Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Dress The Part

Often times weddings and special events leave you completely clueless on WHAT TO WEAR? You always get the wording on the invitation..."black tie", "semi-formal", "cocktail", etc. But what exactly does that mean? Here is a cheat sheet so that you can look FABULOUS and APPROPRIATE at your next wedding or event!

{White Tie} The most formal of all dress codes...

Ladies-A formal, full-length ball gown in a neutral color like dark brown or black. Glamorous makeup, dramatic jewelry, pinned/pulled up hair are appropriate.

Gentlemen-A tuxedo, a long black jacket with tails, a white pique vest, and a bow tie. Black, formal shoes, and even white gloves are appropriate.

{Black Tie} The next most formal dress code and it's usually an evening affair...
Ladies-A chic cocktail dress or a long evening gown in a dark, neutral color like brown or black. Make sure the length is appropriate if you do a cocktail dress.

Gentlemen-A tuxedo. A black bow tie, cummerbund, and patent leather shoes are also suggested.

{Formal or Black Tie Optional} Slightly less formal than a black tie which means a tuxedo is not required but the event is formal enough for one to be appropriate...

Ladies-A long dress, a dressy suit, or a formal cocktail-length dress in a dark, neutral tone like brown, gray, or black.

Gentlemen-A tuxedo or a formal dark suit and tie.

{Beach Formal, Beach Attire, or Summer Chic} "Beach formal" suggests an elegant beach wedding -- so dress to impress, but also dress for the elements (sun, sand, and water). "Beach Attire" and "Summer Chic" denotes that anything you'd wear to a nice restaurant on a summer day is appropriate...

Ladies: A formal summer sundress at tea- or knee-length with low or high sandals. Makeup and hair can be natural and everyday.

Gentlemen: A summer suit with a linen shirt (no ties required), linen pants or khakis, and sandals.

{Semiformal, Dressy Casual, or Cocktail} Depending on the time of the event, you'll want to dress somewhere between formal and casual. Wear darker, more formal hues for an evening fete; opt for light colors and fabrics for a daytime affair...
Ladies-A cocktail dress or a dressy skirt and top.

Gentlemen-A suit and tie, dark or light depending on the season and time of day.

{Casual} Generally, casual means anything goes. That said, jeans, shorts, and tank tops are probably not appropriate unless they're specifically noted as acceptable. For the purposes of wedding wear, assume business casual to be on the safe side.
Ladies-A summer sundress or a skirt or pants with a nice blouse. Makeup and hair can be natural and everyday.

Gentlemen-Dress pants with a button-down shirt or polo.

Happy Planning!

Photo Credit: Image Sets Created By Me Via Polyvore

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Engagement Pictures 101

Engagement sessions are very popular these days. Often times the session is included in the photography package a couple selects for their wedding. The idea is to have FUN in front of the camera and let the lenses capture your LOVE. The location, what you wear, props, and poses should reflect your personality and who you are as a couple. Some couples do not feel it is necessary to do an engagement shoot but there are several reasons they are important. These sessions allow the photographer to see how you interact with each other in front of the camera, learn your best angles, and it lessens camera shyness before the BIG day. Here are some simple ideas to get good use out of your engagement pictures....

1. Save-the-dates
2. Wedding website
3. Local newspaper announcement
4. Table numbers
5. Picture mobile
6. A "theme" shoot that compliments your wedding theme
7. Wedding favors
8. Gift to parents
9. Photo guest book for guests to sign at reception
10. Programs
11. Message board
12. Poster size displays at reception
13. Personalized sweets (i.e. M&Ms, chocolates, lollipops, etc.)
14. Slideshow for engagement party/rehearsal dinner/cocktail
15. Thank you notes

Three of my 2011 couples did their engagement sessions over the weekend! I'm super excited to see and use them to personalize their special day!

Happy Planning!

Photo Credit: Pamela Marie Photography {Couple photographed, Tonya & Kelton, Wedding Day 09.04.10}

Friday, June 25, 2010

Shoe Candy

Since the beginning of time, the bride goes out and buys the white dress, the white veil, the white garter, matching jewelry, and WHITE shoes! Nowadays, wedding fashion is not all about white on white on white. Alot of women are going with off-white/ivory dresses and making a statement with a colored shoe. I LOVE this look! It's fun, stylish, a great way to incorporate your wedding color(s), and it looks fantastic in pictures! Some brides are conservative and traditional so of course this look is not for everyone. But if you are a fashionista and want to add a little "umph" to your ensemble, a pair of haute heels in the perfect hue is a fabulous way to do it!

