Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wednesday Wedding Tips - Choosing your photographer

Today's tips come from Kaity Fuja at OMG Photography

There are a ton of things to think about when planning a wedding and no doubt, your photographer is one of those things. In almost any wedding magazine you can find a list of questions to ask your potential photographer, so I'm going to keep it simple. Here are three things you should definitely be thinking about when meeting with your potential photographer.

1. What is your budget?
This is the most basic thing you need to think about before contacting photographers. There are a ton of photographers out there... each with their own style and pricing list. With the economy the way it is, it's important that any couple getting married really think about how much they want to spend and then stick with it! Knowing how much you want to spend will also prevent you from 'falling in love' with a photographer that is out of your price range resulting in you being disappointed (or overspending) later.

2. Once you have an idea of how much you want to spend, start thinking about what you want.
Do you want an album? Prints? Digital files? How long do you want your photographer to be there on the day of the ceremony? Do you want them to be there while you're getting ready until the last guest leaves? Because photographers can vary so drastically in price, what they offer can vary just as much. You don't need to know it all and your photographer should be more than willing to sit down with you to figure out these details, but having a vague idea of what you want from your photographer is a very good place to start.

3. Are you comfortable with you photographer?
This is the MOST important thing to think about when hiring a photographer. This is the one vendor that you will be spending the majority of your day with... you definitely want to get a long with them and feel as though you can be yourself! One of the best ways to test out the client/ photographer relationship is by doing an engagement session. This way you can see their style and really get a sense of how you and your partner will interact with your photographer on the big day. If an engagement session is out of the budget or you are opting to not take engagement photos, then ask to grab a coffee with your potential photog or at the very least talk with your photographer on the phone.   Just be sure that you feel comfortable with them!

Okay, I know I said I'd stick with three tips, but as Carrie Bradshaw of Sex and the City once said, "sometimes a girl just needs a half". I've already told you that photographers vary in price and the services they offer... but they can also vary dramatically in their style of photography. Traditional, posed, editorial, photojournalistic... these are just a handful of styles you will run into when looking at photographers. Once you've found a photographer with a portfolio you like, make sure you ask to look at a sample wedding, beginning to end, to make sure that their style matches what you are looking for. After all... this IS one part of your wedding that will last forever.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Saturday Spotlight - GabGlam, onsite makeup for your wedding day

Today, our spotlight is on:

Lighten your wedding day preparation by having Gabrielle Thompson, owner of GabGlam come to you. It’s a luxury that the whole bridal party remembers and enjoys. It ensures flawless, timeless glamour and photographs. Even the most natural beauty can benefit from this red-carpet perfection that lasts throughout the night. The final, professional touch as you prepare for pictures and relax. Whether you are at the church, hotel, salon or home, Gabrielle brings all the essentials to you.

With 16 years experience, Gabrielle has developed a loyal clientele, and an extensive resume. As a cosmetics manager for a major department store and makeup studio over the past decade, she has worked with thousands of faces.

Just a few examples of Gabrielle's work.

For more pictures and info, visit GabGlam's Facebook page!

Contact Gabrielle by calling 574-315-217 or email for more information. If you're in Michiana, stop by her studio, BFF ( Beauty, Fun & Fringe), at the BeeHive Salon at 706 E Jefferson,  South Bend.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Thursday, April 22, 2010

What I'm loving don't want to miss this!

BIG news from two of my favorites in the wedding inudustry; the ultimate wedding blog Style Me Pretty and the fabulous Michelle Rago!

These two wedding style icons have teamed up to present:

Brides will be able to collaborate online with Michelle to design the wedding of their dreams-- how cool is that?   In just a few steps, you can have Michelle take your vision and give you a blueprint so that you can implement you dream wedding.  

Check out the details here

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wednesday Wedding Tips - 10 Important Questions to ask your DJ

This weeks wedding tips come from Brides a la mode member In-Tune DJ Service
As technology and ways of communicating evolve, "personalization" is removed and decisions are made by not asking questions or even speaking with businesses that you are entrusting with your special day. We encourage all brides (and grooms) to ask the following questions over the phone or in person when researching the best DJ for their wedding (they may find they have a nice website, but no personality or worse yet, no experience.) The below questions will help give you an "apples to apples" comparison and separate the companies from each other.

