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Dazzling images from our own Merrily Wed® weddings as well as others that capture our heart from Lake Tahoe and beyond. Along with wedding design ideas, fresh trends and helpful wedding planning hints. Get comfy, take a look around and stay awhile!
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Posts Tagged 'Helpful Hints'

January 21, 2014

Metallics are turning up the heat in 2014.  Whether you favor gold or silver or something in between, there is a precious metal shade for you… platinum, copper, bronze, gold or silver.

Copper is a natural compliment to the fall hues, bronze looks stunning with vibrant summer colors (think of how great a bronzed, tan body looks in bright summery clothes…).  Gold always adds a richness and sophistication to the design.  Platinum brings a cool, classic antique elegance to the table while a shiny silver gives a sleek gleam.

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Metallics 2014

Credits: Top left to right – DetroitPaperCompany on Etsy, SterlingSocal.com, LivingWikii.com, WeddingWire.com
Middle left to right – DesignandPaper.com, HooplaLove on Etsy
Bottom left to right – Pinterest.com, 100LayerCake.com, TheSweetestOccasion.com, AtelierJoya.blogspot.com

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It is easy to incorporate this trend into your wedding style by selecting an embellished wedding gown, a wedding accessory like a hair clip, shoe or belt with your favorite metal color or perhaps a metallic linen for your tables. Groomsmen attire isn’t off limits either!  Metallic invites and glittery gold escort cards are options too.  On the table from votives, to flatware, glassware and china begged to be embellished.

There are so many ways to play with this metallic trend. Have fun with it!

Tahoe Signature of Style,

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August 22, 2013

In the initial stages of planning, one of the hardest decisions may be agreeing on the number of guests to invite to your wedding.  Whether your favorite venue or budget (or just personal preference!) is determining the number of guests which can attend, having the discussion with your parents, future in-laws and fiance from the start will save you big headaches later on.

Of course the number you invite will be higher than the number actually attending.  We recommend using about a 15% decline rate but this can vary on each individual situation – where the majority of guests are traveling from, time of year for your wedding and your guests’ own personal budgets.  We advise our clients individually on a percentage to use.

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Three Easy Steps to Master Your Guest List:

1)  A key point to address and not to tip-toe around is how you will divide up this total number of invited guests.  We have seen lots of scenarios – half for the bride side, half for the groom side – is the most common.  Or depending on who is paying.  Sometimes couples marry later on in their careers and find themselves contributing substantially to their wedding day so a three-way split is acceptable between both sides of parents and then the couple themselves.  Or perhaps four ways, both parents and then a list for each of you.

2)  However you split the master guest list, sit down and compare your personal lists as you may likely have a few overlaps and common invitees.  This will open up a couple of spots!  When making your list, start at the top with your family and friends that you cannot imagine not having there on your wedding day.  As you add to your list, widen the circle of must attends.  This will help if you have to cut (yes, it does happen) guests from your invite list if you are exceeding the total number of guests to invite.  You will have done your work and eliminate from the bottom up.

3)  Equally important is sticking to this guest list!  The master guest list is easily the biggest source of contention for everyone throughout the wedding planning.  Depending on the length of your engagement, you may hit it off with a new work colleague, your third cousin has returned from their world trip or you ran into your long lost childhood friend.  Each wedding is different and if in your situation it works, then the more the merrier, but if it doesn’t, then you need to stick to your guns.  If everyone added 4-6 guests, then you could suddenly be looking at an additional 20 guests and so the problems begin.

Spend a little time at the beginning to agree on a course of action and this will save you a lot of stress, contention and potential arguments later on.  After all your engagement is your first big test of ‘compromise’ with each other and your new family.  Make it a successful one!

Tahoe Signature of Style,

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July 2, 2013

With the long hot dog days of summer here, we couldn’t resist these refreshing and mouthwatering cocktails hand-picked by Catering Magazine to ensure to wet your whistle as well as “raise the bar” at your next summer BBQ, party or even your wedding.

From a lip smacking Kumquat Mojito to a Ben & Jack’s Swimming Pool to a Mango Spice and Ice, you will find something here to quench your thirst and tempt your guests’ taste buds with the exotic.

What is your favorite??

