Posts Tagged ‘wedding planning’

A Marvelous Moxie Marriage: The Element of Surprise!

Hey y’all, Sorry for my brief blog hiatus. I have been busy growing my wedding planning biz, Moxie Bright Events! More on that to come. I’ll be back around these parts now, because I’ve missed you guys! And I have so much to talk about! Let’s get right to it.


One of the easiest ways to make your wedding an event to remember is to plan to embrace the element of surprise!

I know some people are not cool with surprises, and I myself on this very blog have said, “Your wedding should not be a surprise party for your groom!”

I take it all back. Well, part of it. A big GROUP wedding surprise? I’m all for it!

The element of surprise is especially effective at weddings, because, well, we all sort of know what to expect, right? Especially at the reception. Bride and Groom are announced, they dance, they sit, we eat, people give toasts, we dance, they cut the cake, and the night is over.

I am telling you it doesn’t have to be that way! Don’t get me wrong, you probably still have to hit all the benchmarks of a reception, but you can do them in an unusual way.

Let’s talk about the two ways in which we surprised our guests.


You see, back in the day when planning our wedding was brand-new, Bob the Builder expressed his desire to shoot air cannons at the conclusion of our ceremony. Yes, you read that correctly. Bob the Builder works in reality TV, and for many years worked on the show where they played practical jokes on celebrities. You know, the one that was hosted by Mila Kunis’ baby daddy? So, not only does he know how to construct and pull off a practical joke, he’s kind of famous in certain circles for it. People expect it from him.

I shot down the idea of air cannons pretty quickly, after all, I didn’t think our historic venue would allow such a thing. Turns out, I was (kind of) wrong. Our venue, Cescaphe at The Down Town Club, did offer something “air-cannon-like” – a petal cannon. As soon as I found out about it, I booked it. And I never said a word about it to anyone. Well, I told my wedding planner. But other than Erin? Not one word.

Bob the Builder had NO IDEA there were going to be rose petals falling all around his head after we were announced into the reception. You can kind of see it on the video below, but here’s some more photographic evidence.

Photo by Redfield Photography

Photo by Redfield Photography

And, a moment later. You can clearly see me pointing at Bob the Builder. I’m saying, “I GOT YOU!”, because I indeed managed to pull off a surprise for him!


Guest photo. Also, probably the least flattering photo of me in the history of all photos. :-)


Really early on (before we were even engaged), Bob the Builder told me he wanted our first dance to be a choreographed tango, like Al Pacino in “Scent of a Woman”. Here it is, for the unfamiliar:


However, the tango and a ball gown are not natural friends. In fact, you may even call them enemies. You cannot successfully tango in a ball gown. So, we came up with a solution. Our first dance would be choreographed – half traditional, half tango – and in the middle, a practical joke. Because we are performers, and natural hams, and we cannot help ourselves.

Our good friend Angela, (who just happens to be a Broadway dancer) choreographed our dance, and taught it to us in our living room. We did our best not to butcher it too much.

Here’s the whole shebang. I spared you the first few minutes of the video where our family and bridal party entered. You’re welcome.


In the middle of the dance, when the music cuts out, you can hear my Uncle John yell, “You’ve gotta be f&%*&n’ kidding me!”. I love my East Coast family. Always keeping it real!

In case you are wondering, the songs we used are “Grow Old With Me” By Jason Robert Brown, and “Por Una Cabeza” by Gardel.

If you’d like to add the element of surprise to your Big Day, I have some tips. (Of course, I do!)

Here’s how to do it:

1. Make sure it’s a FUN surprise, not a MEAN surprise. Bob the Builder and I talked about many different scenarios for his “final prank as a single man”, as it came to be called. One early idea was to (fake) his arrest by a Philly police officer right before the ceremony began. This idea was nixed once we realized how truly upset that would have made our guests.

2. If you are planning to surprise your partner, make sure it’s something they actually WANT, and not something that only you want. You’re in this thing together, peeps.

