September 2014 Archive

Sharing the Sparkle: Celebrating 5 Years in Business and Giving Back

As we get closer to the end of the year, I get a bit closer to my “official” 5 year anniversary…yes, next month is it! But in preparation for a sparkly, celebration filled November, I wanted to also do something special in honor of breast cancer awareness month in October!

Just last weekend I embarked on my “giving back” initiative. I started with the people (my amazing Senior Team) who have helped me build KOWE and embody the spirit, devotion, and sparkle that is necessary to be a part of team KOWE. We spent the day with other likeminded individuals / vendors and between relaxing treatments for my staff, we came up with a great way to giveback to the community we all live and work in.

This is just one of many KOWE events that we're doing to give back in preparation of our 5 year anniversary!  One of our favorite transportation vendors, Today's Limo, has the most amazing PINK Escalade limo that we were able to take out for a spin and they donate a portion of their rental fee back to charity- see more details below!

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Starting today and for the entire month of October, we will donate 5% of any wedding booked with Katie O' Weddings and Events  to the Capital Region Action Against Breast Cancer (also known as CRAAB)!

And in addition, the following sparkly friends and vendors will be offering similar deals…check them out below!

Fleurtacious Designs has created a special floral arrangement for the month of October and will donate a percentage of the proceeds from the THINK PINK arrangements to CRAAB!

Lola Accessory Boutique in Saratoga Springs is offering:

“Give 10 save 10” – during the month of October, use code KOWE10 on any lolatoga.com order to save 10% on your order. Lola in turn, will donate 10% of those sales to the breast cancer research foundation (BCRF).

AND Shop for a Cause: During the month of October, Lola will donate a portion of all in store sales to BCRF.

Strut Spalontique is donating 5% of the proceeds from ALL styling products and appointments booked in October with select stylists.

Chelsea Baratto: Stella and Dot has a special Breast Cancer Awareness Boutique of which 100% of the proceeds are donated to the Noreen Fraser Foundation. She will also be donating an extra 10% of her personal commission to a local organization called To Life http://tolife.org 

Tiffany Wayne Photography will be donating 5% of ANY portrait session booked in the month of October to CRAAB.

Normanside Country Club: One Six Five has created a special cocktail for the month of October; the Hope’s Pink Martini- Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Triple Sec, Chambord Raspberry Liquor splash of grenadine. Half of the proceeds from this special drink will go to CRAAB.

Jenny C Design has agreed to donate 5% of any save-the-date OR invitation contract completed during the month of October to CRAAB.

Today’s Limousine is donating 10% of the gross sales from their Pink Escalade Limo (featured above) to one of two Breast Cancer Charities:

–       Susan G. Komen Foundation Research

–       Floyd Warriors Foundation

Styled by Randi is donating 5% of any service booked in the month of October to CRAAB

Bake For You will be offering a special Pink strawberry cupcake every Friday (starting this week) in October and part of the proceeds will be donated to CRAAB.

Please, please, PLEASE take advantage of these amazing offers for goods and services that will also give back to some amazing casues! As always, thank you for reading!

Keep sparking–

Downtown Albany–The New Wedding Destination

It's been really fascinating to see the changes in downtown Albany over the past ten years…and the changes just keep coming! I was downtown a week or so ago and as I headed down State Street past Angela's Bridal (where I purchased my gown), the State Room, 90 State Street, and 60 State Place, the Hilton, and 74 State, I was sort of amazed how all of these places relate to one another–in wedding terms, at least!

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Taking Bridal Portaits at 60 State PlaceKatie O Wedding 008

As I was about to cross State towards N Pearl, I realized that I was close to Taste–a wedding and event venue I've worked at a number of times, that makes for stunning photos! And just off State Street is the City Beer Hall and the Speakeasy–two great bars that would be perfect for an afterparty or post-rehearsal dinner drinks spot.

Below, the Albany skyline from the terrace at Taste (and a 2013 KOWE Wedding)Taste Albany Wedding Photos 22

On the corner of N. Pearl and State is a Starbucks–coffee is an absolute necessity for the bridal party the morning of the big day! Further down N. Pearl, just before Maiden Lane, is the newly opened Cider Belly Doughnuts–these sweet treats could be a great complement to a dessert table (their flavors are incredible–they run the gamut from classic cinnamon sugar to banana split).

