Feb
01
2015
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Wedding Planning: A Maid of Honor’s Perspective

February, 2015

My sister, Katie is getting engaged in June but we’ve been planing her wedding for awhile now. Every woman has the dream of finding the perfect man, getting the wedding dress of her dreams, a venue to die for, and making sure it will be a day she can cherish for the rest of her life. Katie and I have been very close our entire lives and it is so special that she picked me, her little sister to be her maid of honor on this special day. Now this is not just a title, you have to be there for her whenever she needs you. Katie and I have filled our Pinterest accounts with all different ideas for her wedding from different bridesmaid dresses to the discovery of an awesome wedding DJ. Just this last week, Katie was at craft store when she called me saying she found the perfect mason jars to give to each of her bridesmaids when she asks them to be in her wedding. I rushed down to meet her at our local Michael’s and we picked out four mason jars with paint to write on them with. I will not be apart of the making of the jars because one of them is for me and she wants it to be a surprise but it was really touching that she wanted my opinion before buying them. My sister, Megan had the most perfect wedding two years ago that was totally her style. She got married in a very fancy downtown club in Philadelphia. Katie and I couldn’t be there for most of the wedding planning so Megan had to make a lot of decisions on her own without help. Megan flew to California so that we could all go wedding dress shopping together. Katie realized while we were in the different shops that she wanted to have an all lace dress when she gets married. Our mothers wedding dress was very beautiful so Katie asked her about a month ago if she could try on her dress once she’s engaged and my mom was so excited! I can’t wait till the day she gets engaged, she has been with her boyfriend for almost five years and he treats her like a princess. He is already like a brother to me and it was so fun to be apart of his plans on how he is going to propose to her. I’m not going to give any details away because Katie is very sneaky and no one has been able to keep a secret hidden from her. Her only guidelines were that when she gets engaged she wants both of their families to be there, to have her nails, and hair all done up for pictures. If we can keep this hidden from her for a couple more months it will be totally worth it for her and Matt.

Sarah Higbee
Alan Waltz Entertainment

Written by Alan Waltz Entertainment in: Weddings |
Dec
05
2014
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Adventures In Elopement

This year, I had 2 friends who decided to elope. They did very different elopements, but they were both special and touching in their own way.

The first friend announced to everyone that she was eloping. She explained her reasons why and shared how people could be a part of her big day. There was a live-stream of the ceremony, as well as a casual get-together after the wedding for people who lived nearby. And of course, as every event is shared these days, the photos were on Facebook right away. This allowed people to be a part of their day virtually, when they weren’t able to be there in person.

The second friend was very quiet about the event. I knew about it because she is a close friend of mine. But she wasn’t sharing with people that she was eloping. The only people invited to the ceremony were family members, but she did decide to do a party afterwards for a select group of friends.

I was honored to be a part of that group. The party was at the house where they got married (which the bride’s family had rented for the week since they live out of town). The party was pretty casual. Since many guests at the party were vegans or vegetarians, they did a Mexican buffet dinner with vegan and meat options. And of course, they had wedding cake.

While neither of these elopements would be considered “traditional”, they were both perfect for each of the brides. They were able to do exactly what they wanted and shared it with exactly whom they wanted, without feeling the pressure of inviting people out of obligation. Making sure your wedding is the way you and your husband want it is exactly what should be done.

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Jen_Levin_Blog_2

Jen Levin
www.findingmyinnerbombshell.com
@thejenlevin (FB, twitter, IG, Pinterest)

Written by Alan Waltz Entertainment in: Weddings |
Nov
05
2014
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OM’ING INTO I DO

OM’ING INTO I DO
By Lauren Taus

Unlike most days, I chose my outfit in advance. I wanted to look stylish and beautiful in a calming color palette because I wanted to physically embody peace. I went to bed earlier than usual, and skipped wine at dinner. I wanted to feel rested. You might think I was preparing for a special occasion myself, and I suppose I was. I was preparing to teach yoga to a bride and her bridesmaids on the morning of her wedding — and I place a very high value on that honor.

Yoga means to yolk, or to bring together into one, and so this practice naturally belongs on a wedding day. As a yoga teacher, I have had the privilege of teaching more than one bride or groom just hours before the epic, “I do.” These classes feel markedly different than the 12-20 I lead each week. They are different because I integrate the energy of my students in an effort to ground them more fully in themselves.

