Blog for Pamela’s Event Design

Archive for the ‘Bridal Advice’ Category

Engagement Photos-Taylor Morgan Photography

Taylor Morgan

I’ve known Taylor Morgan for about ten years.  She is a beautiful person, inside and out.  She’s generous, kind, compassionate, and has a heart as big as Texas, where she was born and raised.  Along with being a favorite on-air personality on WTFM 98.5.  Taylor maximizes her platform with the radio program to reach out and help those in need and raises awareness for many worthy causes.  Thousands of lives have been touched and impacted by Taylor.  She is just an all-round awesome person!

Adding to her many talents and abilities, Taylor excels in photography.  As the owner of Taylor Morgan Photography, she specializes in family photography and weddings.  I could spend hours looking at her pictures.  What is special about her photography is her eye for capturing emotion.  Her photos tell a story!  So, when it came to trusting someone to take my daughter’s engagement and wedding pictures, she was my first choice.  I was so happy when Abby and Jordan decided that she would be their choice, too.  Okay, I must confess…Taylor is also my niece!!!  Nepotism aside, she quite simply ROCKS!

It’s January, which means it is winter in Tennessee.  Finding a day that is warm enough to take pictures outdoors was a challenge.  These “trial” engagement session images turned out so well, that an additional session wasn’t necessary.  What do you think?  Which one is your favorite?

I can’t choose a favorite!  They are all good.  Taylor took about 500 shots, so to choose one or two from so many fabulous images is impossible!  Thank you, Taylor, for creating these memories for my children, family, and me!  You are awesome!  You can contact Taylor for your photography session through Facebook, or by calling 423.367.2055.

This post is the first in a series of wedding photographers that, in my opinion, some of the best.  They are talented and easy to work with.  Check back soon to read about another talented photographer from the Sunshine State of Florida!

Thanks for stopping by!  Please leave a comment and let me know you were here.  I read all of them.

Pam Archer

Pamela’s Event Design

DIY Wedding Projects

Being a do-it-yourself person, I understand why many brides are doing a lot of things themselves for their weddings.  My advice to my brides is to choose a couple of things to do yourself.   Your wedding will have a more personal feel to it, plus you will have fun doing the projects.  Don’t take on too many projects, though.  It will only stress you and consume all of your time, leaving you too tired to enjoy your wedding day.

This week, I found some super cute and cool projects for weddings.   They all include tutorials.  I have included the links to them for your convenience.

If you are like me, you are very bored with silver and gold cake stands.  Why not make your own? I love these cake stands!  You can make them any size you want,  and any color you prefer.  You can find the complete tutorial at Bee In Our Bonnet:

Guest favors are optional, but if you want something easy and fun to do how about these thank you bags?  Each guest can fill them with candy from your candy buffet.  The folks at Hey Gorgeous teach you how to make them:

If you are tired of the traditional guest book or picture signing, make one of these keepsake albums.  Your guests write a note to you and put it in one of the envelopes.  How nice is that?  I found this idea over at Martha Stewart Weddings:

And for your outdoor wedding, keep guests cool with the homemade paper fans.  Aren’t they adorable?  Two Shades of Pink has this and other fab ideas:

These ideas send me straight to my workshop to experiment.  How about you?  What are you planning to do for your wedding or party?  I would love to hear from you, and feature your project here.  Submit to

Happy Planning!

Pam Archer

Flower Girls Steal the Show

Let’s face it.  While the bride is the star of the show, it’s the flower girl who is the scene stealer.  After all, girls will be girls.  Flower girls are darling, they bring an innocence to the ceremony.  There are so many on-line sources for dresses for them that it is almost too hard to pick just one.  I found some really adorable ones for our 2011 starlets.  But before we get to that, take a look at these cuties:

I’m still laughing at this next one. It took a few seconds for me to realize what they had done:

You can practice all you want, but flower girls have their own way of doing things:

Flower girls aren’t limited to wearing white.  They can wear a contrasting color to the bridesmaids, or the same color as the bridesmaids.  Here are a few examples that won’t break the bank.  All of these are under $75!  The first one is from The Wooden Soldier:

I found lots of beautiful, inexpensive dresses at Pink Princess:

A flower girl’s dress doesn’t have to be a solid color.  Plaids and prints are very sweet and pretty, particularly for an outdoor wedding.  This one is from Cutie Clothes

Which dress is your favorite?  Why?  Please share your funny flower girl story in the Comments below.

Creative Save-the-Date Ideas

‘Tis the season that the majority of wedding planning begins.  With the holidays yielding the highest percentage of new engagements, it stands to reason that these brides are off and going to plan the wedding of their dreams. 

One of the first decisions to be made is the date of the wedding.  Once that is determined, then wedding planning can move full steam ahead.

One of the trends that is holding strong is to send Save-the-Date notifications to the guests, so that they reserve the date well in advance and make travel plans to attend.  I like this trend, but what I like even more, is the creativity that some brides and grooms use when creating their Save-the-Dates. 

