A place for help, advice, and ideas

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Summer heat reminders

As the sun glares through the windows making it hard to do just about anything, I wanted to be sure to remind our summer brides (and grooms, bridesmaids, guests etc..) a few things in order to prepare for the summer heat.

1- Tan lines. Nothing is more distracting then halter tan lines on a bride with a strapless dress. And we all know that once those tan lines start, it is always hard to make them go away entirely. With everything on our brains, its easy to forget to pull down the straps so my best advice is to go buy a cheap bathing suit top that mimics the neckine of the gown and just stick with it for most of the summer. Old navy has great options that cost next to nothing and might just be your summer savior to a glowing, not distracting, tan. I know many brides saying its not a big deal because they can get spray tanned over the white, but many times these brides are disappointed when their are still faint reminders of those unmatching tops. In any event, if you do happen to forget, spray tan and make up can definately help fade the lines a bit. Just be sure to do a practice run before the big day as we say about everything.

2-Use SPF. Yes, I know you want to maximize the tanning time that is limited with the hustle and bustle of summer and wedding planning, but the reality is, patience is your best friend in this one. Take it from a bride who has to work pretty hard to achieve a good tan despite the fact that she is Sicilian. I had many temptations to load on the oil, but at the end of the day, Im glad I had people reminding me how unattractive burn marks and peeling are. No one wants to show up on there wedding day with the remnants of a 2 week old sunburn resulting in uneven color and lots of peeling skin. Instead, try to really maximize your time. Use SPF daily, but increase your sun exposure by doing things like sitting outside on your lunch breaks. My sister and I would meet up for 20 minutes to my apartments rooftop last summer just to get a little extra color! If the sun is out after work, sit outside. You might not see immediate results, but every extra minute spent in the exposure will add to the tan, not to mention give you some Vitamin C, something definately needed during this crazy time. And most importantly, embrace your skin and its color. Most of us feel better with a little tan, but who says being tan is the only beautiful option. Know your skin and its limits.

3-Moisturize. Cannot stress this enough. No one wants to feel like a crocodile while their being hugged by hundreds of family and friends. Keep your skin moist from your face all the way down to your feet!

4-Drink lots of water. Overload on it. The summer is hot and heat really does take a toll on our bodies. In order to look and feel our best, we must continue to hydrate ourselves. So grab yourself a new, trendy, reuseable bottle and fill it up over and over again. Carry it with you to work, school, appointments..whereever!

5-Avoid extra salty foods. This is especially important in the days leading up to your wedding in order to avoid any excess bloating, but particulary important during the heat. This can also be helped by the above, so just another reason to keep refilling that bottle!

6-Protect your hair. So you listened to our previous post and got that extra blonde shade 3 months before to ensure perfection, but now you have to maintain it. Be sure to protect your hair while you are out in the heat with head scarfs, hats, or hair products which have some sort of protection. Even if you do not color your hair, it is important to protect it in order to keep its texture and shine for the big day!

These are just a few of our reminders, many more to come, but in the meantime, any summer heat reminders to share with our readers?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Hair Inspiration

We posted on hair sanity and how to make sure that your hair looks great on your wedding day, but we haven't actually posted hair inspirations and weren't sure we were ever going to until I saw this.I absolutely adore this sleek chignon with its flower perfectly situated to give it a sweet, smooth and summery vibe. It is classic, sexy and simply perfect. Thank you to the beautiful bride & Style Me Pretty for allowing us to share and be inspired

I am sure there will be much more hair inspiration to come as we begin looking through...

Perfect Moment IX

Our sincerest apologies that we are off to a very late start this week..It has been a hectic weekend, but we are back and this time with a perfect moment from yet again, Anthony Vazquez. I love this shot because it is playful, carefree, so non intrusive, and shows the childlike joy that bursts out during wedding days. We hope this brings a smile to your face and inspires you to enjoy every second of your day to the fullest...

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Just a reminder...

Every once in awhile, during and after the wedding process, I like to advise people to step back and be thankful and grateful for what they have. It is not always easy to do given the tornado-like speed of the wedding planning and life process, but so important in helping us and those around us stay sane. After surfing the Tiffany's website prior to posting about the new application, I was reminded of the months right after my engagement when I told my husband about 100 times/day that I was so thankful and grateful for him...and my new ring. We can all recall the days of finding ourselves lost in daze whether it be at work, in bed, or while driving a car, staring at the new bling on our finger in amazement. I still to this day find myself walking down the streets of Manhattan staring at my finger while the sun's rays glisten the brillance of my diamond. While by no means does my ring have anything to do with why I love my husband so much, it is a gentle reminder of all that he has done for me and continues to do for me every day.

The same goes for the family and friends that helped me stay sane and survive the wedding planning process, and daily life. Without their support, I would have never made it through, nor be able to make it through life in general. I was reminded of this while sending an email to my sisters this morning asking them a favor. While the favor was nothing that was difficult, it was one that would occupy time out of their lives, and that inspired me to think of all the time that they did and continue to take out of their lives for mine. My sisters, parents and best friends are my rocks, in good times and bad, just like my husband yet they never took a public vow to me. They deserve just as much to know what they do is appreciated, big or small.

Maybe I am a little bit sappy this morning, but hey, that's ok. I am a sucker for being in touch with my emotions and we all know those run extra high during wedding planning.
It is good to be reminded every once in a while that the support and love around us gets us through each day, good and bad. So call it a little reminder and reach out to let your fiance,husband, boyfriend, mother, father, sister, best friends etc, just how much you appreciate all they do. Doing this without a reason makes it all the more special. We don't have to let them in on this reminder....And for my husband, parents, sisters or best friends reading this...Thank You with all my heart xoxo

Engagement Ring App?!?!

