BRIDE - to be...

How far would you go to look your best on your wedding day?  In Fitness Magazines exclusive survey, 1,000 brides tell all...

  • Only 14% of brides-to-be say that they are currently at their IDEAL WEIGHT.
  • 1 in 5 woman would postpone her nuptials if she wasn't at her goal weight by her wedding date.
  • Body part we love... 46% of brides want a wedding dress to show off their cleavage
  • Body part we fear... 80% want a gown that conceals their belly.
  • Got... Back Fat?  32% of woman polled want "back camouflage" on their wedding day, while... 17% of woman want to show it off.
  • More than TWICE AS MANY WOMAN as men want to lose weight for their wedding (83% vs. 34%)
  • It's not all about the big day 88% think it's important to maintain their weight loss after the wedding.
  • He loves your body exactly as it is 63% of brides-to-be say their fiance wouldn't change a thing. But do you love his not so much. Only 47% of engaged woman say the same thing about their man.
  • 29% of woman will be thinking about sucking it in during their wedding photos, but 62% will be focused on how great they look.
  • 17% of woman considered their friends' weight when selecting a bridal party, only 5% say they actually encouraged their maids to shed pounds pre-ceremony.
  •  Top two tricks for losing weight 43% of you double your workout time while 41% go on a strict diet.
  • You're looking to lose... a lot 33% of brides-to-be want to shed 30 or more pounds for the big day. While he's looking to lose... a lot less 11% of grooms-to-be want to do the same.
  • What is most important on your wedding day?  That you feel... calm & relaxed 79% or thin & beautiful 21%.
Interesting to see the many ways brides-to-be are trying to achieve body nirvana on their wedding day.

Note:  I must say no matter what size or shape every bride I have planned for has always looked BEAUTIFUL!

Your wedding planner,

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The Evolution of Wedding Bands Created by Sarah & Andrew

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How Would You Like To Design & Create Your Own Wedding Bands?

Imagine spending a day in a fine jewelry studio learning to make your own wedding rings. San Francisco Wedding Rings & New York Wedding Rings offer professional jewelry workshops that allow you to make meaningful custom wedding rings with your own hands while you enjoy the fun experience of being a goldsmith for a day. Create your own wedding rings in eco-gold, platinum, palladium, or mokume gane.

Join these professionals in their studios in San Francisco and NYC as they help you capture the romance and satisfaction of making your own wedding rings. Making jewelry is exciting and you will be delighted with the quality of your handmade wedding rings.

Experience the romance of creating your own wedding rings under the personal guidance of an experienced jewelry maker. Each class is tailored to the individual design of your pair of rings. This is a brief class outline of how to make traditional gold bands.
  • Alloy gold. This step is great if you love to play with fire.
  • Whack it on the anvil. You will enjoy gold's amazing malleability.
  • The rolling mill stretches the gold into ring stock.
  • Solder is melted into the joint to form a solid ring.
  • If you like shine, polishing is the most rewarding step!
  • Get married!
Visit them online at San Francisco Wedding Ring 
and in NYC... New York Wedding Ring
Happy Wedding Band Making!

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Friday Funny :) I always have a Plan B!

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How much does it cost to elope?

 In 2005, according to, the average cost of a wedding rose to $26,327, almost a 70% increase in cost over the past 15 years. Destination wedding couples, in which the entire party travels to a special location for the celebration, spend an average of 41% less on their receptions. While there are not official statistics on the average cost of an elopement, elopement packages including a hotel for a week, the officiant, photographer and album, ceremony site, cake, and musical selection tend to range between $2,000 to $5,000. This represents 10 - 20% of the cost of a traditional wedding. That's a savings of over $20,000.00 that can go towards something like let me think... a House!

Good advise from 
Your wedding planner,

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MTV Elopement Documentary Opportunity - Tell Your Story

MTV’s award-winning documentary series, “True Life” is looking for couples planning to elope for a “True Life: I’m Eloping” documentary.

