Allie & Bill's Knottie Planning Page
October 10, 2008

Ceremony & Reception

Inspiration: Colors, Flowers, Centerpieces, 
Decorations, Cakes, Favors, Hair, Makeup, Stationary

The Dress Hunt: Bridal & Bridesmaids, Jewelry, Shoes, & other Accessories

Vendors & Reviews

Favorite Links



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~many of the photots listed are not mine and used for this website for planning purposes only. if you see a photo that is yours and need it to be removed or credited, please let me know. you can always page me on the northern new jersey... thanks!~

Ceremony & Reception

Saint Joseph Church, West Milford, NJ


The Chateau Hathorn, Warwick, NY


Inspiration: Flowers, Colors, Centerpieces, Decorations, Cakes, Favors, Hair, Makeup, Stationary...

Flowers & Colors

The colors:  Brown, Ivory, Gold with autumny hints of orange!

My bouquet will be mostly ivory-colors and the girls will have brown, orange, and ivory.  I'm flying in my favorites - ranunculus and peonies - and I don't care if they aren't autumny ;P  The church will have mums and the pews will have copper buckets tied with gold organza and filled with flowers. 







Hair & Makeup Ideas...
(models & some fellow knotties ;)  I have a million more here...




DIY'ing my programs -- they will be similar to the ones with the wheat in the basket above -- these are just me playing around; they will be churchfold on textured cardstock with belly band or ribbon or raffeta or both & wheat.  They are going to take forever but they're important to me and I think they'll turn out pretty great:


my handmade "will you be my bridesmaid?" cards...

cheesy but cute ;)

our wedding webpage (made with


save the dates (large magnets edited in VistaPrint)

save the date inserts (made in PowerPoint, printed/cut at Staples)

here are all the pieces... with matching labels (VistaPrint)

 ...matching direction & photo upload direction cards (VistaPrint) will be at reception and in the church.

our invitations... by Invitations by Dawn


 having fun with monograms...

  ...and water bottle labels (thanks futureisgold)


The Dress Hunt:
Bridal & Bridesmaids, Jewerly, Shoes, & other Accessories

The girls are wearing Saison Blanche 2091:


 lol yah, i know, ridiculous, but trying to figure out what it might look like with my MOH in bronze and the others in brown (using the swatches they gave me; saison blanche doesn't have any samples in bronze!!!)


my pretty and patient sister!





 The Rings
by chris jorda, 10/10/08


My wedding band & e-ring (sorry so blurry, my camera died and this is taken with my cell)...

Bill's Ring




The Wedding Dress

I must have tried on 100+ dresses in 10+ stores around NJ/NY.  There were a few I liked, a few I hated, and what eventually turned out to be "the one"... it's by Maggie Sottero, Rhianna Royale, in champagne/light gold (awesome color!!!)...  You can check her out here:  I will wear a very simple one-tier cathedral veil in dark ivory. 


Jewelry, Shoes & Accessories


I love these shoes but can only wear a 2-3" heel because otherwise my dress will be too short... boo :(   I hate, hate, HATE dyeables..  and no, I am not telling my bridesmaids what kind of shoes to wear.  I think matching dresses is as matchy as people should be!
Here are the shoes I went with, found at Lord & Taylor:



Earrings  I bought for me... not 100% certain on because not sure about my hair and necklaces, etc.   





Hair pin I purchased at Garden State Mall... want to get some of those little sparkly bobby pins too.  Wearing hair half up/half down. 





Vendors & Reviews

(updated post-wedding)

*Ceremony Location - St. Joseph's Church, West Milford, NJ - A
I love our church.  DH & I both had ties to it which made it special.  It's old, simple, no frills.  Fr. Sigmund Peplowski is the sweetest priest ever and came to our reception afterwards, said a nice short & sweet blessing and had a blast.  He let me decorate a bit the night before at rehearsal and do whatever I really wanted, which is always nice in your typically strict Roman Catholic bubble. Pre-cana was simple, painless and even a bit fun.  Everyone at this church are so nice to deal with, do not judge (I do not condone fibbing to anyone about your beliefs with birth control or living together or anything, find someone who respects your views even if not their own). 
Pic (inside church):
Pic (inside church):
*Reception Location - The Chateau Hathorn, Warwick, NY   - A+
Helene and her daughter Sandra were delightful to work with from day 1. I heard so many compliments about the food and service that I think they will have business for years to come with people wanting to go back.  Everyone was so fast, polite, professional, and the food was to die for.  I picked this place because we grew up right up the street from here and used to pick apples at Och's all the time.  It was my dream place.  Small, different, wonderful wine cellar and menu.  They brought out way more appetizers than I picked, the chef went crazy.  Everyone was so impressed that they offer seconds during dinner... some of the boys had 2 or 3 filet mignons! They do the cake on site and it was lovely; they even matched the ivory frosting to my dress.  I went with hazelnut cake and cannoli filling… yum!  You have the whole place to yourself and this is amazingly important when you are a crazy type-A personality like me.  I got to get in there at 8am and make sure everything looked perfect.  I had my hair and makeup and all the girls come get ready in the suite with me.  The boys were able to get ready upstairs in another suite.  The photographers had the entire grounds to work with and no one got in our way.  I was able to walk through the kitchen myself and safely store my caramel apples and groom's cake.  The Chateau is a B&B and I booked the whole place and had a mini-after party upstairs.  It was just perfect.  The cocktail hour was outside overlooking the beautiful grounds. My guests were amazed and I could never have imagined having it anywhere else.  Small breakfast served the next morning.  I had so many guests tell me they loved the "different" atmosphere of a smaller unique place which is exactly what I was hoping for.  No ballrooms / wedding factories for me, sorry!  There was only a small discrepancy (I paid for 2 more guests than I had and they took their sweet ass time getting the money back to me) but it wasn't the biggest deal.  Still would highly recommend. 
Pic (cake):
Pic (sweetheart table):
Pic (main room):
Pic (outside):

