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Monday, January 30, 2012

This Is What I Call REAL Fruit Punch!

Photo from The Food Network Magazine posted in You Are My Fave

This watermelon 'keg' filled with watermelon sours is what I call REAL FRUIT PUNCH! Have you ever consider turning your watermelon into a keg? Just scrape out the insides for your watermelon sours, add a keg shank and you're ready to go!  Guests will ooh and ah and the taste of those watermelon sours will overwhelm them. So at your next pre-wedding party serve up some watermelon sours and pack some punch!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Hello Kitty?

I've always known that there were 'Hello Kitty' fans out there, but I guess I never quite realized the depth of the attachment until I overheard a girl at a bridal shop telling her mother she didn't care about her dress, her veil or anything else, she HAD to have a 'Hello Kitty' cake topper! 

Until then I hadn't realized that Hello Kitty had moved beyond tiny stuffed animals my daughters had when they were young. There are actually adult Hello Kitty fans out there who spend major cash on Hello Kitty merchandise.  

The cake topper with Hello Kitty and Dear Daniel shown on the cake above, is made by the Nao division of Lladro.  This figurine was handcrafted in Spain.  Hello Kitty carries a rose bouquet and wears a pink ribbon headdress.  Her groom, Dear Daniel, is decked out in blue tails with a matching blow tie.   Is this cake topper for everyone? No.  But then I do know brides who chose to have a Mickey and Minnie Mouse cake topper or even a Garfield topper.  So if you love Hello Kitty, go for it.  It can't be any worse than those old fashioned plastic bride and groom toppers they had when I got married!

Are +1's Blowing Your Budget?

Most brides are budget conscious.  No matter who is paying for the wedding, be it daddy or the couple themselves, or a combination of the couple's family and the bridal couple, the issue of dollars always comes up.  So what to do about +1's?

For those just starting their planning and not conversant with the lingo, a +1 is the guest of a guest.  Possibly a date or fiance.

Brides with unlimited budgets can move on now, this post won't interest you.  But for those working with a limited budget (not even necessarily a small budget, just a budget) the question of +1's will become an issue.

I'll weigh in with my personal wedding planning solution (we're busy helping my daughter and her fiance plan their wedding now). It's small and intimate. Friends with a significant other they know well are being invited.  Random strangers or new significant others, not. It's a hard choice. For my daughter, her fiance and for us.  No one wants to leave anyone out. But... there aren't many plus one's being sent out.

Anyone traveling a long distance to be there will receive a plus one invite. The reason?  If we're expecting them to travel across the country we'd like them to have their significant other there.  And these are also people they know and love. So yes, they're invited. But random dates of cousins? NOT. This isn't the prom.  It's their wedding. If they were selling tickets it would be one thing to let everyone bring a date, but this is one of the most important days in their life, they want to share it with the important people in their lives.

For us, this makes sense, as well as cents.  Every 'body' at that wedding sends the price up. Yes, I hate to say 'you can't bring someone' but the fact is, in some cases they can't. Is there a hard and fast rule for plus ones? No, it's up to you. That's what makes it so hard! No matter what decision you make there will be someone who is NOT happy with it. So when it's their wedding they can make the call. This isn't. So it's my daughter and her fiance's call, it's not even mine. So Cousin Joe in Peoria...uh we hate to tell you, but your new girlfriend Grizelda is not invited. We know you've known her for three weeks but...

In the end, there really is no rule. There's just what makes sense for your family. So be prepared for someone to be unhappy with your decision and let it roll off your back.

Persimmon and Ivory Inspiration Board

Photo courtesy of AFloral 

Planning your wedding flowers? Use an inspiration board to combine your flowers and color combinations for them as well.  This inspiration board from AFloral combines persimmon with ivory.  A perfect combo for a romantic wedding no matter what the season.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Black on Black?

Photo courtesy of Chloe's Nails

I have one thing to say about this photo, I love it! I know, I'm too old to be wearing these but I couldn't wait to share them with you! If I was younger those would be MY nails. 

Want to find out how to get these nails or some other killer nails? This is the one MUST GO TO site.  Chloe's Nails.  

