Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Where To Watch The "Moon" With Your "Honey"

Now that summer's here and we're in the thick of wedding season, it seems befitting for everyone to turn their attention to the ultimate vacation...THE HONEYMOON! Per the Online Etymology Dictionary, the word "honeymoon" dates back to 1546, but is likely much older. "Honey" was a reference to the new marriage's sweetness, while "moon" referred to how long bliss would probably last (where use of the moon was a comparison, as it wanes as soon as it is full...similar to the affections of a newly married couple, being most tender right after marriage).

Since the honeymoon is likely the best of times between newlyweds, brides and grooms are paying special attention to their location options. Here are a few of my personal favorite destinations and resorts for honeymoons, the last being my absolute #1 choice:
(photos courtesy of TripAdvisor.com)

Cap Juluca - ANGUILLA

If there is one place that embodies the romance, serenity and physical beauty of The Caribbean, it’s Cap Juluca. Located along the intimate crescent of Maundays Bay, Cap Juluca’s Moorish architecture and Moroccan décor are as timeless as the sea itself.

And thanks to a $22-million renovation, Cap Juluca is tailored to today’s travelers and seekers of solace, yet focused on improving your overall resort experience.

 

Hotel Casadelmar - CORSICA, FRANCE

Located in Porto-Vecchio, the Casadelmar Hotel welcomes you on the splendid Corse island.  This unique Corsican destination ensures to its guests luxury and relaxation in an outstanding location.

Situated on a hill, the hotel features many services including the gardens with cypress and olive trees, that stretch from terrace to terrace, a sumptuous swimming pool, a magnificent spa and a restaurant.


Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi - CHIANG MAI, THAILAND

Spread over 60 acres of natural landscapes, a self contained world of beauty, incorporating serene paddy fields and exotic plantations.

Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi
is Chiang Mai’s only luxury hotel and resort where you can enjoy one of the world’s most beautiful spas and surround yourself with the rich heritage of the Lanna Kingdom.



The Caves - NEGRIL, JAMAICA

Poised on the limestone cliffs of Negril's scenic West End in Jamaica, The Caves capture all the essence of a seductive oceanfront sanctuary. 11 exclusive cliffside accommodations, a Private Cave Dining, a sensual Cave Rum & Cigar Bar, and a seaview Aveda Amenity Spa offer a refreshingly organic interpretation of romance.


InterContinental Thalasso-Spa - BORA BORA, FRENCH POLYNESIA

InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa is located between the “two hearts” of Motu Piti Aau, a coral island on the barrier reef. The Deep Ocean Spa is the centerpiece, but the resort offers lots of cultural and recreational activities to fill your days including canoeing, kayaking, snorkeling, stargazing and handicraft demonstrations.


Dar Ayniwen - MARRAKECH, MOROCCO

Dar Ayniwen is a unique establishment, half -way between a family home and a luxury hotel.  It is a voyage into an atmosphere created by a passion for perfection. Tranquility, quality and style are the keynotes of the 8 suites, all boasting international five-star standards of comfort.  Intimate and decorated with museum quality antiques, each suite is also open onto the gardens.


Musha Cay - EXUMA CHAIN, BAHAMAS

Musha Cay is actually 11 private islands owned by renowned magician David Copperfield.  The private island resort has 7 private beachs and 5 houses, offering activities such as snorkeling, diving, windsurfing, a gym, and walking paths.

For special events such as an unforgettable wedding, a 25-year anniversary, a multigenerational family reunion, or to celebrate a special achievement or windfall, Musha Cay is without equal. Only 24 guests – invited by you – can enjoy the resort at any one time.

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by Rashana Anderson
Founder & Managing Director, THE BRIDAL PARTY

Thursday, June 25, 2009

If You Like It...Then Put Your Stamp On It! (wha-oh-oh-oh-oh-ooh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh)

It's all about first impressions and they're hard to break, so never forget how important your wedding invitations are. Try not to fall into thinking such as "The invitations are only going to end up in the garbage, so who cares about that." Contrarily, you should pay very close attention to the style, formality and design of your wedding invitation, as this will set the tone for your event. For example, if you're having a casual intimate affair, it would be best to steer clear of overly embellished invitation sets with fancy wax seals. This may encourage female guests to attend in gowns as opposed to more appropriate cocktail dresses. Alternatively, if you're wedding is being held at a castle featuring two live bands and a caviar station, you'd want to skip the DIY invitation kits available at Staples.

