Sunday, August 30, 2009

It's not just after the wedding you should have fun...

There is some wedding advice that is so invaluable, We tell it to every bride and groom-to-be I know. In fact, I think it is advice that should be told early, and told often.

1... Don’t sweat the small thing

Your wedding is full of thousands of details and there are bound to be a few snafus along the way. Keep in mind the reason you are doing all of this it's not to have the perfect cake baker, who is now too overbooked to make your cake. It’s to celebrate your love together, which you could do in a mud puddle, if you had to.

2... Take time to savor your wedding day

To many couples tell us after the wedding that their wedding was a whirlwind that they barely remember. Consider building in time for reflection whether it’s a scheduled time between ceremony & reception where the two of you will enjoy a glass of champagne,food or the moment when you change into your getaway clothes. Talk with each other during the reception about what you are enjoying and who you've talked to. That evening, take a few moments to write down what you remembered about your wedding day.

3... Infuse your own style

Don't have a cookie cutter wedding. Think about your hobbies, cherished memories, and personalities. If you love to travel, consider naming tables after places you've visited together. If you are a fishing aficionado, consider fishbowls with live gold fish in them as centerpieces. Your wedding will be a thousand times more special and memorable, if your put your own flare in to it.

4... Don't always follow tradition

Don’t spend money on things just because you think they're traditional. If you don’t really want it, then don’t do it, it is your wedding dam it . A great example of this is the custom of using both an inner and outer envelope for a wedding invitation. Many couples these days are forgoing this option in favor of more modern and cost-efficient invites.

5... Have the wedding you can afford too

Rather than accruing massive wedding debt, pay for it as you go along. The number one thing couples fight about, according to psychologists and couples therapists, is money. You don't want to start off married life with a monkey on your back. A big formal wedding is nice for those who can afford it, but you don't need to "keep up with the Joneses" at the expense of your future happiness.

We hope this helps you out, keep it real and have fun.
Best Peter Bruce Photo & team bELLE

Friday, August 21, 2009

That's my boy up there...

The best mans toast can make or break a wedding and you want to make, also make people cry.This Best Man speech idea list from Peter Bruce Photo & team bELLE helps you to prepare roasting the groom, the thank you's, the toast proposals, and other Best Man speech ideas.

1. Thank the groom for his speech and for asking you to be best man.

2. Compliment the bride and her looks on behalf of the maids of honor or bridesmaids and the other helpers.

3. Toast to the parents of the bridal couple.

After the ceremonial opening it's time for a teasing best man speech idea:

4. Mention some funny incidents or averted disasters of this ceremonial wedding day.

5. Tell about your relationship to the groom.

  • How did the two of you met?
  • How has your friendship developed?
  • How you came to be best mates?

6. Come up with some jokes about his years of study, job skills, hobbies and achievements. But avoid nasty or rude best man speech ideas. Don't go too far. For example don't mention his escapades with other women in the past.

  • Show photos of embarrassing moments for the groom and tell the story.
  • Looking for a prop, an old toy, sports wear, a school award, and so on, can also result in a good best man speech idea.

7. Tell teasing anecdotes how the bride and groom have met.

  • How did he tell you about his new love, what did he exactly say?
  • How has he changed?
  • Did he behave differently?

8. What is your perspective on the growing relationship between bride and groom? Give some heart felt comments about the happy couple.

9. Give some words of advice and your Best Man ideas about love and marriage. Be somewhat sincere and emotional now.

10. Propose a toast to the bride and groom. Congratulate or bless them, and express your best wishes to the bride and groom, wish them a long and happy life.

We hope this helps you out,pass it on and please let us know

Best Peter Bruce & team bELLE

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Make a show of it,take it off with your teeth...

Tossing of the Garter

Today, the tradition of the wedding garter is tame in comparison to Paris France of the 14th century. In the USA the bride wears two garters; one as a keepsake garter and the other for the throw away.

Both garters are worn on the right leg just above the knee.

Before the removal of the garter, the bride first throws her bouquet to the single women at the wedding.

