Today’s Real Engagement features Shannon and Kurt who is currently working as a police officer for the SFPD. These two Giants fans have strong ties to the city of San Francisco and chose Chinatown and the AT&T Park perimeter as their backdrop.
The couple actually went to first grade together, and then went to the same high school ten years later, but never spoke to one another. Five years later when they graduated in 2007, a little thing called MySpace was responsible for bringing them together.
Shannon remembers seeing Kurt’s picture and thought how much more handsome he had gotten over the years. Something came over her so she friend requested him, and he accepted. They started chatting, and it was as if they had been friends all along, when in reality they had never spoke!
The San Francisco Giants came up in conversation and because Kurt was such an avid fan he suggested they go to a game together. Seven years later on Halloween the two were engaged. Shannon said yes after Kurt proposed by carving out pumpkins that read, Marry Me.
Green is becoming a popular color for weddings, no matter what time of the year. Below are a few green wedding ideas that incorporate the shade of green known as Pantone Lucite Green that will add a romantic touch to your wedding celebration. Add a pop of deep rich burgundy flowers to your green table setting, or pink and blue hues to your bridal bouquets for a romantic celebration you will never forget.
This week’s Real Wedding features the gorgeous wedding of Lindsay and Cory that was held at Holman Ranch in the stunning Carmel Valley in Northern California.
In Cory’s own words…
My favorite part of our wedding was the moment when the rain stopped, the clouds broke, and the sun started to shine down on my beautiful bride as she walked down the aisle with a glowing smile on her face. It was then that I knew that no matter what circumstances we faced, we’d be able to tackle them hand in hand. Oh, and of course dancing together for the first time as Mr. and Mrs. at the reception was a feeling that I’ll never forget!
In Lindsay’s own words…
Planning a wedding can be stressful for anyone, even – or perhaps particularly! – when you work for an amazing company like Wedding Paper Divas. Spending my days reading wedding blogs, pinning beautiful wedding inspiration, and looking at stunning invitation samples (all in the name of work – I promise!) was both inspirational and overwhelming. When every color scheme and design looks fantastic, it’s hard to pinpoint what will make your wedding feel like you.
I am a very lucky bride, as Cory wanted to be an integral part of the wedding planning process. We started by thinking about what elements meant the most to us, and came up with a few key ideas:
Having the people we love there to celebrate with us. This helped us with venue selection and planning a realistic budget.
Thanking those same people for making it to our wedding – it takes time and money to travel, we know that! We didn’t look at our wedding as only our day. Instead, we really tried to think about how we could make it a truly enjoyable experience for each and every one of our friends and family.
Spending time and energy on the details that mattered to us, not just every single detail. Some things just have to be let go.
Keeping these three points in mind helped us both stay true to ourselves throughout the planning process. It’s so easy to feel that you should do everything, so this was a good gut check for what was truly important for our day. I have zero regrets about our wedding day – and it rained up until 1 hour before the ceremony!
I love beautiful typography and delicious cocktails, so a signature cocktail sign was a must have. I loved being able to coordinate that with our cocktail napkins, and create what truly felt like a unique cocktail hour for our guests.
I wanted a blend of playfulness and tradition, which is why our dinner featured assigned seating with place cards, but was accented with gold animal statues. Tradition with a twist! I had a similar approach to our invitations. I wanted a very traditional invitation, and Cory wanted a more whimsical design. We compromised with a beautiful foil stamped design that still had the traditional invitation wording template. We even incorporated a hilarious picture of us in masks on the back of our welcome dinner invitation (it fell on Halloween, so it was a mandatory costume party!). The combination was both beautiful and entertaining.
Another favorite twist on tradition was our first dance. We chose a cover of The Beatles’ I’ve Just Seen a Face, which is a little more upbeat than your usual slow dance.
I loved being able to really customize exactly what I wanted for my stationery. We have family and friends all across the country, so we knew many wouldn’t be able to make it. We worked with Wedding Paper Divas designers to adjust an RSVP card to include with our Save the Date. It was unusual, but it really helped us with our planning to know who thought they could make it, and who was already out.
