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The Wedding Blog | NYC Wedding Planning | NYC Wedding Coordination

How to Choose an Engagement Ring that Leaves Your Girlfriend Speechless!

by The New York Wedding Company on 03/14/14

You and your girlfriend have been dating for awhile now and you're ready to pop the question, but you want to make sure you get the perfect ring. You want to get her one she's going to show off to all of her friends, (and even a couple of random people on the train on her way to work), but you have no clue where to begin to pick out the best engagement ring for her.

Well as usual, we got ya covered! Here's some information to get you started, but don't forget to keep in mind her personality and what kind of ring you think she would like. Don't just buy a ring because it's big and pretty, she may not be the "show it off" type. And don't buy something pink or blue or yellow (or any other color for that matter)  because you like it when you know she's a standard "clear" diamond type of gal.

Let's start with what is commonly known in the world of diamond engagement rings as the "Four C's of Diamonds". They are:

  • cut
  • color
  • clarity
  • carat

Cut refers to a finished stone's proportion, polish, and symmetry. There are many different diamond cuts, but some of the most popular ones are square, pear, round, princess, heart and marquis. When you are examining the cut of a diamond, look for brilliance (the way it reflects light), fire (the way it flashes colors), and scintillation (the way it sparkles) before choosing your diamond. And be sure to examine stones in a variety of different lighting environments.


When it comes to the color of your diamond, there are only two categories, colorless and fancy. Colorless diamonds are graded on a universal scale from "D" (completely clear) to "Z" (traces of yellow, gray, and brown), with a letter grade for each shade. While diamonds that are graded with a "D"  are like looking into a piece of glass, after "K" or "L", colors start to turn very light yellow. Completely colorless stones are typically the rarest and most expensive on this scale, but fancy diamonds (yellow, pink, blue, and other naturally colored stones) are rarer, often putting them at a higher price point than colorless ones.


Most diamonds contain two types of naturally occurring imperfections: internal flaws (inclusions) and surface flaws (blemishes). With that said, each diamond is given a clarity grade from the GIA's 11-step scale: Flawless (FL), Internally Flawless (IF), Very Very Slightly Included (VVS 1 and VVS 2), Very Slightly Included (VS 1 and VS 2), Slightly Included (SI 1 and SI 2), and Imperfect Included (I1, I2, and I3). Although it may seem like buying a diamond without any imperfections is the best choice, buying one with one or two flaws may be better for your pocket and for your security. Not only can flaws help you identify your diamond, but they can also make it more unique and special.


When jewelers refer to the "carat" of your diamond, they are referring to its weight. Carat is not to be confused with "karat" which is how jewelers measure the purity of gold. Jewelers often make this simple analogy to money to explain how carats are used to measure a diamond's weight:

"Just as a dollar contains 100 pennies, each carat comprises 100 points, so a 75-point diamond weighs 0.75 carats, a 50-pointer is 0.50 carats, a 25-pointer is 0.25 carats, and so on".

So now that you've been educated in all things diamond,  what are you waiting for? Go get her that ring, and make her your wife! Good luck with all of it, let us know how it goes!

Will You Marry Me? 10 Great Ways to Pop the Question!

by The New York Wedding Company on 03/07/14

There's plenty of creative and unique ways to pop the question to your honey. Here we've compiled a few of our favorites as inspiration to  you! Note:  Do not, repeat DO NOT propose via text, or Facebook!  Also, please, no proposals that fall on any major holiday (including her birthday-- women really don't like that guys, although they'll never tell you for fear of hurting your feelings, but you've been warned!) OK, so now that the ground rules are in place, here's our proposal tips from 10 to 1: 

10 - At Your First Date Spot
les-parisiens-sont-les-plus-infideles Going back to where your first date was is a great way to conclude your dating status by elevating your commitment to marriage. It's also a beautiful reminder of where all this started in the first place. If you went to a restaurant or bar, then revisit it and spring the big surprise at the end of the meal! 

9 - On Your Anniversary
happy anniversary Even though you're not technically married, once you've been in a long-term relationship, most couples celebrate an "anniversary" of some sort-- whether it's using the first date as the milestone, or the date you said "I love you", you can now use that anniversary date to propose. Bonus: Going to your first date spot (see #10) on your anniversary date is a most harmonious way to begin your lives together!

8 - At Her Job
coworkers This can be a big hit among her co-workers and a grand way of expressing your love to her before declaring it in front of family and friends. First make sure her job is OK with the plan. Conspire with some of her co-workers so you can get proper clearance.  Also, be reasonably certain she won't mind the grand-scale attention. This may work better in a smaller more intimate work office where co-workers are also friendly. 

