Wednesday, December 31, 2008

'Tis the Season for Giving

Back in August, we posted about how your wedding can provide a wonderful opportunity to help someone in need. With the holiday season fast approaching, we are offering another way for engaged couples to help those less fortunate. If you book a package with Bliss Weddings between November 1, 2008 and January 1, 2009, we will donate 10% of the package price to a charity of your choice. At the time of booking, we will provide a list of charitable organizations for you to choose from, or you may suggest one. Please contact us today to schedule your complimentary consultation and take advantage of this special offer.

This post will remain at the top of our blog for the remainder of the year, so please check below for new updates.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Wishing all of our clients, colleagues, and blog readers a very Merry Christmas!

~ Jessica & Elizabeth ~

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Trimming the Tree With Memories

It’s that time of year again, where you take that dusty box down from the attic and begin to unwrap the ornaments you’ve collected throughout the years. It is always so much fun to go through each ornament and reminisce about a time it represents.

As we were trimming our tree last week, I came across one particular ornament. Jay and I received it as a favor at the wedding of two dear friends approximately six years ago. It is very simple… royal blue velvet adorned with matte gold roping. It reflected the color scheme of their Christmas wedding. Every time I lift this item out of the ornament box, I am briefly brought back to that night. How in love the couple was, the details of their event, the warmth of the ceremony that was held in a church beautifully decorated for the holiday season.

As wedding planners, we are forever in the search of that elusive favor that will not end up as some long-forgotten knick knack in the back of a closet. Guests appreciate the sentiment- but these days, it’s difficult to adequately display every gift received at the weddings they’ve attended throughout the years. However, I believe that an ornament is the perfect solution to this!

Every year, as your guests decorate their own family’s Christmas trees, they will stumble upon your favor. For a moment, they will cherish the memories of watching as you and your fiancé were united as husband and wife. They will remember the details of your décor, how happy you looked that day, the fun they had dancing in the arms of their significant other.

There are many options for how to capture the essence of this most special day in an ornament. It can be something as specific as an ornament engraved with your names and wedding date.

[photo credit: The Stationery Studio]
It can also be as simple as having the ornament reflect your event themes/color scheme as my friends chose.

[photo credit: Beaucoup]

[photo credit: Lenox]
It can display the ceremony location as in this ornament (*fun fact: the white building displayed in this ornament is where our very own Jessica was married):

[photo credit The Gift Cottage]

You can even have the ornament favor double as a placecard holder- and your guests can replace the seating information with their favorite photo taken on your wedding day!

[photo credit: Wedding Style]

[photo credit: Favor Ideas]

However you decide to commemorate your event, your guests will enjoy the memory of your wedding every year as they hang your ornament favor on the branches of their family Christmas tree.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Design Your Own Handbag

Boston-based photographer Anne Ruthmann recently posted a great list of holiday gift ideas on her blog and among them was the very chic 1154 LILL Studio, where you can design your own handbag online. If your budget allows, this would be a wonderful idea for bridesmaid gifts.

On the LILL website, you can choose from a variety of different handbag styles and customize the fabric for the bag’s exterior, interior, and strap. Bags range in price from $28.00 to $210.00, and brides receive 10% off their order when they purchase five or more bags. LILL also offers customized accessories including headbands and decorative pillows. Take a look at this adorable Lucy bag I created:

If you would prefer to let your girls create their own bags, LILL offers on location parties where a company stylist will come to your home. This would be a fun alternative to the traditional bridesmaids’ luncheon. Visit the LILL website for more information or to get started designing a bag.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

A Sweet Favor Idea

I was thumbing through Crate & Barrel’s 2008 Gift Guide the other day and saw these delightful chocolate-filled cookie cutters.

What a cute favor idea! Cookie cutter favors are nothing new, but filling them with chocolate is a great way to give your guests a little something extra, especially since not everyone will necessarily use the cookie cutter once they take it home. Just pop the chocolate out of the cutter and enjoy.

These are obviously holiday-themed, but cookie cutters come in a large enough variety to suit any wedding theme. Check out Off the Beaten Path for an impressive selection of over 800 cutters. I’ve never attempted to fill cookie cutters with chocolate before, but I imagine it’s relatively simple. I found this recipe for chocolate lollipops on that I’m sure could be adapted.

You could also go a step further and embellish the chocolate with a variety of edible decorations, as with these cookie cutters from Uncommon Goods.

