Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!

The Bridal Party LLC wishes all of our clients and blog readers/subscribers/lurkers a happy and healthy new year full of wonderful blessings and good fortune.


Best Wishes for 2008!

Rashana

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Create-A-Cake

Earlier today, I came across a cute little cake creating tool hosted by Brides.com. It's called CREATE-A-CAKE!

Brides-to-be are able to choose from a variety of colors, decorations, accents and even toppers. Once done, print the finished design and take it with you to your baker. Great for brainstorming ideas and lots of fun.

Try it now!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Engagement Party Theme: The Ring

I met with a really handsome couple a few weeks ago, who shared fond memories of their engagement party. Seems the party was a huge hit ... thanks to the simplest of themes, the diamond engagement ring! Turns out, there are tons of items available to help take it to another level as well. Take a look at a few:

"With This Ring" His and Her Napkin Rings by American Bridal - "Diamond Ring" Gift Bag by Plum Party - Engagement Ring Cookies by Maine Cakes and Cookies - Big Ring Invitations by PaperStyle

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

For $1000 Or Less

For some, spending $7,000+ on a handmade, couture wedding gown to be worn only once is no big deal. For others, a more practical approach may be desired or necessary depending on the chosen budget. It really depends on the bride and what she ultimately wants.

Since we've already highlighted numerous high-end gowns, here are a few gorgeous choices for $1000 or less.

Happy Shopping!


... and even though it's more than $1000, here's one more J. Crew style, just because it's so feminine and unique (wink).

J. Crew

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Twenty Questions ...

While catching up on my blog-reading, I noticed a really fun post over at Danielle Gregory's Oh Happy Blog! Danielle has great ideas and finds, of which I've been quite intrigued. And today, I've decided to borrow this cute little quiz.

1. Egg nog or hot chocolate? During the holidays, I'm all about egg nog. It's actually a bit obsessive of me (especially since it's so high in cholesterol and I really should not indulge). But hey ... it's only around once a year.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? "Santa," better know as yours truly, always wraps each and every gift. In fact, today I spent about 2-3 hours wrapping the gifts we've accumulated thus far. It's all about presentation with me ... I can't help it, I'm a planner!

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? Though I grew up with colored lights, once I became the head of my own household, it's been white lights or nothing. Trees shine and glow more with white lights, I think.

4. Do you hang mistletoe? I hung mistletoe one year, but no one seemed to be compelled to kiss under it. Haven't hung any since. Bummer.

5. When do you put your decorations up? Traditionally, I would have my decorations up no later than the first weekend of December. This year, I am running waaaay late, and nothing is up as of yet. I feel terrible about it and it's really not like me, but it took me much longer to get into the "spirit" this year.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish? I don't know if I have a favorite dish, but I sure enjoy the egg nog (see question #1).

7. Favorite holiday memory as a child? Growing up, the tradition in my family was everyone meeting for dinner at my great-aunt Bobbie's house. Each kid usually brought their favorite toy received that year, my aunt prepared a HUGE feast and everyone enjoyed laughing and talking with one another. One Christmas, my uncle surprised us kids by dressing up as Santa Claus! He jogged into the room blaring, "Ho Ho Ho ... Merry Christmas!" and we went nuts. Of course, we knew it was Uncle James, but it was so cool to pretend and sit around his feet while he handed out gifts.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? I really don't remember when I learned the truth about Santa, but I'm pretty sure it was early on in my childhood. The whole Santa thing didn't make much sense to me, plus, I well knew that it was my Mommy's hardwork and love that got me everything I wanted for Christmas each year.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Just started doing this last year. A nice little tease, I think. Only when there's company over though.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? Lights first ... tinsel & ribbon ... ornaments. Jewel tones and a gold star atop.

11. Snow, love it or hate it? I love it. Last week New Jersey experienced it's first real snow storm. While it made for a scary drive home, I couldn't resist gazing out of my office window as it fell and marveling at how beautiful it was.

