A Marvelous Moxie Marriage: The Element of Surprise!

Hey y’all, Sorry for my brief blog hiatus. I have been busy growing my wedding planning biz, Moxie Bright Events! More on that to come. I’ll be back around these parts now, because I’ve missed you guys! And I have so much to talk about! Let’s get right to it.

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One of the easiest ways to make your wedding an event to remember is to plan to embrace the element of surprise!

I know some people are not cool with surprises, and I myself on this very blog have said, “Your wedding should not be a surprise party for your groom!”

I take it all back. Well, part of it. A big GROUP wedding surprise? I’m all for it!

The element of surprise is especially effective at weddings, because, well, we all sort of know what to expect, right? Especially at the reception. Bride and Groom are announced, they dance, they sit, we eat, people give toasts, we dance, they cut the cake, and the night is over.

I am telling you it doesn’t have to be that way! Don’t get me wrong, you probably still have to hit all the benchmarks of a reception, but you can do them in an unusual way.

Let’s talk about the two ways in which we surprised our guests.

ROSE PETAL CANNON

You see, back in the day when planning our wedding was brand-new, Bob the Builder expressed his desire to shoot air cannons at the conclusion of our ceremony. Yes, you read that correctly. Bob the Builder works in reality TV, and for many years worked on the show where they played practical jokes on celebrities. You know, the one that was hosted by Mila Kunis’ baby daddy? So, not only does he know how to construct and pull off a practical joke, he’s kind of famous in certain circles for it. People expect it from him.

I shot down the idea of air cannons pretty quickly, after all, I didn’t think our historic venue would allow such a thing. Turns out, I was (kind of) wrong. Our venue, Cescaphe at The Down Town Club, did offer something “air-cannon-like” – a petal cannon. As soon as I found out about it, I booked it. And I never said a word about it to anyone. Well, I told my wedding planner. But other than Erin? Not one word.

Bob the Builder had NO IDEA there were going to be rose petals falling all around his head after we were announced into the reception. You can kind of see it on the video below, but here’s some more photographic evidence.

Photo by Redfield Photography

Photo by Redfield Photography

And, a moment later. You can clearly see me pointing at Bob the Builder. I’m saying, “I GOT YOU!”, because I indeed managed to pull off a surprise for him!

igotyou

Guest photo. Also, probably the least flattering photo of me in the history of all photos. :-)

FIRST DANCE

Really early on (before we were even engaged), Bob the Builder told me he wanted our first dance to be a choreographed tango, like Al Pacino in “Scent of a Woman”. Here it is, for the unfamiliar:

However, the tango and a ball gown are not natural friends. In fact, you may even call them enemies. You cannot successfully tango in a ball gown. So, we came up with a solution. Our first dance would be choreographed – half traditional, half tango – and in the middle, a practical joke. Because we are performers, and natural hams, and we cannot help ourselves.

Our good friend Angela, (who just happens to be a Broadway dancer) choreographed our dance, and taught it to us in our living room. We did our best not to butcher it too much.

Here’s the whole shebang. I spared you the first few minutes of the video where our family and bridal party entered. You’re welcome.

In the middle of the dance, when the music cuts out, you can hear my Uncle John yell, “You’ve gotta be f&%*&n’ kidding me!”. I love my East Coast family. Always keeping it real!

In case you are wondering, the songs we used are “Grow Old With Me” By Jason Robert Brown, and “Por Una Cabeza” by Gardel.

If you’d like to add the element of surprise to your Big Day, I have some tips. (Of course, I do!)

Here’s how to do it:

1. Make sure it’s a FUN surprise, not a MEAN surprise. Bob the Builder and I talked about many different scenarios for his “final prank as a single man”, as it came to be called. One early idea was to (fake) his arrest by a Philly police officer right before the ceremony began. This idea was nixed once we realized how truly upset that would have made our guests.

2. If you are planning to surprise your partner, make sure it’s something they actually WANT, and not something that only you want. You’re in this thing together, peeps.

3. Don’t talk about it. That seems simple, but you and I both know that when you’re planning a wedding, pretty much all you want to talk about is your wedding. My mom asked me “What song are you using for your first dance?” I said, “It’s a surprise.” She seemed annoyed by that answer, so I followed up with, “You wouldn’t know the song anyway!” She had to wait to experience it with everyone else. It’s much better that way!

So, In summary: Be Nice, Be Generous, and Shut Your Mouth.

:-)

Anyone planning any wedding day surprises? Let me hear about ‘em! No. Wait. Don’t tell me. Tell me afterwards.

