Friday, April 28, 2006

Press On Nail POLISH!!!

Ok, now these are NOT press on nails, it's press on nail POLISH. Oh how neat is this? New from Avon and priced at only $8 you can choose from a bevvy of colors. Just peel them off the strip, press onto yur nail and smooth it out. Comes off with regular nail polish remover. And they last 14 DAYS!! I am so psyched. head over to Avon.com or call your local avon lady for more info.

Piper Introduces Baby Splits

Itsy Bity Teeny Weeny splits of excellent champagne from the cellars of Piper-Heidsieck. What an elegant favor, if your budget can stand it at $30 for a four pack.

Stuart Weitzman Trunk Show in Tyson's

Preview the Fall/Winter collection from Stuart Weitzman May 3-5, 2006 at his boutique in the Tyson's Galleria in Tyson's Corner 703-827-9898

Xiomara Grossett

Xiomara Grossett's line is absolutely stunning. I love to see a designer sketch, and her sketches come to life. Whether you are the type looking for something sophisticated and hugging or you want the full drama of the ball-gowny bride, Xio's design's will WOW you. Keep an eye out for other lesser known designers that are creating Fabulosity in the world of weddings.

Spotting a Fake

I took a hop "across the pond" to Denimology and found this terrific post on spotting fake jeans on eBay. It really got me to thinking about all the designer wedding dresses available on eBay and whether you can get a bargain or not.
My tips:
Check the seller feedback : Lousy feedback skip it.

Check the number of feedback the seller has accumulated: If it's in the thousands, then I doubt it's a bride who's worn the dress and now wants to get rid of it. This is a professional seller.

Ask for pictures of the label inside the dress: No one cuts out Vera Wang.

Ask about the alterations that were done on the dress. It may have started out a size 8 but has it been altered to a size 4? And how tall is the person that wore the dress? The hem could really mess you up!

Make sure you email the seller and ask for as much information as you can get on the gown, Why are they selling it? When did they wear it? Are there pictures of them in the dress? Has it been cleaned? Are there ANY spots or stains on the dress, including perspiration. What do the hem and train of the gown look like (grass stains, dirt etc.)

Good Luck!!

Handbag Contest

The fabulous folks over at Stylehive are throwing a contest through which you can win this Botkier handbag valued at $695 from Revolve Clothing.com. I strongly suggest you take a "shopping break " and head over there to take a peek at the truly stylish offerings at the site.
Stylehive is a new kind of shopping site. It is a place where contributors can work together to share and discover the hottest stores, designers, trends, and must have products. To celebrate our launch we are hosting a spring celebration of handbags. Our community will be contributing bookmarks into the world’s largest online collective of handbags.
The contest starts May 1 and ends May 30 be sure to tell Stephanie you came from DC Nearlyweds!!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

When Juice Isnt Couture

Treating your skin is a huge issue as you get ready to take the big walk down the aisle. Mother nature has a cruel way of working against you when you need her help the most. Stress causes zits and breakouts and hives and what do you use to treat those things???
Here is a great line of ORGANIC skin products, which should really help to cut down on negative skin reactions, it's by Juice Beauty. they even have a neat little survey you can take to ensure you're choosing the right products for your skin type.

Central Centerpieces

I just met with my florist today to talk about centerpiece ideas. I never knew centerpieces were so "central" to setting the entire mood at the reception. My florist so eloquently remarked that "centerpieces ignite the overall motif of the event". After thoughtful consideration, I do agree!

I realize that beautiful centerpieces, whether floral, candles, or even edible friendly items can influence the decor of a wedding, because it allows you to draw the eye away from other things like undesireable linens or even place settings. But it can also diminish and destroy the beauty of certain items, for instance, it might not be a good idea to have centerpieces on a cake table or the bar area. It would be pretty distracting to have a centerpiece in the way of the placecards.

I've chosen my decor as a black and silver themed event with added hints of fuchsia and sprinkles of greenery. My florist asked me to close my eyes and smell a handful of veiled flowers as she thought the senses of smell and sight go hand in hand. I most certainly agreed, after partaking of several scents of orchids. I've now chosen orchids as my main floral motif with touches of other flowers. I'm still deciding on centerpieces though, as I want to prolong my decision to make sure its the right one and that I pick something that agrees with my own personal sense of style. I'd like a centerpiece that highlights the moment with passion, striking beauty, and festive fun, after all, what good is a dull but beautiful centerpiece.

I look forward to reporting back with my final decision.
PS - I do apologize that I've been absent for a while, I had a huge week long event at work that required me to pull 18-hour days. I'm so glad to be back however!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


Next week my fiance and I are going to meet with a woman at Bloomingdales to begin the process of creating a gift registry. It's sort of funny because my fiancee doesn't really understand what you are 'suposed' to register for when you get married. I'm having a hard time convincing him that china and silverware are among the main reasons one registers in the first place. I was looking around Bloomingdale's last night and I am a little worried that alot of their china might be a little pricey for our friends, most of whom are in their mid-twenties and are still in grad school or are getting their bearings in the workforce. My best friend says that it is generally best to register in one place if possible. We love the kitchenware at Bloomingdale's but I'm worried that it might be confusing if we registered for china somewhere else!