7- At a "Just for You Two" Picnic
picnic-wedding-001-1 Just Me and You Picnics are by nature comfortable and intimate. Pick a nice warm day, grab your picnic basket, and the two of you head out to spend the day lazing about in the shade and sun. Somewhere between munching and talking, make your move! 

6 - At the Beach
paseo-romantico Maybe a nice sunset stroll on the beach along the water, just like you see in the movies! This is an absolute perfect idea especially if you'll want to have a beach wedding!  Nothing more romantic! 

5 - On Vacation
1024px-The_Venetian_LV_gondola This is a great idea for the couple who travels. Pick an iconic spot depending on where you're going-- maybe at the Eiffel Tower in Paris, or during a gondola ride in Venice. Or it can be as simple as a weekend getaway in Sag Harbor or Martha's Vineyard, or any place that provides natural ambience and atmosphere for full romantic effect. 

4 - At an Amusement Park
ferris wheel This is definitely a fun and adventurous way to propose. The Ferris Wheel is the best place-- it's just you and your honey, alone high in the sky. There's always a little pause on the ride as soon as your cabin reaches the top-- and it's at that moment that's the best time to bust out the ring! But not on the roller-coaster or in the haunted house! 

3 - During Half-time at a Baseball/Basketball Game
6550-8 OK, we like the idea, and every so often the news will cover this type of grand-scale proposal, but how you do it, we have no idea! But it'd be great, especially for the athletic lovers! If you're really serious about this idea, we suggest calling the stadium's management office to see if they will allow you to do it. 

2 - On Valentine's Day
strawberry shortcake Ah yes, the highest order of all days that celebrate love! Valentine's Day is of course, the day with the highest number of proposals extended. We don't have to tell you all the creative things you can do-- swap a piece of candy from her chocolate box and substitute it with the ring, insert the ring in one of the dozen long-stemmed roses you'll be giving her, you know, the list goes on. Some may feel it's cliche (OK, it is just a little bit) but there certainly is no other day dedicated to the expression of a couple's love! 

1 - On Bended Knee!
on bended knee The number one best way to propose is, of course, the most old-fashioned way--- down on bended knee! We know it may seem a little old school, but nothing symbolizes a true marriage proposal better than that! So, go throwback and pop the question on bended knee. If you do, you'll be one of the very few men who has a wife that can brag her husband is a true gentleman!

A "Must Have" Beverage List for Your Cocktail Hour

by The New York Wedding Company on 02/28/14

Stocking your wedding bar sufficiently and correctly is an important task you'll want to make sure you attend to early on in planning your wedding.  So to ensure your bar is organized and balanced, here are the absolute basics you'll need to have the beginnings of a well-stocked bar!

Signature Drink

Add a personal touch to your bar menu by choosing a signature cocktail, designed specifically for your wedding! Pick a favorite drink you and your fiance may love, or one that matches your wedding theme, or one that just sounds yummy!

Added inspiration: Create a cool wedding bar menu on a chalkboard that highlights your signature drink and provides the recipe!

The Cocktail Hour

Your Cocktail Hour is where your guests will do the most drinking, and form lines that  wrap around the bar!

Here are the basic liquors that without a doubt need to be included on your bar menu:

White Liquors:
Vodka | Rum | Gin

Chardonnay | Pinot Grigio | Cabernet Sauvignon | Merlot | Zinfadel

For the wedding toasts!


The Night Before: Planning Your Rehearsal Dinner

by The New York Wedding Company on 02/21/14

The Night Before the Big Day!

The dinner the night before the biggest day of your life is typically called the Rehearsal Dinner. This dinner signifies the last day the couple spends together before they become husband and wife. More importantly, it is the last pre-wedding event and follows the actual rehearsal, which is where you and your bridal party will practice the processional and recessional at your church or ceremony location.

Who Needs to Be There?

Typically the bridal party, close family and friends, and of course the couple!

Where Does This Take Place?

That's totally up to you! But typically they're held at a restaurant of the couple's choice. Other creative ideas include hosting a back-yard BBQ, or an evening garden dinner, or cocktails at a local bar.

What Goes on During the Dinner?

Drinks are served, food is eaten, toasts are made, and a good time is had by all! The couple should thank everyone for all their support, and sharing in their special day.

Who's Paying for All This?

