Before You Say I Do

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Kids at Your Wedding?

Often couples planning their wedding question whether they should or should not have kids at their wedding. For some, there is no question about it especially if you have close relatives or friends with small children or if you or your fiancé have children of your own. If you or your fiancé have kids it is important to make them feel included in the big day. This wedding will not only be changing your life, but it will also be changing theirs. You want to make sure that they don’t feel replaced or any resentment towards your marriage. There is not a perfect or right way to do this. Every situation and child is different.

If you are planning on having children at your wedding there are a few things to keep in mind. If you are having a late reception kids tend to get cranky, especially those under 10. The parents should know their childs limitations and make a wise decision whether they will keep their kids at the entire reception. If it is in your budget plan on hiring professional nannies to tend to the children while the parents enjoy themselves. If a child is flower girl or ring bearer in your wedding ceremony, expect to invite that child to your reception. It is not fair to the child to get all dressed up and practice their steps only to be told they can't come to the party.

Keeping kids entertained at the wedding is simple. Set up a kids table with crafts (no paint ) for the kids to color, bead or write notes to the bride and groom. Play a few popular kids songs and get the little ones out on the dance floor for some unforgettable photo's and video. Place a few disposable camera's on the kids tables and let the kids capture some memories for you...yes the photos will probably be terrible, but fun to look at!

Make sure to keep the food simple pizza, cheeseburgers and chicken fingers are always popular. Make sure to set snacks out where kids can reach them or pack a cute favor box with some snacks and juice boxes. Below are some fun ideas for kids favors and kids tables, enjoy!

Sources: Martha Stewart Weddings, The Knot & DiBella Weddings

Thursday, November 10, 2011

{Inspiration Board} Black, White and Pink


The internet is full of ideas to create the look for your special day. You can Google just about anything and everything in any color or theme imaginable. A great way to keep all those photos organized is to create an inspiration board, which makes it easy to narrow down the look you want to create for your wedding. Here is a black white and pink inspiration board that was inspired by the amazing cake created by Vincent Pilon, Mandalay Bay’s very own celebrity Chocolatier and Pastry chef.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Thursday Therapy October Photos!


We had a great time getting to know new wedding pros at our Thursday Therapy Albany kick-off at Midtown Tap and Tea Room. Thank you to Nancy at Midtown Tap & Tea Room for allowing us to use their private room which is gorgeous and has its own balcony. It is the perfect spot for a luncheon, shower or rehearsal dinner. Their Chef Carla who owns Zest Catering provided us with some delicious sweets, thank you Carla!

If you haven’t heard of Thursday Therapy it is a monthly networking event for Capitol Region wedding professionals. We promote a culture of camaraderie, collaboration, and cohesion within the wedding industry. It is through our relationships with one another that the wedding industry will become stronger and our businesses will be more successful. We welcome all people in the business of weddings to join our fun and festive mixers. Thursday Therapy is a place for us to meet, mingle, and share. Our next mixer will be on November 17, 2011 at Taste. If you would like to attend please click on the link to RSVP .

Here are a few photos of our mixer provided by Kelly Faulkner of Pure Bliss Photography. Thank you Kelly!!

Monday, October 24, 2011

{Vendor Spotlight} Pure Bliss Photography


Please give us an overview of your business:
My name is Kelly Faulkner and I am the photographer/owner behind Pure Bliss Photography.  My focus is on weddings and portraiture in upstate New York and the surrounding regions.  I currently shoot on location and prefer natural light.  My style is a mixture of both posed and photojournalism.       

How long have you been in business?
About 5 years.  Although I like to think that my learning started when I got my first 35mm back when I was only 8 years old – but I’m not telling how long ago that was!   I started out in Las Vegas, Nevada and have recently relocated to upstate New York.  

When you are not taking photos you can be found......
Not taking photos??!!   Ha – then I’m either with my daughter, in front of the computer or dancing in my living room.  Or maybe doing all three at once!  Oh yeah, and once in awhile I might be with some guy known as my hubby.   

What or who inspires you?
I have two very different inspirations.   One is John Michael Cooper from Alt-f Photography in Las Vegas, Nevada.   I fell in love with his work from the moment I saw it and became an instant fan.  He is my photography God.   

My other inspiration would be one of my own personal quirks.  It sounds odd, but I’ve always been fearful that I would forget some of the most important moments in my life.  And by important, I mean my daughter’s first smile, the look my husband gives my daughter when they are playing, the laughs that I’ve shared with many friends….  Those moments are ones that I cherish and that I want to remember forever.  Time goes by so quickly – and there are too many moments where I just want time to stop.  So here I am – capturing them, for myself & for others.