Friday, April 21, 2006

Does the Designer Really Matter?

Who made your gown? That question rings over and over. The oohs and ahs when the answer is Amsale, Melissa Sweet, Vera Wang and "ooh" when it's David's Bridal. Do I think it's elitist?
Perhaps early on I did, but as I have noted in previous posts, the making of the gown is what it's all about and you can count on great workmanship and fabrics with a designer gown. But another interesting tidbit I came across today over at Luxist is that Carolina Herrerra's gowns are so stylish that brides are having them altered afterward to be able to wear them again. Most recently actress Renee Zellweger had her Carolina gown shortened and dyed because she loved the styling so much. Now that's got to be a heck of a dress to survive all the emotions associated with her shortlived marriage to Kenny Chesney.

Custom Invitations Proofed online

All Yours Invitations really does fabulous invitations. You can choose from a number of neat and innovative designs, but even better than that you can have them design custom invitations for you.
I love working with an invitation designer to capture the personality of the couple and the event in an invitation that your guest has never seen before.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Lease Your Bling!

You hear about it all the time on the red carpet all this fabulous jewelry borrowed from Harry Winston, Cartier and Van Cleef and Arpels. What good does that do you?
Well. what if you too could "borrow" fabulous diamonds for your own wedding??
Head on over to Adorn Brides and flip through their selection of diamonds; necklaces, earrings and bracelets that you can lease on a first come-first served basis.
Believe the hype when I tell you the real thing feels wonderful and what a neat little story to share after the fact.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Essie Debuts Season's Wedding Colors

They're Heeeere.
This season's choices for wedding nails. Six great shades all available from Essie. For whites you have Blanc and Waltz and for pinks you can choose from Ballet Slippers, Mademoiselle, Limo Scene and Sugardaddy. They are also available in a Nail/Lip combo which is neat too.

How Much Do You Know About Marriage?

One of the wedding officiants I work with sent me a great quiz for couples about to marry. He's a great officiant as well if you need an officiant look for Rev. Steve over at www.weddingministers.com.
Take the quiz yourself and I will post the answers tomorrow!!!!

Published in The New York Times "A Pop Quiz on Marriage," by Stephanie Coontz, the director of public education for the Council on Contemporary Families and author of Marriage, a History: How Love Conquered Marriage.

1. Women are more eager to marry than men. TRUE OR FALSE?

2. Men are threatened by women who are their intellectual and occupational equals, preferring to be with much younger, less accomplished women. TRUE OR FALSE?

3. There are more long-term marriages today than in the past. TRUE OR FALSE?

4. Americans have become much more tolerant of all sexual activity. TRUE OR FALSE?

5. The growth in the number of couples living together and even having children without formal marriage ceremonies or licenses reflects a sharp break with centuries-old tradition. TRUE OR FALSE?

6. Educated married women are increasingly "opting out" of work to stay home with their children. TRUE OR FALSE?

7. Men and women who hold non-traditional views about gender roles are less likely to marry and more likely to divorce than those with traditional values. TRUE OR FALSE?

8. Divorce rates in the 1950s were lower than at any time in the 20th century. TRUE OR FALSE?

9. Throughout history, philosophers and theologians have always believed that strong marital commitments form the foundation of a virtuous society. TRUE OR FALSE?

10. American women have more positive attitudes toward marriage than Japanese women do. TRUE OR FALSE?

11. Divorce has always been a disaster for women and children. TRUE OR FALSE?

12. The preferred form of marriage through the ages has been between one man and one woman. TRUE OR FALSE?

13. Born-again Christians are just as likely to divorce than more secular Americans. TRUE OR FALSE?

Sunday, April 16, 2006


Amongst the top ten concerns of every bride is her hair. Should I wear it up? Or Down or half up and half up, leave it curly? Make it curly? Press it? Perm it? Or high light it just a bit.
Well here is a fab site that will let you take a look at a large number of different types of hairstyles.
Hairstyleswatch.com carries pictures of hair styles as well as the tips on how to achieve the looks yourself.
There are a number of categories like Wedding Styles, Black Hair Styles, Long Hair styles, layered styles and Celebrity styles amongst many many others.
And coming April 20 they will add a virtual client to allow you to "try on" hairstyles.

Read All About It

I am quite proud of my wedding library. My wish list is not of gadgets and doodads, but wedding books. The investment has been a good one and I encourage you to take the time and check out some of the best for inspiration. This is at least a good start.