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Tahoe Signature of Style,

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May 6, 2013

We dove head over heels for these DIY watercolor wedding invitations, stationery and more.  This romantic, water-inspired style pairs nicely with a Lake Tahoe lakeside wedding anywhere from formal to casual.  With a dash of color and a sprinkle of water, this “labor of love” will surely have your guests diving in too!

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wedding chicks freeprintablesThis Petunia printable watercolor invitation from Anticipate Invitations on Wedding Chicks, is in this summer’s popular fresh peach.  They also include some oh-so darling tips on how to highlight the watercolor theme throughout your wedding.  From brightly painted cookie frosting to dainty, pastel floral napkins… your summer wedding will surely “float” with this unique touch.

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annika likesDIYFor a more formal approach, this DIY tutorial on letterpress watercolor invitations from Annika Likes is sure to wow.  Beautifully hand-painted and customized invitations never seemed so easy!

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diy-wedding-escort-cards Once Wed 1.jpgWhen its time to invite your guests to find their seats for dinner, splash in a bit of watercolor romance to their experience.  We loved this DIY idea featured on Once Wed and we just had to share…  Definitely steal-worthy!

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DIY marbled paper Green Wedding ShoesThis next idea from Green Wedding Shoes involves a little more “labor of love” than the rest, but the end result is definitely something you and your guests will cherish.  With a little acrylic paint, this marbled paper can be used for almost all things wedding from tags to menus to box wraps…  Take a look!

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DIY Welcome Bag Labels Betsy White BoutiqueWe thought these lovely, quick and easy printable labels for your Welcome Bags, Favor bags and more would be a perfect complement to your lakeside day.  Betsy White Stationery Boutique gives us the 411 on how to make this irresistible accessory.

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Martha Stewart Guest Book 2Lastly, but certainly not least, as you create your watercolor masterpieces for your guests, reward yourself with this adorable printable poster to use as your guest book from Martha Stewart Weddings.  Then adorn your newlywed home with this piece of art and never forget those that “Love Always” on your wedding day!

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Tahoe Signature of Style,

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January 17, 2013

We all know the famous Victorian poem “Something old, something new…”

 

Something old, something new
Something borrowed, something blue
And a silver sixpence in her shoe.

 

and supposedly, by carrying all of these tokens down the aisle, the bride’s marriage will be happy and bestowed with good luck.  The sixpence represents wealth and financial security and literally is worth about 6 cents.  For optimum fortune be sure to wear it in the left shoe!

“Something old” symbolizes continuity with the bride’s family and the past. “Something new” means optimism and hope for the bride’s new life ahead. “Something borrowed” is usually an item from a happily married friend or family member, whose good fortune in marriage is supposed to carry over to the new bride. The borrowed item also reminds the bride that she can depend on her friends and family.

As for blue, this color has been connected to weddings for centuries. In ancient Rome, brides wore blue to symbolize love, modesty, and fidelity.  In Christianity the Virgin Mary is commonly dressed in blue, so purity was associated with the color.  Before the late 19th century, blue was a popular color for wedding gowns, as evidenced in proverbs like, “Marry in blue, lover be true.”

We love to see how each bride will interpret these tokens for her own wedding day and put her personal stamp on this old superstition.

Here are some of our fave updated examples and modern inspirations from this traditional poem!

 

Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something BlueSomething Old:
Love this – the veil worn by one of our brides was also her mother’s AND worn by both of her sisters before her OR wrap a piece of lace or material from your mom/grandma’s gown around the stems of your bouquet OR wear a family gown altered just for you OR pin an heirloom brooch to your sash/dress on your hip…

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Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something BlueSomething New:
Modern twist – the bridal bouquet!  One of our brides had a custom fabric rosette bouquet created that will never wilt, lasting forever.  (Great potential for Something Borrowed or Something Old in the future) OR sport jewelry given as a wedding gift on morning of your wedding from your fiance OR write your personalized vows on a scrolled manuscript tucked in your bouquet OR perhaps select a new fragrance…

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Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something BlueSomething Borrowed:
Deep meaning – one of our brides carried her family bible used for generations down the aisle along with her bouquet OR wear a hair accessory from a family member in your hair OR perhaps incorporate a little token from each bridesmaid discreetly into your wedding attire OR borrow anything you need to complete your wedding day look…

