Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Real D.C. Weddings

Love it or hate it the Knot is one of the best wedding resources for brides...and it's mainly because of their message boards and bios. Sometimes the boards can be vicious and if you don't want any of the drama I would just read and not post but they can also be your best resources for finding vendors. In general I also think the D.C./VA/MD boards are some of the most drama-free boards on the Knot.

It's easy to fall in love with a wedding in a magazine but what about the real world? I love looking at the Knot bios of the brides who are already married (the bios of brides before they get married can be helpful too but they mainly consist of ideas clipped from magazines and usually I want to see real world weddings)

One recent bio really caught my eye. Check out the bio of Brittmurch. Her photographer was the awesome Greg Gibson, reception at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in VA, florist Petal's Edge, and cake by Amphora Bakery.

All photos below from Greg Gibson

Posted by Picasa


New Blog Find- The Bride's Cafe

I know, I know...who needs another wedding blog to read each day? In the ever crowded world of wedding blogging it's hard to get excited about a new comer and hard to imagine someone could come up with new and fresh ideas that we haven't already seen from superstars like Style Me Pretty, Something Old Something New, and BrooklynBride.

So why should you get excited about this one? 1) The blog's creator is the super talented floral artist Janie Medley and she's one of our own! Yep, based out of Richmond she serves the D.C., Maryland and Virginia areas. 2) Her first post is already GORGEOUS. I love how modern the bride's dress is, I love the pop of color from the flower bouquet and there's a dog in the pic...all dog pics are winners in my book.

The Brides Cafe will easily become a must read.

^Photo from Justine Ungaro. Flowers from Janie Medley.
Posted by Picasa

Labels: ,

Bride of Frankenstein?

This actually isn't about me but rather a certain person I know by proxy. But I mention it because (honestly) the whole idea of people "going bridal" amuses me to no end.

So, one of my best gals in the whole wide world has something crazy, like, four weddings within the next year. One in particular is fast approaching and she is in the wedding party. This wedding has become quite a... *um*... ordeal. (And that's putting it mildly!)

She's already been required to fly around the country to MULTIPLE locations for various wedding events AND she's actually going to have to LEAVE the country (and get this special visa and stuff) to actually attend/participate in the actual wedding. At the engagement party she was walking across the room for some reason and the bride actually came up behind her and said, "YOU ARE WALKING TOO SLOWLY." *AreYouKiddingMe???*

The latest production is the bridal shower and bachelorette party - all in one day that of which my best gal is flying in for a mere 24 hours for. That's not even the worst of it though! The WORST of it is that (for whatever reason) there's a dress code for these parties. It's been decided (by whom it's a mystery) that EVERYone must wear a sundress (In NOVEMBER!) AND all black (but all the shades of black MUST MATCH PERFECTLY).

This has posed as a major issue for my best gal.

  1. She doesn't even own a sundress! Seriously. She doesn't like them so she doesn't own/wear them and she's had one heck of a time acquiring one at this time of year.
  2. She (for whatever odd reason) doesn't currently have black pants. SO - she has to find a pair (and she's kind of tall so pants are an issue anyway for her) and also a "perfectly matching" black top.
  3. The sundress is supposed to be some specific color that she's been assigned to in accordance with this "beach"/"sea" theme. *(again)AreYouKiddingMe???*

I love my best gal!!! And I feel so sorry for her as I've watched her go through this over the past few weeks/month. But I must admit - it's kind of entertaining to watch but surely it's like that since I am not the one dealing with it.

I told her that she should show up like Tom Hanks in Castaway or like a Pirate because it's a "sea" theme right??? That made her laugh and feel a little better, I think, for the time being.



What can you do, right? I, myself, got a bit of a "talking-to" (if you could even call it that) last weekend from our photographers (I work with them) about how the Big Day is MY DAY *afterall* and I should start putting my foot down more about stuff.

Boot Camp Part Two..

