Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Got champagne taste but a beer budget? Try this...

Reem, Oscar, Monique, Vera, Amsale, Jim, Ulla....**sigh** some of my favorite names when I was shopping for gowns.  But one look at the price tags on some of those gowns had me thinking that David wasn't such a bad name either {hah!}

But I am all about having my {wedding} cake and eating it too.  And I refuse to pay full price {$10k+} or settle for less {David}.  Especially because there are so many options out there for finding a high-end designer gown of your dreams for a "reasonable" price.  Take the annual Running of the Brides hosted by Filene's Basement {a bit extreme if you ask me} or the coveted sample sales or even consignment shops {some people never even get to wear their gown!}.  If there is a will there is a way.

The way may be getting even easier soon if The Aisle New York has anything to say about it.  The site hasn't officially launched yet, but it sounds fantastic.  On-line sample sales for high-end designer wedding gowns.  If you're not lucky {or unlucky} enough to live near a major metropolis, or don't want to brave the no holds barred real world sample sales, this site sounds like the perfect solution, or at least worth a peek.  As the company so aptly puts it:  Love. Shop. Wed.! 

Sunday, December 26, 2010

My Favorite Designer (Part II): Choo Love

If you are one of those {crazy} women who believe shoes -- even your wedding day shoes -- are more for function than fashion, then stop reading right now.

I. Love. Shoes.  Love them.  And I Choos even more.

First of all, shoes are not solely for function, like walking.  Well maybe your bedroom shoes, or possibly your gym shoes.  But most certainly not your special day shoes.  There are so many fabulous styles and colors and fabrics and heel styles and adornments.  If you are a shoe lover like me, it may make it very difficult to choose just one pair for your Day.  

Jimmy Choo makes beautifully simple, yet elegant bridal shoes.  But you shouldn't limit yourself to just the bridal selection.  Silver, gold, or even red and purple are a fantastic choice for your special day.  There's nothing more exciting than to see a pair of strappy bright heeled sandles under a formal length wedding gown.

Even if you'd prefer a lower heel height for comfort, you don't have to sacrifice style.  A pointy toed sling back or a bejeweled kitten-heel have the same wow factor as a 6 inch stiletto.  But who said you have to Choos just one!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

If you liked it then you shoulda....

I think the best part {okay maybe not THE best} about getting married is the jewelry; diamond jewelry to be specific.  There's something about the sparkle that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.  I mean who wouldn't say "Yes! Yes! YES!" At the sight of one of these!

Of course when my hubby asked me to spend forever with him I said "No! No!!"  But that's a story for another day.

There are so many deliciously beautiful diamond cuts, settings and even colors to choose from, it's so hard to choose just one.  Thank goodness you usually end up with 2 -- engagement ring and wedding band -- or even more if your lucky.  I'm of the belief that after getting some years under your belt you should be able to trade up.  I mean everyone expects to get bonuses, tips for good service right?  So why shouldn't we wives get bigger diamonds for making it to 10, 20 or 30+ years without strangling our hubbies?!?  Okay I'm being cheekish, but it's a nice idea. :)

So with that in mind and the hope my hubby might one day offer to enlarge my beautiful ring, I still like to peruse the engagement rings from time to time. 

I really love the ring above from Tacori.  I love Asher cut solitaires and I like the traditional lines of the band, and of course the fact that the band is covered in diamonds.  I like my rings to sparkle no matter what direction you view it from.

Engagement rings are a very personal style.  So ladies, don't leave it up to your intendeds. Leave very specific hints around for him to find: an open web browser with an image of the ring that you want;  an "errant" printed picture of your ring left on the printer.  Or better yet, send him anonymous emails from the jeweler or designer's websites. The more hints the better because remember Diamonds are forever....

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Bridal Mecca

Before there was Say Yes to the Dress, before there was a KleinfeldBridal.com {love love the gown search option!}, before there was Kleinfeld Kollection, before there was even a Kleinfeld Men {man have they grown!}.... I was a Kleinfeld bride.  

Nearly every NYC bride-to-be takes the obligatory pilgrimage to Kleinfeld.  Just a few short years ago, that trip was indeed a pilgrimage because the showroom was located in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn {for non-New Yorkers, that's really really far}.  When my bestie was engaged in her search for the perfect dress, we traveled to Bay Ridge to the then humble showroom that had nearly every wedding dress on the market.  From a simple silk sheath to a densely embroidered lace and crystal princess gown.

Shortly thereafter, when it was time for me to go, we no longer had to make the long trip to another borough; the mecca had moved to Manhattan!  And it's the perfect location.  Just off of Seventh Avenue in the über-fashionable Chelsea district.  With multiple levels, a dream-inspiring showroom and expansive fitting rooms.  I was smitten the moment I arrived.

