Brides for Brides: Kelli’s Advice

Hello, and happy Wednesday! I’m starting a new segment on my blog titled “Brides for Brides” where I will have brides answer a few questions about their wedding and give advice to newly engaged couples how to make their day absolutely perfect and amazing. I bet every new bride gets overwhelmed once in a while, so here’s hoping that “Brides for Brides” will help someone! If you are a prior PhotoKisses bride, feel free to answer these same questions with your own experience in an email, and I will post them here for other brides to see!

Kelli got married on January 16, 2010 at the Westminster Chapel in Mendon and had her reception at Bristol Harbour in Canandaigua.

What was your favorite part of the day?
Opening my eyes in my hotel room and FINALLY being able to say “I’m getting married today!!”

Looking back do you feel you made the right choices in choosing the venue, the details, the type of ceremony?
I think the ceremony went perfect.  The bridal party did a great job! I do feel like I made the best choice as far as the venue.  We wanted a non-denominational ceremony, so being able to find a chapel that could accommodate that was really important to us.  The readings were beautiful.  We had several compliments on our selections. We hired a string quartet for the ceremony and they were great!

Did everything go as planned?
I made sure to follow-up with all my vendors and the Wedding Coordinator at Bristol Harbour several times before the big day to ensure everyone was on the same page and there were no surprises.

What was your vision? Did you have a theme, a concept, colors that you used?
Given the look and feel of Bristol Harbour I decided to go with a Rustic Elegance theme.  It was fun to incorporate winter with a rustic feel.  We used a lot of browns, ivory, dark greens and red.  There were pinecones of all sizes, curly willow, birch bark and moss.  Small votive candles hung off the curly willow centerpieces to give the tables a soft warm glow.  There were tealight lanterns hung from the ceiling above the dance floor to give the feeling of dancing under the stars.  There were amber uplights throughout the room that shined onto the walls, adding to the soft romantic feel.  The decor’ and ambiance of the room complimented each other perfectly.

Did you have any surprises for your guests?
We did have a firework display that no one knew about.  It ran about 15 minutes long and it was a great show!

How did you make your reception fabulous and memorable?
We had a photobooth for the entire duration of the reception.  I don’t think the booth was EVER empty.  There were props for the guests to use and it really allowed them to be creative and funny.  I have the scrapbook now that the company put together for us as well as a CD slideshow and I am very happy with it! We also had a cozy sitting area in front of the fireplace with furniture we rented.  On the coffee table we had an album showing pictures of Eric and I throughout our relationship.  We also hired Nik and the Nice Guys to play through our entire cocktail hour and reception.  This was nice not only for the people on the dance floor, but many guests remained at their table to watch the band perform.  I do wish Nik and the Nice Guys were a bit more personable.

Can you say something small about how you chose your vendors, and what your impression of them is now that it’s all done? Florist, caterer, band, etc?
I chose my vendors through other vendors and word of mouth! It actually started with Rochester wedding photographer Kristina at Photokisses.  Both my sisters recommended her at different times, so I reached out to her and from the first meeting I knew Kristina was perfect for what I wanted.  We clicked right away! She knew my vision and I really felt like she was excited to work with us.  That is very important to me as far as vendors go.  I want to work with someone who is excited to work and doesn’t look at it as “just another wedding.” My florist, Bouquets by Bonnie was wonderful! She was recommended by a couple different vendors.  She had great ideas and was excited to work with me.  Deb who was the videographer at SEVideo was great to work with also.  The bakery [Vanilla Swirl] where I got my Wedding cake was AMAZING! She did a beautiful job decorating the cake to look just like the picture I sent her.  It was a 4 tier cake to look like tree stumps with our initials sketched on the front.  There were chocolate pinecones, acorns and leaves that were all edible.  The only complaint was the cake was leaning.  Kristina did a great job capturing Eric and myself leaning with the cake! hehe I also hired Kelli Berg with Simply Beautiful Weddings to give her wonderful ideas and thoughts on all our decor.  She provided all linens, lights, pinecones, and other decorative items and did a wonderful job setting everything up just the way I had envisioned it.  The nice thing about all my vendors was that they have all worked together in the past, so it really makes for a smooth ceremony/reception.  I wouldn’t have changed a thing with any of them.  Well, no I take that back! I do wish I had Kristina and Deb from SEVideo stay until the end of the reception.

What advice would you give to newly engaged ladies just starting to plan their wedding?
Take your time and make the wedding your own.  Really get a sense of your vision and don’t commit to anything right away.  Make sure to go to a Bridal Show and make sure to grab all the coupons from all the vendors.  You can save a decent amount of money by doing this.  Really focus on your photographer and definitly have a videographer.  These were my most important as they are the ones who will allow you to relive your memories through their work.  Try not to get stressed out.  This is an exciting time for you and your Fiance.

What advice would you give to the couple on their wedding day? Or, what advice do you wish you had been given for yours?
My husband and I really took the time to stop and look around.  We managed to sneak into the reception room just before all the guests came in.  It was a special moment to be able to share it together alone. Don’t sweat the small stuff.  So what if the bows on the chair aren’t tied the way you thought, or that your Wedding cake is leaning…. laugh about it instead! Finally, just have fun enjoying what hard work you have both put in for your special day!

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