A blog with planning tips, fun new trends, and info related to Ethereal Events.
Photo by Barbie Hull
"Today I am marrying my best friend, the one I laugh with, live for, dream with, and love."
~ Erin & Forrest Pangborn

Monday, March 30, 2009

Mishap Monday - The Wedding Dress

The Wedding Dress is huge style setter in a wedding. It's the bride's signature piece. The part that says the most about her on her most important of days. It is exclusively hers and will be looked at and talked about by every guest present, and everyone there after. Whether it be a short flirty strapless dress, or an elaborate ballgown, it sets the style and tone for the day. All the remaining elements of the wedding stem from this one piece... the formality, venue, time of day, attendants attire, colors, etc.

With all of this surrounding one piece of clothing, it is no wonder that there are many mishaps and mistakes. For the next 4 weeks I'll explain where brides can, will, and have gone wrong in the past.

1. Buy the dress that fits

All too often brides buy a dress one size too small as motivation to burn those last few pounds they have been trying to lose for years. This is a huge mistake! I know there can be sticker shock associated with wedding dress sizes. I remember hearing the size of dress I ordered for my wedding, and thinking that's not right. My normal clothes are 4 sizes smaller! What I realized, the number doesn't matter the fit does! A comfortable fitting wedding dress is so important. If it is digging in to you or you're spilling out of it, it will show. This is probably not the perfect bride picture you had of yourself on wedding day.

Buy a gown that fits you now, and have it taken in if you lose the weight. It is so much harder and costly to expand a dress than make it smaller. Not to mention, the additional stress you are putting on yourself to make sure it fits. You have enough on your plate when planning your wedding, don't add this on top of it.

A bride at any size or shape is beautiful on wedding day in a gown that fits!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Dear Wendi Wednesday...Few Months Away?

Dear Wendi,

My wedding is a little over two months away. I have all my vendors booked, and am in good shape with the planning. What are the things I should do in the last few weeks leading up to my wedding day?



Dear J.B.

Congratulations on being so close! The last few months is such a fun part in the planning process. The largest part is over now it's all about the details. You really begin to see you wedding day take shape. To make your wedding day as wonderful as you want, the next few weeks of planning and finalization is critical.

When working with a coordinator, the task list for a Bride & Groom is far less than with out. Martha Stewart has a wonderful timeline in the Wedding Workbook portion of her magazine for Brides with out a coordinator. Her time frame is a little further out then mine, I know what works best for my clients, vendors, and I. It's smart to be further ahead if doing it for the first time or with out the help of a professional.

Two to Four Months
Manual meeting w/coordinator, put together timeline for days leading up to and wedding day and discuss all wedding related details.
Meet with Caterer - finalize the menu, room layout, linens, set up, bar options
Buy wine and beer (if needed)
Meet with DJ or Band - finalize play and do NOT play list, First dance song, Father/daughter dance song, Mother/Son dance song, etc.
Flowers with Florist
Transportation with pick up locations (addresses and times)
Cake design & flavors
Favors (flavors, boxes, ribbons, etc.)
Rehearsal time
Rehearsal dinner menu and time
Ceremony - readings, songs for processional, recessional, and in ceremony

Mail out invites ( 6 to 8 weeks ahead)
Hair and Makeup trial- bring veil, and any other accessories if wearing
Write Vows
Get wedding shoes and under garments
Dress alterations- have shoes and bra you will be wearing for fitting
Purchase Wedding rings -(if haven't already)
Start breaking in wedding shoes
Buy guest book, flower girl basket, aisle runner, bubbles, etc.

One to Two Months
Send out detailed timeline of wedding days events to all vendors - ask for their feedback
Get Marriage license - some states require more than others, so check and see if blood work is needed.
Purchase or make bridal party and parents gifts
Have Programs, Menus, and other paper products printed
Book Wedding night accommodations
Book Pre-wedding night accommodations
Get Final numbers to Caterer (two weeks prior)
Finalize Seating chart
Place cards sorted and in alphabetical order
Write toasts or Welcome (if doing)
Wedding Announcements

Wedding Week
Send out final timeline to all vendors
Give attendants timeline of wedding day and all days with wedding related activities (when to be where)
Prepare tips and final payments
Manicure and Pedicure (if doing)
Pick up tuxes
Pick up dress
Organize items going to wedding: toasting flutes, cake cutting set, favors, place cards, paper products, unity candle, slide show DVD, rings, etc.
Confirm Honeymoon arrangements
Pack for Honeymoon

Most importantly, enjoy this time with one another! You are so close. Yes, there is a lot to be done, but you only get to be engaged a little longer. Take some time away from the planning and spend it together as a couple. You be glad you did after the wedding is over!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Mishap Monday - This Takes the Cake!

