Category Archives: advice

Tip or Trend Tuesday: Food Trucks…What, How, When, Where?

The trend up on the blogs, in the mags, and at bridal shows I have heard the most buzz about? Food trucks and their little bits of foodie goodness. It seems like everyone’s talking about how great they are, but how in the world do I find them? Do I use one truck or a few trucks? Do I want one for the meal or for a late night snack? Will my venue allow it? My venue allows them, but where do I put them? So much buzz and so many questions. Well, I think I’ve got some answers for you!

The how…Food trucks don’t work like venues, with listings on wedding sites and directories…yet. You have to know where to find them and that can take a bit of exploring…or does it? Like with most things nowadays, there’s an app (or two) for that! However, how good are those apps?

For the purposes of this post, I checked out a few of the more popular apps and none wowed me. Some were clunky to use, while others were incomplete in the coverage of many major cities, and those that were in cities I was familiar with, just didn’t return many trucks. I know Denver has more than three food trucks.

My best advice is to do a comprehensive Google search. The best way to get targeted results is to conduct your search as such, “food truck” and your city name. My first page of hits for Denver were filled with food truck gold. Lists sorted by food type with links to each truck’s Twitter accounts (most food trucks post their daily locations on Twitter no matter what city you are in. One site, Where is that food truck? even had a contact form one can send to the site with a specific food truck request for your event and they will pass your info on to the truck, making a food truck bride’s search much easier! No matter what city you’re in, you are bound to find food truck loving sites to point you in the right direction and help you cater your fabulous food truck fete.

Once you’ve gotten some ideas as to which vendors you would like to explore, pay them a visit…no, really pay. A food truck doesn’t operate like a caterer or banquet hall. Their income opportunities are not based on ambiance, wait staff, etc. They have to sell good food and sell it fast. So, don’t even think of asking for a free tasting from their menu. Get out there and get to their stop/s and get a sense of whether you like the food or not and as to how they respond to their customers when the line starts to mount. You want a vendor who can not only make great food, but that can keep his/her cool under pressure.

So, now that you’ve tasted from your list of truck/trucks and chosen your fave/s, here are some questions to ask the vendor before signing a contract.

  • Do you have a set menu that you stick with or do you customize it for an event?
  • How many people are you able to serve and what is the maximum time allowance to serve those people?
  • How do you keep food hot and/ or cold?
  • Do you charge a flat fee or per person?
  • Do you offer beverage service? Alcohol?
  • If you are going to use the trucks as stations: What other food trucks have you worked with or recommend to compliment your truck’s fare?
  • What are the city’s rules regarding food truck service for events?
  • If you are using the trucks for a late night snack: What’s the latest you  can serve? What foods do you recommend or caution against for late night snacks?
  • Do I need to obtain any permits or insurance to use your services?
  • Are there any limitations on where you can park?
  • Does the city permit such services at my venue? Some cities restrict the boundaries of where a food truck may go.

I hope you find these tips helpful. Are you considering a food truck wedding? If so, I’d love to hear about it and what you are planning to serve. Planned a food truck wedding? What was your experience at your wedding?

Tip or Trend Tuesday: Tip: The “First Look”

Thinking of doing a “first look” on your wedding day? Want to know what those who’ve done it thought of their experience? Well, here’s my advice for a great “first look” experience for you and your love.

Over the past *mumble* years that I’ve been in the wedding industry, I can hardly remember a more argued topic amongst my colleagues than when the notion of “first looks” came on the scene. What’s a “first look?” A “first look” is a time both you and your soon to be spouse get your first view of one another on your wedding day. The reason for the argument? A “first look” happens before you both head down the aisle.

Some say it ruins the entire surprise element of that first glimpse of your love coming down the aisle and other say it alleviates the anxiety of that moment, making it a moment just between the two of you. I am a “first look” advocate. I did it at my first wedding in 1998 and I can’t even begin to tell you the controversy that was for all of the church ladies. Luckily, my Dad was the Senior Pastor and our officiant, so my ex and I got our wish. Sometimes it definitely pays to be a “Daddy’s Girl.” 😉

Both my ex-husband and I were ridiculously nervous before our wedding. I literally got no sleep the night before and the tuxedo rental place messed up the guy’s order, making them three hours late to the rehearsal. I remember just wanting a moment alone with the man I was about to marry. We’d both been through a chaotic 24 hours and didn’t want that to show in some blubbering outburst as I made my way down the aisle. Having that moment just the two of us with only the photographer and videographer (both stayed at a distance) settled our nerves and it was just about the only time alone we had all day. It was SO worth it.

