Monday, September 24, 2012

"Circus-Circus" 2nd Birthday Party

On Saturday our twins, Jonah & Gia, turned 2!  It's unbelievably hard to believe two years have gone by already, but we were sure to celebrate to the max with a "CIRCUS-CIRCUS" party.  Unlike the twins' "Farm Sweet Farm" party last year, my husband held me to a small and strict budget which meant I had to get very creative when planning this little soiree.  I re-purposed a lot, I shopped around a lot, I crafted a lot and I baked a lot.  But, I must admit the DIY approach made the success of the party all the more rewarding.  Everyone had an absolute blast, especially the guests of honor!

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Instead of purchasing three-dimensional invitations, I decided to send electronic invites which featured the cutest colors and circus graphics.  Family and friends really got a kick out of the animation and were extremely excited to celebrate with "The Greatest Twins On Earth."

I rented specialized children's party furniture to ensure each and every one of our 15 "little" guests were comfy, then covered the table with a bright blue table cloth.  The place settings consisted of yellow polka-dot placemats, circus tent plates, red whirly-wonder cups and personalized buckets of surprises, which served as party favors.  Each miniature galvanized bucket featured a chalkboard where I was able to write in each child's name.  Then I placed a miniature slinky, box of animal crackers, a kazoo and a clown nose (of course).

The usual circus-like treats were on hand, including hot-dogs and pizza.  Guests also enjoyed cotton candy, popcorn, "strongman dumbbells" (chocolate dipped marshmallows), circus cookies, gourmet sodas and lemonade.  And instead of ordering birthday cakes and cupcakes, this year I decided they'd be made-by-Mommy!  I created each cake with lots of love, featuring bright rainbows inside, and even made personalized cake buntings to match.  The cupcakes were a huge hit too, featuring balloon toppers, pop rocks and cotton candy dollops.  

ACTIVITIES:  One of the twins' birthday presents was their very own circus-tent bounce house and it was also a perfect celebratory space for the kids.  We conducted potato sack races, played pin the nose of the clown and musical chairs as well, plus created individual circus scenes with fancy stickers and backgrounds.

It was pretty easy finding most of the big top items needed to round out the decor of the party, but I also created an indoor circus canopy for the ceiling and a festive curtain of crepe streamers and balloons for the entry way.  These details laid such a magical foundation for the overall ambiance and provided the WOW factor every party needs a little bit of.

The twins and their guests truly enjoyed celebrating in circus-style and we were thrilled to have been able to share our joy with them all.  They received many generous gifts, lots of LOVE and enjoyed what was (for them) the greatest party on earth!
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by Rashana Anderson
Founder & Managing Director, THE BRIDAL PARTY LLC 


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Wedding Planning Certificate Course...IT'S BACK!

Awesome News Everyone!!
Due to popular demand, I'll be teaching the Wedding Planning Certificate course again at Union County College this Fall, and I couldn't be more excited!  If you're interested in entering the wedding industry as a planner / consultant or if you already have lots of experience but would like to add certification to your list of qualifications, this is the class for you.

Register today and/or share this opportunity with any family-member or friend who has a passion for wedding planning.  Visit the Union County College Continuing Education Department or simply call (908) 709-7600 option 3 to sign up.   
HURRY, classes begin on September 18th!

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by Rashana Anderson
Founder & Managing Director, THE BRIDAL PARTY LLC

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Published: The Knot Magazine Fall/Winter 2012

To Do:  Go to your nearest newsstand or favorite book store ... Grab the Fall/Winter 2012 issue of The Knot New Jersey magazine ... flip to page 118 ... feast your eyes on our Enchanted Forest wedding, selected as one of last season's PERFECT New Jersey weddings!

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by Rashana Anderson
Founder & Managing Director, THE BRIDAL PARTY LLC

Monday, July 23, 2012

Elise & Sharif: Glamour & Grandeur

Our Glamour & Grandeur couple were married over the weekend at The Ashford Estate, the newest and swankiest of venues in the gorgeous state of New Jersey.  You might recall us gushing over Elise and Sharif's engagement photos back in February.  Needless to say, we placed the bar pretty high for the design and planning of this event, beginning almost 15 months ago.

When I first met with the bride and her mom, the venue was the only detail firmly decided upon, as it was impossible to resist an ultra romantic locale sitting on 30-acres of sculpted land, amidst sparkling fountains, waterfalls, a floating gazebo, stone ruins, garden arbors and sprawling views.  And as each guest drove through the lion-guarded iron gates and up the 1/4 mile tree-lined stone drive toward the estate, jaws certainly dropped. 