2ndtrySIG

Wedding Inspiration: The Great Gatsby

This week, our merry band of wedding planners has looked to The Great Gatsby for our inspiration. Did y’all read The Great Gatsby in school? Well, just in case you haven’t…

(from Amazon): The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s third book, stands as the supreme achievement of his career. This exemplary novel of the Jazz Age has been acclaimed by generations of readers. The story of the fabulously wealthy Jay Gatsby and his love for the beautiful Daisy Buchanan, of lavish parties on Long Island at a time when The New York Times noted “gin was the national drink and sex the national obsession,” it is an exquisitely crafted tale of America in the 1920s.

Maybe you’re more familiar with this version?

If so, I would encourage you to read the source material. It’s truly spectacular. As is the STYLE!

Here’s my inspiration board, please click thru to my Pinterest for sources:

by Renee Dalo, Moxie Bright Events, Los Angeles, CA

by Renee Dalo, Moxie Bright Events, Los Angeles, CA

This beauty is from Meg Cameron. Click through to her Pinterest for her sources:

by Meg Cameron, intern at Alison Howard Events, San Diego, CA

by Meg Cameron, intern at Alison Howard Events, San Diego, CA

Graciela Rosario created this gorgeous board:

Graciela Rosario, Graceful Event Planning, Boston, MA

Graciela Rosario, Graceful Event Planning, Boston, MA

I’m kind of obsessed with the menu display in Lindsay’s board:

By Lindsay Bishop, Lindsay Bishop Events, Tucson, AZ

By Lindsay Bishop, Lindsay Bishop Events, Tucson, AZ

And last but not least, this fashionable board by Cheryl Sullivan!

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by Cheryl Sullivan, Cheryl Sullivan Events, Huntington, WV

All of these boards really make me thirsty for champagne! So, I’m gonna go pour myself a glass of bubbly to celebrate. What am I celebrating? Well, it’s FRIDAY, pumpkins!

So, tell me – any Great Gatsby Brides out there? Lemme hear from you in the comments!

2ndtrySIG

Confession: I Still Haven’t Finished Our Wedding Thank You Cards

*This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, a very small percentage of your purchase will help support this blog. I never recommend anything I don’t love and use.*

Ok.

Confession time.

Bob the Builder and I have been married for 247 days. I have only written and mailed 23 thank you cards. I have not finished our wedding thank you cards.  I am the worst bride in the world.

*hangs head in shame*

How did I get here? Well, of course, there’s a story!

As soon as we got home after our wedding, I started looking for the perfect thank you card. I searched all the usual online suspects, and eventually came across this lil beaut, from Wedding Paper Divas.

Grateful Sparkles from Wedding Paper Divas

Grateful Sparkles from Wedding Paper Divas

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Inspiration: Farm-to-Table Wedding

Back in March, I was fortunate enough to attend Alison Howard’s REFINE Workshop for wedding planners. I had a wonderful time, learned more than my brain could process in two days, and made some fantastic new friends – wedding planners from all over the country! We have kept in touch, via the magic of Facebook, and it’s been fantastic. Lindsay had the genius idea of an inspiration Board Challenge. So, here we are. A lovely group of female entrepreneurs supporting, challenging, and sharing with one another. It’s a little bit of magic, I think.

For the next few weeks, I’m going to be featuring a variety of inspiration boards created by our merry band of wedding planners. I am so excited to share this new feature with y’all, and for you to all get to know these ladies that I love! If they are in your area, check them out!

Continuing in our new Wedding Inspiration Series, this week our theme is Farm to Table!

Definition: (courtesy of about.com) Farm-to-table is a phrase that can mean different things to different people. At its heart, however, farm-to-table means that the food on the table came directly from a specific farm. Sometimes this means the table is actually at the farm and cooks or chefs prepare and serve the food at the farm (even in the field). Other times the use of farm-to-table emphasizes a direct relationship between a farm and a restaurant or store. It can also refer more loosely to farmers markets, CSAs, and other venues where people can buy food directly from growers. Anyone using the phrase farm-to-table should be able to name the specific farm(s) from which they are sourcing.

What does this mean for wedding inspiration? This wedding theme is for all the foodies out there! While it doesn’t technically need to have a farm as it’s venue, this theme is all about using what is naturally existing in the space. Less to buy, less to waste, and most of all, knowing from where all your materials (not just the food) are sourced.

Here’s my inspiration board. Click through to my matching Pinterest board for photo sources, and to get a better look at that awesome carrot & tulip centerpiece:

farm to table

board by Renee, Moxie Bright Events. Los Angeles, CA

Here’s the inspiration board of Graciela Rosario of Graceful Event Planning in Boston, MA:

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Inspiration: Steampunk Wedding

Back in March, I was fortunate enough to attend Alison Howard’s REFINE Workshop for wedding planners. I had a wonderful time, learned more than my brain could process in two days, and made some fantastic new friends – wedding planners from all over the country! We have kept in touch, via the magic of Facebook, and it’s been fantastic. A few days ago, Lindsay Bishop had the genius idea of an inspiration Board Challenge. So, here we are. A lovely group of female entrepreneurs supporting, challenging, and sharing with one another. It’s a little bit of magic, I think.

