Ivy League Affairs

"From Ceremony to Celebration!"

Not so Spooky Wedding Ideas

weddings, wedding planning, Wedding day tips, Ivy League Affairs Wedding Planning, Ivy League AffairsMichole CouncilComment

I was asked most recently if I could coordinate or create a romantic Halloween themed wedding. So WOW when I think of Halloween I think of orange and black, costumes and candy. Now I am challenged to see how I can make all of that romantic. I asked myself does it have to be orange and black. What about other colors like purple and black or a deep red and black? Then I began thinking hmmm......the sky is the limit. Take a look at some of the awesome things I found.

Love this idea for the guest book and escort card table. The pumpkins are a great touch.

Love this idea for the guest book and escort card table. The pumpkins are a great touch.

Bouquets that aren't so spooky but classic.  

Bouquets that aren't so spooky but classic.  

Then I found a few fun and whimsical ideas that don't use the Halloween colors at all. How about gray and yellow with candelabras and white pumpkins. Don't believe me take a look!


I know I am inspired!

Blissful Planning......Happy Halloween!

Mardi Gras Themed Weddings

Michole CouncilComment

Beads, feathers, mask.... Mardi Gras is almost here and what better way to celebrate it but with a Wedding!  With such a vibrant rich color palette of golds, greens, and purples..... the possibilities are endless. 


Candlelit tables with purple linens can be very romantic for a wedding. Add in special touches like gold rimmed glasses, menu cards with peacock feathers or mask and Mardi Gras will come alive at your reception.

                 White and gold invitations with mask accents 

                White and gold invitations with mask accents 

King Cake is a tradition that you can use as a grooms cake or create mini versions to hand out as favors to guest.

King Cake is a tradition that you can use as a grooms cake or create mini versions to hand out as favors to guest.

It was fun to search and find ideas from favors and flowers to dresses and receptions for this theme. I've done the research I'm just waiting on that special bride! The Ivy League Affairs Bride Mardi Gras style!

Blissfully Michole!


                  Invitations with fleurdelis accents and ribbons

                  Invitations with fleurdelis accents and ribbons

How about a wedding cake with a mask as a topper?

How about a wedding cake with a mask as a topper?

Winter White Weddings

wedding planningMichole Council1 Comment

With all the snow falling outside what better topic to talk about than a winter themed wedding. There are lots of ideas out there from iced covered centerpieces and hot chocolate bars to snowball cocktail drinks and romantic capes. Having a winter wonderland wedding begins with a single snowflake.

                                   A winter bouquet

                                   A winter bouquet

                   Snowball martinis with sugar crystals.

                   Snowball martinis with sugar crystals.

                                        Hot chocolate bars in place of a candy bar would be oh so sweet!

                                        Hot chocolate bars in place of a candy bar would be oh so sweet!

                       A soft cape accented with a satin bow.

                       A soft cape accented with a satin bow.

Sheer wedding dress embellished with pearls and rhinestone crystals.

Sheer wedding dress embellished with pearls and rhinestone crystals.

I guess I'll finish enjoying this snowscape outside my window and drinking my hot chocolate!

                                                       Blissfully Michole 

2014 Color of the Year

Michole CouncilComment

What a beautiful color for this year! Radiant Orchid! I can't wait to plan a wedding with this as one of it's colors. With spring right around the corner I envision Radiant Orchid paired with pinks, golds, and greens. I mean the possibilities are endless! Happy Planning!

Radiant orchid.jpg

Summer Weddings

UncategorizedMichole Council2 Comments

It's the first day of Summer and do you know what that means? Summer Wedding Time! Bright vibrant colors, long afternoons, and outdoor weddings. But the last thing you want to happen is for one of your guest to have a heat stroke!  There are several ways to keep your guest cool.

Cute hand fans can be fun and purposeful. There are many styles that can be personalized with your wedding theme.


Have water or cool drinks on hand for guest to grab a sip or two. Your guest will truly appreciate the thought. Just another great way to personalize your wedding with labels, signs, and cute water containers.


Who doesn't like a picnic...how about wedding guest dressed up for a celebration. You can still celebrate with an outside reception by setting up tents. There are so many things that you can do with a tent from draping to creating themes. It is literally a blank canvas and a great shield from the summer sun.ImageHow about trade in the regular bridesmaids bouquet for a parasol. Cute, fun and functional for your wedding party on a hot sunny summer afternoon.ImageJust a few cool ideas for those hot summer weddings.

