Thursday, December 16, 2010

Belle Turned Bride: Emily & Spencer at a Glance

As the next few blog entries will be about our wedding and the planning process, I figured some readers may need an introduction to Spencer and I, and what the past 3+ years of our "courtship" has been like. The timeline below should help bring you up to speed...

September 20, 2007 –Spencer approaches Emily at local watering hole.

3 hours (and a few Shipyard Pumpkinheads) later - First kiss.

September 21-22, 2007 – An unseasonably warm fall weekend, Spencer shows Emily his hometown and they go to the beach.

September 22, 2007 – Spencer introduces Emily to his roommates as his “new girlfriend.” Emily is baffled; she doesn’t remember this conversation but decides to go with it.

September 24, 2007 – Spencer takes Emily out on a proper first date in the North End of Boston. Spencer learns Emily has an unhealthy addiction to Italian food.

October 2007 – Emily surprises Spencer with a weekend trip to Providence for his birthday (ironically 2 years later becomes location of their first apartment together).

October 31, 2007 – Spencer tells Emily he loves her. He is dressed as an injured soldier covered in artificial blood and a sling on Halloween. Romantic…

November, 2007 – Spencer moves to Dallas for 8 weeks to train new team for work. Emily misses her new boyfriend.

November, 2007 – Spencer meets the Griffins on a weekend trip home. They approve. Mrs. Griffin tells Emily she thinks he is “cute, cute, cute, cute, CUTE!” (“oh and nice too”).

December 2007 – Spencer brings Emily to San Antonio, TX to celebrate her birthday. Takes her on a surprise segway ride around the Alamo, helmets included. Locals point and stare.

December 24, 2007 – Spencer’s mom introduces Emily to 30+ relatives on Christmas Eve as “Molly”. Emily is embarrassed.

December 25, 2007 – Emily tells Spencer she loves him (with a framed photo from San Antonio trip and her favorite poem, an attempt to one up his “romantic” Halloween confession).

January 2008 – Spencer returns to Boston and finds a new job before his team gets permanently transferred to Dallas.

June 2008 - Spencer starts a new job in RI.

Summer 2008 – Emily introduces Spencer to country music. Achieves success when she finds Spencer has programmed 2 local country stations to his pre-sets.

October 2008 – First real vacation together to Acapulco, MX with Spencer’s twin brother and girlfriend. Only twin brother forgets he can’t drink the water. Montezuma = 1 Trevor = 0.

Winter 2008 – Spencer teaches Emily to ski. Emily falls and cries on slopes. A lot.

April 2009 – Spencer and Emily visit in Memphis, TN. Emily experiences real BBQ for the first time. Both gain new appreciation for “the king” while visiting “Graceland”.

October 2009 – Spencer and Emily move into a new apartment together in Providence, RI!

November 2009 – Spencer and Emily take a vacation to Playa del Carmen, MX alone this year. Spencer learns to drive a scooter for first time with Emily on the back. Emily is scared. They have many romantic dinners and see scenic beaches and Mayan ruins. Emily thinks this could be the perfect place for a proposal.

December 2009 – Spencer brings Emily to NYC for her birthday. They browse in Tiffany’s. She sees Statue of Liberty for first time. Emily decides she loves New York at Christmas time. They walk to the tree in Rockefeller Center and Emily thinks this could be the perfect place for a proposal.

February 2010 - Emily can ski down black diamonds now (without falling…or crying). She purchases fancy new skis and is thankful Spencer taught her so well.

July 2010 – Spencer decides to ask Mr. Griffin permission to marry his daughter during an overnight golf tournament. With only two restaurant options in the small rural town, Spencer may be forced to ask at a Hooters (but luckily chooses the other venue).

Summer 2010 – Spencer and Emily plan a trip to travel around Italy in fall.

October 3, 2010 – Spencer pops the question on the island of Capri in Italy. Emily is thrilled and shocked; Spencer has been so tricky. Spencer and Emily “Skype” their parents and families rejoice across the pond.

October 2010 – Emily makes a second call to Leslie Barbini to fill her in on the news. Leslie has a hard time keeping the secret until Emily and Spencer’s return to the states.

October 2010 – Spencer and Emily pick a date and sign for venue. Their lives go into full fledged wedding mode.

November, 2010 – Emily wakes up late Sunday morning to find Spencer drinking his morning coffee in living room watching “Say Yes to the Dress” and she knows she’s found a keeper.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

And the winner of the giveaway is....

Congratulations to Terri! You have won the Ring Bearer Bowl from wedzu seller Paloma's Nest!