12. Can you ice skate? Barely, but yes!

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? When I was a little girl, there was a talking doll called "Cricket" on the market. Her eyes and mouth moved and she was somewhat interactive. The year she came out, this was the main thing I wanted for Christmas. Cricket was pretty expensive back then, so I knew there was a chance I might not get it, but I hoped and hoped. Christmas morning, I opened all of my gifts ... but no Cricket. I was very disappointed, however, I tried my best not to show it since I had received so many other wonderful gifts. After I went into my bedroom to sulk, I heard the doll's voice coming from the front of our apartment. I walked out there, but I didn't see the doll so I assumed my neighbor (who was only a year or two younger than me) had received it. "Great, oh well" I thought. However, when I turned around to head back to my room, my mother had the doll sitting on the couch! "Nasty trick," I thought ... but I was SO happy. In hindsight, this doll was pretty creepy, but I loved her just the same.

14. What’s the most important thing about the holidays for you? For me ... reflection. In all of the hustle and bustle of the season, I always take time to reflect and respect the REAL significance behind all of this.

15.What is your favorite holiday dessert? Warm Peach Cobbler.

16. What tops your tree? A glittery, golden star. I've never been into angels at the tops of Christmas trees.

17. Which do you prefer, giving or receiving? I'm a giver. I love to shop and I love to surprise my loved ones with the "perfect" gift.

18. What is your favorite Christmas song? "What Child Is This"

19. What is your favorite Christmas movie? "A Christmas Story" It's been my favorite for many, many years. Although, I really love "The Family Stone" as well.

20. What would be the best gift you could receive this year? Hope and health for the new year! 2008 bears many possibilities and I pray I am able to take advantage of them all.

Happy Holidays, from The Andersons

As soon as I came across OfficeMax's Elf Yourself, I just couldn't resist! I had to join in the fun. So, from my family to yours, here's to a good chuckle all the way from Central New Jersey ... courtesy myself and hubby, Keith.

Check Out Santa's Top 2 Elves!

Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

What's On Your Registry?

Bedding ... flatware ... home decor ... luggage ... these are all common items on engaged couple's wedding registry lists. And while it can be fun as well as practical to hand-pick many of the items you'll receive for your wedding, always remember to make it count. Be sure to include one-of-a-kind items, defining pieces that could potentially stay with you until your 50th anniversary, keepsakes to pass down through the generations ... starting with you.

Here are a few of the "hottest" wedding registry picks to consider:

Artisan Stand Mixer

One of the most popular kitchen appliances on the market and also, the prettiest! The Artisan stand mixer is a must for bakers. It boosts 10-speeds and a 5-qt. stainless steel work bowl. A wonderful tool to display on your counter top. Available at Bloomingdales.

Ralph Lauren "Odeon" Bedding

Ralph Lauren's brand has been built and maintained on tradition .... and the antiqued 1930s wallpaper pattern that inspires this collection is timeless. "Odeon" also includes 450 thread-count sateen sheets and the duvet features braided rope edging woven with glistening metallic silver threads. Surprising Note: It's machine washable! Who woulda thunk it?



Apple TV

Download, sync, watch. Is there anything Apple hasn't thought of? Nope! Now there's always something good on TV. Move your movies, shows, photos and more from your iTunes library to your TV. Plus, using the Apple remote makes navigating through the files very easy.





Tiffany Palladium Fine China

Fine bone china is a wise choice when selecting formal dinnerware. This particular collection is also quite extensive, allowing you to add pieces as the years go by with ease. Being both classic and modern, the Palladium set is also versatile ... perfect for both formal and casual occasions. Pieces alternate between hand-painted platinum and hand-painted gold rims. Exquisitely classy by Tiffany & Co.



All-Clad Cookware
One of my absolute favorites ... arguably among the very best cooking tools available today. The All-Clad Stainless Steel 15-Piece Cookware Set is a great beginner's set, perfect for those who love to cook and/or entertain. Safe to use on any cook top and even dishwasher safe. Sure, you can buy a set of pots and pans for a much lower price-tag, but don't forget, you get what you pay for.


Swarovski Crystalline Toasting Flutes
Extremely popular for many years, this set of flutes is still so beautiful. My hubby and I made our first toast as husband and wife with these and every time I take them out, I marvel at how gorgeous they are. Designed by Steven Weinberg for Swarovski, each clear crystal-filled stem has a faceted crystal base and is a perfect gift for any bride and groom.

Personalizable Family History
RedEnvelope is famous for personalization and sentimentality. This personal archive could quickly become a family treasure, where you can record events, document memorable dates, highlight lasting achievements, preserve family traditions and pass genealogical information on to future generations.