The author lives in Pennsylvania, I almost want to show up on her doorstep just to see how she's done her nails each day.  These would be perfect for a black and white wedding! She used OPI matte polish in a shade called "Lincoln Park After Dark Matte" with just the tips done with Seche Vite. What an incredible look! 

For more details on 'how to' get this look (or some other great looking high style nails) visit Chloe's Nails. Reading the comments on this site will help you get the final look you want.

I am addicted to Chloe's Nails, you will be too! I promise. 

Monday, January 23, 2012

"Dead Flowers Aren't Your Fault..."

"Who you order them from is."  This is the tag line on Kabloom, a floral delivery site online.  Kabloom advertises themselves as 'the only florist in America who delivers their flowers in water.' Whether you order from Kabloom or your local florist, THIS is why you need a florist.  Ordering flowers is not simple. Leave it to the experts!

If you're a bride planning on designing and making your centerpieces and bouquets yourself, keep their saying in mind.  Ordering flowers is tricky. Choosing who to purchase them from can be trickier yet. And when you're making the centerpieces and bouquets yourself you need to have a reliable source who can help you out if your flowers 'go south.' As a DIYer it's unlikely you have that source.

What's the difference between buying or ordering flowers from your local grocery store and a florist ordering them? Your florist orders his flowers from quality sources and he'll guarantee them.  Usually flowers from your florist should last a week, maybe more.  Your local '**stop and shop?'. No guarantee.  They may not have been shipped to the store in water, so they're already losing quality before you buy them.

Come on. This is your wedding. Your once in a lifetime wedding.  Go with a florist.  Give yourself a day in your life to be pampered and treated like a queen. Can't afford a florist for 'the works?' At least be sure your bouquet comes from a florist. It doesn't have to be huge, it doesn't have to be fancy, it should be quality.  Hey, you're marrying a quality groom right? Often you can find a florist who can work with you without price gouging.

Keep in mind if you're getting married around Valentine's Day your flower prices will automatically go up.  You won't be able to score a winter wedding discount, even though it is February. So plan ahead. Pick you date with care. And get your flowers from a florist not the grocery store.

**(this name is totally made up, no a reference to any store that could have that name)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Lavender, Silver and Purple Inspiration Board

Photo courtesy of Wedding Channel on The

Inspiration boards help brides pull together their color combinations for their wedding day.This year lavender is one of the hot colors for weddings. This inspiration board from the Wedding Channel on  The Knot gives brides some great ideas about how to combine the colors of lavender, purple and silver at your wedding.  

I am totally in love with the dress! How about you? Like the colors? Yes? No? How about the use of mason jars on a shepherd's crook filled with purple flowers? What do you think of the lavender, silver and purple combination for your wedding day? 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Bow Shoes For Brides

A Shoe For Brides With Tiffany Taste

Take your generic high heels, add some wide satin ribbon and tie them on your feet with bright blue bows in Tiffany Blue.  A surprise peek-a-boo of blue as you walk down the aisle or up some stairs.  Some double stick tape on the bottom of your shoe to keep the bow in place or some rubber cement might be a good idea. Great photo op for removing the garter!  

Speaking of garters, don't forget, enter The Great Garter Giveaway! Win a garter set from Garter Mademoiselle or The  Pink Elephant.  Your choice of garter.  Use it for a wedding or other special occasion of your choice.  Garters fit up to size 24 (USA sizing).  If you have your heart set on a garter buy it ahead of time and use your winnings as a gift for a girlfriend getting married or a sister headed to a prom (or just as a surprise for your significant other!)

Hairdos For Brides

Mostly Braids With A Bonus!

These hairdos for brides are mostly braids but I just couldn't resist the one bride with the long, tumbling locks!

Photo courtesy of Wesley on Pinterest and Ming's Tumblr

This braided beauty shouts bridal! Flowers at the base of the 'do' add a little something extra.  Perfect for a bride, I especially like it for a spring or summer bride.

Looking for a simpler look? Try this curving braid.  See how it winds around her head, would look great under a veil or with a simple flower in her hair.