For Flowers:
Wedding Flowers, Paula Pryke
The Knot Book of Wedding Flowers: Carly Roney
Bouquets, Masha Heckman
To Have and Hold: Magical Wedding Bouquets: David Stark
The Bride's Bouquet: Jeanne Graham
Preston Bailey's Fantasy Weddings: Preston Bailey
Bridal Flowers: Maria McBride Mellinger

For Decor:
Jo Gartin's Weddings: Jo Gartin
In Style Weddings: Editors of In Style Magazine
The Perfect Wedding Reception: Maria McBride Mellinger
The Perfect Wedding: Maria McBride Mellinger
Weddings: Colin Cowie
Weddings Valentine Style: Diann Valentine
The Best Of Martha Stewart Weddings: Martha Stewart

For Dress Design:
Simple Stunning Weddings: Karen Bussen
The Wedding Dress: Maria McBride Mellinger
Vera Wang on Weddings: Vera Wang
How to Buy Your Perfect Wedding Dress: Kleinfeld's

Favor Sales

While trolling around I came across a few neat things all on SALE
Take a peek andact fast, I am sure quantities are limited.

Heart tea infusers (favorsbylisa) $2.50 each
Sanibel Island Tote Bag $5.00 each
36" Wedding Sparklers $1.10 each
Japanese Paper Fans .99 each
Spa Petals $2.50
Perfect Pear Keepsake Boxes $1.75
Silver Placecard holders $.89
Designed Chopsticks $.99
Pearl Strands with Satin Ribbon Tie $12.00 each

DIY... Sort of...

I love DIY in concept, the personalization and the savings, but at the heart of the matter, my time never seems to be adequate to achieve my desired results.
I ran across this terrific site called Fabulous Stationery, where they have already created hundreds of designs for really stunning stationery and you add your own names and message. Choose your colors and Voila, custum stationary, thank you's, save the dates even invitations for brunches and rehearsal dinners done in minutes.
They have a pretty extensive wedding section but choose any occasion, their site is great.
Now if this wasn't cool enough, every card has your return address imprinted on the back and all of their envelopes (including their RSVP envelopes) have a window on the back to allow the return address to show through so that when they throw the envelope away, the card has your return address on it so they can stay in contact. I am impressed.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Who's that Gift From?

During the wedding planning process lots of gifts pass hands, most of them are TO you :)
but you do find yourself giving out a few gifts to bridesmaids and the like.

With invent of the "gift bag" the art of gift wrapping is going into the toilet it seems. I personally love a hand wrapped gift, it draws out the suspense as you have to unwrap it rather than just whip out the tissue paper.

Well head over to Weddingish for personalized gift wrap. Put your own sentiment on the wrapping paper you use to wrap your attendant gifts. How cute. Not only is it cute, but the options for paper colors and patterns are really chic. Gotta love that.

Podcasting Anyone?

I have been remiss is posting this great site to all of you. Now that I read glimpses of it on a couple of other blogs, I wanted to be sure to give my own shout out to the Wedding Podcast Network.
If you are not familiar yet with podcasting, in a nutshell, you can download and listen to interviews and commentary on your computer or your iPod.
Wedding Podcast Network however, has podcasts devoted to WEDDINGS, you can listen to Newlyweds or get advice directly from wedding industry gurus like Sylvia Weinstock and Preston Bailey how cool is that?
There's a spot for Groom's and coming soon an area for the Wedding Workout, getting Bride's in shape for the big day.
I will be interviewing Rob Allen, the owner of the company next week at the Wedding Salon show in New York, so be sure to look for that in an upcoming post.

Why Quality Costs

This morning I accompanied a bride to fitting with gown designer Daniel Thompson. Now for those of you unfamiliar with this designer, Mr. Thompson is a veteran couture bridal gown designer with 30 years in the industry. He has designed for Priscilla of Boston under Jim Hjelm and has been an exclusive designer for Kleinfeld's New York. His gowns span the spectrum of classic and understatement to More Drama for Your Mama!

Though I can't show a picture of her dress for it is not yet in production, let me talk to you about why quality costs.

Daniel Thompson himself measured the bride for the gown, noting areas of concern for the bride and making adjustments such as dropping her waistline an inch and a half to properly accommodate her torso. He also designed her veil and blusher to be the correct length for the cathedral train and her height as a bonus and if that wasn't already enough he is creating a muslin mock up of the gown for the bride to try on before the gown is made to ensure it will be perfect. Once the gown arrives, barring any extreme fluctuation in weight the gown should not require alterations. So we have already saved on the alterations, the veil, the blusher, and she received a discount for purchasing at a trunk show. Those are huge savings before you even consider that he didn't charge for the creation of the muslin mock up either.

This is a couture experience. Many many brides will find fabulous gowns off the rack, don't get me wrong, but if you have body challenges, nothing beats having a gown made for you.
Is it more expensive? Often yes, but each time I have met with a designer to go through this process with a bride, the results are always stellar and every bride is immeasurably grateful for me taking her on this route, rather than going to every bridal salon in the tri state area trying on more of the same gowns in different patterns.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Phase Three - Faith in DIY Favors

CD Favors make an excellent DIY project

I'm in the midst of creating a song list and designing artwork for my cd favors and here's the song list I have thus far:

1. 23rd Psalm - Jeff Majors
2. From This Moment - Shania Twain
3. Fly Me To The Moon - Frank Sinatra
4. At Last - Etta James
5. Endless Love - Luther Vandross/Mariah Carey
6. Don't Change - Musiq
7. You Were Meant For Me - Jewel
8. You & I - Stevie Wonder
9. I Knew I Loved You - Savage Garden
10. Kiss - Prince
11. Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World - Israel Kamakawiwo'ole
12. By Your Side - Sade
13. So Amazing - Beyonce/Stevie Wonder
14. I Wanna Grow Old With You - Adam Sandler
15. Butterflies - Alicia Keys

At this point, I feel like this is a pretty good list and I'm really excited about this.

