Thursday, November 25, 2010

Taking a Moment to Give Thanks

I am thankful for so many things this holiday season. In addition to all the normal things: heath, family, and amazing friends, there is so much more. Finishing Touch has grown tremendously in 2010 - we've more than doubled the number of weddings since last year! And none of this would be possible without all of our amazing brides, grooms, and their families. So thank you all from the bottom of my heart!

I couldn't be more thankful for our team: Anna, my sister, and Kimberly, our mom.
In addition to being there for me to bounce ideas off of them at every step of the design process, they step in to work all of our events with me to help make sure they run smoothly and that everything is absolutely perfect. There truly would be no Finishing Touch without them. I love you both so much! Also thank you to Sidney who has been an incredible intern this year! I cannot wait to see what is to come for you in the future. I'm sure your hard work will take you far.

And to my amazing husband, Logan, I am so thankful for your support and encouragement. Thank you for making me laugh every day. You keep me going, and I love you with all of my heart. XOXO

What are you thankful for this year?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Fall Fairy Tale Wedding

This gorgeous DIY wedding was recently featured in Style Me Pretty. While looking through the photos I immediately felt like I was looking at a fairy tale! From the bride's hair style, to the church that reminds me of Cinderella's castle, this woodland wedding screams fairy tale.
LOVE the paper flowers make using pages of books. And the trunk cake stands dripping with flowers and greens are perfection! For more from this fairy tale affair, head on over to Style Me Pretty.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

ABC Annual Conference Recap, Day 6: David Tutera

David Tutera was the big name at this year's Annual Conference, and it would be an understatement to say I was excited to meet him and listen to him speak. He spoke for a long time Tuesday evening, showing us photos of weddings that he's just recently done. But most of his time was spent answering questions from all of us in the audience. He was completely candid, and unbelievably gracious!

I am going to assume that 95% of the people who read this blog will know who David Tutera Is, but for the other 5% David has a reality show on WeTV called My Fair Wedding. He transforms the bride's ideas into an out of this world wedding fit for royalty!
{Above: banner from his WeTV show}

My Fair Wedding is an incredible source of inspiration. Although he's working with an unlimited budget, there are small ideas that you can incorporate into your wedding or scale down some of the large, over the top designs to fit your budget and style.

The following images are examples of some of David's designs. As you can see, his signature style is Over The Top, Elaborate design whether traditional or modern...
While this elaborate style may not be your cup of tea, he is continually on the edge of what's up and coming and is a wonderful source of inspiration. Take bits and pieces of his designs (lighting, a certain type of flower or arrangement) and transform them to fit your specific style.

Myself and David after his speech and Q&A session...

David Tutera recently put out a book that is invaluable for brides, called the Big White Book of Weddings (which he is signing for me in the above photos!) This is not a book of photos and past weddings, it is a how-to guide for wedding planning that includes sections ranging from Registering to choosing Vendors and everything in between. There's a particularly helpful section on Budgeting that any bride could use!
Order your copy today at a discount from or check out David's website to order a signed copy!

Never one to rest, David has also collaborated with Faviana to design a beautiful line of wedding gowns, and will soon be releasing a line of affordable shoes and jewelry that he plans to market and sell through Sears department stores. So be on the look out!

Monday, November 22, 2010

ABC Annual Conference Recap, Day 5: Sasha Souza

Celebrity wedding planner, Sasha Souza, was one of this year's key note speakers and was absolutely wonderful! She explained her process from design to reality. Of course much of what she had to say, won't be of interest to you, although I ate it up and am so excited to put many of her ideas into practice for my brides. So instead of boring you with business ideas, etc, I thought I'd share a few photos, and give you an idea of her style which will hopefully be inspirational for you!

Sasha's signature style revolves around color. You'll rarely see a wedding by her that is mostly whites and neutrals. She is a genius at mixing colors in everything from the linens to the flowers to the chairs and furniture. And the results are magnificent...
Her cut-out photo booth was seen EVERYWHERE in the world of wedding blogs over the past year. And you can see why...
It's fabulous!