There's something out there for everyone, so start early and do your research. Here's a sampling of what's new and fresh in the marketplace just to get you started (all photos courtesy of Brides.com):


 
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by Rashana Anderson
Founder & Managing Director, THE BRIDAL PARTY

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Weekly Wedding Eye-Candy: 6/24/09

Our Weekly Wedding Eye-Candy today features none other than a recent New York City wedding. Ok, so I might be a little biased having grown up in the tri-state area fully believing there's no wedding like a NYC wedding, but I can't help but think this may actually have some truth to it. Of course, with the right photographer, a wedding ANYWHERE can look like a million bucks...but in this case it's a New York wedding AND Jason Groupp is one of those "right" photographers.

When I first saw these gorgeous photos I thought of my favorite Sex & The City character, Charlotte York Goldenblatt.  Without a doubt, Charlotte would have had this type of wedding. I'd say my favorite details are the stunning vintage white anemone bouquet, chandelier-style centerpieces and, last but not least, the gown.

Feast your eyes ...
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by Rashana Anderson
Founder & Managing Director, THE BRIDAL PARTY

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Happy Little Feet

 (photo courtesy of Lumiere Imaging)

There's a reason why women LOVE shoes...because designers start us off with such snazzy options as little girls! When shopping for flower girl shoes, remember to check these out.  I just love the ones with little "heels."  Too cute!

 
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by Rashana Anderson
Founder & Managing Director, THE BRIDAL PARTY

Thursday, June 18, 2009

NOMINATE Us!


Calling All After "YES," Before "I DO" and Everything In Between Blog Readers!

WeddingChannel.com has announced the launch of its first annual Bridal Blog Awards program. Now through July 8th, WeddingChannel.com invites all wedding bloggers and their loyal fans to nominate their blogs for this exciting new program. So, go on over and nominate us today!

Here's how it works:
Just go to the Bridal Blog Nominations board.
Create a new post and call it After "YES," Before "I DO" and Everything In Between.
Then, be sure and follow this format with the below information:
  1. After "YES," Before "I DO" and Everything In Between
  2. The url:  http://thebridalpartyllc.blogspot.com/
  3. Short description of our blog (i.e. Wedding Planning Blog)
  4. A link to your favorite post that reflects our style and category (i.e Inspiration Board: Plum Perfect - http://thebridalpartyllc.blogspot.com/search?q=plum+perfect
  5. Why you want After "YES," Before "I DO" and Everything In Between to win?
And on July 14, WeddingChannel.com will unveil the most noteworthy finalists. Visitors can then vote for their favorites until July 21. Plus, voters will have the opportunity to select their pick for the "Best Overall Wedding Blog," which will not only have the honor of this recognition, but whose blogger will also win a vacation to Ottley's Plantation Inn in St. Kitts. The winner will be announced on July 22.

Many thanks to you all, in advance. We're so excited!
Happy nominating...

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by Rashana Anderson
Founder & Managing Director, THE BRIDAL PARTY

Put Him To Work

Coffee break...
Here's a cute and comedic video on how to include your groom in the wedding planning, courtesy of Love U and YourTango.com!



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by Rashana Anderson
Founder & Managing Director, THE BRIDAL PARTY

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Weekly Wedding Eye-Candy: 6/17/09

Our Weekly Wedding Eye-Candy for today features a recent wedding that took place in San Diego, California. The ceremony and reception were held in Balboa Park's gardens and restaurant and the couple's photographer, Stephanie Williams, simply outdid herself. The soft texture and romance captured with each photo is amazing. In addition to the amazing use of the pink, navy and purple hues, I really loved how the bride's ensemble was trendy, albeit classy. And as the saying goes, "sometimes less is more," here's a prime example of just that.

