Monday, June 6, 2011

12 Worst Pieces of Wedding Advice

Brides share the most awful tips they've been given while planning their wedding.
By Anne Roderique-Jones

1. Bad advice: "My grandmother told me that I must wear a white dress or else people will start thinking that I'm not a virgin. I'm a 30-year-old bride who has been living with my fiance for six years."
What you should do: This "rule" is completely antiquated. In fact, there are probably quite a few engaged virgins out there who will choose to wear ivory (gasp!) on their wedding day. Wear whichever color you love that looks best with your skin tone. In fact, white works best on darker skin tones, and ivory shades flatter lighter skin.

2. Bad advice: "It's YOUR wedding, and this day is all about YOU!"
What you should do: It is your wedding day, but don't forget the little people. Treat your wedding party (and guests) with respect. For instance, let your bridesmaids help choose their dresses, and don't have a cash bar.

3. Bad advice: "Type up and print generic thank-you notes ahead of time, and just slap a label with your names on them instead of signing them."
What you should do: Your guests took the time to choose (yes, even if it was on a registry!) and pay for your gifts, and it's your job as a gracious couple to get your thank-you notes out in a timely fashion (it's easiest to write them right when the gift arrives). Make sure they're handwritten and heartfelt.

4. Bad advice: "You don't need a wedding planner; let your mom handle it."
What you should do: Unless you want your wedding to be officially mom-themed, ask your mom to help you plan some of the important and personal details, but leave the big stuff to the pros.

5. Bad advice: "Send invites to people you know will not come."
What you should do: Those hopeful no-shows may decide to make an appearance. You may get the gift, but you'll also be over capacity and over budget. Invite the people whom you actually want to be at your wedding, and enjoy the day with those who matter most to you. (Stress Free Events Thoughs on this: It is perfectly acceptable to send out a wedding announcement after teh wedding to friends and family far away that you knew could not make it).

6. Bad advice: "If it's not a diamond, then it's not a real engagement ring."
What you should do: Kate Middleton rocks a sapphire, and ladies in Greece wear pearls. Bottom line: Wear what you love ... or at least what was given to you.

7. Bad advice: "Someone told me to ship the gown to New Jersey to avoid paying NYC taxes. Umm, no, that's tax evasion, and I don't look good in stripes."
What you should do: If you're planning to have your dress shipped, then inquire about discount codes. But picking it up at the salon is usually the most cost-effective option.

8. Bad advice: "My future father-in-law said not to bother getting my wedding band sized down to fit because I'll just have to get it sized up one day."
What you should do: There's no reason that anyone has to gain the "newlywed nine." Plus, if you don't size it properly, you're much more likely to lose it!

9. Bad advice: "My mother suggested having the cocktail hour before the ceremony."
What you should do: Do that and your guests will be sauced before you exchange your vows. Instead, open the bar after the ceremony, and serve nonalcoholic bevs like lemonade and cucumber water beforehand.

10. Bad advice: "Take out a loan for the wedding!"
What you should do: Instead, save diligently and have a personal and meaningful wedding that you can afford. Money fights are no fun, and debt is not the way you want to enter into marriage.
11. Bad advice: "You'll want a short engagement so the groom doesn't change his mind."
What you should do: Shorter engagements leave you less time to find vendors. Most engagements are over a year long, and planning a wedding is stressful. If your groom runs away during this time, he'd never last the entire marriage. It's a good trial.

12. Bad advice: "Cut back on costs and have a potluck and BYOB reception."
What you should do: A wedding is an event that you host, and these are your guests. Don't expect them to provide their own food and drink. If cost is an issue, look into having an early brunch with mimosas or having your event catered by a local restaurant, which is often more affordable.

DISCLAIMER: This article was originally posted on MSN Lifestyle and written by The Knot

Saturday, January 1, 2011

2011 Changes are big

I have thought long and hard about business for this year. I have made a decision to step back and take a little bit of a break from Stress Free Events. Don't read that as I am done, but I am limiting greatly the events that I do.

I am excited to do the weddings I already have on the books, and will be happy to help any of my past clients with any of their needs. I am only accepting new clients on referrals from my past clients right now.

I started a new job in July. I am working for the school district and I have the flexibility to keep working on weddings and other events. At the same time I feel that I have not been available to my family as much as I would like.