So I started my boot camp this week...EVERY morning 6-7 am at Barcroft Park

Let me tell you it is Worth it. I went with Fitness Image Results, and they are great. It is $189 for 4 weeks, but that is 1 hour a day m-f, so about $10 a day...Definitely worth the money.

The instructors are amazing, there are three instructors and they motivate you, but also help you and make it enjoyable. My MOH is doing it with me, so I have that extra motivation, but let me tell you getting up at 5:30 every morning is still taking some getting use to! As we were running our millionth lap this morning my MOH was cursing me ..haha..I believe her exact words were "This is all your fault for getting married". However, we both agree it is the best workout we have ever gotten. Neither MOH or I are "out of shape" or at least we didn't think we were! We both worked out 3-4 times a week on the elliptical for about 30minutes...until my doctor told me the work out I was doing was basically peddling down hill on a bike, and if I wanted to step it up , I should join boot camp, and here I am today.

If you are a bride out there who is trying to lose some weight, or you just want to get a little more toned, or maybe you just want a structured work out regime, I highly recommend boot camp! I'm on my fourth day, I'm sore and I feel muscles I never new existed, but I know its working, and that's a great feeling!

Happy Halloween Everyone :)

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Would You Let Your Groom Plan the Wedding?

This story is hilarious. I mean not laughing at the bride but at her ingenious creativity in making the best of a difficult situation. You have to read the whole story here. In short, the couple won a contest awarding them an about $30,000 US wedding of their dreams. The only catch, the bride would have to be hands off of the planning completely. This sentence started off the madness:
The moment I knew I wouldn't be having the wedding of my dreams was when the invitation fell through the doormat.As I looked down at the shoddily cut cardboard, frayed ribbon and the wording that had obviously been printed straight from our home PC on to photocopier paper, I couldn't help but burst into tears.
So would you allow your groom to plan your entire wedding? a better question, I guess would be ... Would you allow yourself to enjoy the wedding your groom planned for you? After all, that's pretty much what he's doing isn't it??

"X" marks the spots!

The way it's working out for our wedding, most of the guests will be from out of town. We just happen to live in an area away from most of our friends and family. *shrug* For this reason, many people aren't familiar with the area and even for the people who know it a little bit, it can be confusing. For this reason we are providing all of what they might need to know mapped out for all of the events of our wedding weekend. You could use mapquest or google maps but I actually found something much better than BOTH of those combined!

The service I recommend is called WeddingMapper.com. It's a mapping service specifically designed for occasions such as weddings. It allows you to put virtual markers (in fun little shapes, I might add) at all of the different important locations of the wedding (church/ceremony, reception, hotels, rehearsal dinner, even airports, etc.)

Here is a screen shot of our wedding map by Wedding Mapper:

The service can be hyperlinked to your wedding website OR (if you pay a little extra that's really not that expensive anyway) you can print actual full color copies of the maps off with every route and every location clearly marked.

I'm pretty sure that any location (in our outside of the US) is game since Wedding Mapper actually uses Google Maps to draft up their maps. It's great!!! And it's even more helpful when you've got a ton of guests coming in from out of town who aren't familiar with the area where the wedding will be. Also, as an added bonus, you can upload pictures of your actual locations to your map online so that when guests hover their mouse over the locations, actual pictures of the locations pop up!

Elum Discount - 25% Off

Maybe you can't afford drool worthy letterpress invitations but you'd like to send out fancy thank-yous or pretty Christmas cards. Or maybe you can afford drool worthy letterpress invitations and you'd like to send out a change of address card with your new married address or give your bridesmaids a beautiful journal ...either way get over to Elum and take 25% off your greeting card, thank-you card, and journal purchase with code DAILYCANDY (personalized stationary not included). Thanks to Daily Candy!

^Can't you just feel the texture on this thank-you even from this image??

^This is my fav of their new Christmas cards.

^How cute is this change of address card? Why send an email when you can send these? If you can't see just click to enlarge.

^I don't even write in journals but I'd still be happy to get a journal like this if I were a bridesmaid.
Posted by Picasa


Cool (Punam) Beans

In an earlier post, I shared the love for an up-and-coming wedding photographer, Punam Bean. I had the pleasure of meeting her in person last week in New York City where she's based, and thought initially that she couldn't get any better than the impression she makes on paper. I was happily proven wrong.