I don't know who Wesley Cargile is, but he has superb taste in bridal hair! Why do I get the feeling he loves blonds with long hair? That's OK Wesley, we forgive you your bias, these are GREAT hairdos for blonds or brunettes!

Don't forget to check our previous post on braids.  More ideas! And yet more braids on brides!  Some are even great for your flower girl.  

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Spring Into Hot Wedding Colors

This year has a lot of hot wedding colors, including sour apple green and clementine orange, offset with pure whites.

I love the mixture of the white hydrangeas with the clementine orange roses and hypericum berries! Love the clarity of color in this board.  Also not super expensive floral designs and easy enough for the dedicated DIYer.

Valentine's Day Inspiration Board

I fell in love with this red and black theme wedding.  The delicate lanterns line in red matching the red dresses of the bridal party are soooo Valentine's Day.  Can't you just see Cupid aiming his arrows now?  

And how hot are those high heels! Red heels...there's just something about them!  And great to have a pair of shoes for your wedding that you can wear again later too!  

Photo courtesy of The Wedding Channel at The Knot.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Looking For Lingerie?

Anyone who hasn't seen an Avon catalog lately doesn't know what they are missing! No, it's not your mother's Avon anymore! Today Avon has moved into the homes (and pocketbooks) of the daughters of the Avon customers of the 50s, 60s, 70s and 1980s.  In fact a few tweens have been found buying Avon with their extra cash.  But this month Avon has some luscious lingerie perfect for celebrating Valentine's Day.

Without the high price point of Victoria's Secret, Avon customers can have more lingerie and a greater variety of it.  Why not surprise him every night of the week?  And if you're shopping for a trousseau... well, nuff said.  You'll knock him dead.  Order you lingerie online to be sure you get it in time for Valentine's Day and before it sells out.  These are knock outs you'll want to own.  Avon's lingerie comes in a variety of sizes for your comfort and best fit.

Avon even has boxers for him for Valentine's Day. What man doesn't want some black boxers with some pink lips? OK, OK, so don't buy them for your dad.... but why not have fun on Valentine's Day? To order your Avon lingerie (and other Avon products online, go to Carly's web site and Avon will direct ship them to your door.)

Or how about some sexy thongs specially designed for Valentine's Day with a heart shape in the front?

Interested in some cologne or perfume? Avon has a large selection of scents for both men and women. Why not try the new his and hers scents called "Infinite Moment?" Or their other new scent "Step Into Sexy"? Perfect for Cupid's day.  One designed for him, one for her.  Or one of the latest scents from Fergie?  Or Reese Witherspoon? Avon certainly has romance covered!

Don't forget to buy some hot red nail polish or some wild red lip gloss or lipstick to drive him wild.  Yes, Avon is so NOT your mother's Avon anymore! Wild, romantic, and easy to access...Avon online, even easier than your representative.

Choosing Wedding Vendors

My daughter is getting married next year, so like many of my readers I'm interviewing vendors along with my daughter and having to make those crucial decisions of who to hire to make her wedding day 'her' special day.

After interviewing about a dozen venues I've found the ones we like all have one thing in common, the person we've talked to is personable, gets back to us if we leave a message with questions, and they are the people we feel as though we've built a good rapport with.  In short, someone we trust to make her wedding an occasion to remember and treasure.

We've talked to venues with price points from high to low, and the two things we find make us 'sign on the dotted line' are vendors who work to build a rapport with us and our vision, and who we trust to execute it.

Often as we get back in our car after a meeting the first question is "Did you like them?" THEM.  Not the venue, not the price, not the location.  The point person who showed us the venue and provided the details is critical in our decision to cross them off our list or keep them on and moving toward the top.

Trust, rapport, and likability.  We actually have a check list that rates vendors we interview.  We each fill out our own and then head home to discuss the vendor.  So if you are a vendor selling a venue, photography package, dress, flowers, or any other wedding product think about where you'd land on the list.  And work to improve your Like-ability Quotient.  As you talk to brides are you working toward building a feeling of trust and rapport with them? If you aren't you're losing customers.  I'm speaking as the mother of the bride not the wedding blogger here.

