Thursday, April 30, 2009

Trend Thursday: Smaller is Sometimes Better

Lately, I have been talking to more couples who are looking to make their wedding and reception more intimate. When I say intimate, I am talking 50 people or less. I am not sure if this is because they have heard from past couples that they wish they had a smaller wedding or if it's part of being more economically aware.

I personally think this trend may be induced by the recession. I think couples are looking at ways to be less extravagant in light of what's happening financially around the globe. Even though they are being conscious, I think they are also looking at providing a better quality event in whole.

Couples are looking at ways to do things better without being over the top with the budget that they have. This includes upgrading the food, picking estates with an intimate space, or upgrading the total guest experience.

At a recent wedding that I planned, the couple only invited 30 of their closest family and friends. They opted to rent out an estate where everyone can stay under one roof for the duration of the 3-day event. They were able to visit with each of their loved ones, share special memories, and really enjoy each other's company. On wedding day, the guests were invited into a transformed ceremony and reception site within the estate. They enjoyed wonderful musicians during the ceremony and reception, feasted on a 7-course meal fit for a king and queen, and enjoyed an evening under the stars. It was truly a memorable event for all. Even though they had an intimate event, they still wanted top notch quality and this was definitely better than quantity.

Therefore, if you are looking for ways to maximize your dollars, you might want to look at cutting down your guest list. Pouring more of your budget into making a fabulous small and intimate celebration is a great way to get what you really want. Quantity does not make a party...attitude does. You can always have a more informal BBQ celebration for all your other friends later on.

So here's a trend for you to contemplate, smaller is sometimes better.


Photo from Gloria Plunkett Photography

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Wacky Wednesdays: The Man Registry

I came across this website just recently and I am totally diggin' it. It's a website that is just for the groom and is dedicated to everything groom. There's information on finding the right vendors for such things as the Bachelor Party, Rehearsal Dinner, DJ's, Groom's Cake, Groom Etiquette, and everything else that deals with the male perspective of the wedding. It's a perfect accompaniment to the bridal help sites. The best part of this is that it also has a wedding registry that caters just to the groom...non of the fancy shmancy china stuff.

I think it's wonderful and I am kinda sad I did not come up with the idea first! Go check it out or better yet tell your groom to check out, The Man Registry.


Photo and video from The Man Registry

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Trend Thursday: Unplugging

Today is Thursday and it's usually the day that I share with you some fantastic trends happening in the wedding, event, or fashion industry, but instead I am going to tell you a new trend..."Unplugging."

Unplugging, as defined by me, is to literally take yourself off any social media outlets for a few days. This is exactly what I will be doing for three days while I get some much needed vacation with my family. I wonder if I will be able to do it!

At any rate, starting at noon on 4/23/09 PT, I will be going device/computer free. I will not be blogging, Tweeting, Facebookin', emailing, or anything else (though I will be taking cell calls...I put my sim card in my old school flip blackberry) until Monday 4/27/09, just in time for another week of blogging and inspiring. If I would have planned it out better, I would have written several blogs early and had them scheduled to be posted on the appropriate dates, but I tend to write my blogs on the fly.

Reminders about this weekend. If you live in the SoCal area and a bride, bride-to-be, or future bride, please join me and other top wedding vendors at That's Amore, a bridal soiree at Cafe Firenze, restaurant of Top Chef contestant Fabio Viviani, this Sunday, April 26, 2009 from 10am - 2pm. For more information, please visit my previous blog about That's Amore.

Please take time to enjoy nature, and the outdoors, reconnect with your loved ones and live unplugged for a day or two.


Graphic by Edmond Leung

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Tipsy Tuesday: 2009 Wedding Pledge

Earlier this year BrideTide put out a call to wedding professionals who blog and asked them to highlight an unsung hero in the wedding industry or has ties to the wedding industry. They asked us to take a wedding pledge and to write a simple blog to be posted on April 21st abut someone in the wedding industry that we admire. These individuals should inspire us by doing what they love but also by what they do to impact their community either locally, nationally or internationally.

Therefore, today, April 21, 2009 my wedding pledge is to honor DeAnna Cochran Jewelry.

