Monday, March 31, 2014

How much is your wedding going to cost?

I just came across an article about the average cost of a wedding that I thought needed to be shared.

We all know that prices are continually rising and this is certainly true in the wedding industry.  A recent study released by The Knot points out what I feel is a very realistic view of how much it will cost to hold your dream wedding.  Wedding costs have been escalating rapidly and the average cost of a wedding nationwide is approaching $30,000 and in New York City the average cost is almost $87,000.

Check out the article below for more details on wedding costs and to see wedding trends, all of which are very much on target based on what we have been experiencing with our wedding clients.

Happy wedding planning and ...


Sunday, March 30, 2014

Featured Stationery Design - Rachael Christine

It has been a while since I featured a design from my stationery line so I thought it would be a good time to present one of my favorite designs, Rachael Christine.  As you may know, all of my designs are named after family members and people close to my heart.  This design is named after my youngest niece.  I love that it is bright, vibrant and fun, just like her.  

As with all of my designs, you have the ability to carry the theme through your entire event, from the invitation to the table number, menus, escort card and even the thank you cards.

I really love the look of the printed back.  It is so vibrant and colorful.

While I love the blue/green look, this design also comes in an orange/red color scheme that is equally wonderful.  So visit one of these local retailers, or shop on line at to see all of the stunning designs from Shawn Rabideau Stationery.

Happy shopping and ...


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Getting Creative with Escort Cards

I was just reviewing some photos for a presentation and was kind of taken aback when looking at the displays of escort cards I have created for different clients over the last several years.  I believe that the escort card display is key in setting the tone for what guests will expect for the event.  In looking at all of the different ideas and how they relate to the event, I can really see how these displays not only set the tone, but were a real reflection on my client's personality and taste.  I thought I would share a few of my favorites for your thoughts and comments.

Of course, there is always the traditional escort card table which is classic and elegant.  The following table was designed for a wedding at a Oak Hill Country Club in upstate New York.  It definitely fit the surroundings and conveyed a classic elegance that was perfect for my client.

The following escort card table is also classic and truly spectacular.  This was not my design but was created by the ever talented David Beahm for a wedding I produced at the Metropolitan Club in New York.  The lush floral and glass were perfect in this setting.

I love the simplicity of displaying escort cards in a bed of wheat grass.  For this particular wedding at the Rainbow Room, I created a very simple display with accents of floral in white and green.  Simple yet very elegant, fitting the client's personality perfectly.

I often like to do something unexpected for the escort card display.  At a wedding for a dear friend in upstate New York I hung the escort cards from large topiaries.  It was a fun, unique presentation that guests had not seen before.

There is also the idea of skipping escort cards all together.  For a garden wedding at Lyndhurst Castle in Tarrytown, New York, our client wanted to keep it simple and we simply listed all of the guests names and table numbers on a chalkboard.  It was clean, simple and environmentally friendly.

The next display was anything but simple.  For a stunning wedding at Tribeca Rooftop I designed and created an 8 foot square flower wall at the entrance to the venue.  The escort cards themselves were printed on round hanging mirrors.  At the end of the night we were able to reuse the wall and hung favors for guests to take as they left.

I love the whimsy of the next escort card display I created for a garden wedding at Caramoor Gardens in Katonah, New York.  Using basic twine I created 4 rows for the escort cards between 2 trees.  Then I used wooden clothespins to hang the escort cards.  It was so unexpected and perfect for this setting.

When you have a client who loves to read, why not use books as escort cards.  In this case the books were journals that also served as favors for the guests.  I brought in an antique desk and chair as the setting for this truly unique display.

Finally, I truly loved this whimsical display I created for a wedding at Bridgewaters in New York.  We used a combination of floral and succulents along with willow branches to create a stunning display as guests entered the room.

There are so many fun, unique ideas for using an escort card display to set the tone for any event.  I would love to see other ideas so feel free to comment and share your favorite escort card display 

Until next time...


Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

The only thing that salutation has to do with today’s post is that it’s only a few days away from SPRING!  And Spring is that much closer to Summer!  And after the winter we've had, filled with endless snow, Polar Vortexes and probably one too many carb loaded meals, I've been thinking of all the great things we have to look forward to in the coming months.

Therefore, I dedicate this post to all the things I love about Spring and Summer! (in no particular order, mind you)

Vases filled with amazing flowers like tulips, daffodils, peonies and more

Boat Rides on the lake

Cinco de Mayo

Open windows and fresh air

Smell of fresh cut grass

Lobster Rolls

Grilling! (any kind of food)



Cherry Blossoms

Late night walks on a Summer Evening


Fresh veggies from the garden

Growing an herb garden

Picnics in the park with friends


Sweet Tea Vodka

These are just some of my favorite things…What are yours?

Until next time…


Thursday, March 13, 2014

Feeling nostalgic, the Rainbow Room

I thought today I would post a blog version of throwback Thursday.  And, with the reopening coming this Fall, what better venue to showcase than the Rainbow Room.  So I want to share some photos from a wedding I designed and produced shortly before the Rainbow Room closed.  It was a beautiful space and, based on the drawings I have seen of the refurbished space, it will once again be a grand New York event space.

This particular wedding was special in that it was the union of high school sweethearts who reunited years later and married in a beautiful Summer ceremony.  From this overview of the ceremony you can really see the beauty of the Rainbow Room.