Traditionally the groom's parents pay for the rehearsal dinner.

What in the World is a Stationery Portfolio?

by The New York Wedding Company on 02/15/14

Many of you may not know what a wedding stationery portfolio is, which of course would explain why you're reading this post, right? Well, a wedding stationery portfolio is just a couple of fancy words we use to describe your wedding invitation and all the other stationery products that go along with it. So to make things easier for you, I've listed what items should be in your portfolio, along with when they should be sent and an explanation of each printing process. But before we get into your stationery portfolio and the printing process, here's a rule I think everyone getting married should follow: Please, oh please, do NOT send your guests wedding invitations via Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media site! Yes, I know how easy it is to set up an event on Facebook and send it to all your friends, or to tell everyone via the internet instead of buying invitations, BUT, your wedding invitations are more important than you think! So please, no Facebook invites!

Your Wedding Stationery Portfolio Should Include:

Wedding Invitations
This is the formal (or informal, depending on your wedding) invitation to let your guests know they are invited. You should order them four to six months before the wedding and mail them two to three months before the wedding.

Inner Envelopes
This envelope is traditionally used for formal weddings to inform your guests that they are allowed to bring someone else to your wedding. For example: The outside of the inner envelope might say “Ms. Rice and guest” or "Mr. Jones and family", indicating that they are allowed to bring a guest or the rest of their family, children or his wife, along with them to the wedding. If your envelope is addressed to just one person,  (your envelope only says "Mr. Jones"), then that lets your guests know only they are invited with no "plus one". Inner envelopes can be purchased with your wedding invitations and they should be mailed with them.

RSVP Cards
This card allows your guests to respond to your wedding invitation. You should order them when purchasing your wedding invitations and mail them with your invitations.

Reception Cards
This card lets your guests know that they are invited to the reception, as well as where and when it will be. Note: Reception cards are NOT required if ALL of your guests are invited to the reception but they are required if you are inviting specific wedding guests to the reception or if you are inviting specific people to the reception that may not have been invited to the wedding. You should order your reception cards when purchasing your wedding invitations and mail them with your invitations.

The Printing Process

Engraving - Engraving is the most formal and typically the most expensive printing option. Engraving is made by etching type into metal plates which are them impressed upon paper. You can tell an invitation has been engraved by looking at the invitation, if the font of the invitation is raised on the front and indented on the back of the invitation then you know it has been engraved.

Letterpress - Letterpress can sometimes be as expensive as engraving, but although engraved printing appears raised, letterpress type is created by manual impression which produces indented type. A letterpress invitation can be either formal or casual.

Thermography - Thermography is a less expensive alternative to engraving that uses a heat-based process and resin power to create raised lettering. Thermography is shiny unlike engraving, but it can cost nearly fifty percent less than engraving.

Offset Lithography
-  Offset lithography is also known as flat printing or litho and is the least expensive way to print your wedding stationery. You'll find this type of printing on everyday items such as standard store-bought greeting cards and magazines.

I've Picked My Wedding Party, Now What?

by The New York Wedding Company on 02/07/14

So you've gathered all of your close friends and family members and have given each of them an important role in your wedding, now what? These important roles also come with important responsibilities. So to make sure we're all on the same page and everyone knows what each bridal party member is supposed to do, I have listed below what is traditionally expected of each member.

The Maid-of-honor is expected to:

  • Throw the bridal shower/bachelorette party
  • Sign the marriage license
  • Adjust the brides train at the altar
  • Hold the brides bouquet during vows
  • Collect gift envelopes at the reception
  • Help the bride get dressed
The Best man is expected to:
  • Throw the grooms bachelor party
  • Give the officiant his/her fee after the wedding
  • Sign the marriage license
  • Hold the wedding rings
The Bridesmaids are expected to:
  • Help the maid of honor pay for the bachelorette party
  • Help with pre-wedding tasks (ex: addressing invitations, making wedding favors, etc)
The Groomsmen are expected to:
  • Help the best man pay for the bachelor party
  • Help with pre-wedding tasks (ex: addressing invitations, making wedding favors, etc)

The Ring Bearer is expected to:

  • Walk down the aisle carrying the two wedding bands on a pillow

The Flower Girl is expected to:

  • Walk down the aisle scattering flower petals from a basket
Although these people are technically not apart of the bridal party, they do play an important part in your wedding and they also need to know what is traditionally expected of them.

