I spent part of this evening sitting at Bloomingdales in Chestnut Hill listening to Darcy Miller, Senior VP and Editorial Director of Martha Stewart Weddings, talk about… weddings. If I had to pick one way to spend every evening, that is how it would pan out. There would also be an addition of some bacon related meal and a flat screen TV playing the Celtics game in high-def, but you get the idea. In short, Darcy is one of my idols. She is extremely creative, witty, and charming, and most importantly, she knows how to get what she wants…which, to me, is a very admirable quality in any businesswoman
The event was called The “Pre-Wedding” Party and featured some of Boston’s top wedding vendors, lots of tasty goodies, Darcy’s helpful tips for the bride, beautifully decorated tables, and a slideshow featuring real weddings that were included in Martha Stewart Weddings. Though I’m not planning a wedding for myself, I always think it’s important to attend events like this, since I do design wedding invitations. I’ve learned that a good bride will ask lots of questions and I feel I should be as prepared as possible and fill my noggin with all sorts of wedding information! On each seat there was the latest Weddings issue, which, just so happened, to be the 15th anniversary issue! The magazine started in 1995 and comes out four times a year.
There was hardly anyone there when I arrived, so I wandered around a bit and checked out the table settings. They were gorgeous and obviously expensive. I always love the challenge of seeing something, usually with clothes or home decor, that is clearly out of most people’s price ranges and mimicking it with a less expensive version. I think it’s fun and you could definitely pull that off with some of these table arrangements!
After I did a bunch of browsing, Darcy came out and began her presentation with a slideshow. There were several real weddings featured, including her own, and she gave some great tips. Some that stood out to me the most:
• Think about what’s personal for you…after-all it is your day.
• Be creative and unique. In Darcy’s presentation she showed some very creative photos. Some of my favorites were invitations printed on vintage handkerchiefs; handmade ring pillows found on etsy.com; a southern wedding that gave their favorite recipe for grits with all of the ingredients as favors; instead of throwing rice, a couple had their guests ring bells; one couple used fabric flowers instead of real flowers.
• Play on words. One example was a nautical themed wedding, instead of just writing “Guest Book” on the guest book they called it the “Shipmate’s Log”.
• Think about the actual words you want to use to describe your wedding. Darcy said your version of “modern” might be different than your vendors version of modern, so be as specific as possible when describing the feelings you want your wedding to convey.
• Darcy highly recommended having a kids table and hiring a babysitter, if at all possible, to sit with the kids if you’re concerned they will tag behind their parents the whole night. Have games or other fun things to entertain them.
• If you’re having children in your ceremony and they have to walk down the aisle, allow them to pick their own song to ease their nerves. Darcy’s nephew chose Twinkle Twinkle to walk down the aisle to. She also said since a lot of kids will probably pick odd songs, just bribe them Let them know you have a treat or gift for them waiting after the ceremony. That’ll be sure to get them moving down the aisle…and fast too, hehe.
• CDs are always a great wedding favor since most everyone loves music. Darcy also said something that I think is very important. If you can’t think of a favor, or the only favor you have in mind is “garbage”, as she so kindly put it, don’t give anything. No one wants or needs anymore junk. If you’re on the fence, burn a CD of favorite songs and have a cover designed. Simple and inexpensive. Or make a donation to a charity… just don’t give junk out as a favor. Please. Thank you.
• As much of a pain as registries can be, Darcy highly recommends doing one. It’s a great way to start to build your personal style. She also added that someone is going to buy you an ice bucket whether you ask for one or not, so you may as well register for one you actually like! So true!
My absolute favorite tips from Darcy:
• Find vendors who you trust and share the same aesthetic with. Darcy told a great story about how at her wedding she was supposed to have figs included in her centerpieces. The morning of the wedding, her planner called her and said the figs that came in had turned brown and they’d have to use something else. Since Darcy trusted her planner all she said was “just chose something green”… her planner chose pears and the centerpieces looked fabulous. She and her planner had the same design style which led her to believe he would only pick out something she would like, which leads me to the next favorite…
• No one knows what’s supposed to be there, they only know what they see. Simply put, don’t freak out if things don’t go exactly how you imagined or planned, because no one else will know that’s not how it’s supposed to be. Darcy said no one left her wedding saying “Your wedding was gorgeous, but I really wish you used figs instead of pears.” How true is this?! Love it! Don’t panic!
• Research ways to donate once the wedding is over. After Darcy’s wedding she had an organization called Flower Power come and pick up all the leftover flowers from the ceremony to donate to a nursing home. BEAUTIFUL idea. Flowers at weddings are lovely but they’re so expensive! Brilliant to know someone used their brain and decided to start an organization to let people donate flowers for more to enjoy!
This was a really memorable evening for me, filled with lots of very helpful information that I will take with me for a long time. So glad I got to see Darcy up close and personal again, too… I kinda wish I slipped her one of our We are not Martha business cards since she’s tight with Martha If you’re interested in reading more about Darcy’s fantastic wedding ideas, advice, and DIY projects follow her blog, it’s one of my favorites!
What was the best wedding you’ve ever attended and, most importantly, what made it so memorable?