Archive for the ‘Wedding Planning’ Category

What are the Maid of Honor duties?

Tuesday, May 2nd, 2017

Maid of Honors are the right hand person for the Bride

I’ve been asked to be the Maid or Matron of Honor. What are the Maid of Honor duties? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Being chosen as the Maid/Matron of Honor, can be exciting as well as daunting.

What is the definition of a Maid of Honor and what are the duties?

The Maid of Honor as defined by is “An unmarried woman who is the chief attendant of a bride”.  A Maid of Honor duties may entail helping the bride with tasks she needs assistance with and most importantly, you are there as her emotional support person. Some brides want a Maid/Matron of Honor to take the lead and others, prefer to delegate. That will need to determined by the Bride.

Steph and Chris Wedding

Photo by: Mirage Artistic Photography

A Wedding Planner, like An Affair to Remember by Sharon Dickinson, will perform some or all of the items below, if the bride has contracted one.

Below you will find the Maid of Honor duties, you may be asked to do:

  • Go with the Bride to shop for her dress and also the girls dresses. The MOH pays for her dress and the BM pay for theirs. Including their shoes, etc.
  • Offer to help with Pre-wedding items, such as helping to address envelopes, choose décor off of her Pinterest account and just to feedback whenever she asks.
  • Either Host or Co-host the Bridal Shower for the Bride or Couple. Today, more so than in the past, these are becoming co-ed.
  • Keep a record of all the gifts at the Bridal Shower and make up the Brides Bouquet from the ribbons on gifts.
  • Co-plan the bachelorette party with the Bridesmaids
  • Attend all events related to the wedding.
  • Assist in making sure everyone has transportation and make arrangements for the bridal party member to get to and from the rehearsal and dinner.
  • Hold the grooms wedding band until needed
  • Help arrange the bride’s gown and train, before walking down the aisle
  • Hold the Brides bouquet for her during the ceremony and also while pictures are being done
  • Rounding up everyone for pictures after the ceremony
  • Helping the bride when she has to make a trip to the ladies room (you may want to enlist one or two of the bridesmaids too
  • Play hostess and help guests, if necessary, find their seats at the reception
  • Toast the Bride and Groom
  • At the end of the night, help to round up all of the personal items and get them to a responsible family member

A Rustic Spring Wedding

Friday, August 5th, 2016
Rustic Spring Wedding

Ed Bundy Photography

Hillary and Sean’s Rustic Spring Wedding, May 2016

The odds of meeting this couple on a normal basis are pretty insurmountable, since they live in Pittsburgh, PA. I actually spoke with Hillary at great length before she contracted me. Hillary and Sean, gave me the opportunity to work in a new area with new vendors and that is something I really enjoy, is meeting vendors outside of the Lehigh Valley. I really enjoyed being able to assist them with their Rustic Spring Wedding.

How rustic was it? Cell phone service didn’t exist out there. Communication was by Walkie Talkies, which made things a lot of fun, with the bridal party calling each other by their “handles” (code names) and when the groomsmen found out mine (from my CB days), they really went crazy.  It’s the “Black Widow”. LOL. Anyway, here is Hillary and Sean’s Story!

Their Story

Hillary and Sean met in 2009 at George Washington University where they both attended college. They both worked together and after a bit, Hillary decided she wanted to pursue a friendship with Sean. One thing you need to know about Hillary and Sean is that Hillary is the talkative, outgoing one and Sean is the quiet, laid back one and they balance each other out, quite well. Up to this point, they continued their friendship while attending school, but they did not date. Upon graduation, her girlfriend Melissa, decided to have a going away party for her, (she was moving to Oklahoma to work for AmeriCorps for a year). What she didn’t know was that her girlfriend, invited Sean to the party. This is where they really started to click. unfortunately, they lost touch for 6 months or thereabouts. Sean got in touch with Hillary on Facebook, to just touch bases and they began to chat back and forth. Hillary planned on returning to Washington, DC after completing her service with AmeriCorps and they decided to meet up, upon her return.

Their First Date

Their first date, if you could call it that, was at 51st State, a bar that served $0.20 wings during happy hour. She loved wings, Sean loves wings, so it worked. Much time was spent talking that night, and they planned to hang out more regularly. In the last 4 ½ years, they became best friends, partners in crime, and each others most devoted supporter.

What a Trooper her family was

This rustic spring wedding, had a slight damper put on it. Hillary experienced a great loss. Her grandmother, who she was very close to, passed away weeks before her wedding. That life changing event, had a profound effect on her that day and put a slight damper on it for both her and her mother. It was a shame that it happened, but she was a trooper through it all.

Other than the family loss, the only downside to the entire day, was that it rained off and on and prohibited them from doing their ceremony outside (which would have been beautiful because of its natural beauty)! The best part was when the rain finally stopped, and sunshine came out and they were able to at least get outdoor pictures.  Yay!

Players who contributed to making this a phenomenal Rustic Spring Wedding:

Our Bride looked stunning and her Makeup was was provided by KSJ Artistry. The wedding and reception were held at The Pump House B & B in Bloomsburg, in an old barn. The gorgeous Florals were provided by Gibs Farm and Rentals were provided by Forget Me Not Vintage Rentals. They decided to have a BBQ reception which fit both them and their personalities. She is spicy and he is mild and their first date included wings, what more can you want! The Reception was catered by Fred E’s Catering and the Cutting Cake and Cupcakes were provided by Nannycakes Bakery. The Musical Entertainment was provided by the Left Edge Band and really kept the party hopping, which helped the guests stay warm, even though it was a little chilly that evening! The Photography was done by the Brides Father’s company, Ed Bundy Photography and shot by both her father and Carla.