My favorite of her signature designs is the long table absolutely covered in floral designs and candle light. She creates these spaces in ruin-like spaces throughout Northern California and creates a draped ceiling using beautiful gauzy fabric and gorgeous chandeliers...
Above: Sasha and I at the conference

If you're looking for some beautiful, colorful inspiration, check out her most recent book, "Magnificent Weddings by Design".
It's full of gorgeous wedding details, especially those with a stylishly rustic Napa Valley/Tuscan flair. Pick up a copy today and get inspired!

In addition to being a genius with design and a lovely person, Sasha has a heart of gold. She is the president of the Wish Upon a Wedding foundation. Wish Upon a Wedding is a non-profit, wish granting organization for couples facing terminal illnesses and other life altering circumstances. WUAW takes care of all of the details, allowing deserving couples to have a stunning, stress free day surrounded by the love of their family and friends. If you or someone you know qualifies, apply at Wish Upon a today.

Check out Sasha's website for amazing inspiration!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sweet Sweet Words

I received this email on the morning following an amazing wedding. It's from a sweet mother of the bride whom I worked with last month. This is why I do what I do!

Dear Jessica,

It was perfect! I cannot thank you enough for all you did from the hundreds of emails back and forth to your creative ideas and expertise. I don't know how anyone does it without a wedding planner; I promise to promote you anytime I am asked. You were delightful, sweet and so accommodating.
Again, cannot thank you enough for all you did to make the weekend so very special. The band was AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thank you again,

A sneak peak from Katie & Tripp's gorgeous wedding by Brooke Robinson Photography...
I should have a CD of their images by early December and their gallery will be up shortly after! I'll keep you posted. Trust me, you want to come back!!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

ABC Annual Conference Recap, Day 4: Rent the Runway, Designer Bridesmaid Dresses

How many times have you been told by the bride, "You can totally wear it again!" in regards to your bridesmaid dress? And how many times has it been true? Rarely, if ever! So, I am beyond excited to share this next great tidbit with you...Rent the Runway! Rather than spend $200-$400 on a bridesmaid dress they'll probably never wear again, why not choose a gorgeous designer frock for your bridesmaids that they can rent for only $50-$150?
Whoever came up with this is genius! Rent the Runway is a company that rents dresses, gowns, shoes, and accessories by fabulous designers for 10% of the cost of purchasing the items in a store. While not all of the items are bridesmaid appropriate, many are, and even more are wonderful options for rehearsal dinner, engagement photos, and much more!
Here are a few of my favorite options for your bridesmaids...
Robert Rodriguez, $75 to rent, regularly $595.

Badgley Mischka, $50 to rent, regularly $400.

Halston Heritage, $75 to rent, $455.

Lela Rose, $150 to rent, regularly $1,295.

And my favorite.....
Bibhu Mohaptra, $350, regularly $3,500.
I know it's pricey. But imagine wearing a $3,500 gown when you're not the bride...I know I would feel like a million bucks!

Your bridesmaids will receive their dress early enough to send it back and receive another if it doesn't fit quite right. It will come with a prepaid box to ship it back in after the wedding. Easy as can be!

Other than the last gown here, these are all incredibly affordable and will save your friends hundreds of dollars! And if they want to rent a second dress to wear to the rehearsal, the 2nd rental is half off. So theoretically (if they chose two $50 rentals), they could get 2 incredible dresses for only $75! Amazing, right?

Give your bridesmaids a gift for your wedding...Rent the Runway!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

ABC Annual Conference Recap, Day 2: Linens and Chairs

Throughout ABC's Annual Conference we were impressed with a wide variety of linens and chairs. I'm excited to show them to you, and to encourage you to take risks and play with color in your table design.

First, the lunch and trade show tent was beautiful inside and out...

Lunch on Monday boasted beautiful, water inspired linens from BBJ Linens. The overlays are a gorgeous sheer in shades of blue and purple with light turquoise mum appliques.
Tuesday's international luncheon boasted the most exciting linens and chairs...
Top: Asian table, with gorgeous burgundy linens and structured ivory chair covers.
Bottom, left: Indian table, beautiful gold pintuck linens with a lush damask print chair cover.
Bottom, right: Latin table, with a stunning, colorful linen and ivory chair covers with tasseled back.
Each table was distinct and gorgeous!

