Spring is Coming-Are you Ready?

Snow and Ice have come, stayed awhile, and now we all are ready for sunshine, bright colored attire, and of course Weddings! Spring & summer wedding season is right around the corner. Some of you have been planning for months wondering if the date will get ever here. Some of you are still getting that guest list finalized, and menus selected. No matter the date of your wedding take advantage of the spring season.

  • Get out and take a run thinking of looking your best in that fabulous wedding gown
  • Have your engagement photos or thank you photos taken among the blooming Botanical Gardens
  • For your DIY bride: have an outside work day spray painting frames, building crates, assembling favors
  • Enjoy a garden party for your bridesmaids and special people apart of your wedding
  • For traveling wedding parties: have a simple grilling party for all those out of town or in town bridesmaids & groomsmen to meet. Have fun before all the wedding proper etiquette has to take place.
  • Getting married at home? Get outside and help prune the yard or set-up the arbour for the ceremony

Or simple just sit outside and enjoy the calm, beautiful weather. Happy Spring to everyone!

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Wedding Planner 101

Wedding coordinating is the number one service I am asked about. It is also the service most underestimated. The average cost of a wedding coordinator in Knoxville is $800-$1500.  It might seem expensive, but do you know what a wedding coordinator does?

Every wedding day I wake up, cook myself eggs benedict with homemade hollandaise, watch a few morning shows, fix my hair & make-up, put on a nice strapless dress and fabulous heels and arrive at 5pm for a 6pm wedding….Then I wake up from my dream!

Coordinating a wedding takes the most endurance, patience, thinking, and physical work I have ever done! An average wedding day for me is about 12-15 hours (yes, that is just the wedding day). These hours do not include the time I have taken to review contracts, follow up with vendors in finalizing orders, visit the venue, scheduling deliveries to make sure the rentals arrive before the flowers, the venue is open for the rentals to arrive, and the bride & groom aren’t being billed for any extra time to name a just a few items.

The responsibility of a wedding coordinator is huge. We must know what is happening at all times, what is about to happen, and what should happen in the next hour. We are constantly running schedules through our minds to ensure every detail will happen the way you, the client, wishes it to happen. We anticipate your requests before you ask, and rapidly make your wishes come true on the spot. We know every detail for every vendor every minute of the wedding day. On the wedding day most of us just do what needs to get done for the day to be fantastic. Some unexpected things I have done for weddings:

Escorted screaming flower girls down the aisle

Stuck my hands in a wedding cake as it was falling

Rearranged a bridal bouquet

Handled a guest getting bit by a copperhead snake

Directed a rehearsal with 31 people processing down the aisle

Worked one wedding day stretching 8am-3am (not including the 14 hours of set-up the day before)

Actual wedding crashers having to be escorted out 3 different times, once by police

A venue serving a full bar, and not the contracted just wine & beer (by me catching the mistake the bride & groom got a full bar free of charge).

A groom getting in a fender bender with the father of the bride’s vintage porsche

Having to find a taxi to pick-up a guest with a heart condition

This is only a glimpse into what I do for my brides.

The cost of a wedding coordinator may seem high at first, but the value is priceless. A mother of the bride said it best, “You spend $800 on a DJ, $2500 on flowers, $25 per guest on catering, $3000 on the wedding location, and another $2500 on photography, so why wouldn’t you invest top dollar for someone to oversee your investment for your wedding?”

Never underestimate a wedding coordinator!

New Beginnings

2014 seems to be just around the corner, and I can’t explain how excited I am for the new year and new weddings! 2012 and 2013 have been years that have done nothing but turned my life upside down. 2012 was a year that tested my family month after month. Every month we were given new challenges to the point where we were fearful for anyone close to us, as our bad luck started to spread to our closest friends. As my mom said on New Year’s Eve “I have never been a fan of the #13, but I have decided # 12 is the worst!” Our family gladly welcomed 2013, and with it I got the most adventurous year yet, pregnancy! I adore my son and do not regret one moment of my pregnancy, but what a challenge! In all categories of pregnancy I was in the minority in every way (the list is endless)! I gave birth at the height of wedding season to a adorable son. Becoming a mom is amazing, and an adventure each day. 