So Terri.. tell us, what are you going to use the Ring Bearer Bowl for?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Design Space Makeover Part 2

Leslie's office gets the royal treatment in this installment of the design space makeover!


No trim on the doors? No problem!

What could be going in that box you ask? Keep scrolling...

Now, UPS brown has it's place, but the Wedding Belle Design space isn't it...

This is more like it...

And a touch of gold for elegance..

So polished with the flooring!

Looking into the entrance...

Leslie found the perfect nook for our slogan..

These will be full of appointments, wedding dates and meetings in no time!

We can't wait for you to come visit!

Monday, December 6, 2010


Ever since we heard about the fabulous new site where it appears as though Etsy and weddings had a baby - we have been all over it getting inspiration and finding great ways for our couples to add DIY touches to their weddings without the trouble of the do-it-yourself part.

What better way to share our love of this new website than a giveaway! Leslie has chosen this absolutely adorable Ring Bearer Bowl from wedzu seller Paloma's Nest to give to one lucky reader of our blog.

Okay, so how do you win? In the comments, tell us what the most memorable moment was from any wedding you've been to. It can be a horrible moment, an inspiring moment or that you had the best cake of your life! One winner will be chosen at random on December 13th. Happy commenting!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Design Space Before & Afters

Since all of you have been so patient, we thought it was about time to give you a little sneak peek at the new office space. These images are all of the spare office/storage room. Now, it is still a work in progress (molding, baseboards, furniture, etc.)…to see the finished product you will just have to come to the open house in January!!! However, until then, as more work gets completed, we will tease you with some images of the other rooms! A HUGE Thank You to everyone that has helped the Belles move into their new home!

Before…pretty ordinary, but Leslie can see tons of potential!

Some paint! Leslie LOVES color!!!

Other corner with a lighter accent color to keep everyone relaxed and cheerful!

Look at that flooring!!!!!

It looks great with both paint colors! Leslie might know what she is doing!!!

AND a DOOR!! Really, it is all about the small things in life!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Belle Turned Bride: How They Met

For the entire duration of our relationship Spencer has been exposed to weddings more than your average boyfriend. To say he is a good sport is an understatement. His football Sundays are often spent with a girlfriend on the sofa cutting out pictures from Martha Stewart’s latest for “inspiration” folders. In the summer our small dining room becomes a design workshop complete with the majority of Michael’s inventory. A stack of wedding magazines left on the coffee table was never considered a “hint” in our relationship. Spencer was doomed from the start.

Let’s rewind a few years…

We met at a bar, in Southie.

{Southie - n. a working class Irish American neighborhood of Boston, probably known most famously for being Whitey Bulger’s former digs; or for being the memorable back drop in 97’s Good Will Hunting. More recently it has become a popular neighborhood among recent college grads and young professionals from the “burbs”.}

Perhaps it was not the most romantic of beginnings, but my parents also met in a bar and have been happily married for over thirty years. They met at Cheer’s in Boston, “where everybody knows your name”. On the night we met, Spencer wanted to know my name, so I think it is fair to say that from the very beginning we were destined to follow in the footsteps of my parents.

Three years later what began as a bad pick up line at the local watering hole is about to become a marriage and we couldn’t be more excited! Spence is a genuinely kind, loving, funny and all around great guy, (a regular catch if I do say so myself). I cannot wait to marry him. Instinctively the inner planner in me also cannot wait to throw (and create) the party of the year…and so, the moment he slipped that beautiful diamond ring on my finger, the transition from “Belle” to Bride began.

This blog will follow our journey during the whirlwind of the year to come; because with an exuberant “YES!” I made it all so very official…this Wedding Belle is getting HITCHED!!!!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Belle Turned Bride: A New Series

Meet Emily Griffin

Emily is a wedding and event planner with The Wedding Belle. She has a passion for design and event coordination which is sure to come in handy because Emily just got ENGAGED!!! We, at The Wedding Belle are so incredibly thrilled for our fellow Belle! Emily has been planning and assisting with weddings for 3 years, so she will have no problem honing in on her desires for her big day... or will she? Stay tuned because you get to find out!

Emily will be using this blog as her bi-weekly journal to talk about planning her wedding, starting this week! Hear from an industry insider about everything from her engagement story to choosing a venue, a date, a dress! You name it, Emily will be talking about it. Watch for her post on Thursday about how she and her fiance Spencer got engaged in Italy.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

We want to be your friend!

We have a contest going on Facebook! Our 400th fan gets a $50 gift card to one of our favorite vendors, Joya Beauty! Hurry up and "like" us before it's gone...