Fourteen years later, I’d be making the “first look” magic happen for him and his wonderful fiance (seriously, I have the best ex-husband and step-mom to my kiddo…EVER). Here’s their experience and try not to drown in their respective cuteness:

Bear: “I think it’s the best way to go for any wedding, you relax and calm yourselves. Seeing Tana in that dress was beyond words, Goddess-like does not do it justice. Still thinking about that moment makes me emotional…ok…move on now…lol.”
Tana Marie: “I remember waiting with anticipation to see his reaction as he opened his eyes and saw me for the first time all dressed up. Bear picked out my dress, seeing it in ivory at the store. I love that he was the one who picked it. 🙂 He never saw me in the red dress ’till that moment, and when I saw his face and the love it showed, it made my heart melt. He looked absolutely handsome in his tux! It is a moment I will never forget.”

Me: Would you recommend a “first look” to other brides and grooms?
Bear: “Oh hell yeah!!!!!”
Tana Marie: “Highly! You have that moment where it feels like it is only the two of you there and you feel complete. At last it was for myself.”


*Photos by Eric Murphy of Piscean Dreams Photography

So, what are my tips for a great “first look?”
*Always, always, always have your photographer and/or your videographer present. They can capture the moment, but stand back a bit so that you can have your privacy.
*Let your wedding party know ahead of time. That way, they don’t go hunting for you and interrupt your time together.
*Appoint someone to keep the lookie loos at bay. For Bear and Tana, it was me as I was their wedding planner and they knew I could do so with tact. You don’t need a “first look” bouncer, just someone to politely ask folks not to interrupt you.
*Scout out your “first look” spot before the wedding day. You want a spot that is out of the way and one that will photograph well.
*Budget about 20 minutes of your pre-ceremony time for your “first look” and include it on your itenerary for the day. Be sure to hand out that itinerary to all involved in your wedding party as well as your vendors.

Here are some of my favorite “first look” pics from across the web. I’d love to hear if you and your love are planning a “first look.” Or if you’re already married, how your first look went.

Stay tuned tomorrow for some “red velvet” inspiration!

First Look 1

First Look 2

Tip or Trend Tuesday: Handy dandy masculine wear tips and trends

Today I thought I’d help out my masculine readers with some great infographics from AK FEDEAU and The Art of Manliness to assist you with your wedding day ensemble. Whether you are looking to wear a 3-piece or two-button suit, or a formal tuxedo, get to know your menswear before you go shopping. This will make for a quick and easy shopping experience for you and your attendants. Don’t know how to tie a bow tie or a traditional necktie? Check out the visuals below and nail it on your wedding day. Finally, the basics on polishing your shoes. Make those bad boys shine to complete your wedding day look.

The rumor around menswear is that double-breasted jackets are back, courtesy of movies like The Great Gatsby and shows like Downton Abbey. The other trend I want to share with you comes from the pages of a great many wedding blogs and photographers…super fun socks for the groom and attendants. So, here’s some great guides and how-tos for you along with some wedding day ensemble inspiration.

All about menswear from AK FEDEAU THE BLOG:










How to tie a bow tie from The Art of Manliness


How to tie a Four-in-Hand Necktie, from The Art of Manliness


The art of shining shoes, from The Art of Manliness


Menswear Trends- Double Breasted- Wedding

Fun Men's Socks

Tips or Trends Tuesday: Happy Maids and Gents = Happy Bride

Today, I have some advice on how to keep your bridesmaids and guymaids happy and you’re relationships with them in peak condition throughout your wedding planning process. First things first, remember that these are the women and men that you love and cherish the most. So much so, that you have asked them to stand next to you on what is the most important day of your life. Keep that in mind as you progress through the months leading up to your wedding. You don’t want to lose your besties by turning in to an unhinged Bridezilla.