10 Important Questions To Ask Your Potential DJ

We understand how crucial it is to choose the right D.J. for your special day. Information is the key to that decision, but what kind of questions should you ask?  Questions, such as "Do you take breaks and how many?" while valid, will not distinguish one entertainer from another.  Take the time to ask some extra questions. Be sure about your choices before you make them. Your decision can make or break your entire wedding reception. We've taken the time and assembled the 10 best questions you should ask before hiring your entertainment.

1. Are they available?
Begin your phone call by indicating the date, time, and location of your special event. If they're not available, no sense talking much further!

2. Does the DJ know the proper etiquette for your type of party?
With sufficient experience, a professional DJ will be able to act as your Master of Ceremonies and guide you smoothly through your celebration from start to finish, allowing you to relax and enjoy the party.

With experience comes confidence and knowledge. Many things can happen during an event...some are expected, others are not. The experienced professional has the ability to handle eventualllities that may arise before they become problems and ensures that the evening runs flawlessly.

3. Are you insured?
Responsible business owners will carry liability insurance in order to protect their business as well as their consumers. Also, many venues require proof of liability. Ask for proof of liability insurance. In Tune D.J. Service, Inc. will provide you with their certificate upon request.

4. Will you play requests and discuss music selection ahead of time?
A versatile DJ should listen to your suggestions, provide feedback and play from your desired song list. While requests are always welcomed, we rely on our discretion, experience and your input as to what songs or genres you may not want played. However, we cannot know your preferences without sitting with you in consultation and so this is strongly encouraged.

5. Do you use Professional Equipment?
You are paying money for professional service and your DJ should have state-of-the-art equipment and the knowledge to operate it. Make sure it's professional grade equipment, not home stereo or consumer grade. As professionals, they should have made the investment in quality equipment. Ask them what speakers, and amplifiers they use. Some of the better names in professional audio are: Electro-Voice, Mackie, JVC, QSC, Cerwin Vega, Rane, Behringer, Pioneer, Shure, Samson, Denon, and Crown.

6. Do you provide backup equipment at my event?
Even professional equipment can fail on occasion, so it is important to know whether your DJ has extra components, or hopefully another entire sound system available to them. Any number of circumstances may arise between the time you book your DJ and the date of your event.

Usually, only the top-notch pros invest the extra money to ensure that everything works on your event date. Booking a reliable DJ is a very important decision for the success of your event.

7. How much time do you allow for set-up?
Punctuality is a necessity. Most DJ's arrive at least two hours prior to the start time you've given them. Your D.J. should ideally be set-up and in-place before your first guest walks through the door.

8. Do you provide a written agreement?
Make certain the DJ has a written agreement and that everything you expect of them is in it. If they refuse or only provide verbal assurances, then get up and leave. No one remembers everything agreed upon months later when the actual event takes place. An agreement protects you. Have them list what their overtime charge is in case you decide to run late. You don't want any surprises there. Make sure all correct dates, times, address, phone numbers, and deposits are listed.

The standard deposit for entertainment services is 50%.

9. Will you be suitably dressed for our occasion?
Specify they type of apparel that your Disc Jockey is expected to wear for your occasion. Formal attire or coat and tie are the most popular forms of attire.

10. How much do they charge?
DJ rates vary based on talent, experience, emcee ability, service, coordination, equipment needed, music knowledge, mixing ability and personality. The cheapest price is not always the best deal, especially if you are planning a wedding. As a matter of fact, in hindsight, surveys conclude that nearly 90% of brides would have gladly spent more money on their disc jockey and made it their number one priority.

A full-service disc jockey company will normally invest 18 to 40 hours for your special event if it may appear that you are only paying for "five hours". Consultations, music, purchasing and editing, preparation, set-up and teardown, education on other business related endeavors add up to the overall success of your special occasion

Did You Know? 
 *72% of all brides say they would have spent more time choosing their reception entertainment.
*Almost 100% say they would have spent more of their budget on the entertainment.
*During wedding planning, Brides say their highest priority is their attire, followed by the reception site and caterer – reception entertainment is among the least of their priorities.
*Within one week after their reception, 78% of Brides say they would have made the entertainment their highest priority.
*When asked, 81% of guests say the thing they remember most about a wedding is the entertainment.
These statistics were published in St. Louis Bride and Groom Magazine. Sources include: Simmons, USA Today, National Bridal Service, The Knot, Brides Magazine

Jim Renner
In-Tune D.J. Service, Inc.
574-258-9484 (home/office)*up-to 10p (EDT,) 7 days a week

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

DIY Tuesday - Earth Day Edition

This Thursday is Earth Day, and in honor of saving our planet, one plastic bottle at a time, I found these adorable DIY  decorations on the iDIY Blog

Aren't these plastic flowers gorgeous?  Look closer:

Yup, they are the bottoms of plastic botttles.  How cool is that?  Can you picture using cascades of these to decorate?  Or, if you're really creative, you could make one of these:

[or you could spend $12,000 for it at Neiman Marcus!)