Is the cost of a traditional wedding leading you to contemplate eloping? Is your situation forcing you to be secretive about your plans for marriage? Are you racing away from home, even crossing state lines to tie the knot? Whatever your reasons for wanting to wed quickly, MTV wants to hear your story.

If you are between the ages of 18 and 28 and are thinking about eloping before October 2008, check out the MTV website at with all of the details. Please be sure to include your name, location, phone number and a photo.

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Sarah & Andrew Eloped To The Fort 6/23/08

Sarah & Andrew contacted me a couple of months ago inquiring about eloping to PR. They are an adventurous couple who love to travel and wanted to marry in a unique, picturesque setting.  After a few e-mails back and forth they decided on the famous fort "El Castillo de San Cristobal" just on the outskirts of one of the most romantic and beautiful cities in the world, Old San Juan.  

They arrived from San Francisco, California on Saturday and began exploring the island right away.  Their first stop... the gorgeous El Convento Hotel in Old San Juan. There they relaxed for about 1 minute because they managed to get in the Bacardi Factory Tour, the Arecibo Observatory in Arecibo and most of Old San Juan (dining at Dragonfly a restaurant that is very hot right now and I still have not been able to make it to)... all of this in just 2 days.  Oh and did I mention Sarah is expecting their first child in August... when I say adventurous I mean adventurous! See they explained how they took a trip to the Sierra Mountains in search of gold.  "They did find gold in them their mountains"... and not only did they dig, sift and collect it.  They took their gold home, found a class on ring making and melted, moulded and pounded out their wedding bands themselves!  How many couples can say they made their spouses wedding bands... not I!  

Today was there biggest adventure of all (it will come second only to becoming parents) I picked them up with my trustee assistant Amy, we met with the Doc who signed and cleared them for marriage (no cooties found), we shot over to the most adventurous place of all The Demographics Office (oh note to self... advise grooms no flip flops at the Demo Office, ever), where we sat and waited and waited until finally "Osgood Peterman Osgood" was called. We got the marriage license, drove them back to their hotel, now the Courtyard Marriott in Isla Verde, for them to get ready and returned for them at 3:00 to get them over to the fort for their 3:30 ceremony.  Of course it rained, of course it stopped just when we arrive to the fort (just like I ordered) and finally of course their ceremony was simply perfect!  Sarah looked elegant, glowing and gorgeous. Andrew was very dapper in his Guajavera and Luis Ivan, the Officiant was very thorough and well official!  We found a quiet, private area with a gorgeous view.  They exchanged their vows, had a sand ceremony and celebrated with a toast (apple cider).  I must say it was a very touching and beautiful ceremony!  We took lots and lots of pictures and finally I drove them over to a great restaurant called Raices for their wedding dinner.  We said our goodbyes and promised to stay in touch... I want lots of pictures of little Peterman! In the end their wedding day was just how I hoped it would be for them... simple, classy and memorable. And finally as we are driving home... a beautiful rainbow appears!  I know this is a sign that I am doing what I am suppose to be doing because it gives me goosebumps everytime. No kidding this is not the first time it has happened and I know it won't be the last.

Sarah & Andy may today be the start of a wonderful lifetime together full of health, joy and much happiness.  And may your marriage last for at least as long as the fort has stood, over 450 years :)

Best Wishes From,
Your Wedding Planner,
& My Trustee Assistant,

P.S.~ If you are reading this and considering eloping, shoot me an email so I can put in the order for your rainbow:)

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Friday Funny :)

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Cari & Stephen's Same Day Edit (courtesy of Elysium Productions & Details, Details)

There is a new concept in wedding videos, it's called in wedding video.  It is a video presented around cake cutting time, either through a big screen or MAC and shown to the guests depicting the earlier wedding day festivities. Guests can experience everything from the bride getting ready, to walking down the aisle, to grand entrance and first dance, it’s all being captured and then editted on site. There are only a few companies that can produce this for you and YES it is amazing that a little elf collects the tapes from the videographers and passes them off to the editor who sits vigorously at an editting system and produces a one song recap of the day so far…check it out! This amazing video was produced by the one and only Elysium Productions! It's simply genius!