The groom removes the throw away garter from the brides leg, hopefully he removes it with his teeth , but more appropriately nowadays he uses his hands. He does this while the bride is sat in a chair on the dance floor.

After the garter has been taken off, he then throws it to the single male guests. The male guest then takes the garter and places it on the leg of the single female guest who has caught the bouquet.

Those that catch either item are said to be the next to marry. In some instances, it is said that they will marry each other.

The keepsake garter is removed later in private during the honeymoon night.

Numerous wedding garter traditions have been obtained over the years that still seem to become rules of etiquette today. Take a look at a few that are still popular and some that have long since been forgotten.

The garter tradition originated back to about the 14th century. In parts of Europe the guests of the couple believed having a piece of the bride’s clothing was thought to bring good luck. They would actually destroy the brides dress by ripping off pieces of fabric. Obviously, this tradition did not sit well with the bride, so she began throwing various items to the guests – the garter being one of them. It became customary for the bride to toss the garter to the men. But this also caused a great problem for the bride….sometimes the men would get drunk, become impatient and try to remove the garter ahead of time. Therefore, the custom derived at having the groom remove and toss the garter to the men. With this change, the bride began to toss the bridal dress to the unwed girls who were eligible for marriage.

Another interesting custom dated back to the ancient times where the wedding garter represented the virginal girdle. When the groom removed the garter from the bride, this represented the bride’s relinquishment of her virginity. WOW

An Old English custom was while the bride & groom were in their bridal chamber, the wedding guests would sneak into the chamber picking up discarded stockings and throwing them at the couple. Whoever flung a stocking that hung on the bride or groom’s nose, would be the next to marry.

“ Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue and a Silver Sixpence in her Shoe”

Did you ever wonder where the custom “Something Blue” comes from?

Well wearing something blue dates way back to biblical times when the color blue was considered to represent purity, faithfulness and fidelity. Back then the bride would wear a piece of blue clothing or a blue band around the bottom of her dress. The ancient Roman maidens also wore blue on the borders of their robes to symbolize their love, fidelity and modesty, while the Christians associated it with the purity of the Virgin Mary.

We hope you found this interesting and enjoy the photos,please let us know

Best Peter Bruce Photo and team bELLE

Friday, August 14, 2009

why ask these 25 questions...

Top 25 of the questions from Peter Bruce Photo and video & team bELLE that you could ask your photographer

Have you ever shot a wedding at our venue location before? How did it work out?
What’s your primary style? Posed & formal, relaxed, photojournalistic, candid, traditional?
Do you shoot in color or black and white or both?
Do you use an assistant? Is there an extra charge for one?
Will you have backup equipment available? And what happens if you get ill?
Can other people take photos while you are taking photos?
What types of photos will be taken (B/W, Color, Antiques, etc..)?
How many photos come in each package? What is the breakdown per photo?
Will you accept a list of specific photos to be taken?
What attire will you and/or assistants wear?
What time will you arrive and how long will you stay?
Should the event last longer than scheduled, will you stay? Extra charge?
How long after the event will the proofs be ready?
Do you have liability insurance?
What type and how much assistance will your provide in planning an album?
Do we get the negatives or what is the charge?
Is this your recent work that I'm seeing on your website?
Do you provide a written contract and guarantee?
What are your policies regarding proofs?
Is a deposit required? If so, how much?
When is the remaining balance after deposit due?
What percentage are the taxes?Always give the photographer a tip, they have all your images
Is gratuity included in the price?
Are there any additional charges not mentioned? (i.e. travel)
What are the refunds/cancellation terms?

We hope this helps you with the hugh task of picking a photographer, and as always please let us know your feed back is important to us. And have fun at your wedding.

Best Peter Bruce & team bELLE

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

San Francisco germ in Marin, the Acqua Hotel at it's best...

Why Peter Bruce Photo & team bELLE like Acqua...

Worldly travelers will tell you that Mediterranean countries, the long, often blank public walls of houses and buildings hide marvels within—fountains and gardens that create soul-nourishing private islands of repose.