Yes, you read that right. The infamous Tiffanys has created an Iphone application that allows you to preview different style engagement rings, figure out the size of your ring finger, play around with the size carat of the different rings and how it looks with different wedding bands as well as recieve expert consultation all at the click of a finger. Technology sure has come a long way. Now I am not an Iphone holder, nor do I really understand "apps," but this is true innovation. So for all our bride to be's that have begun frolicking in the land of weddings, maybe even before their future fiance even knows it, Tiffanys and Apple has definately made it much easier. You no longer have to sneak into jewelwery shops in disguise to begin your diamond hunt-now it can be done in the privacy of your own phone. Just be sure to delete the app after you use it...or maybe not, in case you want your love to see the application offers the "save rings" option! It is never to early to get some ideas ;)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Perfect Moment IX

Nothing is more intimate than the quiet moments and whispers that new husbands and wives share throughout their wedding day. Anna Sewin Photography does a breathtaking job of capturing that perfect moment. You can just see the love and connection in their smiles and it leaves you imaging the words and emotions that they share. We adore this.

Thank you Anna Sewin Photography for such a fantastic image.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Favor Ideas

Choosing favors is one of those things that gets tossed aside on most brides list and oftentimes causes a bit of a headache as the date sneakily approaches. Everyone wants to say a nice thank you to their guests, but the days of giving away platters and serving spoons seems to have faded as people have begun noticing these items collecting dust in their basements. Don't get me wrong, I have gotten some beautiful stuff along the way that I use quite frequently, but this just happens to not be the majority of the time. Newer trends include items tied to seating table cards, godiva chocolate boxes, seeds for flowers and of course, charity donations.

While we love these trends, especially the latter of donations (which J and I used it ourselves) , we were recently reminded of a favor we recieved at a wedding a few years back as we unpacked it while moving. It was such an innovative idea at the time and while we are sure it is much more common now, we still find it to be incredibly romantic, personal and useful. The bride and groom had each member of their bridal party, along with their parents, chose a song that reminded them of the couple or love and compiled a CD. On the inside cover of the CD, each song with the artist was listed, along with the person who chose the song. The songs chosen were far from cheesey love songs, they were all tunes which we ended up loading into our IPODS and rocking out to on our ride home. It was exciting to pop it in the CD player in the car and listen to a few classics and a few that we never had heard of ourselves and still to this day, when I hear most of the songs, I think of that wedding. And to top it off, the bride and groom decorated the tables with the CDs which had the most beautiful DIY covers around their centerpieces, so it not only served as a favor, but as table decor as well.

And for those Italian brides out there, I cant help but remind you of the Jordon Almond Tradition. Five Almonds are to be given out for health, wealth, happiness, fertility and longevity. If you aren't superstitious, at least you know Nonna would be proud : )

Any favor ideas you have recieved and loved? Any others that inspire you ? Any traditions to incorporate?

Floral Inspiration

We couldn't help but re-post these inspirational flowers from a featured Nantucket Wedding on Elizabeth Anne Designs. This bouqet and floral touches via classic Anthropologie Mugs are making us swoon so we figured we could inspire our readers. Hope you enjoy!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Hair Sanity

Waking up on the first day of summer and I noticed that along with the new season has come much less manageable hair. This got me thinking about summer wedding hair, for brides, maids and even guests. Unfortunately, we can never predict the weather ahead, but it here are a few tips to keep in mind.

1- Know your hair and how it works and don't think just because your wedding is a magical day that your hair will miraculously do something it has never done before. Example, women with pin straight hair that doesn't hold a curl shouldn't expect to leave their hair down and have flowy, natural curls. If the curl doesnt stay 364 days of the year, chances are it won't on your wedding day either. Instead, embrace what it does do! Women with pin straight hair tend to have hair that can do any sort of up do without an ounce of frizz. Use this to your advantage.

2-Speaking of frizz, if you have it, practice taming it in the months leading up to your wedding. Try different products, it is all trial and error with our hair on what works and what doesn't. Look for hair sprays that hold, but don't turn hard and conditioners that provide good shine and control. I wouldn't suggest spending a load on these products since many of them are made out of similiar ingredients, but I personally cannot help but splurge on Phytodefrisant and Morrocan Oil, both of which have transformed hair miracles for me.

3- As we said in an earlier post, no crazy new hair cuts or colors too close to the date. Hair changes its body and texture when cut and dyed. Try to stick to doing this at least 2 weeks-month before the big day and be sure to get a hair trial after it has been done!

4- Have a plan B. Knowing my sometimes unmanageable curls and frizz might not be able to handle the humidity of a hot, August day, I decided to have a backup plan in case of rain or humid weather. I knew I wanted my hair half up and half down with loose curls and had gone for my hair trial imagining this style, but I decided I would put it in a loose chignon down and to the side if the weather did not hold up. Fortunately, Someone from above was shining down for us as we had one of the most beautiful days in one of the most rainy NY summer seasons, but had it not gone my way, I knew that I had tested and trialed other options. This helps to keep sane on the big day

5-In regards to knowing your hair, know how it works too. Most hair stylists suggest hair actually being a little bit dirty before setting it for a style. This doesn't mean greasy though and so as women, we need to get a gage on what our hair limits are. Many brides opt to get a blow out for their rehearsal, usually a night or two before, and then keep that as the last time they wash their hair before the big day. Other brides know that their hair cannot last that long and so they opt to shower and blow dry it the night before bed, while others use their natural wet hair to mold their hair-do. Whatever your hair limits are, know them and work them to your advantage.

Any other hair tips to share for our readers? Let us know! We would love to hear...