The Bride chose white and green as her primary colors and loved white calla lilies.  Therefore, I lined the aisle with large glass cylinders filled with her favorite flowers.

The Bridesmaids and flower girls each received different but coordinating bouquets in green and white.  Each bouquet used a single flower type of either roses, calla lilies or cymbidium orchids.  It was simple and elegant, perfect for the setting.

The Rainbow Room is such a beautiful space that I wanted the decor to enhance, not overpower it.  For the escort card table I displayed the cards on a simple bed of grass.

After ceremony we converted the ballroom in to the reception area.  Using a combination of high and low tables we turned the room into a gorgeous setting for guests to dine and dance the night away.

So there's my "Throwback Thursday".  It is great to remember a beautiful wedding and to look forward to so much ahead with the reopening of the Rainbow Room.

Enjoy and ...


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Setting the pace when planning your wedding

So frequently my clients ask me about timing for planning their wedding.  While I have a timeline that I give out as a guide, the truth is that how fast you get everything done depends on you. I have found that some of my couples work well at a fast pace while others need time to process information and can't be rushed.Sometimes couples are a year out from their wedding and want to plan everything in six weeks.  While this is possible,  it can be potentially stressful. 

A great example is a client who was a destination bride.  She was determined to get everything planned over a 2 day trip.  After I made all of the appointments and we finished 2 packed days of appointments she went radio silent for weeks.  When she finally did contact me she told me that after the visit she had a meltdown.  It was too much information for her to process so she had to take time out from planning to let everything sink in.  So while it was possible to get all of the planning done quickly, this took some of the joy out of the process for her.

Therefore, before you even pick the wedding date, you need to decide what pace you will be comfortable with for planning your wedding.  To help you decide the pace that is right for you I have a few Rabidos and Rabidon'ts to help you through the process.

Rabido - I always tell my clients to "Prioritize your Priorities".  Discuss with your fiance what you must have and what is secondary.  This will help you prioritize key components of your wedding making the final decisions easier and less time consuming.

Rabidon't - Never let friends and family dictate your timeline.  What worked for them may not work for you.  As I said, every couple works at their own pace and only you will know what is right for you.

Rabido - Have fun with the process.  If you are pushing so hard that the planning becomes stressful you are not doing yourself any favors.  I always tell my couples that the whole time leading up to the wedding should be one that they remember fondly.

Rabidon't - Plan your meetings with vendors wisely.  Do not waste your time or theirs by meeting before you are ready to commit.  Do a quick phone interview to see if they may be the right fit before even setting up a meeting.

I cannot stress enough that planning a wedding should not be stressful.  Take your time, select vendors whose personality works with yours, make decisions that are right for you, not based on what family and friends think you should do, and relax.  Just focus on the perfect wedding day ahead of you.

Too happy wedding planning for everyone and ...


Monday, March 10, 2014

Creating magic at Jazz at Lincoln Center

It has been a while since I shared photos from any of my recent events.  There have really been some beautiful events in the last several months that I want to share.  One of my favorites was a corporate event that I designed at "Jazz at Lincoln Center"  

Located in the Time Warner Center, Jazz at Lincoln center is a beautiful venue with great views of Columbus Circle and Central Park.  While we had an early morning with set-up starting at 4AM, it was worth it to see the spectacular sunrise looking down Central Park South.  


For this event my client wanted a fresh, clean look that was not over the top.  I used the simplicity of the space which features large windows and clean lines as my inspiration for the design. 

For the color palette I decided to go with rich purple and lavender floral on silver linens to create the clean look that the client wanted.  I really like how the combination of glass and stainless steel containers worked in the centerpieces.

Before guests were escorted in to the Allen Room they were treated to an amazing cocktail hour catered by the always fabulous Great Performances.  I love working in the Ertegun Atrium with its high ceilings and views.  It is a large space so I like to place a dramatic bar in the center of the room as a focal point when guests enter.  

We continued the look throughout the room with sleek simple cocktail arrangements and floral accents for the food stations.

And yes, the beer and bacon pairing station was amazing!

With cocktails finished, guests were escorted into the Allen Room for the main event.  For dramatic effect guests entered from the top level of the room so they could get the full view of the gorgeous room.

It really was a spectacular setting and I think the decor was perfect.  As always, the key to any successful event is a happy client and in this case they certainly were.

Until the next big event...


Friday, March 7, 2014

Wedding Etiquette Mistakes

I recently saw an article in the Huffington Post about etiquette mistakes couples make in planning their weddings.  While I do not agree with everything in the article, I do believe the author makes some good points and that it is worth taking a look at.

In my opinion there are a couple of items that I do not feel are wedding etiquette mistakes.

1. I am a fan of inviting guests at 6:30PM for a 7:00PM ceremony.  It gives guests time to get settled and ready for the ceremony.  To pass the time, my Rabido is to offer guests flat or sparkling water along with a sparkling wine when they enter.

2. The article suggests that couples should have a receiving line. For me this is a Rabidon't!  If you are like me, I hate the idea of having to wait in a long line to greet the Bride and Groom along with their parents and the bridal party.  It is uncomfortable for everyone involved and unnecessary. I feel that the cocktail hour is the best time for the Bride and Groom to mingle and greet guests.

I would love to hear all of your input on wedding etiquette.  What are your pet peeves at a wedding?  It is always interesting to hear what my readers think.

Happy wedding planning and...