Real Weddings

Shannon & Brent

Who proposed to whom? Brent proposed to me.

How did you get engaged? We had been happily living in sin together for two years and we were packing for a January weekend away at our favorite little hotel in Philadelphia. He was acting so oddly, I could see him perspiring a little bit on his face, pacing around our bedroom and I thought, Hmmmmmmmm, something is up. I was in our closet grabbing clothes to pack and I turned around to put them in my bag, and he was standing right behind me. He said, I can’t wait until we get to Philadelphia, I wanted everything to be perfect, but I can’t wait. I’m sorry. He pulled out a little vintage ring holder from his pocket, opened it up… and said, I love you, will you marry me? And of course, I said yes. Standing in our little closet, in our little bedroom, in our little house, it was perfect.

Wedding date? June 10, 2017

Venue? Sombrero Beach, Marathon Key, Florida

Coordinator? Moi

Catering? We had dinner reservations for two after our ceremony at the Butterfly Cafe on Marathon Key.

Cake? No thank you. Key Lime Pie!

Cake Topper? LOTS OF WHIPPED CREAM!

Photographer? Oh we chose a cute, quirky couple that took all of the pictures

DJ? No DJ, we were serenaded by ocean waves, the island wind, seagulls… and some little boy chasing after an eel swimming around in the reef just off to our right.

Florist? Me again! I decided that I would make my own bouquet out of crepe paper flowers.

Hair/Makeup? Me: Thanks to mother nature I had some fresh sunshine on my face, a few loose curls and mascara and done. He: Thanks to poor judgement with head protection and the sun, he was sporting a mean tan line.

Anything else you’d like to say?
A little history of us. We met when we were in 2nd grade. We graduated high school together in a small town in rural Pennsylvania. He driving his 1989 Trans Am and sporting a moustache, that could be mistaken for a dirty lip and I with my acid washed jeans and hair lacquered half way up to Jesus. Yes, my friends, it was 1990. We never dated in high school, he hung out with much cooler people (upperclassmen) than I. He had no time for me, and even hung out with my older brother! Ahhh unrequited love. He reconnected with me in 2010 through the magic of Facebook. I was in the Navy in Virginia Beach and he was living in Pennsylvania, we were both newly divorced. He sent a message to me and I thought Go pound sand buddy, you lost your chance a long time ago. But he wore me down and I decided it wouldn’t hurt to be friendly. Besides, it was more than a little flattering that he was interested in me. But I was busy finding myself again after my divorce and wasn’t interested in any sort of relationship. So, we were just friends for a few years and dated other people. I finally retired from the Navy in 2012 and moved to New York to be near family and to figure out the next chapter of my life, about 3 hours away from Brent in Pennsylvania. We were still friends, communicating through text messages… eventually that turned into phone conversations that started lasting longer and longer each time we talked. We eventually decided that he would come visit me in New York, so he drove up to visit me early in January 2013. He stepped out of his car, thankfully not the 1989 Trans Am, and it was the first time we had seen each other since we had graduated in 1990. We spent the day together driving around the area where I was living, visited with my parents, and we went out to eat – our first date.  When he left the next day, we knew that was it. I knew I had finally met the person who set my soul on fire and made me feel deep comfort all at once, this was the love I had hoped for all my life. And he felt the same way. Yippeeeeeeee! I moved to Pennsylvania the following month to go back to school for Graphic Design and to live happily, in sin, ever after. 🙂

Wedding Planning Essentials · Weddings & Receptions

Modernist

Causally arranged, repetition and simplicity are hallmarks of modern style showcasing minimalistic whites, dotted with shimmering votives, and enhanced with simple florals combine to create a table setting with a decidedly modernist vibe.

Accented with silver, white on white is a classic recipe for modern chic. Clean lines, unfussy elements create a setting that is both trendy and polished.

 

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City Style Tag, City Style Sticker, and XOXO Tin

To add an additional layer of personality, take traditional glassware and make it modern with a fresh new silhouette and custom message. A custom wine glass is perfect for giving to your guests as favors and adding a little something extra to your table decor!

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City Style Wine Label
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Personalized Stemless Wine Glass

Greet your guests with these impressive, and unique, twisted fork handle stationery holders placed at their seat. A perfect fit for a city style modernist theme.

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Twisted Fork Vintage Inspired Stationery Holders

Add an additional personalized layer to each place setting with these city style menu cards. Uptown flair with a subtle modern twist. The simple wrap of ribbon and a lavender detail finish off the look.

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City Style Menu Card, XOXO Tin with City Style Favor Tag
and White Satin Ribbon

Sometimes all a wedding reception needs is a little flicker of candlelight to set the mood and these glass votives with a reflective silver interior add the perfect glimmer.