DeAnna Cochran inspires me to be the best that I can be. The story of how she began her company is compelling, how she does business is inspiring, and what she does to give back to the community is truly uplifting. She makes me look at how my business can sustain my life and make an impact in the community I belong to or organizations I believe in. I love her work, her passion, and her dedication and her art pieces are definitely "Jewelry for a Cause!"

I know DeAnna is not a wedding industry professional per se, but her jewelry has provided pleasure to brides, grooms, and vendors. Select pieces from her line is definitely wedding focused. I have highlighted her work several times in my blog, not only because she is a personal friend and past bride, but also because I love her work and know that my clients and readers will think her pieces would be a great addition to their wedding.

If you are looking for wedding inspiration or gifts that are truly given with heart, you can choose pieces such as the Leave It To Love Brooch that becomes an heirloom boutonniere for the groom. The Noah's Heart Cuff can become a special gift to the bridesmaids and the Jackson's Leaf Cufflinks is the perfect thank-you to the groomsmen. Additionally, you can purchase the Anthony's Wish Ring as a memento to your beach wedding. Plus the great thing about buying pieces from DeAnna Cochran Jewelry is that with every purchase a percentage of what you pay will be given back to such organization as MEND, Koinonia Family Services, MD Anderson Cancer Center of the University of Texas, and Room to Dream Foundation. DeAnna Cochran Jewelry will also consider making special pieces for your wedding party and you can designate where the percentage of the sales goes.

Therefore, for my 2009 Wedding Pledge I applaud and thank DeAnna for giving back to so many and for designing Jewelry with Heart and for a Cause!


Photos from DeAnna Cochran Jewelry; 2009 Wedding Pledge Logo from BrideTide

Monday, April 20, 2009

Inspiration Monday: Gumballs

I was inspired by gumballs today, because my son loves them. Every time we walk into a store that he thinks may have a gumball machine in it...he starts chanting, "Can I have a quarter?" I don't know what attracts people to these multicolored phenomenon's, but who can deny that the gumball has been part of all of our childhoods. celebration and in respect of the mighty gumball, I have come up with an inspiration board fitting of these chewable sensations.

Clockwise from top left (click on above photo to enlarge): Invitations: Invitations by Nature; Bubble Wedding Gown: Christos; Floral Balls: The Velvet Garden; Candy Bar: Inspiration from Amy Atlas Events; Tiffany Bubbles Ring: Tiffany & Co.; Printed Silk Chiffon Whitney Long Dress: J. Crew; Turquoise Three-Strand Chunky Necklace: Blue Earth Jewelry; Polka Dot Tower Wedding Cake: Sugar, Oklahoma; Carnival Midway Vendor for the Cocktail Reception or After Party: Inspiration Photo from David's Digits on Flickr; Balenciaga Lego Shoes: Balenciaga; Mini Classic Gumball Dispenser used for Escort Cards or Favors: Estilo Weddings; Balloon Drop: Inspired by Gifts & Decorative Accessories Photo.

I hope this inspiration board gets you chewing on some great vibrant ideas too!


Photos from above mentioned sites. Center Bubblegum maching photo by Michael Weinberg Photography.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Icon Bride: Audrey Hepburn

Audrey Hepburn, the ultimate gamine, stayed true to her iconic look at her wedding to Mel Ferrer on September 25, 1954 in Burgenstock, Switzerland, by donning a ravishing tea length gown that is undeniably...Audrey.

The gown designed by Pierre Balmain was a beautiful silk organza tea length number that was cinched at the waste. The top of the dress looked like a button down shirt with a collar and voluptuous sleeves. She topped off the ensemble with fresh flowers in her pixie cut hair.

In modernizing this iconic bride, this is how I see the Audrey Hepburn bride of today.
Gown: Oscar de la Renta; Floral Hair Piece: Leah C. Headpieces; Blue Tux Cece Bridal Shoes: The Shop @ Percy Sales Events; Woven Box Handbag: Perfect Details.

I hope this brings out your inner gamine.