Charities

Share the generosity of your loved ones with others in need by donating to charity Here are 3 charity registries to consider:
Changing the Present
I Do Foundation
Just Give

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Water Closet Personalization

Understandably, people often judge venues and locations by their bathrooms. When hosting a wedding ceremony and/or wedding reception, remember to always place emergency toiletries in each bathroom. But, consider further transforming an ordinary ladies' or men's room into a true restroom with impressive little touches ... vases of fresh flowers, scented sachets, chocolate truffles, or maybe even these:

JUTE BASKETS (Ballard Designs)

MONOGRAMMED SOAPS (In This Very Room)

PERSONALIZED TISSUE (Ballard Designs)

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Good Grief!

Non-wedding related for the most part, but really cute! A replica of Charlie Brown's classic pathetic Christmas tree.

One of my colleagues sat his up on his desk and, boy does it turn heads. The set, from Urban Outfitters, comes with one red ball ornament, and bendable branches that make it possible to fold the tree entirely flat for easy storage during non-yuletide times of the year.

Merry Christmas Charlie Brown!!!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Inspiration Board: Old Hollywood Glamour

I was married 3 1/2 years ago and had a BLAST planning my wedding. It was July 17 ... a balmy, vibrant Saturday afternoon ceremony splashed with hues of celadon and pink ... followed by dancing the night away, under the stars, in "Toni Child's Romona Keveza." I LOVED my wedding! But, what if I could do it all over again??? Hmmmm. I think I'd try this:


OLD HOLLYWOOD GLAMOUR
Credits (top and left to right): Mermaid-style Wedding Gown - Ines Di Santo; Laser Etched Plexiglass Invitation - Grapevine Weddings; Satin-draped theme wedding cake; Red Hots Candy Favors - twentyandseven.com; Raspberry White Chocolate "Shots" & Spiraling Red Table Setting - Taste Catering; Red Rose Place cards - (photo courtesy of Modern Bride); Black duet satin soft fluted gown - Alvina Valenta; Dolce & Gabbana Metallic Patent Leather Peep Toe - eLuxury.com; The Hudson Theatre, NY - Millennium Broadway Hotel; Pouch-style Purse embellished with pearls & gold bangles - Lula Guinness; 1937 Rolls Royce Phantom III - Luciens Limo; Candlelit Entry Staircase (photo courtesy of Fete NY)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Save-The-Dates, All Bundled Up

(Note: I'm smiling as I type this post)


Okay, so I have never really been a huge fan of save-the-dates. Unless used to give guests advance notice to a destination and/or holiday weekend wedding, I've always felt save-the-dates take away from the pomp and circumstance of the formal wedding invitation.

Nevertheless, these adorably clever save-the-dates have stolen my heart. I'd find a reason to send these! Absolutely perfect for wedding dates falling close to the holidays ... courtesy of RedBliss, $18 per piece.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

What It Costs To Get Married

I saw this great article in the Fall/Winter 2007 edition of Brides New Jersey and had to post. Over the years, I've come to find that most non-married people really have no idea what type of wedding they can or can not afford upon becoming engaged. This article serves as a pretty good eye-opener to what married-couples-to-be are in store for ... in the tri-state area, especially New Jersey.


MUSIC

  • 4 hours of live music by a popular 13-piece band of accomplished musicians with tour experience: $11,000
  • 5 hours of professional DJ service, plus an MC and a light show: $1,695
  • 4 hours of basic DJ service, plus a pianist for cocktail hour: $1,095

RECEPTION

  • 4-course, plated dinner with 5-hour premium open bar, cocktail hour with passed hors d'oeuvres, champagne toast and wedding cake at a historic garden estate : $245 per person
  • 5-course, plated dinner with 5-hour open bar, buffet hors d'oeuvres, champagne toast, and wedding cake in a ballroom with stunning city views: $150 per person
  • 3-course, family-style dinner, with 4-hour open bar, champagne toast and wedding cake at a reputable Italian restaurant: $50 per person

PHOTOGRAPHY

  • Deluxe package from a photojournalist with 20 years of experience, including two hours of rehearsal-dinner coverage, unlimited wedding-day coverage plus assistant, DVD presentation, online gallery, and 30-page bridal album: $9,100
  • Premium package from a wedding photographer, including unlimited wedding-day coverage, wedding-album design session, and image CD: $2,995
  • Standard package by a wedding photographer from a wedding-planning center, including 6 hours of coverage, 3 photo albums and 1 11"x14" print: $975