Friday, June 18, 2010

Perfect Moment VIII

Came across this and had to share..Love how Anne Kuperberg managed to catch this intimate moment from above. Talk about non intrusive photography. This is what we call photojournalism at its best.

Thanks Anne for allowing us to share this. We continue to be inspired by your work.

Designer Profiles

Came across the designer profile section of Kleinfelds website and thought I would share. It is always fun to read about top bridal designers and where they came from. It also is a great way to get a sense of the styles that each designer formulates. I think this would have been a great tool while dress shopping, but even after the fact, it is always fun to read a little about the designer you have chosen as a loyal follower ... I was sure to click on Monique's first when browsing .. Guilty as charged ; )

Keep in mind though, it isn't about the designer, but rather the dress! We love so many non designer gowns and think its amazing when brides begin to take pieces of gowns and design their own. No need to break our wallets to find the perfect dress, but even so, getting a little inspiration from the designers can always help.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Last Minute Money Saving Tip

We all know the week's leading up to weddings can be hectic and quite costly. You start writing checks with numbers that you never imagined and every little penny begins to count. This is a small money saving tip for those of you whose venues/caterers charge per person. Most of those that do this require a final headcount a few days before the actual event. When giving this, we suggest that you give this count minus a few. This is because the majority of those who have had weddings can attest to the fact that their are always a few last minute cancellations. A significant other is ill, a family members travel has been delayed, or someone has unfortunately passed away. Because it is unlikely that once the money is taken by the venue/caterer, you will ever see it again (They tend not to refund for cancellations after the final headcount), it is always smart to minus a few. That way, if everyone does show up, you can always add a seat or two and pay the difference the night of, but if cancellations arise, you haven't lost any cash.

Many of you reading this haven't gotten to this point yet, but like some of our other posts ( like numbering the RSVP cards), bookmark this one and revisit when the big day gets closer. You won't be sorry!
(Image credit:Clark and Walter Studio via StyleMePretty)

A Very Sweet Affair

It is very rare we hear the words Bootcamp and Candy in the same sentence, but thankfully today we have. Our friends at The Wedding Salon are offering their infamous Wedding Bootcamp on Monday, June 21, 2010 at NYC's famous Dylan's Candy Shop, from 6-8:30. As a personal sugar freak, I believe you couldn't ask for a better locale. A number of top vendors in the area will be speaking and giving advice on things like etiquette, planning, style and avoiding hidden costs. Tickets are only 15 for 2 admits and this includes gift bags(wedding salon gift bags were by far my FAV when I was planning), cake tastings, and cocktails. If you can't get your fiance to agree to spending his Monday night at such an affair, use it as a night out with a bridesmaid, friend, sister or Mom. You can always make your way across the street to Bloomingdales after for a nice evening of shopping or registering after. I promise it'll be worth it .

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Monogram Etiquette

While many women have at one point in their adolescent years written their first name with their "crushes" last name, most of us feel a slight identity crisis when faced with the challenge of changing our names. Its fun to imagine, but when it happens for real, we can't help but feel slight confusion. Nearly a year later and when I am called by my Mrs., I tend to not answer on the first time.
Even though we feel this way, there is definate excitement when recieving your first monogrammed gift. I couldn't help but smile seeing our initials lined out together on a large tote given to me by my sisters the night of our engagement. As I passed over that tote this AM, I recalled how many times people questioned how a monogram should be done, so I figured I'd share this tid bit of advice in the early morning.

The traditional monogram letters should follow like this : The wife's first initial on the left, The first initial of the new (joint) last name in the middle, and the husband's first initial on the right. So when, Christina Henry marries Edward Morris their monogram is as follows : "CME" Many couples opt for different types of monograms as well such as solely using the first initial of the joint last name or using that initial with their entire first names. There are many ways to personalize, but this is the traditional method.

Monogrammed gifts are obviously exciting and always classic ways to decorate and personalize our first homes (i.e. champagne flutes, silverware, picture frames, totes, towels, doormats, jewlery boxes), but monograms also serve as an excellent theme throughout wedding stationary. Using it to personalize invitations, place cards, menus, matches, favors, cake toppers, etc, helps coordinate your wedding and not to mention, highlight your new joining in marriage in a very classy way. The different fonts used also can play a role in the formality of the monograms, allowing less traditional couples to come up with young, modern twists of their own monogram . Many wedding stationary venues will work with you to come up with these unique and personalized monograms. Just be weary; true classic traditionalists argue that the monogram on any stationary prior to the actual marriage should remain with the couples initials seperately. So in our example above it would be either C & E or CH & EM on things such as engagement, rehearsal and wedding invites. Today's more modern couples many times opt out and stick with the joint one throughout.

It is likely many of you already knew this, but I couldn't help but share for those who didn't xo
(Image Credit: Pottery Barn)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Random Beauty Thought to Keep You Sane

Despite our various countdowns to the big day, sometimes months start flying by and you approach the 2-3 month mark much quicker then expected. At this time, the wedding planning "lull" has zipped by leaving you in what I like to call the wedding "tornado." The to do list that was tackled now has a zillion new additions, many of which involve a lot of time and thought. With that, emotions are running high and excitement is through the roof making it hard to think clearly at time.

Let us do the thinking for you...Before it gets to the 2-3 month mark, start thinking about beauty in advance. What sorts of special things would you like done for the wedding? Make a list and try them out. This is the perfect type of thing to do during that lull. Any changes that you may want for the big day should happen at least 6 months before.

Heres a list of common ones to get you started:

-New medication Changes-Any additions or removals of medications should be avoided right before the big day. This goes without explanation as to why, but side effects, allergic reactions etc. can really damper a brides mood, not to mention really have a mood effect! (This includes visits to the dermatologist for your face and Gynocologist for Birth Control) This category also include any new vitamins and/or supplements.