The food was also important to us, and our caterers knocked it out of the park. Local, healthy, and innovative food is what we love in our day-to-day lives, and we were so impressed with what they created. Also, I’m obsessed with French fries (that’s local, healthy, and innovative, right??) and devoured a plateful during our reception.
Working in social media, Instagram is a huge part of my life. That may sound silly to say, but it was something we wanted to embrace and incorporate into our day. We loved seeing the pictures our guests were sharing through our hashtag!
The people you hire for your wedding day are so important. Having a team you can trust makes the day go so much more smoothly, and we really couldn’t have picked a better team. From our incredible coordinator Allison to our dreamy photographer Melanie, I was blown away by their talent. Of course, we put a lot of time and effort into researching our vendors. I think I looked at over 50 different photographers!
Overall, the day is about the moments that mean something to you. My uncle, who is close to both Cory and me, officiated our wedding. His personal touch – and amazing Southern accent – gave a deeper meaning to our ceremony. I also love that Cory and his groomsmen wore bowties, as my grandfather wore a bowtie every single day. Cory’s sister is an incredible hair and makeup artist, and she was my rock throughout the day! Our sisters made up my bridal party, and that family spirit really kept the day running smoothly.
Of course, the most amazing part of our day was our vows to each other. I will never forget looking into Cory’s eyes and hearing him speak about our love and our future together. It was the perfect mix of emotion and humor!
Today we have acclaimed celebrity wedding planner and Wedding Paper Divas style partner Mindy Weiss for our Industry Influencer series. Mindy is the leading wedding planner to the stars with over 20 years of experience planning weddings and events for Hollywood personalities like Jessica Simpson and Eric Johnson, Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi, and more.
How did you get your start in the industry? – I actually got my start in the stationery business! In fact, my very first job out of college was at a stationery store called William Ernest Brown, where I designed custom invitations and stationery. After that, I started a custom invitation company with my best friend. That’s when some of my clients started asking me to plan their parties. One gig led to another and now here I am! It’s been so great to get back to my roots while designing my collection for Wedding Paper Divas.
Favorite perk of the job? – I just love being a part of such a memorable event in couples’ lives and helping turn their dreams into reality. Weddings are such joyous occasions and being able to help celebrate a couple’s journey is just so amazing!
What are your favorite wedding trends right now? – Oooh, there are so many fun things going on in wedding right now! Trends like green living walls, color blocking and lace are going to be big this year. I actually go over all my predictions in this fun video!
What is one thing you tell all your brides-to-be? – Stay true to your own style. It’s always fun to incorporate elements from the hottest trends but don’t be afraid to use some of those classic ideas you’ve always dreamed of. At the end of the day, your wedding should be a reflection of your love story and your style.
Describe your own personal wedding style. – I’m just a lover of vintage and lace! I so appreciate modern but my personal style leans towards mixing it up. I’m a fan of eclectic pieces filled with garden roses and peonies.
What does your exclusive stationery collection for Wedding Paper Divas say about you? – My collection represents so many trends and themes—there’s something for almost everyone! It shows that I like to think outside the box and keep up with the latest trends but still encourage couples to represent their own style.
What are the most memorable events you’ve planned? – My favorites are when we are hired to create an event on a vacant lot! That means bringing it all in! From toilets to flooring we are able to create our own environment for the couple.
Chicago, Chicago, that toddling town! This week’s Real Engagement features Kelly and Christopher’s romantic Windy City engagement session. The beautiful Lake Michigan lakefront and the Willis Tower make for a stunning Chicago engagement photo shoot backdrop.
Chris and Kelly met in Chicago, so it was only fitting that they took their engagement photos at a few places they hold near and dear to them, including the Chicago restaurant and bar institution of P.J. Clarke’s and Lincoln Park South Pond, at North Avenue Beach, where the couple met playing football four years ago, and was also the scene of the wedding proposal!
The self proclaimed Chicago lovers will be tying the knot this September in the city they adore most at the Blackstone Renaissance Hotel in downtown historic Chicago.
Chicago photographer Jill Tiongco captured their special day. Take a peek at this gorgeous engagement photo shoot!
Which one of our Save the Dates would work the best with this couples photos?
