Vendor Love

Posted by on May 21, 2012 in Practical Planning | One Comment

While helping couples plan their wedding day we are often asked, “Who would you hire?” The truth is that who you should hire depends on who your personal style, personality, and budget. However for me, the choices were simple. Let me tell you about who I hired and why…

1. Hair & Make-up- When it came to this, I knew that the choice for me was simple. The ladies at My Hair and Make-up have been a part of the A.a.B family since we started our business over 9 years ago. They have seen us through 3 offices, bad relationships, and career highlights. Because of this, having them do my hair is  like having your cousin dolling you up. I knew that the most important thing for me was to look good, but also feel calm. So, the choice was simple. Also, they knew me well enough to know that “natural” meant Latina natural, which is not that natural at all:) So we spent the morning jamming to WBLS on the radio and laughing while we beautified. It was exactly the morning I had hoped for.

Mariachi- My family is REALLY Mexican. That means that they thought that 4 person mariachis were a joke. My mother wanted a 7 piece band to play for the ceremony and throughout cocktails and dinner. I thought 7 pieces were a bit much for a 35 person wedding. We settled on 5 players for ceremony and cocktails. A bit unsettled by the casual style of a few of the mariachis I spoke to, I knew I could turn to Gretchen at Elan Artists to find me the perfect (and reliable) mariachi. They showed up on time, learned all of my special requests, and sounded amazing!

Yummy Food!  I am spoiled in that I get to live in a city AND work on weddings with amazing food and wine. I had a meal at a wedding (a hamachi sushi course) that made my heart sing and I declared then that Creative Edge was the best caterer in town! Through the years, they have been able to perfect my diverse clients special menus, while make them all equally awesome. So the choice was simple. Carla worked with us on creating a menu that was yummy, but simple enough for our some of our less adventurous family members palettes. Walker who works on so many weddings with us was as amazing as always and helped us get everything right. My family raved at the food…and here I thought they would be upset that it wasn’t Mexican food!

Dancing in the Streets (or at Creative Edge)- For years I have been singing the praises of DV JVC. We first met Jimmy years ago when we first started our business. We were working on a Day-of client at the time who had hired Jimmy. It was one of those days of work that didn’t feel like work. Xochitl and I danced and sang along to his fantastic music. Over the years he has worked on many weddings with us. No matter how specific the couple’s music tastes have been, he has always been able to nail it. So when it came time to choosing someone, there was really no choice. I have seen so many people micro-manage a DJ, but the truth is that you should give a little direction so that they understand what you want, and then let them do their thing! Xochitl had the music conversation for me and told him to play like it was a club…10 years ago. While not playing Rhianna or Katy Perry might not be for everyone, it was exactly what our crowd needed. Let me just say, HE HIT IT OUT OF THE PARK!! Guests came up to me DURING the party to rave. He gave us the perfect soundtrack for a great time! Amazing!!!

All photographs by Heather Waraksa Photography & Dave Robbins Photography  In case you missed it, you can see the FULL wedding on Style Me Pretty here and here.

In an effort to not bore you I will follow up with Part 2 tomorrow!

Literary Inspirations: One Hundred Years of Solitude

Posted by on Feb 8, 2011 in Blog | 4 Comments

So I keep getting everyone near and dear to me to re-read One Hundred Years of Solitude. You need to give it a chance as an adult to understand the crazy and cyclical life of the Buendia family in Macondo. It makes me think of bold colors, drama, and family. This is how I think it would translate to wedding!

From Left to Right, an Anne Bowen sexy short gown, oranges under a bouganvillea tree, a Colombian village, Simon Bolivar, hairstyle at Carolina Herrera runway show, Ines Di Santo gown, Latina Bride stock photo, US Angels flower girl dress,  Talvera tiles from Laura Hooper Calligraphy, Preston Bailey design/Marcy Blum Event, Paloma Blanca Mantilla veil.

What They Did Right: Ella & Josh

Posted by on Oct 20, 2010 in Blog | 5 Comments

Last week I posted a bit about Ella & Josh. I meant to tell you all about their lovely wedding in my last post…but I got a bit carried away with the pre-ceremony shots. Today I wanted to share with you some awesome details about their wedding day!