Photos from above mentioned Web sites. Hepburn/Ferrer Wedding photo from Daylife

Friday, April 17, 2009

Favorite Things From the Shop @ PSE: All Things That Glitters

Who doesn't like things that glitter? Sure there is BLING and than there is Bling but regardless if it's a car, a piece of jewelry, or even squeaky clean windows, we love things that shine. So as I was looking at all the new stuff at The Shop @ Percy Sales Events and I started to admire the tasteful and wonderful "glittery" pieces there. So, in my latest "favorite things" from The Shop @ Percy Sales Events I am highlighting my top "shiners."

I hope this inspires you in your search for the glitz. Discover other wonderful things by visiting The Shop @ Percy Sales Events.


Photos from The Shop @ Percy Sales Events

Fantastic Friday: My Hot Spots for 2009

Last year I did a blog on my Hot Destinations for 2008, so in keeping with tradition, I am releasing My Hot Spots for 2009. With the economy tanking, and resorts and destinations losing out on much-needed tourist dollars...more places and airlines are lowering their prices. These discounts are meant to attract not only tourists and honeymooners but also those individuals who may want to have a destination wedding, where their guests can use the experience as a vacation them that two for one punch. So now is a good time to consider going out of town.

At any rate, here's my Top 5 Hot Destination List for 2009:
  1. Sitges, Spain: Sitges is a wonderful seaside town southwest of Barcelona in the Catalonia region of Spain. This wonderful town is known for its beaches, nightspots, and historical sites. It has become a miniature Ibiza. Sitges touts 17 beaches, four-star hotels, delectable gastronomy, culture, and something for everyone. Easy access by plane or train from several European destinations. A nice car drive from Barcelona.

  2. Mendocino, California: Mendocino is small town in Northern California. Located on the Pacific Ocean, this artist colony is a hidden gem that has become more and more popular in the last several years. The town remains quaint and offers amenities to house your wedding guests in great bed and breakfasts as well as boutique hotels. Additionally, it's a perfect location for a honeymoon, where you just want to leave everything behind. Mendocino is a 4-hour drive north from San Francisco.

  3. Boracay, Philippines: A resort town on the island of Panay in the Philippines, which is located about 200 miles south of Manila. It's an untapped beach resort that has been gaining notoriety and followers. A hidden gem that is a favorite beach getaway for Eastern Europeans as well as those from Asia. Boracay boasts an average temperature of 77 degrees to 90 degrees year round. You will fall in love with its white sand beaches, resort accommodations, and the Filipino hospitality. Direct flights from Manila.

  4. Victoria, Canada: The capital city of British Columbia is found on the southern tip of Vancouver Island and lives in the shadow of its more landlocked famous city, Vancouver. Nevertheless, this romantic waterfront city is the gem of British Columbia. The Mediterranean climate of Victoria makes it the perfect North American location for a honeymoon or destination wedding. Additionally, Victoria and Vancouver Island offers so much, from hiking trails, to 5-star restaurants and resorts, and history invite visitors to discover it. The picture perfect Inner Harbor and Empress Hotel would be the perfect background to any wedding. Boat access from Vancouver.

  5. New York City, New York: Who can deny the "city that never sleeps" as one of the all time best hot spots in the world. I♥NY! NYC has so much to offer not only for destination weddings, but for honeymooners as well. The city has so much to do, so much to see, and it appeals to all age groups. From the serenity of Central Park to the hustle and bustle of Times Square, the city has something to offer everyone. The big plus, it's easy to access from anywhere in the world.
I hope that this helps you in narrowing down your honeymoon or destination wedding locations. The world has so much to offer go and discover it and just maybe, these locations helped you look outside of the travel box.


Photos from Wikipedia

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Trend Thursday: Clay Flowers

I came across DK Designs clay flowers the other day and was mesmerized by the delicate and realistic beauty of these artful creations. Therefore, my Trend Thursday pick for the week are clay flowers by DK Designs. Diane Katsuyoshi-Phillips artist and owner of DK Designs has created a way to make the brides bouquet an heirloom piece and a way to distinguish a bride from all the other brides. These floras add a new dimension to your wedding day, because they become art pieces that people will be talking about. The big plus is that your floral creations will be like no other, and your guests...unless they have seen other clay flower arrangements, will be wowed by the uniqueness of these blooms.