Hillary’s final comments about the day:

My flowers were beautiful, my best friends were there, and everything went off without a hitch, despite the rainy weather. I got to marry my best friend and partner, and as I say to him, I am going to keep him forever. I worked really hard on this big party that went by in a blur. I am grateful to all our vendors who helped make the day a success. I am grateful to our friends and family who traveled from far and wide and who helped in many ways big and small. Most of all, I am grateful to Sean for being my person, and for not letting my memories of grief and sadness completely color my memories of our wedding. What a beautiful, rustic spring wedding it was!

Rustic Spring Wedding

Ed Bundy Photography

Rustic Spring Wedding

Ed Bundy Photography

Rustic Spring Wedding

Ed Bundy Photography

Rustic Spring Wedding

Ed Bundy Photography

Rustic Spring Wedding

Ed Bundy Photography

Rustic Spring Wedding

Ed Bundy Photography

Rustic Spring Wedding

Ed Bundy Photography

Rustic Spring Wedding

Ed Bundy Photography

Rustic Spring Wedding

Ed Bundy Photography

Rustic Spring Wedding

Ed Bundy Photography

Rustic Spring Wedding

Ed Bundy Photography

Rustic Spring Wedding

Ed Bundy Photography

Rustic Spring Wedding

Ed Bundy Photography

Rustic Spring Wedding

Ed Bundy Photography

Rustic Spring Wedding

Ed Bundy Photography

Rustic Spring Wedding

Ed Bundy Photography

Rustic Spring Wedding

Ed Bundy Photography

Rustic Spring Wedding

Ed Bundy Photography

Rustic Spring Wedding

Ed Bundy Photography






Consider having an Unplugged Wedding in the Lehigh Valley

Friday, June 3rd, 2016

Why have an Unplugged Wedding

An Unplugged Wedding is the way to go. Cell Phone Technology, has been a good thing, but it certainly has its negative side too, even in the Wedding Industry. Having an Unplugged Wedding is the best thing a couple can do for their wedding day. At an unplugged wedding, guests are not allowed to use their phones for photography.

Reasons why your wedding should be UnPlugged…I see it all too often, guests take out their cell phone to get a picture of a “big moment”, only to block the picture that the “professional photographer” is taking. The couple is about to cut the cake, and the guest jumps in between the couple and the professional to take a shot!  The disappointing part is guests at a table, staring at their cell phones, instead of paying attention to what is going on around them. They should be enjoying the couple’s first dance, cutting of the cake or even the parent’s dance!

What about the couple doing their first look or well-meaning bridal attendants feeling compelled to put pictures on social media, before the bride and groom are even married. One of my present clients voiced this concern “A friend of mine asked everyone to put their phones away during the ceremony, so guests would not block the photographers’ shots.”.

It’s much better to let the pros get that really good shot and to share it with friends and family, than to end up with a bunch of poor shots.  The best way to enjoy a wedding is to enjoy it and then enjoy the pro’s images afterward.

Ways to UnPlug Your Wedding

  1. Inform your attendants, if they are there for the first look, or if they take pictures to please not post until after the ceremony!
  2. Put a note in your bulletin, asking everyone to turn off the ringers on their phone and to refrain from taking pictures at the wedding.
  3. Put a note in your bulletin to refrain from taking pictures with a flash.
  4. Ask your officiant to make an announcement to guests that they are to enjoy themselves and not take pictures.
  5. Put cards on the reception tables asking guests to please make sure they are not restricting the photographer from doing his job.
  6. OffBeat Bride has some ways, to word what you want to say. They even suggest having someone from the bridal party enforce the no cell phone pictures and how to approach it.

Wedding Season Began Early in 2016!

Wednesday, March 9th, 2016

Meghan and Philips January Wedding

Wedding Season began early for me this year at an Iacocca Hall Wedding, January 2nd.  The mother of the bride, Tracy, contacted me about 3-4 weeks before the wedding for my Day Of Coordination Package!  I had a lot to do and a short time to do it in, but hey, that’s why they hired me!  What made it easy were the vendors I had the privilege of working with!  In the Lehigh Valley, we have some of the “BEST” Wedding Vendors in their fields, but enough about that and back to my couple!

Meghan and Philip met and dated in High School.  Unfortunately, as happens in high school, they broke up.  They were apart for about 6 1/2 years but were always in close touch with one another!  When they got back together, they realized it was love and 2 years later decided to make it permanent.

The day started out on the cool side, after an unseasonably warm week. The day began with the bride Meghan, her mom and sister started the day out at Clementines Salon for hair and makeup.  The photographer Marissa and her assistant Tracey were phenomenal!  I really enjoyed how they took pictures through prisms of a Moravian Star, the effects were really cool.  They used many styles of photography, I have never seen a photographer use before, so that was really fascinating.  We then proceeded to St. Josephs in Limeport.  It was a rural country church and Father Buckley was a great host.  What was really neat, was the Christmas tree that held ornaments, the kids had made for years were on it.   My bride’s family had their ornament hanging in the tree, which made the day even more special.









The photos after the ceremony, were at Lehigh University. at the Lookout and Iacocca Hall.  I am so glad that the light and the weather held out that they were able to get pictures taken out doors!




The Reception was gorgeous, being held at Iacocca Hall, at the top of the mountain where Lehigh University sits.  The views on this evening were magnificent from the venue, you can see for miles on a clear night. Bethlehem, Allentown and even Easton were visible!  One of the most magnificent views I have ever seen, and I’ve seen a lot.