For the next few weeks, I’m going to be featuring a variety of inspiration boards created by our merry band of wedding planners. I am so excited to share this new feature with y’all, and for you to all get to know these ladies that I love! If they are in your area, check them out!

This week, our chosen theme was Steampunk. We all agreed that this one was out of our collective comfort zones! This one required research. Seriously.

What is Steampunk? (I heard you asking me through the inter webs). Well, The Steampunk Bride describes is thusly:

“In three short words, steampunk is Victorian Science Fiction. Here “Victorian” is not meant to indicate a specific culture, but rather references a time period and an aesthetic: the industrialized 19th century. Historically, this period saw the development of many key aspects of the modern world (mechanized manufacturing, extensive urbanization, telecommunications, office life and mass-transit), and steampunk uses this existing technology and structure to imagine an even more advanced 19th century, often complete with Victorian-inspired wonders like steam-powered aircraft and mechanical computers.”

So. Yeah. It’s like time travel in both directions. :-)

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WeddingMix Giveaway!

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Hey y’all,

I am so excited today to share with you our teaser wedding video – and I’m even more excited because I have a GIVEAWAY for YOU!

When Bob the Builder and I were planning our wedding, we had a major sticker shock over the cost of professional wedding videographers. MAJOR. We knew right away we did not have room for that in our budget. Luckily, there is a fabulous alternative!

DIY Wedding Videography

With WeddingMix, you let your friends and family play videographer for the day! You get to see the day through their eyes, and it’s wonderful and fascinating!

Here’s how it works:

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Affiliate Love: Stella & Dot’s Wedding Shop Now Open!

*This post contains affiliate links. I will be compensated with a small percentage of your purchase, should you chose to make a purchase after clicking on my links. I never recommend anything that I don’t truly love & use.*

The Stella & Dot Wedding Shop is Now Open!

You guys, have I told you how much I love Stella & Dot? True Story: Years ago, I was actually an associate for them, and would host trunk parties all over town! It was so much fun! Every time I am complemented on my jewelry, I am wearing a Stella & Dot piece!

Are you looking for that ‘something new’ to wear down the aisle? Stella & Dot have something for every style! Shopping just got so much easier and way more fun!

Introducing the new Stella & Dot Wedding Shop!

Featuring everything from simple, classic stud earrings to elegant statement necklaces, you will find beautiful pieces for the bride, bridesmaids, flower girls and even bridal party gifts – just in time for wedding season. The Stella & Dot Wedding Shop will be the perfect polished finish on your most spectacular day.

Here are some of my favorite pieces:

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A Marvelous Moxie Marriage: We Weren’t Even There (aka Cocktail Hour)

Or, more accurately, in our case: The Cocktail Hour and A Half.

I’ve been attempting to write about our cocktail hour for the past month. Maybe longer. I have had some serious writers block on this front, and the only reason I can give for it is this: We weren’t even there, so how can I write about it?

Bob the Builder and I really wanted to be there. I LOVE cocktail hours. It’s inarguably my favorite part of a wedding reception. I love appetizers, I love cocktails, I love walking around the room and seeing my options on display. I love miniature-sized foods. I just love the whole thing.

We thought we were making smart decisions to get us to our cocktail hour. We did a first look, and took all of our bridal party photos pre-ceremony. Bob the Builder & I even did are bridal portraits beforehand, because we wanted to spend as much time as we could with our guests. The only thing left to do during cocktail hour was some family photos. Neither Bob the Builder and I had a particularly large family photo list, so we foolishly thought this would take about 30 minutes. 30 minutes, tops, and then we’d be at our cocktail hour, eating sushi and lobster tails and drinking our speciality cocktail!

I have no idea if this was delicious or not. Photo by Redfield Photography

I have no idea if this was delicious or not. Photo by Redfield Photography

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A Marvelous Moxie Marriage: Ceremony Music

Hey Peeps!

It’s been a while since I did a wedding recap, and I realized I left you high and dry on our ceremony! Let’s dive back in!

Bob the Builder and I spent so much time writing our wedding ceremony, but I also think we spent an equal amount of time choosing the music for our entire wedding. I am a very musical person, so that aspect of our wedding was very important to me. Making our musical choices was honestly one of the most fun parts of wedding planning. Bob the Builder and I chose everything together, and we took our time. Sometimes, inspiration would come to us from out of the blue!

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Mastering Your Wedding Seating Chart

There actually is a “science” to it! Here are my top tips for Mastering your Wedding Seating Chart:

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