Review from Client

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Thank you so much for all of your hard work during our wedding! It was a perfect day and we had a fabulous time, creating the most perfect memories that will last our lifetime! We couldn’t have done it without your help – you solved all our problems and kept all the worries at bay. It had an amazing impact on my planning – I wasn’t stressed at all. Rachel, your Hawaiian dance was amazing and we’re still having people comment on it.
 ~Amy & Eli, Laurel Creek Manor, August 30, 2013

Wedding Show DIY Project: How to make our stars!

The highlight of our booth according to the Seattle Wedding show vendors and attendees were our hanging stars. I went in search of cute yet easy to make stars to hang in our Persian themed wedding booth and came across a great blog that had the stars I was looking for. I wanted to make something that was easy and didn't have to glue, tape or staple. 

Here is a link to how to make the Stars!

I spent less than $7 on 30 cardstock paper in three colors and with the aid of a pen, scissors and a scoring tool, my team and I spent one evening tracing and cutting out the stars and assembling them.

This was by far the easiest DIY project we have done and all of the stars came out spectacular.

To hang the stars we used a small scrapbook hole punch and then strung them on fishing line and viola there you have it!

Our biggest piece of advice is to get paper that is not too heavy nor too thin so the star is easy to fold and bend and hold its shape.

Seattle Wedding Show Recap

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The 2014 Seattle Wedding Show is officially in the books. We some amazing couples and vendors and can't wait to get to work. For our booth this year we wanted to break out of the box and do something a little different. Wanting to emphasize the rich colors that we see as a trend in the upcoming year, we went with a Persian themed booth. Working with some pretty outstanding vendors, our reality came true. Thanks to A Tailored Affairs, we chose the gold fabric for the back of our booth with an orange Indian inspired fabric as the focal point.

For the table we went with a blue linen complete with a gold patterned sequin overlay. To complete the tablescape, we used two white lanterns, gold flatware courtesy of AA Party Rental and gold round chargers.

Then there are the flowers. Knowing my vision, I went to the flower man himself, Christopher Flowers who created these unbelievable arrangements.

Finally, the main attraction of the booth that really got people talking where the stars that we strung through the top of our booth. When it came down to the construction of the stars, we wanted a no-fuss DIY craft and we found this amazing template and the Elegant Affairs team spent three hours drinking wine and eating pizza creating these stars. 

We will be posting the star tutorial tomorrow.

We have to thank all of the amazing vendors who helped make this booth successful:
Also thank you to Alante Photography and Azzura Photography for these beautiful images of our team and booth.

Wedding Planner Journey: Search for the perfect dress!

I’ve lived in Seattle for three years now. I enjoy every moment of the bustling city. Around the holidays, I leave the traffic for Eastern Washington to visit my family. This year, I went down to the Tri-Cities to visit my sister and brother-in law. We thought that it would be a fabulous and fun idea to try on dresses with my sister, who happens to be my Maid of Honor, and my mother. The only thoughts that occurred through my mind were the following, “Well, this is going to be fun!”, “It’s going to be just like dress up!” and “I won’t buy a dress on the first day of shopping!”

Yikes. Dress shopping for myself was not what I expected. I have gone dress shopping as a bridesmaid and consultant. It’s fun picking out bridal gowns for others. Deciding between mermaids, fit and flare, ball gowns, lace, tulle, ivory, or white seemed pretty simple on the other side. As we walked into the first store, my sister gleamed in excitement. All I could think about was, “There are so many dresses here. How do I know what I want?” I’ve been to sixty some weddings and I am absolutely CLUELESS. I’m pretty positive I looked like a deer in the headlights. I was silent, looking through the racks, and wanted out. Sara grabbed dresses off the rack and exclaimed that I needed to try all of them on. I went to the dressing room with the saleswoman and honestly, I only tried on one of the 3. I didn’t feel like trying on anything else. I was overwhelmed.

We went to the next store and I felt like I had a moment to catch my breath. We met my mom at the second store and she greeted me with a big hug! Dress shopping with my mom is so important to me. About a year ago, I tried on my mother’s 1970’s silk, custom made, bridal gown. I remember the glimmer in her eyes as she saw me in her wedding gown. She had offered to let me wear her dress, but I decided to create a new moment for us buy shopping for a new one. This is a special moment for my mother and in the end she would be buying my wedding gown.