Punam, first off, is extremely patient. I planned to meet her at noon at a coffee shop near the building I was working in, but work got crazy at the last minute, and I was one hour, count them, SIXTY minutes late. It may have been more, and at this point I can't even remember because I was running down sixth avenue close to tears. So finally, I meet her, a smiling Punam Bean on the corner of some busy street. She wasn't even phased by my extreme lateness and if she was, I never would have known.

The second quality I liked about Punam was that she asked tons of questions about my future hubby and how we met, etc. She just kind of let me go nuts with wedding details, obviously a woman after my own heart.

But what I liked most about her is that she's the type of person you could be friends with. That being said, the fact that I got that vibe from her is a true testament that she really does care about who you are and what you're saying; that you're not just one bride in more than 50 she'll meet that year. She doesn't rattle off tidbits about this or that bride that she photographed, it's this and that friend...with a story...and a name. Punam has this wide, happy smile that managed to cure most of my nervousness...and she hugged me goodbye.

So, the choice has been made. Punam will be the master behind the camera for our wedding!!! :)

And just for fun, some of my favs!

Beverly Hills Swag

If you are one of those brides always looking for a way to differentiate yourself from the myriad of weddings out there, why not take a look at your registry. Ever wanted to do some Beverly Hills shopping?
Gearys has been a West Coast tradition for more than 75 years for those seeking luxury and service. Gearys has gathered the finest in luxury brands from around the world including a full range of tabletop items, silver, crystal, china and linens, as well as, some of the biggest and brightest names in watches and fine jewelry.

If nothing else you will be able to swoon over some of the most luxurious items you could ever hope to receive from your guests Their line of contemporary dinnerware is quite extensive. But as well there are a number of gifts in the Under $100 price range which are fresh and unique.
Another great section to take a peek at is their Jewelry. If you are looking for inspiration on your wedding accessories Gearys really does have show quality jewelry, it's sure to get the creative juices flowing.

The site is easy to navigate and you can set up your registry online very quickly. I like that its the type of site that even after your wedding you can make use of many of the items available from the retailer. Baby showers, Gifts for Men or Women, even Office gifts are all available on the site. Give it a whirl and find a piece to fall in love with.

Monday, October 29, 2007

The first dress I tried on...

Ahh I am so excited right now!!! I don't know if y'all remember my post about a month ago when I tried on my first wedding dress. It was a peter langner that I fell in love with at his trunk show. However, since it was a trunk show and he didn't have pictures of the dresses up yet online, I was not allowed to take any photographs. Also since it was so early on, I was not going to purchase the dress, so I have just had the memory to sustain me...that is until now. As everybody knows most of the designers debuted there collections this past week in NYC and now Peter's dresses are online and I found "mine"!

I am including some photos of it here to share with my fellow brides-to-be. I know it may seem very simple to a lot of brides out there, but that is what I'm looking for. Something classic , delicate and beautiful(not to much to ask right? :)). This dress looked amazing on too ( if I can say so myself) it brought my MOH to tears.

I am going home to upstate NY this weekend, I'm going to go to my first couple of salons with my mom, So I will let you know how that goes..until then here is my favorite dress so far!

^I love the Lines, when its on the way it falls is so elegant.

^ I am not blessed with an ample bust, so I LOVE the sweetheart neckline, since I'm fairly young I feel it gives me the look I am going for. Also, this gives you a good idea of the fine details of the dress, The lines give it added texture, and its even more beautiful in person!

^ Since people will be staring at my back ( during the ceremony) I love the buttons!

^ Full shot from the back...*sigh*..can you tell I'm in love? :)

(all photographs courtesy of Brides.com)

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Music - the high notes and low notes

The good news:
We've FINALLY settled on our first dance song!!! We've been largely undecided for a myriad of reasons that aren't worth going into but whatever the case, we've got it together now. We will be using "Groovy Kind of Love" by Phil Collins.

