Monday, June 30, 2008

Engagement Parties

Engagement parties are a great way to let everyone know you are engaged and are a great opportunity to show off that new rock! But before you go crazy with the guest list, STOP! I'm sure you want to scream from the top of a mountain that you are engaged and that your fiance loves you so much he wants to marry you! Yes, that is wonderful-congrats to you...but before you go inviting every coworker, every acquaintance, and everyone you have ever met, keep one thing in mind: anyone who is invited to the engagement party should receive an invitation to the wedding.

Yes, that's true. An engagement party is celebrating the upcoming wedding so if you invite your receptionist and your accounting department, you better hope your guest list can fit them when wedding time rolls around.

My advice is this: before you throw any sort of party or send out any type of announcement about your engagement, make sure you have put together your guest list and your budget. Get family and friends names from both sides and make sure that your list is under control. If you put the list together and find that without extended family it is already at 200+ people, you may need to figure some things out. If you know that 200+ people at your favorite venue will put you way over your budget, this will help you decide very quickly about who should be invited to your engagement party and who shouldn't. Most people will understand-and the ones who don't, you probably won't really want them at your wedding anyway.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Getting your skin in shape

While you are busy worrying about all the little details of your big day, don't forget to take some time out for you and your skin. Maybe you have great skin already and all you use is the store bought stuff you have been using since you were 12 years old-if that's the case, I don't know if we can be friends.

If you're like me, you fall in love with people whose cheeks are always a bit rosy, whose skin seems to just glow, and who doesn't have dark circles under their eyes. Whenever I get a facial, they always ask, "What are your goals for your skin?" I say the same thing everytime: I want to look younger and I want my skin to look smoother and brighter. Is that so much to ask?

A recent visit to the Origins counter has me thinking that younger, brighter, and smoother skin might be an option for me afterall. I told the salesperson about my goals (see above) and she immediately picked out a few things that would work for me. She asked me what eyecream I use and I was embarrassed to admit that I do not use one (gasp-never have). At that moment I could tell she was staring at my wrinkles and crows feet thinking, "Duh, lady". So here is what I walked away with:

Origins, Never a Dull Moment, skin brightening face cleanser $17.50. Use morning and night.

Origins Never a Dull Moment, Skin brightening face polisher, $23.50, Use twice a week

Origins Youthtopia, Firming eye cream, $38.50, Use morning and night around eyes

Origins High Potency Night-A-Mins, moisture cream, $32.50, Use at night before bed.

So about $120 in skincare products. I'll post back in a few weeks with my results. Maybe I'll start getting carded again.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Wedding Dress Shopping

I hear the questions again and again-Who should I bring with me dress shopping? What should I expect? What will it be like?

The first thing you need to know is how much you have in the budget for a dress. Is this an area where you don't have a lot of flexibility or is the sky the limit? Let's say you have $1,000 or less in your budget for a dress. You still have options-in fact, you have a ton of them. I recommend starting by trying on some cheaper dresses-maybe you never thought you would buy your dress at a department store but there are some great options out there and who knows, you may find your dress for hundreds less!

Let's take a look at-gasp-bridesmaid dresses! Most of them come in white and most of them are under $300. Here's a few that could work:

These dresses are from Mori Lee,

Now lets take a look at department stores: Nordstrom has a Wedding shop with some great dresses for under $1,000.

From, JS Boutique $180

From, Mary L Couture, $308As you can see, there are plenty of dresses out there (beautiful ones) that won't break the bank.
Okay-so now you've done your online shopping, you have some style numbers and designers that you like. Now what?

Start by calling a few local bridal shops to set appointments. Going in during the week will be the best time because it won't be as busy-but regardless, make sure to set an appointment. Don't bring your entire bridal party-too many opinions, too many emotions, too many people waiting on you. The dress shopping experience should be a fun one. You shouldn't feel rushed at all-by your friends or by the bridal salon.
Once you get to your appointment, try on a few dresses that you think are **not** your style-just to see. This way you have no regrets thinking "should I have done a big dress", "Could I have pulled off a halter style". You get the idea. Then start trying them on.
Another recommendation is to not try on dresses that are above your price limit-it is almost guaranteed that you will fall in love with one of the dresses that is too much. Stay within your budget. If the salesperson is showing you dresses above your budget, leave. They have not listened to you and do not care about your budget.
As for what to wear underneath everything when trying on-I recommend something comfy and not too showy (you will have a bridal consultant in the room helping you so this is no time for your sexiest thong). If you don't wear a bra, they will have a corset top bra for you to wear under the dresses-these are fun! They cinch your waist and make you look well endowed!
If the store won't tell you the designer or the style number-probably not a good sign. Don't feel pressured to buy on the spot. Take some time and think about it. Chances are, if they are offering some fabulous discount if you buy today, they will probably honor it the next time you go in too. Just ask them.
Well that's it for dress advice for today. Just remember to have lots of fun and really enjoy being pampered!!!!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Welcome to my blog

I guess now is the time to jump on the blogtrain and get this thing up and runnin'! So...Welcome to my blog! I will talk about all things wedding and party related. Be sure to check back often as my goal is to post a few times a week. Happy planning :)

Sunday, June 1, 2008

About Me!

Hi there,

Thanks for checking out my blog and wanting to get to know me a little more.

I knew I wanted to work in the event planning industry when I was just 14 years old. My parents owned a catering business where I worked as a banquet server and, as I got older, catering manager. Even though my days started at six in the morning, I remember the energy I felt when setting up the reception site, meeting with the florist, and seeing the bride for the first time. Even after an 18-hour work day, I still got teary-eyed during every toast, every first dance, and every ceremony- I found myself eating up the details and savoring every moment.

Fast forward to today: After graduating from ASU with a degree in business, managing a full-time work schedule, planning events for a medium-sized company, and trying to live a life somewhere in between, I realized my true calling was to own my own business helping people plan the important events of their lives. When I plan weddings and events, I utilize the same multi-tasking skills that make me successful in life—organization, efficiency, and attention to detail. The greatest compliment I ever received was from a very busy bride who told me I made her excited about her wedding again! All the options of planning a wedding can be overwhelming and many brides get lost in the details. My services will alleviate your stress and get you excited again.

That said, I promise to obsess over the details of your day. I promise to contemplate every “what if” that might occur. I promise to be as excited about your colors, flowers, cake, dress, and signature drink as you are. Most importantly, I promise to give you and your family the time to enjoy your event. Let me manage the details so you can focus on what’s important: your big day!

Katie McFarlan
{p} 480-381-1093

Now serving the Phoenix and Chicago areas. Email me today to set up your free consultation!