Tuesday, March 30, 2010

10 Wedding Questions You Didn't Know To Ask

I just read the cutest, yet informative, little article over at TheKnot.  Each question is 100% valid and should be paid attention to (especially #4).  Definitely worth the read, so I thought I'd share:
After a few months of wedding planning, you start to feel like a pro. You've already memorized all the in-season flowers, can name the top 20 wedding dress designers alphabetically and are on a first-name basis with every single member on staff at your reception venue. Still, there's bound to be a couple of questions that you forgot to ask. Let us help fill it in for you.

1. When should I take off my veil after the ceremony?

Everyone loves to talk about the veil, but nobody tells you exactly when to ditch it. While it's perfectly okay to wear the veil for the entire reception, there are two optimal times to take it off. The first is after the ceremony (have your hairstylist show a bridesmaid how to do this without messing up your 'do), and the second is after the first dance while your guests are eating. Once the veil's off, stick it in your bridal suite or have it "decorate" your chair.

2. How should our wedding party travel to the reception?

We bet you and your groom planned a perfect ceremony exit where you hop into a vintage Rolls-Royce and ride off to the reception. That sounds great, but yes, you're responsible for getting your wedding party there too. If you're going casual and want them to simply drive over, let everyone know this beforehand so they can carpool. Otherwise, rent a stretch limo, go vintage with a trolley or let them be kids again by cruising in a budget-friendly school bus -- of course, feel free to tag along for the ride!

3. Do I really need someone to hold my dress while I pee?

This depends on the dress. If you're wearing a full-length ball gown, you'll probably need an extra set of hands to help hold up the skirt while you do your thing. Trust us -- the cost versus the benefit on this is a no-brainer. But if you're sporting a silk sheath and a posse pee makes you cringe, go ahead and handle your own business. Another tip: There's a pee-ready Spanx designed with a hole in, well, just the right place. We'll stay classy and resist the oh-so-obvious dirty joke opportunity here.

4. Is there an appropriate way to kiss at the ceremony?

Remember the day he proposed, and you saw the ring and the tears in his eyes, and then you two started making out like maniacs? Yeah, don't do that. But your first kiss as a married couple doesn't have to be just a peck either. Do what comes naturally, as long as it doesn't involve visible tongue and last more than 10 seconds. Oh, and don't do the dip thing either -- unless of course you want to look like you belong in a Hugh Grant movie.

5. What exactly do the bride and groom do during the cake cutting?

The cake cutting typically takes place after dinner when your bandleader or DJ makes an announcement (you can also do this). If you have older guests who might be leaving early, do your cake cutting at the beginning of the reception just before the first dance. For the first cut, your groom's hands are placed over yours as you cut into the bottom layer of the cake. The groom makes the second cut solo and feeds the bride, and then it's your turn.

6. Where do I put my engagement ring during the ceremony?

Wear the ring on your right hand or have your aunt or grandma hold it. If you want to wear your engagement ring for the reception, put it on during the ride to your venue or just before being announced. For Jewish weddings, it's fine to wear your engagement ring, and then exchange stone-free wedding bands if you want to keep with tradition. Also remember: The band is usually worn closest to your heart on your left hand.

7. Who lifts my veil?

While more and more brides are wearing a veil flipped back for the entire ceremony or not wearing one at all, the most traditional bride still wears a veil over her face. If you like to keep things classic, there are two options. One is your dad lifts the veil when he gives you away, "revealing" you to the groom (like you really need help with that one). The other is for the groom to lift the veil just before the kiss.

8. What side are we supposed to stand on during the ceremony?

If you're in a church facing the altar, the bride stands on the left side and the groom on the right. Guests of the bride and groom should follow suit, sitting on the side of whoever they know best or are related to (hint: tell mutual friends to sit on the side that has less people). For Jewish ceremonies, it's the opposite.

9. What's the best way to greet guests if I don't want a receiving line?

Yeah, we get it -- you don't want to stand around after the ceremony in an assembly line. Instead, greet your guests during the reception by going from table to table during the first course. Just make sure you have time to eat too! Also, make a short speech thanking guests for coming and give a shout-out to vendors and parents (or anyone else who helped pay for your wedding!). While this moment with the mic shouldn't take the place of personal interaction with guests, it can be a great forum to let them know how much their support means to you.