Special moments of the reception, were the bride dancing with her grandfather, the groom and his friends dressed up as Kiss band members, a fabulous DJ (Wes from Wesley Works), who really kept the party jumping and phenomenal florist (Sara from Allium Floral Designs) who had the venue looking gorgeous with all the lit candles.  This really gave the venue a beautiful intimate atmosphere, to the reception.





One of the coolest things about this wedding, was the Stepfather of the Groom, was a childhood friend of mine. The wedding allowed us to catch up with each others lives, when I had a quiet moment during the evening.  

What a beautiful Winter Wedding Day it was!

Professionals Included:

Venue: Iacocca Hall, Lehigh University

Florist: Allium Floral Design

Photographer: Marissa Joy Photgraphy

DJ: Wesley Works

Officiant, Father Buckley – St. Josephs Church, Coopersburg

Hair/Makeup: Clementines Salon

Transportation: J&J Limousine

Rentals: Action Party Rentals







12513842_975797402486651_3737292290164663958_o-1024x683 Meghan_Phil_Wedding_MJP_001




























































Saturday, January 16th, 2016

I’ve been reading a lot about the Wedding Trends for 2016, and have seen some I wanted to share from a Wedding Planners perspective.

Female attendant’s dresses: I have noticed that attendants are wearing the same color, but different styles or different colors that are complimentary of one another, in the same dress. Personally, I love this idea! I am short and thick and not able to wear many of the styles available today. Having this option as a bridal attendant would give me the opportunity to wear a dress that is more figure flattering, than wearing something that really doesn’t look good and something I don’t like! There is nothing worse than feeling you look horrible in something you have to wear in a wedding.

Wedding Trends by An Affair to Remember by Sharon

Photography by Magi Kernan –

Accent Color or Theme: Maybe because of the richness, or classiness or that couples are going back to glam and bling, not sure, but I am seeing a lot of Gold being used as a complimentary accent color in reception décor.

Cakes: I am also seeing “Naked Cakes”. If you aren’t familiar with the term, its cakes without icing or with little icing and decorated with fruit, etc. When one of my brides first showed it to me, I was like, “Why do you want a cake without icing?” I didn’t understand, but when I thought about it later, I realized there have been times that I haven’t liked a particular bakers icing, because it was too sweet, and I end up scraping it off. Well, this way its already done for me!

Wedding Trends by An Affair to Remember by Sharon

Tablescapes: Through the years, wedding reception tables were rounds that seated 8 to 10 people. Today that has changed to Long Rectangle tables, with multiple tables put together. Two rectangle tables put together horizontally, etc. I see this continuing, as it seems to be catching on here in the Valley.

An Affair to Remember by Sharon Dickinson

An Affair to Remember by Sharon Dickinson

At this time, I thought it might be a great idea to have some of the Premier Wedding Vendors I have dealt with, contribute to this blog! I think you will enjoy hearing their perspective in their specific field of expertise.

Floral Wedding Trends

Jonathan Morrissey – Rich Mar Florals

Coming off a very successful 2015 wedding season and looking forward to 2016, what will be different and which trends will remain the same? The vineyard rustic wedding is not going away anytime soon, gold is the new silver and the all-white bridal bouquet is back to stay. The return of the all-white bouquet is a return of elegance and a formal look, while this may not suit everyone; it is truly a timeless look and a perfect accent to your lavish and dramatic dress. Rustic weddings will continue to be popular, our area and it’s venues lends itself to this look, some of the flowers are also even native to the Northeast part of the country. Baby’s breath is the leader in this particular trend, along with lush mixed foliage’s to accent the “field picked” look. Lastly gold has arrived! Silver was always the “go to” container color and now that trend will begin to change, our company just made an investment in new gold containers to cope with the coming trend. While these trends may not be for every bride, I urge all my brides, to be yourself and let your florals express your personality or style, each wedding is as unique as the bride herself.

Jon Athans Photography

Jon Athans Photography

An Affair to Remember by Sharon Dickinson

An Affair to Remember by Sharon Dickinson

Sara Petryk – Allium Designs

In my opinion we are moving away from a shabby chic vintage into more of an industrial vintage vibe. Think mixed metals, patina and texture vs. baby’s breath, mason jars and chippy white paint.

Color is finally coming back as well. While we saw lots of blush, mint and cream in the last few years….we are seeing a return to rich, vibrant hues-jewel tones, blues, purples, and pinks.

Less DIY. I think lots of brides have seen their friends and fellow brides go crazy for months on end crafting elaborate projects for their weddings-and they want no part of it. They want to be able to relax and enjoy their engagement and time leading up to their wedding. Many of my current couples still want unusual Pinterest worthy elements that personalize their wedding, but they are leaving it in the hands of florists and stylists to complete the projects.

Photography Wedding Trends

Armen Elliott – Armen Elliott Photography

Wedding photography is gradually shifting from an emphasis on detail shots like flowers, shoes, etc., to the more emotional, authentic moments of the day. This means the hottest trend is photojournalism for this year’s wedding couples. Photojournalistic images can sometimes feel more like lifestyle photo sessions with more mood, intensity and spontaneity than traditional wedding photos. Couples are becoming less interested in showcasing “stuff” and more interested in capturing genuine interactions. Yes, we still like the cake and ring photos and must have the family posed photos, but spontaneous moments and relationships between couples, friends, and family members are now taking front and center stage.

Wedding photography over the past few years emphasized selective coloring, overly-saturated colors, lots of Photoshop manipulation and heavy vignetting. We also saw lots of vintage-style imagery with hazy, warm color overlays. Moving ahead we will see more edgy, photojournalistic, street-shooting styles emerging.

Of course, the best way to get the incredible photos you want – whatever your style – is to choose a photographer whose work you like and communicate your preferences to her months before your wedding day.