The Acqua Hotel in Mill Valley is just like that. Travelers along the 101 freeway behind it see a three-story building with an inconspicuous fa├žade of warm stucco and some windows. But wait step into the hotel and walk through to its other side—the one that unfolds along an arm of Richardson Bay and suddenly the world opens wide up. There, across a sweep of water, loom the wooded ridges of beautiful Mill Valley and the southern part of Mt. Tamalpais. Many of the hotel’s rooms, designed by a canny architect, have balconies and front on this side, facing the mountain.

The ultramodern Acqua, opened in Mid 1999, and has quickly acquired a local reputation as a hip, stylish location. Its spare visual details rely on an expert meeting of horizontal and vertical planes made from stark and simple materials. Even the concrete floors, unadorned but buffed to a high shine, lend an industrial elegance to the hotel. Variations in paint tones, such as brilliant flat whites juxtaposed with light earth tones, make the eyes race from one pleasing volume and shape to another. The waterfall that flanks the fireplace in the airy lobby has a deliberately sculptural feel to it.

The hotel’s bay side area, accessed through the lobby’s great glass doors, is a natural wedding site. A spacious lawn runs from one end of the property to the other, bordered on one side by a pedestrian promenade that runs along the water and on the other by a large patio area that has quickly become a favorite gathering place for knowledgeable locals seeking a drink or meal with a beautiful view. A wide brick walkway bisects the lawn and connects the promenade to the patio. With its backdrop of San farncisco bay and hills, the walkway can double perfectly as a bridal aisle to her wedding.

The main architectural element of this hidden from the freeway side of the hotel is a dramatic outdoor spiral staircase that leads from the patio to a second-floor terrace. The terrace is sheltered under a large arching steel canopy, itself a beautiful architectural statement. Couples often marry on the terrace, then glide down the staircase in a stately procession to a reception on the patio.

Indoors, the Richardson Room features floor-to-ceiling windows, with easy access to the bayside patio. This event space can be divided into 3 smaller rooms of needed.

Catering for weddings is provided by Piazza D’Angelo, a Mill Valley restaurant which has consistently ranks among local residents’ favorites in the Pacific Sun’s annual “Best in Marin” contest. The hotel provides a liaison who works with the caterer and client.

We hope this gives you an inside to Acqua hotel and we hope that we can work with you on your wedding one day.Please let us know what you think.

Best Peter Bruce & team bELLE

Sunday, August 9, 2009

What should I do with my cake...

To Save or not to Save, the question

. . .

During a consultation with a bride to be she ask us about her wedding cake, there are a few questions to consider. One of them is regarding the number of servings she would like from her cake. This often leads to a discussion about saving the top tier.

The tradition of saving the top tier of the cake began long ago in England UK, when tiered wedding cakes were made of a rich, wine or brandy wine soaked fruitcake. This cake was well preserved by the liquor and fruit it contained, and was usually served to the guest at the christening of the first kid . Birth-control, and life-styles being what they were in those days, this blessed event most often occurred within one year of the wedding.

Now, modern wedding cakes are rarely make a out of fruitcake, and most couples plan to extend their “honeymoons” beyond a year of their wedding date. Therefore, if saving the top tier is a tradition the couple wished to pursue, is should be wrapped really well, and kept it frozen for up to three months. It can then be thawed slowly and shared when celebrating the one year anniversary, a family member’s birthday, or a holiday gathering.

However, having a tier of cake which is not going to be served at the wedding also adds to the cost of the cake, so I don’t recommend it for the budget conscious. And speaking of budgets, it really isn’t absolutely necessary to have exactly the number of servings match the number of guests. As hard as it is for me to imagine, some people actually don’t care to eat cake, especially when there is another dessert being served. A smaller cake can be commissioned, and later on, if the guest list should grow, or the couple is concerned about having enough, a small “back-up” cake can be ordered within two weeks of the wedding date.

We hope this helped, please let us know...

Best Peter & team bELLE

Monday, August 3, 2009

How not to piss off guests...

10 Guest Complaints about wedding receptions...

You need to know this weather you wan to or not...After all the wedding Peter Bruce Photo and bELLE fiine weddings we have done, we have seen it all. And we don't want to be a downer here, but want to help.We all know the saying "You can't please everyone all the time" While that may be very true, these types of guest criticisms are easily avoided by careful planning and thinking and addressing them now will make everyone's memories of your wedding day so much nicer. Trust us you will thanks us for pointing these facts out.

