June 2013 Archive

Trends: Social Media at Weddings…the Dos and Don'ts!

Happy Monday, faithful blog followers! We had a super busy weekend filled with weddings with some awesome couples and vendors. But today we're tackling the topic of social media and weddings–the dos and don'ts!

For most couples, the first use of social media as it relates to your wedding is the engagement. While it's fine to share (or not share) the news of your engagement on social media sites, close family and friends should be told either in person or by phone (or facetime /skype) before it hits the interweb. You don't want dear Aunt Sally hearing about your engagement from your little cousin who saw it first on Facebook!

Back in the day (that means 10 years ago) we waited weeks–sometimes months–to see photos from weddings. It felt like an eternity. But today, with the leaps and bounds of technology, we can see the event happening in (almost) real time through sites like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Wild, right? While some couples embrace social media, others aren't so cool with it. I've had clients swing both ways. And that's great for different reasons!

Recently, I've had a few couples create hashtags for their guests to use on Instagram and Facebook. This way all the photos taken and posted can be easily found on apps like Instagram. It's a great way to collect images from lots of unique perspectives. I love the signage that Erin and Tim created for their wedding earlier this month! Such a good idea! 34

Another great and helpful app for collecting photos from social media is Wedding Party. The couple can create an account on Wedding Party and include their link to the wedding party website on their save-the-dates and invitations–guests can also download the app to join in the fun. Wedding Party helps couples share information about their event, includes a countdown to the big day, and shows ALL the guests pictures taken at the wedding in ONE PLACE in real time. You can even connect the app to your wedding website! So cool, right?

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While some couples embrace social media, others would prefer to keep their day private. Some ask that guests refrain from taking photos during the ceremony–usually there will be an annoucement in either the program or by the officiant or ushers. If you're not sure–ask! Pro-tip: don't text, call, email, or tweet the bride or groom about this the day-of the wedding. While you can ask guests to not share photos of you, you can't prevent them from taking photos of themselves and sharing on social media sites.

Another big don't is sending out your thank you notes via social media. Nope, not cool–not ever! Even in our ever-advancing world of technology, a hand-written thank you note is a must.

Will you use social media for your wedding? Let me know which side you fall on in the comments!

Keep sparkling–

Let's Hear it for the Boys!
Today we're going to shift gears a bit and focus on the guys. So much attention is placed on the bride, but, hey, it's the groom's day too, right? As much as I enjoy seeing my brides transform from their everyday look into, well, brides, sometimes it's even more fun to see the groom in his suit or tux. With the bride, I often see the dress a few times before the wedding or maybe attend a fitting, so it's not a total surprise on the actual day. I seldom see a groom in his attire prior to the event, though! There's something about a man in a well fitting suit–so dapper!

Over the past few years there has been an amazing shift in formal wear for men…a return to classic style and elegance. Interestingly enough, you sometimes see perfectly fitted suits and tuxedos paired less formal socks or shoes, but it adds a sense of playfulness and whimsy to the day (and your photos)! So sit back, I've complied a few great resources and looks for the grooms-to-be out there! Enjoy!

I recently learned of the Black Tux through, ironically enough, GQ Magazine! They did a feature on men's formal wear and mentioned the Black Tux. So what is the Black Tux? Essentially, it's an online tuxedo shop that has high quality suits and tuxes at great prices. Some tuxedo rental stores (not naming names, but they're a large corporation) have lower quality tuxes (only 80% wool blends as opposed to 100% merino wool at the Black Tux). The Black Tux has also partnered with leading designers to create modern, yet timeless looks at a better price. And no plastic shoes here, boys. Even better, your tux arrives a week before your event and you can ship it back for FREE! A tux that would cost you $1500 you can wear at around $100! How awesome is that?

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For those still looking for a more traditional experience and only a brick and mortar store will do, I often send grooms to Mark Thomas Men's Apparel in Colonie. They have an amazing staff that will help a groom create a custom look for the big day! Check out how dapper this Elario groom is in his suit from Mark Thomas Men's Apparel?!

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For those looking to rent a tuxedo locally, two shops that come to mind are Tuxego and Waldorf Tuxedo Company. Tuxego has been in the formal wear business for over 25 years and has some great designer tuxedos, including Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein, to choose from. Owner and stylist Anthony Commisso will guide you through the process every step of the way to ensure you're happy with your look. Check out recent Katie O' Groom, Nick, in his Tuxego tux (photo by Jeff Foley Photography).
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The Waldorf Tuxedo Company has been a fixture in Albany's historic Center Square neighborhood for nearly 50 years and has been serving the Capital Region since 1936! Simply put, they know what they're doing! John and Matt Wagner are available to answer questions and advise grooms on style and fit. 