We signed our contract with her venue a few weeks ago.  For anyone interested we chose a venue called The Ballrooms at Boothwyn run by Lia's Catering.  Why was this our first choice?  It wasn't just price, it wasn't location, it was the people we spoke to at the venue.  Tim Mehl and his brothers Mark and Howard can make any bride feel confident that her wedding day will be their top priority. We talked with Tim the first time we visited the venue and later with his brother on the phone.  Professionals to their fingertips. But it wasn't just the professionalism that sold us, although that certainly helped, it was those feelings of trust, the building of rapport.  And yes, the old LQ (Like-ability Quotient.)  So if you're looking to build your wedding sales, follow the example of the people at Lia's Catering and make every bride feel like a queen (and make her mother happy as well!) If you're interested in booking a wedding with them tell Tim that Carly Vecchione and her blogging mom sent you! They have several different venues available, be sure to check them all out.

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Great Wedding Garter Giveaway

Details are what make your wedding special.  One small but important detail (and a great way to stamp your own personality on your day) is your choice of a wedding garter.  You can purchase a ho-hum garter anywhere, but here's you chance to WIN (YES, brides and grooms, this is a giveaway!) the garter of your choice from special event garter designer Deborah, from's The Pink Birdhouse store or her other Etsy store known as Garter Mademoiselle

Deborah's personal story is as romantic as her garters! Originally from Southern New Jersey in the United States Deborah now resides in Germany where as she puts it she "moved to Germany many years ago to marry the really cute blonde haired young man that at one time had been my dear penpal, and later I met in person while traveling Europe on vacation one fateful September. Some how I always knew that the country where my grandmother was born was simply my destiny!" (I do love destiny!)  Deborah continues saying "I passionately enjoy the pleasure of handstitching flowers from soft silk ribbons, an old art from the early 1900's called Victorian Ribbonwork. My new collections of bridal and all occasion garters are lavishly decorated with these roses and blossoms. I especially like to work with vintage ribbons and trims, the thought that they are old and yet in such wonderful condition makes them a pleasure to work with. I like to combine those vintage ribbons with new, bringing the past and present together." 

Deborah offers single garters or garter sets where one garter is for tossing, the other a keepsake for the bride. These garters are also perfect for other special occasions.

What can you win in this garter giveaway? The garter or garter set of your choice from either Deborah's The Pink Birdhouse store on or her Garter Mademoiselle store on  The choice of garters for the winner only include those that are still listed in the shops at the time of the blog giveaway's ending, no custom ordering one or changing of colors. If a bride falls in love with a garter that she likes before the end of the contest, but it sells in the mean time, it is unfortunately no longer part of the winner's choices. 

***(Please use the hyperlinks included in this post to enter. There is another Etsy store known as The Pink Birhouse that sells, of all things, birdhouses.  Any tweeting, comments, likes, or posts about the incorrect Etsy store will lead to disqualification of that entry.

How can you enter this giveaway?
1.  Go to The Pink Birdhouse Etsy Store and browse and write a comment on which garter you like best and why.
2.  Go to Garter Mademoiselle Etsy Store and browse and write a comment on which garter you like best and why.
3. Tweet about The Pink Birdhouse and the garters there.  Note below w/your twitter handle.
4. Tweet about Garter Mademoiselle and the garters there. Note below w/your twitter handle.
5. If you have a Pinterest account post a photo from the Pink Bird House Etsy Store of your favorite garter with the link to the appropriate Etsy Store.  Post the link to your Pinterest post.  Leave a note in the comment section below.
6. If you have a Pinterest account post a photo from Garter Mademoiselle Etsy Store of your favorite garter with the link to the appropriate Etsy Store. Post the link to your Pinterest post.  Leave a notation in the comment section below.
7. Like the blog post.