Additionally, I love the clay flower hairpieces. They are a perfect gift for your bridal party and a way to create drama in your wedding hair without worrying about the flower wilting! Also, all the clay floral creations can be used after the wedding in so many ways. You can use them as decor in your home, put away in a chest to pass on to future generations, or framed in a shadow box as a piece of artwork in your home.

For more inspiration on how clay flowers can spruce up or add to your wedding day, please visit the DK Designs or DK Designs Blog. I can't wait to suggest these gorgeous blooms to my clients. DK Designs has been featured on Martha Stewart and a plethora of wedding publications and notably so, because her creations will definitely be the talk of your event.

I hope this helps in molding your floral choices.


Photos from DK Designs

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Wacky Wednesdays: Susan Boyle Dreams her Dream

This video has nothing to do with weddings, but has everything to do with Inspiration. I know you all have been inundated with this video, but it is so good, I cry with joy every time I watch it, because Susan represents the underdog (and at some point we all have been underdogs). She may not look like a superstar, but should looks determine that? How about true talent? I'm a fan!

The other reason I love this video is because it goes to show us all that we should never underestimate anyone, because you never know how they will surprise you. If you looked at the audience and judges faces when she first got on the stage they were ready to laugh her off. How many of us have felt that way? That there was no way any one would give us a chance because of how we looked, talked, dressed, etc. We all have something to offer and we are all special...that's the truth of the matter.

The other thing that I learned from Susan, just by watching this video clip, is to believe in yourself, no matter what others may think. If you can't believe in yourself, who will! Additionally, I love this song from Les Miserable, I have dreamed a dream and hope that one day it comes true for me as it has for Susan.

Can't you see her singing at a wedding as the bride walks down the aisle? How wonderful would it be to be serenaded by that voice.


Video clip from YouTube

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

TIPsy Tuesday: What Would I Change About My Wedding?

Every month, I am going to be featuring a question to people on both my Facebook and Twitter accounts that relates to weddings or events. Once I have gathered some answers, I will post it on my blog.

April's question is, "What is the one thing you would change about your wedding day?"

Here are some of the responses I received:

I would do away with the dog-n-pony show and make the wedding smaller and more intimate. I would save the money to feed distant relatives who we'll never see again and use it on more high end touches for a smaller group such as an extra romantic location/flowers/food/photos, that would bring more joy to the couple themselves than to just "show off" and "please" the crowd." - Kelly, Fremont, CA

Not invited so many people to the reception. The best thing we did was only inviting close family to our wedding ceremony, that was about 20 people. Our reception was about 100 people that took place right after our ceremony. Having less people at the ceremony made the moment very special to us.
- Salvador, Dublin, CA

As a wedding planner, I should have hired a day of coordinator, so I didn't have to worry about managing vendors, set-up, and clean-up myself...allowing me to enjoy more. Don't get me wrong I had a blast at my wedding, it would have been nice to not have to worry about all the "day of" details myself. The other thing I would have done differently is taken the time to eat. I did not even get to eat my wedding meal because we were talking to so many people, we had 170 guests, and I never got to eat our delicious food, maybe I got two bites. Eating is one thing that I make sure happens for for all my clients. I would have also hired a videographer, because I hardly remembered the evening, except for how fun it was.
- Percy, Ojai, CA

I would have probably spent less on the things that didn't matter as much and more on the things that do - and what's important is different for every bride/groom. For me, it was the location/venue for the ceremony, reception area, and the photographer. In retrospect, I feel like we did most everything we
wanted to do within our budget, but I think that spending less and saving the money for the stuff that putting a down payment on a house and getting our new life started together might have been a better investment! A big party is a good way to get you in debt. - Clarissa, San Diego, CA

We got married at the Justice o' the Peace in New York City. Just the two of us and one witness. I think people need to focus on who they want at their wedding and not how much they want to spend. Any time I hear about someones wedding, it's always they should have made it smaller,
not bigger. Have a small wedding and get a great photographer and videographer. You will see more of your wedding in the photos and videos than you ever will at the event. They will last a lifetime. - Darrin, Pollock Pines, CA

Who I married!
- Lynnette, San Francsico, CA

Make it smaller and less "traditional" (no cake which i don't like, typical music, etc...)
- Jules, Wilsonville, OR

