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Inspired By: Stevie Nicks

Posted by on May 28, 2013 in Style | 2 Comments

Mayra’s husband has two lady-loves in his life: Mayra (obviously) and a one Stephanie Lynn a.k.a. Stevie Nicks. So, it was with great delight that I discovered on Sunday that 30 years apart on exactly the same day, Mayra and Stevie Nicks were born.  Clearly Aja has a thing for Geminis.  In addition to making some of the best Rock and Roll songs, like, ever (Dreams! What!? Landslide!!!!) she is also arguably one of my favorite fashion icons with an often attempted but inimitable style. (image via LadyVille)

Stevie Nicks with a Bird
So, what if you want to be inspired by this gold dusty, witchy woman on your big day? Mayra and I present to you our favorite Stevie Inspired style selections for you wedding! Since I always think that there are two Stevies- angelic, witchy Stevie and then Dark Sorceress Stevie. We offer up two boards:
Bella Donna, White Stevie Nicks
Stevie Nicks Style Inspiration
Shoes and earrings: Net a Porter Dress: Dolce and Gabbana Purse: BHLDN Cake: Martha Stewart Weddings
Then, of course, there is Sorceress Stevie:

StevieSo for all of you inspired the more dark and brooding Stevie:

Screen Shot 2013-05-28 at 2.45.22 PMRing: Cat Bird Clutch: McQueen Wedding Images courtesy Angelica Glass of the fabulously witchy Heater Waraksa’s wedding, Shoes: Valentino on The Outnet

Hello Summer!

It’s a big overcast today, but that doesn’t mean that Summer isn’t beginning! Wishing you a Happy Memorial Day and hoping to inspire you with some images of our favorite Summer Weddings.

Summer Weddings by AaB Creates
Photos, clockwise from top: Jonas Peterson, Cappy Hotchkiss, Terry Gruber, Jonas Peterson, Terry Gruber, Cappy Hotchkiss and Stillmotion (center)

WPW: Strategy to Stay Ahead of Online Conflict

Posted by on May 22, 2013 in Business Advice | One Comment

In case you missed it, Gordon Ramsey’s Kitchen Confidential turned into a THING when he fired one of the restaurants and then they went on an EPIC meltdown on Facebook to all of their “haters”- personally responding to all of the people who had been to their restaurant and complained or watched the show and were amazed at their horrifying behavior (If you missed this thing, go back and read it because they refer to the people leaving comments as “worms” hahahahahaha!)

This did make me think a lot about all of the terrors that exist for un-screwed up business owners because of things like Yelp, and now Reddit and social media in general. Though I was raised that if I have nothing nice to say, I say nothing at all (except later when I say it to Mayra) not everyone has that same policy and, as we all know, you don’t need to be sane nor reasonable to have a wedding.   Nor kind or honest- I had a photographer friend recently have an issue on an online review site where they didn’t just complain once, they pretended to be several other brides complaining also… only all with the same complaint.. (duh? fake!)

It’s unfortunately a con to the many pros (free publicity forums, cheaper marketing dollars) that the internet and social media have provided to small business owners.  It’s also unfortunate that these things aren’t weighted and let’s say, a wedding planner who has worked with you multiple times with great success isn’t somehow weighted more heavily than a one-off review from an individual/ that some sites don’t allow other vendors to recommend you.  Further, it’s unfortunate that sometimes it seems that clients don’t take their complaints to the vendors, and instead complain online… never offering up the possibility of resolution or salve.  But, it is what it is… so all we can do is be proactive and responsive, instead of re-active.  Forbes had an amazing article on strategies to manage negative reviews that is a MUST read, and I wanted to just add some things that are PRO-active….

The best Defence is a good Offense!

1) I think the online reviewing is something that is definitely more of an issue for businesses that run on volume (catering, photography, etc), so that said, when you get that email from a Happy Client after the wedding is over, consider asking them to also post that review… When they say “how can I thank you”, ask them to write you a great review.  One unhappy or irrational review is certainly moderated by a slew of great ones.

2) If you use social media in your strategy, stay positive.  If your twitter feed (or facebook page) is full of complaints and whines, and a prospective client sees that, it certainly would serve to buttress a negative review as being true and make it seem like perhaps your the problem.

3) Use social media as a showcase for your work AND your client’s satisfaction.  Take pics of your thank you notes and post them on instagram or your facebook page or blog or website.  Remember, your office is always open online and your prospective clients are doing a lot of research…you actually have a lot of control over how much positive content you can create for them to see beyond one or two lackluster reviews.

