January 2014 Archive

Katie O' Gets Married: Bridal Fitness

Bridal bootcamp, shedding for the wedding, buff to bride…these are all things I've heard and read about over the last few months. As interesting and great as they sound, they're not exactly for me. I've been a runner for many years and really enjoy the quiet time that I have when I run. I try not to think about anything else and just focus on my breath and the road in front of me. 

I'm also super busy and my schedule is constantly changing–no two weeks are the same for me. So flexibility is key, which is why running is perfect. But, with the wedding coming up, I felt the need to incorporate some weight bearing exercises into my routine. I knew I needed something new before the big day to help me mentally- not just physically!

I had been hearing a lot about Barre–the ballet based fitness class that is a total body workout. Luckily, my cousin, Liz, happens to be a teacher and has arranged a special class for me and my bridesmaids (lifemaids) and friends. We've been going for a while now and we're not only having a great time, we're also getting quite the workout.

I think what amazes me most about Barre is how much of the class is tiny movements (but A LOT of them). These tiny leg pulses or arm lifts seem very innocent, but then they become really tiring! I was definitely fooled into thinking I could handle heavier weights my first class! And as much as I enjoy the solitude of running, I've found group classes to be so much fun.

Check out a few images of me and the Thursday night Barre crew (we were missing a few) during our workout! And, yes, my tank top says, “I Don't Sweat, I Sparkle!” (it was gifted to me by my soon to be Aunt Cate- love it!!)Photo 9

Photo 11 Thanks again to my awesome and sparkly cousin, Liz, for helping us out with this! She teaches reguarly at the EStudio in the new Vista Technology Park in Slingerlands–check it out!

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Did you embark on a special fitness routine for your wedding or a wedding you were in? Let me know in the comments!

Keep sparkling–

Vendor Spotlight: Tuxego!

We're talking tuxedos today on the KOWE blog! Recently Nate and I had the pleasure of checking out Tuxego Formalwear in Latham. Our wedding is on the formal side and Nate really wanted to wear a classic tuxedo for the big day–and who am I to complain? I love a guy in formalwear! I most recently worked with Tuxego on October 2013 KOWE couple Rhiannon and Vinnny's wedding! I thought Vinny looked quite debonaire in his formalwear! 

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When we started to think about Nate's look for the wedding we knew we would go to Anthony Commisso, owner of Tuxego. Anthony is an all-around nice guy and knows his craft incrediby well. Not only is he aware of the latest trends in formalwear, he takes the time to listen to his clients and to really understand the look they're going for on their wedding day. And if a groom is unsure of his “wedding style” Anthony can suggest different looks and ideas until he's found a comfortable and stylish tux. It was important to Nate that he owns the tux he's getting married in (this works for Nate because he has plenty of occasions through they year to wear one and it was a good opportunity to update what he already has!) For other grooms it might be more practical to rent one.

Nate and I had a lot of fun hanging with Anthony and the Tuxego crew a few weekends ago. I thought wedding dress shopping was intense, but, boy–formalwear shopping for guys is equally intense! Nate even brought his “best lady”, his sister Norah, to assist! The biggest and most important thing for men's formalwear (and I guess this goes for the ladies, too) is fit and style. Peak, notch, shawl lapel? 120, 130 or 150 fabric? Bow or neck tie? Vest or cummberbun? Traditional Black or other colors? So many options and styles, this is why it pays to check out a locally owned, smaller formalwear shop because they have the time and resources to dedicate to your event. 

Anthony is no exception. Nate wanted a very specific tuxedo and if we had more time Anthony could have had it custom made. Instead he promised us he would track it down and he did.  In two days of our visit, Anthony called Nate with the good news that he found exactly what Nate wanted…Both Nate and Anthony are so happy!  Nate just needs to visit Tony the Tailor in Latham for a few minor touches but he's going to look so handsome- stay tuned for pics from our day!

With that, check out some of our photos from our afternoon at Tuxego. Thanks again to owner Anthony Commisso for your time and patience! 

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Nate getting measured by Anthony…

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Having some fun…um, no–he's NOT wearing that!

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And I love this shot from Vinny and Rhiannon's big day! So great!

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Did your groom go with a tux or a suit for your wedding? What influenced your decision? Let me know in the comments!

