Saturday, December 26, 2009

Congratulations on your Engagement!


Friday, December 11, 2009

Snowballs INSIDE your Winter Wedding?

Carnations get a bad wrap!

Whenever I ask a bride "what flowers do you LOVE & what flowers do you HATE"

....most are eager to say "NO CARNATIONS"!

So I'm here to say that carnations are actually
a wonderfully, beautiful and very cost effective flower!
Especially when you use them by themselves and in abundance!
For winter parties I love to use them to make "flower snowballs".

Sprinkle some fake snow - or fill containers
and then make the carnation snowballs in all different sizes
and pile them all over the place
just like you would real snowballs!

Very cute and very unexpected.
Your guests will ooh and ahhh at your unbelievable creativity!

*Projecting a fireplace video is also a great way to create a cozy atmosphere
no matter what kind of party you're throwing!

Cheers to getting married in NYC!

Monday, December 7, 2009


9AM -5PM
481 8TH AVE
WHO doesn't love a sample sale!
One of a kind samples and 25-75% off!
I know this is exciting but Brides...
PLEASE be kind to each other! LOL
You only need one gown (OK maybe two!) So be nice and share
Cheers to getting married in NYC!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Winter Wedding Wonderland in NYC

Winter Weddings have always had a magical mystic to me.
I'll admit that I'm always slightly impressed when I sit down with a bride and she tells me she wants to have a Winter Wedding. It's living life a little on the edge...knowing somewhere inside that the weather 'could' literally make the event not happen. BUT I completely understand why they take the risk! Because when you step back and look at it, Winter is a truly beautiful, magical and romantic season. From the white piles of snow, to the ever changing snowflakes, to ice, furry things and get the picture. Design inspirations are abound!
All of these elements were inspirations we used in this
Winter Weddingat one of my favorite venues Angel Orensanz.
(and all things that you can adapt into your own wedding)
We brought in iron gates which created a dramatic entryway for
the Brides arrival into the ceremony.
Hundred of hanging votive candles & icy blue lighting created the ambiance and feel of being outdoors
looking up at the twinkling nighttime stars.
*And if you look closely towards the chuppah
you'll see that its snowing inside!
(we had snow machines on the balcony creating a light dusting of snow over the entire ceremony
- a little splurge well worth the wow factor!)
Breathtaking dress with platinum detailing (that looked like delicate snowflakes) by Reem Acra
The couples elegant silhouette was incorporated into a cameo that we used on the ketubah and the cake (cake by the very talented Cheryl Kleinman)

We incorporated ice into the bars, buffet areas and vases to create unexpected surfaces and containers, while chairs and seating area had fur pillows and throws to balance the ambiance.

Lambs ears are a fun (and fuzzy) element to add to all white flowers in frosted ice vases.

While the couple had a beautiful cake to cut, they also loved cotton candy

which they shared with (themselves) and all the guests

*a note from me to you!*- Remember do whatever is YOU!

There are no rules to wedding decor...

just what is beautiful, chic and makes you happy!

Cheers to getting married in NYC!

Photos by the lovely and talented Sharon Schuster
Planning & Design by Swank Productions

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Don't Wait On Your Wedding Album

Last week I celebrated my 10 year wedding anniversary.
10 Years! be honest it still kind of blows my mind. How could 10 years have gone by already? Seriously 10 YEARS!

So when a milestone like this happens in your life (and you happen to be a wedding planner!) people tend to eagerly ask you about 'your' wedding. "What was it like?" "What was the decor like?" "Can I see your wedding album?"

And that's when the embarrassing truth comes out. Believe it or not I never had a wedding album made.

Whew...that was cathartic. I feel like I just let out some horrible wedding planner secret! Whew! I really do feel better! (lol)

Yes, even though I pined over every single detail of my wedding planning. And even though I loved my photos immensely! After the wedding I sorted the photos, put a pile together of my absolute favorites, made a few wallets and a few large prints for key family members and friends, and embarrassingly enough the rest of the photos are sitting in a beautiful box in my closet.

I kept telling myself "you really need to have a wedding album made!" "You're a wedding planner for g-d's sake!" But work (and planning other peoples weddings!) kept derailing my plans. Eventually I just resigned myself to the fact that it probably wasn't going to get done. Every, once in a while someone would beg to see the photos, so I'd riffle through the box pulling out some of my favorite shots (cursing the fact that I still hadn't made album), and then they'd go right back in the box.

So last week when a colleague of mine told me about her new venture
The Album Boutique , my ears perked right up! My anniversary had just passed and I knew this had to be a sign that it was time to finally make my wedding album! No more excuses and I was actually really excited! FINALLY, I was going to have one of those cool coffee table books (that all my clients have), but this time it'll be of 'my' wedding!

The Album Boutique is a really great site where you can go and easily create beautiful, high style, high quality, photo albums. And in my case (finally) my wedding album!
The site is super easy to use. They've got a bunch of really hot styles and great design layouts (just like the ones your friends got from the pro's). And (knowing what the prices of this type of album would normally be)the price is pretty amazing!