1. This contest is open to anyone.  Just follow the rules.
2. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter to guarantee a truly random winner.
3. The choice of garters includes any garter still listed in the shops at the time of the blog giveaway's ending, no custom ordering or changing of colors, etc. If a bride chooses a garter that she likes before hand, but it sells in the mean time, it is unfortunately no longer part of the winner's choices. 
4.  The garter will be sent to you directly from Deborah. 
5. The giveaway starts on January 16, 2012  at 12:01 AM; it ends on Feb. 1, 2012 at 12:01 AM.  EST
6. I will notify the winner by email as well as post it on the blog.  Add my email address to your address book so it doesn't disappear into your spam file.

**Disclaimer: Please note, the editor of this blog has recieved a free sample garter of her choice in exchange for hosting this giveaway.  Anything not is quotation marks is the editor's personal opinion and is not effected by the running of this giveaway.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Coming Soon! The Great Garter Giveaway at WDW!

Tomorrow, January 16, 2012 is the first day of my newest giveaway "The Great Garter Giveaway--be sure to stop back tomorrow to see the details and some of the prizes available. 

If you're looking for a beautiful handmade memento of your wedding day (or any other special day) this is one giveaway you don't want to miss. 

Good luck all!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Food For Favors

Photo courtesy of "How Sweet It Is"

There are a lot of ideas out there for food favors, everything from cookies to candy to more extreme ideas like Tabasco sauce (with the name of the bride and groom on it of course!)

For a new taste treat try marshmallows. No, not just any marshmallows like you'd use for s'mores. No these sweet treats are the creation of Jessica, the author and creative genius behind "How Sweet It Is" a blog for anyone who loves food, eating it, creating it, or hates the aftermath of working off the calories or cleaning the kitchen. Jessica has something for everyone. And not only that, her cooking is pure genius!

For your wedding favors Jessica has provided you with a recipe for homemade marshmallows. And not just any marshmallows. And not just any chocolate covered marshmallows. And not just any chocolate covered marshmallows with pretzels on top. But BEER flavored chocolate covered marshmallows! Ah! Now there's a wedding favor with a difference.  

Just bag those sweet eats up and add a pretty tag you make yourself or order from an Etsy artist. 

Jessica points out her inspiration for these incredible lightly tasting of beer and pretzels treat at the bottom of her blog. "Source: idea from an ad seen in Food and Wine, then a quick google search led me here; marshmallow recipe from smittenkitchen, subbing beer for water; flattening beer instructions from here." 

Don't want to have to go through the mess of making your own beer marshmallows and dipping them in chocolate and pretzels? You can buy them online at Truffle Truffle.  There's always an easy way out if you aren't a DIYer!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Black and White Wedding Gown

Photo courtesy of EBay link

Are you a slightly unconventional bride? Why not try this dress by Betsey Johnson? A short tiered ruffled hem cocktail dress turns into a beautiful wedding dress for the right woman. 

Where can you find it?  Not in Betsey's store but on EBay!  I hear you whispering, designer, expensive... but NOT.  Only 109.99 plus shipping.  Not bad!

An easy on the pocketbook and easy on the eyes dress for the up to date bride.  If you'd like to own this great dress (whether you wear it for your wedding or not) go here.  Add a pretty dress at a  pretty good price to your closet.

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Saturday, January 7, 2012

Blond Braided Brides

You don't have to be blond to wear a braid on your wedding day.  A braid is a great way to make you look elegant and very 'Grace Kelly-ish."  Add some small flowers or bling to your braid to take it from an everday look to bridal day chic.

I love this double braid below, so romantic looking!  And isn't that what your wedding day is all about? 

The looser look below is more beach wedding chic, but perfect for a bride as well.  The twining of the pieces of the braid into one are very bridal-esque.

Friday, January 6, 2012

10 Tips For Wedding Gown Shopping

It's time to shop for your wedding gown.  You're excited.  Your mom is excited.  But don't let excitement rule the day.  Keep these 10 Tips For Wedding Gown Shopping in mind and shopping will be a joyful experience that won't drive you (or your mom) out of your minds.

1. Know your budget.  It's sad, but true.  Everyone, even the bride with plenty of money, has a budget.  Stick to it.  Want to take your budget a little bit higher?  Consider not wearing a veil or making your own simple tulle veil.  By the time you get to your reception there's a better than even chance you'll decide to take it off anyway.