Cari & Stephen's Same Day Edit from Julie Hill on Vimeo.

Your wedding planner,

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Wedding Day Hair & Make Up Tips

I'm lucky, because I get to surf around on the Internet looking at cool stuff to share with my brides -- as in, handy-dandy info for hot, travel-centric brides like you. Here's a little round-up of some helpful bridal-beauty sites I recently came across.

For suggestions on wedding hair, check out Redken's site it is chock full of information on the newest hairstyles and color trends as well as where to find the nearest Redken stylist. It's a fun website to navigate around for wedding day hair ideas.

For face, check out Bobbi Brown's Bridal Beauty page, with tips for how to achieve a radiant look on your big day. If you don't find the advice you're looking for (like how to mask your wicked sunburn), you can chat live with a makeup artist. Also stop by MAC's Meet the Brides page to find inspiration. MAC created six looks, from beachy to big-city glam, and shows you the techniques and products you'll need to re-create the effect for yourself.

Your wedding planner,

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Venue Spotlight "El Conquistador" Fajardo, PR

I had the opportunity this weekend to go to the famous resort "El Conquistador" and meet with their events staff. My goal was to experience the resort as a vacationer and put together a great Elope Package that would be unique, memorable and reasonable. I am happy to report that I met my goal and can now offer amazing packages to anyone interested in this resort.  It does not matter whether you are eloping, having a small wedding or a big wedding I have a package for you.  So if you are interested in marrying in one of the most beautiful resorts in Puerto Rico... read on.

First, I must say they run a very tight ship and I was very impressed with management and staff at the facility. The resort is immaculate, the staff is friendly and helpful and the views and surrounding areas are simply breathtaking.  El Conquistador can be expensive but I figured out a way to get married, honeymoon and celebrate in this resort without breaking the bank.  I also took the opportunity to research the surrounding area including the main town of Fajardo and found some outstanding restaurants, tours and beaches that would make your wedding and honeymoon a dream come true! 

El Conquistador Golf Resort, Casino and Golden Door Spa offers you attractive indoor and outdoor ceremony and reception facilities.  It is spread over 500 acres in the quaint fishing village of Las Croabas (Fajardo).  I have to say that from my experience they make sure that their guests have an unforgettable vacation.  We stayed 2 nights and 3 days and we will definitely return. I have nothing negative to report other than the cost of meals.  It can get pricey to have all your meals at the resort but if you book your wedding at the resort I will give you lots of info as to "how to beat the meal system" which is an invaluable resource. It also offer you a chance to explore Puerto Rico's cuisine and culture.  Next I have to report that our accommodations were outstanding, the view from our room and surrounding area were breathtaking and the golf course and Golden Spa are award winning facilities.  The resort is located in a cliff atop a mountain (one drawback to some couples would be that the resort does not have a beach right on premise).  But they do have a private island with a magnificant beach just 8 minutes on a complimentary water taxi ride.  The water taxi will zip you right over to Palomoni Island (a 100 acre beach with a restaurant, bar, shopping and every water sport offered) quickly and efficiently.  The island is very beautiful with shower facility, bathrooms and a beach that has clear turquoise water (this private beach is available to you for your wedding ceremony in a package I have put together with the resort). There are other areas at the resort where your ceremony and reception can be held that are also beautiful for example, a garden, a gazebo and pool side just to name a few.

The resort is situated in a magnificent setting;
  • Located on the northeastern tip of Puerto Rico, near El Yunque Rain Forest
  • Four miles from the stores and attractions of downtown Fajardo and Los Croabas
  • Easy access to world-class golf, wind surfing, scuba diving and fishing
  • An eight minute boat ride to the private island Palomino
  • 31 miles from San Juan and San Juan airport 
So if you would like to have your wedding ceremony, reception and honeymoon at a very unique resort that offers everything right at your fingertips for a reasonable rate!... I am the wedding planner for you!