Ed Krisiak –Steel City Photography

As a photographer it is exciting to see all of the technology changes in equipment and see wedding photography move into a documentary and art format.

Drone Wedding Photography. The FAA expect that over 1 million drones were sold over the 2015 holiday season. I expect many photographers and videographers will be adding the use of drones in their wedding business in the Lehigh Valley.  I expect this to be big, there is no way I will be adding drone wedding photography. In order to do drone photography legally, two people are required by the FAA  for operation and you need a special license. Of course the amount of liability insurance will be extensive. In my opinion, it is not worth the risk.

An Affair to Remember by Sharon Dickinson

An Affair to Remember by Sharon Dickinson

Instagram Hash Tags. Facebook is becoming more unpopular with younger couples and Instagram is taking it place. DIY and Etsy wedding signs are appearing at the bar and wedding venue entrance with Instagram Hash Tags. I love this idea and it a great way for the couple to find all of their guest wedding images from the day.

Back-lit Images.  The use back-lighting adds a drama and interest to an image. This look can be achieved by natural light or flash. It provides an image a romantic feeling. The light is often soft and it creates a dreamy look.

Reception Lighting.  Off Camera flash creates dimensions and a provides a cinematic look to an image.

Individual pictures of each member of the  the Wedding Party. This has been done in the past and the new trend is to do a formal image and then a playful image. It makes a nice design for wedding albums and the individual have fun.

Father Daughter First Look. We are getting more requests for this and find it to be an emotional moment between the Bride and her father.

The First Look. The first look is alive and well and going strong. Some of the best reactions come from the first look and it is great to do if you do not mind going against tradition.

Décor Wedding Trends

John Phillips – MCR Productions

Chandeliers: Indoors and outdoors are seeing a big trend towards dressing the ceiling and nothing is standing out more than chandeliers. Chandeliers set the tone for mood lighting, establishing a classy setting, and bringing a distinguished atmosphere to any event.

Photography by An Affair to Remember by Sharon Dickinson, Chandelier by MCR Productions

Photography by An Affair to Remember by Sharon Dickinson, Chandelier by MCR Productions

Linens: Dressing a table is like dressing a woman, you can keep it simple or go for the Neiman Marcus of linens. Table linens are a hot item for all occasions and setting the tone of your color palate and theme for the wedding.

Dance Floors: This has become the latest item for presentation on events. From white floors, to Starlight floors, LED floors, checked floors, this is the latest decor and design aspect to completely enhance events.


Lisa Stoudt – Bakery Wedding Trends – Candy & Confections by Lisa Stoudt
I think textures will play a larger part in the tool box of my cake design vocabulary. I also believe a lot of elements from haute couture and what has been seen on the runways in NY will be a strong influence in my designs. Another avenue I will pursue is color from contrasting to complementary in different pallets, these will influence the suggestions I give my brides this year.

An Affair to Remember by Sharon Dickinson

An Affair to Remember by Sharon Dickinson

Makeup Artist

Alisha Becker – Makeup Artistry by Alisha Nycole

Wedding Styling & Bridal Beauty Trends are an ever evolving platform. I am in the lucky position where I get to see and help create these trends each season before they hit the stores and bridal boutiques. Each year our team is invited to Bridal Fashion Week in NY backstage to create the looks for the runway shows! We love to share some of that insight and report the trends you will see this year for Bridal in 2016.

“All a rosy glow”!

Michael McNett Photography

Michael McNett Photography

Natural, ethereal, and organic are some key words I’d use to describe the inspiration. Think spring time! Hues that give ode to fresh flowers, rich green, rose golds.

For lips, these “just bitten” hues of pink, berry and English rose are the perfect amount of color for brides. Enhancing the lip’s natural tone and look giving that flush, healthy kissable look! Paired with the “just bitten” lips were these champagne toned bright eyes with subtle shine a pop of diffused plum liner. A dash of color can still be considered neutral but really make the color of your eye stand out! Plum is a great option because it looks great on everyone!

We also saw ton of buns! Ballerina inspired high buns, chignons, French twists, even soft braids infused with dainty floral arrangements in the hair. The hair design was effortless, slightly undone and all together just dreamy & romantic. Keeping in line with Pantone’s announcement of Rose Quartz and Serenity as the new colors of the year for 2016!

Michael McNett Photography

Michael McNett Photography



Lehigh Valley Wedding Planning – A Guide to Setting Tables for a Wedding or Special Event

Monday, October 19th, 2015
Armen Elliott Photography 2015

Armen Elliott Photography 2015

If you are having a catered wedding or event, where the responsibility for setting the tables is yours (most rental companies and caterers, will not setup your tables without an extra cost), this guide will be a big help to you.

The guide below will aid you in the correct placement of your silverware on your tables. It will also help you to decide how many utensils you need and how many to order from your rental company. The information below will make it easy to set a table correctly.

Below are a few different ways to set a table.

Armen Elliott Photography 2015

Armen Elliott Photography 2015


You have many ways to place them. You can fold them into different shapes and lay on top of the base plate, you can fold them and put under the base plate hanging down the side of the table, you can fold them like a pocket, in the event you are having a menu, to insert into the pocket or you are putting your silverware in the pocket. You may also put your napkin folded and placed under the forks on the left side of the plate or to the left of the forks folded.


How many and type of plates depends on what type of meal (sit down or buffet) will determine how many on each place setting. I will give you the way that most tables are set. You may also use a charger, which is a decorative plate placed underneath your dinner plate.

In the event you are having a sit down dinner, you will want to have a Charger, Salad Plate on top and if you are using a butter plate, it would be placed to above and to the left of the dinner plate, above the Forks. If you are having a buffet and the Dinner Plate is at your guests seat, you will place the Dinner Plate on the Charger, then the Salad Plate on top of the Dinner Plate and if using a Butter Plate that is placed to the left above the Forks. If you are having the Dinner Plates and Salad Plates at the Buffet, you would put the napkin where the plates would go.