It would have been less traditional, and I would have not worried so much about the food and spending lots of money on top shelf alcohol.
- Lilia, San Francisco, CA

I wouldn't have changed anything. We decided that the whole goal was to wake up single, and go to bed married. That took a ton of pressure off, and we didn't "sweat the small stuff" as it were. If anything, I wished the day had lasted longer! It was magical.
- Kristin, Santa Barbara, CA

I'm actually pretty happy with how ours turned out. It was exactly what we wanted, where we wanted, and it was just a big party—fun for us and for the guests. I do wish I got more of my dinner though. And I heard the dessert that was served before the cake was amazing (never got it).
- Maureen, Santa Clarita, CA

Not a thing. Maybe that Bret didn't get so sunburned. Other than that not a thing. Everything people say, "don't spend so much, don't invite a zillion people, etc." well we did that. It works. We didn't even hire a photographer and we have the most beautiful and candid wedding pictures I've ever seen.
- Carl, Santa Barbara, CA

Our wedding was very low budget - I wouldn't change that, we were poor at the time. But we couldn't afford a photographer so I'd change that.
- Nancy, Ft. Worth, TX

This may sound odd, but adding a dancefloor.
- Tim, San Francisco, CA

First I wish i hadn't, secondly, I wish I had more cake, expensive cake for just one bite! - Angela, Monterey, CA

Don't ask me why, but we chose not to hire a videographer for our wedding. We had a beautiful garden wedding in Cambria, and our ceremony had sweet moments that I wish were captured on film. - Kathy, Dallas, TX

I wouldn't change a thing, except for hire a videographer. I should have listened to my wedding planners suggestion on that. - Leslie, Englewood, NJ

I hope this helps couples who are in the midst of planning your own great event. If you are married and have anything else to add, please make a comment. Your suggestions and thoughts are appreciated and a great way to advise others.


Photo from Cake Wrecks, hopefully that cake is one thing that bride would have done differently.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Inspiration Monday: Hello Kitty

I've been seeing a lot of blogs about Hello Kitty weddings lately and I thought wow...there are some people who literally take the Hello Kitty theme to heart. So as I pondered...what would I do if a bride insists on designing a wedding around the theme of Hello Kitty? I thought about it all day and came up with the above inspiration board (click board to enlarge).

I am inspired by Hello Kitty's simplicity and versatility. I am inspired by the color pink...all shades of it. I am inspired by the quirkiness that fans of the cartoon icon seem to possess. I'm inspired by Japan. So in designing my Hello Kitty inspiration board, I have mixed the classic with the wild and have added a touch of the famous pink.

My inspirations (top left and clockwise): Wedding Gown: Alvina Valenta; Pink Dyed Crinoline (for under the gown): couturesantrash (ETSY); Flowers: fleuretica; Bridesmaid Gown: Jenny Yoo; Bracelet for bridesmaids gifts: Sanrio; Cotton Candy Bar: Martha Stewart; Chandelier: GSPN Crystals; Ceremony Site: One Source Weddings; Shoes: Stuart Weitzman; Centerpiece: InStyle Weddings; Wedding Cake: Simply Cakes; Ring: Gumuchian

I hope this inspires the little girl in you.


Photos from above mentioned sites

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Favorite Things from The Shop @ PSE: Hair Accessories

I am loving all the options for bridal hair accessories. I am so tired of having brides run out to buy tiaras! Ladies, the tiara is passe. Try something new, like this crystal encrusted Flamenco Comb found at The Shop @ Percy Sales Events. There are some wonderful options to get your head in wedding mode and to wow your guests. Try different looks, headbands, combs, pins, or maybe even fresh flowers adoring the stylish coif!

Here are some of my other favorites hair adornments found at The Shop @ Percy Sales Events.

From clockwise from upper left: Gallery Hair Comb ($350/per set of three); Bellezza Crystal Mini Barrette ($28/each); Sunset Pearl and Crystal Barrette ($58/each); Chloe Satin and Crystal Headband ($125/each); The Flamenco Crystal Comb (above picture) is $217.50/each.

For more fabulous items, please visit The Shop @ Percy Sales Events.