The ceremony was held in the quaint barn chapel, decorated with white roses, white hydrangea, ivy and hanging crystal candles.  A white-wood canopy was draped and placed in front of the chapel's 30ft fireplace and the couple's son (also the ring bearer) lovingly entered the ceremony in an antique wagon.  Cocktail hour commenced inside the main house's glass conservatory, but guests were also encouraged to explore the multiple plush patios and adjacent library (where our team placed precious family photos of the bride, groom and their families).  The sun was shining bright and there was such an abundance of love and excitement for Elise and Sharif, so family and friends roamed the grounds with Newt-inis in hand (signature cocktails featuring the bride's NEW last name).  Finally, guests took their seats for dinner inside the gorgeously illuminated grand ballroom, where hues of purple, lavender and taupe took center stage.  Tables featured both 1- and 4-foot white floral centerpieces flanked by rhinestone wrapped pillar candles and petals.  For the cake however, purple roses cascaded the 4-tiers from a bedazzled monogrammed topper.  And just as the bride and groom wanted, a 10-piece live band and DJ led a truly grand party, so much so that most seats went empty during the final few hours of the event.

We were thrilled to have worked with Elise, Sharif and their families in creating a sensational celebratory experience as they began their new life together.  As Elise put on her gown, my eyes filled with tears because I realized at that moment how far we'd come.  And the icing on the TBP cake was her affirmation to me that her "dream" had surely come true.  Well ... what can I say ... that's why we do what we do.

We wish Elise & Sharif a lifetime of love and happiness and are happy to share some of the best moments of their wedding day below, thanks to The Artist Group.

Check out a few amateur TBP snapshots as well:

Finally, here's their video highlight reel ... providing an awesome glimpse of how wonderfully sweet this event really was:

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by Rashana Anderson
Founder & Managing Director, THE BRIDAL PARTY LLC

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Moving Pictures: Recent Highlight Reels

We at THE BRIDAL PARTY have always been huge supporters and fans of quality videography. Although we hear "We're not going to have a video" constantly in meeting with new clients, we continue to urge brides and grooms to understand and appreciate how priceless moving pictures can be. The truth is - a good wedding video provides you with more realistic and interactive memories and should be as high up on the priorities list as good photography.

Here's a look at two of our Autumn 2011 wedding highlight reels, our Enchanted Forest couple and our Isle to Aisle couple. Both weddings yielded spectacular photos, but in viewing their videos you can almost fully imagine what it was like to have actually been there!

Aidan & Jon - Enchanted Forest

Jamie & Nick - Isle to Aisle
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by Rashana Anderson
Founder & Managing Director, THE BRIDAL PARTY LLC

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Claire & Michael Paul: Farm Fête

When we shared snapshots of our Farm Fête wedding a little over a month ago, we mentioned barely being able to wait for professional photos because we KNEW they would be amazing.  And well, the proof is in the pudding!  This, one of our most anticipated events of the season, was such a beautiful example of placing wedding trends and "what's hot, what's not" aside for the sake of creating a celebration truly reflective of the couple and their love.  It was perfect.

The ceremony, cocktail hour and reception were held atop and around the hills of Highlands Farm in Blairstown, New Jersey (land affectionately owned by the groom's family).  Guests were shuttled to the farm on yellow school buses and led down a sunny, tree-lined path toward the ceremony space.  It was a balmy Saturday afternoon, so we sat out rows of white wooden chairs flanked with bunches of daisies and had galvanized buckets of ice water nearby.  The bride and bridesmaids all wore vintage cowboy boots...the groom and groomsmen donned suspenders.  After the exchange of vows, guests entered a carnival inspired cocktail hour where varieties of games were set-up (including an adult moon bounce) along with cotton candy, popcorn, mint lemonade and a build-your-own slider bar.  Escort cards were strung up on the massive old silo with miniature cloth clips and handpainted wooden stake signs led the way to all major activities and goings on.  The tented reception started off with a bang, thanks to the awesome 7-piece live band, and featured an abundance of tasty comfort foods like cranberry glazed meatloaf, macaroni and cheese, flank steak and rosemary potatoes.  The Polaroid-style photo booth was also a hit, as friends and family of the bride and groom enjoyed the life size frame and props while creating memories to last a lifetime.  Toward the end of the celebration, everyone was treated to interactive create-your-own cupcake and s'more bars but also gifted individual s'more packs as favors.  The atmosphere was so easy and relaxed, we weren't surprised at how many times we heard "This is the most fun I've ever had at a wedding!"

It was such a pleasure working with Claire and Michael Paul.  We wish them a lifetime of love and happiness as we share many of the best moments of their wedding day below, thanks to Smirnov Photography.

 Finally, special thanks to Jocelyn and Alexandra for assisting me.  As always, it was FABULOUS!
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by Rashana Anderson
Founder & Managing Director, THE BRIDAL PARTY LLC

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