The reasoning for placement of the silverware is what pieces you will use first, second, third and so on.

Vintage silverware -

Vintage silverware –

In the event you are using a pocket for your silverware, the fork should be on the far left, knife in the middle and spoon on the right side in the pocket. If you are having a butter knife and plate, you would lay the butter knife on the plate horizontally.

If you are doing a full table setup, it depends if you are using 5, 6, 7, 8 pieces of silverware. These are the most used settings, although you can have as many as 10 pieces on your table.

4 Pieces – Salad Fork, Dinner Fork, Knife, Teaspoon – This is probably the most seen place setting of all.  On the Left side of the plate would be Salad Fork on the outside and Dinner Fork next to the plate. Right side of the plate would be the Knife, Teaspoon

Online Encyclopedia of Silver Marks, Hallmarks & Makers' Marks

Online Encyclopedia of Silver Marks, Hallmarks & Makers’ Marks

5 Pieces Salad Fork, Dinner Fork, Knife, Teaspoon, Dessert Spoon or Fork – Left side of the plate would be Salad Fork on the outside and Dinner Fork next to the plate. Right side of the plate would be the Knife, Teaspoon and above the plate will either be the dessert fork tongs face right and dessert spoon faces left. Another 5 piece setting could be Salad Fork, Dinner Fork, Knife, Teaspoon, and Soup Spoon. In this setting, all pieces would be placed as above, except that the Soup Spoon would go on the outside of the right side.

Online Encyclopedia of Silver Marks, Hallmarks & Makers' Marks

Online Encyclopedia of Silver Marks, Hallmarks & Makers’ Marks

6 PiecesSalad Fork, Dinner Fork, Knife, Soup Spoon, Butter Knife – Left side of the plate would be Salad Fork on the outside and Dinner Fork next to the plate. Right side of the plate would be the Knife, Teaspoon and on the bread plate is the Butter Knife

7 PiecesSalad Fork, Dinner Fork, Knife, Teaspoon, Soup Spoon (optional) Bread Knife (Optional), Dessert Spoon and Dessert Fork – Left side of the plate would be Salad Fork on the outside and Dinner Fork next to the plate. Right side of the plate would be the Knife, Teaspoon and Soup Spoon. Above the plate will be the dessert fork closest to the plate with the tongs facing right and dessert spoon faces left.

8 PiecesSalad Fork, Dinner Fork, Knife, Teaspoon, Soup Spoon, Dessert Spoon and Dessert Fork and Butter Knife – As you have read above all silverware would be placed as in the (7) place setting directions, except that the butter knife would be placed with point horizontal to the plate.


Here again, it depends on which glasses you are using. Some tables will only use a Water Glass and Wine Glass, others will use Water Glass, Wine Glass, and Champagne Glass or Water, White Wine, Red Wine and Champagne glass. The most used at a Wedding or Special Event would be Champagne, Water and Wine. There are two different manners of placement. One is straight across above the knife and some are in a triangular type shape.

Water Glass, Red Wine Glass and Champagne Glass and/or optional White Wine Glass – If you are placing in a straight line, in this setting the Water Glass is always above and slightly to the left of the knife. Then the Wine Glass would be to the right and placed slightly lower (towards the spoon) and the Champagne Glass would be on the end and placed slightly lower than the Wine Glass. They could also be placed in a triangle with the Water Glass being the Left Triangle Point, the Champagne Glass being the Top Tip and the Wine Glass being the bottom right point. In the event there is no Champagne, but there is a White Wine Glass, the White Wine Glass, would take the place of the Champagne Glass.

Intimate Outdoor Wedding - An Affair to Remember by Sharon Dickinson 2015

Intimate Outdoor Wedding – An Affair to Remember by Sharon Dickinson 2015

Water Glass, Red Wine Glass, White Wine Glass and Champagne Glass – in this setting the Water Glass is always above and slightly to the left of the knife. Then the Champagne Glass would be place to the right and higher than the Water Glass. The Red Wine Glass would be horizontal from the Water Glass and then the White Wine Glass would be slightly to the left and down from the Red Wine Glass.

Coffee Cup and Saucer

These should be placed to the right of the plate and above and to the right of the Teaspoon or Soup Spoon

There are many more ways to set a table.  These examples are just some of the placements I have seen, both as a waitress in a fine dining establishment and now as a Wedding Planner.

Client Reception at Bear Creek Mountain Resort

Client Reception at Bear Creek Mountain Resort Lake – Photography by Jon Athans Photography

Ed Krisiak - Steel City Photography

Ed Krisiak – Steel City Photography

Wedding Reception Lehigh Country Club

Client wedding at Lehigh Country Club – Photography by Wesley Works

Lehigh Valley Wedding Planning – 8 Must’s, to Do On Your Wedding Day

Friday, May 1st, 2015


You’ve been so caught up in your wedding planning, that you totally forget to do some of the most important things!  These things allow you to remain relatively stress free on your wedding day. Not sure what they are. I have put together a list of 8 things that will essentially, help your day, be less stressful and as perfect as is possible! This list is applicable for both Brides and Grooms.

1. Get a good night’s sleep.- Don’t have your bachelorette or bachelor party the night before. The last thing you want to do is be hung over the day of your wedding, same with the Rehearsal dinner, watch how much alcohol you consume. I know, all of your friends are in town and you want to party with them and have fun, but you can do that on your wedding day! We all know that when a person is tired, they tend to be grumpy and you won’t have a happy day if you are in a lousy mood. Make sure you get to bed early and even if you are too nervous to sleep, at least rest. You can read a book that might help to make you drowsy, but try to relax yourself enough to sleep.