I'm also hoping to combine the CD favors with Chocolate Favors (possibly candy apples or truffles or M&Ms in my wedding colors)

I thought it would be nice for my fiance and I to narrate each selection as if its a chapter in our lives.


The day after I became engaged, I started looking at dresses. The one I've fallen in love with is a tea-length, ivory dress with an empire waist and a gorgeous embroidered overlay. It seems ideal for my purposes, I think. It is delicate, detailed and yet simple enough to keep pressure off me to plan a huge wedding that befits this dress.

Sometimes I worry that I might be limiting myself too early on. I don't know. I showed the dress to my best friend last night and she loved it. When looking for her wedding dress, she was going to buy the first dress she tried on, only it turned out that they stopped making it and she had to opt for a similar one. She looked perfect. It was empire-waisted with elbow-length sleeves and flowing cuffs. She had a classical guitar ensemble play for the ceremony (at The Cloister's Castle in Baltimore) and a jazz ensemble for the reception. It really captured her aesthetic well.

I don't imagine I will find anything better than this dress but I will keep my options open for a little while. Right now I am toying with the idea of a tea-party themed reception. When I turned 15 my grandmother took me to high tea at the Hay-Adams restaurant in DC. We had an assortment of fine teas with cucumber, smoked salmon and watercress sandwiches. For dessert there were tarts, cookies and little cakes. While it doesn't sound filling it really was. I think it's a good option right now, and I think that is really stays true to my aestheic.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


Now I am sure that I have mentioned my extreme "overness" with the chocolate fountain for 2006. Having said that I would like to clarify that I am not over melted chocolate, just the fountainy mess.
One great thing about the chocolate fountain was a new found use for the marshmallow. How yummy are fresh (never bagged) marshmallows dipped in warm chocolate?
Well, let's take it a step further and imagine marshmallows in fantastic flavors like Caramel Swirl, DC Cherry Blossom and Chocolate Chippetta. Imagine them melted over pie or on a skewer to be dipped in your own single serve of melted chocolate. Now that is a dessert! Hop on over to Plush Puffs for an assortment of flavored marshmallows to serve on your dessert bar or give as prepackaged favors. Yum-Me!
How cute are these for shower invites. Coasters to toast the Bride from Snow and Graham. This adorable pink and chocolate combination is just one design of many available at Luxe Paperie
The Snow and Graham site is currently being renovating, and I apologize for that because they are letterpress masters. As soon as the site is live again I will be sure to share.

Brunch: High Style

Well there's brunch and then there's Brunch.
Getting together with out of town family and friends the morning after your wedding with your new husband is currently "In". For a fantastic Brunch why not head over to the Willard Room at the famously historic Willard Intercontinental Hotel at the corner of 14th and Pennsylvania Avenue in Northwest. Every Sunday they pull out all the stops for brunch in high style. And speaking of high style if brunch is not for you what about High Tea in Peacock Alley shown above. Served as it was many years ago to the elite of Washington, Dc society, the Willard will pamper you and you can sit back as Queen for a Day as your bridesmaids shower YOU!

Can I Borrow That Bag?

Well, it depends on who you ask, if you are asking the folks over at Bag, Borrow or Steal, then the answer is yes!
Everyone loves handbags, after shoes, we agree they are most vitally important. But you are a bride planning a wedding and we must remain focused....
Well, my thinking is that you will have an engagement party, bridal shower, bachelorette party, rehearsal dinner and post wedding brunch. You have GOT to look fabulous, after all you are the bride.
So that brings me back to borrowing a bag. It's simple head over to the site and choose a level, Trendsetter, Princess or Diva. and start shopping for handbags. Be prepared for a minimum three month commitment (like they will have to twist your arm...) the selections are vast and the designers are many, like Baby Phat, Franci and Calvin Klein for the Trendsetter, to Coach, Dooney and Burke and Juicy Couture for Princess level pickings and if you are a true Diva choose from Kate Spade, Gucci and Louis Vuitton. There is even a Diva Couture level with options from Chanel, Fendi and YSL.
Memberships start at $19.95 a month and as for how long you have the bag... here is a quote from the site:
There is no time limit on borrowing. Keep it for 6 months. Or, keep it for a year! As long as your account is in good standing, the frequency of your bag rotation is completely up to you.

Beverly Clark Wants to Know

To celebrate the publication of her new gift book, "I Love You Because…", Beverly Clark, author of Planning A Wedding To Remember, is sponsoring a writing contest. She wants to see your best love note. Anyone can enter by going to www.beverlyclark.com and completing the sentence: "I Love You Because…" in twenty-five words or less.

All the submissions will be entered into a drawing for a romantic New York City weekend 3-night stay for two at the elegantly restored New York Marriott East Side, plus free tickets to the new off-Broadway musical, appropriately titled "I Love You Because".