Wouldn't this look gorgeous in the Brides a la mode studio?  (I think I'll start saving plastic bottles!)

Are you doing a DIY project for your wedding?  Please let me know, I'd love to feature some here on our blog.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Guys a la mode - quirky boutonnieres

Today's post is for the grooms -- well, really for brides dressing their grooms! 

I absolutely LOVE the  Junebug Weddings Blog.  This weekend, while I was catching up on my blog reading, I came across these totally awesome boutonnieres

Like Junebug says,
Wedding boutonnieres are an often overlooked accessory when it comes to a groom's wedding day style, but it's amazing how much personality can be packed into such a tiny little space! Case in point, the Bespoke Boutonnieres by Fritts Rosenow. No traditional flowers here, these boutonnieres are strictly for the playful, the quirky, and the fashion fun-loving. If that sounds like your guy, what could be better?
What do you think?  Would your guy like something a bit different?

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Saturday Spotlight - Katie Whitcomb Photographers

Here's what Katie has to say about her business:

"If a married couple could only salvage one item while fleeing their burning home, most would choose their wedding album. Photos are priceless, celebrating a time in your life where you’ve never been happier, never looked better and are sharing the most precious moments of your life with the people you love most. We don’t take this responsibility lightly.
Our objective is to make you look the best you have ever looked in your life, while telling the story of your dream wedding. Of course you can and should have confidence that we will capture the precious moments on your big day without direction from you. Our style of photography is glamorous andfashionable yet classic and natural at the same time."
Stop by the Brides a la mode studio to see some of Katie's work, check out her blog here.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Friday Fun Find - DIY Candy Favors/Placecards

Isn't this the cutest for a Spring wedding?  Martha Stewart Weddings has all kinds of great DIY projects and this one is one of my favorites!

The directions are very simple: sugar-coated Jordan almonds are used to look like robins' eggs in a delicate faux nest and parchment paper threaded among them acts as a simple place card. The almonds are available from candy stores or online in a range of colors (but I just love the blue!).  The nests can be found at floral-supply or craft stores. Then, simply cut 3/4-inch-wide strips of parchment paper long enough to reach across the nest, and write a name on each strip. Cutting a inverted "V" on the ends of the paper gives it an extra special look!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wednesday Wedding Tips - Your wedding stationery

Today's tips are from Ginny Schumacher at Designs by Ginny

Today's bride has a lot of exciting choices when it comes to invitations. It can be very overwhelming.

My best suggestion to brides is to start with a budget. The biggest mistake I see couples make when setting their budget they don't take into account all the stationery needs and make this part of the budget too small.

Here are things to keep in mind when setting your budget:
  • Save the Date plus postage
  • Invitations plus postage for the reply and outer envelope 
  • Extra cards to send with invitations for a map, directions and accommodations 
  • Programs
  • Menu Cards
  • Place cards
  • Table Numbers
  • Guest Welcome Booklet
  • Labels for favors, or water bottles and other gifts 
  • Thank You Cards

I mention postage because I think that is overlooked until the invitations need to be mailed and it can be sticker shock. The more layers to an invitation and the more weight the higher the cost of postage. If you have a bow or other embellishment and it creates bulk to the envelope that will also cost more. With the rising cost of postage this can add up.

A good start in picking out your invitations is to have a color in mind. Most use the colors that will be used in their wedding. Next decide if your wedding will have a theme or a particular look and choose an invitation that best reflects your special day.

I always encourage couples to make their invitations personal to them, after all it's their special day. The invitation sets the tone for the entire wedding so make sure it makes a great first impression!

Need more info?  Contact Ginny

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

What's inspiring me today.....

Preston Bailey's newest book is FULL of pictures of amazing events, flip through a few pages and I'm sure you will be inspired, too! 