2. Don't forget you'll need appropriate undergarments.  You'll have to add these to your budget so don't forget to figure them in when you're planning.  Do you need a strapless bra, a strapless long line bra, a crinoline? Good undergarments can give you that slimmer, sleeker look you're looking for.

3. Spend some time learning what silhouettes you like but don't limit yourself to them.  Sometimes a bride is pleasantly surprised when that mermaid silhouette she'd nixed in her mind in reality looks like a dream. 

4. Find a bridal consultant you trust, not just a saleswoman in a bridal store.  There is a huge difference in how happy you'll be with your purchase.  A good consultant has worked in the business long enough to be able to take one look at a bride, ask a few pertinent questions and be able to choose a small but select group of gowns for your to try on.  She'll let you make your own decisions but will offer her own honest opinion when asked.

5.  Try on your dress with shoes and stockings.  You want to get the best idea of what the gown would look like on your wedding day.  Those Christmas socks with reindeer all over them just aren't what you need to wear.

6.  Make an appointment.  Better yet, make an appointment on a day midweek when your consultant will have plenty of time to spend with you.  Try to avoid the trap of shopping on a weekend.

7.  Don't shop for bridesmaid dresses the same day you shop for your gown.  The day you shop for your gown should be all about you.  There will be enough drama when you take the bridesmaids shopping, don't let it take away from the day you shop for your gown.

8.  Be sure to take alterations into consideration when you are buying your gown and figuring your budget.  A gown that needs extensive alterations may end up being twice the cost after alterations. 

9.  Limit the number of salons you plan to shop.  Go through the bridal magazines, choose some basic styles you like, and find out who carries them locally.  Three or four salons should be plenty.  After that it will stop being fun and start to become a chore.

10. If you live near a state without sales tax buy your dress there. Many states consider bridal gowns a luxury so tax them even if they usually don't tax clothing. 

Are there other considerations? Sure.  But these should help you enjoy your gown shopping experience while still keeping you within your budget.  Get those magazines out, hit the Internet and start the search!  Keep a notebook of styles and manufacturers for reference.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Fish Eggs? Really? You're Sure?

Caviar Compass

Want to wow your wedding guests? Why not combine incredible design with fabulous caviar dishes?  The Caviar Compass above shows off your caviar selection but also adds some color to your appetizer table.  This design was done by a food stylist but you could make your own using stencils.  Recipes at The Nibble.

Looking for something a little easier to execute?  How about the sturgeon caviar on a daikon ring (a large white radish) that sits on top of a slice of peeled cucumber?

Other ideas?  White caviar dip for your veggies adds elegance to a simple serving of crudite.  Find lots of other great caviar ideas at The Nibble.

Is One Enough? Are Three Too Many?

Looking for a unique centerpiece?  Try this three tier fishbowl centerpiece from Woodyatt Warner.  Not up to a tall three tiered centerpiece?  Not to worry. 

Woodyatt Warner makes them in one tier as well.  There are easy to coordinate with wedding colors and themes and when placed on a circular mirror are real showpieces. 

If you're creative you can make them yourself.  Just pick up some inexpensive fishbowls and whatever you are planning for the inside from your favorite craft store, I like Michaels.  Use real flowers, silks or foam flowers.  It's all up to you.  If you like feathers this is a perfect way to display them, curved around the interior of the fishbowl.  No live fish added please!

Faking It-What Every Bride Needs To Know

How to fake it...something every bride needs to know!  No we're not talking orgasms.  Or even fake boobs or fake booties.  We're talking eyelashes.  Whether you're a bride, bridesmaid or the mother of the bride or mother of the groom, there's a good chance you're considering adding some extra lashes for the big day. 

Go to the blog, Defeating The Squirrels and Other Life Lessons, Things I Learned From My Mother And Other Important People In My Life and learn how to do it right. 

Some things we learn from school, some we learn from our mom, but still others we learn from our daughters.  See what the author learned about applying false eyelashes from her daughter. Then try it out yourself.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Golden Eggs At Your Wedding

Looking for a unique way to be sure your guests are talking about the food at your wedding for weeks?  Try serving desserts in these pretty golden egg shells by Confiseur. 