2. Make sure you eat – I know, you say, you are too nervous to eat, but if you don’t eat you may end up passing out or becoming light-headed at the altar, from lack of food or drink and we don’t want that to happen to you! Make sure you eat a good breakfast or while you are getting ready, make sure you have bagels, fruit, etc. around to munch on. If you get married later in the day, then you may want to have sandwiches or a deli platter available for everyone who is there getting ready. This way, not only will you be fed, your bridal party will too! Also, make sure to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, last thing you need to do on a hot day is pass out from lack of water.

3. Give yourself enough time, so that you aren’t rushed on your wedding day – Hopefully you have a Wedding Planner or hired a “Day of Wedding Coordinator” for the Wedding Day. If you have, good for you! If you aren’t aware of it, a Wedding Planner/Coordinator will help make sure your day runs smoothly by utilizing a timeline for you and your family and bridal party. They will print out copies for all involved, so they know what is happening and when. This allows you to stay on time and relaxed. You’ve waited for this all your life and the last thing you need to do is worry about things. This is the time to have fun and soak it all in, because the day will fly by, faster than you realize.

4. Don’t wait until the last-minute – If you need a haircut, massage, pedicure or manicure. Don’t wait until your wedding day to do it. Take a day or two before your wedding day to pamper yourself. This is for the guys as well as the girls. We all need downtime and this will allow you to relax and not be running around on the big day!

5. Have someone be your go between – Again, if you have a wedding planner, you won’t need to appoint someone as your go between, but in the event you don’t have a wedding planner and have things you need to complete the day of your wedding, see if you can get a member or members of your bridal party to help out. They always want to know how they can help and this is one way!

6. Relish every minute of the day – From the minute you wake up until the minute you go to sleep, relish everything that happens on your wedding day. Remember opening your love’s wedding gift and how you felt when you saw it, remember the look on your mother/fathers face when they saw you in your wedding outfit, remember the smell of your flowers and the beauty of the arrangements, remember the happiness you are feeling today. Remember all the little things, because before you know it the day will be gone.

7. Make a point to speak and greet every guest – You invited your guests for a reason and love them all. Make sure you remember to give them a hug, a kiss or a kind word or thank you and how happy you are they were able to spend their day with you celebrating. We all know how important it is to feel needed and wanted.

8. Eat, Drink, Dance and Enjoy – Celebrate! You are now married to the love of your life and time to relax and enjoy! Make sure to eat, so that if you are having a few drinks, you won’t become tipsy. Drink, but try to control the amount. You don’t want to forget about your day, because you are too drunk to remember it. Dance as much as you can and enjoy this day! You’ve invested a lot of time and money into this, so make sure to take advantage of all the good things happening today!


Lehigh Valley Wedding Venues – What to Consider Before Booking

Thursday, April 9th, 2015
1st Look Bear Creek Mountain Resort

1st Look at Bear Creek Mountain Resort Lake – Photography by Jon Athans Photography

1. Location, Location, Location –You really need to decide, what area you want to have your wedding and reception. Most couples want  the ceremony site, reception site and photo sites, to be a reasonable distance from one another, because of travel time. This is the first thing you need to think about and discuss with your family and your fiancé.

Sunset picture at Hotel Palomar in Philadelphia

Hotel Palomar at Sunset by Michael McNett Photography

2. Travel Time – Keep in mind, your guests travel from different areas of the state or country and are not familiar with the area. The GPS system is not as correct as you would think, so it would be a great idea to include a directions card, or a photocopy of precise directions to the ceremony and reception sites, from the different hotel locations or general vicinity. You will also want to consider hotels that are more centrally located to either your ceremony or reception site and be sure to block them right away.

1st Dance at Silver Creek Country Club

Silver Creek Country Club – First Dance – Photo by Michael McNett Photography

3. Fairs, Holiday Happenings, Parades – Make sure to check with the city to see if they have any special events going on the weekend of your wedding. Quite a few couples found themselves out of a reception site, and no hotel rooms available for their guests, because of Pope Francis visit to Philadelphia in September 2015.

Client Reception at Bear Creek Mountain Resort

Client Reception at Bear Creek Mountain Resort Lake – Photography by Jon Athans Photography

Once you have considered those items, the next step is to visit venues. I would suggest searching on Google “Lehigh Valley Wedding Venues”, The Knot or Wedding Wire or something along that line. A lot of venues will show up. Go through the different venue sites and see what is appealing to you and narrow down your search by packages offered, how pretty the location is, and is it available on the day you want to get married! Below are the things you want to do when visiting a venue.

Centerpiece by Pondeleks Florist at Silver Creek Country Club, Photography by Michael McNett Photography

Centerpiece by Pondeleks Florist at Silver Creek Country Club, Photography by Michael McNett Photography

1. Visit Your Venue At The Same Time Of Your Event – Go and see the venue at the same time of day that you’re wedding or reception is being held. This way you will know how the room looks with the natural lighting, how the grounds look at that time of day, are there any kinds of draft in the room, etc. You may experience these things on your wedding day, so this would be a great time to bring your wedding planner with you to see the venue and get their thoughts too! In speaking with a few different venues, here are some of their thoughts about showing a venue on the day of a wedding. “Lisa Yeager from Miller Symphony Hall, said that she likes to show off her venue before a wedding begins, so that the potential client can visualize the space seeing it setup.” “Alan Raisman, from Lehigh Valley Zoo said, “that because the zoo is open every day, he shows the zoo, when it is open. If there is a wedding that day, he will have the couple come in before the wedding is set to begin to see the site.”

