How to navigate a Wedding Show?

Saturday, December 31, 2011
If you plan on attending the 2012 West Coast Bridal Showcase or the  Seattle Wedding Show in which Elegant Affairs is a participating vendor: here are some helpful hints on how to best navigate such a wedding show.

• Who to bring to the wedding show? A wedding show is really not the time to have your whole family and/or bridal party to attend. Wedding shows can be overwhelming for any bride and groom so a good rule of thumb is for the bride and groom to attend and one or two other people (Mother of Bride and Maid of Honor are ideal people to attend).
• Pre-determine what vendors you want to stop by and visit. If you already have selected vendors then when going up and down the aisles these vendor booths can be the ones that you skip. There is no point in wasting your time and/or that vendor’s time if you have already contracted with a vendor in that category.
• Set-up separate wedding e-mail account. No doubt during the show you will register and sign-up for raffles, special deals or to be on vendors mailing lists. By creating a separate e-mail account it will help to keep your regular email free of unsolicited email. You can also use it down the road, when offering guests a way to RSVP to your event.
• Print out address labels. Most vendors at bridal shows want to collect your information. Save yourself time and writer's cramp by printing up address labels at home prior to arriving. Some wedding expos offer this service when you arrive, but coming prepared will save you money, too. Each label should have the names of both the bride and groom; the preferred mailing address information should be sent to, the wedding e-mail account and your wedding date. While you may consider adding your phone number, keep in mind that this gives the vendor permission to call you. Save yourself from unsolicited marketing calls by adding your phone number only if you are truly interested in hearing from the vendor by phone.
• What to bring? Heavy tote to hold all of the marketing materials, color swatches, notebook and pen and a CAMERA to capture great ideas or for a way to remember which booths you visited that you are interested in using their services.
• Wear comfortable clothes/shoes. Be prepared to walk a lot. There are hundreds of vendor booths to look at and it could take several hours to see everything.
• What to do when you arrive? If you go to the show right when it opens, head to the back of the room so that you can avoid the line of people chatting with the vendors in the front. Of if you are attending when it’s time for the Fashion Show and not interested, this is a great time to take advantage of the short lines at vendor booths.
• Eat a good meal before the event. While there may be some concessions available at the bridal show, consider bringing with you a small snack or two and a bottle of water for each person attending with you. This will help you save money and avoid long lines for something to eat.
• Two-Bag Buddy System. Every vendor wants your business, and they'll be prepared to hand you a remarkable amount of promotional material. Bring one large tote bag to store all of the information in which you are truly interested, and have a friend bring another. When you receive information from a vendor who doesn't offer something you'd like to learn more about, put it in your friend's bag. When you get home, you won't have to sift through a large amount of ads. You'll already know which stack should head right to the recycling bin.
• To book or not to book at the Wedding Show. Wedding events can be really exciting and open your eyes to a world of wedding possibilities. Look for money-saving deals, but be cautious when making deposits on services at events. Make sure you have allowed proper time to sort through your budget and what the company can realistically offer. If you are certain of your decision, always get a receipt and the name of the person you worked with at the event.

2012 Pantone Color of the Year

Thursday, December 8, 2011
Today it was announced by Pantone that the 2012 Color of the Year is Tangerine Tango!

According to Pantone, "Tangerine Tango, a spirited reddish orange, continues to provide the energy boost we need to recharge and move forward.

Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Institute tells us more about the choice for 2012:
Sophisticated but at the same time dramatic and seductive, Tangerine Tango is an orange with a lot of depth to it. Reminiscent of the radiant shadings of a sunset, Tangerine Tango marries the vivaciousness and adrenaline rush of red with the friendliness and warmth of yellow, to form a high-visibility, magnetic hue that emanates heat and energy.

One great quote I found about Tangerine Tango came from Apartment Therapy: "This color works easily with white and warm neutrals such as creams and gray-browns and can look fantastic with other strong colors - its great in combination with pale bud, other "true" oranges (think pumpkin) and also army green."

The 2011 Pantone Color of the Year was Honeysuckle, which according to Pantone, encouraged us to face everyday troubles with verve and vigor.

I am excited about Tangerine Tango and will work on a few inspiration boards! This such a great wedding color that can be incorporated into any wedding season and grooms will love this color.

Sneak Peek from Fred Calma Photography

Monday, December 5, 2011
Here is a sneak peek of a few images from Saturday's wedding from Erin and Andy's wedding Port Gamble. All of these beautiful images are courtesy of Fred Calma Photography.

Review from Bride and Groom

Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Originally we hadn't planned on hiring a wedding coordinator because we had done most of the planning ourselves. After asking a few of my friends what they recommended for a future bride the most, they all agreed "Get a wedding planner!". From the first time I met Lori I felt comfortable with her. She was warm, postive, and really passionate about what she did (which sealed the deal)! From the beginning Lori had excellent communication, and if she sensed I was in need of help, she was there for me. Lori was able to organize our 'day of' plans as well as put out all the little fires that arrose throughout the day for us. I would like to add that our wedding is the only wedding I know of that actually started on time! I even had people asking me afterwards about her because everything seemed so organized and went flawlessly or so it seemed).

I honestly can say I don't know what I would have done without her! By the way...after the wedding we even had a friend book her because they saw how great she was.
~Kaity and Greg Hughes, October 8, 2011

Thanks for making Elegant Affairs Best Wedding Planner

Friday, October 28, 2011
We're Competing badge

Thanks for making Elegant Affairs the #1 Wedding Planner in Western Washington in King 5's Best of Western Washington Contest!

