What Did WeddingHappy’s Wedding Look Like? (Part 1)

We thought you might enjoy seeing some photos from our wedding back in 2009. All photos by Felici Photography.

Cake on wine barrel. The decorations are from our yard and our parents' yard.
Cake on wine barrel. The decorations are from our yard and our parents' yard.

Liz's bouquet. Succulents are from our yard. Photo by Felici Photo
Liz’s bouquet. Succulents are from our yard.

Inexpensive burlap bags and flowers to decorate the ceremony chairs. Photo by Felici Photo.
Inexpensive burlap bags and flowers to decorate the ceremony chairs.

Part two coming soon…

How to Choose the Best Wedding Planning App

For most of us, our mobile phones are our lifelines that help us manage our busy lives.  If you can’t imagine life without yours and your Favorite Contact has just popped the question, then chances are you’ll be planning a wedding on the go.  But…can you really use an iPhone wedding planning app to keep your wedding planning organized?

Absolutely!  But not all wedding planning applications are created equal, nor are they designed for the same purpose.  It really depends on the needs and wants of the user.  So, then, how do you choose the best wedding planning app for you?

Let’s start with your needs.  If you’re planning a wedding, any expert will tell you that the real wedding planning begins after you’ve announced your engagement and set the date (or at least have one in mind).  But then what?

Need #1:  A wedding planning checklist
Many wedding planning apps provide a general checklist, often in reverse chronological order, to help guide you through your wedding planning.  Most importantly, however, is that you have a list of tasks to get your planning underway.  Your list should guide you through what needs to be done and when, and let you check off tasks as you complete them.  An added bonus is an app that will integrate these tasks into your calendar so that you can effectively manage your wedding planning (appointments and due dates, for example) within your schedule.

Need #2:  Flexibility
Since your wedding is unique to you, you will get the most out of an app the gives you flexibility.  Your wedding to do list for planning a destination wedding in the tropics is going to be much different than your wedding planner checklist for a winter wedding in a church.  Invest in an app that will let you make changes to your list, change dates when necessary, delete tasks that don’t apply to your particular wedding, and add the task items that are specific to your wedding.  And be sure to have a place where you can make notes that you can access easily.

Need #3:  Manage your contacts
When it comes to pulling together your wedding, your vendors are key.  And you will likely have a lot of them to manage.  Your iPhone application will keep you organized best if it allows you to input the contact information for the vendors you hire and associate them with the task/s (or checklist item/s) for which they have been hired.  This keeps things simple and efficient.

These are the basic features you will need to get your wedding planning organized.  There will be additional needs, like managing your guest list and creating your seating chart, and there are many wedding planning applications on the market that incorporate these features.  However, keep in mind- especially if you are more visual and prefer to use charts and spreadsheets- that many of the mobile apps for iPhones do not offer a way to upload or print this information.

Whether an app fulfills what a user wants really depends on the user.  Some brides love to see the endless pages of dresses and cake photos on their app for inspiration, while others may find it overwhelming or simply prefer to get and gather that information elsewhere.  Generally speaking, you will want an app that feels intuitive, easy to use and navigate, and something you feel confident in using for planning such a grand occasion.  Read reviews, talk to fellow brides and do a little research on customer service.  After that, you’ll be well on your way to actually using a wedding planning app to keep your wedding planning organized.  Congratulations and happy planning!

Top 5 Cultural Wedding Trends

Let’s face it, Multi-Cultural weddings are the new black dress: Hot, dynamic and never goes out of style.  In today’s global world where cross-cultural lifestyles are quite normal, it’s no surprise that more and more marrying couples are searching for fun and exciting new ways to bring their unique heritage into their wedding day.  There will certainly be no shortage of ideas to emulate this wedding year, and for interfaith, intercultural and/or interracial couples the inspiration ideas are endless.  Here are my top five multi-cultural wedding trends to look out for:

Trend #5 – Global-Infused Details

Photo – Marianne Taylor

From seating charts and paper favors and everything in between, multi-cultural couples can unleash their crafty and calligraphic side to the tune of many languages and geographic influences.  These papermade Korean Hanbok favors, for example, were added personal touches to an international guestlist, as evident in the table seating titles that ranged from London to Johannesburg.

Trend #4 – Stylish Elopements

Photo – Loreto Caceres

With the global economy getting tested in all markets, marrying couples are feeling the pinch (and pressure) even more.  For multi-cultural couples, who often times have to negotiate the boundaries between lavish customs and budget-friendly events, the idea to elope can serve as a solution as well as an opportunity.  From this New York elopement, a style-savvy Polish bride and her Jamaican groom decided to stay true to each other, proving that eloping doesn’t have to be taboo…it can be super stylish too.

Trend #3 – Mixed Match Fashion

Photo – Susan Stripling

The adoption of mixed matched fashion is a fun solution for many distinct styles such as Sarees, Cheongsams, Mishananas, Kimonos, Lehengas, Ao dais, or Khmers. Also the art of mixing things up this way, gives each bridesmaid an opportunity to be confident at a colorful event.

