Posts tagged wedding
Brides and Grooms: It's YOUR Day

To every soon-to-be bride and groom,

When I first meet with engaged couples, I am always so interested to hear about their proposal story - how it happened, where, who was there, etc. - and I love how every story is its own - so unique and personal.

As the conversation continues, I learn about the overall vision for the day,  the couple's plan for how they'd like to day to play out, and what they are looking for in a wedding coordinator. I share my experiences, guidance, and suggestions to help them carry out their vision for the day to make it their own - unique and personal just like them and their story.

And then, like clockwork, the questions come: "What are we supposed to do for this? What are the rules on this? Do we have to do this?" Here's the thing: the only rules that apply are those that pertain to religious ceremonies and cultural traditions. Other than that, what the couple says goes.

It is at this juncture in every meeting that I feel compelled to remind the couple that THEIR wedding day is about THEM. Yes, their loved ones are a huge part of their day of course, but at the end of the day THEIR day is about what they want (and it is my hope that their loved ones respect and appreciate that). After I remind them and reassure them that their day is just that - theirs - I can actually see the worry disappear from their faces and the stress roll off their shoulders.

The wedding day, an incredibly special milestone in the couple's life, is a day to celebrate the couple's love, their commitment to each other, and the beginning of their relationship as a married couple.

So, to all my soon-to-be brides and grooms out there: if you're feeling stressed, overwhelmed, and lost throughout your wedding planning, step back, look at each other, and remember why you are planning YOUR beautiful day in the first place and remember to enjoy every moment leading up to YOUR day.



The Red Letter Wedding: Day-Of Wedding Coordination

I've got a thing for weddings. I always have and I don't think that it's going away any time soon. I'm a sucker for a sweet proposal story, a gorgeous gown, the flowers, the first time the bride and groom lock eyes, the vows -- I can go on and on. And what I love most? I absolutely love, love, love seeing a wedding brought to life on the big day, and seeing the bride and groom have the time of their lives. 

Last weekend, I had the pleasure of bringing the bride and groom's vision for their special day to life. The weather was on my side -- it was mid-September and the weather felt like summer! It made for a beautiful day and evening. 

Like many brides and grooms, this couple knew exactly what they wanted and embraced the planning of their day as a project they could do together. They had many DIY components and each one was so beautiful! The venue they chose for the ceremony and reception was a private club and because of that, they didn't have a coordinator available to them to coordinate the events of the day. 

So, how did I help as a day-of wedding coordinator?

Weeks before the wedding, I met with the bride and groom to discuss and finalize the details of the wedding day's events, how they envisioned the day playing out, and how I could make it all happen. The night before the wedding we rehearsed. I ensured all bridal party and family members knew where they needed to be, and we completed a run-through of the ceremony. Then, it was go time.

On the day of the wedding, I set up all wedding decor provided by the couple: flowers, centerpieces, candles, signs, table numbers, the dessert display, etc.

I particularly loved the ceremony site. It was so different and beautiful, and was perfect for their rustic, beach wedding. Set far away from the house overlooking the water, two ladders were connected by a third and the two standing ladders were adorned with green, yellow, and white floral arrangements in mason jars with smaller mason jars filled with Baby's Breath on the steps in between. Look at that view! 

As guests arrived, they were invited to take a drink with them to the ceremony site for a special toast (more on that below); the tables were set with multi-sized hob-knob vases with floating candles, San Pellegrino bottles with flowers, and centerpieces; and the bar, complete with decorative whiskey barrels, overlooked the water.  

Instead of lighting a candle or pouring sand in a vase, the bride and groom came up a way to unite the two of them that suited them as a couple. At the end of the ceremony, the bride's uncle (who also performed the ceremony) shared an Irish blessing and all guests toasted to the new Mr. and Mrs. with bubbly. It was the perfect way to transition from the ceremony to the cocktail hour.

During cocktail hour, the bride and groom took pictures on the rocks (they're brave!), enjoyed hors d'oeuvres, and visited with guests. Take a look at this gorgeous bride against the Boston sunset. 