3. Don’t talk about it. That seems simple, but you and I both know that when you’re planning a wedding, pretty much all you want to talk about is your wedding. My mom asked me “What song are you using for your first dance?” I said, “It’s a surprise.” She seemed annoyed by that answer, so I followed up with, “You wouldn’t know the song anyway!” She had to wait to experience it with everyone else. It’s much better that way!

So, In summary: Be Nice, Be Generous, and Shut Your Mouth.


Anyone planning any wedding day surprises? Let me hear about ‘em! No. Wait. Don’t tell me. Tell me afterwards.


Inspiration: Steampunk Wedding

Back in March, I was fortunate enough to attend Alison Howard’s REFINE Workshop for wedding planners. I had a wonderful time, learned more than my brain could process in two days, and made some fantastic new friends – wedding planners from all over the country! We have kept in touch, via the magic of Facebook, and it’s been fantastic. A few days ago, Lindsay Bishop had the genius idea of an inspiration Board Challenge. So, here we are. A lovely group of female entrepreneurs supporting, challenging, and sharing with one another. It’s a little bit of magic, I think.

For the next few weeks, I’m going to be featuring a variety of inspiration boards created by our merry band of wedding planners. I am so excited to share this new feature with y’all, and for you to all get to know these ladies that I love! If they are in your area, check them out!

This week, our chosen theme was Steampunk. We all agreed that this one was out of our collective comfort zones! This one required research. Seriously.

What is Steampunk? (I heard you asking me through the inter webs). Well, The Steampunk Bride describes is thusly:

“In three short words, steampunk is Victorian Science Fiction. Here “Victorian” is not meant to indicate a specific culture, but rather references a time period and an aesthetic: the industrialized 19th century. Historically, this period saw the development of many key aspects of the modern world (mechanized manufacturing, extensive urbanization, telecommunications, office life and mass-transit), and steampunk uses this existing technology and structure to imagine an even more advanced 19th century, often complete with Victorian-inspired wonders like steam-powered aircraft and mechanical computers.”

So. Yeah. It’s like time travel in both directions. :-)


Top 5 Things to Do Now That You’re Engaged!

Hey Peeps,

Raise your hand if you got engaged on Friday! Did you know that Huff Post estimates that 6 MILLION couples became engaged on Valentine’s Day. Whew! That’s A LOT of proposals, you guys.

In honor of those 6 million happy couples, I’m here to share with you my Top 5 Things to Do Now That You’re Engaged!

5 things engaged1. Tell Your Peeps. 

I know you’re thinking, “Duh, yeah, of course!”. And yes, duh. But, let’s talk about HOW you are telling your peeps. I called my Dad basically right after Bob the Builder proposed. And then called my four bridesmaids. Then I realized it was after midnight on the East Coast and had to wait until the morning to call my Mom, and Bob the Builders’ family. So, I called them in the morning. Then I got tired and lazy and decided just to change my Facebook status. I didn’t realize it then, but some of my friends were miffed that they had to hear about it on Facebook and not from me directly. So, consider your peeps. And consider that getting engaged is a big huge life thing, and it (probably) only happens once, and pick up the phone and call your nearest and dearest. Or go see them in person. Don’t just rely on the Book of Face. Which brings me to…


A Marvelous Moxie Marriage: The Guys Get Ready

The morning of our wedding, I kicked Bob the Builder out of our hotel suite at 8am.

Or, at least, that was the plan. The reality was that I overslept and as I ran around like a nut, Bob the Builder bolted out the door to pick up the breakfast trays we had pre-ordered the day before. He’s a good one, that Bob the Builder.

The guys weren’t scheduled to start getting ready until 11am, so B the B and some of his boys went to the diner next door for breakfast. I honestly had no idea what else they did that morning, so I went to the source. Here’s what B the B said: “It was a great morning. It was awesome to have all my boys with me, they are like family. I thought we would drink a lot more scotch, but we didn’t really. Maybe we’re getting old. We just laughed and had a good time. Then before we knew it, it was time to get going.”

groom with bout

Bob the Builder


A Marvelous Moxie Marriage: Team Bridal Gets Pretty

In my last recap post, I only hinted at what I’m just going to come right out and admit.