Both of my kids are in school now and by the time we get home, get homework done, and have dinner we have very little time for play time. Add weddings multiple weekends a month on top of that, and I feel like I am missing out on their childhood. This is such a great age for them and I want to miss as little as possible. I also have lost my grandmother at the end of this year, and my mother in law is starting a new battle with cancer (she has beaten it before, and we know she will again). These events have just proven to me how precious time with family is. My parents are still young and working and with the kids in school the best time for us to spend with family is on the weekends. I want my family to know the closeness and precious relationships you can only have with grandparents.

I could never give up weddings entirely. They are a part of me. I feel like so many of you are a part of my family now. I just will not be advertising for new clients. I will not be taking on back to back weekend events. I will be working with some of the vendors and venues I have grown to love over the years to help them with their businesses and keep in touch with the wedding world, but on a more limited capacity.

In an effort to keep costs down, I have decided that I will be letting my website go, and my email. I don't see paying to host that at this time. I have this blog to share with you as well as my facebook page.
My new email is
My cell phone is still the same and don't hesitate to contact me. I am still here for you.
Love you All
Becky Sosa
and Family
Happy New Year

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Sarah and Collin

Horseshoe Bay was just a dream come true for Sarah and Collin. I was so glad that I was a part of their fairy tale wedding. Horseshoe Bay did so much to make this easy on me. AJH Photography did a great job capturing this great event, and the party that followed the picturesque ceremony. The party included the groom ending up in the pool, you know its a party then.
The Guys came over from across the lake on a boat. Unloaded right at the ceremony site and walked up wiped some sweat from their brows and escourted the girls down the aisle.

Right after the ceremony they took some photos on the beach area. Perfect setting.
Yes he flipped her right on the dance floor. They knew how to party.

And before the night was over the groom ended up being tossed into the pool. Seems he did something similar to his brother at his wedding so it was payback time.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Christine and Parker

I have known Christine and Parker for awhile now. Christine was a bridesmaid in Kelly's wedding last year. When they came to me to coordinate their wedding I couldn't have been happier. It was a beautiful wedding. The details were wonderful and I have to say they were one of the most precious couples to work with. Here are a few photos. Check out more at our facebook page.

The Stephen F. Austin Hotel was the perfect setting. The staff was great and the food was wonderful. A few communication details slipped when the event manager left and a new one came on, but they made it all work out great.

Photos were captured by the team of Carli and John from inked fingers fotography. I love working with them. And the photos captured it all so well.

There were so many others involved in making this day happen. Let me know if you want contact information for any of them.

This was just a precious moment caught after they left in the horse drawn carriage.These two just about stole the show. Loved the colors they choose.

It's been way too long.

Ok I knew I was behind on blogging. I just didn't realize how long. So please forgive me. I promise to start blogging tonight. At the rate that my computer is uploading photos it might be tomorrow before anything is actually posted.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Idea for smaller weddings.

I have many brides that are freaked out a little at the cost to rent china for their wedding. I am planning a shower right now and got an idea for a wedding. I have this amazing china that was my grandmothers. My mom has some beautiful china as well. My other grandmother has some great china as well. Well if you have a smaller wedding and are not stuck on everything matching fully then here is the idea. Have several family members host different reception tables. Depending on the size of their collection they might be able to host two tables. You still cover the tables with a neutral table cloth and make arrangements for the centerpieces but your family and friends provide the china place settings. This would work great with a dinner that is served family style. Again i would not recommend this for large weddings, but smaller events this would work very well. And gives your family a way to participate in your big day.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

This is a great artical from the Knot

So you thought it'd be great to write your own wedding vows, but now a healthy dose of writer's block (not to mention fear of embarrassing yourself) has hit you squarely on the head. Don't know how to transform your heavy, life-altering, feelings into a string of coherent words? You're not alone -- but don't worry, your goal is within reach: Just take it one word at a time. Here's the homework you need to do (and the questions you should ask) to make your wedding vows perfect.

Prep Step A: Get clearance
Make sure your officiant will accept personalized vows. Catholic and Episcopal congregations, for instance, may require you to recite all or part of the traditional vows, though in most cases that's left to the officiant's discretion. Remember: Even the most accommodating officiant will want to review your words in advance.

Prep Step B: Make a plan
You need to tackle the logistics to make sure you and your fiance are both on the same page: Are you each going to write your own, or will you write them together? Will you show them to each other before the ceremony?

Knot Note: If you're feeling shy, opt to write your vows together and even recite the exact same promises. If there's more you wish to say, privately, say it in the cards you exchange on the day of your wedding or on your honeymoon.

Prep Step C: Create your outline
An outline can help to establish a structure that you both stick to. For example, plan to first talk about how great your fiance is, then about how great you are as a couple, then about what you're vowing to each other.