Photos from The Shop @ Percy Sales Events

Friday, April 10, 2009

Fantastic Fridays: Gown Sketches

If you were wondering, Friday's are generally for guest bloggers, but I haven't been able to secure any guest bloggers lately, so I am going to flip flop between Guest Blogger Fridays and Fantastic Fridays. Fantastic Fridays will showcase something truly fantastic. It can be celebrity wedding news, political items I feel passionate about, or something I came across that I think is truly FANTASTIC!

Today happens to be a Fantastic Friday and I am featuring something really cool I came across reading one of my magazines this month...Bridal Gown Sketches. Sure Princess Diana and other celebrity brides have had their gowns sketched by the designer or artist as a keepsake piece, but now you can too. So what that you bought your gown at David's Bridal or on the Internet at some online wedding gown store. Now you can get the same couture treatment that celebrity brides get when designing their gowns.

One fantastic sketch artist that I discovered through the magazine is Jennifer Angilello who owns All About the Dress. Her stylized rendition of the bride and gown are fantastic. Jennifer's portraits run about $425, according to InStyle Weddings Magazine, and from the looks of her portfolio it's well worth it. If you are looking for a less pricey version you may want to visit Dreamlines where sketches run at the $100 rate and is shipped from France.

Another option is to get the artist in the family to do a rendition of your gown, maybe as their wedding gift to you. This option will definitely have more it is someone you know. But what ever route you get, I definitely think getting an artist rendering of your gown, with you in it or not, is definitely a FANTASTIC thing to do as a memento to your wedding day.

Here's sketching you...kid!


Sketches from All About the Dress

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Icon Bride: Grace Kelly

A new feature starting this week...Icon Bride. If there is a certain bride you think should be featured, let me know. I hope you enjoy it. The first to be featured is Princess Grace (Grace Kelly).

Princess Grace was such a regal bride. Married to Prince Rainier III of Monaco on April 18, 1956, Princess Grace, known then as Grace Kelly, was the epitome of the Princess Bride. Grace was always known for her sense of style, but no one could have expected how ravishing the actress turned princess would look like on her wedding day.

Princess Grace's wedding gown was designed by Helen Rose, a costume designer who worked at MGM studios and who had dressed Grace Kelly in two movies. According to Grace Kelly Online, the Helen Rose designed dress, "consisted of a rounded collar, full skirt of ivory peau de soie, and a fitted bodice made from Brussels lace embroidered with seed pearls. The lace was over a century old and had flower designs in it. 25 yards of silk taffeta and 100 yards of silk net were used in the construction of the dress. Under her wedding gown, Grace's petticoats had tiny blue satin bows."

The gown, the woman, the event was memorable to all who witnessed it and the iconic dress has been imitated for many years. In updating this iconic bride here is how I see the Princess Grace of today.

(click photo to enlarge)
The Elements: Heather Gown - White Chocolate Label by Scott Corridan; Tiffany Drop Earrings - Tiffany & Co.; Feathered head piece (no. 38) -; Elizabeth Beaded Clutch - The Shop @ Percy Sales Events; Stuart Weitzman Springfling Wedding Shoes - The Shop @ Percy Sales Events.

Hope this inspires your inner princess.


Photos from above mentioned sites except for Heather Gown picture found at InStyle Weddings

Trend Thursday: My Favorite Dresses for Spring 2010

What wedding planner does not love wedding gowns? With a slew of designers showing off their Spring 2010 collection recently, I was salivating at the gorgeous creations that hit the runways. Sure there were some of the same ole same ole Princess gowns, Grecian gowns, empire, mermaid and a-lines, but folks those are the standards that people want and are staples to any bridal collection.

I was in bridal gown overload looking at all these gowns but than there were some that just stood out to me. Here are my top four picks for Spring 2010.