Call or email me for further details.

Your wedding planner,

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Do you really need me as your Wedding Planner? Look at the smile on Vivian's face, I say YES!

I have been getting many phone calls and emails from couples looking to elope within the next 6 months.  One of the first questions asked of me is "Do we really need a wedding planner?".  In the end, that can only be answered by you and your partner. But my advise as a wedding planner is this... planning a wedding whether big or small is pretty stressful, now planning a destination wedding can double that stress and take up a lot of time and energy. Compound that with an island time mentality and a language barrier and you multiply that stress level. This is my hometown, I do lots of business here, I am fluent in Spanish, I have many many contacts and sometimes it can take me an entire week to get an answer to a very simple question.  Now can you imagine your phone bill and time consumed on emails? 

My most popular Elope Package is my San Juan Package which starts at $2000 and covers everything except the doctor's fee, marriage license and reception.  This fee includes unlimited emails and phone calls, unlimited recommendations for ceremony and reception sites, an officiant, your flowers, sand ceremony and keepsake vase to take home with you, 20 digital photos with access to Kodak Gallery, bottle of champagne, transportation from the airport to the doc's office (sometimes I am able to get the doc to come right to your hotel lobby), transportation and translation at the Demographics Office to get your marriage license and stamps, set-up and breakdown of the ceremony site, set-up and organization of the reception site. I can recommend live music, hair, makeup, videographer, entertainment and well just about anything that you can think of.  And last but not least, I am available to you during your stay to help with anything that may come up... a desired tour, golf outing, God forbid an unexpected visit to an emergency room or maybe something as simple as where to go for lunch.  In fact, I practically become your assistant before, during and after your wedding.  

Also, I am a very unique planner I am not an assembly line, cookie cutter wedding business. I do not overbook myself, I treat each couple exclusively and just so you can understand the relationships I build with my couples, I send them an anniversary card every year and every year I receive holiday cards, birth announcements and phone calls and visits when they make it back to PR. PR Wedding Planner is more than a business, I pride myself in making couples feel special, they should, they are visiting my island, turning over the most precious day of their lives (besides the birth of their children) and trust in me to be the professional planner that I expressed to them I was. I have never let a couple down.  I strive to meet not only their high expectations but the ones I have placed on myself.  I want every couple to go home with great memories of their wedding day, the people they meet along the way and of this enchanted, gorgeous island that is MY Puerto Rico! 

So, if you still have any doubts about hiring me as your destination wedding planner... try doing all of that from your home town!

Fondly your wedding planner,

P.S. I have lots and lots of references collaborating my blog post, just ask! :)

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Juan Carlos & Vivian's Wedding

I had the pleasure of being the wedding planner for Juan Carlos & Vivian's May wedding and I must say it was everything a traditional wedding should be.  The bride took your breath away, the ceremony and reception looked elegant and beautiful and as you walked into the reception hall everyone was in a celebratory mode, it was simply a blast.  

This was not a destination wedding, in fact the couple were both born and raised here in Puerto Rico.  They wanted a traditional wedding... ceremony in a Catholic church (in a town called Santurce, approximately 15 minutes from Old San Juan), the reception at a beautiful catering hall called Club Nautico (with a fantastic view of a private marina). 150 guests were there to witness this special day and although I am such an advocate for eloping I must say there is something to be said for celebrating your wedding day with a roomful of people whom love and adore you, love and joy was certainly in the air!  