We walked into the next store and a friendly woman greeted me. This shop was so much easier. They asked me what I was looking for. I quickly spurted out a list of all the things I didn’t like. Little did I know, what I thought I had wanted from my pins, looking at client’s gowns, I realized that my “dream” dress wasn’t what I wanted after all. I tried on a MAGNIFICENT bridal gown. They did me up, with the veil, flowers in my hair and all. Mom and Sara loved it. I loved it too. Then, as soon as I saw myself in the mirror, I was overwhelmed. Is this the dress for me? Should I buy it? Is it too soon?

I ended up leaving the store without the dress. That was the best decision I made. I wanted to go home and think on it, and I’m glad I did. If there’s anything I’ve learned from my dress experience on the other side:

1.       Don’t get discouraged if what you think you originally wanted isn’t what you want after all; sometimes the dress you least expect is for you.
2.       Don’t let the saleswoman wrap you into bridal gown fever. Yes, you like this dress, but is it YOU? Can you see yourself walking down the isle, dancing the night way, and feeling just like you?
3.       Is it in your budget? I recommend trying on dresses that are in your budget. On a whim, the saleswoman had me try on a beautiful blush bridal gown that was WAY out of budget. That was a mistake.
4.       Limit your audience. Yes, it’s fun to bring all of your bridesmaids and friends. Before, think about what their opinions are like. Do you have different styles? Will you be shopping for your friend and not you? This is your moment. Find something you can cherish, find something that you desire.
5.       Finally, Don’t be overwhelmed. Enjoy the process. I forget that this time, and when I look again I want to be ready to enjoy and take in every moment.

I’m planning on going dress shopping this summer for my perfect dress. In the meantime, I have decided not to look at any more bridal gowns. I want to enjoy my experience, not create  headache to find the perfect one. 

Wedding Planner Journey: The Hunt is On!

Friday, January 10, 2014
The holidays are over. Part of me is very thankful for January.  My life is finally back to normal, well almost normal. Life hasn’t been the same since I’ve been engaged; it’s been fast paced and exciting. The calls have finally died down and I now I feel like I can retract back into my cozy apartment and relax. Sometimes I forget that I’m a bride or that I have a wedding to plan. Not only do I have a wedding to plan, but we have the Seattle Wedding Show this weekend. This week is a big week for Elegant Affairs and our wedding planning team. We have anticipated the show for almost a year now. As a team, we have planned every detail to a tee and we are ready. I may be ready as a vendor, but am I ready as a bride?

The Seattle Wedding Show is an experience.  As a vendor we work to create a positive atmosphere for all our brides that enter our booth. The doors open bright and early. Before you know it, all of the brides eagerly flow in. It is overwhelming. I have seen so many brides walk around the Convention Center with a glazed over look on their faces. There is so much to see, so many vendors, and amazing deals everywhere. 
Everyone wants you, but who do you want? This is what I need to remember- who do we want?

This year will be a different experience for me. I will be working the wedding show and will be attending as bride. I will walk down the aisles of vendors- many whom are my friends. I’ll share my fabulous news of engagement followed by shrieks of delight. Even as a vendor, I have to think about what is best for us. Yes, there are various deals at the wedding show, but is it true to who we are? Will we be making a good decision choosing one vendor over the other?

Here is my personal advice, as a wedding planner- vendor-bride, hunting for the most magnificent wedding vendors Seattle has to offer. This is my wedding show game plan.

