Monday, October 26, 2009

Q&A Monday - Contracts, who needs 'em?

Q: My wedding professionals want me to sign contracts, but I'm not sure what I should be looking for to protect myself. Can you help?

Contracts can be very intimidating, but you are right that they are in place not only to protect the wedding professional, but to protect you. If you approach each contract with that in mind, you will most likely end up with a contract that serves those purposes.

Please don't insult your professional by asking for contract revisions that make the contract "tilted" towards you, but also be mindful of contracts that do not offer you any protection if your professional fails to perform.

Here are some things to look for in your contracts:
  • Pricing (make sure the price in the contract is the price you agreed on with your professional)
  • Payment plans (you don't want to void your contract because you missed a payment)
  • Cancellation policies (who can cancel and how)
  • Dates and times (make sure your rental time includes time for set up and tear down)
  • Contract amendments (your contract should state how changes can be made and who can make changes)

Contracts are one area where an event planner can be invaluable. They have worked with many reputable wedding professionals and can help you understand contract wording. But remember, YOU (the bride/groom) will sign the contracts and ultimately be responsible.

Remember - if you have a wedding question, email us at Wedding Q&A's are here every Monday!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Saturday Spotlight - ProShow DJ

Today's spotlight is on one of Michiana's finest DJ services, ProShow DJ.
From the most elegant reception to the all-out party atmosphere, ProShow has been raising the standards of the disc jockey field for nearly 30 years. Our entertainment specialists do more than simply play music: they serve as Master of Ceremonies, encourage guest participation and incorporate important family traditions; all while maintaining the highest level of professionalism.

Through communication throughout the planning of every event and customizing details to the individual needs of our clients we have consistently delivered an evening that flows smoothly and that surpasses the expectations of our client and their guests.

ProShow has earned the respect of Michiana’s key reception facilities and vendors due in no small part to the solid group of individuals working for our company. Because we provide music for a wide variety of events including wedding receptions, church groups, youth organizations, corporate functions and school dances, it is imperative our specialists maintain the highest ethical standards in programming of music.

Each ProShow entertainment specialist has a minimum of 8 years experience in both disc jockeying and mc-ing. They have a vast knowledge of every musical era and facilitate with key vendors to ensure everyone stays on the same page throughout the course of the event. By implementing these practices as a whole, ProShow has gained the reputation as the preferred vendor for repeat clientele, referral business, event vendors and nationally recognized consultants

Friday, October 23, 2009

Friday Fun Find, a "nest" for your ring

Today's Friday Fun Find was also inspired while attending Engage09 the Encore in Las Vegas. One of our favors was a beautiful porcelin egg from Paloma's Nest. I learned that Paloma's Nest makes gorgeous hand-crafted ring bearer bowls which she sells via her Etsy Store.
Here's what Paloma has to say about this bowl:

THE ORIGINAL Ring Bearer Bowl™ design from Paloma's Nest that has created a new tradition in weddings all around the globe. As featured in Brides Magazine, Brides to Be Australia, and more!
Our spin on the classic ring bearer pillow...a Ring Bearer Bowl™, sure to become a modern heirloom, for generations to come.

Now in stock and ready to ship within 7 days of your order!

This little white ceramic ring bowl is an exclusive Paloma's Nest design. It is hand crafted and stamped with the words TO HAVE & TO HOLD .

What makes it different from our traditional tiny text bowls (please visit our shop for these options and more!), is the two little holes near the top rim, through which I have laced a silky cotton cord to hold your rings for your wedding ceremony. This cord can be easily switched out by you for a ribbon that matches your wedding style...or to a blue cord for your "something blue," if you wish!

After the ceremony, the cord can be tied into a loop or a bow, and the bowl can hold jewelry, momentos or other treasures.

But that's not favorite part of this piece is that the tiny bowl can also be hung by the cord, on a wall in a special spot (next to your wedding photo would be nice), in a shadow box frame, or on your holiday tree.

Each piece is handmade of fine white clay, and fired in our kiln; the bowls have a protective matte finish applied to the surface and are designed for decorative use only.
Bowls measure approximately 3.5 inches in diameter...they fit nicely in the palm of your hand.

Note that each bowl is indvidually made to order, and therefore variations will occur in the layout and shape...your bowl may not look exactly like the one in the photo.(Rings are not included.)

What a fun way to present your ring! Be sure to visit Paloma's Nest on Etsy and check back next Friday for another "Fun Find" for you wedding planning!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wednesday Wedding Wisdom - Dollars and Sense

If there is one word of wisdom I can impart on brides-to-be, it is: BUDGET! Without a budget, you can easily be overwhelmed by all of the services and products available and, before you know it, you have spent (or committed to spend) much more money than you have -- you don't want to start your marriage with the stress of bills you can't pay!

Once you have a budget figure, the next step is to decide what is most important to you and start allocating money to each category. If you have a modest budget and your heart is set on a Vera Wang gown, you may need to either scale down the size of your wedding or research alternatives like consignment stores to find the perfect gown.

Bridal magazines and many online resources have great budgeting tools. Need help locating a budgeting form that works for you? Visit the professionals at Brides a la mode and we'll get you started in the right direction!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Q&A Monday - Its a hairy situation

Today's Q&A was posed to Brides a la mode member, Sonia Stancombe of Nicholas J Salon & Spa

What is your advice to brides who are thinking of how to wear their hair on wedding day?

Our experienced staff will work with you on this.....but we suggest letting your face shape determine how you will wear your hair for your wedding. Along with your faceshape you will want to consider the style of your dress.