Because of the birth of my son I chose to take off the fall season. I want to enjoy these times with my son, and have some time to concentrate on getting Live Laugh Love Weddings better for the new year. I love my clients, but like many, some of the to dos I want to get done for my business keep getting pushed to the bottom of my list. Clients have always come first, as it should be. I truly enjoy my job and do not wish to give it up! I believe 2014 will be a fantastic year! All the new plans will be ready by fall for all to enjoy. You will recognize us, but hopefully just in a better light! 

I want to hear from you, please Like Live Laugh Love Weddings on Facebook, and tell us what you want us to create or what you want in your planner/coordinator!

 

Wedding Gift Controversy

Wedding Gift Controversy

Have you heard about the huffington post bride? Recently a bride went on social media complaining of a wedding guests’ gift of $100. The bride stated the gift was insignificant, and did not cover the $200 cost of dinner (per plate) the bride paid for the guest at her wedding. What are your thoughts? Nancy Barger and I went on WBIR to talk about the topic! Read the full story at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/02/wedding-gift_n_3535780.html

Changes in the year to come

It has been a long while since I posted on my blog. For the last 10 months I have been preparing for a new adventure, parenthood. I can now say I survived my unique pregnancy, and am loving every day on my son. I love being a mom, but also still adore my wedding work. I took a light load this year so I can properly readjust to being a mom, but also create some fantastic weddings. I will be improving my business to assist brides in creating their amazing wedding day. I look forward to the changes and improvements that will come to Live Laugh Love Weddings, but promise to still deliver the same (if not better) great service Live Laugh Love Weddings has always provided.  Thanks and I look forward to sharing all the goodies with you!

How-to be a Glowing Bride- a bridal beauty regimen from Southern Sirens

A bride’s skin is often one of her biggest worries on the big day. The way to help ensure that you have the best chance  of having clean and healthy skin on your wedding day is to follow these tips:

We recommend seeing an Esthetician several months before your big day; our team of makeup artists at Southern Sirens are all licensed Estheticians. An Esthetician is different from a cosmetologist in that they give advice on how to properly care for your skin. They can help you pick out products that are right for your skin type, and areas of concern. Here is a basic skin regimen that we recommend. First off, we love Dermologica products; they are great products that produce results.

How-to be a Glowing Bride:

1. Wash your face two times a day (once in the morning, once at night) with your chosen facial wash. Why twice? Once is to remove oil,dirt, and makeup. The second time is to actually clean your face. Rinse with warm water.

2. Use a facial scrub two to three times a week;  scrub your face gently with the pads of your fingers for one minute if you have normal to dry skin; if you have oily-type skin, scrub for an additional minute. Rinse with warm water.This step helps to remove dead skin cell.

3. Use a facial mask once a week. Leave on your skin for three to five minutes.  Using a mask helps rejuvenate your skin, adding any depleted vitamins and nutrients. Rinse with warm water.  Here is an easy facial mask that you can make at home:

Ingredients:

2 cups Old Fashioned Oats

1 Tbsp Olive Oil

1 Tbsp warm Water

Directions:

Grind Oatmeal in blender until powdery, it should make about 2 Tbsp

Mix Olive oil, warm water, and oatmeal powder Rub onto face, then rinse with warm water, Repeat.

4. Twice a day (once in the morning, once at night) spray your face with a toner to help even out the pH levels in your skin as well as to help your moisturizers go on better.

5. Twice a day (once in the morning, once at night) apply a pea size amount of moisturizer to your face and neck in an upward motion. You apply in an upward motion to help lift skin. Applying in a downward motion can pull your skin down and cause wrinkles over time. Ladies, if you want to look young in old age, treat your skin with respect: do not go outside with moisturizer, make sure it has at least an SPF of 15!

If you get on a good skin regimine, you should begin seeing results in two to four weeks. The earlier you start, the earlier your regimine can be adjusted if need be to help you have the best skin possible for your big day. The Dermologica products featured here can be bought from Dermologica’s website or you can visit the Tennessee School of Beauty’s Skin Care Center.