Wedding Reception Lehigh Country Club

Client wedding at Lehigh Country Club – Photography by Wesley Works

2. Ask all your questions! – Don’t be afraid, this is the time to ask as many questions about the venue and how it will suit your day. You need to know how many hours your package includes, most are 5 hours from start to finish, make sure you know this. Find out if you must use their preferred vendors, such as Monterre Vineyards.  They have an option, where you may either use their house DJ or you can bring in your own.  If  you bring in your own, there are special requirements you need to honor, to do so.  At Burnside Plantation, you must use their Tent or Catering Companies, this can cut down your legwork, but it can also be a pitfall; since you don’t have the option of using someone whose pricing fits your budget better.  So make sure to ask questions!

Kiss at Hotel Palomar

Kiss at Hotel Palomar – Photography by Michael McNett Photography

3. Get It In Writing– The one lesson I learned many years ago is to always get everything in writing! If it isn’t in writing, it didn’t happen. So make sure that if anyone promises you this service or that service, make sure it is in your contract! This goes for all your other wedding vendors too.

Head table at Lehigh Country Club

Head table at Lehigh Country Club Wedding, Photography by Wesley Works

The 5 Most Important Things You Need to Do, For your Wedding Dress Appointment in, the Lehigh Valley

Friday, April 3rd, 2015
Bridals by Sandra

Bridals by Sandra

One of the first things a bride’s does after getting engaged, is start looking for that perfect wedding dress! It is one of the most exciting things bride’s will do, but can also be stressful, confusing or even disappointing. Brides put so many expectations on themselves, that when things don’t go the way they want, they get upset. We can reduce a little of that concern, by letting you know the things you need, for your bridal gown appointment.

1. The first thing to do is make your wedding dress appointment at a Wedding Salon, one of my favorites is Bridals By Sandra in Nazareth, PA.

2. Make sure you bring along a good strapless bra and good undergarments that will help your dress fit perfectly on your wedding day.

3. Bring along support pantyhose and if necessary, Spanx or a Slim Shaping Girdle. The great thing about support pantyhose and girdles, are your body will look thinner and more sculpted.

4. Make sure you have a pair of shoes, which are the height of the one’s you will be wearing on your wedding day.

5. Make sure you have pictures that match the style of dress, you like or you want to try on, it will make the bridal consultants job easier in helping you at the salon.

If you should have any questions or would like to add anything, please feel free to do so. If you have anything you would like to learn about or you would like me to write about, I want to hear your thoughts!

Wedding Professional Reflections:

Friday, February 20th, 2015

My New Wedding Professional Reflections Section, will be featuring vendors, in various professions, that are centered around making your day “An Affair to Remember”!  This will give you the opportunity, to get to know some of the fabulous professionals, I have the privilege of working with in the Lehigh Valley, Phila, and the Poconos.

Today’s Featured Vendor is Michael McNett from Michael McNett Photography, in Bethlehem, PA!

Michael McNett, McNett Photography

Michael McNett, McNett Photography






I met Mike about 2 years ago, when I was coming back into business, after my hiatus! I asked a friend, who they thought, were the best wedding photographers in the area? One of her choices was Mike.  When we met I loved him instantly! He has a quirky sense of humor and comes up with the cutest quips, when you least expect them. I am speaking from experience, when I say, he really is great at developing a close and committed bond, with his couples. As a planner, that is one of the most import things I look for in a vendor.  I always want to keep my couples as the prime focus, always keeping in mind, its their wedding.


Can you tell my readers a little about yourself and how you decided to become a professional wedding photographer? I started in the photography field at the High School for the Arts, which is similar to the arts school, in the movie “Fame”. After completing that program, I then continued my education towards a Bachelor in Fine Arts (BFA) at Maryland Institute College of Art, in Baltimore, MD. I graduated in 2000.


How would you describe your artistic style? Emotional reportage. It is a documentary style of photography, documenting emotions, not news.


How many weddings do you shoot per year? Do you have a favorite place in the Lehigh Valley, Poconos or Philadelphia area, which you like to shoot? I shoot no more than 30 weddings per year and I really don’t have a favorite place. I prefer to shoot, based on places that are representative of my clients and who they are.


Not all clients are creative or do well in front of a camera. How do you manage your client’s expectations to think outside of the box, when working with you? My packages include an engagement session for every couple and I find them invaluable. They give me the opportunity to really get to know the couple and it allows them the opportunity to really get to know me. It’s a matter of comfort and I want all of my clients, comfortable in front of the camera. MichelleKent-W-0622

I know you have many facets to your business, how do you manage your success? “By the seat of my pants”, he quips! Success is secondary to me. My love stems from my deep love for weddings and couples and the Wedding Day is as exciting for me as it is for my clients.


What have been some of your more difficult shooting situations and how do you overcome them? I would say shooting celebrity weddings. Talent agents are always restricting access to the client and I function better, when I develop a more intimate relationship with the client. That can’t happen with an agent in tow.


How long do you spend editing the average wedding? The editing takes 2 hours/hour of shooting time on the wedding day.


 For clients that are considering working with you, what’s the best way for them to start? How far in advance should a client try to book you? I value personal, face to face contact. I can carry out more in a face to face meeting, than online or over the phone. If a client is looking for Fall Wedding Season, they should book at least 2 years in advance. Any other time, should book 1 year in advance.


What are the best memories from your wedding profession? When I see my clients use a picture I took, from their wedding day, as their profile picture on Facebook, especially 5 years later.


What else would you like my readers to know about you? Being a photographer, is a means to an end. Much is expressed in the design of the wedding album and other visual ways. I help the client in remembering their day, after it’s over, for years to come!