(left to right)
  1. Carolina Herrera - This gown was just embellished enough and gave the whole look that extra "Ola senorita" feel about it. It was young, vibrant and the fabric looks incredible. The neckline is not too revealing and the ruching is just perfect. I particularly love the boating hat also. Work of art considering she based her inspiration on works of art this season.
  2. Monique Lhuillier - I am a fan of Monique! This dress is so beautiful. The bodice is perfectly ruched and the ball skirt just reminds me of a bed of flowers. Perfect for a spring wedding. What I love about this dress is that it looks like its structured or has to many fabrics but it actually moves nicely, an almost ethereal feel to the whole dress.
  3. Oscar de la Renta - Oscar is the master of classic silhouettes that still is modern. What I love about this dress is that it is such a throw back to Jackie O, but I could see a modern day first bride wearing it too. I love the ribbon belt, the embellished fabric, the 3/4 sleeves and the whole look of this piece. Perfect for a wedding at the courthouse or even in a lovely meadow somewhere. Pure bridal without being over the top.
  4. Priscilla of Boston - This dress is perfect, from the silver-ish undertone to to the belted empire waist, to the detachable train. Elegant, regal and outstanding. It's so Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly meets Marilyn Monroe in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. I love it.
I hope these dresses have inspired you in your quest for the perfect gown.


Photos from

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Wacky Wednesday: The Best Bridal Soiree is Coming (Repost)

The best Bridal Soiree is coming to Southern California on April 26, 2009. The second of six events put on by Souly Wedding Vendors will be held at Cafe Firenze, restaurant of Top Chef 5 contestant and uber chef Fabio Viviani.

Souly Wedding Vendors, the brain child of SoulMates Bridal Boutique, is a creative circle of Southern California wedding vendors committed to the same level of service and professionalism. Every other month at a new and exciting location, Souly Wedding Vendors host a themed party for engaged couples, at no cost to them. This gives the clients the opportunity to meet, mix, and mingle with Souly Wedding Vendors in a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere.

Official Hosts for Souly Wedding Vendors April 26, 2009 Event:

Invitation for engaged couples for the April 26th, 2009 event:

Fabio Viviani of Café Firenze

& Souly Wedding Vendors

invites you & your fidanzato to

That’s Amoré

Café Firenze

563 West Los Angeles Avenue

Moorpark, CA 93021

Sunday, April 26, 2009

10am – 2pm

Come for delicious food, fabulous drinks, & meet the best wedding vendors in Southern California

Free Admission~ Free Gift Bags~ Free Raffle Giveaways

R.S.V.P to Wendy @ 805-630-9868 or

Hope to see you future brides and grooms there! A full list of Souly Weddings Vendors who will be in attendance will be posted on a later date. For a full list of all approved Souly Wedding Vendors, please email me.


Photo of Fabio from Bravo

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

TIPsy Tuesday: The Bar's Now Open

I have been asked several times by friends about how much alcohol one should buy to produce an open bar for say a 100 person party or wedding. It's really hard to say, because you can't really tell what the crowd is going to want to drink. But being in the industry for over 16 years I have come to see what bartenders and caterers have told me about my open bars.

Below is my best estimate on what one should buy for their open bar without the help of a caterer. The purchasing of these amounts for a reception has not failed me so far.

Beer: domestic, imported, and light beer - 3 dozen of each.

Wine: 3 dozen white, 4 dozen red (5-8 dozen total)

Champagne: 1 dozen bottles (only fill up half for toasts) also you may just want to do toasts with what people have in hand. This saves a lot of money and you can just buy 6 bottles of champagne for champagne cocktails at the bar.

Vodka: 5 liters
Gin: 3 liters
Tequila: 2 liters
Rum: 2 liters
Whiskey: 1 liter
Scotch: 2 liters
Bourbon: 2 liters
Dry Vermouth: 750 milliliters
Sweet Vermouth: 750 milliliters
Kahlua: 3 liters
Bailey's Irish Cream: 1 liter
Grand Marnier: 1 liter
Triple Sec: 1 liter
Amaretto: 1 liter
Sambucca: 1 liter
Brandy: 1 liter
Frangelico: 1 liter
Chambord: 1 liter

When shopping for your liquor, make sure to work with a local liquor store and ask about their return policy. Some liquor stores will give you refunds for unopened/unused spirits. Beer is the exception, most will not take back beer.

Buying your own alcohol for your reception can save loads of money. Ask your caterer about their policy of serving self bought liquor. Most caterers are cool with it...but there are some that will charge you more than if they served and bought it themselves.

Hope that helps answer your liquor questions.