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Classic Glass Votive Holder in Silver

Do what you love, keep it simple and remember this is your day. Each detail reflects you. A perfect balance of fresh and functional. Simple, neutral and anything but boring.

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City Style Menu Card, City Style Favor Tag
Wedding Planning Essentials

What’s In (and What’s Out) when it comes to Working with Wedding Professionals

 

David and I do not believe that you need to have any particular thing / ritual / color or song for your wedding.  We do believe that whatever you do decide to include and however you decide to express yourselves through your wedding and reception, you ought to be able to do it with class, with style, with confidence and within budget!  Your wedding day ought to be FUN!  Everyone you hire should be focused on making your wedding day uniquely yours & the best day it can be.

I get upset when I come across wedding industry pros who willingly take advantage of a newly engaged couple’s lack of experience in planning a wedding to push their own agenda. A recent article written for a well-known publication provided wedding style comments from various wedding professionals, dismissing some wedding trends and elevating others.  It pushed me to think about how we each can identify & hire passionate, competent, and trustworthy wedding pros.  And in the spirit of the article that drove my motivation to write this, I’ve used their same “what’s out” and “what’s in” approach.

What’s OUT:   Wedding professionals who sermonize about “tired” trends — to be swept away with last year’s brides and grooms — in order to make way for a fresh crop of this year’s recruits who arrive flush with cash.  These pros take advantage of a couple’s inexperience and some insecurity, and sell “the latest trends” because “on-trend” drives compliments and new business – for them.

What’s IN:  Wedding professionals who listen to their clients, provide guidance and advice without preaching, and believe that earning their client’s trust by putting the couple’s interest & vision first is their priority.  These pros are both confident and modest.

What does “a trending wedding professional” look like in practice?  Here’s my list of the top 10 characteristics in trending wedding pros you absolutely will love working with…


TOP 10 Wedding Pro Characteristics

10.  Pros are careful to not take more clients than they can serve confidently, providing their highest level of service to every couple;

9.  Pros NEVER assume they know “what is best” for a particular couple – they listen more than they talk;

8.  Pros treat all couples, gay and straight, with equal respect — and back up “their talk” with gender neutral sales materials and contracts;

7.  Pros do not gossip;

6.  Pros are happy to share their success;

5.  Pros never allow anyone to feel as though they just asked a stupid question;

4.  Pros have no fear of having you shop around;

3.  Pros sometimes say no, knowing that they are not the best fit for every couple;

2.  Pros admit that sometimes they don’t have all the answers, but will always go find the answer if they don’t know.  Eagerness to continue learning is key;

1.  Pros still have A BLAST doing what they are doing – and it shows.

That’s how you’ll spot a real wedding professional.

DIY · How to's

Assembling a Mini-cube Favor Box

You’ve got this!  A few simple steps and your mini-cube favor boxes will be ready for you to fill.  If you ordered lots of these, stop reading and go find a friend or two to do this with you before continuing.  You do not need glue, tape or scissors.  You do need to take your time and follow these instructions carefully for the first few boxes.  Once you’ve got a few done you will be able to adjust these instructions to your abilities – including any perfectionistic tendencies you may have…like me.  Send us a picture when you’re done!  And thank you Event Blossom for these images.  David and I work with many wedding favor wholesalers and Event Blossom’s attitude is reliably helpful and reasonable.  We believe strongly that attitude is important.  It’s a feeling — an approach — and we know our attitude influences everything from your satisfaction with Taylor Street to your box building success.  So are clear instructions…

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Begin with the end in mind – so now that you know you have a two piece box to create…let’s build the top first.  And no – do not skip over the pre-folding step.  It helps make the finished box much more square if you take the time to pre-fold creases.  That said — you also don’t want to go over the creases too heavily as it will damage the glossy finish on the paper. 1025HowTo1

Last steps for the top…

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Now for the box itself…

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Do these next steps in order – the big tab must be last to be folded down…

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Done!1025HT20-764x1024

Don’t forget to send us that image – info@tsfavors.com.

Gratitude for Beginners · The Street

A Little Inspiration Goes A Long Way

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I haven’t written a post in awhile  — since November 8 I haven’t felt inspired, honestly — not an okay space to set up shop and wallow in for long.  So, just in case you too find yourself motivation-challenged, I’ve linked to three recent posts from a few of my favorite sources that are helping me to get up and go — to work.