There are a lot of mishaps surrounding wedding cakes. From being dropped when delivered, icing melting in the summer sun, falling over before the cake cutting, and many more! Here are some suggestions to prevent a cake crisis.

  • Always have a professional deliver your cake.
  • Make sure the baker will replace your cake if something were to happen during their delivery.
  • Keep it out of direct sun (inside or out).
  • Let you cake baker know the set up location for the cake.
  • Have it delivered no more than 2 hours prior to ceremony (if able to have it delivered 2 hours prior to reception even better)
  • Make sure your cake is baked the week of your wedding. (Fresh is SO much better than frozen and thawed)
  • Order the correct number of pieces.
  • Always have your caterers cut the cake - You family and friends don't know how to cut a cake to keep its structural integrity or get the appropriate number of pieces.
  • Have extra flowers on hand just in case you need to add to the look of the cake.
  • Pack up two to-go pieces right up front to guarantee you and your husband get a piece

It's possible to have you cake and eat it too, if you have the right cake baker! Taking these tips to heart will allow you to enjoy every wonderful bit!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Real Wedding Friday... Becky & Scott

Becky & Scott are a wonderful couple I worked with for their September 2007 wedding. They chose two of my favorite and most breathtaking views of Seattle. The day offered nothing but sunshine and blue sky for us all to enjoy the view from both sides of the city!

Coordination: Ethereal events
Ceremony location: Gas Works Park
Reception Venue: Salty's at Alki
Photographer: Red Fish Blue Fish (these pictures are not a representation of their work)
Chair covers: Choice Linens
Hair & Make up: MODE Salon
Transportation: European Limousine

Monday, March 16, 2009

VIVA Las Vegas!!

Hi all,

I'm in Las Vegas! There will be no mishap Monday this week. Do check out some of my favorite blogs posts from 2008 for inspiration.

Rachelle & Brad
Favors & Guest Books
Here Comes the Bride

I will return on Wednesday with another Dear Wendi Wednesday!
If you have any questions you want answered please leave me a message in the comments. I would love to answer them for you!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

I LOVE Lu Lu Weddings!

There are too many bridal resource guides and online sites to name. It feels as though there is a new one popping up every day. The only planning website everyone should know about is Lu Lu Weddings. It's a collaboration of amazingly talented women photographers in the pacific northwest; who have put together a site full of incredibly inspiring images, top notch vendors referrals, and wonderful information.
It is a REAL resource guide for brides and grooms to use. Vendors on this site don't pay for the advertising space. They are featured because they are respected and admired in the Seattle Wedding Community. Here is what Lulu says about the vendors featured:
"As a non-profit site, our referral network is based on reputation and exceptional performance, not a paid listing. "
Unfortunately, reputation and performance are not on the list of requirements for most wedding resource sites. It is a rarity today. I respect this site, these women, and their continued commitment to their clients pursuit of excellence. Thank you Lulu weddings!
Image from LuLu website.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Real Wedding Friday... Grace & Pete

Grace & Pete are a wonderful couple I had the pleasure of working with for their August 16, 2008 wedding. It was an amazing summer day full of sunshine, love, and laughter. The Woodmark Hotel on the Kirkland Waterfront was a stunning backdrop for this happy event. Here are some of the kind words Grace sent to me after the wedding was complete:

"Dear Wendi,

Thank you for being our day-of wedding coordinator. We heard from many of our friends and family about how seamlessly our wedding seemed to be. Thank you for helping us make that happen and for tending to the overlooked details. We're glad tho have you as a part of our big day. All the best with 2009 & future wedding seasons!