-Hair cuts/coloring-whether it be a new stylist, new do or coloring a shade lighter(even if it is JUST one shade), do it a 6 months before to ensure that you are satisfied with how it turns out. Then book your appt for right before the big day!

-Hair removal-lasar, waxing, threading whatever you decide be sure to make sure you try it out before.

-Makeup/Lotions-Any new foundations or powders should be tested out in advance to be sure that your skin doesn't have any adverse reactions

-Self Tanning-that glowing look might turn you into an orange or rub off on your white gown. Try it before to ensure that you love it. This is one that can typically be done about a month before, but at least give enough time for it to wear off it you don't.

-Any changes in diet/exercise- You could easily over exert yourself if leaving it to the end and you wouldn't want to have to sit out of all the dancing just because you decided to do an extreme boot camp after sitting on the couch for two years. My advice is avoid tdiets all together and begin to eat more healthily 6 months before. That being said any crash diet you plan to try out the week/day of, should at least be given a "test run." Cutting out certain food groups could cause for some sort of body or GI reaction that you do not want to be dealing with on the big day!

This might seem like a silly tip, but trust me, 2-3 months before the big day, freak outs and insanity kicks in. All of a sudden ideas such as eyelash dying or lengthening that were laughable prior, begin to surface and it becomes hard to tease out reality and this insanity.

Start making the list now to avoid such disasters xoxo

What crazy things did you try or think to try right before the big day ?

(Image credits; Anthony Vazquez photography for the bride & Style Me Pretty)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Perfect Moment VII

Recently noticed a new "follower" on Twitter , Laura Vogt,(Forgive me, I am new to the the whole twitter game) and decided to check it out. An hour later, I was captivated by so many beautiful photos that I had to share one. This one particularly struck me in its beauty and obvious, perfect moment. You can almost feel the excitement of the bride and groom as they share one of their first moments as "husband and wife.'

So kudos to Laura Vogt Photography for your work and our letting us share our latest perfect momnt and thanks for the "follow!"

Emotional Turmoil

When thinking about getting engaged and planning a wedding, never does it come to our minds the amount of emotional challenges that we are faced throughout the journey. A lot of people reading this who haven't gone through it will likely roll their eyes, but those in the midst are likely to find some reassurance in this post. No one really discusses the emotional turmoil that comes with family and friends that we have considered so close throughout our lives and with that, their is a huge self discovering that comes hand in hand with the wedding planning journey( as with most of life's journeys) .That self discovery usually comes with some tears and moments of utter shock, but in the long run is so beneficial.

While planning your wedding it is likely to be faced with disappointments from friends or others surrounding you. Sometimes those disappointments are our own hypersensitivity during this very stressful time and other times its others who fall way below your expectations You come across friends who are not interested, jealous, cannot be happy for you or out right mean while you are trying to go through this very happy, yet insane, time. I would have never expected that certain people who I shared so many years with would let me down and act as they had; self centered, removed, uninterested, defensive, and worst of all, so not understanding and unsupportive. But with those lows and very emotional times, I came to find a close knit few who were my rocks; constantly reliable, interested, caring, selfless, very much supportive and went above and beyond any expectation I could ever imagine. And so with planning my wedding, I also got a much clearer picture of who I wanted to be around and who I needed to stop being there for.

As we grow up, we come to realize that it isn't the amount of friends that count, but the strength of the friendships and relationships that we have, that counts. And while it is never easy to loosen ties with old friends or remain distant from certain relatives, we need to learn that its the people who will be there in years to come and who can share happiness and sadness with you that count. Those are the relationships we should sacrifice and support for.

Here are a few tips you can do to keep things sane during these emotional times. Remember, sometimes the other parties aren't sane and in those cases, chalk it up as a life lesson :)

1-Try to remember that the world doesn't revolve around you or your wedding. While we are all in our own wedding bubbles during the planning process, the people around us are likely to be going through their own life stressors whether it be their family , financial , school, occupation or their own rocky relationships or lack thereof and we need to be mindful of that. Maybe our floral decision making crisis or the snotty lady at the bridal shop seem monumental for us, but outside the wedding world, people may not truly understand or be in a place where they can relate to the importance of that. My advice for this, bond with other women in the wedding planning process who will appreciate the laughter and tears in their own similar experiences. And keep in mind, good friends are always there even when our troubles don't align and so your best friends should still be an outlet in times of stress. Just be sure that the wedding isn't the only thing discussed. Remember to ask your friends & family about what is going on in their lives. It is equally as important.

2-Communication. As one of the most important components to a good marriage, it is also one of the key factors in any strong relationships. Rather then get in a heated discussion when you hear about a friend or family memeber who has complained behind your back to others or becomes defensive, take the time to cool off and put the situation in perspective. Sure this isn't easy, but try to step out of the situation and look at it from a different perspecitve. Use your fiance as a sounding board. They tend to be more level headed when it comes to these emotional times. If the experience is with one of his family members, then I suggest finding another sounding board. Keep in mind that we are usually hypersensitive during this very life changing time in our lives and so we want to be sure that our feelings are not being too heightened by the experience. After you have gotten a handle on your own emotions, contact that other person and try to explain your feelings in a constructive manner. If that person isn't approachable, try sending a card or email. Although less personal, their are certain people who this type of communication is more constructive.

3-Take time for yourself. Whether it be walks, journaling, reading a non wedding magazine/ book, watching a good movie, cooking or getting manicure, any type of outlet you can find enjoyment in can help reduce stress and therefore release endorphins. With that, these emotional challenges will prove to be less significant and you will be able to better conceptualize and brush them off.