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Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something BlueSomething Blue:
Another fave – blue stilettos peeping out from your dress OR wear bold Sapphire jewelry Or your bridesmaids write a personal message in blue ink on the bottom of your shoe OR write on the underside of your groom’s tie (or on the inside jacket lining) a love note in blue…

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Tahoe Signature of Style,

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July 25, 2012

This spring I introduced you to Michelle Van Otten, a respected San Francisco Bay Area author, international public speaker and consultant with expertise in personal peak performance, business image, first impressions and body language.  This is our final in the series of guest posts in which she gave you valuable hints, tips and clues – helping you to become the most magnetic, radiant, confident version of you possible.

If you happened to miss the last two posts – check them out now on how to radiate your inner beauty and how to speak confidently and give a scintillating toast.

Today Michelle is giving us valuable advice that you can use every day from meeting a new friend, nailing a job interview, a successful first date as well as meeting future in-laws…  How to make a winning first impression.

10 Winning Tips on How to Make a Great and Everlasting First Impression on Your Future Family Members and Friends

Meeting your boyfriend’s family for the first time can certainly be nerve wrecking.  But rest assured, no matter what the occasion or event, let me share that the number one pearl of wisdom to keep in mind is to be your true self.  The most impacting and memorable first impressions are those that reflect the real you and your true personality.  You can breathe a sigh of relief and remember that there is no need to look, be or act perfect!  Just remember that most people are really more focused on themselves and their own negative mind chatter that you might imagine.  So the pressure is off and the opportunity is on.

I’m going to give you 10 of my best impression making tips to help build your rapport building skills and make your best and most memorable first impression.

Tip #1:
Tune in and be aware of what your body language is saying about you to others.  Your body language is affected by your emotions, belief systems, habits and mannerisms and how well you take care of your physical body.  The basics of body language you can master now to help you build better rapport and connection are things like eliminating negative facial expressions, stiff or poor posture, leaning away from people, and crossing your arms and legs.  Little habits like these can turn others off and present you as negative and unapproachable.  Even when this is not your intention at all!

Instead, give great face and know your emotions are incredibly influential and powerful.  Negative facial expressions are detected faster and are more impacting than positive ones.  Smiling with your eyes and your heart conveys that you are open, confident, interested in others and easily approachable and likable. Lean in towards others when they are speaking with you.  Keep yourself open and engaging.  Uncross your arms and legs when appropriate.  Maintain eye contact and be sincerely authentic with your communication.  Even just keeping a smile on your face and maintaining eye contact as much as possible will set you up for success.

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Tip #2:  Convey true confidence that emanates from the inside out.  Confidence is something a lot of people feel they don’t posses.  So I’m going to give you the top ways to build true magnetic confidence from that has you glowing from the inside out.  Let’s begin.
*The single best way to build your confidence muscle and get a mental boost is by working on your physical body and making fitness a daily routine.  Remember that whether you like it or not, your level of self care sends the most distinct cues about how you treat yourself and this can set the tone for how others will also value you and treat you.
*Improve your self-worth by investing in your style and build a killer first impression wardrobe you look and feel great in
*Work on your posture and fix any slumping or bad habits
*Develop your strength with an attitude of gratitude and focus on noticing everything positive while working on eliminating the tendency to focus on negative things or what isn’t working in your life
*Face your fears and do it anyway.  Remember that Fear is simply False Evidence Appearing Real!

Tip #3:  Remember that people love to hear their name and hearing it makes them feel welcome, included and significant.  There is a deep subconscious effect that happens when we hear our own name used in conversation.  It creates familiarity and a feeling of ease.  It gets our attention and increases our desire to listen in more closely to what follows.  Using someone’s name in conversation is a fantastic way to instantly increase rapport and connection with others.  This little communication secret will serve you immensely in building solid connections with others.

Tip #4:  Become the master of your emotional states.  Whether we realize it or not, emotions dominate the bulk of our non-verbal communication with anyone. Emotions create distinct cues that are conveyed in our facial expressions and body language that send very subtle yet clear messages. Emotions create energy; positive or negative.  Your ability to master your emotions and discover how powerful your emotions are at influencing others happens through the energy you create or take away via your own emotional states.  If you want to be more influential in your speaking or connecting with others, learn how to put yourself into positive emotional states instantly.  This sets the mood you want others to see and feel.