Last, but not least, Amore Clothing is one of the most well-respected and unique men's wear stores in the Capital Region. Amore has been located in downtown Albany since 1967 and was founded by Angelo “Joe” Amore, a master tailor from Italy. Amore custom clothing provides incredible service and offers meticulous attention detail–everything is literally made for you. How amazing and special for your wedding day! 

Brides, would you encourage your soon-to-be husband to explore any of these formal wear options? Grooms, how are you feeling about all this? Let me know in the comments!

Keep sparkling–

Southern Wedding Traditions!

Happy Tuesday, y'all! We had THREE weddings this past weekend and I am so tired, but I think I'm really just coming down from my sparkle high. Today we're going to talk a bit about southern wedding traditions and how we're seeing some of those customs make their way north. So many great ideas to share with you.

Signature Drinks: This custom is very traditional in the south and its something we're seeing much more of here in the northeast. Some couples choose a signature drink for the bride and one for the groom, others choose a cocktail for the evening, and others have their drink reflect their location. So fun! I had one couple choose an apple cider sangria for their October wedding. It was a tasty, albeit strong signature drink!

Monograms: Another traditional southern wedding idea that is sprouting up everywhere! The idea behind this is for the newlyweds to show off their new monogram. These days I've seen a lot of couples using their initials! Love these images from Melissa and Jerome's 2010 wedding and from Design Sponge founder and blogger, Grace Bonney!

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Groom's Cake: I was first intorduced to the idea of a groom's cake in the classic 80's movie, Steel Magnolias. Since then I, obviously, love them and, someday, want Shirley McClaine there to cut the groom's cake at my own wedding! Hah. Check out this awesome Ohio State cake from Baker's Cakes!

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Bridal Portraits: Not something we've seen much of here (yet), but a classic southern wedding tradition that began way back when it was uncommon for a photographer to be at the wedding capturing the day. The bride's family would commission a bridal portrait of the bride to display at the wedding and in their home afterwards. How fun to get all dolled up and in your gown BEFORE the big day!

Mason Jars: Who hasn't see mason jars used in the past few years at weddings? Interestingly enough, long before they were all over the internet, they were a staple at southern weddings and were used for all sorts of purposes! Love this photo from Design Sponge blogger Grace Bonney's wedding in Savannah, Georgia!

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House Party:  This might be one of my favorites.  I have plenty of clients who wish to have small bridal parties but still want to honor their close girlfriends in a special way. Members of the House Party help with the bachelorette party, bridal shower and wedding day tasks like handing out programs, serving cake, reading during the ceremony.  They get a front row seat with the family, but do not stand up at the altar with the bride and her bridal party.  It is nice to have 1 or 2 ladies stand-up for you and wear one color and then have your “house party” wear varying shades of the same color but not the same dress.  Or maybe you can gift them a fun sparkly necklace to wear on the wedding day!

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Wow, I am in LOVE with some of these ideas! Would you consider incorporating some southern traditions into your big day? Let me know in the comments!


Keep sparkling–

Wedding Wednesday: Natalie and Ryan in Lake George!

What a fun wedding I have to share with you all today! I met Natalie and Ryan way back in 2009…it was the infancy of Katie O' Events and I was just starting to book weddings on a consistent basis. Natalie and Ryan were very busy and needed some help for their wedding day–they were booked for a June 2010 wedding in Lake George at the Inn at Erlowest and I was SO EXCITED to be on board!

I love this series of images by one of our favorite (and sparkly–he would kill me for saying so, but it's true) photographers, Elario Photography! Natalie looked gorgeous in her Jim Heljm gown from Lily Saratoga

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Hair by Townsend and Co. Salon and makeup by Polina Special Events Makeup!

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This shot of Natalie and her parents, Linda and Steve, is so sweet. That's a proud father right there!

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The color of the bridesmaids gowns was amazing. The perfect blue / green (turquoise?!)!Natalieryan 0179 Edit

And now our groom, Ryan, and his crew looking ever so debonaire! LOVE the yellow!

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Just a quick fix of Natalie's veil before she heads down the aisle!

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Mr. and Mrs!

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Some post-ceremony shots down by the lake…gorgeous!

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And you know how I love forehead kisses!

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First dance as husband and wife! Natalie's brother, Tim, played the guitar and sang a Dave Matthews Band song for their first dance. It was pretty awesome.

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Incredible blue summer night sky on Lake George…doesn't get better than this!

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Flash forward to June 2013 at Natalie's brother, Tim's wedding (a KOWE groom!!!)…a little sparkler (my term for baby) due in October! YAY!


I'm so lucky to have been able to get to know Natalie, Ryan and Natalie's family over the past few years and I was so honored when they asked me to be part of Tim's wedding day this June (more on that later…)! It's so exciting to see Natalie and Ryan's family grow and I couldn't be happier for them…and now I'm crying! AAH! Sparkle overload!

Hope you enjoyed this Wedding Wednesday post! Who wants to head up to Lake George now?!

Keep sparkling–