The brides taste was impeccable and she knew exactly what she wanted so my job, although hectic, was relatively easy in the sense of all I had to do was listen and execute! And that is exactly what I did.  In the end the ceremony was meaningful, beautiful and full of pure joy (there was not a dry tear in the house as she walked into church and stood aside her fiance). She looked amazing, her flowers were simple and absolutely beautiful and her bridesmaids resembled models walking out of the pages of a bridal magazine (each dress was custom made all of the same material and color but each was different complementing the individual and each other)! Unfortunately, I was not able to enjoy the entire ceremony, off I went to make certain everything was set-up and ready for the rush of guests which would arrive hungry and thirsty.  And thank goodness we were ready when they started to trickle in.  As they walked into the lobby area they were greeted with beautiful flower arrangements, candle light, champagne cranberry mimosas and a variety of appetizers.  The appetizers consisted of chicken skewers with pieces of caramelized apple, meat filled filo patties, baby lamb chops with a mint sauce and caramelized plantains filled with a delicious  and savory chopped meat. Everyone commented on the great variety and how delicious everything was.  As the dining room doors opened the guests were greeted to beautiful music playing in the background and a room that smelled like the loveliest garden in the world.  The centerpieces were simple, elegant and light.  When the bride and groom arrived they had their first dance and proceeded to PARTY all night long.  I made certain everyone had what they needed... drinks, food and that nothing had been overlooked.  The couple deserved the best and that is certainly how their day turned out, their wedding day and night were simply perfect. 

What more could a couple ask for... a memorable church ceremony, a wonderful venue with great food, drink and music and an atmosphere full of love and hope for the future of the new Mr. & Mrs.  

Juan Carlos & Vivian, if the feeling at your wedding is any indication of what is ahead in your lives, your lives will be full of JOY, LOVE & MUCH HAPPINESS.  Thank you for allowing me to assist in making your wedding dreams come true! It was my pleasure!

Congratulation!  Felicidades!  

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Financial Difficulties Bring A Boom To Destination Weddings

Hola To My Future Mr & Mrs,

The last couple of months have been quite hectic, although I must stress a wonderful hectic.  In the last 60 days I have received over 50 Elope Package requests from couples living all over the states including Georgia, California, Texas and New York! The most amount of prospective newlyweds since I began wedding planning over a year ago.  I know for sure this is due to our economy.  Couples are desperately trying to make smarter financial decisions and instead of spending X amount of dollars on a 5 hour event, they are choosing to have their wedding be a week long celebration (including a honeymoon) for far less than the average traditional "shin-dig". 

Eloping is the fiancial way to go if you want to spend your hard earned money wisely! I can say this from both my professional and personal experience.  See I help successful, smart and savvy couples save thousands of dollars every day! But not only have I done this through my career, I also lived it through my own destination wedding experience. I always thought I wanted a large wedding and reception, a real celebration of our love. But when we started to weigh the cost of a wedding and reception as opposed to a week long celebration including; a ceremony, reception and honeymoon all rolled up in one... we realized spending time with our family enjoying a relaxing and beautiful island far out weighed that huge traditional 5 hour wedding event. I remember us planning our dream wedding; 150 guests, a chartered boat that would go around Manhattan Island, gourmet food, drink, band, designer dress and shoes, makeup artist, hairdresser, favors and so on and so on and so on. Then one night, right before we were to sign the venue contract, my fiance and I sat down and really thought it through and this is what we came up with. What would we rather have... a 5 hour event that would be over within a blink of an eye or a 15 day celebration, ceremony, reception and honeymoon that would last a lifetime and cost just about the same? Well in the end our destination wedding won and we have never regretted that decision.  We had the most magical 15 days of our lives and we celebrated every single moment.  It was a vacation that celebrated our love for one another.  We biked, went horse back riding and snorkling, saw rainbows, dolphins and manatees, danced, relaxed, took long walks, sailed on a catamaran, hiked and watched millions of stars come out at night, now that was a celebration of our love!

Couples, yes we are facing financial difficulties these days.  Yes, I agree having a destination wedding is a smart financial decision. But it is much more then that, it is about building memories at the very beginning of a new life together that will last far more than 5 hours, those romantic memories and adventurous experiences will surely last a lifetime!

Con carino,
Lisa your Wedding Planner!

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