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Looking up Pine St from N. Pearl is the classic, historic St. Mary's Church–a grand ceremony location, for sure! Further up Pine St. is City Hall. A place every couple looking to get married should check out for their marriage license!

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As I continued down N. Pearl I glanced down Columbia Street and noticed two shops with lovely window boxes and flowers overflowing. My interest piqued, I ventured down Columbia and spotted The Enchanted Florist and the Fifth Tier Baking Studio (which is not yet open, but will be soon)!

Below, Quackenbush Square in Albany (not England)Mattramos 0052

And there are so many restaurants–I'm partial to DP and Yono's, of course! But the Merry Monk, 677 Prime, and the Hollow are all great restaurants / bars that would be great for either rehearsal dinners or places for guests to dine when they're in town!

Below, an amazing image from Kat and Dan's 2013 NYS Museum wedding (KOWE alumni)NYS Museum Wedding Photos 30

Not only is downtown Albany becoming an ideal wedding destination, it's ridiculously photogenic. Whether you choose the Empire State Plaza as your backdrop; the Capitol; or just the unique architecture of downtown, your photos are going to pop!

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Wow, looking good, Albany! Have you been to any of these downtown Albany destinations? Let me know in the comments!

Keep sparking–

Sparkly Wedding Details We LOVE!

“She leaves a little sparkle wherever she goes.”–Kate Spade

That is my motto, mantra, and personal mission in life and in business! So I've decided to share some of the most sparkly wedding details that I could find with you guys today!

The first image comes from a recent local wedding by Matt Ramos Photography. I LOVE these green bottles (I hope they're filled with champagne–also, sparkly, you know)!

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Second sparkle spot for weddings…yup, shoes! These Jimmy Choos have been very popular as of late. And, bonus, you can wear them again! Sparkle goes with everything! It's a fashion fact. Check out these lovlies from a recent wedding from Elario Photography!

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Another sparkle source–the dress! How amazing is this Monique Lhuillier gown from the Spring 2013 collection?! So sparkly!

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Last, but not least, sparkle can really complement your decor. You can use it as a subtle accent, or you can go wild…you can do no wrong with sparkle! Check out Kelly and Craig's sparkly exit, as well as an image from my own wedding!

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Believe it or not, I'm not a four year old girl obsessed with shiny things–I've just figured out that sparkle is a physical / tangilble manifestation of how you feel…so why not celebrate it?!

Did you add any additional sparkle to your wedding (aside from your ring)? Let me know in the comments!

Keep sparkling–

The Top 5 Things You Need to Know if You're Newly Engaged

We LOVE engagements! Maybe that's really obvious, but it's true. Being engaged is both a rollercoaster and a really awesome time in life…while you may feel like you're walking on cloud 9 one minute, you're suddenly heartbroken because you hear your cousin's best friend sister likes the same bridal gown designer as you. Yuuuup…sometimes being engaged makes one CRA-ZY!

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So, in no particular order, here are my top 5 things that every newly engaged person needs to know:

  1. Call your family and friends first–actually, call anyone who you think would be offended to hear your good news either second hand or via social media.
  2. Start making your guest list…this task sort of sucks, but it is oh-so-important and it informs so many other decisions (i.e. venue, ceremony location, flowers, and even the date, depending on the time of year and weather, etc.).
  3. Make a list of things that are really important to you–both of you. Make your lists separately and then share them. It's good to get any potential dealbreakers (like baby blue tuxes for the groomsmen) out of the way early. Plus, this step will help you figure out what you want to focus your budget on. For instance, if you both say you want awesome photos then you know where to allocate funds.
  4. Don't rush into making a decision about your bridal party…give it some time and extra thought. Again, once you have the basics nailed down (date, venue) then start to think about who you want to be a part of your day. Honestly, this can be such a tough topic…less is more, people! Less is more.
  5. I know you've binge watched “Say Yes to the Dress” and could probably chat up Randy Fanoli about past dresses / brides on the show, but it's better to wait until you have the venue and general time of year pinned down before you start dress shopping. I had a bride a few years ago buy two dresses–and not because she wanted two–because she felt her initial gown wasn't a good fit for the venue she picked…

Obviously, if you're feeling overwhelmed and need to chat with a professional about all things wedding planning, well, we've got you covered in that department, too!

What did you do when you first got engaged? Had you already started planning your big day in your mind? Let me know in the comments!

Keep sparkling–