  • I’m going to look around at various vendors. I will look at ALL the vendors the Wedding Show has to offer. Yes, I know what vendors provide catering, or who is a florist we use on occasions, but I will take all vendors into consideration. I will be open minded. I will explore new options. I will look for a vendor that can cater to my needs.
  •  I will watch the fashion show. I think I have an idea for the perfect dress, but who knows what is out there? I want to visit various bridal gown vendors and see what they have to offer. Do they have off the rack dresses that can be purchased today? Are there any dresses that I love?
  • I plan on trying cake, pie, and cheesecake. In no specific order. I will take multiple samples… and I may have to return for more. Just in case.
  • I will look at all wedding photographers. Does this photographer have the style I am looking for? What is their turn around rate for photos?
  • As for dresses, I will play a little dress up, but I will think clearly of my vision and the dress experience I would like to have.
  • Most importantly, I will have fun as a bride. I will not have a glazed look over my face, or be the next contestant on Extreme Couponing. I will breathe, smile, and enjoy the ride.

The one thing I will not have to search for is an amazing woman to coordinate our wedding day. I have had the pleasure to work for such a supportive company over the last three seasons. Lori, the owner of Elegant Affairs, will be standing next to me on our wedding day as a bridesmaid. As for our wedding, it will be run by Elegant Affairs. I highly recommend hiring a wedding coordinator. Yes, I am a wedding planner but, I will have a coordinator run our wedding. I can do the planning, decide between lace and satin, but I want someone to take the stress off of us so we can truly enjoy our day with our loved ones. I want my guests, family, and friends to eat, drink, and watch us get married- not box up the reception at the end of the night. 

Don’t be shy; wedding coordinators are here to help.

I will be working the Seattle Wedding Show with Lori, the wonderful owner of Elegant Affairs, and two amazing woman from EA. Stop by, give me a wave. I’d love to chat about our wedding experiences together. After all, we are each other’s best resource.

Cheers and Happy Wedding Show ya’ll.

Wedding Planner's Journey as the Bride!

Saturday, January 4, 2014
Every summer, my weekends are filled with countless wedding guests, various venues, and endless wedding day details. In the past three seasons, I have attended sixty-some wedding. Now, it's my turn.

My name is Rachel Ermitano. I am free spirit, or so my mom would say. I work as a teacher by day, wedding planner in my spare time, and am working on starting my very own fashion endeavor. My life is far from simple, but I choose to live my moments simply. 

I have a Pinterest board named "A Girl Can Dream" filled with beautiful pictures of other couple's wedding days. Now, that dream has become a reality. I have met the man of my dreams, someone who I cannot wait to grow old with. This man came into my life unexpectedly. It started off as missed timing, but turned into my future. As cliche as it may sound, this man, completes me.

The man of my dreams, and reality, is named Shea. He is driven, loving, and makes my world worthwhile. On December 14th, 2013, the night before his 27th birthday, Shea proposed. This is where our journey begins. 

Although my Pinterest board is filled with pictures and I have a few years of planning and coordinating under my belt, I don't know where to begin. It is a surreal moment for me. Realizing that the details I will be planning is not for another couple, but for us. I'm going to be honest- making decisions with someone's money, other than your self, is easy to make decisions with. Now, its our money, our experience, and our memories. Where do I begin?!

This blog will serve as my thoughts down on paper. I am no longer a wedding planner, I am a bride. This is our journey to plan our wedding. Cheers.

Year in Review

Friday, January 3, 2014

2013 was by far our busiest wedding season since we began in 2005. In just eight years we have grown leaps and bounds and exceeded all of our expectations. Heading in 2013 we didn't know what to expect but with the growing success came a need to expand so we brought on another wedding planner and we love having Mandi Jo part of our team. In addition to Mandi Jo, we hired seven wedding day assistants and loved and each and everyone of them and were sad at the end of the season to see them head back to school. Luckily, we have several of our assistants who will be returning for this season.

One of our major accomplishments in 2013 was being named Best Wedding Planner in Western Washington. We couldn't be more thrilled for this honor for the third year in a row and we can't thank everyone for their vote and support.

The most exciting thing we are going to be part of is the planning process of one of our very own. Wedding Planner Rachel recently got engaged and will be documenting her journey as wedding planner turned bride. Rachel will share her thoughts as she moves closer to her August 2015 wedding.

As we move in 2014, we have many goals as we expect this year to be even more successful than 2013. With the three planners in place and 10 wedding day assistants. We have weddings all around Western Washington and Oregon this season.

Our next focus in the Seattle Wedding Show January 11-12 at the Washington State Convention Center.

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