Do you have any funny wedding stories to share with us?
I was at a wedding rehearsal and everyone was learning their places and having fun.  Everyone except for the ring bearer that is – he wasn’t exactly making it all the way down the aisle.   It was assumed that when it came to the big day that he would do just fine.  So his big moment came, and he started to walk down the aisle…slowly…his head looking straight down at his feet the entire time.   But hey, at least he was walking…until he got halfway.  He froze in his tracks and started backing up, without changing his position.  He walked backwards all the way back down the aisle, his head still looking down the whole time!   It was a riot!  Just goes to show that you can plan out every little detail, but you never really know what will happen on the big day!

Do you have any advice for couples planning their wedding?
Go with your gut when booking vendors.   That little voice inside your head that is saying, “Book them!”  or “Run!” is probably a better indicator than you think.   Try to enjoy the many moments throughout your day.  It’s easy to get caught up in the details, but try to pause, look at the one you love and really enjoy each other on your wedding day.   That’s why you’re there after all! 

Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
Pure Bliss Photography is the realization of my dream.   To do what I love for a living.  I am reminded of how fortunate I am every time I have the pleasure of shooting a wedding, family portraits, etc.   I feel very lucky & I hope to be able to continue to pursue my dream for a very long time…


Thursday, October 20, 2011

{Vendor Spotlight} Reverend Joy Burke


Reverend Joy Burke
Interfaith Minister / Wedding Officiant

Please give us an overview of your business:
All of my wedding ceremonies are unique, hand-crafted and thoughtfully prepared especially for each individual couple. 
I begin with a free consultation, where I invite the couple to tell me about themselves -- their plans and dreams for their wedding day.  I tell them about myself -- my background, my philosophy and my process -- and answer any of their questions.  Once we decide to move forward together, our work becomes deeper and juicier… 
I absolutely love working with couples who are intelligent, creative and upbeat about the commitment they are about to undertake; couples who don’t want their ceremony to be something to get through in order to get to the party.  Instead, I work with couples who believe, as I do, that their commitment, love and devotion IS THE REASON FOR THE PARTY! 
As I listen to the couple share their vision for their wedding and their marriage, and talk about their past and future together, I begin to form an outline for their wedding ceremony.  I will advise them in regards to elements of the ceremony such as readings, songs, rituals and traditions; and will guide them in preparing their very own personal vows of commitment. 
And I will prepare and officiate a ceremony that is one-of-a-kind, unique and personalized especially for the couple. 
As a PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) member, I am over the moon with delight that NY State has finally passed legislation that allows marriage equality for all people.  I am thrilled to report that I have officiated several same-sex marriages since NY State has recognized of this important civil right. 

How long have you been a minister?
I look forward to celebrating the 10th anniversary of my ordination in June.  I was ordained as an Interfaith minister in 2002, after having completed a two-year training program in Interfaith studies. And although being trained and ordained gives me the legal authority to officiate weddings, I’ve worked with many couples who are not affiliated with any religious tradition.  Couples with no religious or spiritual associations can have a beautiful ceremony that is individual, unique, sacred and meaningful.  

When you are not marrying happy couples you can be found......
With my sweet little Boston Terrier BabyBear.  We live in a converted 1869 Methodist church in downtown Saratoga Springs, along with my husband, Jerome.  
Marrying happy couples is my full-time occupation, however.  So when I’m not actually officiating, I’m interviewing couples, writing ceremonies, researching cultural wedding traditions and practices, updating my website, networking with other wedding professionals, and doing all the administrative tasks associated with the business.  I’m truly all weddings all the time. 

What or who inspires you?
I am inspired by the love stories I hear from couples every day.  Every time two people come to me to talk about how they intend to take a giant leap future as one in soul, body and spirit, I am renewed with hope for the future of our planet. 

Do you have any funny wedding stories to share with us?
I was called upon to fill in for an officiant who had a personal emergency.  She emailed me the script for the ceremony, I arrived at the assigned location, checked in with the bride and groom, and the wedding began.  When I asked for the rings, the bride said “Cuckoo has them.”  “Cuckoo has them?” said I, a bit confused.  And down the aisle trotted an adorable black and white Shih Tzu, dressed in a tuxedo, with the rings tied to his collar.  I bent down, untied the rings from his collar, and proceeded with the ceremony.   I have worked with some adorable ring-bearers, but Cuckoo will always hold a place in my heart. 