Happy Planning!

Photo Credit: Google Images

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Spotlight: i AMakeup

Looking like a million bucks is always high priority on your wedding day or if you are the guest(s) of honor. Alexis Maddox, owner of i AMakeup, is a fabulous makeup artist (and a dear friend of mine). Check out her blog all that's glAM for the latest on haute trends and tips! Here is her spotlight...

{Tell a little about yourself and services.}
I officially launched i AMakeup this past spring (2010) and while I just began my own freelance makeup business, I’ve done makeup for quite some time. I have had friends ask me to do their makeup for a wedding, including my friend’s last summer in Dallas (I did several bridesmaids!) or a ladies’ night out. I also worked at an Aveda salon while living in Columbus, OH, where I provided makeup application services for clients who wanted to complete their look after getting their hair done.

My motto for i AMakeup is “full, high-quality makeup services at a gorgeous price!” I made the decision to start my business shortly after getting engaged and learning what all goes into your special day. It can get hectic and expensive, which is why I will come to you, regardless of your makeup needs and event, and offer extremely reasonable prices to make everything that much more seamless. I LOVE what I do and helping others bring out their beauty, and that in itself is so rewarding.

{When did you fall in love with makeup?}
I can honestly say that I fell in love with makeup the minute my mom gave the “green light” to try out a few things in the 7th grade. Granted, I was limited to lipstick, blush and mascara, but I found creativity in just those three pieces. From there, I explored, played and shopped, shopped and shopped. I became a makeup junkie in my teen years and found such great excitement trying something new, whether it was a new eyeshadow shade, lip gloss hue or style to apply eyeliner.

{What is your #1 piece of advice for your clients?}
Be attentive to your natural assets and play them up! I am not a fan of someone looking so “done up” that they look like a completely different person without makeup – you should simply enhance what God gave you. However, if you have amazing almond-shaped eyes, work the shadow, liner and load on the mascara (or false lashes). If you have the most phenomenol pouty lips, don’t let them get lost with just a chapstick or let them go bare. Give them some extra punch with a high-intensity gloss or a bright, bold color if you are daring. Or if you have a chiseled bone structure to die for, work the angles with a highlighter cream and further contour your cheek bones. If you focus on your best feature, you can be minimal with everything else, and simply, watch draws drop!

...i AMakeup is one to watch!...Thanks Lex for sharing!
Happy Planning!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Summer Tip/Trend #1: Keep Guests Cool

Summer heat can cause guests to quickly become uncomfortable. If any part of your wedding is outdoors or guests have to commute from ceremony to reception, provide relief from the hot summer sun by incorporating a few tips and tricks to beat the heat. Consider these ideas to allow guests to relax, stay cool, and enjoy your special day.

1. Have hand-held fans available for guests. Engrave your names and wedding date onto the fans, and they can double as a wedding favor. You can also create your program in a fan format. Consider placing the fans on chairs before the guests arrive or arranging fans near the guest book for easy access. Or go slightly more high-tech and opt for personal battery-operated fans. Add parasols for guests who may want extra shade from the heat and sun.

2. Offer bottled water to guests as they wait for the ceremony to begin. Place water bottles in buckets of ice water around the ceremony location. Keep water bottles cool by storing plenty of ice in extra coolers. Assign someone to replenish the water bottles or to offer them to guests upon their arrival. Or, you can set up a small refreshment station with pitchers of water, lemonade or iced tea so guests can serve themselves. To add some style, add personalized labels to the water bottles.

3. Plan the wedding ceremony during the coolest part of a summer day, possibly right before sunset. Have outdoor lighting available in case the wedding ceremony lasts longer than expected.

4. Avoid using metal chairs for guests to sit on. The sun will heat the chairs, making them uncomfortable for guests to sit on.

5. If ceremony, cocktail, and reception are all (or mostly) outdoors, provide an indoor spot with access to air-conditioning if guests become overheated. Assign someone to mention the "cool room" to guests as they arrive for the ceremony.

6. Choose light foods for appetizers, and for the meal, go with cool salads, seafood, and plenty of fruits and vegetables. Limit or eliminate hot food items from the menu and offer freshly made sangria for an alcoholic beverage. Discuss with your caterer the importance of featuring foods that won't spoil or wilt in summer heat.