CAKE

  • Fondant-covered red velvet cake with sugar flowers from a landmark baker, serves 140: $1,400
  • Fondant-covered vanilla cake with chocolate ganache and strawberry mousse filling, by a pastry chef who works out of her home, serves 140: $750
  • Buttercream-covered vanilla pound cake with raspberry filling, from a family owned bakery, serves 150: $495

FLOWERS (bouquets)

  • Bouquet of hydrangeas, roses and miniature calla lilies, garnished with berries from a floral design studio that has been featured in bridal magazines: $225
  • Bouquet of cymbidium orchids, roses, mini spray roses and faux diamonds by an event florist: $195
  • Bouquet of lilies, dendrobium orchids, larkspur, roses, Italian ruscus and asters wrapped in satin ribbon from a small flower shop: $65


And for those of you who live outside of New Jersey or major metropolitan cities, http://www.costofwedding.com/ can help you get an idea of what your wedding will add up to be.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Any Way You Slice It

The idea of the groom's cake began as a Southern tradition and lately, has become more and more popular at weddings. These days, the groom's cake could be any reflection of his hobbies, favorite sport, alma mater or even his profession. Some groom's cakes are served at the rehearsal dinner, however, most times this alternative confection accompanies the wedding cake itself.

So here's to giving your sports enthusiast, wine expert, cigar connoisseur, billiards addict, hip-hop junkie, soon-t0-be-ball-and-chain a little piece of the spotlight. Take note of these fabulous ideas that'll make your groom's cake the talk of your wedding!



Thursday, November 22, 2007

From My Family To Yours

Have a very safe and blessed Thanksgiving!

(Turkey Place Card Holders by Beau-Coup)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Picture-Perfect Party Dresses

Engaged, newly married or just enjoying yourself single ... be sure to check out these picture-pleasing dresses if you're party bound.

Satin & Sequin Cocktail Dress by Jovani Fashions, Jovani - Black Sparkle Trim Sheath by Iodice, Neiman Marcus - Ruffle Ivory & Teal Dress by Mint Jodi Arnold, ShopBop - Lace Strapless Dress by BCBGMAXAZRIA, Nordstrom

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Oprah's Favorite Things!

Like thousands of people, I record The Oprah Show everyday on our DVR. And no matter what, this time every year, I look most forward to the Oprah's Favorite Things show. To my surprise, today was the day!

Apparently, most of Oprah's ratings come from Macon, Georgia and as a "thank you" to the residents, the show was filmed in Macon in front of an audience of gracious locals. So Nice!

Here's the 2007 rundown, just in time for the start of holiday shopping.


UNITED ARTISTS 90TH ANNIVERSARY PRESTIGE COLLECTION
UGG® AUSTRALIA CLASSIC CROCHET TALL BOOT
TOYWATCH WATCHES
THE PILLARS OF THE EARTH BY KEN FOLLETT
THE DISCOVERY CHANNEL'S PLANET EARTH DVD SET
THE ARTISAN® STAND MIXER FROM KITCHENAID HOME APPLIANCES
SHAKLEE GET CLEAN™ STARTER KIT
SCRABBLE PREMIER EDITION FROM HASBRO
SAMSUNG PROGRESSIVE HD CAMCORDER SC-HMX10C
RACHEL PALLY SWING TURTLENECK AND SAILOR PANTS
PERFECT ENDINGS CUPCAKES FROM WILLIAMS-SONOMA
O'S GUIDE TO LIFE
MELAMINE BOWLS, MEASURING CUPS AND SPOONS FROM WILLIAMS-SONOMA
KAI BODY BUTTER and BODY BUFFER
JOSH GROBAN'S NOEL CD
HDTV REFRIGERATOR WITH WEATHER AND INFO CENTER FROM LG ELECTRONICS
CLARISONIC SKIN CARE SYSTEM
CIAO BELLA BLOOD ORANGE SORBETTO
BREVILLE IKON PANINI PRESS FROM WILLIAMS-SONOMA
CLAUS PORTO SOAPS FROM LAFCO NEW YORK

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