*Florist - Brookside Florist, Vernon, NJ - A-
Pati was full of ideas, very accommodating, reasonably priced, and has done some of the most beautiful arrangements I have seen.  Our bouquets were beautiful.  The bouts were adorable.  Fresh and full of color and all the flowers I had asked for.  The corsages for my mom and MIL were okay, I didn't like the ribbon she picked and they were hydrangeas which by nature do not last well for hours.  She also over charged me a bit accidentally and is sending me a check for the difference but otherwise a  delight to work with.
Pic (bridesmaid bouquet):
Pic (bride’s bouquet):
Pic (groom’s bout):

*Photographer - Chris Jorda ( - A+
(& Alex from W8
I interviewed about 25 photographers (and researched even more) all with photojournalistic styles. This was the most important vendor to me and photography is a strong passion of mine.  I picked Chris because our personalities clicked right away, his work was unique and touched me, and he was willing to go above and beyond.  Secured a second photographer and an assistant as well for the day of.  I had my epics with him a month prior and knew the work day of would be great.  The three of them were on time, total wall-flowers when they needed to be, and the few he showed me day of he might have captured on his camera looked so great.  I received about 250 "best-of" online and just picked up my proofs.  Chris prints them all in 4x6s and presents them in these beautiful boxes.  I also get the rest high-res on DVD, no album requirement (although I'm having him do mine eventually!!)...   I lovingly called the assistant my sniper since I would catch him hiding in bushes and around corners and across the field just to get cool angles... haha they were all great and my BP clicked with them all too.  I would love to talk more about him so email me for more. I don't think he is well-known enough and deserves the attention for his work.    Chris & co... you are amazing!!! 
**Update: Rec'd all my images (1260!) on DVDs and they are breathtaking.  I am very happy!  
Pro-pics of wedding and engagement session are online under "Wedding" and "Recent Events" at (Allison & Bill)

*Disc Jockey/Musicians - Stolen Moments Entertainment, Dobbs Ferry, NY - A
I was not excited about looking for DJs at all.  I wanted something very simple and elegant for my wedding, and had interviewed quite a few people. Well, I was unexpectedly very pleased with Paul and Mirella.  Paul is not your typical DJ - he has a very well-known band, will be playing keys for my cocktail and reception, and acting as the DJ/Emcee as well (and he can sing, too!).  Mirella will be my vocalist.  She is so talented and as soon as I met and heard her I knew I was done interviewing.  She can sing Norah Jones in one breath and Alicia Keys in the next without missing a note.  It's crazy!  My guests loved the mix, and while I gave the DJ artistic freedom, he did play nearly everything I had on my suggested list (I'm a bit notorious, I realize this, but I know what my guests what and heard raves about it). 

*Bag Piper - Joe Smolinski - A
A friend of Bill's from our hometown, Joe is one of the best in NJ.  He is a freshman in college but willing to come back on weekends if you need someone. He played 30 minutes before and 30 minutes after the church.  My mom loved him!  He's totally adorable :)  Email for contact info. 

*Invitations - Invitations by Dawn ( - B+
I loved my invites, but didn't like IBD's customer service.  Things were on backorder that weren't supposed to be, they sent the wrong product and in different shipments, and the people on the phone never logged anything and you had to explain the situation over and over.  I really had to harass them to get what I paid for.  However, they (finally) did come out beautifully, I got lots of compliments on their unique design, and they were completely affordable (inners, outers, invite, rsvp, reception, envelopes about $300/100 invites). 

*Jewelry - Thomas Edipson - New York Exchange - A
Bill bought my ering from Thomas and he has been a pleasure to work with.  Needed it resized and he left his booth to walk me across the street to his guy and got it done on the spot.