It's definitely an "old school" kind of song but it's actually the first song that we danced to together (why in the heck was it even a question for us to pick this then, right?) and also, the lyrics completely apply to us as a couple. And no matter how "old school" and 97.1 After hours/Glenn Hollis it might be *haha* - it's really classic, in my opinion.

Here are the lyrics if you don't know them by heart:

When I'm feeling blue, all I have to do
Is take a look at you, then I'm not so blue
When you're close to me, I can feel your heart beat
I can hear you breathing near my ear
Wouldn't you agree, baby you and me got a groovy kind of love

Anytime you want to you can turn me onto
Anything you want to, anytime at all
When I kiss your lips, ooh I start to shiver
Can't control the quivering inside
Wouldn't you agree, baby you and me got a groovy kind of love, oh

When I'm feeling blue, all I have to do
Is take a look at you, then I'm not so blue
When I'm in your arms, nothing seems to matter
My whole world could shatter, I don't care
Wouldn't you agree, baby you and me got a groovy kind of love
We got a groovy kind of love
We got a groovy kind of love, oh
We got a groovy kind of love

I think it's so sweet! I'm really excited that this is what we settled on because there were some songs that we kicked around that we both really like but none of them are really well-known enough for us to hear them on the radio (for future's sake) and be like, "Hey! That's our song!!!" Because isn't that the point of having a song with someone in the first place?

The bad news:
Remember when I discovered that wedding CD with that really cool version of the Bridal March sung by a German choir and I was all happy and everything??? As it turns out, we aren't going to be able to use it. We were very gently informed this morning at church that it actually has pagan origins! *shock* We are such young and unknowing Lutherans! *yucky face* Kind of stinky because we really did like that version but the one with the choir singing it in German ESPECIALLY has the pagan origins. *shrug* Back to the drawing board for that part of the ceremony music. We are going to be working closely with the music director of our church to figure out music that IS okay and NOT pagan.

For all those ebay lovers out there....

My maid of honor is addicted to eBay...I'm talking addicted! She buys most of her clothing on there and she knows how to work the system. This weekend we had a girls shopping/talk about wedding get together and she informed me that I needed to check out LuxuryLink .

For all you brides that have not heard of Luxury Link I recommend you check it out! Fiance and I have a set budget for the wedding, whatever we have leftover goes towards the honeymoon ( although he did rack up MANY frequent flyer miles with the purchase of a certain ring, so we are hoping to use those :)! So even though we would love to go on a spectacular honeymoon it would be really helpful if we could cut a corner here....this is where my MOH came in.

While talking with her about the different options Fiance and I have floating around in our heads ( ranging from Greece to Turks and Caicos) she matter of factly said to me "you've looked at luxury link right"? I hadn't...I'm not sure if any of you brides out there are going the same route as me, and letting your fiance plan the honeymoon ( for the most part). That's what I've been doing so my effort hadn't been spent researching honeymoons, but I am so glad that she hooked me on luxurylink.

Its a website where you BID on luxury vacations. You can save up to 50% or higher on world class luxury vacations. Yes these are still expensive but much cheaper than if you had paid full value. I know some people are like me , and don't like the whole "gambling" aspect, but they also have the buy now option, its only 20-30% off, but it's still better than nothing!

If anything I recommend just browsing the website, it shows amazing ideas for vacations/honeymoons and you never know what you might stumble across!

Here is just one example of a vacation I was looking at, at Santa Marina Resort & Villas in Mykonos, Greece

Mmm I wish I was there now :)

Speaking of Affordable...

These triple teardrop chandelier earrings are only $45.90 (marked down from $78.00) at Nordstroms.

Posted by Picasa


Affordable Caribbean

In case you missed it, the New York Times sent a team of travel editors and writers to 13 different Caribbean islands to uncover affordable yet nice places to stay, eat, drink, shop and play. If you'd like to have a Caribbean honeymoon but are worried about the cost then you should definitely check out Affordable Caribbean. Now you aren't going to find any luxurious 5-star places, but if you're looking for some place scenic, clean, and less then $100 a night this can't be beat. And coming from someone with lots of travel experience...the best restaurants are the hole-in-the-wall joints serving local, home-made, comfort food for just a few bucks.