Parisian Walkways:  Passage du Grand-Cerf, by Jeffrey T Iverson

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I love reading this online magazine.  I mean – it’s Paris!  But more than the city itself, this article’s inspiration comes from the small shop owners, who have taken a chance, focused on their trade, and believe in the value of a well-made item.  These artisans take pride in their work and the master-craft traditions they preserve. Many of them also set up shop originally when this passage was a neglected eye-sore and stuck with it.  These stories helped to reenergize my passion for Taylor Street Favors, our wedding favors and gift business, whose inclusive message may become less accepted, making it ever more important for us to stick with it and promote.  

 

 What I’ve Learned In 38 Years Of Surrounding Myself With Confident People

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This inspiring article, from Fast Company contributor, Michael Thompson, ticks off 7 qualities he’s picked up from the confident people who have been a part of his life.  I was nodding in agreement as I read.

Finding joy in others success, and celebrating it with friends and family, is so important – both to your friend [duh!], and to your well-being as well.  The act of celebrating is empowering – doing so makes you, your friends, and family happier and stronger.  

As Michael quoted in his piece from Kareem Abdul Jabbar, truly confident people just want “to play the game well and go home”.  In the wedding industry, trend spotting and trend-following are omnipresent, so Kareem’s notion of not requiring other people’s approval really resonates with me, which connects me to my third inspirational piece, on…

 The 17 Hottest Wedding Trends for 2017

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Articles pertaining to trends in this industry are  e v e r y w h e r e, and not surprisingly  often repeat the same tedious do’s and dont’s of the season. David and I believe strongly in helping you create a ceremony, a reception, or a party that feels authentic to you. We believe that just because some look, color or theme is trending does not mean it is worthy of following or repeating. However, we don’t live under a rock. We do like, and need to have, an awareness of what is going on in this industry to be able to keep our store fresh and relevant.  I think this article does a good job of providing an overview without gushing or selling you on any particular view.  Most importantly for me – these trends are not a surprise, and I am realizing David and I are getting quite adept at hand-selecting items that are well made, a good value, and will be interesting to our customers.  Woo hoo!

Here’s to confidence in all you — and we — do. 

Let’s aim high and do this.

Real Weddings

Seaside Wedding: Michael & Barry

Michael & Barry were married on August 6, 2016 at Gearhart Beach, Oregon.

Who proposed to whom? I Proposed to Barry

How did you get engaged? We went on a 4 day cruise through the San Juan Islands with friends for Barry’s birthday and in the sculpture garden in Roche Harbor, on San Juan Island, the question was popped.

Wedding date? August 6, 2016

Venue? Reception: McMenamins Gearhart Hotel, Wedding: Gearhart Beach, Oregon

Coordinator? Amanda Wolf

Catering? Gearhart Hotel

Cake? Laurie Clarke Cakes

Cake Topper? Sammy’s Flowers

Photographer? Donny Mays Photography

DJ? Spencer Crum

Florist? Sammy’s Flowers (sammysflowers.com)

Hair/Makeup? We are naturally that beautiful (none needed) LOL

Macaroons? Didn’t have any

Weddings & Receptions

Wedding Photos and Our Wedding Album – Advice from a Groom

 

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Wedding photos have [finally] arrived!  Now that bills are paid (ugh) and thank-you’s are mostly written (I know, I’m sorry) we must decide on whether and how to create a wedding photo album.

The “whether to” decision is an easy one for us – Yes.

Digitals are great, but digital images are never going to be discovered by your children or grandchildren in the attic.  You will never just happen upon your digital images while sorting through a stack of books left untouched for too long. There is nothing special and almost no intimacy involved in gathering around a device to stare at images that are too small to appreciate.  Wedding photos are best experienced as part of a narrative — a story that unfolds in a deliberate sequence with one image building upon and informing those before, after and around it.

So as David and I review our images, reflect on the day, and decide how we may want to remember the moments, the wedding album creation & production decision looms — influenced by budget, creative energy, available time, and technological know-how.

I’ve summarized our wedding album website alternatives into 3 price brackets.  All of these websites have beautiful wedding album examples to get your creative juices going.  Disappointingly, however, none have a same-sex couple prominently displayed in their gallery. Time for some new images everyone.

$$$$ – Custom design/print/bind service.  We select the basic layout and the cover, upload the images, provide suggestions for any copy we may want to include with particular images or on certain pages and then let someone else create and print.  Cost:  Wide range based on number of pages and cover type, but $600 to $1700 covers most of the options available.  Yikes.

Two companies we are considering: blendedmotion.net & storybookpages.com

Blended Motion is a turnkey provider, whereas Storybook Pages focuses on the design component and then allows you to select the print/bind vendor from a list of companies they work with.  Both of these companies work primarily with wedding photographers, but they have expanded their service to “retail” as well.

$$1/2 – DIY design using templates/print/bind service.  We select from a wide range of pre-formatted designs, most with some customization available, upload the images in the size and position and order we want, then let them produce based on the paper and cover we select. Cost:  $200’ish to $750 covers most options available.