7. Offer cool treats! (i.e. snow cone, ice cream, popsicle, ice cream sandwich, etc.)

8. Remind your guests to wear light clothing (summer chic) for the ceremony.

Happy Planning!
Photo Credit: Google Images

2010 Summer Wedding Tips/Trends

The 2010 wedding season is in full swing! Summer is the most popular time for weddings! Many brides choose the summer season for their BIG day because there is usually a better chance of a rain-free event, gorgeous sunsets, and an overall cheery feeling that only comes from the smiling sun. Throughout the 2010 summer season, I will be posting tips/trends for the bride-to-be and guests to consider. Stay tuned....;-)

Happy Planning!

Photo Credit: Google Images

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Haute Topic: Bloomin' Stationery

On tonight's episode of My Fair Wedding, my fav, David Tutera, created magic (yet again) and designed a one-of-a-kind, whimsical spring wedding. Keeping with the spring theme, he highlighted the escort cards that were made out of flower seed paper--handmade paper embedded with seeds that can be planted. I absolutely adore this idea! Eco-friendly, eco-chic, and unique!

If you think about it, there is a TON of paper used (and unfortunately wasted) when planning a wedding or event. You can use plantable paper for invitations, favors, gifts, thank you cards, tags, labels, programs, menus, wrapping paper, confetti, you name it! It can also be used as everyday stationery. The paper comes in a variety of colors/designs and there are many choices of flowers. You can also customize the paper and seed type.

Just think...your guests can take a piece of your wedding home, plant, grow, and think of your special day! Check out these sites....

Happy Planning!

Photo Credit:

Saturday, June 12, 2010


Centerpieces and flowers are always a BIG topic when it comes to the design part of weddings and events. Alot of my brides this season are not big on flowers and want little-to-no-flowers as part of their overall table decor. Being a flower-type-of-girl, my immediate thoughts were "no flowers, no way!" Talking further with my brides, their real concerns were how costly flowers are and I could not agree more! Depending on the type of flower, size, complexity of design, and number of tables you have, this element can get very pricey. Some brides want to go all out for their floral design and some just want to keep it simple.

To cut costs, more and more brides are forgoing elaborate floral designs, alot are having do-it-yourself (DIY) flowers, some are using faux flowers, and some are doing away with flowers completely. Flowers typically add the POP of color(s) in the table decor; however you can use linens, ribbon, napkins, glassware, candles, stones, fruit, desserts, colored water, submersible colored lighting, feathers, branches, stationary, favors, etc. to add your wedding colors/style throughout the table design.

Check out these centerpiece ideas for dinner and cocktail tables that use minimal or no flowers at all! All of these can be DIY projects, incorporate faux flowers, and save you $$$ without compromising style!

Happy Planning!

Photo Credit:

Friday, June 11, 2010

Carrie On

Gearing up for the premiere of Sex & The City 2, SHE partnered with party promoter, Howie Bullard, Accezzorize boutique owner, Alexis Alexander, & iAMakeup's owner, Alexis Maddox for a fabulous pink carpet affair. Carries, Mirandas, Charlottes, Samanthas, and even Mr. Bigs came out for a night of classic cosmopolitans, haute fashions, and groove music in an oh-so-sexy ambiance at Olive or Twist. A HUGE thank you to all of the models who strutted the runway, Sex & The City style!!! If you missed it, shame on you! Check out some of the pictures...courtesy of Evan Sanders..

Photo Credit: Evan Sanders

Thursday, June 10, 2010

SHE Blogs!

Hellooooo Bloggers!
My name is Shayla Hawkins and I'm the owner/principle wedding and event planner for Shayla Hawkins Events also known as SHE. If I had to choose only three words to describe SHE, they are Stylish, cHic, and modErn. We are very style conscious as we cater to our client's vision to create a unique and fabulous event. We shoot for the 'WOW' factor and push to take your vision to new heights. I absolutely LOVE what I do! My favorite part of the planning process is the look on someone's face once they see all of the ideas, details, and planning come to life! I recently launched SHE's website ( where you can check out more information about myself, the services offered, and view photos. Now, I'm ready to blog about all the latest trends, haute decor, fab ideas, fun inspirations, and the do's/don'ts in weddings and events! I'm excited!!! Make sure you check back often and become a follower of Things SHE Loves....I want to hear from you so please give me your feedback, questions, and comments! Tell me your reaction at the bottom of each post...Super Fab, Heart It, or Exciting! *note the S-H-E ;-)

Let the blogging begin.....

Happy Planning!