10. Can I take my shoes off at any time during the reception?

We've all been to the wedding where guests cut loose on the dance floor and ditch the heels. But it's a little different when you're the bride -- especially if you're wearing a formal dress. Instead of going barefoot, bring a pair of flats for dancing. If you're getting married in the summer, have baskets of flip-flops in your wedding colors for your guests to slip into before they get down. There's one exception to the shoes-or-lose rule: beach weddings!
(image above courtesy of TheKnot)

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by Rashana Anderson
Founder & Managing Director, THE BRIDAL PARTY

Monday, March 29, 2010

Honeymoon Suit-able

I always remind my clients to remember to shop special items especially for their honeymoon, not just for the BIG DAY.  So, my advice to all of you is to head on over to Anthropologie (one of my absolute favorite shopping destinations) and check out their latest swim collection.  It's "beyond basic."  You won't find anything average or run-of-the-mill about their suits.

You're sure to make a splash in one of these!


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by Rashana Anderson
Founder & Managing Director, THE BRIDAL PARTY

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

To Have & To Hold

As you cross the dress, the jewelry, the shoes, the veil and the shoes off your list...don't forget the bag! You'll need something lovely to hold your day-of essentials. But consider staying away from the plain stark-white styles you'll likely only get to wear once. There are lots of options that would work beautifully with your wedding attire, but could also work for future parties and events once you're a Mrs.

Here are some of our favs, whether you're looking to stick close to the white family or if you're daring enough to infuse a pop of color:

Nine West Neves Clutch


Paparazzi Veronica Hard Clutch


Prada Vernice Clutch


Judith Leiber Package Clutch


J.Crew Flutter-Flower Clutch

Karen Millen Sequin Bow Clutch


Santi Hand-Beaded Clutch
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by Rashana Anderson
Founder & Managing Director, THE BRIDAL PARTY

Monday, March 22, 2010

Do Them A "Favor"

I will always be an advocate for favors that are either "practical" or "edible."  After all, it isn't likely wedding/event guests will have much use for a ceramic trinket with a ribbon displaying the couple's names and wedding date hot-glued on. So during last week's sneak peek into Spring (80 degree sunny weather) here in the NJ/NY area, my husband and I decided to stop into Cold Stone Creamery and I was reminded of their novelty cupcakes! These ice-cream cupcakes debuted last year and were supposed to be offered for a limited time only, but it seems they're here for a while longer. They come in packs of six and include a layer of cake, fudge and super premium ice-cream, all inside a rich chocolate shell.

Cold Stone Creamery offers the following flavors:
  1. Cake Batter Delux: red velvet cake with fudge and cake batter ice cream in a rich Belgian chocolate shell, topped with pink frosting and sprinkles
  2. Sweet Cream: yellow cake with fudge and sweet cream ice cream in a rich Belgian chocolate shell, topped with Butter-creme frosting and Duo Mistrals topping
  3. Double Chocolate Devotion: devil's food cake with fudge and chocolate ice cream in a rich Belgian chocolate shell, topped with Butter-creme frosting and Oreo cookie
Now this is a favor your guests would absolutely love! Perfect for showers and birthdays too.

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by Rashana Anderson
Founder & Managing Director, THE BRIDAL PARTY

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Fabulous & "50"

I've been enjoying planning a celebration for my Mommy, who's celebrating this golden birthday in just a few weeks.  I finished printing, preparing and mailing the invitations for her fabulous affair a few days ago, so invited guests should have received yesterday.  I really love this style, featuring an ultra-chic velvet zebra print pocket.  Who doesn't love a 3-dimensional textured piece of stationary?! Definitely befitting my mother and the upcoming party.  So, I thought I'd share a few photos of the finished product!


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by Rashana Anderson
Founder & Managing Director, THE BRIDAL PARTY

Friday, March 19, 2010

Sports Royalty Coming Soon to "Platinum Weddings"

Former Superbowl Champion Aaron Ross of the NY Giants and Olympic Track and Field Gold Medalist Sanya Richards recently wed in Austin, Texas and it was a spectacular event! So spectacular, that their wedding will be featured soon on Platinum Weddings.

The ceremony was held in a gorgeous house of worship, followed by an awesome 500-guest reception (which took place at The Four Seasons resort).  Not only were the bride and groom celebrating the beginning of their lives together as husband and wife, but it was also Sanya's birthday - how sweet!  

Check out Sanya's gorgeous St. Pucci Couture gown (she changed 3 times by the way), the groom's debonair custom Giorgio Armani tuxedo, the jaw-dropping floral design/decor, the classy wedding party attire, the show-stopping 5-tier wedding cake and the little touch of sportsmanlike personalization:

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by Rashana Anderson
Founder & Managing Director, THE BRIDAL PARTY

Cheers!

A cocktail hour is even more celebratory with signature drinks dedicated to the bride and groom, and the occasion of their wedding. I've always loved the idea of a single signature drink, but here lately I have suggested my clients implement martini bars that offer a plethora of options and tastes. This is also an awesome wow-factor addition for engagement parties and bridal showers. Guests love the novelty and will definitely have fun with it.