The sky’s the limit, so have fun with it!

Virtual Reality

The hubs and I made a run last night to my favorite place on Earth... TARGET! Although I have zero (nada, zip, zilch) gifts purchased for Christmas... it was essential that I find wrapping paper. What can I say? The wedding planner in me is a sucker for presentation... whether I have something to present or not.

As we were browsing the store, Jay gave into his recent The Sims 2 obsession and decided to peruse the computer games section. As I was looking, a game caught my eye.

(photo credit: Fenomen Games)

Dream Day Wedding allows you to plan the wedding of fictional "friend" Jenny. Select gowns, shop for beautiful wedding cakes and browse other boutiques for the perfect accessories for Jenny's special event! This game is available for play on PC and is brought to you by Elephant Entertainment.

(photo credit: Fenomen Games)

(photo credit: Fenomen Games)

(photo credit: Fenomen Games)

Also enjoy Dream Day- Married in Manhattan, Dream Day Honeymoon and Dream Day First Home. This game would be a fun break from real-world wedding planning tasks.

[And for those of you who just couldn't stand the suspense, my wrapping shopping trip was a success! I'll have the most stylishly wrapped gifts amongst my family and friends this holiday season! ;-)]

Friday, December 5, 2008

Red Shoes

(No corny blog post title here - this one cuts right to the chase.) Brides with red wedding color schemes take note: with Christmas and New Years just around the corner and Valentine’s Day coming up in a couple of months, the selection of red dress shoes in stores is more plentiful now than it likely will be at any other time of year due to the holiday fashions.

If you are in the market for red shoes for yourself or your bridesmaids, now is the time to keep an eye out. Below are a few suggestions to get you started.

Pelayo from Aldo:

And for the daring bride (or bridezilla, as the case may be) . . .


Thursday, December 4, 2008

A Storybook Wedding... literally

[disclaimer: I am fully aware of how corny the title of this post is. However, I found the puns to be unavoidable given the topic]

I would describe myself as your typical “bookworm”. Ever since I can remember, I’ve devoured books page by page. I get lost in the stories and wrapped up in the lives of the characters. My mother used to be concerned about me because even as a small child, I would spend the majority of my time with these characters who I felt had become my friends. Now my husband gets upset because I can fly through ten books in the time it takes him to read one. If I have one talent (aside from wedding planning, that is ;-)), it’s reading.

If you’re a book lover like me, you may have met your significant other browsing the fiction section at Borders, or returning long overdue (yet completely cherished) volumes to your local library. Your first date might have been spent discovering your shared passion for particular authors and subjects. Your courtship may have consisted of exchanging book recommendations and discussing symbolism and themes over romantic meals. If this is the case, why not express your love for all things literature on your wedding day? Here are some ideas I’ve collected for an event design concept inspired by bibliophiles in love!

The perfect place to hold a book-themed wedding would be, of course, in a library! Libraries are generally beautiful buildings that are admired for their architectural elements. Imagine your guests roaming the stacks of ancient and beloved tomes of the written word. The grandeur and history of the library will excite your guests for the event they are about to experience.

As we all know, invitations set the tone for the entire event. This invitation would really get your guests excited for your literary themed wedding. I love the clever concept of these particular versions.

(photo credit: Wedding Paper Divas)

(photo source unknown)

Traditionally, readings at weddings consist of Bible passages read by loved family members. Instead of the often used 1 Corinthians (“Love is patient, love is kind…”), surprise your guests with readings of passages from books you and your fiancé share a passion for. This element will personalize your wedding even further, and guests will be delighted to hear familiar messages from books they treasure as well.

Guest Book
Select one of your favorite books and have your guests sign the pages with congratulations and well-wishes. In the future, when you remove the volume from your bookcase to enjoy, you’ll have a wonderful reminder of this special time.

Table names
Table names have been replacing the idea of numbering tables for many years now. Carry your book theme into your reception by naming your guest tables after favorite authors or literary characters. This creative idea can even provide an ice-breaker to the guests at that particular table. It will encourage the guests to share their own favorite books.

Gift your guests with a bookmark! It can be personalized with your names and wedding date or can include a favorite quote from a cherished story. This is a favor that will most certainly be used by your guests.