Trend #2 – Alternative Invitation Styles

Sealed envelopes?  Been there!  Cookie-cut stationery?  Done that!  However, these custom made wooden invitations, are just one of the many ways for multi-cultural couples to add a touch of eco-friendly chic, elegance and charm to what should be: A uniquely inspired wedding day.  Consider it this way: There are no two couples like you, why should your invitations (or anything for that matter) be any different?

Trend #1 – Non-veiled Headpieces

Photo – Suthi Picotte; Headpiece by Esther Jean

Finally, the trend I’m most excited about is the “Non-veil”.  For many brides marrying into another culture, they will have to decide at some point whether to wear multiple gowns to represent each culture or just one.  Regardless of their decision, custom made headpieces offer modern brides a solution to ripped netting and stepped-on-trains.  I call this trend “The Non-Veil: A fresh approach to being creative and headstrong”, pun intended!

Happy Trending, everyone.

A very special thank you to our friend Fri at WeddingNouveau for this contribution, which is the first in our series of articles on wedding planning around the world.

Fri Forjindam’s vision to create an online resource for intercultural brides and multi-ethnic weddings has expanded from a blog to global-infused magazine publication at Wedding Nouveau. Fri’s creativity and vision have been the driving forces behind the ultimate style guide for modern fusion brides, willing to showcase style and heritage in a way that dares to dream in culture. Since its founding in 2009, Wedding Nouveau has distinguished itself by being the leading bridal resource for intercultural, interfaith and multi-ethnic weddings. By collaborating with photographers, designers and real couples around the world, Wedding Nouveau strives to inspire couples of different ethnic backgrounds with confidence as they plan their big day.

Born and raised in Cameroon, Fri moved to New Orleans as a teenager. So began her introduction to a series of travel experiences that would later inform her passion. After graduating from Columbia University’s School of the Arts in New York, Fri Forjindam began her career as a theatre artist in the Big Apple, but always maintained her passion for creative writing, unique style, design, and learning about new cultures. In the last 15 years, through her tours to many countries around the world, she has come to appreciate and realize the beauty of mixing it up. Fri currently resides in Los Angeles, CA with her husband and their 2 year old daughter.


Making Your Wedding Your Own

Congratulations, you’re engaged! Since you’re already bursting with excitement, the first logical step is to announce your engagement to family and friends. This is also the ideal time to invest in a wedding planning tool such as WeddingHappy that will help guide you through the wedding planning process.

Making your wedding your own takes planning and organization. A great place to start is with a customizable checklist of tasks involved in planning your wedding that works backwards from your planned wedding date, starting with your engagement. This timeline will help keep you on task so nothing gets left out. Since so much of life takes place on the go, many brides and grooms prefer to have access to this information on their iPhones through apps such as WeddingHappy.

Once you have a checklist in hand, one of the first tasks will be to select a wedding date (and possibly an alternate or two). The date you choose will determine what needs to be done and when, and WeddingHappy will automatically calculate this wedding timeline of tasks based on that date. From a planning standpoint, your target wedding date will influence many of the decisions you will be making. You will also want to determine your wedding budget before getting started (as suggested by WeddingHappy), so you can make planning decisions accordingly.

Go for it! We had binary table numbers at our wedding.
Go for it! We had binary table numbers at our wedding.

So now that you have your wedding planning tool (WeddingHappy), how do you make your wedding your own? First start by examining your personalities and lifestyles and how you might want to express those in your wedding. Are you and your fiance traditional or informal, contemporary or organic? Or a combination of these? What are both your favorite colors, patterns or textures? Defining your common interests, hobbies and preferred tastes will help you narrow down how to express those in your wedding. Inputting important notes, questions or ideas into the Notes section of Task Details in WeddingHappy will help to keep your thoughts and information organized and simplified.

Another consideration when deciding what mood to set for your wedding is the season of your wedding date and the desired venue. Are you wanting a relaxed summer wedding on the beach, or a formal winter wedding in a church? A spring garden wedding outdoors, or a fall wedding on a hilltop? Your choices are unlimited, so go with what you feel compliments your personal style best. Often times the location will inspire a color palette and other textures, so look around and see what catches your eye. Whether or not you choose to use a wedding planner, WeddingHappy gives you flexibility to enter and edit your own vendor and contact information, including your venue, so you can manage your wedding planning from your iPhone.

And, of course, there are plenty of opportunities to capture your personalities in the details of your wedding, such as invitations, programs, seating cards, table favors, centerpieces, decor and lighting. You can also put a twist on some of the usual wedding traditions, like how you make an entrance or exit, customizing vows or the type of music you choose. This is where your style will come together. And your customized WeddingHappy Tasks list will help you achieve your vision, as you add and/or edit tasks specific to the details of your wedding.

The point is, making your wedding your own requires a planning tool that is equally customizable to you so you can truly customize your wedding. Right down to sharing your unique voice by way of updates on Facebook, Twitter and email integrated into the app.

WeddingHappy gives you the tools you need to make your wedding your own…the rest is what you decide you want it to be. Happy planning from WeddingHappy.