Wedding Gift Registry

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

8 Tips To Make It Easier For You

Keep in mind that gift giving by friends and family started, because they wanted to help the newlyweds, stock their home. The tips below are just a guideline for you to use when registering or asking for gifts.

1. Sooner than later – Even though you’ve only been engaged for a short time, there is no reason you can’t start registering for your gifts now. Decide where you want register and try to limit yourself to (2) gift registries. Department stores or Home stores are a great choice to start. Macy’s offers a Registry Guide, to direct you. Bed Bath and Beyond, also has an online gift registry .

2. Spend some quality time together – Quality time together is a great thing, especially when you are trying to set up your new home. Have fun and make a day of it!

3. Register for what you want – You can register for any type of items. In the distant past, you always ordered your china or silverware…today you can register for anything, including cleaning items, etc. Anything you will need for your new home, you can ask for, be it appliances, TVs, it’s totally open today.

4. Return policies – Check to see what the return policies are for the different registries, in the event you receive multiple numbers of the same item. Make sure there aren’t any time restrictions and if so, make sure you remember to return those items as soon as you can

5. Different prices – Make sure that you pick items in every price category. Try to register for items that are low-priced, medium priced and highly priced, since not everyone can afford high price ticketed items and you don’t want to lay a guilt trip on them for that reason.

6. Keep your registry updated – make sure that the registry updates, as you receive gifts and those items are stated as purchased. If not, find out if you have the ability to make changes, if you do receive gifts early, you can update the registry.

7. Not just gifts – Most registries allow you to ask for gift cards on your registry too. This is a great idea, that way after the wedding you can go out and get the items you still need. We know that cash is a great gift, but is in very bad taste to ask for as a gift, the gift card is the next best thing.

8. Thank your friends – Don’t forget to let your friends know that you received their gift within a few days of receipt. Also your thank you notes need to be written and mailed within 2 weeks of the wedding. Yes, it’s easier to do one’s that are pre-printed, but much more appreciated and cherished, if they are handwritten and personalized by mentioning the gift you received!

What To Do Once You Have Said Yes?

Monday, December 29th, 2014

Well, you’ve been dreaming about this day, since you were young! The love of your life has asked you to be their husband or wife, and you’ve said yes! Now what? Here is a list of 10 things to do, after accepting your partners proposal.

1. Tell your parents – Allow them to have the honor of finding out that you have become engaged and be ready, time to celebrate! Might want to even let the family you don’t see or talk to all the time know too!

2. Call your closest friends – Make sure you call your closest friends, so they find out the great news from you, not from facebook! This is one of those things that should be done personally!

3. Decide on how many guests – Take a look at your friends and family and get an approximate idea of how many guests. You’ll need this for your Save the Date cards and if you use a planner, they will need to know that count, so they are able to refer you to the best locations suited to handle your affair.

4. Set your budget – Decide on how much you will have to dedicate to your wedding and also if anyone else will be contributing, such as parents, grandparents, etc. You will need a realistic budget so that you and a planner (if used) can determine what services fit your budget. This will also give you time to start saving for each of your services. The worst thing you can do is plan a wedding for $30K and when it comes time to pay the bills find out you don’t have the funds and end up having to take out a loan to pay it off.

5. Set the date – The main question you will be asked is “Congratulations, when is the date?” If you set the date right away you’ll already have an answer to the most often asked question. You also need to know the date when looking into where you will hold your ceremony and reception and finding availability of other wedding vendors.

6. Save the date – Get your Save the Date cards out to all your friends and family who you want to be in attendance this way they can put it on the calendar. A great place to go to do this is The Paperbag in Allentown

7. Hire a Planner – Getting married is a stressful time of your life. A planner will help you to get started and alleviate the stress you may experience. A planner, will save you a lot of legwork and time and allow you to really enjoy being engaged. Pinterest, may have become your best friend and you probably have many boards dealing with romantic wedding ideas, which your planner will help you to implement and make a reality. By knowing your budget, they can refer you to the best wedding vendors, to suit your budget and style. If you decide you are just looking for someone to pull it all together, look into Day of Service Packages too.

8. Now the honors – Pick out your attendants! There are many ways to ask those special friends to be in attendants and honor attendants in your wedding. Below are some fun ways to ask your friends:

a.  Gifts that help you ask
b. BBQ for everyone to get together to ask at once – love the t-shirts that say their role in the wedding (or something like that)
c. Check out online sites for other suggestions

9. Check out Social Media sites and Wedding Websites – Sign up at The Knot and also WeddingWire. Both of these websites have many wedding planning tools, to help you with vendor referrals, timelines of when things need to be done, to keep you on track, etc. Check them out. If you are in the Lehigh Valley, check out Lehigh Valley

10.  Take out insurance – Consider insurance for both your new engagement ring and also your wedding. Insurance for your ring will make sure that if anything happens to either your wedding ring, whether you lose a stone or lose the ring, it can be replaced. Many couples ask, is wedding insurance really necessary, below is what Travelers Insurance says,

“The Wedding Protector Plan® is special event insurance which provides cancellation postponement coverage and other coverages to cover your investment, with an option to add liability coverage with no deductible, for many of things that could go wrong – that are beyond your control. Some of the Wedding Day Disasters are:
Dress lost, Deposits, Lost Rings, Severe Weather, Transportation Shutdown, Ruined Photos, Call to Duty, Damaged Gifts, Sudden Illness, Venue Requires Insurance, Additional Expense, Unemployment”
You can contact Brosky Insurance for further information and what they offer.

Now that you know where to begin, it’s time to have fun, relax, enjoy and don’t sweat the small stuff!