1... The DJ was obnoxious or played loud and lousy music. Find the best wedding DJ available using recommendations from other brides and the advice of wedding industry professionals. But can they think about where he puts the speaker, if he needs to get the sound to the other side of the room, don't put it near the guest next to a cable.

2... I was never thanked for my gift! Share this task with your husband. Divide your list, write your notes at the same time, and make a pact to finish a certain number every night until they are finished. Dangle a carrot in front of your noses. When the last note is FINALLY written, reward yourselves with a special bottle of wine or dinner out. It is customary to mail thank-you notes within three months. You don’t want to wait that long for your carrot anyway, do you? How would you like to be treated.

3... Speeches were WAY TOO LONG and we couldn't decipher the words. Keep speeches under five to six minutes. Ideally, they should last between two and four minutes. A good DJ will spend a few moments with each person making a toast or speech, teaching him or her how to correctly operate and speak into the microphone. He will also use a quality microphone!

4... We didn't know anyone at our table. Take the time to carefully plan your seating arrangement, placing guests at tables with others they know. They don’t have to be fast friends, just acquaintances or people with some kind of connection. Try to seat out-of-town guests, who aren't likely to know anyone, with others having similar interests. But guests if you do get stuck at a table with people you don't know, go out of your way to meet the people and have fun.

5... I resented paying a dollar or more to dance with the bride. This is cheap and I have always thought so.Unless it’s a long-standing family tradition, and you will offend someone if you break the ritual, the money dance is best forgotten.

6... We stood to long in the receiving line... The newly weds, and their parents are the only required greeters. Better yet, couples should instead consider visiting individual tables during or immediately following dinner.

7... We had too much time to "kill" between the ceremony & the reception. Out-of-town guests are often at a loss for ways to fill the time between a two o'clock wedding and a six o'clock reception. Try to keep the down time to a minimum. When it isn't possible to hold the events within an hour or so of each other, ask the hall if it will open its doors early for your visiting guests (and ask them if there’s a charge). Other options include asking relatives or close friends to invite them to their home for a light snack, or arranging a hospitality suite for them at their hotel.

8... The centerpiece was so big that I couldn't see or talk to guests seated across the table. Smaller, shorter arrangements are best. Your center pieces shouldn't be the center of attention (or main topic of conversation) at the table.Our florist Chelsea would NEVER do this, you want to see the people at your table.

9... I was offended that I had to pay for drinks at least beer & wine should be free . Open bars are the accepted norm. If your budget is tight, offer wine and beer only -- or limit drink choices to “call” brands. You can also close the bar during the dinner hour to save money on costs.

10... The bride and groom didn't stop by to say hello. Make the rounds of guest tables at your reception, but don’t spend too much time at each. A quick greeting, thank you or compliment will suffice. People want to talk to you.

Well again we hope this helps and please let us know..

Best regards Peter & team bELLE

From the Pros,5 great styles...

5 Ideas That Fit Your Style and the Season

. . .
Fall dresses come in several styles to fit just about any type of bride. If you are having a fall wedding you will want to choose a dress that not only accents your body type but also accents the great season you have chosen for your wedding.

Great advice in any season is to be smart when looking for your wedding dress. Use all resources available to you including bridal shops, bridal shows, department stores and of course the Internet.

The Internet has become a good source for all stages of selecting fall wedding dresses. Many online stores make shopping for the best price a snap, and you may even be able to locate hard to find styles and sizes.

As you probably may know, fall is a great time to get married. The bright foliage available in many parts of the country makes the perfect backdrop for your wedding day.

Below are five tips for finding perfect fall wedding dresses.

The Weather...The location of your wedding may influence the type of dress you choose. Long sleeve gowns or gloves are an option however they are not for everyone.

Stoles or wraps are a good way to ensure you will not be cold on your wedding day. They can keep you warm if the temperature drops in the evening, and if it turns out to be a warm day you can just not wear it.