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Tip #5:  Be proactive in starting conversations fearlessly.  It’s all about having fun! Remember that a lot of people are nervous or feeling self conscious.  So take the lead!  Set the tone!  Be in the moment, be curious and engaging.  You win by focusing on others needs and making them feel comfortable first.  One way to do this is to become an expert listener, engaged and focused on what others are saying, so you truly hear them and they know you are listening.

Tip #6:  Your style, appearance and level of apparent self-care are dominant factors in making a million dollar first impression!  These things speak volumes to others about your level of self-standards, the way you care about and value yourself.  Others will treat you with the same exact level of care and respect you treat yourself with!  Take the time to care for your body, health, grooming, appearance and style.  Remember to match your style of dress appropriately to the environment to send the right message and intention.

Tip #7:  Become a Master in the Art of Conversation by learning the flow of what works best in getting the social connection going.  Just simply being proactive in starting lively conversations makes the other person feel safe, warm and open.  The better you are at making someone else feel good and the more you show that you’re focused on their needs makes everyone feel great and you become a highly skilled master.

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Tip #8:  Give up feeling like you have to be perfect and just focus on being the real you! Perfection is the lowest human standard there is.  It’s true mental self-torture.  The more we are able to let this go the more relaxed we become and able to let go of the silly trivial things we focus so much attention to. The truth is that when we obsess and focus on being perfect, we think everyone else around us is focusing on the same things! Wrong! Most people are not tuned in to our little obsessions. We can get to a state of being where we can give up perfection and settle for excellence instead.

Tip #9:  The brain loves sameness and when we find out that we have things in common with others it instantly builds a common bond and makes people much more attracted to us. Well known American author and psychotherapist Virginia Satir said, “The strongest human instinct is not survival.  It’s staying in the familiar and keeping things the same.” As humans, we will gravitate towards the familiar at any and all costs!  We are hard wired to seek out all that feels familiar to us.  When people find out that you share the same beliefs, opinions, attitudes, interests, social groups, likes, dislikes it can instantly help someone feel a higher degree of comfort and build rapport in seconds.

Tip #10:  Keep a tickler file in your brain of current events, newsworthy topics of conversation and things you find funny about everyday life so you always have something engaging to say.  If you’ve ever felt awkward in a social situation where you don’t know a single soul and everyone there seems to appear to know everyone else, you’re not alone.  Now that I’ve shared some key ways to start conversations and make a great first impression, I want you to be armed and ready with immediate topics of interest you can talk with anyone about.

Follow these steps and Michelle Van Otten will help you become the most magnetic, radiant, confident version of you possible! Success in any endeavor is always an inside job first and an outside job second. You’ve got to have the inner game in order to reflect a stellar outer game. She can show you how easy it is to achieve your ultimate self!

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Tahoe Signature of Style,

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April 10, 2012

Michelle Van Otten

Meet Michelle Van Otten, a respected San Francisco Bay Area author, international public speaker and consultant with expertise in personal peak performance, business image, first impressions and body language.  This is the first of a series of guest posts in which she will give you valuable hints, tips and clues – helping you to become the most magnetic, radiant, confident version of you possible!

Beauty Is an Inside Job First

As you imagine your wedding day, one of the most unforgettable and memorable days of your life, how do you see yourself and your day unfold? Are you radiant and exuding authentic beauty that seems to come from within your soul? Are you beaming with confidence and feeling your best? Are you proud of your physical appearance and deriving such joy from how you look and feel? Are you calm and accepting of what is and embracing all the little flaws of life for what they are and laughing them off?

All of these are some of the most important questions to ask yourself so that you can truly set the intention to create yourself as the best you can be on that day (and every day) as well as the intention you want to create for your loved ones and your husband to be.

To help you shine and be seen for your brilliance, I thought I would offer you 8 stellar tips and simple suggestions for how to create magnetic confidence so you can really love living in your skin on your glorious day! You are truly amazing and I want you to be remembered for your vibrancy and seen through the lens of the intentions you set.