The staff is in a word -- Amazing!  I don't know how they can keep so many wedding dresses, styles, designers in their head so that you can just give them an idea of what you want and they can go and immediately pull dresses that may work.  I wanted to try on everything, but of course your time is limited so you have to stay focused.  Even so, the best detours can lead to unexpected delight.  

I found my dress after deciding to try on a fashion-forward BLUE dress that I saw on a mannequin in the showroom.  Little did I know that it would be love at first wear.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Go Get Your Girl

I'm sure you've heard about wedding planners but have you heard of proposal planners?!?  Okay so most of you are probably women and not the ones doing the proposing, but you could still stealthily drop hints to your intended about this awesome service.  Go Get It Events creates and coordinates extraordinary wedding proposals {or any special moment you want to commemorate}.  Here is what they have to say about their services:
Perhaps he or she will travel by a chauffeured car or mysteriously handed a map and keys to their dream sports car. Possibly they will be accompanied by their own publicist for the day or find that they have been turned into a star overnight with their pictures gracing the cover of People Magazine. They may arrive at a fantastic surprise Soirée with a room full of their closest friends flown in from all over.
Who knows, your loved one may wake up in Chicago and end up in Switzerland. Oftentimes, Go Get It's signature audio clues will lead the trail. No matter which details we put into place, the recipient will not know where their path leads until it reaches its end.
That sounds unbelievable! So, if you want your marriage proposal to be one for the history books {or at least your history books} Go Get It Events may be the company to try.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Virtual Style

As much as I loved physically going to a store and shopping for a wedding dress {Kleinfelds!} sometimes you may be limited to the options available in your town or you just want to daydream and look {while you are supposed to be working}.  

You may know about Shop Style as a great place to shop for regular clothing, but did you know that you can shop for wedding gowns as well?!?  You can even filter by color, designer, price and size!  While you likely won't find the really high-end designs or the traditional bridal-only designers, you'll still have plenty to drool over.

Better yet, Shop Style is a great way to shop for coordinated Mother of the Bride, Bridesmaids and other bridal party dresses.  And for those much needed accessories {shoes!, clutches, hair accessories, trousseau}.  

Sunday, October 10, 2010


Today must be the biggest wedding day ever!  It doesn't get much better than 10/10/10...the Perfect 10!  The NY Times wedding announcement section {the holy grail that all brides aspire to gain access to...and yes I made it!} says it all.  I have never seen the list of couples this long!  If you missed this special date for your special day, you still can try for 11/11/11 or even 12/12/12!  They're not perfect but they are still great anniversary dates {assuming you can wait that long}

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

It's All About You

He's asked for your hand. You've said "Yes!" You've picked a date.  The location has been selected and your bridal party confirmed.  Now all that's left {besides saying "I Do."} is to tell the world {or your close circle of friends & family} all about your special day.  

Long gone are the days of conveying details by word of mouth.  Now everyone immediately goes to www.sallyandrichard.com {i.e., www.[insert bride's first name]and[insert groom's first name].com} to find out all the juicy details.  Just like a company website says a lot about the company, your wedding website says a lot about you and your intended and what your day will be like. 

Do you want a site that says the two of you are inattentive and our Day will be generic, or do you want a site that says the two of you are on top of your game and that your Day will be an event people will be talking about for years to come.  The custom websites by Wedding Window help you to be the latter.  You can get your own domain name -- KatieandJake.com -- and select a design that coordinates with your wedding colors and theme.  They even let you try it all out for free!

The part I like most is the back-end webware they give you.  It helps you create your guest list/mailing list, track RSVPs, create a wedding budget, track the gifts that you have received, and so much more.  It allows you to not only look like you're on top of things, but actually be on top of things.  What more could you want!

Friday, September 24, 2010


Fustic House
A Butler, a Security Guard, a Chef, a Gardener, a House Manager and Housekeepers....now that's what I call wedding staff.  Destination weddings are all the rage now and Barbados is an idyllic locale.  For couples who want to go straight from the alter to a sun & sand honeymoon, or if you are faced with a 500+ potential guestlist and want to weed out all but your true friends and family; a destination wedding is perfect.
For an intimate wedding on the isle of Barbados, a villa is the perfect solution and Fustic House is the perfect villa.  Sitting on 11 acres, this estate is set up on the hill overlooking the Caribbean sea.  It is the ultimate in seclusion and an ideal setting for a private wedding and intimate reception in the splendid gardens designed by Todd Longstaffe-Gowan.