(photo credit:

Wedding cake design has been deviating farther and farther from the traditional white, tiered variety that was so popular for so long. As we see on the Food Network show Ace of Cakes, wedding cakes shaped like objects are increasingly requested by brides and grooms. In keeping with your theme, consider a wedding cake in the likeness of a stack of your favorite books. It will be a beautiful and delicious way to complete your vision.

(photo credit: Time)

We always encourage couples to incorporate their passions into their wedding plans. For “bookworms” like me, this is a perfect way to celebrate the union of two people in love.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Fun Find: Seashell Candles

Ah, Black Friday – the official start of the holiday season. I am not, never have been, and probably never will be one of those die-hards who camps out at Walmart on Thanksgiving night to be one of the first through the doors when they open at some ungodly hour the next morning. I much prefer the convenience of online shopping, after a cozy night’s sleep in my warm bed.

So as I was browsing for Christmas gifts this morning from the comfort of my home, imagine my delight to come across these adorable seashell candles at These would make a lovely addition to any beach-themed reception décor. Use them on guest tables as a centerpiece accent or to dress up the cake table, place card table, guestbook table, etc. And the best part is, they’re currently on sale! Click here to order a set of 6 for $24.48.

[photo source:]

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


On the eve of Thanksgiving, as I take a moment to reflect on all that I have to be thankful for in my life, I am reminded of an email that passed through my inbox some time ago. It contained a PowerPoint presentation that provided an enlightening view of how the world would look if the earth’s population was condensed to 100 people. I don’t know where the email originated, as it had been forwarded a number of times before it found its way to me, but after a quick Google search, I came across something very similar at

In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, we often become so wrapped up in our own circumstances that it can be easy to lose sight of just how fortunate we really are in comparison to the majority of the world. In honor of Thanksgiving, I wanted to share a few of the eye-opening statistics from the Miniature Earth presentation that really help to put things in perspective:

“53 [of the 100 people] struggle to live on $2.00 per day or less.”

“If you keep your food in a refrigerator, your clothes in a closet . . . if you have a bed to sleep in and a roof over your head, you are richer than 75% of the entire world population.”

“If you have a bank account, you’re one of the 30 wealthiest people in the world.”

Keep these statistics in mind the next time you find yourself complaining about your stressful job, or cursing the long lines at the grocery store. Instead, be grateful that you have the means to earn a living and enough money to put food on your table. I urge you to visit the Miniature Earth website and view the full presentation (currently available in five different languages), which also includes a demographic profile of the 100-person population. It’s only a couple of minutes long and very interesting.

~Wishing you a safe and happy Thanksgiving~

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Blissfully Inspired

With the advent of Bliss' recent facelift, I felt compelled to create a storyboard inspired by our new logo! As I mentioned in a previous blog entry Inspiration Everywhere, ideas can come from every day, non-traditional sources. In this case, our new logo led me to envision an event decorated with light blues and creamy oranges. For your viewing pleasure, I present to you the Bliss Weddings Inspiration Storyboard.

We invite you to submit your logo as a muse for an inspiration storyboard! Email your request and a jpeg of your logo to We will post your storyboard with your business name and contact information. It might give you a new perspective on your company's vision and provide ideas for future marketing concepts!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Create your own font

With literally thousands of fonts out there, it can be a daunting task to choose the perfect one for your wedding stationery. Why not create something completely unique by having your own handwriting turned into a font? This can be a wonderful way to personalize your invitations, ceremony programs, favor tags, and more. It can also be great, cost-effective alternative to hiring a calligrapher to address your invitations while still maintaining that personal touch. And if you’re not a fan of your own handwriting, why not call upon a friend whose penmanship you admire?

If you are interested in creating your own font, check out these sources:,, or All offer custom font creation for under $250.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

New website is up!

A few weeks ago, we introduced our new logo on the blog and gave you a sneak preview of our newly redesigned website. We are very excited to announce that the new site is now up and running! If you subscribe to the blog and haven’t checked out our site lately, have a look: You’ll see that we also gave the blog some love with a new name and a new header.

We need to give a huge shout-out to Eric Langlois of Raw Photo Design for providing us with tons of great images for our new site. Eric is an amazing photographer with a very artistic style. If you are a bride (or groom) planning a wedding, you should definitely check out his work on the Raw blog.

Please note that if you are still seeing our old site, you may have to clear out your temporary internet files (cookies) in order for the new site to become visible.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Fun Centerpiece Find

At some point, you've probably been invited to a PartyLite party hosted by friends, family or co-workers. PartyLite specializes in candles and decor accessories for the home.