*Jewelry - Anthony Roberts - Spring Valley Rt. 59 Exchange - A
Got my wedding band here.  Dealt in cash, happy to cut a deal, and I have gone back twice since and he runs over to take care of me.  Re-dipped right before the wedding and shined it all up for free.  Great people to work with.  One time when they cleaned the ring one of my baguettes got a little moved and they had to fix/tighten but that was likely my fault too for not getting it looked at in awhile. 

*Jewelry - Zales - Nyack and Garden State Plaza - D
Bill fell in love with a band we could not find ANYWHERE except from Zales.  I hate mall stores with a passion but figured, hey, how can you screw up white gold?  First the Nyack mall just downright lied to me.  So I went to GSP.  They said they could get what I wanted for the price I said but it wasn't worth it.  They were awful to deal with, pretty much from every person we dealt with to miscommunication to having me drive back and forth way too many times for the wrong size, wrong product, wrong everything.  When the right one finally did come in, I threw out the Zales box and never wanted to remember it was from there again.  I wouldn't go back there if they were the only jewelry place left. 

*Jewelry – Bijou Bridal – A
After shopping around forever and debating just wearing pearls, I found a very sparkly piece of art at Bijou’s on a whim.  A little pricey but I loved it. 
Pic (necklace):

*Favors – Daffy Apples ( – A
The caramel apples came on time, were delicious and adorable. 

*Guestbook, Posters, Photo Cards – Snapfish ( ) – A
I love Snapfish.  Easy, fast and inexpensive.  Made my guestbook and welcome poster through here as well as many other little touches. 
*Tuxedos - Men's Warehouse Tux, Paramus - B+
First went to the MW in Nanuet.  They were awful and treated us like dirt.  Went to Paramus, much better.  My dad's tux and DH's both didn't fit and needed to be fixed so make sure you have a few days window time.  Otherwise they looked amazing, clean, perfect match to my dress, and price couldn't be beat. 
*My Dress - Helen Bohn's Bridals, Washington Twp. - A 
Alice of Helen Bohn's was a pleasure to deal with.  She was polite, quick and patient.  The seamstress there was very nice but gave me wrong information but not the end of the world.. at least the dress looked great! (She told me I had two more fittings but then said I only had one and shouldn't come back unless to pick up).  Ordered my Maggie Sottero Rhianna Royale (in gold/champagne) on 01/25/08; came in August.  Fittings went well, and I can't wait to send her a picture of the final product.  Alterations included, no extra markups, lovely old-Victorian home feel; the way a bridal shop should be.
Pic (detail): 
*Bridesmaid Dresses - Lee Philip Bridal ( - A
Saison Blanche style #209; I was a little weary purchasing online, but did my research and this place had good reviews and the best prices.  They partner with authorized dealers to get the dresses so they are authentic and guaranteed.  They came in the time I was told, and were perfect and about 1/2 the price.  Had my friend go with them as well and hers are great too!

*Veil – Veil Shop ( – A
I didn’t really want to spend hundreds on a piece of tulle, although with trying to save money I did waste a bit shopping around.  My gown was a strange color to match (ivory was too white) and ordering something you can’t see in person is never easy.  Finally found the perfect shade (dark ivory in case you are wearing the same color) online.  Veil came quickly, they accepted the other 4 I bought just in case to return haha, and worked out lovely.  Got the first one from David’s and they gave me a hassle returning it but came through in the end.  Maggie S. makes one that matches perfectly, but it was $500 and that is just silly imo. 

*Makeup Artist - Carrie Halper - A-
Freelance, originally with Chanel and MAC.  Found through my friend (pearlware) who had her wedding a few weeks before mine and she looked lovely and was also on the "I'm not wasting a lot of money on this" fence.  Carrie was on time, did what I asked, had good suggestions and adjusted accordingly.  She even kept me calm with all the stress around me.  Everyone looked lovely. Didn’t have to buy anything or guarantee certain number of people (although 3 were recommended).  Carrie Halper,     
Pic (getting ready):

*Hair Stylist - Kathleen Ancheta - A-
Freelance, originally with Bumble & Bumble.  On time, works with Carrie.  Trial didn't really go as I wanted it to, but she sold me on knowing she could do it right day of.  Took a chance and she came through.  Mom, sister and BMs all looked wonderful too.  She took her time on me, and works a bit slow so build in extra time, but does it right.  Stayed all night and was exactly what I pictured. Inexpensive trial for both hair/makeup; they came to my house.  Kathleen Ancheta, . 
Pic (hair):
Pic (hair): 
Pic (hair):

*Transportation - Silver Cloud Limousine, Hasbrouck Heights – A-
Not a limo fan, but MIL and dad insisted I couldn't drive myself to my own wedding ;)  Dad travels monthly for work and has used these guys for many years.  Went with the Rolls Royce Silver Cloud.  Cut a great deal (better than anywhere I called), did everything in cash, and they worked out great.  A few minutes late because the
driver had the wrong address so giving a little demerit but made it to the church on time, was polite and helped me with my dress before I walked down the aisle, and snuck us a bottle of champagne of actual good afterwards to drink on the way back to cocktail hour.