Ella’s mother is an Episcopal minister, so obviously the ceremony was very important to them. We spent a lot of time thinking about ways to make it personal. The first decision? To have Ella’s mother officiate!


The ceremony, as you might expect, was very personalized. The bride had a friend sing their entrance songs. Now, sometimes I get a little afraid of this because sometimes the friend who is a singer is “karaoke good” and not “bride walking down aisle good” but this friend was AWESOME! I got the chills as she started to sing. Since Josh is a graphic designer, he was in charge of the program. Not only was this program lovely and totally in the couple’s style, but it also helped people follow along with the bilingual readings.


I love when wedding have elements that are special to the couple. You want the day to reflect you and your style as much as possible. I mean, otherwise all weddings would be the same right? Below are a few elements that made the day their own. The couple saved vintage postcards and used them as their escort cards. Chinese take-out containers held the favors, but also served as a Brunch reminder for all of the guests. A dessert bar displayed their favorite local sweets with descriptions written out by the couple (and their very neat handwriting!).


DessertssMy favorite thing was something that we never even planned on. The bride’s parents only had two wedding photos that survived the Nicaraguan civil war. To honor them, the groom sketched out one of those photos for them as a thank you present. The parent were overjoyed and wanted to have it displayed at the reception. It added a special element to the reception!

portraitThanks to Heather Waraksa for the fabulous photos!

Ella & Josh- Say Cheese!

Posted by on Oct 15, 2010 in Blog | 4 Comments

First of all, I loved Ella & Josh. They were fun, creative, madly in love, and wanted to create a wedding that reflected who they were as a couple. They are both artists and live in Brooklyn and had fallen in love with Smack Mellon Gallery, but wanted to to warm it up a bit.  They also wanted to find ways to incorporate their Nicaraguan-Asian-British-Jamaican backgrounds. This sounded like something right up my alley!

I am in love with the photos that Heather Waraksa was able to capture of the day. LOVE!

Couples are sometimes torn about seeing each other before the ceremony. While I admit that the romantic in me loves the moment when I open the door and the bride and groom see each other for the first time, the practical Mayra doesn’t like to waste any part of the day! If you choose to see each other before the ceremony, you can make it special. Here are the fantastic photos that Heather was able to capture of the lovely couple.


Now, many times we try to limit the photo locations used on a wedding day. Even though we want to get different photo backgrounds, we don’t want to have our couple spend too much time in a car. Luckily for people using Smack Mellon as a venue, the area is filled with breathtaking venues and interesting spaces that give you a plethora of backdrop options. Below are Bridal Party shots taken under the Manhattan Bridge.

EllaBridalPartyShotsA few steps down are these gorgeous black and white photos of the couple.


Stay tuned for more details of their ceremony and reception!

Always a Bridesmaid: NJ Wedding Featured in Brides Magazine

Posted by on Jan 15, 2010 in Blog | 2 Comments

Yep, that is correct – Always a Bridesmaid: New Jersey is featured in the Spring/Summer 2010 issue of Brides New Jersey!!! So excited!

Brides magazine is obviously one of the most widely read bridal mags, but what’s even more fabulous is that they produce local editions to better serve guys and dolls in specific regions. When a new issue hits newsstands, I have literally seen girls ooing and aahing as they grab a copy to flip through. So imagine my ear to ear grin when I  turned to see them ooing and aahing over an AAB:NJ wedding!

I seriously love my job, and all of my weddings are beautiful – every single one has left an impression. But not gonna lie, it’s pretty awesome when others get a change to take a peek into what was a beautiful day and breathtaking night.

It was a beautiful autumn day, the weather was stunning and so was our bride. “What They Did Right” highlight reel to come… for now, the trailer – courtesy of Brides New Jersey and Heather Waraksa Photography.

Brides NJ - SpringSummer 2010 - Cover Brides NJ - SpringSummer 2010 - pg1Brides NJ - SpringSummer 2010 - pg2

On newsstands now and so much prettier (and shinier)  in person!