So while I was putting my wedding album together, I realized how many other cools ways you could use this site.

An engagement album is a great gift to give to your mate for the holidays or maybe a boudoir album (wink, wink). And if you want to give a really thoughtful bridal party gift, why not make a flip book or a coffee table album of photos of you guys together through the years. The possibilities are endless.

So I guess here's' my point. Don't do what I did and let your photos sit in a box or on a disk somewhere in a drawer. Make an album so you can share it! It's so easy and so worth it. And... because I really want you to see how cool it is (and I don't want you to wait until your 10 year wedding anniversary like I did), you can use my discount code for the upcoming week to get an extra 20% off the price! Just use the code: SWANK when checking out and enjoy!

~Cheers to getting married in NYC
photo by Jeff Vock

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Secret Serenity In New York City?

Tomorrow I'm showing a wedding client one of my favorite little secret venues for their upcoming Summer wedding. On a fairly nondescript area of 10th Ave. between 20th & 21st St. is The Desmond Tutu Center a true oasis of serenity. For a client who is looking for a venue that has magnificent lawns (yes two huge lawns!) and a Gothic-Castle-type of feel this event venue is a true gem. Things I love about it.
The lawns!

The two lawns are really nice sized and fairly level. Perfect for outdoor ceremony's and cocktail hours. There's a wonderful serenity to the outdoor space that makes you immediately forget that you could possibly be in New York City. The trees are big and bushy and beautiful and when you're there in the spring or summer time you hear birds chirping and see the butterflies in the flowers!...its sublime and very romantic! (can you tell I like this place!) The space is both a hotel and a seminary so there are rules that need to be followed, but with enough notice they are very reasonable with requests. Oh and there is also a tennis court which you can also tent if needed (which is always a great option because you've got a built in floor!)

My other favorite part of the venue is the reception hall!(the Refectory)

This room is just breathtaking. There's a regal feel you get when walking up the stairs and entering the heavy doors to this long beautiful room. I have to admit that scene in Harry Potter is exactly what I thought of the very first time I saw it. The length of the room. The two giant fireplaces at either end. The Gothic wooden chairs. The chandeliers. All amazing! Very cool and very chic! There's a lot that can be done to this venue to create some amazingly breathtaking design moments. (by the way, there are a bunch of large paintings hanging in the room, but again, with prior notice they are really great and will take them all down if you'd like)

The venue is also a hotel, which for a wedding venue can be another added nicety. The rooms and suites are all quite large and designed with what I would call handsome, modern and chic details. The rates are really reasonable and can give your guests the ability to have a little NYC vacation weekend in Chelsea!

As as wedding planner, if I'm going to rave about the place I have to also tell you the things you might not love (but honestly you can get past)

The entrance,while very nice, clean and neat is a functioning hotel front desk - and thus does feel just like one. Its small and fairly neutral, maybe even a bit dry. So to a bride thinking about a venue I can see how that might be a small concern. BUT, I think it's a minimal issue and is definitely something you can glaze over and solve in creative design ways. (I would say lets chalk it up to another one of those 'NYC wedding venue' experiences).

*I have theories you'll start to get to know as you get to know me!

In order to help my clients find the best venue, I try to get them to understand and accept this theory. Most NYC venue entrances (other than hotels) are 'gritty' and 'urban' to say the least. Not what a stylish bride might normally think of as a beautiful, cool or chic wedding entrance to her wedding venue. BUT, when you enter the venue and the event itself! - That's when the WOW moment happens! That's a huge part of what makes a NYC wedding unique for you and your guests! So, in order to really be happy with picking a NYC venue for your wedding - I think you have to be open to this theory and make the decisions based on the wow factors to come, not necessarily what the outside of the building or the area looks like.

Anyway, I digress. The other thing you may be concerned with while walking around the property is the playground. Yes, there is a playground. (again, it's a hotel and a seminary that has a nursery school. No big deal, it wont effect your event at all). If you feel the need, screens will make it disappear on the day of your event, so don't event think about it twice!

All of that being said, as a wedding designer I love the bones of this venue! Its a beautiful, peaceful, and very cool space where truly magical moment can be created. Now after writing about it, I'm even more excited to show it to my clients tomorrow! I will certainly keep you posted on the details of the visit and of course the wedding planning to come. If you have any great stories or details of events from this venue you want to share I'd love to see them!

Cheers to getting married in New York City!


Friday, November 20, 2009

Welcome NYC Knotties!

Hi there NYC Knottie!
I am SO very excited to be your New York City Wedding Specialist.
In NYC everything is Swanky and you can expect no less than that from this blog!
In the coming weeks we'll share details from some of our favorite recent wedding in addition to sneak peaks of weddings we're working on right now. I'll be sharing my favorite tips, vendors inspirations and of course I'm also here to hear all about your creative ideas and to answer any of your question!
So excited to get started!
Cheers to getting married in NEW YORK CITY!!!