Preparing people for their nuptials requires that I take in the magnitude of their choice to practice “yoga” with a life partner, to blend two lives into one. I anticipate the breadth of emotion that he or she will move through on that day, feelings of excitement, happiness, overwhelm, even sadness and fear. My goal is to help the person stand tall and be present through all of it.

My class structure varies according to who is in front of me, but a wedding day practice invariably involves more heart openers, balancing postures and a longer savasana. I may offer a guided meditation, and of course, I will give the lady or gent wishes for harmony and happiness. These classes are among my most favorite to teach. I walk into and away from them feeling immensely blessed to be part of this sacred moment. I feel, in some ways, like a bride, and that’s always beautiful.

www.laurentaus.com
instagram @omshalom

Lauren Taus

Lauren Taus

Lauren Taus

Lauren Taus Yoga Instructor

Written by Alan Waltz Entertainment in: Weddings |
Oct
23
2014
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MEET REGGIE CURRIE aka DJ DOUBLE EDGE REGG!

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Hometown: San Jose

Q: How would you describe your DJ-ing style?
A: Body-moving, crowd-pleasing, and versatile

Q: What’s the song you play to get the crowd on their feet?
A: “Billy Jean” by Michael Jackson

Q: Favorite slow dance song?
A: “Always & Forever” by Heatwave

Q: Oddest request you’ve even been given?
A: To play “The Chicken Dance” during a wedding ceremony!

Q: What’s the best piece of advice you have for a bride and groom on working with a DJ?
A: Make sure you communicate your “must have” and your “do not play” list to the DJ….and have a plan for what happens if someone requests a song on the “do not play” list!

Q: What’s on your personal iPod?
A: A variety of songs, from “ABC” by The Jackson Five to “Round Here” by Blake Shelton.

Q: Be honest, what song do you absolutely hate to play?
A: Anything by 2 Chainz!

Q: Coolest moment as a DJ so far?
A: DJ-ing side by side with Biz Markie at the 2005 MLB All-Stars

Q: Any hidden talent or interesting fact about you?
A: I’m a dancer – I’ve been nicknamed “The Dancing DJ”. I’ve been a mascot for several professional sports teams! (see below for proof)

Globieraisetheroof

Written by Alan Waltz Entertainment in: Weddings |
Oct
01
2014
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ONE LAST DANCE

A wonderful video swept the internet this week, and no cats were involved. It was a heartfelt mother-son dance at the wedding of Ryan Manning and Katelyn Schlick. (see it here ONE LAST DANCE Ryan’s mother, Mary Ann was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and was given weeks to live. Succumbing quickly to her disease, she suffered a stroke that week and had to walk with the aid of a cane. But when it came time to have that ceremonial dance – with her newly married son – Mary Ann was able to trade in her cane for her son’s arms and and move effortlessly to OVER THE RAINBOW. It’s hard not to feel the love at that moment. Mary Ann passed away just three days later.

This video got me thinking about the power of dance and movement. Music and dance are able to bring lucidity to patients with even the worst cases of dementia. It can change a person’s mood in less than ten seconds. Studies show music and dance trigger mirror neurons in the cortex of the brain. They activate when a person is performing an action as well as watching someone else do it. This may explain our joy at watching a father doing his best to remember the fox trot as his daughter just prays he doesn’t step on the dress and take them both down, or a mother and son surprising their guests with perfectly choreographed dance routine to BABY GOT BACK. Whether sweet or funny, we can’t help but be moved too. But perhaps more than science, what we love about the ceremonial wedding dances is the symbolism behind them. “I have led you, carried you, and moved with you your whole life. Just one last time, let me take you in my arms and lead.”

- Erin Stegeman
@erinstegeman

Written by Alan Waltz Entertainment in: Weddings |
Sep
07
2014
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Social Media Weddings: Yay or Nay?