After cocktail hour was over, it was time to get the bridal party ready to be introduced. As the band announced the bride and groom's families, the guests gave everyone a very warm welcome to the reception tent. From there, the new Mr. and Mrs. shared their first dance as husband and wife. You could tell how much fun they were having; smiles did not leave their faces for a minute!

After the first dance, the Man of Honor (brother of the bride) and Best Woman (sister of the groom) gave heartfelt, sweet speeches that kicked off the night. The dance floor was packed before dinner was through and the bride and groom danced the night away. 

Andrea and Ben, thank you for inviting me to be a part of your day and trusting me to carry out your red-letter day. I hope the day was everything you imagined. I wish you both a lifetime of love and happiness! 

XO, Amanda

Tuesday Shoesday: Wedding Day Shoes Edition
You can never take too much care over the choice of your shoes.
— Christian Dior

It's Tuesday Shoesday! Yes, there IS a day of the week devoted entirely to shoes. Jump on Instagram and search its hashtag #tuesdayshoesday. There are close to 30,000 pictures tagged. 

What is it about shoes that makes girls weak in the knees? And, more importantly, how does a bride pick just one pair of shoes for the day she says, "I do?"

Check out any wedding photographer's blog posts and you're sure to find some pictures focused on the bride's shoes from the highlight reel of the couple's big day. 

For me, choosing my shoes was just as important as selecting my gown. I agonized over finding the right shoes for my big day. There were SO many beautiful shoes to choose from. How was I supposed to choose just one pair? I wanted something that was classic, fit my personality, matched my gown, and that I could wear again.  For me, the Jimmy Choo Logan Glitter d'Orsay Pump was the shoe that would get me down the aisle. 

If you're having trouble picking out your wedding day shoes, check out the collection below that Red Letter Occasions has put together for some inspiration. 

Classic Wedding Shoes: White, Ivory, Blush, and Neutral

A bride simply cannot go wrong with a beautiful shoe in classic hue. Badgley Mischka has a dedicated bridal shoes page and the color selector in the left column makes it easy to shop by color. I'm really loving the Thora Silk Ruffle Evening Pump in pink. It's sweet and classy and suits any bride going for classic style with a touch of personality. The coveted, red-soled Louboutin You-You peep-toe pump in white satin truly makes a statement, and the Simple Pump in nude patent leather is perfect for the walk down the aisle and can also be worn long after the big day is over. 

Shoes that Glitter and Sparkle

For the bride who wants to add a bit of sparkle to her bridal style, shoes adorned with glitter or rhinestones are the perfect accessory. 

Jimmy Choo's Addison d'Orsay Pump combines metallic and lace for a really romantic, pointed-toe wedding shoe. It adds a beautiful vintage touch.  

The Kate Spade New York Charm slingback pump comes in three colors: multi (with a satin pink foot bed), silver, and silver grey (which is close to white). It's like a party for your feet!

Badgley Mischka makes such beautiful wedding shoes (so I have to mention this brand again!) and adds a bit of sparkle to many of its bridal shoes. I love the simplicity of the Sugar d'Orsay Pump and it comes in ivory, pewter, and gold. 

Something Blue

The iconic Manolo Blahnik worn by Sex and the City's Carrie Bradshaw influenced the movement of brides wearing their something blue on their feet. It's a great way to add a pop of color and it makes for really great pictures. Earlier this year Sarah Jessica Parker launched a bridal line as part of her SJP Collection. You'll find some designs that are inspired by the shoes she wore on the show but with a slightly less expensive price tag. 

Not sure where to find your something blueNordstrom and Zappos have great selections of blue wedding shoes. 

Shoes to Match the Bridesmaid Dresses

Another trend I love is wearing shoes that match the color of the bridesmaid dresses. It truly ties the color scheme together and looks great against the white or ivory gown. Nina has an entire shop devoted to adding a touch of color to the big day, and the shoes are very comfortable and affordable, too!