Keep sparkling–

Ask the Wedding Planner: Reserving a Block of Hotel Rooms

Happy Thursday, blog followers! Today we're getting back into planning mode…but not for me, for you! Many weddings today are destination events…even if you're not getting married in the Caribbean (but, um, if anyone needs a wedding planner for their destination Caribbean–or any other warm location–wedding, I'm totally available. Right away. Get me out of this cold!). Oh, sorry–got a little lost in thought there…

Upon deciding on your general guest list, wedding location, venue, and date, you should probably start thinking about looking at hotels for your out of town (and even local) guests.

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When considering a hotel for your wedding, it's good to think about the distance of the hotel from the wedding events. The hotel shouldn't be too far from the reception venue–especially if you plan on providing transportation for your guests. Much like wedding toasts, the travel time between the hotel and reception should be short and sweet. It's also a good idea to visit the hotels you're considering recommending to your guests. Pictures online can be deceiving…better to see with your own eyes. However,  if you are planning from afar and have hired a wedding planner use their guidance and referrals to help pick the best option.

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Some other things to think about; will anyone (aside from your guests) be getting ready there? Will the groom and his groomsmen get ready at home while the bride and her maids get ready at the hotel (or vice versa)? This is good to know because the hotel will ask you how many rooms you'd like in your block.  When you set up a room block most hotels don't ask you to pay up front, it is simply an agreement that you make with the hotel to confirm you will “fill the block.”  If you do not reserve all the rooms by your cut-off date they will go back into regular inventory and you won't be penalized.  Helpful note:  put these dates on your calendar as soon as you determine them!

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Which brings me to my next point–reserve a block of rooms ASAP!  Call the hotels that you think will be the best options and speak with the Sales Manager to find out their room block policy since many vary as to when you can reserve the block.  Helpful note:  be nice to the sales manager!  Try and remember that you are not the only wedding (or event, convention or conference) taking place that weekend and they have certain restrcitions in place that may or may not allow for room blocks that weekend. If you're sending out a save the date, the hotel information should be included on save the date, or referenced in some way (on a wedding website, for instance, if you have one). It doesn't hurt to spread the word to your guests that they should reserve a room sooner than later. This is especially true during certain times of the year. For example, August in Saratoga Springs, or Summer in Lake George–high travel / tourist times.

One more helpful tip for you: if you have a guest who has made a reservation within the room block but needs to cancel the room suggest they check and see if another guest or family member still needs a room and see if the hotel can easily transfer it to them.  Once a room is cancelled it goes back into the general inventory and is no longer included in the block!

So that's the 411 on booking hotels for your wedding…I hope this has been helpful for all of those newly engaged couples out there! Have you ever stayed at hotel for a wedding? How was your booking experience? 

Keep sparkling–

Vendor Spotlight: Something Bleu Bridal!

Honestly, I cannot say enough about the ladies of Something Bleu Bridal in Saratoga Springs! They are awesome. They have a gorgeous store and provide incredible service and attention to their customers. In addition, Something Bleu Bridal has been around for many years and owner, Denise, has cultivated relationships with the designers she carries in her store. Relationships like the ones that Denise has mean a lot when you've found the “almost” perfect gown, but you might want to change the neckline or add some sparkle.

Something Bleu Bridal also carries some unique designers that aren't found in other stores locally. Specifically, Cymbeline and Lea Ann Belter (I wrote a bit about Lea Ann Belter in this blog post). I have had several brides who have purchased their gowns from Something Bleu Bridal and they speak so highly of the professionalism, helpfullness, and willingness to go the extra mile for their brides. Shopping for and purchasing a wedding dress is a special time in a woman's life–Something Bleu Bridal recognizes this and goes out of their way to assure that their customers to have a memorable and pleasurable experience.

Check out some KOWE / SBB brides below!

Jaime looked absolutely stunning in her Cymbeline gown…the lace was incredible!

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Mariam rocked a custom Lea-Ann Belter gown for her wedding day and was gorgeous (photo by Tracey Buyce)!

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Kristin wore a detailed and feminine Faviana gown for her big day (photo by Tracey Buyce).

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And Ashley…she was stunning in her custom Lea-Ann Belter for her California wedding!

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In addition to wedding gowns, Something Bleu's sister store, Bird of Paradise Boutique, is also a great spot for gowns and dresses for formal events, or for bridesmaids, prom, or Mother of the Bride / Groom! 

Keep sparkling–