Here are a few of my favorites, along with ingredients:

The Tuxedo
* 2 ounces London dry gin
* 1 ounce dry sherry
* 1 dash orange bitters







Sealed With A Kiss
* 2 ounces chocolate liqueur such as Godiva or Crème de Cacao
* 1.5 ounces vodka
* 1 Hershey's Kiss











Blushing Bride
* 1 ounce peach schnapps
* 1 ounce grenadine
* 4 ounces Champagne







Wedding Cake Martini
* 2 ounces vanilla vodka
* 1 ounce pineapple juice
* 1 ounce cranberry juice
* 1 teaspoon artificial sweetener (1 package)



  

The Proposal
* 2 ounces vodka
* 1 ounce triple sec
* Squeeze of fresh lime juice
* Splash of cranberry juice



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by Rashana Anderson
Founder & Managing Director, THE BRIDAL PARTY

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Kleinfeld Spring Sample Sale

Shop the Kleinfeld April SAMPLE SALE!
Sunday, April 18th
(One-hour appointments available only)

Save up to 70% on sample gowns from top bridal designers, including Alvina Valenta, Amalia Carrara, Amarilidine, Amsale, Amy Michelson, Anne Barge, Badgley Mischka, Carolina Herrera, Christos, Claire Pettibone, Danielle Caprese, Edgardo Bonilla, Eve of Milady, Henry Roth, Ian Stuart, Jim Hjelm, Judd Waddell, Justina McCaffrey, Kenneth Pool, Lazaro, Liancarlo, Marisa, Melissa Sweet, Michelle Roth, Monique Lhuillier, Peter Langner, Pnina Tornai, Priscilla of Boston, Reem Acra, Rivini, Romona Keveza, Stephen Yearick, Tara Keeley, and many other famous Kleinfeld exclusive European designers.

Also, receive up to 50% off a select group of accessories!

Call (646) 633-4300 today to make your sample sale appointment.

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by Rashana Anderson
Founder & Managing Director, THE BRIDAL PARTY

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Bouts With Boutonnières

(photo courtesy of Martha Stewart Weddings)

Pinning groom and groomsmen boutonnières may sound like an easy task, but trust me, it's not as easy as it looks (unless you know what you're doing). So, I've put together a brief step-by-step guide along with a little eye-candy. After all, the last thing anyone wants to see is a groom taking his vows with a lopsided boutonnière that's just seconds from falling off. Thus, the task of pinning should certainly be taken seriously.

So, without any further ado ... brides, grooms and members of my staff (wink @ Jocelyn), take note:

Step 1* Hold the boutonnière by its stem with the front facing you.

Step 2* Place the boutonnière 4 inches below the tip of the gentleman's shoulder, onto the left lapel.

Step 3* Take a step back to confirm placement of the boutonnière before attempting to pin.

Step 4* In an upward motion, pierce the fabric from behind the lapel, with a sturdy straight pin, through the bottom of the stem of the boutonnière and then back again through the lapel. Depending on the size of the boutonnière and the size of the pin, you may repeat the above step more than once until secure. (only a small portion of the pin should be visible, if at all)

Step 5* Ensure the pin does not poke out underneath the fabric and check that it also will make no contact with the skin. And if you're working with a rather large boutonnière, feel free to use a second pin as an anchor.

Here are a few additional boutonnière ideas:

(additional photos courtesy of WeddingChannel.com, JK Photography and April Hiler Designs)

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by Rashana Anderson
Founder & Managing Director, THE BRIDAL PARTY

Monday, March 15, 2010

THIS WEEK ONLY: Ann Taylor Weddings & Events

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by Rashana Anderson
Founder & Managing Director, THE BRIDAL PARTY

Friday, March 12, 2010

Hot Off Our Press...

Brides and friends-of-brides, we just made our Press Kit public and available for download! It's a quick and easy way to learn about THE BRIDAL PARTY, our services, our philosophy and our style.


This, our official company Press Kit, also features a glimpse into some of the photography representing our recent work. And thanks to Google Docs, you may view and/or download a copy at your leisure. You are even able to easily share it with your friends (which we'd LOVE for you to do).

Thank you, in advance, for your support!

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by Rashana Anderson
Founder & Managing Director, THE BRIDAL PARTY

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Vera Wang Trunk Show

Exquisite Bride is holding a Vera Wang Trunk Show from March 19 to March 21, at their Millburn, New Jersey location. Don't miss out on Vera Wang gowns not yet in stores and receiving trunk show discounts and incentives!