Stop by Brides a la mode Tues-Friday bewtween 11-6 to browse through this book and lots of other wedding inspiration books!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Saturday Spotlight - PicFlips!


First, it might help to explain what a flip book is. Think back to the days when you began doodling on the side of your notebook. One page of a ball bouncing...the next of the ball slightly lower on the page....then hitting the ground....the next page bouncing a little higher. This went on for a while until you flipped the pages back and watched the ball bounce up and down via animation.

So, what is PicFlips, you ask? Simply put, PicFlips is a way to bring your parties to life with the newest craze in customized party favors. How? We set up a display in a 10'x10' area at your party or event and invite guests to step behind the camera and make a short video clip. In a minute-and-a-half, we turn the video clip into a personalized flipbook while partygoers watch. It creates a buzz as your guests watch each other make a short video clip and give each other ideas. PicFlips averages 45 flipbooks per hour and is versatile enough to fit into any party setting, from casual to couture. Sure, there are other companies who make flipbooks, but PicFlips differs from the competition because we make the flipbooks right in front of the party guests. No waiting for flipbooks in the mail - it's immediate gratification!

Want PicFlips for your wedding?  Call Shelley at 574-532-5179

Friday, April 9, 2010

Friday Fun Find - Fascinating Fascinators

Fascinators are head coverings, very popular in the 1920s made from lace, feathers, beads, pearls and crystals.  The were worn at occasions such as weddings and other glamorous occasions. Unfortunately, by the 1970’s fascinators had become passe’.

Luckily, in the early 21st century, fascinators made a comeback. A fascinator may be worn instead of a hat to occasions where hats were traditionally worn—such as weddings—or as an evening accessory, when it may be called a cocktail hat. It is generally worn with fairly formal attire.

Carrie Bradshaw made fascinators quite popular in Sex in the City:


And even wore a "fascinator style" veil at her failed wedding to Mr. Big

Wearing a fascinator for your wedding can make a real statement if you'd like to add a bit of color or a fun statement to your wedding attire.  Fascinators can be found at most bridal salons (Andrea's Bridal has a GORGEOUS one), but if you are looking for something truly unique and handmade, try  Here are just a few I found by typing "wedding fascinator" in the search box on Etsy:

                From Etsy seller Damselfly Studio              

From Etsy seller Satanica         

From Etsy Seller Londonxox

As you can see,  fascinators come in many styles -- try one on and let me know what you think!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Tour the Studio

Thanks to the talented Kaite Whitcomb Photographgers, we have some gorgeous new pictures of the Brides  a la mode studio:

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Ring Candy!

My friend Lara Casey at Southern Wedding Magazines has a GREAT contest going on.... check it out and enter by next SWEEEEEEEEEET!

Please let me know if you enter and send a copy of your ring candy!

Wednesday Wedding Tips - 5 tips for a gorgeous gown

Today's tips are from Melanie at Andrea's Bridal

Love your bridal gown and want it to be PERFECT on your big day?  Here are a few do's and don'ts from the experts at Andrea's Bridal in Granger:

1.  DO have your gown professionally pressed. 
2.  DON'T use a steamer, it could ruin silk.
3.  DO take your gown straight home or to your hotel after it has been pressed.
4.  DO NOT leave a freshly pressed gown in its bag in your car while you run a few errands on your way home....wrinkles are inevitable.  There is even a story of a bride who stopped at the mall for pantihose and came out to find her gown stolen!
5.  DO make sure you (or your maid of honor, friend, mom) have practiced bustling the dress or consider hiring a dresser to help.

Do you have more questions about bridal gown care?  Call Andrea's Bridal at 574.217.7951 or visit them at

1229 East University Drive

Granger, IN USA 46530

Justs 2 doors down from Brides a la mode!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Saturday Spotlight -------- unique favors!


Tucked away in Middlebury, Indiana is a little shop that has some of the most unique wedding favors we have seen --  popcorn in flavors ranging from bubble gum to dill pickle!  This colorful and flavorful popcorn can be packaged as take away favors or arranged in a "popcorn buffet" for your guests to help themselves!

Popcorn by Design has more than just popcorn....  check out these cute bride and groom apples... wouldn't they make a darling favor?

Contact Popcorn by design by calling Gloria Martin at 574-849-5757 or