Selfies, twofies, hashtags, and vines are becoming more and more synonymous with modern wedding culture. I went to a wedding where the minister announced at the ceremony to be sure to include the bride and groom’s custom hashtag when taking photos. What started as a frowned upon trend is now unavoidable, and quite remarkably, an economical and creative way to enhance the bride and groom’s wedding experience. Professional photographers and videographers can only cover so much. Not only do you now have quite literally hundreds of photographers on site, but each of them (aside from your maid of honor’s new weird boyfriend) knows you personally. They know you’ll prefer the instant filter over black and white, and they can anticipate the worm you’re about to throw down when the DJ plays your jam from college. Stickers, emoticons, inside jokes under 140 characters, and even pictures of wedding parties’ best Blue Steel faces as they get ready are flooding digital wedding albums.
My cousin’s wedding had a midday break between the ceremony and reception so a lot of the family went and got ice cream…in our black tie garb. We tagged them in all of our crazy photos – something they would have missed with traditional photography. At NYC wedding I attended, Stephanie March from LAW & ORDER: SVU photo-bombed a few of our pre-wedding pics and wished the couple good luck in a video we made on our phones. It made us feel like we contributed even more to the couple’s day. The actual wedding whizzes by so quickly for the bride and groom that it’s nice for them to search their hashtag and see what all went down behind the scenes.
However, there are some etiquette rules that need to be in place if you want to actually interact with your guests in person, not via text. And, I guarantee no bride wants to look out during the ceremony to see a flood of LED screens instead of her loved ones’ faces. For more on how to tastefully incorporate social media into your wedding click here Social Wedding Season

Written by Alan Waltz Entertainment in: Weddings |
Jul
23
2014
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MYSTERY HONEYMOON ADVENTURE

From Prague to Peru, American couples are more becoming more daring in their honeymooning. The seven day trips to Hawaii have been replaced with month-long excursions to Havana (by way of Canada, of course), sandals have been traded in for hiking boots, and “all-inclusive resorts” may as well be a swear word. Perhaps it’s because we are vacationing less than ever and a honeymoon provides the perfect opportunity to go all out, or the increased popularity of swapping wedding china for travel crowd-funding registries, but the post-wedding vacay has become just as big, if not bigger, than the wedding itself. After ten years of being together with my fiancé, and never having taken a true couple’s vacation (due to budding careers and traveling to two different states every year for the holidays), we decided to make our honeymoon THE event of the decade. So, we set a few simple ground rules:

1. Choose cities in Europe neither one of us has been
2. Whatever we save up, that’s what we use
3. We can’t tell each other where we picked

That’s right. I’m not sure if it’s because we’re romantics or both have degrees in Drama, but we decided to keep our destination spots a secret from each other. I chose the arrival city, he the departure. We were each responsible for booking the flights, hotels, and whatever activities we wanted in our cities. Then (because I like to test my limits against wedding stress) we left several days in the middle COMPLETELY UNPLANNED for us to go wherever we felt in the moment–and somehow get to the final destination city. Our choices would be revealed to each other the morning of the wedding via a gift exchange through our wedding party.

Packing was fun in that we had no idea what we were doing. I had chosen Iceland and secretly tried to get him to pack a sweater without being too revealing. “It’s like LA weather at night,” is the best I gave him. He packed a hoodie (thank God for the vintage stores in Reykjavik because boots cost a bajillion Krona’s). In terms of finances, we each saved up doing everything from a “chore jar” to working overtime. Because we had been living together for the last few years and had wine glasses for every grape in existence, we created a honeymoon registry on www.travelersjoy.com It took three phone calls to convince my mother we didn’t need a third crock pot. There was a brief moment of panic the week before the wedding when my husband’s car broke down – twice – wiping out a very significant chunk of our budget. After many tears we were able to just say, “If all we do is walk around Europe together, that’s enough.”

After months of painful secrecy and hearing how nuts we were from friends and family, our picks were finally revealed on the day of the wedding. My husband sent me wine from his destination city and this video here made with the help of Fiverr. Honeymoon Reveal

I gave him a bottle Icelandic water…everyone agrees he won. The next day we were on a red eye from NYC to Reykjavik, in sandals. We decided to short form blog about our honeymoon on Facebook, which was oddly one of our favorite things to do together. I can’t even properly express the joy of finding free WiFi and then tweeting together under the stars in downtown Dubrovnik. There were a couple nights we spent stressing about our next move, but for the most part having it unplanned kept us present to what we really wanted to do with our time. All of the missteps – like finding out our hotel in Iceland was actually in a different city and the numerous times we exclaimed, “Oh crap that flight went up 50 euros since yesterday!” have already turned into unbeatable memories. Although meeting our AirBnB host in the middle of Montenegro, with our only directions being to “just ask a local to find me”, did make me question my husband’s planning abilities and general sanity.