I found this Scrabble one at Glassford Hill Girl blog.  The photo credit goes to He and She Photography

save-the-date cards

Scrabble Spells the Date

This Save-the-Date bookmark is a thoughtful gesture, because it is somethin guests will use.  The folks at Yum Sugar have these and other fun things. 

wedding save-the-date ideas


These Save-the-Date cuties are definitely a DIY project.  How fun and creative!  I found them over at Making the Moment Photography.

DIY Wedding Save-the-Date

DIY Idea

Most of the weddings that we have booked for 2011 have a vintage theme.  I can’t think of anything more fitting than these embroidered, vintage handkerchiefs  to use as save-the-dates.  They fit nicely in an envelope.    Thanks to Lucky Luxe Couture Correspondence for this idea.

You can purchase the handkerchiefs in bulk on e-Bay, but you had better hurry, because they are a very, very hot item.  You can also check with your grandmothers.  They may have a few hidden away.

Vintage handkerchiefs used for save-the-date

Vintage Handkerchiefs

Whatever you decide to do for your Save-the Date, make sure it is personal and reflects the theme of your wedding.  These and your invitations will give your guests a heads up as to how casual or formal your wedding is going to be.

Worst Wedding Ideas

Everyone has their own ideas about what constitutes tacky, or less-than-appropriate.  These are my picks for the worst wedding ideas:

From left to right:

James Bond wedding cake, Hello Kitty wedding dress, To Each Her Own cake topper

  • James Bond –  Seriously?  Why would you want machine guns, bombs, etc. to be a key focus of your beautiful, special day?
  • Hello Kitty wedding dress –  If you are still stuck in your childhood, maybe you aren’t quite ready for the big leap into marriage.
  • To Each Her Own cake topper –  Need I explain?

Middle row:

Garters and garb; worst wedding attire, patriotic wedding dress, camo wedding cake

  • Garters and Garb – we are very happy that you feel good about your body, but do your guests really want to see this?
  • Patriotic Wedding Dress – do we salute?
  • Camo Wedding Cake – I’ll hear it from all you hunters out there.

Bottom row:

Wedding dress, diy bridal bouquet, bride’s corsage

  • Wedding Dress – Things that make you go hmmmmmmmmmmm!
  • DIY Bridal Bouquet – A prime example of why you need to hire a professional to make your bouquet.
  • Bride’s Corsage – I think this must have been something she made in  kindergarten to wear on her wedding day.

Coming up next…Hot Trends for 2011!

Tacky Wedding Ideas

BREAKING NEWS!! HSN Kicks Off 99 Series Launch

I’m very excited to announce that my book,” 99 Things Brides Wish They Knew Before Planning Their Wedding”  is #1 on Amazon and iPad in the category of wedding planning books!!!  Help me make the best seller list by
downloading it now.  Click here to

99-Book Series

My Book!



Due to the demand and hype around the pioneering and revolutionary Book Series I have written for The 99 Series  The Home Shopping Network is kicking off the launch September 3rd, before the World Launch date of October 6, 2010! 


This is great news for all of you who are excited to get reading!! There are a bunch of options, and you can do one, or all… today!! 

The Series encompasses a roster of inspiring, personal and business development books that have ninety-nine tips in each book, all in a pocket-size format that contains the best ‘need to know’ information. No more reading through hundreds of pages to get that one paragraph that pertains to your particular issue. The ninety-nine concise bullet points make it so easy to get right to the point you need! 

 You can buy the 10-Pack Gift Set! This is an incredible option if you’re looking for a great deal on some incredible books in ALL AREAS of Women’s Life! This is also a great birthday gift or holiday gift for the special woman in your life. Why not surprise her with an email alert that you sent her 10 books to her Kindle or iPad?! How fun!! 

10 book gift set 

You can buy the 5-Pack Gift Set: Love and Money Series for Women! 

5 book gift set 

You can buy my book alone! In case you forgot, Or you can buy any of the incredible books available by the amazing authors in my Series! 


No matter what you choose, you can purchase books TODAY on a Sony E-Reader, Amazon Kindle, Ipad, Kobo, Nook, or Cybook Opus or even upload the pdf to your computer ( on October 6th)!! 

We are proud to say, that we are the FIRST-EVER Series to come out and launch digitally, on a  digital platform… where the future of reading is headed! How GREEN are we?  

Our World launch is still September 27, 2010… that hasn’t changed. 

Don’t forget to WATCH our launch on The Home Shopping Channel

Airtimes: (EST)

9/3 – 7 am 

9/4- 4am,8am,12pm & 5pm

9/5- 7am & 6pm

9/6- 4am & 2pm

9/19- 5am

For those in Canada, you can watch it on

Don’t forget, if you buy a Sony E-Reader from HSN during our launch, you get our 10-Book Bundle for FREEEEEEE!! 

