Brides for Brides: Tara’s advice

Here is a new installment of Brides for Brides. It’s a segment on my blog where my past brides answer a few questions about their wedding and give advice to newly engaged couples on 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!

Tara got married on August 20, 2010 at St. Louis Church in and had her reception at the Irondequoit Country Club.

What was your favorite part of the day?
I would say it was after I walked down the aisle to meet Anthony and, after we were seated, I felt so extremely relaxed and like I just could let it all happen and unfold. It was such a good feeling that it had all finally come together! My next favorite part would be the Cocktail Hour with the perfect weather we had. We could all enjoy being outside on the patio with the live Jazz music playing and having our favorite food being passed around – mac and cheese and shrimp cocktail. What could be better!

What did you think of your ceremony?
I thought the ceremony was beautiful and St. Louis looked gorgeous with the natural light streaming in. We kept the flowers simple because the Church is beautiful on its own. My parents belong to this Church so it felt comfortable and familiar to us. The music director, Stephanie, is magnificent and I feel really lucky she played at our wedding. It was fantastic.

Did everything go as planned?
As far as I know everything pretty much went as planned and if it didn’t, I wasn’t aware! Although, I did forget to bring my change of shoes and after about 3 hours of standing in heels (that I hardly wear anymore), my feet felt some serious pain.. Thank goodness I was able to switch shoes with one of my bridesmaids for the introduction and formal dances then went barefoot the rest of the night. Even so, my feet were hurting for days after! And my dress was stepped on and pulled a few times from being so low on the ground. Lesson learned.

What was your vision?
My biggest inspiration (and obsession for a while!) was the Style Me Pretty blog. I love, love all the interesting details in the weddings posted on the site and I took what I could and applied it to my wedding. We were going for a Vintage / Modern theme and we did much of it ourselves. We used vintage postcards for the tables and luggage-type tags for the place cards that were set in vintage suitcases and hat boxes. The flowers had a more modern feel in square glass vases and had tones of burnt oranges, greens, and ivory. We used chalkboards for signs and my cousin, who has the most beautiful writing, did the calligraphy for me. My dress was a mix of vintage and modern and Anthony had cool zoot suit shoes and a pocket watch as unique touches. It was really cool to see it all come together!

wedding place card table

How did you make your reception fabulous and memorable?
We had a vintage-style photo booth that printed out the 4-picture strip – one to take home and one to put in the guest book. The guests really loved it and there was a line every time I looked! There are some great pictures just from people wearing the props outside the booth! It was also pretty memorable when my family and friends were Irish dancing. We had a lot of family from Ireland there and Irish friends, so it was fun for them to have a chance to show their skills.. I was pulled in, which was great, but I was glad I had a long dress on so you maybe you couldn’t tell I didn’t know what I was doing!

Can you say something about your vendors?
All of my vendors were really great and I couldn’t believe how good they were at coordinating and putting it all together! I was really impressed with how it all turned out! Kristina at PhotoKisses was awesome! I received so many compliments from guests about what a great job she was doing and how nice she was! She took some really amazing and creative pictures and I’m so grateful to her for that! Thank you! Sassafras was our florist and Maura and her team were amazing! They came highly recommended and the flowers got a ton of compliments. Maura was so easy to work with and extremely creative.. she went above and beyond what other florists would do.. I was so impressed! Showcase Sound was our DJ and they really got the entire crowd out dancing from the beginning. There were compliments from my parents friends at how good they were mixing songs everyone would like.. someone even asked if they could get a playlist from the night! Mike Van Bebber and his band were the Jazz trio during cocktails. I found them through the Eastman School of Music Gig Service. They did such a wonderful job and were so professional, I would definitely use them again if an event called for it. The music was fantastic! Our cake was by Goodness Cakes.. beautiful and, more importantly, absolutely de-licious! Bethany and Nick were really nice and easy to work with. Irondequoit Country Club is such a beautiful venue and Stacey and Tara really know what their doing when it comes to weddings. They did such a great job putting all the details together and dealing with all my emails and questions during the months before the wedding. They also did a fantastic job with putting all my “details” together since I didn’t have a planner, thanks so much!

Also, I planned the wedding from out-of-town and all the vendors were so great with emails, pictures, phone calls, flexible schedules when I was in town, etc. Without that, it would have been a lot harder planning everything.

What advice would you give to newly engaged ladies just starting to plan their wedding?
Have fun with it and be organized. It was probably the most stressful time of my life, but now all I remember the fantastic time we had at our wedding! Many people will tell you how they think things should be, but if you feel strongly about something you think is important, don’t give in. The day should be how you want it to be, not someone else. Also, I think it’s good to try to think about the whole event from the guests point of view too.

What advice would you give to the couple on their wedding day? Or, what advice do you wish you had been given for yours?
Someone told us this, and it’s true, to sit back, take a moment to look around the room. Just take it all in and realize they are all there for you. It’s humbling. I remember thinking the day wasn’t going by too fast at the time, but now when I think back, it’s a total blur. That’s what Kristina’s pictures are for! Another thing we noticed at other weddings was that if the bride and groom were not out on the dance floor there was hardly any dancing going on.. so Anthony and I made sure we were out there as much as possible and the dance floor was never empty.. so either it worked or our friends and family sure like to dance!

Are you a future bride and have a question? Ask away, and I’ll add it to the list! for my past brides to answer! – Kristina

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