Top: Asian table charger and gold napkin.
Bottom, left: Middle Eastern table chair covers. Stunning sheer with beaded appliques over already beautiful chameleon chairs.
Bottom, right: Indian table charger and taupe napkin.

Don't be afraid to play with colors and prints. Mix and match to create a one-of-a-kind look! And embrace your culture and tradition to make the decor personal to you and your groom.

ABC Annual Conference Recap, Day 1: Food and Drinks

I just returned from the Association of Bridal Consultants annual conference in Phoenix last week and have loads of new, exciting tips, trends, and ideas for you! First, I want to show you some of the amazing food and drinks that we had throughout the week at the Arizona Grand Resort. Each dish was so impressive, and could easily be used to add a little pizazz to your wedding menu.

For breakfast on Tuesday, we had a meal centered around chocolate. Who doesn't love that! We were served a plated dish with quiche, bacon, and nutella french toast. Yum! And for the first time in my life, we were served dessert after breakfast! A delicious chocolate treat and fruit skewer. It was beyond delicious....
Notice the beautiful ribbon accented linens that really add to the chocolate themed meal. The perfect finishing touch!

For Monday's lunch we were served a salad appetizer that was absolutely amazing! The mixed greens were topped with sun-dried tomatoes, toasted pine nuts, and fresh parmesean cheese, and everything was wrapped in a slice of cucumber. It was beautiful! And delicious, even without the dressing.
This gorgeous salad was followed by some of the most amazing salmon I've ever had, served on a bed of home made noodles. And dining al fresco completely topped off the incredible meal!

Each day we were served 2 snacks, one between breakfast and lunch, and another between lunch and dinner. Along with the snacks, they offered coffee, red bull, hot tea, watermelon water, etc. with a variety of delicious foods.
top, left: chips and queso; top, right: sopapillas with Arizona honey; middle, right: vegetable display; bottom: yogurt bar with a large variety of toppings **the yogurt bar was my favorite snack from the week! A great, refreshing addition to your wedding menu.

One big thing to note, there were 3 buffets set up at each snack time, which kept us from having to wait in a single line! Offer your guests access to multiple buffet lines so that they don't have to spend much time waiting.

Lunch on Tuesday was an International affair! There were 4 stations: Asian, Latin, Indian, and Middle Eastern foods. Everything was absolutely incredible!
above: Latin Station, consisting of tamales, enchiladas, and much more

above: Asian Station including sushi, Korean Short Ribs, delicious spring rolls and much more.

above: Middle Eastern Station with amazing hummus, tabbuleh, and baklava among other incredible dishes.

The biggest thing I've taken away from the food and drinks at ABC's annual conference is not to be afraid to choose unique dishes. Absolutely everything we were served was delicious and your guests will enjoy trying new things! Think internationally!

Tomorrow I'll be sharing some of the beautiful linens and chairs that were featured at the conference. Check back!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Meet Marissa & Tyler: Take 2!

You may remember the blog post about fabulous finishing touch couple, Marissa & Tyler back in August. Well, we're back with Engagement Session #2 of this stylish duo! Dale and Meredith of Benfield Photography shot a 2nd session with them in Fayetteville just last week and here are a few of my favorites...
I adore these images! Especially the ones with their dog. So great. For more from their 2nd session, head on over to Benfield Photography blog. And for more details from their upcoming wedding, check out our previous blog post.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Meet KK & Patrick!

KK and Patrick are one of the sweetest couples I've had the pleasure of working with. They're so adorable and hardworking that they make my job a pleasure! Their wedding will be this July at the Clinton Library and I cannot wait to see all of our hard work come together. It's going to be gorgeous!
Until then, here are a few of their beautiful engagement photos by super talented, Eli Murray.
How about that sky?

For more from their gorgeous engagement session, head on over to Eli's blog.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Stop Motion Wedding Video

I am absolutely in love with this Stop Motion Wedding Video. I've never seen this done with a wedding video before and I'm crazy over it. So much fun and wonderfully unique!

See more funny videos and funny pictures at CollegeHumor.

Talk to your photographer or videographer about
something like this for your big day!