Trust me, nothing positive will resort from Bridezilla antics.      Source:

Trust me, nothing positive will resort from Bridezilla antics. Source:

Second, keep the finances of each of your attendants in mind when choosing your bridesmaid’s and guymaid’s attire. If you have one person who could realistically afford a $400 dress/suit and another who can only afford to spend $200 or less, don’t make the one with the smaller budget feel insecure, misunderstood, and feeling like he or she has to get a part time job just to pay for being in your wedding. What to do? Either choose a more affordable dress or pay the difference. Remember rule number one: these are the most important people to you, treat them with love and respect.

Next, consider the body type of ALL of your bridal party when choosing what they will wear. I went through this hell with my sister many years ago. The dress she chose was great for the other bridesmaids who were smaller busted, but me (even at 15) was busting out all over. Even though my mom hunted down matching lace for the top, I was still showing a bit too much for my age. Groomsmen were hitting on me and once we got to the reception venue where an Air Force event was taking place, let’s just say I couldn’t go anywhere unescorted. It was totally embarrassing and I would hate for anyone else (15 or not) to have to deal with a similar situation. If you have petite or plus size maids, pic a style that will flatter everyone. No one should have to crash diet or wear sky high heels just to work an outfit. This too goes back to rule number one.

Fourth, when planning events such as the bridal shower and bachelorette parties, keep the budgets and beliefs of your maids and gents in mind. That trip to Vegas could conflict with religious beliefs or be unattainable due to finances. Trust me, you can have a great bachelorette party keeping it local and affordable and by everyone present keeping their clothes on. If you and your maids can do the weekend in Vegas, then by all means drop some dollars in the slot for me!

Finally, be respectful of your maids’ and gents’ time. Give yourself a good old fashioned reality check when it comes to your expectations of your crew. Expecting them to attend each and every wedding related event from dress shopping, making favors, to parties is incredibly selfish and unrealistic. They have lives too and you have to keep in mind that they have to work, take care of their kids, pay bills, etc. and that your only expectation should be for them to attend the rehearsal the day before the wedding, purchase their outfits, and stand next to you at the wedding. That’s all that should be asked and expected of them. Don’t be like this real bride who sent this letter (that has since gone viral) to her bridal party:

“To my lovely Bridesmaid: [Names removed to protect the brideslaves]

As you all know I picked 10 wonderful ladies to stand by my side, share and make happen my special day to Jake. Each of you individually have a reason and a special place in my heart of why I picked you to be a bridesmaid. We have set our date for Saturday, August 31, 2013 in Vail, Colorado. That seems far away but it really isn’t, the earlier the planning the better. You may have already knew that my wonderful sister L— will be the Maid of Honor, she’s in charge under me. Also my lovely mom will be a big help as well. L— has a big role in throwing me a bridal shower and bachelorette party, of course all of you guys do but at the end of the day shes the go to person and makes it happen+Doe.

You all have a big roll in this wedding, so before we continue I’m going to be setting some ground rules and its very important you read and think about everything through before you accept this honor to be a bridesmaid. If you guys email anything I would also like you to put L— in the CC. Not all the bridesmaid need to be CC’d unless its coming from me or L—, if it something everyone needs to see then well do it. We set the date to August 31, 2013 if that’s a problem we need to know NOW. Also by the end of the week we will be setting dates for the engagement party, bridal show and bachelorette party.

Our wedding party is really the most important people at the wedding besides my self and Jake so we want every single one of our bridesmaid and grooms at our parties, I have 10 not 8 where two couldn’t make it so if you already know you cant make one of the parties then we have to find someone else, not to be harsh in the slightest it would sadden me and of course you’ll still be invited to our wedding, engagement ect. But it’s different if your not in the wedding party and couldn’t make it. We’ll give everyone well advance dates for the parties and it will always fall on a weekend. The wedding as I stated will be in Vail the engagement party will either be in NY or CT and the bachelorette party will be in Vegas, cliche yeaa but I’ve never been.