This is a more competitive market space, and there are a number of companies.  Each of these 3 are worth considering – each with “a look” and particular software & production strengths.

  • Milk wedding focused, minimalist look, basic options, not a budget buster, quality product
  • Blurb oriented to commercial / professional productions, wedding albums as a side business, flexible design system with default templates for the novice
  • AdoramapixTemplate based with plenty of design flexibility, widest price range based on paper type, page count and cover material

Note:  We are not considering BrideBox. Why? There was no “bride” in our wedding.  Might be a clever sounding name, but it’s not very welcoming to my husband and me.

$ – DIY design using templates/print/bind service.  The primary difference between this price point and the category preceding is that these two providers are not providing a wedding specific product.  Their design flexibility is more limited and their production options far more limited. Their product, however, is considered high quality with very fast turnaround. Cost:  $100 and under

  • Apple Photo book we are an Apple family.  I was a reluctant convert, but have come to fully embrace (accept) the Apple way of life.  We have used this service before to make albums of family events and the results have been beautiful.
  • Snapfish & Shutterfly excellent for the novice/non-tech user, low cost, high quality, very limited design flexibility, quick turnaround.  You don’t have to own an Apple.

We are going to go-down-the-middle and use Adoramapix.  We will share the end result when we’ve got it to show.  For us, it’s a good balance of cost, time spent and design flexibility.

Whatever you decide:

Don’t overspend/overthink. Better to get your favorite photos printed in a scaled down book than have no book at all.

Do not let too much time pass.  Your wedding album project will get lost in the “to-do’s” forever…and the story you wanted your wedding photos to tell won’t be telling any stories at all.

Real Weddings

Santa Margarita Ranch Wedding: Alexis & Lisa

Alexis and Lisa were married on February 20, 2016 at Santa Margarita Ranch in Santa Margarita, California.

Who proposed to whom? I, Alexis, proposed to Lisa.

How did you get engaged? I had a hotel room, lined the entrance with candles and in the room had 25 balloons with reasons why I love her attached to the bottom of each one. The ring was in a big gift box and when she opened it I took it and proposed.

Wedding date? February 20, 2016

Venue? Santa Margarita Ranch

Coordinator? We coordinated and planned our wedding.

Catering? Dickies BBQ

Cake? Sea breeze cupcakes

Photographer? Nadine Solwick of Cheetah Photography

DJ? DJ Brian Solwick – DJ Cheetah

Florist? Bought and put together our own flowers and centerpieces.

Hair/Makeup? Hair and make up was done by Lisa’s sister Amy Friesen and our friend Ruby Rodriguez.

This was a totally DIY wedding. We loved planning, building, and decorating everything. We would do it all over again if we could! – Alexis

Real Weddings

Joshua Tree Wedding: Jeremy & John

Jeremy Constantine Lucido + John Constantine Lucido were married on May 2nd, 2015 at Sacred Sands in Joshua Tree, California.

First Dance.

Who proposed to whom? I proposed to John.

How did you get engaged? After 9 months of falling in love, new experiences, meeting friends and family, and planning the names of our future children, I asked John to marry me. I took John to Joshua Tree, CA to “take photos” for my magazine. After the photo shoot, I handed John my camera to take a look at the photos and as John scrolled through, he found a photo with the question and ring:

“John, Will you marry me?” -Jeremy

John said yes.

Wedding date? May 2nd, 2015

Venue?Sacred Sands

Catering?Soho Taco

Cake?Bring Me Sugar

Grooms Suits?Topshop

Grooms Shoes? – Stacy Adams

Boutonnieres?EUCCA Floral Studio

Photography? – Gabe Ayala

Stationary?John Constantine Design

Succulents?Haus of Cactus

The Street · Weddings & Receptions

You Put a Smile on Our Face…

David and I have been shopping for rings, so I have been getting lots of wedding band and engagement ring follow-up emails.  Most of these ads are focused entirely on brides — reflecting the reality of the wedding industry I know — but certainly not at all helpful or appealing to me.   Most barely acknowledge the existence of men and none were thoughtful, or proactive enough to consider two brides or two grooms…until now.

This ad is  A W E S O M E !   It arrived this morning from Blue Nile.

Thank you Blue Nile for your inclusive advertising!  Made our day here at Taylor Street.


Blue nile ad
Blue nile inclusive ad

We will shop your store and encourage modern couples to do the same.