Blissful Planning.....Michole C.


Bridal Show Etiquette - 10 quick tips

bridal shows, brides, consultants, engaged, engagements, grooms, Ivy League Affairs, Ivy League Affairs Wedding Planning, stress free wedding planning, Uncategorized, wedding consultants, wedding planningMichole CouncilComment


Last weekend I attended a local Bridal Show as a Consultant looking for a few vendors for an upcoming wedding that I have. There were of course lots of brides there along with lots  grooms, and other family members. I'm not sure if some of them were prepared for the show. Yes bridal shows can be overwhelming for newly engaged couples but following these 10 simple rules can help anyone survive.

  1. Pre-register before the show. It will save you time in the lines.
  2. Make Contact labels with your name and contact information on it.
  3. Bring a digital camera to take pics of things that you really like. Ask permission first.
  4. Bring people you trust to give you good advice.
  5. Do your research. Know what vendors are in the show and have an idea of what vendors you are looking for.
  6. Ask questions. Let the vendors educate you on their products and services.
  7. Comfortable Shoes! Need I say more!
  8. Bring a notepad, so that you can jot down things. You can't remember everything and this makes it easy when you are reviewing all the stuff you collected at the show.
  9. Bring a credit card or checkbook. Sometimes vendors are selling items at the show with a special Bridal show price.
  10. Make a day of it! Enjoy yourself! Remember that drawings will continue throughout the day and you have to be present to win.

Wedding Day Tips for the Bride

bridal shoes, brides, consultants, Ivy League Affairs, stress free wedding planning, wedding cost- wedding trends, Wedding Day, Wedding day tips, wedding makeup, wedding shoesMichole CouncilComment

Brides have a lot to think about when planning their wedding but most forget one simple thing. They forget that they have to take care of themselves on the day of the wedding. It is important that brides remember that this is suppose to be their special day. Everyone will be coming to see the Bride and you need to look relaxed and refreshed.

At the top of every Bride's list should be to relax and enjoy her day. Whether you are a DIY Bride or have hired a Wedding Consultant, it is now the big day and you deserve to have just as much fun as your guest do. Here are a few tips that will help you get through your wedding day.

Tip #1 Makeup...It's not hard to Do!

About 3 weeks before the big day create a wedding day make-up bag. While purchasing your makeup for the wedding ask the sales consultant for samples of everything that you are purchasing. Place them in another little make-up bag. On the day of your wedding give it to a friend, bridesmaid, or family member to hold. Then when you need a quick touch up you have your handy little makeup bag nearby. Don't forget to wear waterproof mascara.

Sweetie Tip: Dab a little perfume just behind your ear, so when your sweetie goes to hug you, he is treated with a sweet hello!

Tip #2 Food for Thought!

While food may be the last thing on your mind, it is important that you have something nourishing to eat before you walk down the aisle. It is going to be a long day and you will need all the energy you can get. Most brides don't get a chance to enjoy the food at the reception anyway, so pack an energy bar in the emergency kit, have a fruit and veggie tray on hand as you and your girls are getting ready or have a breakfast brunch before the activities get started. Sure you will still fit in your dress.

Sweetie Tip: Pre-arrange for something to be waiting in the honeymoon suite after the wedding to share with your sweetie. Most couples are starving after the wedding day and will need to refuel before the wedding night festivities!!!!

Tip #3 Cinderella's Slipper...OUCH!

  Yes those strappy heels are gorgeous for the ceremony and for the pictures afterwards too but kick off those heels and get comfortable. Find a pair of flats, slip-ons, sneakers, or flip flops that won't have your feet bruised and battered for days to come. Make it fun and get your bridal party all a matching pair. What a great photo opportunity as well!

Sweetie Tip: Don't forget about your sweetie...The shoes that most grooms wear aren't that comfortable for the ceremony either. So he may be more comfortable in a pair of converse as well. Check out the Mr. and Mrs. flipflops on etsy.com

Here are just a few tips for you to consider. Remember that fun should be had by all...including the Bride. Relax and enjoy your wedding day!

Grooms Timeline

engaged, engagements, grooms, Ivy League Affairs Wedding Planning, wedding budget, wedding consultants, wedding cost- wedding trends, wedding planningMichole Council1 Comment

Okay in my search for things for the Grooms I found this site called "The Plunge" www.theplunge.com built especially for you guessed it Grooms. What I found I thought was hilarious...not the type of wedding timeline I would put togther but......for kicks and giggles I reposted it just for the fun of it.

