Kick-off Your St. Paddy’s Celebration with Authentic Irish Coffee! by Kristen Bradley

Having done plenty of Irish weddings, and having deep Irish roots ourselves, we take our Irish coffee extra seriously.  This Friday is St. Patrick’s Day, and it’s practically our favorite holiday after Thanksgiving.  We’re excited to cozy up with a mug of homemade, authentic Irish coffee, which isn’t as tough to make as you might think!  You’ll find our favorite recipe below, and in the meantime, enjoy a brief history of this traditional St. Paddy’s brew. 

Read More

Engagement Season is Here! First Steps and Tips to Keep You on Track by Kate Baskauskas

The holiday season is upon us again, and as we reflect on the past year (where did 2013 go?!) we also embrace the new one with much anticipation. Amidst the shopping, eating, and enjoying time spent with loved ones, the holidays are the most popular time for proposals!  As a new wave of couples begins to celebrate their engagements, there are also a lot of questions and next steps that come along with such an exciting time. As planners, part of our job is to make those next steps a breeze for you. Upcoming deadlines and "to-do's" can really be made a lot less daunting if you stay well organized and have a planner who is able to track and remind you of each step. Here are some of the first few items to complete post-proposal:

1. Decide on a date and venue: Many venues fill up months (sometimes years) in advance. If there is a venue that you are set on, make sure you book it as soon as you are decided on a date. If you don't have a dream venue in mind, that's okay! Discuss with your wedding planner what you envision for your big day and they are sure to show you some fabulous options.

2. Agree on a rough guest count with your partner: Having a guest count goes hand-in-hand with picking a venue. Which venue you choose will depend on how many guests you plan on inviting, and vice-versa.

3. Plan an engagement party! Traditionally, the bride’s parents host this. But these days, we are seeing engagement parties hosted by other relatives of the couple, close friends, or the bride & groom themselves! Do what works for you, but don't miss out on the chance to celebrate this exciting new step in your lives before the wedding planning really begins!

4. Start Pinning: If you don't have a Pinterest account, RIGHT now is a good time to sign up! Create boards for all things wedding: dress, linens, hair, makeup, color schemes, flowers, cakes, and anything else wedding-related you can possibly think of. Here at Sip & Twirl, we link our Pinterest account with our brides' so that we can "pin" images to each other to create the perfect wedding vision for our couples.

Staying organized during your engagement is also important, and we have a few simple tips to keep you on top of things:

1. Make Time: This seems obvious, but the weeks can tend to slip away from you, especially in the glow of celebrating your engagement. Take in the moments (see #3 above!), but also make sure to set aside time each week to focus on wedding planning. A good tip is for you and your partner to set a certain time one day per week to sit down together and collaborate. This will also help in making sure you are communicating well and often about your needs and wants for your big day, and ensuring that both of your ideas are heard.

2. Start Calendaring: If you don't already have one, buy a day planner. We, personally, live by ours. Whether yours is a physical day planner, an online calendaring system, or a structured system through a wedding website like The Knot or Wedding Wire, we can't recommend this enough. Keep track of important deadlines and best of all - make a checklist. Sip & Twirl offers clients interactive software that includes all of these items, so both bride & groom, and planner can stay on the same page every step of the way.

3. Hire a Planner: OK, we swear we aren't just saying this because we are, well -- planners. Having a planner to assist you along the way can make a huge difference in the process (and your level of stress in the months and weeks leading up to your wedding).  We fully believe in the importance of our work. This step alone is sure to take a LOT of the pressure off our your shoulders! Stay tuned for upcoming posts detailing “how wedding planners can SAVE you money” and “the differences between your venue coordinator and your wedding planner.”