There are 7 luxuriously appointed suites with open-air showers spread throughout four separate wings.  During your stay you and your guests will be treated to exquisite meals made to your taste by the the head chef {I sampled his cuisine when I visited this house and it is superb; the best food I had while on the island}.  The best part of your stay, when you're not eating, is swimming in the Oliver Messel designed lagoon swimming pool, which is carved directly out of the coral ridge. . . Absolute perfection.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Thank You...No Thank YOU

I'm an old-fashioned girl and my mother taught me that all gifts require a proper handwritten thank you note.  However, this tradition can be a bit daunting when you are getting married.  There are thank yous for the engagement gifts, the bridal shower gifts and finally the wedding gifts.  And with wedding guest lists in the 2-300 range {or even in the high 100s} your thank you note list can easily reach 500.  Sure you could do electronic thank you messages or non-personalized mass thank yous.  But if you are having a formal wedding or are a traditional bride, you understand the necessity of a handwritten thank you.

I for one get hand cramps just thinking about writing 500, 300 or even 100 thank you notes.  So I was thrilled to hear about a new company called Thanks For Everything.  They will draft unique, thoughtful, personal messages for each gift you receive and will "hand write" {well using a printed script that looks just like real handwriting} each of your notes if you wish, AND will even mail them.  Doesn't get much better than that.  If your wedding budget is already through the roof, you might as well allot just a bit more for this time/image saver.

Sample of how the "writing" looks.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

This is what I call a Wedding Video

Angela & Matt's Wedding Highlights from A&A Video Productions on Vimeo.

My brother sent me a link to the video from a wedding he was in. He knows how I love everything wedding related {especially examples of weddings that are better than mine or items that I didn't have at my wedding}. Well, this video is a prime example. I chose to forgo a professional videographer because I heard tons of horror stories from other brides who paid big buck and got bupkus for their wedding video. Even the ones who did have a decent video, it was just that...decent.

The videos from A&A Video Productions, however, are in an entirely different league. If I had known about them {if they were even around back then} when I got married, I think I would've made room in the budget {do our guests really need an appetizer AND an entree?!?} for this. Check out their demos and see for yourself.

p.s.: I wish I could've posted the original video I saw but unfortunately for you I have to respect the couple's privacy.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Remember The Time

Everyone wants to standout and do something different/original with their wedding {especially if you are one of the last of your friends to get married}. The wedding guestbook is about as mundane and unoriginal as you can get. I've seen it all, but this, in my book, takes the cake.  I love just about anything engraved and this is just downright hot.  Assuming it's done right {i.e., monitored closely by your wedding planner or his/her staff}, an engraveable silver photo mat or silver tray with well wishes from all your guests {or at least their names} is definitely different. And even something you might actually want to continue to display after you're married without it looking silly.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Let Her Eat Cake!

I love cakes...fancy cakes that is.  I try to find any excuse to have a fancy cake {or cupcakes, but more on that later}.  I think it goes back to my absolute catastrophe of a wedding cake {five years later I'm still trying to get over it}.  So I was excited to try out the cakes from Lara Lea at an Expectant Moms event last year.  Sometimes cakes are pretty but don't taste very good.  Lara's cakes were both beautiful and delicious, and Lara is just as sweet as her cakes, with perfect southern charm.  So why not have an engagement party cake, a bridal shower cake and, of course, the wedding cake!  There's no such thing as too much cake.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

THE Wedding Photographer

Not every photographer has what it takes to be a wedding photographer, but Willi unquestionably does.  He is the perfect combination of artist, perfectionist and personality.  His website -- www.williwongphotography.com -- takes you through the story of his work.  The images simply speak for themselves.

While most photographers have to edit their photos to achieve awe inspiring pictures, Willi can simply shoot and deliver.  We have used him so often -- for our engagement, our new expanded family, and our extended family photoshoots {quite stupidly we did not spring for him to shoot our wedding in Barbados} -- we now refer to him as OUR family photographer.

But he's not only a wonderful photographer, he's such a great person too.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

My favorite designer...

I thought it fitting that my first "Wedding" post be about the designer of my wedding dress.  Admittedly, I wasn't a fan of Reem Acra until I found My Dress.  There are so many wedding dress designers out there, it's hard to pick just one.  However, once I found My Dress I began to focus on her other lines and was instantly smitten.  

I found my dress purely by accident.  I was shopping for my wedding dress with my girls at Kleinfelds {more about this Wedding mecca later} and I was trying on all of the standard ball-gown/princess silhouette style that I had decided on, when I saw a blue {yes blue!} gown on a mannequin.  It looked so avant-garde and straight off the runway I just had to try it on for kicks.

When I put on what became My Dress, I had The Moment that all brides hope for.  I knew then that there was no other dress for me.  I was getting married in Barbados and the color of the dress perfectly matched the color of the Caribbean water and sky.  I knew it had to be mine.  My best girlfriend did too, because she was so excited she kept tripping on the edge of the dress as I walked out to model the gown in the showroom!  The look in her eye just sealed it for me.  

Then I only had to hope my daddy wouldn't pass out from the price tag. 
My Dress