Traditional Timelines will include advice on when to interview the vendors, select your flowers, and pick a videographer. Screw that. Yes, that junk all has to happen, but if you spent your time stressing over all that, well, you'd be bridezilla.

Instead, we've streamlined the wedding planning checklist to focus only on the things that you actually need to care about.

5-10 years before the wedding

  • Have as much meaningless sex as possible.
  • Drink an unhealthy quantity of alcohol.
  • Spend more time with your buddies than family or girlfriends.
  • Care more about fantasy football than a relationship.
  • Have at least one pregnancy scare.

3-5 years before the wedding

  • Have a serious girlfriend.
  • Break up with her in a spectacularly irresponsible, immature fashion.
  • Start to feel like maybe, kinda, don't-tell-anyone, maybe you should settle down and find the right girl.

1-3 years before the wedding

9 months - 1 year before the wedding

6-9 months before your wedding

3-6 months before your wedding

1-3 months before your wedding

1 week - 1 month before

A few days before

  • Pick up formal wear.
  • Get your hair cut.
  • Confirm transportation.
  • Check on logistics for your family's share of out-of-town guests.
  • Keep plenty of cash on you for emergencies.
  • Practice vows.
  • Confirm honeymoon logistics.
  • Start packing for honeymoon.

Day/night before

Wedding Day


All About the Dress

consultants, Ivy League Affairs, Ivy League Affairs Wedding Planning, marriage, stress free wedding planning, wedding cost- wedding trends, wedding dress, wedding gowns, wedding traditions, weddingsMichole CouncilComment

This is the single most exciting time of the planning process for your wedding and why shouldn't it be! Every bride wants to look gorgeous on her wedding day. After all, all eyes will be on that traditional moment when your grand entrance. Today there are so many choices....Satin, Lace, Silk, A-line, Ball gown and the list goes on.

So how do you find that perfect dress. The first thing you should do before visiting a bridal salon is get an idea of which styles of dress you prefer. Look through wedding magazines and pull out pictures of things that you like. This will help the consultant at the salon understand your vision. Also take a friend or someone that will be supportively honest with you.

First think about the silhouette of your dress. Depending on your body type certain styles can flatter your appearance or do just the opposite. A-line, Ballgown, and Mermaid are just a few silhouette to become a familiar with.


A-Line Wedding Dresses

A- Line Dresses have no marked waist and the seams run vertically down from the shoulders into a flared skirt creating an "A" shape. If you are thicker around the middle, this would be a very nice choice for you. It will hide those less than flattering features and accentuate your best. A-Line dresses also can create the illusion of height for shorter brides because of the long lines. This style of dress is truly perfect for all body types.

Drape Designer Chapel Train Strapless Embroider Satin Princess Bridal Gowns

Ball Gown Wedding Dresses

One Word...Cinderella. When most brides think of the wedding dresses this is it. Ballgowns are very formal with fitted bodices and very full skirts. Many styles from full circles of tulle to tiered layers of fabric offer a soft romantic look. The full skirt of the ball gown is ideal for disguising full hips and thighs while accentuating the waistline. It is great for slightly taller brides. This gown can be overwhelming for petite or smaller framed brides.

A-line Strapless Beading Wholesale Suppliers Low Pric Empire Waist Bridal Gowns

Empire Waist Wedding Gowns

 The waistlines on empire style gowns are raised to right below the bustline which allows the skirt to flow loosely and flow down over the hips. This gown is flattering on most body types especially  brides that are smaller on top.


Graceful Applique Beadings Strapless Drape Organza Train Sweep length Mermaid/Trumpet Gowns Wedding Dresses

Mermaid Wedding Dress

The mermaid dress is contoured to the body from the shoulders down to the knees. At the knees the gown flows out giving a sexier look. This dress will accentuate your hourglass figures. This dress does not work if you are heavier on top and smaller on the bottom. It will make you appear top heavy

2011 Hotsale Inexpensive Chiffon Beads Working Chiffon Bridal Gowns
Sheath Wedding Dress
The sheath gown has no true waist and follows every curve of the bride. Most sheath have detachable trains. Brides that want to show off their figure in their wedding gown would look for this style of dress.This dress doesn't allow for too many body flaws due to it's slim shape. The long lines can elongate the look of your body so this dress would also be a good look for shorter brides.