Do you have any advice for couples planning their wedding?
Skip the receiving line, and walk away together to be alone and enjoy your first few moments as a married couple.  This is such a tender time that will pass by in a moment, and you will be happy you took the time to acknowledge it together.  You will never say “that was a wonderful receiving line!” but you will well remember the magical feeling you share with one another immediately after exchanging your vows.  
Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
Your ceremony is the most important part of your wedding day, and there is so much more to officiating weddings than showing up and pronouncing you married.   Be sure to hire an experienced wedding officiant who will work with you to make it the perfect reflection of your love for one another. Photos of the ceremony are the next most important thing to consider for your wedding day.  A professional wedding photographer will provide you with memories for a lifetime. 

Phone: 518.583.4668

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Signature Cocktail


Your reception menu is set and the cake design is picked. It's time to focus on drinks. Add a personal touch to your bar menu by choosing a signature cocktail. Pick a drink that stars your favorite liquor, matches your color scheme, seasonal to the time of your wedding or just sounds delicious. A bonus for the budget-conscious: You can save on the drink tab by offering wine, beer, champagne, and just the signature cocktail, rather than a full bar.
Here are a few seasonal recipes...enjoy!
Toast the cold weather with a twist on the classic apple cider.
Muddle 1 teaspoon of fresh ginger (may substitute with 2 oz of ginger ale)
Add 1.5 oz. apple cider
Add 1/4 teaspoons of Chai tea powder (may substitute with cinnamon)
Add 2 oz. of Ecco Domani Chianti
Shake and strain into a martini glass or lowball rock glass (if served hot)
Garnish with ginger root or an apple slice
Smores Martini
1 1/2 ounce(s) Maker's Mark Bourbon
1 1/2 ounce(s) Butterscotch Schnapps
1 ounce(s) Godiva chocolate
Dash of cream
Marshmallow Fluff, for rimming the glass
Graham cracker crumbs, for rimming the glass
Coat the rim of a martini glass with Marshmallow Fluff. You may need to add some water to the Marshmallow Fluff in order to get the consistency to coat the rim.
Once rim is coated with Marshmallow Fluff, coat the rim once again with graham cracker crumbs.
Add all liquor and cream into a martini shaker filled with ice and shake vigorously before pouring into decorated martini glass.
Garnish with a skewered toasted marshmallow

Kir Royale
4 tablespoons Chambord
1/4 cup fresh raspberries
1 bottle moderately priced French Champagne, chilled
Add 1 tablespoon of the Chambord to each flute and a few raspberries
 Fill each flute to the top with Champagne and serve immediately

Vita Domani
Exotic lychees provide a delightful surprise in this wine cocktail, ideal for spring and summer entertaining.
Muddle 5 red seedless grapes with 1 teaspoon of sugar
Add 1 oz. of lychee juice (may substitute with pineapple juice)
Add 2.5 oz. of Ecco Domani Pinot Grigio
Add a splash of lemon juice
Pour with ice into a shaker and shake vigorously
Pour into a glass goblet
Garnish with a skewer of lychee fruit or grapes

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

{Vendor Spotlight} Lipstick N' Lashes

Please give us an overview of your business:
We are a full service salon including bridal hair and makeup trials, lash extensions, Shellac manis & pedis.  We also travel to the location where the bride and bridal party are getting ready for the big day!  We give them the first 60 miles round trip at no extra charge.  We have a staff of 14 hair stylists and makeup artists so we can accomodate large parties.

How long have you been in business?
Lipstick N Lashes began in 2008
When you are not working you can be found....
When I am not working, I can be found spending time with my kids.

What or who inspires you?
Honestly, I am inspired by so many people around me! I love to hear success stories, whether it is personal or business and that really inspires me!
Do you have any funny wedding stories to share with us?
This is funny now looking back.  When I was in a hotel room doing hair and makeup for a late morning wedding, the fire alarm went off!!  One of the bridesmaids was in the shower and the poor bride was trying to stay calm. Apparently someone burned some toast in the breakfast room!
Do you have any advice for couples planning their wedding?
My advice to couples planning their wedding is to enjoy every minute. Especially the day of.  Try not to sweat the small stuff!  At the end of the day, all of this planning comes down to you and your husband and one of the most important days in your life.
Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
We have a great team of girls at Lipstick N Lashes and we all absolutely love what we do. Meeting our brides and building that bond with them is so special and to see everything come together on the wedding day is truly magical!



Thursday, September 15, 2011

$25 Starbucks Gift Card Give Away!!


Help Thursday Therapy Albany reach 100 fans and we will give away a $25 Starbucks Card to one lucky winner. You can enter by "LIKING" our Facebook page and then commenting on this post by telling us what your favorite Starbucks drink is. Please feel free to re-post this. Good luck!!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Thursday Therapy coming to Albany

 I am excited to announce that I have partenered with Sage Wedding Pros to bring Thursday Therapy to the Albany area. A fun gathering for wedding pros to meet, mingle, share.Thursday Therapy is where business happens!