I was totally sleep deprived and jet lagged the whole week of our wedding.

Let’s review: Bob the Builder and I arrived in Philly on Tuesday evening. On Wednesday, we hit the ground running at 8am to get our marriage license, and because we were drinking and dining with friends, didn’t get to bed until about 3am. I was literally falling asleep at the table. On Thursday, I was out the door at 9am and finally managed to fall asleep at 1am. Then I woke up at 5:30 am Friday morning and stayed awake. Friday night didn’t end until 2am, as you know, because the power went out.

And now, here we were at The Big Day. Our Wedding Day.


Is the Devil in the Details?

Here’s the truth. When planning our wedding, I was really, really, REALLY into the details. This was surprising to absolutely no one who knows me. In my everyday life, I am an extremely detail oriented person. (e.g., I recently told Bob the Builder that I didn’t want to go back to the restaurant we went to on New Years Eve because they didn’t give us a lemon for our fried calamari. I’m insane.)

Screen Shot 2014-01-04 at 6.52.50 PM


Thinking About A Destination Wedding?

Welcome to all my Newly Engaged Readers! The holidays are such a popular time to get engaged, but now that the holiday haze has faded, it’s time to plan a wedding! Are you thinking about a destination wedding?

Destination weddings are so popular these days, and for great reason! We had a destination wedding (yes, Philadelphia is considered a destination!) and it was wonderful! Our friends at Marriott sent me this info graphic to share with you – click on it to see it full size!


this infographic was Powered by Marriott

Is anyone considering a destination wedding? I am holding out hope that my stepbrother and his fiancee pick a tropical destination for their 2015 wedding. I love nothing more than combining my two favorites – travel and weddings – into one fun filled weekend!

Side note: I was not compensated for this post in any way. Just wanted to pass along a cool info graphic. I will always tell you when a post is sponsored, and it will be labeled as such. 

Next Time: We Talk Details!


A Marvelous Moxie Marriage: Sleepless (and Power-less) In Philadelphia

At 5am on Friday morning, I was wide awake in our gorgeous hotel suite, staring out the window at a downpour of rain. Bob the Builder was snoring contentedly, sleeping off his whisky-fuled bachelor party from a few hours before. I had read that wedding insomnia was common, but since I normally sleep like the dead, I didn’t think it would be a problem for me. But, alas, there I was. Couldn’t sleep, browsing Facebook at 5:30 am. I eventually managed to get a little more sleep before the sun came up. But, not enough.

personal photo

My 5:30am view from the Hotel Monaco. That’s our wedding venue with the golden lights up top. Oh, and that’s the Second Bank of the U.S in the foreground. As in, the second bank EVER in the history of our country. NBD.


A Marvelous Moxie Marriage: We Went to Philly, and There was Weather

Let’s start at the beginning, yes?

Bob the Builder and I arrived in Philadelphia around dinnertime on the Tuesday night before the wedding. Don’t worry, I’ll do the math for you: We had 3 days and 7 hours (give or take) to get everything ready for The Big Day.

I had been checking the weather like it was my full time job so I knew that the forecast was calling for rain. All week. Seven days of rain.

Screen Shot 2013-12-18 at 12.05.00 AM


Guest Post: Thoughts from the Father of the Bride

Moxie Dad! Photo by Redfield Photography

Moxie Dad!
Photo by Redfield Photography

Moxie Dad here blog followers… I asked Moxie if she minded posting this reflection on the wedding from a Dad’s point of view in the hopes that as you plan your own special day you will be aware of the significance that the festivities hold for those who love you the most.

Many people had asked me prior to the big day, “What is it going to feel like giving away your daughter…” which felt to me like some ancient custom from a long lost civilization. This certainly didn’t apply to Moxie and me; our relationship was different, more modern, and more self-aware.  Well-intentioned people seemed to be preparing me for some great loss and as they spoke to me I noticed that their comments went in two directions:

a) Like I was losing my daughter rather than gaining a son in law

b) Like I had giving away something here rather than acknowledging that it was she that gave her love to Bob the Builder.


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