Grace & Pete"

Coordination: ethereal events
Photographer: Alex Studios (phtoography above not representation of their work)
Officiants: Annette and Chris Lefebvre
Hair: GEM Salon
Ceremony musicians: Bella Trio

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Dear Wendi Wednesday...Why Hire A Professional Planner?

This week's question and answer are a little different. The question I am answering is actually from a Magazine Writer who asked:

For Wedding Planners - What difference do you make to a wedding?

Here is my answer:

A Wedding planner makes a huge difference in the experience of the bride, groom, and family. It's a necessity for today's weddings. Having a professional planner taking you through the planning process saves time and money. Brides with professional planners don't experience the stress or never ending details that other brides do. They always have someone to talk to who is excited about their wedding when their friends and family are tired of hearing about it. They also don't have to suffer through reading the fine print of contracts (because we do), or common first time mistakes. We're able to hold vendors to a higher standard. We do several weddings a year, every year and choose to work with only the best. Anyone performing below our standard for our clients would not be worked with again. We protect our clients interest at all times and make sure the vendors do everything they're contracted to do. Bride's who work with professional planners are able to continue with their lives and enjoy the experience. They do not become swallowed up by planning.

Lastly, couples getting married deserve to be a guest at their own wedding, the King and Queen of the ball. They should not running around tracking vendors, answering questions, or worrying about the limo showing up,nor should their family and friends. As a wedding planner that is my job. Everyone should be able to enjoy this day/s of celebration, especially the bride and groom and those closets to them. Preventing mistakes and unanswered questions and putting out fires on wedding day is worth every penny you will spend on a professional wedding planner!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Mishap Monday - Over indulging

Weddings are a time to celebrate! There are often days of celebration leading up to the big day; welcome cocktail party, rehearsal dinner, bachelor/bachelorette party, etc.. At each of these events it's likely to have spirits for toasting and enjoying. It's a very common mishap to over indulge on these and become hungover for the most important day. Being hungover as a bride, groom, or bridal party member is a mistake most don't want to make. If you chose to drink, make sure you consume plenty of water and eat through out the days and evenings leading up to wedding day. Designate someone to hand out glasses or bottles of water often to you and those participating in the wedding. This will help everyone wake up feeling good and looking picture perfect come wedding day!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

On Air!!

I am literally floating on air right now! I was recently interviewed for a Internet radio show, I Do Radio with Rev. Angela Chester. She is a wonderful Reverend located in California with her own radio show. She speaks with amazing individuals in the wedding industry, people like celebrity make up artist Chris Lanston and wedding planner Ivy Robinson, who has been featured on "Who's Wedding Is It Anyway?" and the Style Network. My interview will be aired on June 20, 2009! I'll post again closer to the date. In the mean time check out I Do Radio. She has really wonderful guest and information.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Great News!!!

As a wedding planner it's really important for me to stay ahead of the latest trends and come up with new fresh ideas. I subscribe and archive all the bridal magazines and follow several blogs written by talent florists, designers, and planners all around the country. The sky is the limit when it come to resources for this!

As a business owner it's just as important for me to find resources to keep my business thriving and successful. I didn't realize how important it was until I found and started following Smart Planner. It's a blog written by an amazing wedding planner of Liene of Blue Orchid Designs in Arizona, for other professional planners. She gives useful information about how to be a smart, innovative, and thriving wedding professional. Her topics range from Motivational Mondays to Featured Planner Fridays.

I am so proud to announce that yesterday she featured me! Please check it out here. I'm so excited to about this!

I can't thank Liene enough for all of the wonderful ideas she has given me, and all the people she has introduced me to through her blog. For you wedding professionals out there, if you haven't done so already you should start following her. I'm sure you will find her as beneficial and inspiring as I do!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Real Wedding Friday... Forrest & Erin

Forrest & Erin are a wonderful couple I worked with last summer for their August 15, 2008 wedding. They're such a thoughtful couple with so much love for one another. The quote at the top of my blog is from their wedding programs! It really tells the story of this amazing couple!
Please forgive the quality of the photographs. They were taken with my power shot digital camera...not exactly professional quality. If anyone has a professional camera they would like to unload, I'm your girl!