– Amanda McKnight, Southern Sirens

From “To-Dos” to “Ta-Das” Part 1

Recently, I’ve had several Brides ask me if there’s a specific check list for getting ready to go down the aisle. After my share of weddings these are a few “rules of thumb” that I find helps with the planning process; having a plan for the big day can help cut down on the stress, and make for a much happier bride and groom.- Allison

16-9 months before 

  • Inspiration Folder- Having a vision of what you and your fiance want for your wedding is crucial; everything else should be planned around it. Are you wanting to go with a particular theme? Have you been imagining your wedding day since you were 6 years old? Find out what you like; what color combinations say “wedding” to you. Tip: If you haven’t already, get a Pinterest account and start pinning pictures of what you want your wedding to look like. Pin pictures of wedding dress styles you like, centerpieces that you love, any decor you’d like to include. It may not be exactly like it but it will give you an idea of what you like and don’t like, and you’ll be able to show your potential vendors what you have in mind. You find vendors by going to some bridal shows; they usually occur every few months or so. If you live in the Knoxville area you can visit the 29:11 Event Planning Studio’s Bridal show event at the Knoxville Zoo on Sunday, September 30th from 2-6 p.m! 

  • Budget- Finding out a comfortable budget early is important. When deciding on your overall budget you need to decide what costs will be considered in the wedding budget, and what costs you will pay for yourself, or what family members are willing to contribute; it should include the ceremony and reception venues, photographer, wedding planner (if you wish to have one) and bridal attire. A discussion with your possible vendors needs to be brought up in the first meeting, but don’t let it rule out that vendor completely. Most are willing to work on any budget. For a full list of budget specifications please visit our Budget Basic  page.
  •  Choose your Wedding Party- Choosing who is going to be in your wedding party is almost as important and finding “the dress”. You’re going to want to have girls that you know you can count on, ones that you know will be there to celebrate with you and be supportive for you and your fiance. Include girls who you know are going to get along with. Don’t feel pressure to include his baby sister if you two don’t know each other very well; there could be other roles for her to play and still be involved in the wedding. 
  • Start compiling a guest list- Both you and your fiance need to  have an idea who you would like to invite to the wedding; start an Excel file with guests’ last names listed alphabetically and their addresses. You’ll be able to narrow this list down later.
  • Choose a date and your people- If there is a vendor  or a venue you’re absolutely crazy about you need to book them as far in advance as possible, but before you do you need to narrow down a date. Photographer can book quickly so do research to find which ones you and your fiance like the best. You also need to decide if you and your fiance wish to have a wedding planner or wedding coordinator to help with the planning process. Tip: Can’t decide if you need a wedding planner? Visit our Homepage to view our Q+A on what a wedding planner does.

8 months before 

  • Finalize a Photographer/ Videographer- Photographers are usually book appointments months in advance (or even years!) so deciding who you want to capture your wedding day should be a big priority. Once decided you and your photographer can talk budgets, packages, and to schedule  engagement or bridal portraits.
  • Find “the Dress”– If you aren’t already, try and become familiar with certain styles. Do you prefer A-line or Ball gown, or are you wanting something completely non-traditional? Gather your bridesmaids, grab some magazines, and find out what you like. Print out pictures from your Pinterest board and take them with you when you go to the Bridal salon; they may have the same dress or something similar. Once you’ve found it look for accessories like shoes, undergarments, and a veil to go with your gown. Tip: Think against taking all of your best girls out to find your dress. It can be overwhelming when you have six different opinions about a dress and you can’t decide if want to say “I Do” in it. Consider taking one or two of your girls and let your other ladies see your dress at the last fitting. 
  • Scan, scan, scan- Put on your sneakers, grab a scan-gun, and start building a Wedding gift registry. Make a date out of it! Take your hubby-to-be and scan items that you think you might like to have in your new place together. Big-name stores like Target, have a Wedding Registry bag with some awesome goodies, including a checklist to help give you an idea on what to scan. Tip: Remember once you scan something you can always decide later if you don’t want that item; in other-words, you can edit your registry list. Make sure to include items at all price points and register at several different stores to give your guests a variety of options. Think about starting a wedding website to tell of how you two met, how he proposed, and list the places you’ve registered at; websites like Wedding-wire make it easy for you to do this. 