The Grand Prize winner will be picked at random and will be notified and posted on the website on May 1, 2006.

To enter visit www.beverlyclark.com and click on the I Love You Because… Romantic NYC Weekend Sweepstakes button. All entries must be submitted online by 11:59 p.m. on April 30, 2006.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Lovers of Louis

Granted, during this period of extreme expenditure, no matter what the budget is for your wedding, the idea of parading luxury items in front of you is just awful.

However, the style conscious design maven in me could not allow you to go another day without at least knowing that Louis Vuitton has a new bag out. The Tobago Carryall is ultra cute and perfect for your honeymoon, especially if you will be taking excursions. It's the perfect weekender.
Quiet as it's kept there are a few new bags out and you didn't hear it from me, the older ones are equally as fabulous. They NEVER go out of style.

Phase Two - Feeling Bridal

These days I'm not feeling very bridal, but I also have to question what that means exactly. To me, I picture an overly exuberant statuesque beauty with a wedding planner in one hand and bridal magazine in the other, fiercely reading articles and taking notes with a chic pen with one of those cheesy pop culture catch phrases referencing some cutesy wedding quote.

Instead, I stand as a petite and laid-back chick with a penchant for the practical things in life. I hold a cell phone in one hand, dialed into a conference call, and with the other hand I'm scribbling notes on Post-its, drafting an e-mail, and eating lunch (yes I'm highly skilled with one hand)!

These days, I have a sincere respect and admiration for wives and brides-to-be who somehow have learned to manage and balance families, careers, hobbies, relationships, finances, chores, and more, yet still finding time to plan the biggest party and Public Relations event of their lives.

I sit in awe, realizing that I am not bridal, nor am I idle...I am a woman with a dream that I'm pursuing every day. I lack the fairy godmother populated by children's tales and bedtime stories, rather I am a real-life bride, affected by real-life situations and tribulations, yet I continue on my path, anxiously awaiting my destination.

I'm now off to create a song-list and design artwork for my CD favors, all the while doing laundry, and packing for travel.

Till next time - let thee be bridal!


One of the things that seems like it won't be a problem may well turn out to be one. When my friend got married we toyed with the idea of making favors (generally too time-consuming) and opted instead for buying them pre- made. We were walking around Towson Town Center the day after my nephew was born and on a bit of a celebratory spending bender. As we wandered into the Lindt Chocolate store we noticed that they made favors. Half an hour later we left the store with four complimentary boxes of chocolate from having placed an order with them. While the issue of favors was easily taken care of, it was fairly expensive. If you want to keep a fairly tight rein on your budget, I don't think going for something like this is a good option.

When an English teacher friend of our family got married she and her fiancee had one of the best, most budget considerate favor options anyone could have thought of. Because she and her fiancee had a passion for reading, the bride opted to go to a used bookstore, like Olsson's (which has lots of locations in and around the city), buy many many books (all for less than a dollar each) and tie them up prettily with a ribbon and stick them in the center of the reception tables. At the end of the night, everyone took a book home. This was wonderful because she had great centerpieces that probably cut alot out of their costs on flowers and genuinely enjoyable favors for her guests. I am strongly considering this for my wedding.

What's In My Bag?

I get this question a lot:
Q: What do you carry in your Bride's Emergency Kit?
A: Everything I need.
Why the coy answer? Well, because in all honesty a number of the items I carry in my kit make sense because I do 35 weddings a year and for the average bride who will use the kit for a day, I would hate to see you run out hunting high and low purchasing trial size items that will sit in your bathroom closet forever.

But here's what I carry:
My case is by Sonia Kushik for Target
The don't have the actual case I own on the website anylonger but I chose it becasue it's deep and has velcro attached pouches that zip andhave ventilation which are really handy to rip out without schlepping the whole kit around. However, Target does have this one on sale.

Extra pantyhose and Black socks (MEN!...)
Stain removal swabs (these also come as wipes)
Feminine protection (OB and Liners compact for space)
Sewing kit with color coordinated thread
Mints and gum (I find gum often works faster)
Hair pins ( black, brown and silver)
Nail-polish (clear and a trio of French Mani colors)
Safety pins (all sizes)
White Out (for scuffed shoes)
Hair Spray
Hand Lotion and Cocoa Butter
Anti Bacterial Hand Wash
JAM (hair gel)
Nail clippers, nail files, tweezers,
Tiny Pliers (for Stuck zippers)
Pipe cleaners
Black and Brown eyebrow pencils
Black Sharpie
Clear buttons
Corsage pins
Sunblock and Aloe Vera
Disposable toothbrush and toothpaste
First aid kit and ice pack

Hope it helps!

The Rear View

I love the drama of the bridal gown, I flutter between, if I were to do it all over again, what would I wear. I am SOOOOO loving the dramatic rear views. I ran across this little number by Amsale. The neat thing about Amsale is that on her site she has a gallery of "Real Brides" How fabulous is the sash??? I love the "Something Blue" reference or the fact that this gown lends itself perfectly to the ever-so-popular " Chocolate Brown and Tiffany Blue color combo that is all the rage. Design Note: Be a little different for the spring take this blue and use the coordinating palette of green for a cool calming experience, how fresh!