Check out their other upcoming events too:
  • Reem Acra Trunk Show, March 12-14 (Princeton location)
  • Blow Out Designer Sample Sale, April 6-18 (Millburn location) --- Wedding gowns from Reem Acra, Anne Barge, Ulla Maija, Jim Hjelm and more!
Call today to make your appointment today!

Exquisite Bride
110 Essex Street
Millburn, NJ 07041
(973) 376-2770

Exquisite Bride
107 Main Street
Princeton Forestal Village
Princeton, NJ 08540
(609) 452-7200

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by Rashana Anderson
Founder & Managing Director, THE BRIDAL PARTY

Photo Op!

I ran across this awesomely cute handmade hanger over at Wedding Tidbits: Kelly McWilliams' Blog, courtesy of her New Years Bride.  Great photo op, huh?  This definitely beats the common-place "Mrs. So-and-So" jogging suits or boyshorts.

You should be able to finagle one of your own on Etsy!

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by Rashana Anderson
Founder & Managing Director, THE BRIDAL PARTY

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Casting Call: Whose Wedding Is It Anyway?

Are you or someone you know planning a wedding, but the never-ending tasks keep getting in the way? Are you and your fiancé fun and fabulous, but drowning in details? Then get hooked up with a top-notch wedding planner to help organize the wedding of your dreams and take you down the aisle in style!

The Style Network is looking for couples who want to share their wedding-preparation adventures with the hit prime-time wedding series, Whose Wedding Is It Anyway? ... plus, they'll help you pay for some of your wedding costs!

They're especially interested in 2 types of wedding stories:
Brides and grooms who have extremely DIFFERENT IDEAS of what their dream wedding should be (theme, venue, indoor/outdoor, cuisine, formal/informal). We will put you head to head with your fiancé in various reality-style competitions to fight for your wedding vision – we will see who really is the better half!

OR

Two couples who are interested in having a joint wedding (best friends, sisters, roommates, people who want the same venue, etc. ) Have you or someone you know ever thought of sharing their wedding day with a good friend or family member to make the most unique double wedding of a lifetime?
So, if you're getting married or would you like to get married between March and July 2010*, send an email with your story and recent photos to us right away. The deadline for applications is April 1, 2010.

*All participants must be 21 years of age or older. 

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by Rashana Anderson
Founder & Managing Director, THE BRIDAL PARTY

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Who Says You Can't Get Married EVERY Year?

Well, you can get married every year...just ask Barbara "Barbie" Millicent Roberts, who turns 51 years old today! She and her beau of 44 years, Ken, have realized getting married as many times as possible is the key to maintaining their loving and successful relationship.  She's even had the unique opportunity to wear some of the most beautiful couture pieces by Vera Wang, Monique Lhuillier, Bob Mackie, Carolina Herrera and Reem Acra (pictured below).
Must be nice! (wink)


Happy Birthday, Barbie!

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by Rashana Anderson
Founder & Managing Director, THE BRIDAL PARTY

Monday, March 8, 2010

Cues From The Red Carpet: 2010 Oscars

The 82nd Annual Academy Awards aired Sunday night and I'd been looking forward to it for months. This is our 3rd year posting cues from the red carpet for brides, but I believe this display of fashion was the most impressive. Last year we saw lots of lace and bling. This year, lots of light colors and flowing fabrics.

Here are a few cues from the red carpet I've compiled for brides:
(click on bridal fashions to enlarge)

Anna Kendrick wearing Elie Saab
(Inspired options for brides: David Fielden, AcQuachiara)

 Diane Kruger wearing Chanel
(Inspired options for brides: Elizabeth Fillmore, Jenny Packham)

 Elizabeth Banks wearing Versace
(Inspired options for brides: Avine Perucci Collection, Platinum for Priscilla of Boston)

 Jennifer Lopez wearing Armani Prive
(Inspired options for brides: Anne Barge, Ian Stuart)

Miley Cyrus wearing Jenny Packham
(Inspired options for brides: Monique Lhuillier, RS Couture)

Sandra Bullock wearing Marchesa
(Inspired options for brides: Beth Ellis, Jenny Lee)

 Tina Fey wearing Michael Kors
(Inspired options for brides: Anjolique Bridal, Jennifer Salzman)

 Vera Farmiga wearing Marchesa
(Inspired options for brides: Ian Stuart, Sposa by St. Pucchi)

Zoe Saldana wearing Givenchy Haute Couture by Riccardo Tisci
(Inspired options for brides: Impression Bridal, La Sposa)
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by Rashana Anderson
Founder & Managing Director, THE BRIDAL PARTY

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