4-Surround yourself with real friends. Those that are supportive, carefree, and make you laugh. This makes everything better. No explanation needed. Keep these people and all that they did for you in mind especially during their own big, life changing events.

5-Remember, people can only what they can give. You know people who go above and beyond for their friends and others who tend to forget everything if it is not listed in their blackberry calendar or having to do with themselves. That's ok. Everyone has their own self threshold about what they can do for others and we need to remember that each person may just in fact be giving their all.

So when you find yourself unimaginably being yelled at, complaints about things that are beyond your control or that make you happy, when a friend or relative isn't there for something you need and with every unreturned phone call, try to keep these things in mind and stay sane. The ones that count will be there for years to come in good times, bad times and ORDINARY times. Stay grounded and do everything possible to reduce stress. This is a happy time and you cannot please everyone ...not to mention, stress only leads to grey hairs and pimples aka wedding disasters!

picking colors... picking a theme

We've talked about the importance that color (or lack there of) can play at your wedding. I've never been a theme kind of girl and rather let colors play the part at my wedding. I was inspired by a post on WeddingChicks about how a bride picked her colors and wanted to share some tips about picking colors.

First, the best way to start is focus on a color that you naturally gravitate towards. While, this color may not play a part in your wedding it will definitely steer you in a certain direction. I tend to wear mostly black with certain signature colors, teal greens, pinks, corals, and greys. I love these colors and had I planned a spring or summer wedding they would have been top contenders. Which brings me to my second tip.

Know your season. Embrace your season. Some seasons like winter really give you a blank slate, but other seasons like fall have hues that play a very important role. There is no way in New England in the fall that you could even begin to compete with the reds, oranges, greens, and browns that are dripping from every single tree. Instead of trying to compete with the colors I embraced them. It doesn't hurt that one of the reasons I chose fall was because of the deep hues. However, I have seen some great fall weddings that really incorporated very little of the typical fall colors and they were beautiful

Third, know your venue. If you are lucky and the venue contains wood floors and white walls than go ahead attack with whatever colors you want, but if you are looking at a deep red or blue carpet you have to take that into consideration when planning your centerpieces. I'm not saying that in either of those situations you are forced to use white centerpieces or stuck with colors you hate, but don't attempt to do clashing colors.

Themes are a great alternative to colors. They can be as simple as a nautical theme which incorporates a couples love of sailing with hints of blues. A theme can also center around an object like a starfish, incorporating this item throughout the wedding and then throwing in some beach elements such as corals, ocean blues, etc.

In order for the whole wedding to fit together I'd suggest a simple inspiration board. Make as many as you need with minor tweaks in colors you'll be able to really pinpoint your wedding vision.

image credit: elizabeth anne design

This inspiration board compliments of elizabeth anne designs shows how effective choosing one color can be at tying together an entire wedding scheme. The olive green would blend well with so many seasons and isn't overpowering.

image credit : merriementevents.com via style me pretty

The pop of color on the table cloths ties in so well with the centerpieces which feature various shades of pink. One strong color can play such a fantastic part in a wedding and really brings various elements together.

image credit: marthastewartweddings.com

This was a real wedding in CA during the fall. I love how the bride did not use the typical colors, but embraced the season with the muted grey bridesmaid dress. The red flowers offer just the perfect amount of fall.

image credit: elizabeth anne designs

This deep red and gold inspiration board makes me so happy! I love that this is a muted palate. There isn't a ton of color, but the deep red and gold can so easily make a perfect wedding theme. This is also a great option for fall or winter especially if you are getting married in a country club like venue with the deep maghony.

image credit: atlelier isabey via style me pretty

This image just goes to show that you can have a perfectly put together wedding without a ton of color. I know a ton of brides that just don't do color in their day to day lives and really wanted a very black and white wedding. This wedding looks totally put togehter without crazy color schemes.

Have a color scheme you want pieced out? Have a favorite color and don't know how to pair it with complimentary colors, or have an object you must incorporate, or a theme you are hoping to use, send us your images, We'd love to help.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Designer Spotlight: Carolina Herrera

We absolutely adore the designs of Carolina Herrera and so to kick off the weekend, I figured I would share a few of my favorites. I love that these gowns are all so different, but equally beautiful. While the price tag is high, you can certainly find her designs at sample and trunk sales across the country and if it still is out of your league, use these photos as inspirations or designs when on the dress hunt. Enjoy : )

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Second thoughts on the Dress

This is my story; I was totally that bride that bought a beautiful dress during a very overwhelming day of dress shopping. I followed almost none of F's great advice. I brought so many people with me. I let everyone else have opinions and I doubted myself. I visited only two salons and never even tried on the dress I had been imagining since I started planning. Almost immediately after purchasing the dress I had second thoughts. I wasn't really sure what to do and hesitated to tell my mom or my sister about my second thoughts. Mostly, because I loved the dress shopping experience and I did not want them to take my second thoughts personally. In addition, I did not want to see like a crazy bridezilla. I originally wrote my dress second thoughts off to the fact that the dress I picked was totally different than the dress I imagined I would be wearing. After a few weeks I was still looking at my original dream dress and wondering how everything got so off track. The next few months of wedding planning were intense and I sort of pushed my dress second thoughts to the back of my mind. I picked out details that I loved! However, I kept finding myself searching for dresses online. Googling things like "Picked the wrong wedding dress" & "How to sell a brand new wedding dress online." I let too much time pass before I cried to my mom a few months before the wedding. My mother immediately told me, that I was simply emotional and overwhelmed. She assured me that I picked the right dress. I was still not assured. I called my wedding dress salon and asked them what my options were. Unfortunately, not much. It was only a few months until my wedding and my dress was already in production. To add more to the kicker I customized parts of my dress which made it impossible for them to take the dress back as a sample. Basically, my only option sell my original dress and buy a sample. I decided I was going to go try on the dress I had been lusting after for the last few months and a few others that I liked. I brought my mom and my sister with me and prepared them both that I needed them to be honest and I needed them to think about the entire situation not just their opinion about my dress. Well, I tried on the dress and I was right, it was perfect. I thought it was perfect. My mom and sister were unconvinced they started listing the reasons why this dress wasn't perfect. The scenario repeated itself for several more dresses. Finally, my mom made me try on the original sample of my dress. I liked my dress, but I didn't love it. I didn't feel it was me. There was no denying the dress was beautiful and really fit the venue, but I still had second thoughts. My mom in her true mom fashion. Told me point blank, get over it. We bought this dress. We are not buying another dress. Suck it up. Get over it and enjoy the next few months of planning. I left pretty angry with her. It took me a few days to even talk to her, but after we spoke I realized she was right. I could not spend another insane amount of money on a brand new dress. I had a beautiful dress and I was going to have a beautiful wedding. I'd be lying if I said that I didn't think about the other dress again and wish that I had picked that one, but I knew it was just a dress. It wasn't the whole wedding. IT IS JUST A DRESS.