1. Set your vision and the ultimate intention for your special day starting NOW! Practice beginning every morning by imbedding that vision of exactly what you want your day to be like, how you see it unfolding, who you want to be. Build your vision with the greatest detail, taking yourself through all of your emotional responses to what you see, feel, hear, taste, smell. Build it so that you deeply imbed this in your mind and as such play this out as your destiny.
2. Your most optimal time of the day to capitalize on your fitness and nutrition efforts is first thing in the morning. Launch your day with a fabulous workout and cardio session that leaves you feeling energized and great about yourself and your body. Nourish yourself and your body first every day. When you master your physiology you master your energy and your level of self-confidence.
3. Manage your stress by creating your support system. Build your team that has your back and takes care of you! Make a list of all the things that suck your energy and time and assign someone to help you with that particular task or item. Remember that you CAN ask for help and by avoiding taking on the world you will shine even more radiantly and beautifully being stress free.
4. Acknowledge yourself for all that you accomplish in each day. Acknowledge your partner too for all that he does and is going through.
5. Develop your attitude of gratitude so you avoid the vortex trap of negativity. At times of stress with tight deadlines, we can get laser focused on all that isn’t going well. So practice noticing and shifting your thoughts to what is working and what is amazing in your life.
6. Give up the need or feeling of being perfect. Perfection leads us into so much internal pressure and suffering. Instead embrace the desire to be your best in every moment vs. aiming for perfection. Embrace all that is already whole and fabulous about you.
7. Create a morning power mantra! I love this exercise and it’s one of the strongest ways to build your daily confidence muscle. Start by making a list of all the things you love about yourself, values, strengths and gratitudes. Write it down. Recite this list to yourself every morning in the mirror as you get ready for your day. When you leave the house you will be feeling unstoppable.
8. Remember that connection matters more than anything else. Your ability to develop deeper connections comes from being truly you, authentic in every way. It’s all about the energy you give off from your thoughts and emotions that creates the most profound experience for others that they will always remember you for.

Follow these steps and Michelle Van Otten will help you become the most magnetic, radiant, confident version of you possible!  Success in any endeavor is always an inside job first and an outside job second.  You’ve got to have the inner game in order to reflect a stellar outer game.  She can show you how easy it is to achieve your ultimate self!

Tahoe Signature of Style,

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February 29, 2012

With so much wedding inspiration on the world wide web these days, it is very easy for a bride to become overwhelmed with all the design choices and styles.  And I am just talking about the dining tables!  Having a beautifully set table at your wedding can be something to look forward to or a daunting task.  The great joy of designing a stylish table-scape is to have fun with it.  Start small in your own home with your own dining table and engage in a little table-’E’scape.

A few simple tips can make your own cupboards a bin of inspiration.  An organized pantry will allow you to access items easily and you will be more likely to remember these settings and use them.  Stack collections of similar colors on open shelves.  Baskets can store table linens, napkins, napkin rings and candles.

 

 

First rule is there are no rules but just a few simple guidelines to observe…

  1. Begin with stocking your pantry with basic white dishes.  More the better with oversize bowls and platters…  Food pops off white plates but don’t be afraid to accessorize with colorful accents.
  2. Silverware can vary from your grandmother’s antiques to flea market finds.  Mix and match is a ‘do’ as well if you don’t have complete sets.
  3. Collect place mats and napkins in different colors to compliment your china.  Napkins can match or contrast.  They can be folded a million ways, be placed on top, next to or under the plate.  Napkin rings are further embellishment and come in a variety of styles and materials.
  4. Runners are great on a bare wooden table top or placed on a linen tablecloth.  A tablecloth creates a sense of formality and helps define the mood.
  5. Candles.  Lots and lots of candles – votives and pillars – create a warm and welcoming atmosphere.
  6. Use color as your organizing principle.  A single color can have a terrific impact too.

 

 

Add your own personal style to your table by looking around your home for inspiration.  After a few nights of reenacting Top Chef with your favorite friends and breaking in different place settings, your own dining table will be a breeding ground of ideas.  Start to play with china shapes, complimentary color families, different textures – the sky is your limit!

Now it is time to tackle the table-scape for your wedding reception!

Tahoe Signature of Style,

 

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