4) Actually direct people to your positive, controlled social media.  Put your twitter handle, instagram page, facebook page, etc in your signature and obviously, promoted on your website…. It’s all well and good to have these social media pieces activated, but as effective marketing, they are only as good as you make people aware of them.  (I’m taking my own advice and adding my instagram to my signature now!)

Thinking About: Fabulous Cakes!

Posted by on May 21, 2013 in Entertaining & Inspirations | No Comments

I don’t know why, but I’ve got sweets on the brain!

Some of my favorite cakes from our weddings over the years! First up, this pretty peach number from Nine Cakes.Fabulous Cake from Betsy at Nine Cakes

I still LOVE this Ron Ben Israel cake even years later:

Ron Ben Israel cake

Ron Ben Israel cake

LOVE, love, love this sweet as pie teeny cake, also from Ron Ben Israel:
Tiny Cake from Ron Ben Israel
Cheryl Kleinman Display!
Adore this display from Cheryl Kleinman
And, of course, my total FAVE for last: Mayra’s Cake from Betsy at Nine Cakes.
MAYRA & AJA - WEDDING - 00206

Making Magic with a Glass Vase: DIY Vase Decor

Posted by on May 17, 2013 in Entertaining & Inspirations | One Comment

So, as most of you who frequent this blog know, for years we’ve shunned away from DIY projects for weddings because, well, Hey, isn’t that what people pay us for?  However, recently we’ve had a change of heart and let me explain why:  First, we believe in Couture Living whenever possible and, sadly, it’s getting harder and harder to have unique anything (wedding, shower, brunch) while relying on solely store bought items- so why not help inspire some custom details?  Secondly, I realized that part of the point of having this blog is to share some of our brains/experiences and the truth is, I don’t remember the last time we designed a wedding where SOMETHING (if not many things) were not somewhat alternated from the “in store” model (painted/sewn, etc).  Finally, Mayra and I entertain ALL THE TIME, and realized that many of you probably do too, and well, we thought we’d share some ideas to kind of make your friends think that you’re even more “creative” than they already do without too much heavy lifting.  We pledge to never showcase a product that is simply too tedious/ that we wouldn’t actually do ourselves.  And so, without further ado:

How to Make a Whatevers Glass Cylinder from Michaels into something Cool: Rope Wrapped Vase

When designing the Bride’s Live Wedding, we just couldn’t find the “right vase” for Briana and Jason’s centerpiece. Nothing seemed unique enough or beach-y enough. So, we decided to create our own solution and Created these awesome Rope-Wrapped vases with a $5 glass cylinder and some rope.  Perfect for a Rustic, Nautical or Beach Vibe.  You will need:

1/4″ Thick Rope (amount will vary on size of cylinder)

Glue Gun

Straight Blade or Heavy Duty Sciccors

Glass Cylinder.

Starting at the Bottom of the vase, affix your rope to the glass with the glue gun, and begin to wrap the rope around the vase so that it’s taught and there is no space between the “rows” of rope. Occassionally, tack the rows together with your glue gun.  When you’re reached your desired height, trim the rope and affix the end with the glue gun to the vase (or, if you want to re-use the vase, just affix the rope to the rest of the rope, b/c it will create a kind of “vase cozy” and you can just slip it off).DIY "Rope Wrapped" vase for Rustic or Beach-y weddings

DIY Lace Wrapped Vase

This can be replicated with fabric, but lace is nice for a more romantic or vintage look (or, in black, even a bit gothic). This is a great way to add interest and even some more color to your table top without too much lift… and it’s definitely great for hosting a baby or bridal shower since, as you’ll see below, it’s SO FRIGGIN’ EASY. You will need:

Lace, approximately as wide as your vase is TALL (the amount will vary on how many vases you are covering.

Glue Gun

Scissors

Glass Vase.

Measure the lace around the vase, while pulling the lace taught and cut to minimize overlap of the ends (as much as possible, try and cut the lace to that the pattern matches… this will minimize the seam!) . Trim at desired place, lay the lace flat, place the vase on top and hot glue gun one end in a straight line.  Pull the other end around (taught) and glue the seam together. Voila!DIY Lace Wrapped Vase
DIY Spray Painted Glass Vase
I won’t insult your intelligence by writing about “How to spray paint a glass vase” except to say that you just do it. This is a great way for one time use vases to have a modern look and I particularly like to use it when I’m going monochromatic a la my birthday dinner below:
DIY Spray Painted Vases
Of course, We’re very happy to walk you through these and show you the final results!  You can watch the video in English on our increasingly awesome (and hilarious) You Tube Channel.  However, I frankly suggest you watch the Spanish Language version below because a) Mayra’s Spanish is amazing and b) Mine is not, so I just mime everything like a Stewardess.