The day of my wedding I never once thought that my dress wasn't perfect. I never thought oh my wedding is ruined because I'm not wearing the dress I imagined I would. I thought this is the best day of my life and I look beautiful. Mom- I'm so glad I listened to you, ha.

Want to see pictures of what I wore and what I thought I wanted to wear?

First my dress:

Image Credits: Anthony Vazquez

Image Credits : Bride's personal collection

Now my original dress thoughts:
I was looking for something like this style, simple, but with some embellishment.

Image Credit: Amsale

The second and last dress are the dresses I imagined. I called them my dream dresses.

Image Credits: Brides.com

Our goal here is to help make you sane, if you take away any lessons from my story it would be First, Follow Francesca's advice about dress shopping. Secondly, Don't buy the dress the first day. Wait the dress is not going to disappear, I promise. Thirdly, If your second thoughts happen as quickly as mine did, call the salon and cancel the order. Go back in and dress shop again. Most salons will cancel the order within 24 hours and will more than helpful with finding you a new dress. Fourth, If you are like me and wait too long and are stuck with the fact that you cannot wear your original dress. Sell it and buy a sample. Sites like this , this, or this can help. In addition ebay always has tons of listings of dresses as well as weddingbee classifieds.

Dance Party

F posted the other day about music decision, one of the many choices brides and groom have to make before the wedding is Band or DJ.
Sometimes the decision is a budgetary one and then it's easy you do what fits in your budget. Other times it's a space issue, having a wedding in a small space? A large band won't fit, easy choice.

However, there are times when the decision is a little more complex. Let's break it down with a good old pro con list (have I mentioned my love for pro con lists, serious love)


  • Better sound
  • Live concert like feeling
  • Let's be honest, it looks impressive
  • Can play very different music i.e. cultural music
  • Club party like feeling
  • Can change types a of music very quickly if the party isn't picking up (However, good bands should be able to do this too)
  • Price
  • Fits into a smaller space not as much equipment

  • Price
  • Takes up more space
  • Must ensure that they are talented and their repertoire involves different types of music
  • Must combat the club like feel if it's not your thing
  • Must ensure that the DJ is very perceptive and can change music when needed
Overall, the decision is a personal one. I chose a band for various reasons including a large venue, formal wedding, and comfort.

What did you choose? Band, DJ, Ipod play list?

Perfect Moment VI

No words really needed. This photo was taken from Craig Paulson Photography. Even though the bride and groom are physically small in the picture, their love seems as moving as those wonderfully photographed clouds and calm waters. Thank you Craig for allowing us to share!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Grooms Gear

So much discussion on bridal fashion and we sometimes forget (oops!) to think about our handsome men. Groom fashion has come a long way from the traditional black tuxedo and with that comes a variety of decisions.We like to think of the grooms fashion as equally (ok, almost!) important so be sure to add that to your wedding to do list.

Some of your fiances will not be too hung up on what they are wearing on the big day, many will probably not even know they had an option. That being said, Men everywhere have become much more in tune with fashion in general and so it might just be something on their mind. Start by asking what they imagine to be wearing on the big day. It is a big, important and long day and being comfortable is always key. While women tend to think pain is beauty, most men aren't exactly on board with that idea.

Ideas to keep in mind when deciding upon grooms gear:

-Formality of event; black tie calls for tuxedos but more casual affairs can opt for suits or jackets/pants. Wedding on the beach or backyard? Perhaps the groom would like to go tie-less or in shorts.
-Season; Spring and Summer allow for summer suits, khakis, and lighter colors such as beige where winter allows for wool or darker suiting such as brown.

-Color Scheme; The grooms accessories (i.e. tie, bow tie, flower, vest, pocket scarf etc) can coordinate in some way with the bride and/or bridesmaids. These accessories are a great way to expand on your wedding color scheme or tie in your wedding theme. Note though that the grooms wear doesn't necessarily have to coordinate, but should never clash! The bride and groom will inevitably be hand in hand most of the day.

I am a personal big fan of grey suits on the groom because I think they look sharp and sexy on men and provide a bit less of the traditional feel, but I can't deny the sexiness of a man in a tuxedo either, especially with the traditional bow ties. We opted for my husband (and groomsmen ) to wear navy suits on our big day. It was a bit less formal for our summer affair and I loved the richness in the pictures and how it coordinated so well with our bridesmaids.