Comfortable Shoes: Sneakers, Flats, and Boots

Remember the movie Father of the Bride? Steve Martin, the father of the bride, played the owner of an athletic shoe company and created a special sneaker for his daughter to wear on her big day. I could be wrong, but I think this is where the trend of the bride wearing sneakers (or comfortable shoes) began, and I think it's adorable. Converse manufactures their classics in an array of colors (even Tiffany blue!) and metallic hues. TOMS, an amazing, philanthropic company, makes comfortable slip-on shoes in crochet, neutral tones, pinks, and blues for brides, grooms, and other members of the wedding party. Check out the wedding collection. Winter bride? No problem. Ugg Australia's "I Do" Wedding Collection has you covered -- literally!

Have a favorite wedding day shoe to add? Red Letter Occasions wants to know! Comment below or contact me at 

Happy Tuesday Shoesday!

Preferred Red Letter Occasions Vendor Spotlight: Antea Amoroso Design

I met Antea a few years ago at The Energy Barre and quickly learned of her talents as an artist. At that time, she had an Etsy shop which she launched as a result of planning her own dream wedding. While planning each beautiful detail of her wintry wedding, she fell in love with DIY crafting and knew there were other people just like her that wanted beautiful event decor but didn't necessarily have the time or artistic ability to bring their vision to life. I am one of those people. As Antea's Etsy business grew and people in the Greater Boston area needed event decor design help, Antea Amoroso Design was born.

When I helped my sister plan my niece's first birthday and wanted a first birthday memory board to add to the party decorations, I immediately contacted Antea. She hand-painted (yes, by hand!) a personalized board with all of my niece's stats and firsts. It was the perfect addition to the gift table and my family and friends are still talking about the beautiful canvas that hangs in the birthday girl's room. 

Now let's fast forward to this year. Antea created two amazing boards for me to celebrate my baby's birthday as well as my second niece's first birthday.

She puts so much time and thought into her designs and it truly shows. She carefully matches each of her designs to the theme of the event.

Photo credit (photo on right): Nick Rezendes Photography

I mentioned The Energy Barre earlier. Antea helped owner Julianna decorate her beautiful studios (Stoneham, MA and Beverly, MA) with canvas art hung around the rooms with inspirational sayings, quotes, and song lyrics. She also hand-painted the business logos, signs, and calligraphy on the walls. If you haven't been to the studio, go try a class! You'll be so happy you did! 

Photo credit: The Energy Barre 

I have been to weddings where I've spotted Antea's designs without knowing she had helped the bride and groom with their wedding design. I remember asking one bride how she learned of Antea and she told me that her aunt recommended Antea to her, and that Antea made it so easy to rent the items she needed for her big day that she didn't need to buy such as table numbers. Every item matched her wedding style perfectly. Check out the photo gallery of Antea's work on her site. 

Photo credit: Antea Amoroso Design

Her beautiful storefront is located at 8 Brande Court in Reading Center, and she hosts events like "Girlfriends' Guide to DIY" nights there where she teaches you how to craft. How fun is that? Follow her shop on Facebook to catch the next one! This Sunday, September 13th, is The Reading Street Faire; be sure to check out her booth there- you just may spot some Red Letter Occasions logos hand-painted by Antea!


I believe that people come into your life for a reason. As I set out on this business endeavor, I was reminded of how lucky I am to be surrounded by supportive, loving, encouraging, and helpful people. These people know my passion for the perfect event as well as my dream of turning that passion into a service to help others with the best days of their life, and have encouraged me to pursue that passion head-on. So, today I am bursting with gratitude.

To my husband, who unconditionally supports all of my dreams and ideas, thank you. Thank you for loving me always -- even on my craziest days.

To my mom and sister, my go-to people for honest advice, I literally don't know where I'd be without you. Actually, yes I do - I'd be lost without you.

To my dear friend, Colleen (my Corporate Ballerina), thank you from the bottom of my heart for your brilliance and passion for all things design, and for creating my beautiful branding and website. You are worth your weight in gold. Thank you for being my sidekick. I can't wait to plan your wedding one day.

To my strong, small business-owning girlfriends, thank you for your patience while I navigate the newness of running my own business, for answering my many questions, and for so graciously offering so much help as I build my brand.

Today I feel loved. My heart is happy. And that is a very, very good feeling.