The Mother of the Bride is expected to:
  • Host the reception
  • Attend the rehearsal dinner and the bridal shower
The Father of the Bride is expected to:
  • Walk the bride down the aisle and give her away
  • Pay for most of the wedding
The Mother of the Groom is expected to:
  • Help plan the rehearsal dinner
  • Host the rehearsal dinner
The Father of the Groom is expected to:
  • Pay for the rehearsal dinner

Top 10 Most Popular Wedding Flowers

by The New York Wedding Company on 02/01/14

When it comes to weddings, flowers can be just as important as the bride's dress. Not only does she have to walk down the aisle with an exceptionally beautiful wedding bouquet, but flowers are also used for many other things like decorating the ceremony venue, the reception hall, centerpieces, boutonnières, etc. Many people don't realize just how important flowers can be and for some, adding flowers can make their wedding day more beautiful. Doing a little research can go a long way, but before you make a list of all the flowers you would like, first find out what flowers are actually in season. Buying flowers that are not in season will cost you more since your florists will most likely have to order the flowers from a different country. Another thing to consider when buying flowers is the time of year. Generally, during certain months, like February and May, the price of certain flowers tend to increase, due to popular holidays. So to help you out and make things a little less stressful for you, I've come up with a list of the most popular wedding flowers and listed when they are in season. Check it out to see if your favorite flower has made the list:

10. Daffodils

Meaning: "Gracefulness"
In-season: November - April
Colors: White, Yellow, Apricot and Orange
Scent: Has a sweet smell.
Price Range: $-$$

9. Baby's Breath

Meaning: "Happiness"
In-season: All year round
Colors: White
Price range: $

8. Chrysanthemum

Meaning: "Cheerfulness"
In-season: All year round (peak season: late summer & fall)
Colors: White, Yellow, Green, Orange, Russet, Red, Burgundy
Scent: Strong musky scent
Price Range: $

7. Carnations

Meaning: "Fascination"
In-season: All year round
Colors: White, Yellow, Apricot, Pale Pink, Dark Pink, Red, Burgundy
Scent: Spicy, clove-like scent
Price Range: $

6. Tulips

Meaning: "Declaration of love"
In Season: December - April
Colors: White, Yellow, Orange, Pale Pink, Dark Pink, Red, Purple
Scent: No scent
Price Range: $-$$

5. Orchids

Meaning: "Luxury"
In-season: All year round
Colors: White, Yellow, Green, Apricot, Orange, Pale Pink, Dark Pink, Red, Burgundy, Purple
Scent: Only some have a scent
Price Range: $$-$$$

4. Gardenias

Meaning: "Transport of Joy"
In-season: All year round
Colors: White
Scent: Very fragrant perfume smell
Price Range: $$$

3. Peonies

Meaning: "Bashfulness"
In-season: Late spring - Early summer (scent less variety available in fall and winter)
Colors: White, Cream, Peach, Pink, Burgundy
Scent: Has a smell
Price Range: $$-$$$

2. Calla Lilies

Meaning: "Magnificent Beauty"
In-season: All year round (peak season - winter to late spring)
Colors: Ivory, Yellow, Orange, Light Pink, Dark Pink, Red and Burgundy
Scent: No scent
Price Range: $$$

1. Rose

Meaning: "Love"
In-season: All year round
Colors: White, Cream, Yellow, Apricot, Orange, Pale Pink, Dark Pink, Red, Burgundy, Lavender
Scent: Depends on variety
Price Range: $$-$$$ (Price increases around popular holidays such as Valetines Day and Mothers Day)

Going to the Chapel: Choosing The Perfect Ceremony Venue!

by The New York Wedding Company on 01/30/14

One of the first steps in planning your wedding is deciding where exactly you want to get married. Although most wedding ceremonies are held in churches, not everyone is going to the chapel, so some of you will have to scout the best location for your wedding ceremony. So to help those who haven't quite figured it all out yet, here's a few things to keep in mind when selecting your ceremony venue:

Want to get married... At a Church?

If you already belong to a church then this is probably your first choice for your ceremony venue. Typically very little set-up is required, but ask if you're allowed to decorate, and if there are any rules for the space you'll need to adhere to.  You also won't have to worry about crazy weather Mother Nature may throw at you since the ceremony will be indoors. Most churches don't require you to pay a fee, but they will ask for a donation in lieu of (typically around $300).

Keep in mind that if you find a church you'd like to get married in but you're not a member of the church, you'll probably be asked to join and then be required as members to participate in marriage counseling sessions. Make sure you speak to the church officials to find out if these classes are required, as some churches will not perform the ceremony if these sessions are not completed.