Aside from comfortabless, be sure to allow your groom's personality to be shared however that may be. As brides, so much of our own personalities is exuded through our own fashion that it wouldn't be fair to limit that of our grooms. Sure, many of us don't want them showing up with a Yankees/Mets baseball cap while saying their vows, but allow them to incorporate their own ideas into their gear. For instance, the men in S & W's wedding wore black and white checkered socks under their formal tuxedos. This not only allowed them to share their personalities, but also made for excellent photos. My sister in law's groomsmen were gifted Ray -Bans by the bride and groom and then wore them around outdoors. This also made for an excellent photo-op.

So many creative ways to accesorize and make your love feel even better on his big day.
(Images taken via Style me Pretty)

Any other grooms/groomsmen fashion ideas to share?!?

Melissa Sweet Trunk Show

If you are in the NYC area, Priscilla of Boston is hosting a Melissa Sweet Bridal Trunk Show starting tomorrow 6/10 through 6/14 which will include the new Reverie line as well. They will also be holding a trunk show for the Vineyard Line this month from 6/17-6/21.

Be sure to check them out! We adore Priscilla of Boston's Wedding Fashion from bridal to bridesmaid and with lower price tags, you cannot go wrong.

The Melissa Sweet Sidney style dress shown here is one of my favorites. I love the classic A-line shape and flowiness of the gown. Its lightweight, fun, classy, and flattering. So many gorgeous gowns to choose from!

For more details call 800- 664 -3316. They have a number of scheduled shows throughout the month in New York.

For those of you not in NYC, be sure to check out their website as they host trunk shows across the country throughout the year.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Music Decisions

Whether you decide on a band or DJ, the music on your big day can be crucial in entertaining your guests (and yourself!) The pressure to choose the best vendor for this role can be tough and overwhelming. Before making the decision, be sure to take time to do some research and get some referrals.

(Image Credit, Amelia & Mark Photography)

-The best way to choose a band or dj is to have been at an affair where you, or someone you trust, has heard them. Pay close attention while attending others weddings or affairs to the music that is being played. Is their a good variety? Are people constantly on the dance floor or listening to what is going on ? How is the sound? What is the energy like? These are important factors to take note of. If you haven't been to any affairs since the music hunt began, try to think back to weddings or parties where you had a really good time on the dance floor. Ask those hosts for the vendor information and start researcher.

-Ask others who you trust for the same information. Have they recently been to a wedding where they loved the music that was played?

-Read reviews online. I write this with caution because everyone looks for something slightly different when it comes to music styles. Much of what is played is at the request of the bride and groom and so be weary when guests write about the types of music. Pay more attention to the quality and sound, the energy level, the trust in what they said they were going to do and actually did and what it was like working with the vendor in general.

-Listen to demos offered. Many of these vendors, especially bands, offer complimentary Cd's or DVD's that allow brides and grooms to listen to them perform. Again, caution with this because many of the bands that we heard via audio sounded very difference in person. Despite those discrepancies though, this is a good way to weed some of the options you are choosing between. A great deal of DJ's offer sound mixes on their websites as well.

(Image Credit, Docuvitae)

-Go see the bands live! If you haven't seen them at an actual wedding, this is the next best thing. Many bands and Dj's offer showcases where they perform for a short period of time at local venues such as catering halls. These are usually complimentary to the bride, groom, and any other interested parties and allows you to get a first hand ear on some of the important qualities. It also gives you a better sense of the type of music that the band is strong in, as well as weak. Comparing those strengths and weaknesses to your likes and dislikes can be important when making decisions. Be sure to bring a notepad and jot whatever critiques you may have. These end up being fun outings for you as well. JT and I enjoyed dancing away at some of the shows and when I took a few of my bridesmaids, we enjoyed the show over some wine. Makes for great bonding wedding moments.

-Ask questions; Be sure to ask what the cost is and what it includes. Do they require being fed at the affair? What are the hours? What are the overtime costs? Does the price include cocktail hour? If not, what is the additional cost? If lighting is something you are interested in, what are those fees? Who will be present the day of the wedding? If it is a band, do they require notice if certain band members can switched out? (Wedding bands happen to lose and acquire members over the course of time and considering some of us book these vendors a year in advance, this is an important question) If it is a Dj, do they provide handouts? If not, what are the additional fees? What types of music do they play? Do they work directly off a list of songs or do they do a range of similar songs? Do not assume anything when it comes to musical vendors, there are so many loop holes that can arise if the right questions aren't asked and no one wants to be disappointed with the outcome of their entertainment on the big day.
-Be sure to read the contract, small text included, before you sign. Find out about the payment plan and form of payment they will take. Many music vendors insist on cash only and this is an important factor to know when budgeting.

(Image Credit, Christian Oath Photography)

-Form a comparison list. List all the vendors with cost and then plus and negatives.

-Most importantly, get a gage on the personality of the band and how they will mend with you and your groom. This is the most important tip when choosing any vendors as these are the people you will be surrounded and in contact with in the months before and on the big day. Having vendors that are trustworthy and accessible whether it be by email or phone, is the best advice one can give.

Trying to choose between bands and/or DJ's in the NY Metro area, we can help! Afterextensive reviews and comparisons while on our own hunts, we would love to keep you a little more sane..

Engagement Photos

I love good engagement photos. Honestly, I think engagement photos are a great way to get to know your photographer. You will be able to really tell how well your personalities and style match. Although, not important for all vendors it's really important your personality matches with your photographer because you spend so much time with them the day of the wedding.

(Image Credit: Angela Anderson)

(Image Credit: Kellie Kano)

Some Tips
1. Don't wear white
2. Wear a bit more makeup than you usually do, but look natrual
3. I'm really anti the matchy match outfits, but coordinating is good, i.e if you are wearing a formal dress your fiance should wear something equally as formal
4. Wear something you can move around in, You want to be able to enjoy the shoot not worry if your outfit still looks presentable
5. Have fun. It's odd being the center of attention and if you do the shoot in a busy area it makes it even a little bit more odd, but if you have fun it will show in your photos!