Vendor Spotlight: The Resort at Port Ludlow

Friday, October 14, 2011
The Resort at Port Ludlow
2011 Wine Spectator Award of Excellence
2011 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence  

2011 Best of Northwest Meetings and Events
2011 Official Best Golf Resort Washington
2009 Conde Nast Traveler Gold List

Located less than two hours from Seattle on the beautiful Olympic Peninsula, The Resort at Port Ludlow is the ideal setting for an intimate destination wedding, a rehearsal dinner, a bridal getaway, or a grooms golf retreat. Situated on serene Ludlow Bay The Resort showcases the Pacific Northwest at its best -  offering breathtaking water and mountain views, waterfront lawns for outdoor ceremonies and receptions, a charming Inn, elegant view reception space, exquisite catering, acclaimed wine list, fireside dining, scenic marina and championship golf course. The Inn itself features 37 guestrooms perfect for your family and guests - Each room with gas fireplace and oversized Jacuzzi tub.

According to Susan Windle, Catering Coordinator at The Resort at Port Ludlow: "My favorite part of working with brides and grooms is ensuring that THEIR special day is flawless.   Going over the details and answering the questions beforehand so that on their wedding day, all they have to do is get ready, smile for photos and enjoy their friends and family ... and wake up the next morning with wonderful memories." 

We stand out in many ways:
·          Our food is of a high quality, Chef Dan keeps it simple and lets the flavors of the natural product come through.    As much of our produce is locally grown as possible.
·          The natural beauty of our area with views of snow-peaked mountains, calm waters, the marina, the trees, the wildlife all ensure a relaxing experience
·          The professionalism of our staff, both through experience and customer service
·          We remember that the wedding is all about the bride and groom and their family and friends ... it is not about making our job easier.   We work with the couple not against them.
·          We are a Resort, not a hotel.   We provide an overall experience rather than a place to stay.   We have a golf course, marina, 18 miles of walking trails, beaches, a fine dining restaurant, a jacuzzi tub in each guest room, in-house spa service.
When advising couples in selecting a venue, I would advise you to remember to trust your instincts.   You need to feel comfortable with the team you will be working with as well as the environment your guests will be experiencing.    And always remember that it is about YOU ... you don't have to compromise on what you want to make your wedding day a special memory.

Reception trends:
·          Keeping it simple with personal enhancements
·          Allocating budget for quality rather than quantity, especially food
·          Cupcakes with artistic, extravagant displays

Contact:   Dana Barrett 
Group Sales Manager
One Heron Road, Port Ludlow, WA 98368

Real Wedding: Mary & Mike (9.3.11)

Monday, October 10, 2011
The wedding of Mary & Mike is one of my most memorable weddings for many reasons. First of all, when I first met with the couple last January, Mary knew exactly what she wanted for her wedding, but didn't know how best to achieve her vision. At our first meeting all she had was her wedding date, photographer and the wedding venue, a private home on Lake Washington that she found on a vacation rental web site.

I was able to utilize my preferred vendor list to help the couple select their truly outstanding caterer in The Upper Crust, entertainment Gadjo Gypsied and florist Always Affordable Flowers.

For their actual wedding day, Mary and Mike wanted more casual for their 50 guests. They had the idea to have a pre-ceremony cocktail hour, which was such a great idea. Music before and after the ceremony was provided by the very talented Gadjo Gypsies. I worked with these gentlemen last year and had been dying to work with again. So when Mary & Mike expressed their taste of music they wanted for their wedding, I knew that Gadjo Gypsies fit their dream. The trio played a mix of jazz and swing music, which set the perfect tone for the late afternoon wedding.

A new floral vendor of mine; Chris Skilton of Always Affordable Flowers did an amazing job. I have know Chris' twin sons since I was in first grade and she has recently started her own floral design company after working for a major Tacoma florist for many years. Chris created beautiful centerpieces that really captured the essence of what Mary wanted. In addition, Christ crafted the beautiful toss bouquet (seen above) which included dahlias, one flower that the bride wanted to honor her late grandmother who had a dahlia garden at her home.

Mary, who didn't want to incorporate a lot of flowers into her wedding because she didn't want to take away from the natural beauty of the venue's landscape opted for a brooch bouquet. Mary created this unbelievable bouquet using brooches that she borrowed from family and friends and brooches she received at her bridal shower. I really loved this idea when Mary first told me about it, but to see it first hand was unbelievable! It was truly amazing. The best part of her bouquet is that it will last forever.

After my first visit out to the venue last spring, the couple were at a loss of how to decorate the space especially since they didn't want to use flowers. After seeing the covered boat dock I immediately thought of lanterns (three sizes and colors purchased from Luna Bazaar). Using the wedding colors of ivory, turquoise and chartreuse, these lanterns were just the perfect accent.

On the day of the wedding, Lake Washington was very choppy and there was a slight breeze which proved to be difficult in stringing up the lanterns, but the overall effect made it all wonderful.

Cupcakes was another major highlight for the guests. After enjoying tasty appetizers from The Upper Crust Catering and a beautiful buffet dinner, guests feasted on three different flavors of cupcakes from Trophy Cupcakes. Another little detail added to their cutting cake of triple coconut were two personalized gnomes that the groom purchased on

For more photos, visit Northern Lights Blog.

Credit for being able to work with such a great couple in Mary & Mike was due in large part to my fabulous assistant Rachel. It was Rachel who first met the bride at the Seattle Wedding Show last January and really sold Elegant Affairs to the bride. Thanks Rachel!!!

Wedding Coordinator: Elegant Affairs
Venue: Private home in Seattle
Entertainment: Gadjo Gypsies
Cupcakes: Trophy Cupcakes
Invitations: Paper Delights

Sunni Han Photography

Sunday, October 9, 2011
These images from Lindsey & Jason's July 2 wedding at the Lynnwood Covention Center are courtesy of Sunni Han Photography.

blog design by mira belleza