This is the moment I found out my husband’s destination spot

Bridal Party

Erin Stegeman

Written by Alan Waltz Entertainment in: Weddings |
Jun
21
2014
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A Wedding Nightmare

It’s a week before your destination wedding. Between finishing up stressful work projects and reordering place cards for those last minute RSVP’s (and their guests you never invited), you’ve scheduled time for a you — a massage, a much-needed hair cut, and some down time with your fiancé to take in this monumental transition. After all, you know as it gets closer to your wedding, you’re going to reach an emotional level equal to that of a 7 year-old girl who just came off a Halloween candy bender. Then suddenly, just days before the big day, the reception venue EMAILS you that your dream space is no longer available due to an oversight on their end.

THE APOCALYPSE IS HERE.

A glitch in communication has suddenly turned you and your fiancé (and of course, your mother) instaNuts and left your wedding guests without a space to shake their groove thang. Did I mention this was a destination wedding with a rather large timezone difference?

So what do you do?

IBR (Initial Bride Response):

Hulk Out. You saved up your Bridezilla points back when your maid of honor told you her flight arrives an hour before the rehearsal, and you just calmly nodded and smiled. You deserve a meltdown. YELL at the venue. It’s not completely out of line. You can rant on their Twitter, craft an insult-ladened email to the management, and demand free stuff. Get those bride tears a flowin’ when they only offer a $100 food voucher in exchange for the thousands of dollars spent and hours inconvenienced finding a new space. Dust off your letterhead and write to corporate. Threaten to take this matter to BuzzFeed and the Huffington Post, and when you’re left with nothing except a migraine AND the flu, just pout and cancel the wedding. If it’s not perfect, it’s not happening.

Or…

Breathe. Go to your spa appointments anyway. Grab your bridesmaids and see a movie (preferably something with Channing Tatum). Instead of hurling insults on Facebook and Twitter, ask for help. You can even ask the vendor to call spaces on your behalf. Contact anyone you may know who lives in your destination city, even if it’s your florist. Just be direct and honest about what you need and when you need it by. It’s amazing how relatively simple it is to divert a crisis. Within 36 hours, my fiancé and I had a new venue complete with a VIP lounge and complimentary bottles of champagne. We actually saved time and money because this new place already had everything set up. It was better than our original plan! Any leftover legalities we decided to handle post-wedding, when we were in a calmer space.

That’s how wedding planning goes — we hit snags and we think we are being led offtrack when it’s actually to something even better. So, embrace those wedding nightmares with some grace (OK a little tantrum won’t hurt), and remember, nothing can come between the love you and your fiance have for each other.

Erin Stegeman
erinstegeman
Married June 14th, 2014

Written by Alan Waltz Entertainment in: Weddings |
May
21
2014
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Marriage is work!

At this year’s Oscar Awards, Ben Affleck winning the Oscar was made even more noteworthy by the fact that he referred to his marriage to Jennifer Garner as “work”, and, of course, the tabloids went wild. But, Jennifer Garner recently responded to those comments, saying that she understood what he was saying and actually took it as a compliment.
While it might seem strange to call a marriage work, it does take work to make a marriage work. At the end of the day, you chose to share your lives together for a reason, and if you choose to stick to those vows-until death do us part-then you do take with it all the changes and curveballs that life throws at you along the way. You can’t expect that, if you’re lucky enough to have several decades together, neither of you is going to change or that some challenges won’t arise. So, you do have to work at a marriage, but it’s certainly worth it.
Want to share your tips for a successful marriage? Comment on our Facebook page or Tweet us!
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Written by Alan Waltz Entertainment in: Weddings |
Mar
01
2013
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Who To Invite To Your Wedding?

Deciding who to invite to your wedding is notoriously stressful because everyone will have a different opinion. And it’s not just who to invite, but how to invite. If you’ve been following our Facebook and Twitter feeds, you’ll have seen a number of stories about invitation etiquette and who you are entitled to avoid inviting to your wedding.  It sounds harsh, but an informally worded invitation can lead to you sharing your special day with friends of ex-coworkers, someone your great-aunt vaguely knows, and hordes of misbehaved children that belong to your third cousin twice removed.   

In terms of invitations, the old ways are the best.  The formal invitation is much less open to interpretation than an email, and as long as your response card doesn’t contain a “can I let you know later?” option, you’ll know exactly who is coming and who they are bringing. 
 
But what happens when the bride and groom can’t agree on a guest, like in this question posed to Glamour magazine? While a potentially difficult situation, as long as the two of you communicate, there’s no hurdle you can’t cross together.
 
Who Do I Invite?

Written by Alan Waltz Entertainment in: Weddings |

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