Photo from Blender Artists

Monday, April 6, 2009

Inspiration Mondays: Claude Monet's Water Lilies

I was recently looking through one of my favorite art books and stumbled upon one of my favorite artist, Claude Monet. I love Monet's work. The iconic images of water lilies in his Giverny, France home are one of my favorite series. The colors of these paintings are all so beautiful. The hues of greens, blues, purples, pinks, and browns work so harmoniously together.

These images have inspired so many before me, including Mattel, who released a Water Lily Barbie back in 1997. Today, I am inspired by this impressionist master and how I see his art being pulled in to a grand wedding.

A wedding inspired by Claude Monet (clockwise from top left):

Wedding Gown: White Chocolate
China: J. Seignolles
Bouquet: Hidden Garden Flowers
Bridesmaid Gown: Vera Wang
Lounge: Town and Country Event Rentals
Food: Serve French Cuisine to your guests
Tablescape: Nisie's Enchanted Florist
Shoes: Fifi Maisie Wedding Shoes from The Shop @ Percy Sales Events
Floral Hair Clip: Soiree Silk Floral Hair Clip from The Shop @ Percy Sales Events
Flower Girl Gown: Frances Johnston
Cake: Colette's Cakes
Venue: San Diego Botanical Building at Balboa Park

Hope this inspires you to create your own work of art!


Photos from above mentioned sites except for White Chocolate Wedding Gown found at

Sunday, April 5, 2009

No Surprise Sunday: Birds of a Feather

It's no surprise to me...Barry Manilow has sung about a woman named Lola, wearing yellow feathers in her hair. Sex and the City attempted to march Carrie Bradshaw down the aisle wearing a bird in her hair as part of her wedding day ensemble. It was only a matter of time before designers would bring our feathered friends into the forefront and actually embellish wedding gowns with these elements.

Sure we have seen Marabou feathers on gowns before and the infamous feathered boa at weddings, but nothing says...f-WOW-l than what designers such as Alexander McQueen, Monique Lhuillier, Junko Yoshioka, and Jenny Packham (l to r in pic below) has accomplished in bridal couture. They have taken feathers to a whole new level. Using such feathers from Ostriches and Peacocks to create show stopping, jaw dropping, wedding gowns that will surely be the talk to the town.

If these over the top gowns weren't enough, at the 2009 China Wedding Expo, a $1.5 Million peacock dress was debuted and stunned the audience. The dress hand-sewn by eight creators consisted of 2009 (obviously for the year 2009) peacock feathers and 60 Hetian Jades, generally knows as seed jade, were incorporated in this show stopping dress. How is that for strutting your stuff at your wedding day. I am sure we will see more and more of our fine feathered friends incorporated into gowns in the future.

Here's to flocking together in this new trend.


Photo credits: Carrie Bradshaw photo, Alexander McQueen, Monique Lhuillier, Junko Yoshioka and Jenny Packham gowns from Peacock gown photos from Trendhunter Magazine.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Favorite Things from The Shop @ PSE: Bridal Shoes

A client of mine recently complimented me on the shoe selection at The Shop @ Percy Sales Events. I asked her what she like about it. She stated, "There is such a selection of styles in every price range that you never felt that The Shop @ Percy Sales Events was only catering to certain budgets. The Shop @ Percy Sales Events truly has something for everyone!"

Well nothing pleases me more to hear those words and glad that The Shop @ Percy Sales Events is catering to ALL brides...and grooms too.

So this week I am highlighting some of my favorite shoe pics found at The Shop @ Percy Sales Events. Clockwise from the top left:

  1. Touch-Ups Sharmain Bridal Shoes, $59.99
  2. Stuart Weitzman Dramahalt Wedding Shoes, $320.00
  3. Two Lips Gorgeous Wedding Shoes, $95.00
  4. Grazia Alicia Wedding Shoes, $210.00
The Shop @ Percy Sales Events offers bridal and bridesmaids shoes at all price ranges. You'll be amazed at the selection of shoes, that you will definitely make The Shop @ Percy Sales Events your bridal shoe(s) shop. Check it out today!

Go ahead and play never know the shoe may just fit!


Photos from The Shop @ Percy Sales Events

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