 We promote a culture of camaraderie, collaboration, and cohesion within the wedding industry. It is through our relationships with one another that the wedding industry will become stronger and our businesses will be more successful. We welcome all people in the business of weddings to join our fun and festive mixers. Thursday Therapy is a place for us to meet, mingle, and share.
Our first Albany Thursday Therapy will be held at the Midtown Tap & Tea Room on Thursday October 27th from 6-9PM. Please visit for more information.

 Sage Wedding Pros ( are owners of Thursday Therapy with hosts nationwide.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

{Vendor Showcase} Trisha Millier Photography


Please give us an overview of your business:
Trisha Millier Photography specializes in natural light photography, weddings, events, and location portraiture in New York, New England, & worldwide. I offer a host of finishing services including album design, custom printing, and online wedding galleries and I work with a wide range of eco-friendly vendors too!

How long have you been in business?
As of this year, I have been photographing weddings and events for over a decade.

What is your favorite thing about what you do?
I truly love every aspect of what I do, but Iʼd say one of the best parts of the job is connecting with couples and hearing about how they met. Each story is so unique! Itʼs also such a privilege to share in a couple’s special stolen moments and immortalize them in images.

If you weren’t a photographer what would you be doing for a living?
In another life I would have perhaps been a writer, an abstract painter, or a play actor….. with a camera ;-)

When you are not taking photos you can be found......
Hanging out with family and friends or planning the next vacation. I really value time spent with loved ones and I love exploring different places and learning about other cultures.

What or who inspires you?
Love. Strength. The human condition. I am inspired by everything around me. My family, my friends, travel, music, books, and art all find their way into my work. They all impact how I see people and things through my lens or how I approach photographing certain moments.

Do you have any funny wedding stories to share with us?
Oh boy, too many! I will say that if you ever opt to have a dog in a wedding ceremony, be sure the pooch is on board with the plan! I remember one event where a wily & leash-less tuxedo-clad Shepherd was to be the ring bearer at a ceremony held on the beach. He thought he was there for a free-style swim and launched into the ocean, rings and all! Luckily the dog and the rings were rescued by the Best Man… a part-time lifeguard.

Do you have any advice for couples planning their wedding?
Start planning early. It is not uncommon for wedding venues and vendors to book a year in advance or more. Selecting your photographers, caterers, DJs, etc. can sometimes be daunting but donʼt be afraid to ask questions! It is important to choose someone whom you connect with and feel will do the best job bringing your wedding day vision to life. Donʼt lose sight of what all the planning is for. Remember that your wedding is your union and a celebration of your love. And above all, donʼt forget to relax on The Big Day!

Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
I am a huge fan of the unusual, the funky, and the quirky & I love getting emails about not-so-common photography requests, so please donʼt hesitate to ask!

Phone: 518.683.4999

Location: Ballston Spa, NY


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Virtually Try On Wedding Dresses and More!

. has spent the past 6 months working on a virtual bridal salon and virtual beauty salon that allows the bride and bridesmaids to "try on" and narrow down their selections before even stepping in to a bridal shop or beauty salon. This cool new feature was just released today on their website. It is really simple all you have to do is is upload a head shot and full body shot of yourself and then you can have fun expirementing with all of the different looks.


The beauty salon even provides you with a shoppping list of the products you convenient! To get started on yours click here and have fun!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Sweetest Little Man

I had to share this adorable photo my little man Johnny being perfectly content spending some time in the sun at the park after a few rainy days have kept him indoors. It doesn't get much better than this! I am so thankful to be able to share these simple little moments with him.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Betsey Johnson {Too Too}

The hot pink lipstick wearing, cartwheel turning Betsey Johnson celebrated her 69th birthday by unveiling her newest fragrance TOO TOO.
The perfume is a blend of sweet passion fruit, mandarin, ginger, strawberry leaves, jasmine, patchouli and sandalwood and will be released exclusively at Sephora in October 2011. Price range is $42-$82,the bottle is absolutely adorable and would make an awesome gift for a bachelorette party, bridesmaid or just because. I know I will be picking up my cute little bottle in October!


Friday, August 12, 2011

Kiss Me, Kate

The official wedding photos of Kate Moss and Jamie Hince will be featured in this September's Vogue which hits stands on August 23, 2011. I had to share these gorgeous photos from Vogue that were captured by the super talented Mario Testino. How gorgeous is her vintage wedding gown designed by John Galliano? You can read the full article titled Kiss Me, Kate and see more photos here. Enjoy!  


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