Monday, April 10, 2006

Wolfgang Comes to DC

It's been reported that Washington DC is the latest recipient of a Wolfgang Puck restaurant.
This one, Source By Wolfgang Puck, will be housed in the new Newseum currently being built on Pennsylvania Avenue. Given all the fabulous parites hosted at Puck's LA eaterie, Spago, I smell fantastic receptions coming into the building. After all for all Puck contributes to the Governor's Ball every year after the Oscar's, a swanky DC reception should be a snap.

Phase One - The Introduction

Phase One – The Introduction

I’ve been blogging for a while and through my days, I’ve learned that a reader is only as sharp as the content they’ve been presented. I hope to provide a keen, analytical and fun digest that will keep you interested and attentive. My wedding date is scheduled in the 4th quarter of 2006, and right now I feel as if I’m spinning out of control. Immediately following my engagement and subsequent announcements, I had this unbelievable momentum that had me searching on-line for details, browsing catalogs for inspiration, and even setting up contracts with vendors in preparation for my special day, then I woke up one morning and realized I hadn’t quite gotten off to a good enough head start and now its crunch time and the buzzer is alerting me that my wedding is around the corner sneaking up on me like a fox hunting its prey, coyly, quietly, and fiercely.

I do have a couple of major things out of the way including my reception venue, the caterer, cake/baker, florist, and photographer, as they have all been booked, contracted and secured. That’s like five down, seven hundred to go – I haven’t started dress shopping just yet but I’m scheduled to go into 3 salons the week of April 23rd. My reception venue is at the Washington Navy Yard (mostly to avoid my huge family of wedding crashers – a customary behavior in my family). The Washington Navy Yard Catering & Conference Center is protected by the gates of America’s finest and its wonderful. I like Miss Georgetown am trying to keep my expenses to a minimum, but time will tell. I’ve already racked up expenses beyond that I’ve budgeted for…which basically means, at this point, I have no liberty to go over allotted budget amounts for anything I book from this point on, including personal splurges.

I call my fiance' “WEYL”, pronounced like “whale” for Whatever you Like”…because these days, that seems to be his stock response to most things pertaining to the wedding. I’m hoping to provide a dose of inspiration by asking him to do the fun task of making our CD Favors (he’s was once a mobile DJ part-time, so this is right up his alley). This past weekend, I hosted a bridesmaids luncheon to jump start the creative metabolism of my bridesmaids and female entourage. We talked about what their roles are, what they need from me, hair and makeup ideas, accessories, set up dress fittings at David’s Bridal (by consensus, not my choice, but this is about what’s good overall for the group), and favor ideas over brunch. It was great and a special thanks goes to my mom for her help with getting these girls in, calmed, and inspired!

Anyways, I’m off to do more bridal research and I’ll be back soon with an update, follow-up and recap.

Next up: Phase Two – Feeling Bridal (stay tuned!)


This is my first post. Hopefully everything will go ok. It's been awhile since I've used my blog, any blog for that matter. I am getting married. So far it seems that Fall '07 is the general time frame. Right now we are narrowing down a small list of potential venues. Once we get that settled we will have an exact date.

Some of the kinds of places we have in mind are basically the community centers in our neighborhood, my parents neighborhood and a friend's neighborhood. They seem to be a lot less expensive than those gorgeous historical sites. If money were no object I would most definitely want it to be at the Montpelier Mansion in Prince George's county. It is perfectly charming and ideal whether you are planning an indoor or outdoor wedding.

So there you go. We are trying to keep the cost of the actual wedding at minimum. When my fiancee and I met we bonded over our love of Europe. We hope to go to France and Germany on our honeymoon and want to put the bulk of the money we spend towards that.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Refreshingly Innovative

Paper is a passion of mine. I may have mentioned this before. I love it. Working with weddings has afforded me the opportunity to be in the company of fantastic invitations on a regular basis.
At this moment I am obsessing with the invitation line over at White Aisle. While you are there you might as well park it for a minute and check their menus, placecards, paper parasols, and fantastic jewels, including glittery fabulousness for your bouquet.

Fabulous Gown Deal

Talk about a fabulous deal and from JCREW of all places. The Vivian gown is understated elegance at it's best. And for only $495. I am so loving the potential of this gown. Empire waist made of silk and satin, NOT POLYESTER. It has a built in bustier and is fully lined.
More gowns are available on the site as well as bridesmaids dresses, groomsmen attire and mother of the bride options. They did not forget the shoes, or flower girl and ring bearer selections, though scant.

Need a Videographer?

A Los Angeles Production firm that has gained notoriety for shooting television commercials has contacted me in search of weddings to shoot in order to develop a wedding portfolio for their newest division.
What does this mean to you? Potentially a free professional video of your wedding.
contact me directly for more information.
I love neat stuff!