The other day, I was leafing through their Autumn-Winter 2008 catalog and came across two items that I thought would be great as wedding reception centerpieces.

Use this candleholder to design and create your own centerpiece. These can be personalized to express any theme or vision that you have for your tablescape. At the end of the night, allow one guest at each table to take home the Creative Capers candleholder- so they can enjoy this at their own dining table for years to come.

This luminary kit is perfect for your reception. Provide your own inserts to ensure that your table decor conveys your event theme. Another option is to insert various photos of you and your fiance and place at the guest book or cake table. This item provides yet another fun opportunity for personalization at your wedding.

If you are interested in using these candleholders for your event decor, complete PartyLite's "Find a Consultant" form to locate a PartyLite consultant in your area!

Monday, October 27, 2008

If you can't say something nice . . .

An anonymous comment was recently submitted on this blog in response to one of our 2008 weddings. The commenter stated that they were a guest at this wedding and expressed frustration over the seating arrangement. Since the commenter chose to conceal their identity, I am not able to address this matter privately with them, so I wanted to take a moment to address it here.

I got the impression that this comment was left in an attempt to point out some sort of oversight on our part, and so I am going to ask this person to consider that as wedding planners, we are not necessarily consulted on every decision made in relation to the event (and even when we are, our recommendations are not always followed by the bride and groom). This is especially true in instances where we are hired to perform day-of coordination services only, as was the case with the wedding in question.

Since the anonymous comment also included some negative opinions about the bride and groom’s choice of flowers and décor, I am choosing not to publish it, as I would not want the couple to read it and feel badly. I guess it’s true what they say: you can’t please everyone.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Bliss in action

There’s a question we get asked -usually by a guest or two - at almost every wedding we coordinate. It goes a little something like this:

“Are you the wedding planners?”
“Oh, so you’re like J-Lo?”
“Well, not exactly.” :-)

Being a wedding planner is a lot of fun, but it’s not always the glamorous career that it’s portrayed to be in the movie. A lot of people get the wrong idea about the wedding planning profession, thinking that it’s not a real job or that it’s nothing more than picking out flowers and dresses. Those are certainly some of the more glamorous aspects, but there’s a lot more to it, especially on the day of. At almost any given wedding, here are some of the tasks you might find us doing . . .

. . . pinning on the groom’s boutonniere:

(photo credit: Russell J. Corriveau)

. . . pinning on the groomsmen’s boutonnieres:

(photo credit: Russell J. Corriveau)

. . . pinning on the father of the bride’s boutonniere (are you starting to see a trend?):

(photo credit: Dreamscape Studio)

. . . helping the bride maneuver up the church steps (no easy task in a billowy wedding gown!):

(photo credit: David Photography)

. . . opening the church doors for the bride’s grand entrance down the aisle:

(photo credit: Dreamscape Studio)

. . . filling in for the bridal party during formal photos (just kidding!):

(photo credit: Ken Lax)

After all is said and done, however, the best part of the day is seeing the smiles on the couple’s faces as they embark on a brand new phase of their lives.

(photo credit: Robert Norman)

And that’s what it’s all about.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Bliss gets a facelift!

We’ve been a bit neglectful of the blog lately because we’ve been busy giving Bliss an image overhaul. With the company’s 3rd anniversary coming up this January, we felt it was time for a new, more sophisticated identity. Check out our newly redesigned logo, which will become a permanent fixture on the blog once Bliss’s makeover is complete:

We will also be launching a new website featuring imagery from the insanely talented Eric Langlois of Raw Photo Design, so be sure to check back in a few weeks! For now, here’s a sneak peek at one of our web pages:

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Lauren & Jason | September 28, 2008

This past Sunday, we had the pleasure of coordinating the lavish wedding of Lauren and Jason, which was held at WoodWinds in Branford, CT. The couple was referred to us by Jason’s sister, Chrissie, whose wedding we coordinated back in September of 2006 (thanks Chrissie!).

Flowers and candles were in abundance at this event amidst a soft color palette of ivory, champagne, and pale pink. All of the ceremony décor did double-duty at the reception – the floral wreaths and altar arrangements adorned the entry staircase at WoodWinds, while the pew arrangements served as centerpieces for the cocktail tables. In the dining room, centerpieces alternated between silver candelabras and lush floral arrangements of hydrangea and roses. To add a touch of personalization to their wedding, Lauren and Jason chose homemade baklava wrapped in tiny gift boxes as their guest favor.

