March 26, 2012

Post Planning Pretty Vendor Spotlight

One of the best parts about going to a party like Planning Pretty where a lot of vendors are in the same place at the same time is being able to watch them in action. You can see how they interact with other people, how they manage crowds, and—if you’re lucky—you can watch them practice their craft. This is a huge bonus when you’re hunting for the perfect wedding vendor.

Planning Pretty guests definitely lucked out because we got to watch a few potential vendors in action all in one night.

Monica worked the party much like she would work a wedding. Most of the time, I didn’t even realize she was there. She weaved through the crowd like a stealthy little fox, getting her shot without ever getting in the way of the guests.

She definitely showed that she is not one of those photographers that guests complain about afterwards. You can bet she won’t be in the way during the ceremony or obtrusive during any other magical moment—but she’ll still get her shot!

The one thing you did notice was her bee booth, which she created because of the eyesore photo booths usually create. Her booth is big enough to fit a big group of friends inside and is handicap accessible while also being much easier on the eyes than a typical metal photo booth.

The photo booth is mobile enough that Monica can usually accommodate two backdrops and spaces for an event. This versatility has resulted in amazing photo booth photos with the NYC skyline as the backdrop during one couple’s rooftop cocktail party.  

 Jason Scrofani, In-Home Personal Trainer

Jason is a corrective exercise specialist and holistic nutritional coach who takes all aspects of your life (sleep patterns, stress levels, pain etc.) into account when designing a personalized exercise and nutritional program. He’s basically your health and fitness go-to guy. Bonus? You don’t actually have to go anywhere. He comes to you.

Jason shared some great tips at the party. Two of my favorites were fat burning secrets: apple cider vinegar and coconut oil. He says to drink two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in 12 oz of water twice a day and to cook with coconut oil (you can also use it as a moisturizer!). Doing either of these things will help you burn fat without moving a muscle. Awesome, right?

Jason also shared with us what he calls the Busy Bride Fat Shredding Workout. Here it is:
  • Day 1: 15 squat and press, 15 pushups, 30 jumping jacks (3 times)
  • Day 3: 30 oblique twist, 30 step back lunges, 30 jumping jacks (3 times)
  • Day 5: 10 low back raise (each side), 15 biceps curl, 15 triceps extension (3 times)
All photos courtesy of Antique Honey
And for those of us who were about to whine that we didn’t have enough time in our busy schedules for even that, Jason gave us a nightly commercial workout tip (which I talked about in my recap post). Instead of absentmindedly shoving snacks in your face while you watch your favorite guilty pleasure TV shows, you can try Jason’s little trick during commercial breaks: do quick squats or shadow boxing for the duration of every other commercial.

And Jason didn’t just talk. He actually pulled ladies out of the audience and showed them how to do the exercises he was discussing—and they liked it (see above)! You could tell that he’s passionate about his work and that he has the ability to make you passionate about it too.

So have I convinced you yet that you need to be at the next one of these parties?!
Jen Garry is co-founder of Bijou, a new online bridal magazine and blog.

March 22, 2012

Post Planning Pretty Post

If you missed the Planning Pretty party, you missed a whole lot of fun! From the ridiculously delicious desserts from Sugar Mama (I seriously think I ate about six cake pops) and the yummy savory snacks by Fresh Company to the gorgeous floral arrangements from Engaging Floral Designs and the seemingly endless array of handmade raffle prizes, it was a bride’s dream!

There were so many fantastic ideas to take in and lots of vendors to get acquainted with. Luckily for you, I’ve put together a little recap of all of the helpful information you may have missed (or that you can’t remember exactly because you don’t attend parties with notebooks like I did!).

When we first got there, we wandered around Meredith’s adorable house, which had been transformed with floral arrangements by NY Engagement’s Sarah Lusardi (who, for the record, is a total sweetheart!). There seemed to be wedding-related goodies in every nook and cranny! Meredith, Monica and Melissa worked hard to transform the place. From Antique Honey’s Bee Booth and all of the raffle prizes upstairs to tables of gorgeous jewelry by A Little Simple and LML Designs, invitations from Perfectly Personal, by Jen, and Mrs. Why Knot’s cute bracelets downstairs, guests were never at a loss for something to examine.