Too hard to make your own? I agree, so head over to FancyFlours website.  The folks at Confisuer sterilize and finely cut them so they have a perfect edge.  (Something you and I would have a tough time duplicating!) 
Shells come in gold, silver, a natural white, or brown.  They are perfect for hot or cold fillings, sweet or savory and almost anything you can think of!

What a stunning way to present tiny candies or to present your desserts.  Add some creme puff filling, some phyllo dough dipped in chocolate and wow your guests.  The eggs come in a set of 10 perfectly cut egg shell vessels. They aren't inexpensive but ... you only get married once!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Bridal Braid

Photo courtesy of: this link

It's romantic.  It's sexy.  And it's perfect for a wedding gown with a low back.  This braided hairstyle really makes a statement.  No veil needed.  Just a few flowers. 

10 Tidbits About Champagne

Everyone should have a few bits of information to share at a cocktail party or when surrounded by total strangers (like at wedding?)--these ten tidbits about champagne fill the bill nicely.  Most of us have had champagne at a variety of celebrations in our lives but many of us know little about it.  So to fill those awkward seconds when you don't have anything to say... some information to share about champagne. 

1.  While you probably already knew that sparkling wine can't be called champagne unless it's from the Champagne region of France, did you know it takes the entire yield of a single vine to make just one bottle of Champagne? This means that as you and five other guests raise their champagne flutes to toast the bride and groom you are consuming the yield from 1 entire vine. 

2.  While you know the Champagne region is famous for the bubbly wine you're drinking, did you know they are also famous for sauerkraut? Odd combination! Hopefully they aren't serving both at the wedding you're attending!

3.  Although most champagne is white, two of the grapes used in it's production are actually red.  A Pinot Noir and a Pinot Meunier.  The white grape used is a simple, but critical white Chardonnay. While there are Blanc de blanc and rosé Champagnes the blanc de noir are the most prevalent.

4. The terms brut and extra brut as often seen on bottles of Champagne.  The term simply means how much sugar there is per liter.  Brut means the wine contains less than 12 grams of sugar in each liter, but extra brut has less than 6 grams of sugar. 

5. If you like sweet sparkling wine try a sec (with 17 to 32 grams of sugar per liter) or a really sugary wine referred to as doux.

6. What's the trick to opening a bottle of champagne? When you are opening a bottle of champagne the trick is to avoid popping the cork.  Start by scoring the foil around the base of the wire cage.  The slowly untwist to loosen the cage, but leave it in place.  Use one hand to enclose the cork and hold the base of the bottle with your other hand. Twist both ends in opposite directions.  As soon as you feel pressure forcing the cork out into your hand, try to push it back into the bottle while twisting gently until the cork is released with a 'sigh.'  No loud pops.  No splashing and foaming wine.  Just a 'sigh.' 

7. What is vintage champagne? Vintage champagne uses all grapes that are harvested in one year.  Each house decides for themselves whether they will produce a vintage champagne each year.  In a very good year only 10-15% of all the Champagne made is Vintage Champagne.  Vintage champagne must be aged at least 3 years.

Non-Vintage Champagne (what most of us drink) is made from grapes from a several different vintages, and not from just one harvest.   Non-vintage champagne is about 85-90% of all champagne and is less expensive than Vintage Champagne.

8. An 1825 bottle of Perrier-Jouët is the oldest champagne opened.  Uncorked in 2009 at the winemaker's cellars in Epernay, the 184 year old wine was found to have aged well.  It was described by wine experts to have notes of "truffles and caramel."

9.  The champagne cork is almost 50% larger then the opening in the bottle before it's inserted.  Take care when uncorking and avoid any 'cork in your eye problems.  You can imagine the compression needed to push that cork into the bottle, so it's going to come out with quite a pop of pressure!

10.  The oldest sparkling wine was not produced by Dom Perignon but by Benedictine monks in the Abbey of Saint Hilaire in 1531. 

Facts from this page, and this one, and this one.