Although the wedding took place on a Sunday evening, the reception definitely had more of a Saturday-night vibe going on. The very energetic band – Nuts in a Blender – had the dance floor packed from the moment the first note was played.

With more than 300 guests in attendance, this wedding certainly kept us moving, so I was only able to grab a handful of pictures throughout the day. All of the below photos were taken by me, but be sure to check out in a few weeks to see the amazing shots captured by photographer Jerome Braga of Studio 1923. This was our third time working with Jerome (who is a blast to hang out with, by the way), and at all three of the weddings we’ve done with him, the groom’s name has been Jason. Coincidence?

Lauren and Jason, thank you so much for letting us be a part of your wonderful day. We hope you have an incredible honeymoon in St. Lucia and we wish you all the best in your new life together!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

An Amish Wedding

Every year, I travel to Lancaster, Pennsylvania with my husband and his amazing family. It is one of the highlights of our year. The integrity and ingenuity of the Amish people is awe-inspiring. The beauty of the farmlands and countryside truly create a feeling of peace and calm. We also eat ourselves SILLY!

This year, as we were enjoying the splendor of Amish Country, I thought about how a wedding could be inspired by the nature of the area and its local people. As is the case with weddings, the Amish culture is also steeped in tradition.

Consider hosting your event in a beautiful location such as the gorgeous barn pictured below. It will set a rustic, simplistic and elegant tone for the evening.

(photo source unknown)

The Amish people are known for their refusal to use modern electricity. In keeping with that idea, try to use as little artificial lighting at your event as possible. Take it a step further by placing the candles in a mason jar and hanging them throughout the venue. Nothing is more romantic than a beautiful barn awash in the soft amber light of hundreds of candles.

(photo source unknown)

The beauty of nature is revered amongst the Pennsylvania Dutch. Use this concept in creating the feel for your event. Natural items such as wheat stalks, pumpkins, apples and garlands can serve as lovely centerpieces. Take advantage of the beauty that surrounds us every day in decorating your wedding.

(image courtesy of Better Homes & Gardens)

Traditional Amish fare consists of comfort foods such as farm-fresh fried chicken, potato stuffing, candied yams, and baked bread spread with apple butter. This meal would be great at a wedding served “family style” (where each dish is set on the table for guests to pass around) as is the custom when in Amish Country. This would really foster a sense of closeness and home. After all, a wedding should be about family!

(image courtesy of Dutchman Hospitality)

Quilting is at the heart of the Amish culture. Beautiful squares painstakingly sewn together are given to new Amish couples as they embark on their new life together. Incorporate this idea into a variation of the traditional wedding guest book. Set a basket filled with squares of various materials on a table by the entrance of your venue. Provide permanent markers and have guests indicate their well-wishes for your marriage on the squares. Find someone to quilt the squares together after the wedding. This beautiful blanket will serve as a memory of your special day for years to come.

(image courtesy of Broadway Paper)

Pies are a staple of Amish dessert. Instead of a traditional wedding cake, serve your guests Shoofly pie (a mixture of sweet crumbs and molasses) and Whoopie pies (sweet creamy frosting sandwiched between two small cakes). Usually made with chocolate cakes and cream filling, Whoopie pies can also be made with red velvet, pumpkin, and oatmeal variations. Give your guests a selection of these home-baked desserts and serve them with warm, comforting beverages such as hot mulled cider, strong coffee, and hot chocolate.

(photo source unknown)

(image courtesy of Kitchen Kettle Village)

A great favor to remind your guests of your Pennsylvania Dutch-inspired wedding, gift them with small jars of locally-produced apple, pear or pumpkin butter. Kitchen Kettle based in Intercourse, Pennsylvania (one of my favorite spots to visit) offers their fruit butters in mini jars- the perfect size for a wedding favor! Personalize it even further by customizing a label with your names and wedding date.

(image courtesy of Martha Stewart Weddings)

The love of family and friends that defines the Amish lifestyle is a perfect way to begin the marriage of two families.

Here are a few photos from our trip! (the following photos are courtesy of my brother-in-law, Ben Strano)

Elizabeth & Jay (isn't my husband adorable?!)

My in-laws

An Amish farm

Tractor on the farm

Lovely Amish sunset