Regal, romantic, retro, relaxed and red carpet: these are a few of the descriptions I hear when discussing an overall image with our brides. This is really important in establishing the final look and feel. In general, a bride with a rounder face will look sleeker with an updo, and a bit of height at the crown. This elongates the face giving it a leaner look. A flattering look for someone with a long, lean face would include a hairstyle with soft, loose curls. This will give the bride a fuller look on the sides to create a more balanced look.

Another factor when considering your choice of hairstyle is whether the bride would like to have her neck covered or not. Some brides would much rather that she doesn't need to tuck or fix any bit of hair for photos through the Wedding day, while others feel very bare without the comfort of hair around the shoulder. Half-up-half-down is a popular compromise.

Remember, you can have your wedding questions answered by one of our professionals here every Monday. Just email!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Friday Fun Finds - Sunday morning edition

Last week, I had the good fortune to attend Engage09 The Encore at the ultra-fabulous Wynn Encore hotel in Las Vegas. This gathering of luxury wedding professionals was more than amazing and I am so excited to be able to bring back some great ideas from the likes of Evenista Marcy Blum, cake guru Sylvia Weinistock and more to the Michiana community.

I learned about today's fun find at Engage 09 Encore and just had to share this!

JT Wines, located in St. Helena, California doensn't just slap a label on any old bottle of wine; they actually develop custom, private blends with exclusive rights…your wine is “yours”.

This bottle was developed exclusively for Engage09 Encore -- can you imagine having a wine made just for you? What great way to celebrate your union -- by creating a wine that not only can be served at your wedding, it can be given as a gift to your guests and it can become your own personal brand of wine for years to come.

Couples can actually go to the winery and work with the winemaker to create their own blend, or they can choose from the winery's selection. You can design your own logo and name for your wine. You could combine your names into a unique word that becomes your "signature". For example, I'm Kathy and my husband is George, we often call ourselves "GeoKat" -- how fun would it be to have our own "GeoKat" wine!

The possibilities are endless. Check out JT Wines website and if you'd like more info, please give us a call at Brides a la mode!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wednesday Wedding Wisdom - Do yourself a favor

This week's wisdom is from Nina Calloway at

Wedding favors can be a thoughtful way of saying thank you to your guests. But far too often they're a meaningless knickknack. Your guests don't need a candy dish, or a little silver bell.

Don't think their cute place card holder doubles as a favor; what are they going to do with one place card? And do you really want a plastic Frisbee with your friends' wedding date on it?

You're going to spend a lot of money on things that will just collect dust, or end up in the trash. I think it's far better to not give favors, or to make a donation to a charity. But cute favors include ones that are personal to the bride and groom. You might give food favors from the city you live in, or a box of your very favorite chocolates.

One of my favorite ideas is a breakfast bag. Send guests home with some beautiful muffins, a couple of good quality tea bags, and perhaps a little pot of jam or honey. The next morning they'll be sure to enjoy your treat as they reminisce about everything that happened.

So, do yourself, your pocketbook and your guests a "favor" when choosing your favors!

If you need some help with ideas, drop us a note at or stop in to see us and we'll share some of our "Favor"ites!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Tuesday Trends

Something that has been fun to watch at local wedding receptions, is guests enjoying new, unique services that give them something to do along with dinner and dancing. Brides and grooms are thinking outside-the-box to make their special day an unforgettable experience for all. How nice it is to be served a made-to-order coffee drink, or how fun to grab your friends and get your photo taken in a "real" photobooth!

Brides a la mode is lucky to be working with American Espresso Catering, Flashy Photo Booths and S&S Photo Booths. All three have participated in our events and were amazing!

At a local wedding last weekend a hot-dog cart was brought out towards the end of the reception. Guests LOVED it! What will they think of next?

Monday, October 12, 2009

Q&A Monday - how inviting!

Brides a la mode wants to help you have the wedding of your dreams, so each Monday, we will be answering questions about all aspects of your wedding. Feel free to drop us a line at if you have a question you'd like to see answered here.

Today's question is about wedding stationery:

Q: It doesn't really matter what kind of invitation I send, does it? After all, as long as peopleknow the date, time and location, what else do they need?

A: Here is the answer from Brides a la mode's own Joya Helmuth from Spark Fine Papers:

Realize that the invitation (and save the date, should you choose to send one) is setting the tone for your entire event. It's the only thing that the guests receive prior to walking in the door. They should not only get a sense of your personal style, but also what to expect at the wedding - how formal or casual it will be, things like that.

Also think about the other items you might need, such as ceremony programs, menus, thank you notes, and the like. We recommend that you plan ahead to coordinate these items with the invitation to make everything cohesive. We like to call it your stationery wardrobe, complete with accessories!

Check back next Monday for another Q&A. Have a question? Be sure to email us!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Sunday Spotlight... Trio's Restaurant and Jazz Club

Trios Restaurant and Jazz Club is based on a single premise: good food and good music go together like Duke and Ellington.
Trios has quickly established a reputation of one of South Bend's finest upscale dining establishments, featuring outstanding American cuisine, excellent service and some of the region's finest jazz groups.
Trio's offers banquet facilities and has, since opening, hosted hundreds of events in it's banquet and private meeting rooms. Parties of 8 to 100 can be accommodated in one of four private rooms. Located in the heart of downtown South Bend, Trio's is an ideal location for business meetings, seminars, wedding receptions and rehearsal dinners. Out-of-town guests staying at the Marriott or Holiday Inn hotels are within a five-minute walk from Trio's.
Your event is complete, yet you don't want the good time to end? Trio's invites you to join us in the Jazz Club for outstanding coctails and some of the best live Jazz performers in the region.
Our event planning staff brings years of experience and planning, and will work closely with you to determine the best setting and menu selection for your business or social events.
For more information please visit the Trio's website at