Want to get married... At an Outdoor Venue?

If you would like to have your wedding ceremony at an outdoor venue like a public park, the first thing you will need is a permit.  Speak directly to your local parks department about the permit fee (typically $500) and requirements to utilize the park as a ceremony venue. Review the venue's rules and regulations so that you know what you can and cannot do so your ceremony runs smoothly. Some outdoor venues require you to have live music (such as a band), with no amplification, which means you can't set-up speakers and hire that amazing DJ your friend recommended.

Also, you'll need a back up plan just in case the weather isn't permitting. Keep in mind that you will need to provide chairs for your guests and your decorations may be limited depending on the venue's rules and regulations.

Want to get married... At your Reception Venue?

Some people have their wedding ceremony AND reception at the same venue, which is great since your guests won't get lost trying to locate your reception once the ceremony ends. But not every reception venue will serve as a great ceremony venue, so do your research first.

Also, make sure you ask the reception venue if you can have your ceremony there as well, don't just assume that it will be okay. And again, ask about decor, some venues will let you decorate anything and everything, some not so much!

Are Your Wedding Reception Events in Order?

by The New York Wedding Company on 01/30/14

Starting at a young age, we were all taught how to put things in order. From numbers on the number line, to the alphabet and even our meals are supposed to be in a certain order. (Ahem, dessert is to be eaten after dinner, not before, for those of you that still try to sneak in a sweet treat every now and then.)

Our wedding events are put into a specific order so that nothing is forgotten and everything runs smoothly. So if you're wondering if the cake cutting is before or after the best man's toast then you have come to the right place!

Below you will find the reception order for a traditional wedding ceremony. You may move things around as needed, or add or subtract certain events to suit your preferences.

Reception Timeline:

  • Cocktail Hour
  • Introduction of Bridal Party
  • The First Dance
  • Father of the Bride Dance
  • Mother of the Groom Dance
  • Welcome Speech/Blessing
  • Dinner is Served
  • Best Man and Maid of Honor Toasts
  • Guests are encouraged to dance at this time
  • Bouquet Toss
  • Garter Toss
  • Cake Cutting
  • Last Dance
  • Bride and Grooms Exit
  • Guests are encouraged to dance once last time

Wedding Planning 101: Planner vs. Coordinator vs. Designer

by The New York Wedding Company on 01/30/14

Many brides will most likely come to the decision that they need like to hire a wedding planner to help take some of the load off. Yet, many are confused about what wedding planners really do and who they actually need to hire to take care of the tasks they need help with. So in this post, I will explain the difference between a wedding planner, wedding designer and a wedding coordinator.

Wedding Planner
Of course this is the first person many people research or talk to knowing they are the ones that can most likely help with their wedding. A wedding planner takes care of the logistics of the wedding, so if you need help with your seating chart, making and sticking to your budget or filling out  vendor contracts, then you need a wedding planner.

Most wedding planners will even help you figure out some of your personal problems if they are conflicting with the wedding and causing you more stress, like when other family members invite their friends to your wedding or when your mother-in-law tells you what you should be doing for your wedding. Wedding planners usually have had more than enough experience to know what to do in such situations and can handle them efficiently.

Wedding Coordinator

Some brides may not need a wedding planner or designer because they plan on taking care of those tasks on their own. But I do believe that every bride deserves to have a wedding coordinator for their wedding. Wedding coordinators take care of you and your wedding on your wedding day.

They may help set your reception tables, perform light decorating, place favors, or talk to your wedding vendors and make sure everything is going according to plan. Wedding coordinators take care of your wedding and any problems that may arise on the day of so you don't have to. When you hire a wedding coordinator you can fully focus on your guests and enjoying yourself without having to stop to run around and make sure your gifts are all in a safe place, or to give your guests directions.

Wedding Designer

Many people get the wedding designer and wedding planner confused; that may be because some wedding planners also offer wedding design services. The wedding designer is in charge of exactly what the title says-- designing the wedding! They help you visualize how you want your wedding to look and then make it happen. Not every wedding planner is willing (or able) to string tea lights in your tent or make sure your floral centerpieces are arranged

So if the tasks you need help with are related to how your wedding day will look and feel-- in other words, your wedding style, then you definitely need a wedding designer. Some people may need help with the design of their wedding and the logistics, if this is the case, then you'll need to ask your wedding planner if they offer designing services or find someone who does both, that way you won't have to hire two separate people for your wedding.

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