Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Super Gift Registry Ideas

Sometime you stumble across the best idea and are shocked that you didn't already know about it! I came across the greatest idea, and I just can't believe I had never heard of it before. I had a bride ask me not too long ago about feeling reluctant about registering for a pretty big ticket item for her wedding. I was thrilled to be able to tell her about a site that makes that much less stressful! Felicite is an independent site that allows you to register for items from ANY web site. Guests are then able to contribute any amount that they are comfortable with toward those items that you have requested. When the purchase price has been met, the website places the order, and the item is shipped directly to you.

Don't forget your groom! He may patiently attend you while you peruse the isles of the local department store and may even drive the cool scan gun for a few hours while you choose your special dishware, flatware and glasses, so give him a little something to get excited about by having him register at Lowe's or Home Depot. He will be pretty darn happy to be opening a power tool or two at your couple's shower! Remember....those power tools are going to shape up your new place!

For the couple that already has it all and wants to just skip the whole registry idea.....why not have your guests contribute to your honeymoon instead? Distinctive honeymoons, Honeymoon Wishes and The Big Day allow guests to contribute to funding certain aspects of your honeymoon like a romantic dinner, or scuba lessons. What a fun concept in wedding gifts.....your guests will feel like they are contributing to your most special memories, not just an appliance.

There are a lot of options that allow you to customize your registry just the way that will work the best for both you and your groom.


How To Reconcile having a Wedding Planner with Parent's contributions

Another recent question I had:

"My parents are paying a large portion of our wedding, but do I have to heed their input on plans, and how do I get what I want with my Wedding Planner and still make my Parents happy?"

Well, do have to listen to your parents' wishes and input on wedding plans when they are contributing toward the cost of your wedding. Some parents will be very hands off and the sky may be the limit. Occasionally parents will set a spending limit ahead of time, and how you spend within that budget is up to you. Most often, however, parents want a say in how their hard earned money is spent, and rightfully so. Many times your Mother and maybe even your Father will have had their own vision of your wedding day for many years, and are anxious to recreate the picture in their minds.

Early on is the best time to start conversations with your parents and in-laws to be regarding who will be contributing, how much and in what way. This is one time when money is not a tabu subject! To get everyone on the same page early on...and to keep them there will be a wonderful exercise in the communications skills that will serve you well in marriage. It is ok to take notes and then read everything back to everyone present after agreements have been made. This is help keep everyone on track and everyone sure of what is expected of them.

So, how do you get financial assistance from your family, and still get the wedding YOU want? Again...communication is the key. Compromises on non-key components of your day will go a long way to placate those that are helping to pay the bulk of the expenses. Believe it or not...this is the great time for a Wedding Planner! Your Wedding Planner will have experience in mediating between deciding parties for a wedding, and will be on YOUR side...(never a bad thing!) Having a mediator will allow you to take a step back and disengage from the up close and personal emotions that can get involved when you are trying to communicate your wishes, feeling strongly and unable to find the words to come across as neutral.

A sticking point can come when the Wedding Planner is someone hired by your family member and not you. We recommend trying to field that part of the budget on your own, but even if someone else has paid for that service, A great Wedding Planner will make it clear that she/or he works for the best interests of the bride and groom first and will always take into account the feelings and budgets of all the parties involved.

If your parents and/or in-laws to be are paying for the entire event, why not ask them which components of the rehearsal, rehearsal dinner, ceremony and reception they would like to oversee, and then supply them (or have your Wedding Planner supply them) with your three top choices for each vendor for them to choose from. This way you are assured in getting vendors that are a good fit for you, and your parents will have an active role in the decision making process. A little creativity goes a long way to help everyone feel involved and your wedding remain....your wedding!


What About a Themed Wedding?

One of the items I will be adding to this site is an "Ask Leslie" link, where you will be able to send your questions and have them answered here.

In the meantime, I have gotten some emails with questions relating to Wedding Planning.

Recently I was asked if themed weddings are a thing of the past...are they kind of anyone doing them?

Themes are great! One of the most wonderful things about a themed wedding (or any event) is that it helps to keep you on track. Without the focus of a theme to concentrate on, brides many times find themselves getting into the store and going wild buying everything they see that they like, with the hope that they will find a way to "fit it in". If you know that you are getting married by the lake and have always had a love of the outdoors and lakeside will be looking for items to showcase that. Mini adirondack chairs as place cards, family pictures on your annual vacation in rustic branch frames as a welcome to the place card table, and perhaps you will ride away from your reception in your very own getaway canoe! What you won't be doing is buying reams of orange ribbon because it is on sale, and crystal vases because they are on closeout, and sticking them in a closet to never use again.

Beyond the financial benefit, themes allow you as a couple to celebrate your personalities. Many guests will not know both of you, and a theme that means a great deal to you both will help all the guests see into your world and know you better. I managed several weddings last year that were based around music. The couples had a great love of music in their lives, as did many of their friends. Both weddings had a great deal of music by friends and family in their ceremony and in their receptions. Both by the performers and by their musical felt that you really knew both the bride and groom by the end of the day. Sometimes the season will lend itself to a natural theme. Using the seasons as a guide will help those that are ecologically concerned about a leaving the smallest carbon footprint possible as well.

The obvious choice for Coastal Maine weddings is a seaside theme. This is something that is always beautiful, fresh and elegant when done correctly. A summer's worth of beach combing will bring you all sorts of lovely ideas and items to be used throughout your reception and ceremony.

Be sure to share your personality with your wedding planner early in your relationship. The more she knows about you, your joys, your passions, your hobbies and your history, the more she can work with you to create a day that is completely and beautifully a reflection of you and your husband to be.


Who are we......really?

We had a great "coming out party" at the Portland Wedding Show a few weeks ago. Since then we have been fielding calls and questions from people that are starting to hear about us. "So what are you....really?" Is the question we have been getting most often.

We are an event and catering management group that is made up of an eclectic group of women from several professional backgrounds. What we have in common is a love of entertaining and a passion for creating beautiful events. I have been in the event and catering business for decades and have had probably equal experience both in the front and the back of the house. I am a chef by trade and have also assisted countless brides through their planning process. Through my experience as a caterer, I have learned as much what NOT to do, as what to do. They are both equally important.

One of my convictions is that brides realize that a wedding planner that comes as part of the package from a venue or caterer, is really not what you are looking for. These coordinators, as talented as they may be, can never be solely looking out for your best interests. They are by their job descriptions looking out for their venue or business. You deserve and and need your own advocate. An independently hired wedding planner that will get to know you and your dreams, that has the passion and experience to make those dreams happen within your budget is what you need.

Pomegranate Parties also has the exclusive use of the fabulous Pomegranate Inn for both day and evening events. Due to the intimate nature of the Inn, we do request that for evening events the Inn is booked as a whole. Pomegranate Parties also makes use of the stunning surroundings of the Brunswick Inn on Park Row for events in the greater Brunswick area. I am especially thrilled to be able to offer both the services as event planners and our catering expertise to bring you truly a well rounded service experience. Whether you are planning an intimate cocktail party in your home, or a bridal tea and looking for a unique backdrop, we can assist in making it a memorable, beautiful and delicious experience. Please call us today at 207-772-1006. We look forward to hearing from you. Cheers!


All things being Etsy

Pomegranate Parties

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