A few girls live out of town so if there is going to be a problem with coming to either one then I need to know now because after this week I don’t want to be surprised. I would like everyone to send me any dates they are going away or planning to go away after February so if your going away in January I don’t care. I want any dates from February to the day of our wedding in August, that way we know not to plan something when your away. But after this week the dates are set in stone. Also if money is tight and you cant afford to contribute to say the bachelorette party or wont be able to afford a dress etc then L— and Myself don’t have time to deal with that, I’m sorry. This includes flights as well, everyone knows the states where the parties are going to be held so if you wont be able to afford a flight then that means you cant make a party which ultimately means I cant have you as a bridesmaid. Obviously we’ll get the best deals and were not gonna books flights for $1000 and shit that’s why were doing this in advance, that goes for bridesmaids dresses as well everything will be affordable but if you think by affordable its going to be a $25 forever 21 dress then your going to the wrong wedding.

If your out of state though don’t think you have to fly in for all fittings, that we will work with you, find stores in your town, get don’t have to worry about that. Also if you accept this honor another thing is that you need to be available, I’m not going to harass you with wedding stuff every hour of everyday but if its something important and it takes you a week even 2-3 days to get back to me seeeee ya! I don’t have time to wait around for responses, everyone has their phone on them, it shouldn’t take you more than a day to get back to me, even if your out of the country, check your email!

Furthermore, Ever since I could remember I have dreamed about this day all my life. I want to share it with the people that are most important to me. You only get one time to plan your dream wedding and I couldn’t pick a more amazing group of girls to make that dream come true! So please, what’s stated above think about it all and by Wednesday I need to know if everyone is 100% in, and what I have asked about sending me dates if your gonna be away between Feb-Aug ill need that on Wednesday. If you don’t think you’ll be able to attend one party but can make the rest of them I’m sorry but I’ll have to take you out as a bridesmaid and put you as a guest. If you want to get back to me before Wednesday, that’s fine. Really think about everything I’ve said. This is really going to be the most epic wedding ever so I hope you girls can share this special day with us!


Read more:

Really? That is one big mess of crazy and I would hope that her bridesmaids stood up to her.

So, with that said, how about some affordable bridesmaids dresses for under $150?! For your guymaids, rental suits and tuxes are typically under $150, but here are some great accessories under $50 so your guys can spice up those cookie cutter rentals. Don’t forget to come back on Friday for bridesmaid’s dresses and guymaid’s accessories from Etsy.

Bridesmaid Dresses under $150

Pink dress

Formal evening dress

orchid dress

Men's Ties "Guymaids" under $50

Tips or Trends Tuesday: Tips: Signature Drinks

Many of us have been to a wedding where the alcohol flowed freely at an open bar or that wedding where you had to pay for your own drinks. Unless you have a sizable drink budget, an open bar can leave your wallet bare or can lead to over indulgence fueled drama. Having your guests pay for their own drinks…not so much. It’s better to have a dry wedding than make your guests feel like they are at a bar, paying for a two drink minimum.

What’s a couple to do when faced with the alcohol issue? Weigh the costs against your budget. If you can’t afford an open bar, consider beer and wine only. Beer and wine sound a bit boring? Here comes your friend, the signature drink!

Signature drinks are great as they provide your guests with a little drinkypoo similar to beer or wine, but add an element of fun by trying something new or theme oriented. You can have just one or my favorite idea, a his and hers drink. The bride picks one and the groom picks one and it’s awesome if you can tie in a little story about each drink: favorite club drink, favorite flavors, etc.

Photography By Brooke Boling Photography  Source:

Photography By Brooke Boling Photography Source:

Here are several signature drink ideas. For recipes:
Top to bottom and left to right:
Row 1: Classic Pimm’s Cup, Super Chill Celery-Cilantro Fizz, Earl Grey MarTEAni
Row 2: Lavender Whisky Sour, Cucumber Mint Gimlet, Cotton Candy Cocktail
Row 3: Toasted Marshmallow Cocktail, Bacon-Maple Manhattan, Pumpkin Pie Hot Toddy
Row 4: Aviation, Black Orchid Martini, Simple Spiked Lemonade

Signature Drinks