Hitched is Helping Out

I have loved this salon ever since they opened and what a great deed they are performing, I encourage everone to head over there, with all of your gently used formal dresses and gowns and for all your brides to go over and support the brunch by picking up great items for your bridesmaids.!!! (www.hitchedsalon.com)


invite you to join us for our

Princess for a Night Dress Drive & Bridesmaids Brunch and Buy


What & Why:

  • Closet Hoggers: At one time or another, most of us have been bridesmaids ... some of us a few too many times. There's always the hope that you'll "wear the dress again", but all too often it just sits in the closet taking up space. Here’s a great way to put that dress to use!
  • The Cause: During the month of April, area women are invited to drop off their gently used bridesmaids' dresses (and other formal gowns) to Hitched where they will be collected and passed along to Princess for a Night, a local organization providing prom dresses to students in our community who, due to the great expense, might otherwise not be able to afford a dress for this special night.
  • Cause to Celebrate - The Bridesmaids Brunch & Buy: This month-long effort will culminate in a bridesmaids’ gift show to be held on Sunday, April 30th. Join us for a fun event featuring several local vendors (including Hela Spa and The Grooming Lounge among others) selling creative gifts to honor your bridesmaids or other special people in your life. Brides will have the opportunity to meet the artists and vendors, customize gifts for their bridesmaids, and check one more important task off their lists.


  • The Bridesmaids Brunch & Buy at the private garden at Hitched with a delicious brunch by Windows Catering Company
    Sunday, April 30th from 11:00 am ~ 2:00 pm (open house)
  • Dresses can be dropped off throughout the month of April at Hitched during normal store hours (Tues. - Thurs. 12~8, Fri. 11~6, Sat. 9~5).

Monogram Your Wedding Gown

Some of the sweetest touches for your wedding are items that the masses will never see. A card from your soon to be husband on the morning of your wedding, the tiny hankerchief or Bible belonging to your great grandmother.
Another great idea I found over at Gioa are monogramed labels for your wedding gown. These labels represent your last day as a single woman and the monogram is of your maiden name. You can order the label and with just a few tiny stitches have it sewn into the hem of your wedding gown. It's a beautiful keepsake.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Lavish Weddings Banned

It's been reported by the BBC that lavish weddings have been banned in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). They are limiting the number of camels and baby camels that may be slaughtered in "celebration" of the wedding. The fines are the equivalent of about $140,000 (US). And you thought weddings were crazy here... HA!

Corkage Fees

I recently handled a wedding where even though the venue had a very fine and extensive wine list, the couple decided to bring in a case of their favorite vintage in addition. The venue charged a corkage fee of $12 per bottle to open and pour the wine that the couple provided. Luxist
covered a great survey first seen in the SF Gate on what the going rate is for corkage fees and how people feel about them. This was all sparked by an article on a pizzeria that decided they did not want patrons to bring in their own wine.
This is something to give serious thought to when budgeting if a great wine list is paramount to your menu. On a similar note, many more brides will find themselves paying alot more for bars, in order to get the brands they want to serve as venues begin to prohibit you from bringing any alcohol on premise.

Get Your Martha Stewart NOW!!

It's just been disclosed that Martha Stewart will be selling a new line of "home items like bed sheets, dishes, cookware, holiday decorations and garden furniture"
The new line will be on sale at Macy's and Bloomingdales, but is said not to be in competition with the items currently being sold through K Mart stores. The will be priced higher and aimed at a more "affluent" group.
My guess is, we are all going to fall in love with these items, as we do with all things Martha and will flock to White Flint Mall into Bloomingdales to but them in droves.

Fragrance For You

Finding the right scent for you is important, finding the right scent to wear on the day of your wedding is paramount. Sephora offers a great fragrance finder.
Based on fragrances that you already love and their fragrance notes, the fragrance finder will offer you options for alternative fragrances that should suit your fancy.
I went through the process choosing the Fresh category of scents and then Citrus, I was present with quite a number of options and eventually chose Salvatore Ferragamo's Incanto Dream Give it a try.

The FiFi awards were given out last week and the top winner in womens perfume was euphoria calvin klein. Just an FYI...

Friday, April 07, 2006

A Little Indulgence

Beautiful flowers are beautiful flowers and it shouldn't take the planning of your wedding to get you to realize that. Indulge yourself and think of the way fresh flowers make you feel.

Of course I have to take it a step further and tell you all about Sidra Forman at Relish
Yes, she does wonderful floral arrangements and can do your wedding flowers, but better than
that you can arrange to have her come to your home weekly with fabulous arrangements to keep that giddy feeling going.

Now that is an indulgence, but hey aren't you worth it?

The Cupcake.

How perfect are these little babies? Another thing I am completely against is cake cutting fees.
I think it's absolutely ridiculous for any establishment to charge you cake cutting fees. I understand they want you to purchase a cake from them, but how about the venues that don't even offer cake!!
But I digress... While I do think cupcakes are a fantastic way to stick it to the venue that won't waive the cake cutting fee, these little babies are wonderful in their own right, I highly recommend checking out Baked and Wired for these yummies or have Robyn Savage of Le Cupcake deliver them for you. (703-533-8989)

Floral Arranging 101

I never really recommend tackling your own wedding flowers. The time needed is a vast amount and it must be done so close to your wedding, that you are sure to freak out. And honestly, though it may seem easy, your arrangements really never look as good as the professionals.