Unique Colors... Colors such as cream,off whites and ivory have become very popular for fall. These colors work well with the colors of the season, like gold, red and orange and even gold yes gold.

For a more edgy look, dark black wedding dresses allow you to make a statement. If all black isn't your taste and style, a black sash or belt makes a great accent for a white wedding dress.

Use Your Wedding Theme... There are several wedding themes that work really well in the fall, and fall wedding dresses can be used to tie everything together. Fall theme ideas include Halloween, vineyard,apple, pear, princess and harvest.

Gothic, princess and renaissance style dresses can help finish off your theme.

Use Accent Pieces... Accent pieces can be a beautiful addition to an elegant classie gown, or they can help an average dress up a level. Crystal and silver brocade embellishments or gold beading and accents are a nice touch.

Be careful not to go overboard, however. Some dresses don't need any extra touches, and it is always best to stick to the adage that less is sometimes more.

Don’t Wait... Finding the right dress for you can definitely be challenging. Starting the process early helps to reduce stress, and it can also helps ensure you get your first choice of dress.

A rule of thumb is to start the process at least one year in advance. This ensures enough time for ordering and altering your dress.

Hope this info is good and as always please let us know,we love your feed back...

Best Peter & team bELLE

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Favors with the thought of food...

Top 10 Food Favors for Weddings

. . .

Choosing the right favor can be difficult. There a soooooooo many choices out there, it can make your head spin off your shoulders... From place card holders to pampering items, there seems to be a gift for every occasion and theme. But how do you know which ones your guests will truly enjoy? Choose a gift with good taste! Food and wine gifts remain the most popular gift choice for wedding favors. Take a look at these mouth watering wedding favors that top our list and let us know what you think.

Anything what so ever to do with chocolate is #1 with brides and guests . Traditional favorites include personalized chocolate bars and squares, but the latest trends also rank themed chocolates (shaped like wedding bells, starfish, cakes, etc.) and even chocolate puzzles high on the list.

Shaped & cute Cookies...
The possibilities here are endless with these delicious shortbread cookies. Available in tons themes, including hearts, cakes, bells and bride-and-groom, these sweet treats can accommodate most wedding themes, from beach to golf.

Mints and more Mints...
Tins, rolls, pillow packs or “matchbooks,” mints are always a great choice. They’re kosher and usually don’t tempt anyone to break their diet. Personalizing them with wedding information makes them a favor to savor on.

Coffee,Tea or me...
Beverages are always among the top 10 because they’re affordable, practical and lend themselves easily to a variety of themes. Not only popular fall-themed favors, coffee and tea are delightful any time of the year for the couple that’s a perfect blend. Check out the photos of the home made beer and wines.

Wedding Oreos...
Go on do it... Indulge! The decadent enjoyment that comes with these double-dipped Oreos will give your taste buds a treat. Available in white and chocolate wedding themes, they’re a great way to dress up an old favorite.

Jordan (classic) Almonds...
The classic wedding favor of all time still makes the list because of its sweet, crunchy, nutty goodness. They’re also a great do-it-yourself wedding favor. You can purchase them bulk and package them yourselves in a variety of stylest wedding favor boxes. “Wedding gown” favor bags filled with candy make a cute bridal shower favor.

Fortune(give me the lotto numbers) Cookies...
Including a message of appreciation inside the fortune cookie makes this a unique wedding favor. Not just for Asian weddings, they can be used to spread good fortune among your guests.

Mini cup Cakes...
Don’t cut the cake! Give these personal-sized mini wedding cakes let guests have their cake and eat it too without standing in line to get it!

Covered Strawberries...
These tuxedo strawberries add an unexpected elegance to your wedding. Delicious berries are “dressed” in a tuxedo and dress made of chocolate. These “bride and groom” chocolate covered strawberries are a match made in heaven.

Chocolate dipped and personalized, these biscotti wedding favors are a crunchy delight. Guests can enjoy them at the reception or with a hot cup of coffee at home. Either way, the uniqueness of this favor is sure to stand out.

Hope this helps and please give us your feed back...

Best Regards Peter & team bELLE