people. Because the planner can go directly to sources (and have multiple options to choose from), she/he can get things moving faster, more efficiently, and avoid costly mistakes. In addition, your time is used more effectively, freeing you up to attend to life beyond wedding.

She artfully conducts the 10-ring circus with her great expertise.
Just as you would hire a general contractor to build your house, or hire a lawyer to defend yourself in court; by hiring a wedding expert, you get a day where you don’t have to worry about anything but being in the moment of one the most memorable days of your life. Today’s weddings are similar in scale and complexity as some movie productions. The caterer’s not able to find the right kind of electrical outlet? Squabbling family members? You need a good director so that you and your spouse not only walk down the aisle with each other, but with the Academy Award for Best Wedding!

She attends to things that you would never have thought of (she’s almost like magic).
From negotiating all vendor contracts to establishing the couple’s vision for the wedding, much of what a wedding planner does is in the details. Her ability to anticipate what is coming next, or to create many, little solutions over time; provide a buffer to the potential snowball effect of approaching deadlines and over-stressed people. Consider her your virtual fairy godmother!

She is the person you want on your team.
She may be perfectly warm, friendly and well-mannered, but when it comes down to getting what is needed for your wedding day, she is here to be your virtual border collie! Since everyone else is busy, she makes sure that everyone (and every thing) is in place, and that everyone has all the information that they need. If any barking is required, she will do it with persistence AND style!

She will be your partner in the moment.

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Writing Your Wedding Vows

Advice from Annemarie Juhlian on writing your wedding vows. When it comes time to write your wedding vows, this can be a very daunting task. I hope Annemarie’s advice will put you at ease and comfort knowing that there are no rules these days. Wedding couples are really taking the time to create and personalize their vows, have fun! Truly make it your day to celebrate each other!

Annemarie Juhlian, Wedding Celebrant & Officiant

In this work that I do, I get lots of questions and lots of “angst” from engaged couples about their wedding vows – whether the ceremony is traditional, contemporary or “out there.” I thought my perspective below on wedding vows might be helpful to the brides/grooms – the keyword “wedding vows” is also one of the most searched keywords within the “wedding world.”

Wedding Vows – a little personal perspective.

Personal wedding vows – written together by a couple together before a wedding ceremony or saved as a surprise for the wedding ceremony – are often the heart and soul of a wedding ceremony. Wedding vows are so much more than “I promise this until the end of time,” and “I will always do this and never do that.” Vows between a loving couple are more about their love, respect and appreciation for each other, what they promise to bring to their marriage, what they can expect from each other and perhaps something that they want to share about their Sweetheart publicly with their family and friends. In some ways, vows can be a mini-love letter.

Wedding vows are a very personal statement between two people. Vows are also a public statement of love, commitment and respect. It’s a gentle and delicate dance to craft a set of vows – similar or different – that truly celebrate a couple’s relationship and at the same time are publicly respectful and inclusive so family and friends feel they have a tiny peak into their loving relationship.

So my best advice, having witnessed hundreds of vows exchanged?

1) Go to lunch. Discuss your vows and get on the same page. Talk to your partner about what’s possible and what’s comfortable for your wedding day.
2) Take your time. Don’t wait until the 11th hour to write your vows. Start weeks if not a month or two before.
3) This is not about performance. This isn’t about doing it “right.” It’s about doing what’s right for you.
4) Create an outline/find your voice and craft your message. Go to the internet for inspiration. Read your vows aloud and time them.
5) Save the very intimate words. Surprise your new husband/wife with ‘private vows” on your wedding night or the next day.
6) And most of all, elegant humor is good, good and good!

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SK’s Top Ten List of Ways to Maximize Your Time at the 2010 Seattle Wedding Show

Your time is precious. And yet you want all the elements of your wedding to be spectacular. Check out these quick tips that will help you get all you need from the Show.

1. Get plenty of sleep the night before the Show.

2. Buy your tickets in advance. You can purchase them right here on the Seattle Wedding Show site under the tickets tab. While it’s great fun to chat with your girlfriends or fiancé in line, wouldn’t you rather spend your time looking at beautiful cakes, dresses or stemware?

3. Comfortable shoes and a bottle of water will be your next best friend at the Show—don’t leave home without them. After sampling a few different cake options, the water will provide not only a quick palette cleanse, but the energy to check out the next thing on your list.

