Some Kind Accolades

Awwwww .... the fabulous Molly over at The Winning Pitch has recently highlighted my little bloggie as one of her favorite wedding blogs -- plus she had some kind words to boot! Thanks so much Molly, and congrats on your recent engagement. Hopefully we'll see your face around here more often!

And while we're on the topic (might as well keep patting myself on the back), I Love Weddings has also found a place on WeddingsinaBox 's extensive "Best Wedding Blogs" list. This list is the preemptive resource for all things wedding, so its nice to have a little mention!

My goodness, I think I'm actually blushing.

Or maybe its just that extra glass of red wine I had.

*image courtesy of The Winning Pitch*

For The Bride & Groom Who Tuly Have Everything ...

... or for those of you who just want to make a difference, this idea is for you.

I was recently notified of this fab new nonprofit website called Changing The Present, and after perusing their site have been lovin' their idea. LOVIN' it (when you omit the "g" at the end of words, it really emphasizes your point. Right?).

The idea is simple: in lieu of (or as an aside to) your typical wedding registry, help change the world instead by setting up a wish list for charitable donations to causes of your choice. Guests choose amongst your suggested gifts (just like in a typical registry), and then simply click to donate. A few more clicks with the mouse will create a custom-made card for the recipient. Changing The Present offers thousands of donation opportunities from hundreds of leading nonprofits, so you're sure to find something that moves you, no matter what cause you care about most. Donation prices range from $2 and up, and include such inspiring ideas as:

- Equip a Student: materials for one ($2)
- Demine a Sports Field: 1 square metre ($5)
- Empower a Woman: jobs for 3 refugees ($50)
- Feed a Child: 2 months of food ($84)
- Sponsor a Chimp: 6 months of care ($90)
- Counsel Cancer Patients: one-on-one session ($125)
- Provide Eyecare: one village screening ($250)

Seriously ladies. Think of the possibilities. Even if you only register a couple of causes, and even if only one of those causes is given to you by a guest ... what a difference that one alternative to your toaster-oven could make in another person's life!
Please believe me when I say that I am not knocking traditional registries (hell, I had one, and used it gladly!). I'm simply putting this forward as an alternative, or as an additional. Another idea, which I have been seeing more and more at my client's weddings as of late, is to make a donation to a charity of your choice instead of favours at the reception. A small note at each individual's tablesetting will suffice, informing them of where the money went that would have been spent on the traditional favour.

Regardless, at husband's and my upcoming housewarming party (whenever our damned house is finished being built, that is!), this is the option we will be noting on our invitation. I am in love with this idea, and hope its inspired a few of you, too!

*all images courtesy of*

Making Memories Last

I would like you to close your eyes and imagine, if you will, that time in the near future when your wedding is past, the presents have been opened, the thank you cards have been sent, and the comfortable familiarity of married-hood has begun to creep in (I like making up words). With slight panic rising in your voice, your question may now be:

"What the hell am I going to do with all this wedding-planning-free time?" (was that another made-up word? Or just a ridiculous use of hyphens?).

Fear not, dear reader, for the fun is just beginning!

Depending on your photographer, you will start getting your wedding-day images back within a matter of weeks or months. In the past, brides were given a "proof book" with which to look through and select a number of photos to be retouched and placed into an album. While this still happens, a more-modern approach has been for photographers to put together a cd of the images (often as part of the package price), which the bride & groom then use as they desire. Currently, many photographers have also begun to offer the additional service of putting together wedding day coffee table books as opposed to the clunky, oversized photo albums of yesteryear.

Professional in appearance, sleek and ridiculously stylish, these books can sit non-chalantly out on display for all to see. The one issue many brides & grooms have with them, however -- price. These babies can cost a small fortune, which isn't what one often wants to be doing once they calculate the "actual" cost of their wedding ("We spent HOW much on table linens?")

Enter the newest trend in post-wedding purchases: self-published coffee table books. Sounds tricky? It isn't. My Publisher, Shutterfly, Picaboo, Blacks, and Blurb are just a few of the companies offering this service, though these five names are regularily noted by brides as being of highest-quality and most-trustworthy. Prices tend to start around $25 for 20 pages, and can go up from there. As the owner of three (thats right, THREE. With more to come. Its like a sickness) self-published photobooks, I'm regularily surprised that more people aren't aware of this incredible resource.

Regardless of who you go through, self-published coffee table books are a breeze to make. Honest! There is no need for fancy software or design experience either. Essentially, you either download a free (and SAFE) program onto your computer, or do your work on the company's website (depends who you use). Download your desired images to said program, drag & drop them into place with the help of pre-formatted templates, click "publish", and voila! Next stop, coffeebook-table-ville (I think I should start calling this post "Making Hyphens Last: A Casestudy").

My original three books were published through My Publisher (see photo above; engagement book, destination wedding book, and at-home reception book), and I was more than impressed with the ease of program use, delivery time, and quality of the finished product. The method used for printing is touted to be the same as professional photobooks, and with that I have no argument. The pics came out smashingly crisp and clear, with lustrous colour and thick pages. Truly, a fabulous find.

I am now addicted to creating these little "books by me", and plan on testing out a different company, Blurb, to publish my SouthEast Asia holiday pics. The big appeal I have to this one is the fact that you can not only publish your books through Blurb, but you can also sell them. Yes, SELL them! This little company has its own on-line bookstore where its users can post and sell their creations -- at NO charge to the "author"! Crazy goodness! As a semi-regular blogger (apologies all around, as usual), I am also intrigued by the option of transferring my entire blog into book format -- Blurb offers a program that makes this not only possible, but easy. Of course, having not yet reached my desired level of blogging-superstardom (YET being the key word. YET), I may have to hold off on that one for a bit. :) Once I complete my book creation and receive my order, I'll make sure to post an updated review about Blurb's service, though if all the research I've done stands correct, it should be incredible!

Ladies, keep this post in mind over the next few months as you plan your wedding. While these photobooks are a decidedly divine way to showcase your wedding pics, they can be used in so many other ways, too. How about putting together a small book with photos of the two of you and using it as a guestbook at your reception? Or hunting down old photos of your parents and creating a book to celebrate their upcoming anniversary? I promise, once you make your first book, your mind will begin to swim with the possibilities. Happy creating!

*photo taken by Andra Coulter*


The Brides Guide -- Its a Good Thing

The wonderful people at have recently unveiled their newest addition -- The Brides Guide, a blog resource written by Darcy Miller (editorial director, Martha Stewart Weddings). Sure to be a bonafide "ultimate bridal resource", I've been scouring its pages nightly. As can be expected by anything Martha, its fantastic. Truly helpful, informative, and unique. You'll all love it ... I do already!

Damn. Lets hope I can keep at least a FEW readers at this blog. :-)

*photo courtesy of The Brides Guide*