We are all excited for you to get cozy with a good cup of coffee, our books,  and learn start learning! 


How to Budget for Your Wedding

When it comes to outlining a budget for a wedding, the majority of brides don’t have any idea where to start, or how much to allot for each part of it.  That’s perfectly okay, because you don’t plan a wedding every day.  Since this isn’t something that you do every day, most people haven’t a clue about prices.  Every bride will suffer from sticker shock when going shopping for venue rentals, linen and table rentals, photography, wedding catering, D.J.s’, flowers, and most everything else that comes with planning a wedding.  Why are the mouths gaping when the prices are revealed?  It all comes down to one basic reason.  Nobody does their math!

98% of the brides and grooms we meet with have absolutely no idea of how much the average wedding costs.  The following scenario is so typical, that it is almost becoming generic, except for the very few that have done their homework. 

The bride comes in, we welcome her, sit down and we ask what her vision of her wedding is. (They ALL say they just want something simple!)  “What do you want to see when you make your entrance into the ceremony and reception?”  I ask. “Well, my dress is….. we have 10 bridesmaids and 10 groomsmen, 3 flower girls, 1 ring bearer, 2 mothers , 1 step-mother, 2 dads and 1 step-dad, 4 grandmothers, 1 grandfather, and a step-grandfather, all of whom need flowers.  And we will need 2 big arrangements for the ceremony, and I would like to have shepherd’s hooks down the aisle with kissing balls hanging from them, and the aisle covered with rose petals.  We have 200 guests, so for our reception we need 25 centerpieces, tables, and tablecloths.  We want lots of flowers and lots of candlelight.  Then, we will need something for the buffet, something for the cake tables, and something for the guest table.  We really like our initials in roses hanging with ribbon at th door.”  They get about this much out and I ask , do you have a budget for your flowers, rentals, and decor?  “Not really, but we were thinking we would like to get all of that for about $1,000.

“Well, let’s do the math. based on the minium cost.  If you serve McDonald’s meals to every guest, you would spend about  $1,400.  The table and chair rentals would be several hundred dollars more, plus the cost of the linens, and you haven’t purchased any invitations, thank you cards, or postage to invite them yet.  On the low-end of that cost, you will spend approximately $800.00.  And what about centerpieces?  They start around $50, if you do them yourself.  You have 25 tables, so  that would be $1,250.00.   You mentioned in our phone conversation that you want peonies, roses, calla lilies, and stephanotis with bouquet jewels; hand- tied with silk ribbon for your bouquet.   That’s $150 or more for your bouquet.  You have 10 bridesmaids.  Bouquets start at $55 and go up to as much as $350, depending on the flower choices.  Corsages are $20-$40 each. Your boutonnieres are $12.50, since you have chosen calla lilies with berries, fern, and the stems wrapped in ribbon with rhinestones on it.  The large arrangements have 75-100 blossoms in them, minimum, so they begin at $275.00 each.   To make a kissing ball, we have to cover the entire circumference with flowers, requiring at least 25 or more blooms, depending on the size of the flower.  They are labor intensive, too.   It will require 1,000 roses to make petals to cover your aisle. ” 

Recently one of our brides told us she had bought candles, ribbons, and some favors, and had already spent over $1,000.  It all adds up.  There are so many hidden costs in a wedding.  Paying the officiant, having your dress cleaned and preserved; and buying gifts for your bridal party, to name a few.

The realization is that to be able to have a wedding with a minimal budget, you will have to make difficult choices.   Prioritizing what is important to you is the key.

Trimming  the guest list is the first thing you need to do to be able to stay within a small budget.   Don’t have more than 3 or 4 attendants, and be willing to compromise on flower choices.  Here are the current  wholesale cost for a single stem of the following flowers from Whole Blossoms and Fifty Flowers.  You can check other on-line wholesalers for comparison.  Don’t forget to add labor for 4-6 or more floral designers  for 3 full days.

1. Casablanca Lily$2.50 per stem

 wholesale Gardenia Flowers

2. Gardenia  $18.00 – $20.00 per stem

3. Hydrangea – $7.50 -$10.50 per stem

Lily of the Valley Fresh Flower 250

4. Lily of the Valley – $10.00 per stem; 5 stems  pictured

Lissianthus Lavender Flower 250

5. Lisianthus – $1.69 per stem

purple phalaenopsis orchids 250

6. Orchid – 7 stems for $199.00

Light Pink Peonies Flower 250

7. Peony – 100 stems for $439.99 ( you have to buy 100)

8. Garden Rose – $2.77, must buy in bunches of 12, 10 stems per bunch.

9. Stephanotis – $52.99 for 25 buds; no stems or centers.

10. Tulip – $2.11 per stem, in packs of 10

Be realistic about your budget, proritize, and know what you want before you make the appointment with your vendors.