Coordination: Ethereal Events
Reception venue: Hall at Fauntleroy
Photographer: Ryan Flynn (pictures above not a representation of photographers work.)
Florist: West Seattle Metropolitan Market
Hair and Makeup: Brittany Knee

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Dear Wendi Wednesday...Children at Wedding?

Dear Wendi,

What is your advice on children being invited to the wedding? My venue has limited space, and we are already pushing the limits (and have to exclude some family/friends).We are considering messaging an "Adults only reception"... but I can see from online posts that there is a pretty nasty debate about this from both sides.Can you give your expert opinion?

Thank you,


Hi B.R.,

This tends to be a very sensitive subject on both sides. You know your family and his, and know if feelings will get hurt beyond repair. If this is the case, I would avoid the conflict and welcome children with open arms. If not, having an adults only reception is very common, and completely appropriate. Your venue is not the most child friendly of venues. There are reception sites out there with additional rooms that can be used as kids rooms, stocked full of toys and movies, but yours is not one of them. I would word the invitation in a adult reception manner, and then prepare yourself that people may chose to bring their children anyway. Good Luck!

All the best,


Monday, March 2, 2009

Mishap Monday - Running Late

Running late on wedding day is pretty common. There are so many people to account for and little time to do so. Even with the most detailed well planned time line like I put together, it's likely that one or more of the parties involved will be behind schedule.

This is exaggerated in summertime when most major cities are at the height of road construction. It can lead to many headaches for you and your guest with out the proper knowledge and planning. To prevent road rage and late arrivals make sure you check out your states department of transportation for updates on road closures, delays, and more that will be going on on your wedding weekend. Here is the link to Washington's.

Here is a real life example of what I'm talking about. Enjoy!

This last summer the major Interstate I-5 was shut down for repair for many sporadic weekends. Fun. My wedding was up north at the wineries, the party was from 50 miles south. Everyone involved and attending had to pass through the traffic. Lovely. Bad traffic or closures happen often, so planning ahead really pays off. I let my couple, all of the vendors, bridal party and family know of the extra time needed due to the closures, but you can only do so much.

Photos were set to start at 3pm - so I get there at 1pm to set up and not be rushed. On my way to the venue I notice light traffic, but nothing to cause alarm. It took longer than usual, but I had planned for that for myself and the bridal party. 3pm rolls around, nothing, no one. 4pm rolls around - still no bride, groom, family or guest. Okay – they’re stuck in traffic. But the ceremony is at 6pm and still no one. I encourage my bride’s not to carry a cell phone on their wedding day since I take care of all of the details. I’m sadly regretting that. I call the maid of honor and her mother and neither answer. Finally 4:30, the car holding the bride & her six bridesmaids shows up. Yeah! Out comes the bride, her dress and her six ladies, but only one bridesmaid dress. The other 5 have been forgotten. EEK! So, who do we call? The groom of course, who is also incredibly late and en route. He turns around from the half way point he’s at to pick up the remaining dresses.

I have called the reception venue to let them know of our current delay in the timeline. I anticipate that we will be later than expected, but don’t know how much.

6pm rolls around, ceremony time, but no groom and no guests. 75 guests are expected, but about only 15 are there. So sad. This goes on and on. When I think things can’t get much worse the caterer calls freaking out because we are so late, and half of the guests have shown up at the reception with out going to the ceremony. The guest were unaware of everyone’s tardiness delaying the whole day. I have them start cocktail hour for the guests there and delay dinner until further notice.

7pm, the groom and grooms men show up dressed and ready with the forgotten dresses. Their hero! They want to take some photos while waiting for more guests to arrive. At 7:30 and we begin the ceremony with half the guests present. We can’t wait any longer. It’s a short but sweet ceremony with lots of laughter about the events leading up to finally walking down the aisle. The pastor jokes that all good things come to those who wait. And wait we did. As I talk to family and friends at the reception, they all said they expected this from the couple. They’re always late to everything. The father of the bride’s toast sweetly remembers how she was a week late when being delivered. It becomes the theme to the rest of the evening. Crazily enough with all the stress of the day - the photos turned out great and they were very happy overall! Huge sigh of relief!

If you have a crazy wedding day story I would love to hear from you. Email me @ wendi@etherealevents.com