You're Engaged ...Now What?

Budget, consultants, engaged, engagements, marriage, money saving wedding budget tips, stress free wedding planning, wedding consultants, wedding cost- wedding trends, wedding planning, wedding traditionsMichole CouncilComment

So you're Engaged Now what! After you scream, shout, and cry for joy....share the good news with family and close friends. They will be just as thrilled as you are and will probably spread the news just as quickly as you will.

Here is a "Get Started" list.

1. First the Bride and Groom should sit down and decide before making any plans, if their special day will be formal or informal. This will help you in your search for a venue, your design, and especially finding the perfect wedding dress.

2. Next determine what your budget is and who will pay for what. Traditionally the Brides's family pays for all the expenses of the wedding and the reception. This usually means that the bride's family determines the size and style of the wedding. The new trend is for both families to either split the cost 50/50 or each family donates a set amount towards the total. However alot of working couples are choosing to pay for the entire celebration themselves.

New trends or old traditions which ever route you choose, this is one of the first conversations that you and your fiance should have with your families. It will save on alot of confusion and frustration in the long run.

3. After searching though the magazines, collecting your ideas, hire a wedding planner. Whether you are a DIY Bride or have no idea where to get started hiring a Planner/Consultant may be your biggest lifesaver. They will be able to do as much as you like or as little as you want without losing your vision keeping your wants first before anything eles. Decide how or what you need from them. Many consultants have packages you can choose from. If you are still unsure if you want to hire a consultant....Check out my blog on why to hire a consultant!

Talk to you soon!

Hire a Wedding Coordinator!

Budget, consultants, money saving wedding budget tips, stress free wedding planning, wedding budget, wedding consultants, wedding planningMichole CouncilComment

Hhhmmm! Maybe I should change the title to hire a Professional Wedding Consultant. I mean why not! In the end you end up saving yourself money. When you are hiring a wedding consultant you want to do your research to make sure that you are getting a professional and not someone who just does weddings. Yes there is a difference!

What are the benefits of hiring a professional wedding consultant you ask yourself.  Well Peace of mind says it all. A professional wedding consultant understands that this is probably one of the greatest events of your life and their job is to make sure that you enjoy it. On your wedding day and the days leading up to it you want to be stress-free and dreaming of what is to come. From start to finish a Professional Wedding Consultant will help you plan a realistic budget and help you stick to it, while offering money saving tips.

Your Wedding Consultant can be a very resourceful person. Being in the business and knowing who are the best professional vendors for your budget will help you cut down on research, time and money. I mean that is if you don't want 70 year old Uncle Pete taking pictures at your wedding and developing your album at the local pharmacy. Remember Wedding Consultants are building professional relationships and working with vendors all the time. So they know the quality of work a vendor puts out. Plus because of their connections and ability to negotiate, they can get you the best value for your money

Your Professional Wedding Consultant can be your sounding board to new ideas and help you implement them or offer advice about family members who are less than cooperative. Your Wedding consultant will also offer you etiquette advice, negotiate contracts, coordinate vendor set-up and breakdown, offer advice on gifts and stationary, coordinate hotel accomadations, manage family and friends, arrange honeymoon travels and gift transport just to name a few things. As a matter fact your Wedding Consultant could be your secret weapon to a stress-free, money still in the bank, joyful experience.

The Association of Bridal Consultants is a professional association that requires it's members to adhere to the Standards of Membership and a Code of Ethics. Consultants who are members are continously trained by industry leaders to help them build their business. This makes sure that you get the best for your big day.

Money Saving Tip#
Need to rearrange some things because funds are getting low. How about rearranging the time of day or the day of your wedding. Morning weddings or early afternoon weddings can be less expensive. Some vendors offer discounts for these hidden jewel times. Even a Friday or Sunday wedding would be ideal to cutting back on your budget. Everything from your menu to the style of dress can be a money saver. I mean who knew that you could say "I do" at 11am, take great pictures at 12pm, have an awesome wedding lunch at 1pm, high five Uncle Pete for just attending at 3pm, and catch a plane to a Sandals Resort at 7pm for a fraction of the cost of a Saturday evening wedding. A Professional Wedding coordinator would know this.....I mean how do you think you saved enough money to go to a Sandals Resort for your honeymoon!