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Melissa & Bernie's Wentworth Country Club Wedding- Newcastle, NH

Bernie and Melissa's country club wedding was beautiful, romantic and extremely tailored to who they are as a couple. They tastefully personalized each and every detail of their wedding and reception, with every detail having certain significance to them, including the date the event was held: September 11th. Melissa and Bernie's optimism and positive outlook on life led them to choose the date because they felt it would be a great way to associate the day with something good and as a symbol of the idea that something positive can grow from something dark and difficult.

The day went off without a hitch, and the weather could not have been more perfect for their tented seaside reception. Congratulations to you both, Bernie and Melissa! A much deserved, wonderful day (with some seriously great dancing to top it all off)!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Follow Up: March Bridal Show Scam

Here is an update on the bridal show scam that we discussed here on the blog March 5th. To view our original post, click here.

Alleged mastermind of wedding-fraud scheme arrested
July 27, 2010

Federal authorities say they have arrested the mastermind of a scheme that defrauded hundreds of wedding-industry vendors who registered for a heavily advertised bridal show at the Hynes Convention Center in March but turned out to be a sham.

Karen Tucker, 47, of Pittsburgh, was arrested today in the Pennsylvania city and charged with one count of wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft, according to the office of US Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz in Boston. She allegedly also staged similar schemes in at least five other states.

In the Hynes episode, Tucker and an uncharged co-conspirator pretended to be a company called The Boston 411 that heavily promoted a bridal show that was supposed to take place on the weekend of March 5, according to prosecutors. Tucker and her co-conspirator claimed in advertisements that thousands of would-be brides and grooms planned to attend the show, which was a lie.

Based on those promotions, about 100 to 200 wedding-industry vendors paid $350 to $4,000 each to operate booths at the show, Boston Police Detective Steven Blair said in March.

Federal authorities said the conspirators used the money to pay for their own expenses. The affidavit also alleges that Tucker was involved in similar scams, with varying degrees of success, in Miami, Las Vegas, Baltimore, Dallas, and Columbus, Ohio.

"This alleged scheme targeted the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority and cost many small businesses thousands of dollars,'' Ortiz said in a statement." Thanks to the tremendous cooperation between the FBI and the Boston Police Department, we were able to unravel a scheme that had a large impact, with victims that spanned across the country.''

Tucker is to make her first appearance in US District Court in Pittsburgh this afternoon and is expected to be extradited to Boston later, said Christina DiIorio-Sterling, a spokeswoman for Ortiz.

If convicted of the charges, Tucker faces up to 22 years in prison, prosecutors said.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Bill & Joy's White Mountain Celebration

Joy and Bill held their wedding at the picturesque Sunset Hill House in Sugar Hill, NH. With spectacular views and beautiful gardens, their romantic ceremony and reception were perfectly accented by the natural beauty of the venue. Guests enjoyed the incredible views of sunset over the mountains and later, as they danced the night away beneath the covered porch, a spectacular lightning storm topped off the evening. Congratulations to Joy and Bill, we wish you all the best!

The Belles (Rachael, Leslie, Kaitlynn) during setup.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Jackie & Chris: My Big Fat Greek Wedding...Wentworth Style!

Jackie and Chris held their July 10th wedding at Wentworth by the Sea Hotel in New Castle, NH. Leslie would like to personally thank Jackie and Chris for allowing her to not only design their wedding, but to be a part of their extended family throughout the entire process. Jackie and Chris, you were an absolute pleasure to work with and so amazingly in love! We wish you all the best and lots of beautiful children! Congratulations!

Jackie's bouquet by Ambrosia Gardens.

Jackie and Chris held a very powerful and moving ceremony at St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral- Manchester, NH.

Wentworth ballroom at the start of the day.

LED lights and gel beads lit the centerpieces in an icy blue tone.

Jackie was thrilled when she first saw the reception space.

Signs adorned Jackie and Chris's seats at the reception.

Jackie was glowing as she admired the details of her reception with Leslie.

Note the custom-designed monogram by Signed, Sealed, Delivered that was projected on the dance floor.

The intricate cake by Jacques Pastries involved many layers of different shapes. Again note the custom monogram cake-topper.

Fantastic lighting set the mood throughout the celebration.

Panorama of the Wentworth ballroom by Focus Photography.

Jackie and Chris used lovely, small, corked glass bottles as escort cards, and each bottle contained a personal message from the bride and groom to their guests. Along the same theme, a lobster trap was used as a unique card box.

Thank you, Chris and Jackie, for allowing us to be a part of your special day and congratulations from all of us at The Wedding Belle!
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