7-6 months

  • Choose your invitations- Invitations set the style and tone of your wedding; in a way they give a preview of your family and friends on what to expect. You can also choose to have your invitations coordinate with your wedding colors but they don’t have to. Your invitations can be as informal or formal as you’d like but they give a clue to your guests on what to wear; you wouldn’t want your guests to come to a rustic barnyard wedding dressed in Vera Wang.
  • Save-the-dates-  While you’re trying to finalize invitations you should also be thinking about your “Save-the-dates”. It isn’t completely necessary but they give your guests a heads-up that you’re tying the knot. Your save the dates give you more of a freedom to show your personality and creativity. Tip: You should make the note that anyone that receives a Save-the-Date should receive a formal invitation to the wedding. 
  • Fly me to the Moon– If you and your future husband are escaping on somewhere exotic for your honeymoon, make sure your passports are up-to-date, and visit your local physician for any shots that you may need. Tip: If you’re having trouble narrowing down a destination try visiting websites like The Knot, Budget Travel, or AAA’s website.
  • Going to the Chapel- Whether or not you and your future-husband are planning on having premarital counseling, you should plan on meeting with your officiant to talk about the order of the ceremony, and make sure you have the proper documents. Keep in mind that some church communities have strict rules about only letting members of the church get married in their sanctuary, you should also ask about what music would be permitted durning the ceremony, and if photography is permitted during the service.
  • Dress your best-  You chose your dream dress, now it’s time to choose what your bridal party is wearing. Your bridesmaids shouldn’t be there to upstage you but you don’t want them to look- well, ugly. Think of your girls as being an accessory-  a way to play on color scheme you’ve chosen for the wedding. Don’t know where to start? Refer back to your stack of bridal magazines or visit websites like The Knot or the Wedding Channel‘s pages on Bridesmaid dresses, where they have dresses separated by color, length, and price. Tip: Be cautious of budgets for your bridesmaids, and what they can afford. Don’t be upset if someone in your wedding party can’t afford to fork out  $70 for shoes and $300 for a dress; try and stick with options that will fit with any budget. Be mindful of different body types as well; if you have a friend that doesn’t feel comfortable showing cleavage, or is super tall, you may want  to choose two different dress styles in the same color, or choose two coordinating colors, and have your ladies pick which ones they feel beautiful.
  • Finalize your Vendors– Your vendors are going to be the ones to bring everything from lighting, to chairs and linens, you wouldn’t want to wait beyond 7-6 months to finalize them because they could be already booked. To ensure you’re getting exactly who you want finalize your wedding date with them and remember to pay a deposit to secure it. Vendor won’t know for sure you want them unless you do.

Stay tuned for Part II of ‘From “To-Dos” to “Ta-Das”‘

Soft and Pretty

Make up artist Amanda McKnight with Southern Sirens, has given us another beautiful look for brides:

Soft and Pretty

“Soft and Pretty” is the perfect to show off your natural beauty; this look enhances your best features and gives you an extra “pop” to make you a blushing bride for either a day or evening wedding.

Start this look with an eyeshadow in either a pastel or neutral color, you can pair this with a medium brown or gray eyeliner that helps give your ‘baby blues’ definition without being too harsh; smudging the eyeliner right above the lashes also helps to soften the line. Finish your lashes with a black mascara, or if you’re wanting something different, try a dark brown or a navy blue mascara.

For the lips go with a soft color, like a peach, nude, or light pink. You can finish this look with a neutral cream blush to highlight and define your cheekbones. Cream blushes provide a natural look and a nice healthy glow, perfect for a beautiful bride.

Capturing the Moment- in a new way

Brides: Have you heard about Wedding Snap? It’s a new iPhone and Android application that allows your guests to take pictures and sends them in real-time to an online photo album; you can even upload pictures from a digital camera. This is a cool addition to having a professional wedding photographer, and it allows everyone to see the photos your guests took of your big day!  You can also create an album for birthdays, bridal showers, or any other family event. Here’s the website for more information: http://www.weddingsnap.com/index.html

Vintage Glam

It is such a thrill to introduce make-up artist Amanda McKnight to all of you; her amazing talents have been featured in many of Live, Laugh, Love’s photo shoots, including the Summer/Fall 2012 cover of Enchanted Brides Magazine. For this post we asked  Amanda to show us one of her favorite looks for Brides:

Vintage Glam 

I start the vintage glam look with a neutral eye shadow base, and a black liquid eye liner in a strong line along the upper lash line. For the eyelashes, I use a lush mascara that can be accented with individual false lashes for an extra “pop“. I like using a bright crimson red for the lips, and offset the cheeks by a soft and natural blush. This is a timeless look, that has never gone out of style.