Prep Step D: Find your voice
What overall tone do you want: Humorous and touching? Poetic and mushy? It's your call -- the most important thing is that your vows ring true and sound like they're from your heart.

Prep Step E: Cut it down
Finally, pick a length and stick to it by keeping the mantra pithy and to the point in mind -- anything longer than a minute or so, and no matter how gorgeous your prose, the audience will start to squirm.

Ready to Write!
What exactly do you say? To help you think of sentiments to include, take turns answering this list of questions. When you're done, look through your answers for the phrases that best capture your intended message and incorporate them into the structure of your vows.

What did you think when you first saw him/her? Start from the beginning -- you didn't want to go out and now you're grateful your friends dragged you out? How to use: When we met at __________, I knew __________.

When did you realize you were in love? The more specific you are able to be, the more touching the story. Was it when he helped you bring your sick puppy to the vet? How to use: I knew I was in love when ____________. Don't underestimate the power of humor. Throw in at least one more playful sentiment (When she recited Don Mattingly's RBI record...).

What do you have now that you didn't have before you met? Focus on the heart and head, not material possessions. Has she taught you to appreciate beauty differently? Has he helped you learn to savor creating a home-cooked meal? How to use: Before I met you, I ___________. Now I ___________.

How has your worldview changed? Life has likely gotten better since the two of you joined forces, so tell everyone about it. How to use: Because of you, I see the world __________. Having trouble? Think about the new things you've tried with your mate -- what have you experienced together that you never would have on your own?

What do you miss most when you're apart? This will probably be something mundane but powerful -- what about his smile first thing in the morning, or the way she puts out your lucky mug for your morning coffee? How to use: You are such a part of me that when you're gone, I __________.

Where do you see yourselves in 10 years? 20 years? 40 years? Go deeper than Happily married in a big house. What are your long-term hopes, dreams, and goals? How to use: I look forward to __________, laughing and __________ as we __________.

Is there a line from a movie, song, or poem that says it all? It's okay to borrow, as long as it's not too much of a cliche (we're sorry, but You complete me is suffering from overuse). Instead modify something familiar to personalize. How to use: Subtly. I watch you ________, and I think to myself, what a wonderful world.

Do parts of the traditional vows resonate with you? Maybe you're not so sure about the obey part, but can you really go wrong with love, cherish, and...? How to use: Try I promise to cherish and honor you ____________, but add a time frame and funny reference for levity: ...all the days of my life, especially when curled up on the couch with takeout.

Can you think of a funny or touching experience that put your partner in a new light? The way he played with your little cousin or helped your grandmother up the stairs showed you that under his macho exterior is a wittle, bitty bunny wabbit and you love him for it. How to use: When you ____________, I saw you for the _____________ person you are. And that made me want to ____________.

Is there a harrowing experience that strengthened your bond? This one rides tandem with #9. How to use: See #9.

What goals and values do you both have? Stating your common bond may just expose your inner Wordsworth. These ties -- whether your shared faith or your mutual love of wine -- will also help demonstrate why you're a perfect pair. How to use: We share ___________, so together we can ___________.

What about him/her inspires you? What is it about your fiance that you'd like to improve in yourself? What do you most respect about your partner? How to use: Your ___________ has shown me how to be___________.

What promise can you make to codify your devotion? Here's an opportunity to personalize your vows -- many couples pledge their endless love, but how many promise to take the dog out in the morning, even in the snow? How to use: I promise to always ___________.

How will you change together? You know what your goals are -- think about the steps the two of you will need to take together to reach them. How to use: I look forward to ___________ as we __________.

What metaphor (or simile) would capture your love? Think of something that describes or defines your love: Is it strong like a castle? Peaceful like a mountain stream? How to use: Our love is like a ___________ because it ___________.

Why are you entering the bond of marriage? Think about why marrying your fiance is so special. You may be surprised how the answer leads you to the perfect words. How to use: To me, marriage is ___________. With you, it's ___________.

What will keep your marriage strong? Find the bedrock of your relationship. What makes your relationship tick? Is it your resilience? Your shared sense of humor? How to use: Even when ___________, we will have ___________.

What are you most looking forward to about married life? The wedding is just the beginning. How to use: I look forward to ___________ as we embark on ___________.

What do you expect out of married life? Defining your expectations will help you make and keep promises. Think about your dreams, and what you'll have to vow to do to make them come true. How to use: I know our marriage will ___________ and I vow to ___________.

What words do you associate with love? Make a list of romantic terms so you can avoid overusing love -- too many repetitions dilute its power. How to use: My devotion/adoration/ passion is ___________.