Weddings can be a hallmark memory for everyone. The bride and groom are likely to remember it for the rest of their lives and they’ve entrusted you as the best man with a large part of it. This statement isn’t meant to stress you out, it’s there to help you do your best and avoid embarrassment. As a best man, you have the obligation to deliver a great speech. With some preparation and a bit of creativity, you can give the speech of your life. This list can offer you some simple tips on writing, etiquette, and best man speech ideas.
When you’re getting ready to write, it’s important to keep in mind that this day is about the bride and groom and that they want you to deliver a nice and short speech reflecting your own thoughts. Pulling some cliché speech off the internet is not likely to sound like you and it won’t come out right. You also want some time to prepare your best man speech in advance and to have some time memorize it. Once you’ve finished writing, you can have a notecard of bullet points to keep you on track while you’re reciting. When you’re done, you can even try practicing in a mirror to help you sound as natural as possible.
To get started, it’s a good idea to just jot down a few things about how you know the groom. Maybe you can think of your first meeting in school, or how he was a helpful coworker or just some general history between the two of you. You don’t necessarily have to include everything, it’s just a way to help get you to start thinking about speech ideas. Think about when he first started dating his wife and any good qualities about her that you could potentially mention. Avoid any reference towards old relationships while you’re writing down information.
As you begin thinking about ideas for your best man speech, find a way to come up with a powerful first line. This is what is going to grab your audience’s attention and keep them there. You can choose to go a normal route and thank everyone for coming, blessing the wedding party, and by jumping straight into a memory. There’s nothing wrong with this, but it would be nice if you could come up with something a bit more original. A funny (and appropriate) joke is a great way to open. Or you could try a quote about marriage, or have some fun with it and get creative.
Once the memories start coming up, this is the time to look for something funny or sentimental. Preferably you can offer a story that involves both the bride and the groom, but you can pick one or the other at first. Try and loop it back full circle and make sure you include both parties. This is the time to throw in an anecdote or two. A personal story can really help you connect with your audience and to show how much you mean to the bridal party. Make sure that the story you offer is light-hearted and fun. It shouldn’t be meant to embarrass anyone and it shouldn’t show you in a mean light. After that, you can offer up any advice or good wishes to them. However, don’t say something you don’t believe in. Whatever you say, make sure it’s coming for your heart.
As you’re writing, make it sound like it’s something you would naturally say. The goal is not to stand up and recite an essay to the crowd. You want to make your words sound powerful and natural. This is why the short stories or personal accounts are so important. They are a re-telling of you and your friend and they should sound like happy times. Just give a general overview of your friendship and then find a way to connect with the couple.
By now you should be wrapping it up. Most people don’t want to hear a speech drown on for ten minutes. Keep it short and simple and around 2-4 minutes long. Other best man speech tips would be to avoid any inside references. Most of your audience won’t get it and they will immediately tune out. Make sure that all stories you mention are clean enough so that great-grandma in the back won’t be offended. Once you feel you have summed everything up pretty well, you can raise your glass and have everyone toast to the wonderful couple.
While you’re at the wedding, it’s important to stay sharp and prepare for the speech. This means that you should have any notecards with your best man speech ideas and that you will be ready to speak. You should also stay away from booze up until this point. No one wants to hear a drunk guy with a microphone ramble about the good times. When you are asked to speak, make sure to begin in a loud and clear tone. It will be extremely hard to listen if no one can hear you or can’t understand what you’re saying. Now would be the time to pull out your notecards and use them as need be. However, you should try not to read word-for-word. You should have already practiced speaking out load and you shouldn’t need more than a few bullet points to help guide you along. If you’re talking and you notice that the crowd is very antsy, see if you can make your speech even shorter. Maybe take out one story and people will be much happier to listen if it doesn’t last all day.
In the end, to deliver a great best man speech you need to be prepared and polite. Writing out your speech beforehand is an excellent way to get ready and having bullet points can help you stay on track while delivering the speech. Remember to keep everything light-hearted and fun and try to keep the speech short and sweet. Being yourself can really bring home the speech and make everyone in the audience feel connected. Make sure to focus on the bride and groom and everyone will leave with lasting memories of your wonderful speech.