4. Plan to attend the Show both days: Saturday and Sunday. The Show has such a great array of specialists and unique items to choose from that it is well worth returning on Sunday. By going back the second day, you can revisit specific wedding specialists in case you came up with additional questions overnight. Or maybe you need to bring a friend who is great at brainstorming through hard-to-reach decisions. Whatever the case may be, plan on attending both days; you will be glad that you did!

5. Arrive early.

6. Bring your business cards or print out sticker labels with your name, wedding date and contact information so you can give them to prospective wedding specialists or raffles to win special prizes. Save your hands from getting tired of writing your info at every booth by bringing these timely tools.

7. Bring your beloved, or bring someone who has a clear understanding of your wedding plans. It is easy to lose focus when there are so many great things going on around you. Be prepared to make decisions about hiring a specific specialist at the show or soon after. Many of the specialists will get reserved at the show or within a few weeks. It would be a shame to miss out on the specialist that you really want. Now is the time to put your plans in motion!

8. If you remember any of these tips, remember this one for a truly successful wedding show experience! Meet with your wedding planner or whoever is working with you to plan your wedding to come up with a “Game Plan.” Questions that will help you arrive at a Game Plan are: How far along are you with your plans? Are you starting from scratch? Are your needs more specific, such as looking for the perfect DJ, baker or florist? No matter what stage you are in, do your research by checking out the wedding specialists before coming to the Show. Establish an A-list of must-see vendors and any questions you might have for them. Once you’ve narrowed the field of specialists, find out where their booth is located. By having a Game Plan, you avoid getting lost in all the excitement and hubbub.

9. Pick up a Wedding Show guide at any of the participating wedding specialist locations. The guide is key to maximizing your time at the Show. It is filled with great information on Seattle’s Top Wedding Specialists. Team up Tip #8 with this one, and you will be in great shape for hitting all the places you’re interested in. Make copies of the floor plan located on page 57. Then use a highlighter to mark the specialists from the A-list you made in your Game Plan. Now you not only have a mental picture of what’s important to you, but you also have a visual guide to get you just where you want to be.
10. It goes without saying that THE most important tip for the Seattle Wedding Show is to have FUN! Planning for your wedding is such an incredible adventure. You learn so much about each other’s likes, dislikes, fashion, etiquette and more. You are setting the foundation for your life together as husband and wife. Always remember, the hard part is done, you have found each other!

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Seattle Met Bride & Groom Magazine

See an elegant expression of my creativity on the stands now in the Seattle Metropolitan Bride and Groom Magazine! I had the true pleasure of designing a table that represents fall in the Northwest! The Pacific Northwest provides such a rich and colorful palette to be inspired by.

Fall brings a time to harvest…leaves are changing colors and start to cascade to the ground. It’s time to select the perfect pumpkin for Halloween…or for a gorgeous centerpiece. When I first laid my eyes on a white pumpkin I was beyond inspired. I saw cream cabbage and red apples all piled together to create an organic centerpiece, as if you had just picked them straight from the garden. Thanks to Patty at Brittany Flowers in Kirkland, who transformed the dusty, little pumpkin from my “harvest” into a very elegant display!

Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory added sheen and sugar to my hand picked, Washington red apples with their tantalizing cherry coating. The candy-coated apples were good enough to bite into on the spot, or take home for a savory late night treat. By topping each apple with a veneer, leaf shaped name card, the apples not only provided an enticing sweet for the guests, but they also let the guests know where they were sitting. Who knew functionality could taste so good!

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When people ask me where to go for the ultimate special occasion, Canlis always comes to mind. Synonymous with Seattle elegance and style, Canlis offers three private dining rooms, accommodating two to 90 guests. The ultra-chic property features floor-to-ceiling windows with 180-degree views of picturesque Lake Union and the Cascade Mountains.

Beyond the captivating drama of Canlis’ surroundings, you’ll also find their bartender, James MacWilliams concocting the equally breath-taking Proserpina Margarita (hear the “ohhs” and “ahhs” when it changes color), and the Declaration Cocktail.

But you may find yourself declaring more than and “ohh” and “ahh” after you’ve tasted a meal from Canlis’ nationally recognized, Executive Chef Jason Franey. He and his staff provide the best of what’s local and fresh: sumptuous oysters from Taylor Family Shellfish to just-picked produce from Full Circle Farm. And for the ultimate in an intimate dining experience, Chef Franey can prepare an amazing evening of culinary delights right in your own home.

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