Peacock Feathers and Succulents

Like peacock feathers? Some brides have the panache to pull it off.  Planning on incorporating the peacock feathers into your wedding reception?  How about a placemat made out of feathers?  Just place them under your cupcake holder and they'll form a circular placemat.  Worried they'll get out of place? Glue them to a circular placemat and they'll stay perfectly in place.

Looking for another way to add peacock feathers to your wedding?  Just add them to your menu and place it on top of the napkins at each placesetting.  Trim the feathers so they fit the pocket at the bottom of your menu holder and it's a decorative but easy to make (and very DIY) projects. 

Want to add peacock coloring to your centperpieces? Choose a set of old leather bound books in graduated sizes and use two rectangular vases wrapped in blue and bronze ribbons at each end as bookends.  Simple, easy, and very DIY!

Add peacock colors and feathers to your bouquets but just a touch is enough.  Add ribbons to match the ribbons on your vases for the centerpieces above in bronze and peacock blue and you have a peacock theme wedding without overdoing it.

All photos courtesy of: Erin McFarland Photography/Wedding of Aaron and Jen

Sunday, January 1, 2012

And The Bride Used QR Codes

This QR or Quick Response Code was generated for use on the back of my business cards.  It doesn't have a special offer or other additional information, but that doesn't mean you can't add one. 

For those of you unfamiliar with QR codes, these codes let your cell phone take a quick photo of the QR code and it takes you to the web page or gives you additional information about the person or company who generated the code.  Try the one above, it gives you a little more information. 

How can a bride use these QR codes?  Why not hand out cards to your guests with the photographer's QR code so they can view your photos online?  Fast, easy, and so simple (at least for the tech savvy guests!).  A heads up, warn your guests ahead of time so they have a reader on their phone for the QR codes.

Who else can use QR codes? Wedding vendors find QR codes are a useful tool too.  An easy way to put a lot of info on a business card or to hand out information at a bridal show.  If you're at a bridal show and running a giveaway, have the bride tweet about your business to enter and you'll have a blast of tweets all over the web.  Add another entry when they post on Facebook about you.  The options are endless!  You can offer a discount code embedded in your QR code so that brides who take the time to check out your QR code will find a pleasant surprise.  And what bride doesn't love a way to save money?

What would you put in your QR code?  Hmmm... possibilities are endless.

Wearing Blush? via FrouFruGal on Pinterest

If you're wearing a blush gown at your wedding, or just want a pair of shoes with a little color that doesn't shout 'LOOK AT ME,' this pair of pale pink heels with a delicate flower are the perfect accent for a wedding gown.  I have to admit, I love shoes.  Even impractical ones that I'll only wear once.  But it's your wedding day--go for it! Get some shoes you love for the day you marry the man you love.  Face it, it's a great excuse. 

Don't want to wear these yourself, but in love with them?  Choose bridesmaid dresses that they'll compliment.  The next best thing to wearing them yourself is having your best friends or sisters wearing them!

One of my readers found the source for these great shoes! Read the comments below.  But here's her link! She not only found them, she found them for a great price of $39.99 at Get More Beauty.  Not only that, they come in ivory as well as blush! WTG!

**Please be aware that some readers have noted problems with delivery on this item as noted below in the comment section. Be aware of the refund policies of both your methods of payment and websites you deal with. I hope everyone has a pleasant shopping experience for their wedding.  I am leaving the photo up but warning future readers to read the comments below and please shop safely and cover your back.

Blue, Tiffany Blue

While every bride to be is thrilled if she gets a little blue box from Tiffany's not every groom can afford their upscale prices (even though he'd love to get his bride to be the very best there is).  So bring Tiffany blue to your wedding -- on your feet (the bride's feet that is!)

No, that's not a diamond toe ring I'm talking about... but these Tiffany blue pumps. Pretty, feminine, and not only that, they'll make you look taller (and thus thinner) too!  Almost as good as diamonds!  Anything that makes a woman look taller and thinner is worth it's weight in at least gold, if not diamonds! So get a pretty pair of shoes and look like a million dollars in diamonds from Tiffany's on your wedding day.  And to cap it off, you can wear them after the wedding.  What more can you ask?