Feast your eyes ...
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by Rashana Anderson
Founder & Managing Director, THE BRIDAL PARTY

Monday, June 15, 2009

Ask Rashana: Anything But Run-Of-The-Mill

(photo courtesy of The Marconi Automotive Museum)

Dear Rashana,
I'm very interested in giving my wedding guests a "different experience." I've been to about 15 weddings in my lifetime and not-surprisingly they were all very, very similar. I want my wedding to be unique and provide our family and friends with something they're not used to. While I'm not a fan of making big changes to our religious ceremony, I am interested in exploring unique options for the reception. What reception formats could you suggest?

Anything But Run-Of-The-Mill


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Dear Anything But Run-Of-The-Mill,
I'm so glad you asked this question. I think the idea of selecting a less-than-traditional reception format is a magnificient idea. As long as you're sure to include the best man's toast and wedding cake, it's up to you.  Now, the time and formality of your wedding is key to selecting the appropriate reception format.  If your reception starts at 6, it's quite likely your guests will expect to be ushered into a grand ballroom of 15-20 tables for a 3-5 course meal.  Still, there are options to consider if you're interested in throwing them a curve ball and ensure they're pleasantly surprised:

MORNING WEDDING (at or before noon) - a great way to save money and provide guests with an experience they're probably not used to.  This will also allow them to make plans for later in the evening if they like.
(photo courtesy of The Comfort Hotel Esplanaden)
  • Seated Breakfast: serve a variety of breakfast foods and confections...perhaps even heart-shaped pancakes, quiche, mini-eggs benedict and signature mimosas!
  • Seated Brunch: serve light lunch foods in conjunction with breakfast favorites...multi-flavored crepes and frittata would be perfect inclusions.
  • Buffet Brunch/Lunch:  allow guests to serve themselves via omelet, waffle, crepe and carving stations.  For a WOW factor, layer in a smoked salmon and/or caviar station. And remember to include specialty coffees!
AFTERNOON WEDDING - your options at this time of day can range from a relaxed gathering featuring tea and hors d'oeuvres to a formal sit-down.
 
(photo courtesy of A Practical Wedding Blog)
  • Afternoon Tea: served after a midday ceremony, you could offer a beautiful buffet of finger sandwiches, petit fours and champagne or an English high tea complete with cold meats, fish and cakes served as a light supper on fine china.  For a nice twist, consider also serving Long Island Iced Teas along with the other traditional teas.
  • Picnic Reception:  if you're having an outdoor wedding, consider packaging individual meals in disposable cardboard picnic boxes (personalized, of course).  Spread out blankets and set up a beverage buffet featuring blueberry lemonade, raspberry iced tea, etc.
  • Champagne & Cake Reception: lots of mingling, lots of toasts, big savings.  Just remember to include "champagne and cake to follow" on your invitation so guests will not expect a meal.
EVENING WEDDING (at or after six) - the most common and also considered the most formal.
 
(photo courtesy of Elegant Affairs Catering)
  • Cocktail Reception: this happens to be one of my personal favorites because it's stylish and posh!  You could offer your guests of a plethora of hors d'oeuvres either passed or placed on display.  My recommendation here would be to include mini-meals, such as short ribs with polenta and aspargus spears, mini burgers with milkshake shots (pictured above), or sirloin atop a bed of mashed potatoes and crispy onions.
  • The After Party: after the formal reception, allow your guests to really let their hair down by creating a lounge atmosphere featuring chic furniture, fantastic lighting and an hour or two of dancing followed by "midnight snacks" which could be mini ice-cream cones, fresh berry martinis or even early breakfast sandwiches!
  • Desserts Reception:  you'll want to make sure this starts after eight in the evening and treat everyone to a wealth of sweets, in addition to wedding cake.  Here also throw in a specialty coffee and/or brandy/port/whiskey station.
Best of luck to you!

Rashana Anderson
Founder & Managing Director, THE BRIDAL PARTY

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