Bridal Beauty

There has never been a time in my life where I craved perfect skin, white teeth, and shiny hair more than I did in the months before my wedding. I figured I'd be looking back at these pictures for many many years and my perfectionist ways would be pretty angry if there was a big red pimple in the middle of my face. I want to teach you a few things I learned,

1. Don't freak if you do have a pimple, makeup artists and photographers work wonders.

2. Don't go crazy (read below for the craziest thing I did while wedding planning)

3. Preparation is KEY!

Let's break down this preparation:

Skin, the answer to many of my problems was a visit to the dermatologist. I was one of those lucky teenagers that never really had a pimple. Unfortunately, my luck ran out I had lovely little spots on my face the second I turned 25. I visited the dermatologist about 8 months before my wedding.
I Retin-A prescription cleared everything up pretty nicely.

Craziest wedding related moment: A few months before my wedding my dermatologist recommended a strong chemical peel. I have to say this was the most insane thing I did before my wedding. It made a huge difference, but I looked scary for a week. I would sort of recommend this, but with a warning. Plan do NOTHING publicly for a week. While I did attend class and go out, I was a scary, scary sight. I would certainly only advise doing this months before your wedding.

Think this:

but I'd be lying if I didn't say my face looked worse

There are CERTAINLY other ways to get great skin results and I recommend a few products whole heartedly, but I've learned that everyones skin is different and what works for me may not work for you. I swear by an insane amount of water (probably my only really healthy addition) and good facials. I try to eat a decent amount for fruit and drink coupious amounts of green tea which I think helped. Some other products I loved (I am a product junkie, It's a real problem.)

Skinceuticals Clarifying Cleanser , Clarisonic Hydrating Cleanser, Clarisonic, Obaji Clenziderm Treatment (My dermatologist recommended this line, but I really only liked and used the number 2 bottle), Skinceuticals C+AHA treatment (this was expensive, but lasted me over a year since you use such a tiny amount), & Dr. Gross Skincare Alpha Peels

Hair, Regular cuts and color upkeep. I had a clear glaze right before my shower and the week of my wedding. I used whatever shampoo and conditioner was on sale and then used Phyto nourushing shampoo once a week.

Teeth, Obviously visit your dentist. I was lucky enough to get whitening trays and bleach for free before my wedding and I had really great results, but I've also used Crest Advanced Whitening Strips and had pretty similar results.

I've always been slightly obsessed with beauty products and what not, but the wedding plans only escalated my obsession. I can't say I regret a minute of it because I really felt great at my wedding. However, this obsession was not cheap and slightly crazy. Who said we were always sane?

Have a beauty question? Don't hesitate to ask

Monday, June 7, 2010

Don't forget the guests

Many brides choose to get married in destinations these days and thanks to the wonderful world of technology, many others choose partners who aren't in the same zip code(Always comforting to know that you have more options then your little town) For this reason that means that in most weddings there are at least a few guests who will have to make a weekend or night out of your big day. Because of that, bride and grooms usually like to make their guests feel at home or provide them with an agenda of things to do in the area.

We suggest putting together a small welcome bag for our guests. Be sure to include necessities such as water, asprin, a few things to snack on (i.e. chips, pretzels) and possibly something for the morning (Think granola bar, box of cereal etc). Gum and mints are also helpful to include. These are things that the guests will not likely pack on their own, yet will definately spend some cash on getting and what better way to thank your guests then by making them feel thought of. I think its a small gesture (and easy diy project) that can make a big difference. You can purchase already made "go green" type bags which lots of wedding sites offer (see above) or you can opt to buy regular paper bags. Spice them up with cheap, personally designed stickers such as these from My Wedding Labels which S & I both used or keep them simple with colorful paper that matches the color scheme of your big day (See below) To stay in budget while doing this, you can buy in bulk at a Costco or BJ's wholesaler or even check out the dollar store.

Don't forget to include a little thank you note to the guests and possibly a phone number or two in case they need to contact someone. Just be sure not it isn't yours or the grooms; think maide of honor, best man or your parents! If you have made arrangements for transportation so guests will not have to drive (Many hotels offer shuttle services that you can set up for your guests) be sure to include that information and times on the note as well.

Don't have the time to put these together right before the big day ? Try making this a project that you do during the planning lull that occurs usually between 4-5 months before the big day. Or if you have too many out of towners to do this, you can purchase pre made bags. A bit less personal, but a lot less of a hassle. We adore the ones by Navy & Lavendar. These are much more expensive then making them on your own, but definately worth the cost. Perhaps these might be a special treat to leave in rooms of your bridal party or to purchase as a bridal party gift. These come in special wedding themes and of course, I particulary adore the NY bag : )

Perfect Moment V

It is Monday, yet again, so to lighten the mood we have chosen another perfect moment to kick off your day. I rarely choose perfect moments that are not couple oriented, but this one was just too beautiful to pass up. By our favorite, Anthony Vazquez, I couldn't resist but share this image.

What bride wouldn't love to take a moment, sit in a hammock on the beach, ponder, and watch her guests enjoy the big day that has finally come together perfectly, even if it is just for a second. We hope you all get a moment out of your big day to do the same. It is so important.

Thanks AV for sharing : )

Friday, June 4, 2010

Floral Inspiration III

My younger sister had sent me this image while I was planning our wedding and I still adore it today. Taken from Instyle Weddings, it is a combination of calla lilys, cymbidium orchids and strong greenery leaves. I love the way the bright yellow pops against the dark green leaves . It is a wonderful summer inspiration.