Posted by Picasa


Much more than a thousand words

Thought you might enjoy checking out some samples of the lovely team that is doing our photography...

[all images from BalanceWeddings.com]

Nathaniel Corn and Nerissa Miller are Balance Weddings and Balance Photography. They are a husband and wife team who have some of the most brilliant work I've ever seen. The thing that I actually like the best about them is that they aren't just wedding photographers and they have a ton of photography experience in the publishing and photojournalism industries. And I really think that shows in the work that they do for weddings.

One of my favorite magazines in the world is Life magazine. Growing up my mother had a coffee-table book of "The Best of Life" and I used to look through it for hours. I loved how the pictures seemed to make real life come alive. The pictures never looked like just photographs. For me, Nathaniel and Rissa do exactly that.

Certainly the photography has been one of the most important elements for this wedding. And definitely the fact that I shoot weddings myself has a ton to do with where I place my priorities but just the same, flowers wilt and clothing goes out of style, but memories can truly last a lifetime when they are captured as beautifully as they happened in pictures.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

New Season Trends: Death of the Ballgown

O.k. who is kidding who? The ballgown will NEVER die. It's a classic princess look and there will never be another time in your life where you can look like a princess. That being said, I've never seen as few ballgowns on the runway as I've seen this season. Most of the styles were a slimmer silhouette. The empire waist was quite possibly the most popular waist line this season and the trumpet/mermaid/fit&flare skirt is going extremely strong. A-line was another classic that showed well. I just didn't see a ton of ballgown except from the few designers that really specialize in ballgowns like Kenneth Pool or Reem Acra.

The good news is it's never been easier to find a different and unique silhouette that will flatter your shape. All pictures from thekot.com and brides.com

1st Row- Jenny Lee, Romona Keveza, Romona Keveza
2nd Row- Romona Keveza, Bonaparte-Ny by Junko Yoskioka, Anne Barge
3rd Row- Priscilla of Boston, Jenny Packham, Amy Kuschel

Posted by Picasa


New Season Trends: Drop Waist

The drop waist trend is still going strong. I think that silhouette is here to stay. It creats a very femine form.

^Kenneth Pool

^Pnina Tornai

^Priscilla of Boston

^Judd Waddell
Posted by Picasa


New Season Trend: Overlay

In general I'd say that most dresses this season are a lot more structured then in the past and I don't think there is as much lace or beading as we've seen previously. Dresses have a cleaner look. That being said there are still some great examples of romantic, soft dresses, with lace and/or embroidery. I've seen it most in overlays...i.e. where there is an underskirt and then an overskirt on top of the bottom skirt. All pictures from theknot.com and brides.com

1st Row - Watters, Claire Pettibone, Claire Pettibone,
2nd Row- Melissa Sweet, Platinum for Priscilla of Boston, Reem Acra
3rd Row- Reem Acra, Amsale, Monique Lhullier

Posted by Picasa


New Season Mini Trend: Obi Style

Going along with the overall belt trend I noticed a mini-trend of Obi style dresses. If you don't know an obi is, it is the piece of cloth that wraps around a kimono so there is a slightly Asian vibe to some of the dresses. All photos from theknot.com and brides.com

^Anne Barge

^Platinum for Priscilla of Boston

^Alvina Valenta

Posted by Picasa


New Season Trends: Belts

Silver metallic belt-like embroidery was also very popular. Once again I think almost every designer had at least a few "belt" dresses. All pictures below from theknot.com and brides.com

1st Row - Carolina Herrera, Romona Keveza, Claire Pettibone
2nd Row- Bonaparte-NY by Junko Yoskioka, Kenneth Pool, Badgley Mischka
3rd Row- Priscilla of Boston, Jenny Packham, Amsale

Posted by Picasa