While we were checking everything out, Monica from Antique Honey and Jen from Jen Cassaro Productions were milling about taking photos and video of the event while David Nazario from A Perfect Blend Entertainment made sure there was a constant flow of music.

Next up were a few presentations that were chock full of great tips and advice.

Meredith did a makeup demonstration with a bride-to-be in the audience. She made over half of the bride’s face, letting the bride do the other half to demonstrate to all of us how easy it is. In the process, she gave some great tips, including these:
  • When putting on foundation, use a brush because it settles as opposed to sinking in when you use your finger.
  • Use blush in the crease of your eyelid for a bright pop of color.
  • When applying bronzer, put it on in the order the sun hits your face: forehead, nose, cheeks, chin (I’ve been doing this ever since!).
  • When filling in your eyebrows, use a shade or two lighter than your natural color.
After Meredith, Melissa Scrofani pulled one of her former brides out of the audience to show us all how simple it is to put in extensions. Here are her tips:
  • Pull your hair up.
  • Tease a small section of hair at the nape of your neck.
  • Clip in an extension.
  • Keep moving up in small sections doing the same thing.
  • Place the longest piece right above your ears.
Next up was Sarah Lusardi from NY Engagements. As a wedding planner, she’s right in the thick of the most stressful parts of the wedding planning process on a regular basis. It was really helpful to hear some of her tips on reducing stress:
  • Order your invitations and thank you cards together and address envelopes in advance or do them on the plane on the way to your honeymoon.
  • Have a wedding emergency kit.
  • Remember that you can’t plan everything.
  • Store your vows and any speeches online in case someone forgets them.
  • Relax on the day of and delegate responsibilities to other people like your bridesmaids.
  • If you stain your dress have a brooch or ribbon available to try and cover it. Don’t use stain remover (it can make it worse!).
  • Do your escort cards at the last minute in case of changes.
Last but not least was Jason Scrofani, who gave us some distressing tips from a personal trainer’s perspective. First, he showed us how to take deep breaths from our core (you know, for those times when your fiancĂ© is being a little less than helpful!). He also showed us some simple exercises, my favorite of which he calls a “nightly commercial workout.” For every commercial break during one of your guilty pleasures, do quick squats or shadow boxing for the duration of every other commercial. He promises it’s a good workout and—better yet—it makes sure you have no excuse to skip exercising!

As you can imagine, I couldn't possibly begin to cover all of the helpful information that was floating around this party. This post is just a start... which means you'll have to join us next time so that you don't miss out!
Jen Garry is co-founder of Bijou, a new online bridal magazine and blog.

March 12, 2012

Welcome to your Bridal Makeup Trial!

Welcome to your bridal makeup trial!  
Let me start by asking a few questions:
Have you ever had your makeup professionally done before?
What did/didn't you like about it?
How do you envision your makeup on your wedding day?  

Great!  You brought some pictures of makeup you like.  
I really like this look for you - it's elegant but really fresh and timeless.  
This is how I would tweak it so the look works best for you.  
It's important that you leave your bridal makeup trial HAPPY!  
Don't be afraid to be totally honest - I am happy to make any changes.  
I'll start on the lighter side and then we can edit together until it's perfect.  
It's YOUR FACE on your WEDDING DAY - the only thing that matters is that you look like yourself and that you feel your most beautiful.  

Mom - why don't you take the "before" picture?

What do you think so far?  

OK - those things are easy to change.  

Making sure everything is blended.
First Reveal - Big Mirror

Hand Mirror Reveal

Hand Mirror Reveal
Pretty close resemblance to the inspiration photo!
Yay!  You like it!!

Try it with your hair up!  That's a happy bride!
Don't forget to take a picture outside to see how the makeup looks in daylight!

A big Thank You to Kerri Hamm of KLH Photography!  
Gorgeous photos and so fun to work with you!!

Thank you to Kaitlin King - a beautiful bride who made the perfect model!