Sarah von Schrader of Urban Petals does offer floral arranging parties which I think are a great way to provide the flowers for your shower, engagement party or post wedding brunch. Get 5-7 family and friends together and you are all set to go, with fabulous results.

Attending to the Girls

And I don't mean your bridesmaids...

"Your " Girls....

Undergarments and lingerie for your wedding are yet another major source of frustration, irritation and sometimes downright despair.

The Dor-Ne Corset Shoppe located 8126 Georgia Avenue will actually alter your lingerie for the proper fit. The can adjust a corset, realign straps or totally rebuild a bra. Never again will you have to settle after paying an arm and a leg for lingerie that doesn't fit.

The store's inventory stocks from 30A to 52J, as well as tons of discontinued and hard-to-find stock. If you already have something that you've purchased you can bring it to them for adjustment. This is just unbelievable.

Nails on the Go

Ok, you're planning a wedding and because you have such great friends and family who are all totally excited about the impending nuptials you never know when someone is going to pop and holler "Surprise" and whisk you off somewhere.
Sooooooo.... being the diva that you are you must always be perfectly coiffed and manicured. That is why this is just so wonderful ! Have Nail Taxi dispatch an experienced nail technician for an in-home (or office) manicure and pedicure. They use OPI and always have fabulous foot products at the ready.

Disposable liners in every foot tubs, and can you say Barbicide. No nasties here!

Now picture this with me you're in your office with someone working on your feeties while you surf the net for fabulous wedding favors!!!!! Heaven!!

Tailoring to Perfection

Wedding gowns and bridesmaids dresses are enough of a hassle in just the acquisition process, you find a dress that is style nicely, fits everyone's body type, is reasonably priced and will ship on time. THEN, once the daggone thing gets here you have to have alterations done to it, thereby eating up any money you were able to save by shopping and enforcing price matching policies.
Such is life, at least there is a great tailor here that can make the dress look exactly as it does in the photo that made you fall in love with it to begin with, Hamza Simrick.
He operates an excellent alterations business out of his design shop. He knows his stuff having worked on Savile Row and for Burberry (the real one!).

He can make sure the girls remain in place in those strapless numbers so you can dance the night away without the constant "hitching up" of your dress all night. I don't care what anyone says that is NOT a cute picture for your album, in my opinion it ranks up there with the shot of someone applying deodorant for you... He's located in Arlington at 574 South 23rd Street.

Cooking for Company

Ok Ladies, this is the big time you're getting a husband and you guys are going to be a ... "family". People are actually going to expect to come over to your "home" for dinner and you are going to be expected to "cook".

Well, one of you should actually have an idea of what you're doing so a great place to start is Company’s Coming cooking school.

Classes are taught by Ed and Jinny Fleischman and cover all the necessary details of throwing a dinner party. (how neat!) Each class ends in a seated dinner. I think it's a wonderful way to share some down time with your "Mate-to-be" on Date Night and actually get something both of you can use on each other.

Yet another DC treasure.

Fab Paper

I am a lover of paper. Love to touch it, look at it and know that I have it. I keep it and save it and preserve it. I buy way too much of it and confidentially, I hate to write on it. I will wrap with it though. I say all this to say there is a fabulous designer from Boston with a company called Pearl Papers Letterpress.

Do I even have to begin to babble on the beauty of letterpress?
I will assume that I don't.

If you want to treat your bridesmaids to something elegant try these fabulous notecards with a custom designed monogram. They will design their own monogram, what could be better? With lots of options for fonts and colors, it's really a gift worthy of all they are doing for you on your big day.

check em out!

Chocolate for a Wedding Favor??

Neat stuff, very pleasing to the eye...and oh so yummy.
Charles Chocolates does wondrous things with chocolate and where there's chocolate there's always a wedding favor. But rather than going the traditional route of the chocolate bar, I took a look at their chocolate covered almonds.
These are great giveaways in their trendy containers, but isn't the proof in the puddin? Serve these to guests in bowls on tabletops during your cocktail hours, serve them amidst the sweet seasonal fruit (thereby foregoing the oh so messy chocolate fountain which is definitively on my "OUT" list for 2006).

And so We've Arrived!

In the words of an immortal cartoon fanatic:
Yippee Yahooey!!!
We're here!!
Well I'm here and just brimming with tons of fabulous wedding planning resources and tips for my lovely brides. They are on their way, just getting set up so they can begin posting their little bridal hearts out.
So what are we doing? Well we aren't reinventing the wheel over here, just following a few DC area brides through the sometimes harrowing process of planning their weddings. Weddings are a big deal in the Capital, there's such a mix of styles and very high expectations. We are blessed with a wealth of historic venues sidled along next to some of the poshest contemporary sites you can find anywhere.
So go ahead and set your RSS feed to track us as we venture down the road of creating absolutely stunningly fabulous weddings for these brides.