Friday, June 26, 2009

Farewell Friday: RIP Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett

Yesterday, June 25, 2009, the world lost two pop icons, Farrah Fawcett (expected) and Michael Jackson (unexpected). Both contributed to the lives of many, Michael with his music and Farrah with her smile and passion for life. I grew up with both of them. I watched Charlies Angels religiously and loved Farrah's, Jill Monroe, character best. Additionally, my passion for dance is attributed to the man and the music, Michael Jackson. Both will be missed but never forgotten.

It's funny, someone said yesterday that they now know what their parents felt like when Elvis died. For some of us we saw Michael Jackson grow up, become a superstar, and went on the roller coaster ride that was Michael Jackson, but his music played such a role in life and is definitely part of my life's soundtrack. I am also saddened for Ryan O'Neal who did not get the chance to marry his lifelong partner. Farrah finally agreed to marry Ryan, but that part was never fulfilled for the couple.

RIP Farrah (1947-2009 and Michael (1958-2009).


Photos from the Internet, top photo from Access Hollywood

Friday, June 19, 2009

Icon Bride: Marilyn Monroe

Norma Jeane Baker better known as Marilyn Monroe was the ultimate sex symbol. She was married three times, the first as Norma Jeane to James Dougherty in 1942, the second as Marilyn Monroe to baseball great Joe DiMaggio in 1954, and finally to playwright Arthur Miller in 1956. For the purposes of my "Icon Bride" blog, I am focusing on her final wedding to Arthur Miller.

Marilyn and Arthur met in 1950 and married in a hushed civil ceremony in a White Plains, New York on 6/29/1956. Two days later, 6/1/1956, they were married in a Jewish ceremony at the home of Miller's agent. Raised Catholic, Marilyn converted to Judaism before marrying Miller. The reception was attended by 25 of their close friends and family.

On January 24, 1961, the couple traveled to Mexico and got divorced, but this bride will remain an icon forever.

In updating Marilyn Monroe's wedding look to Arthur Miller, this is what I would vision this bride to look like, simple, with a little pizzazz!

Clockwise from top left: Floral Chuppah: Thomas Noel, Event Design Incorporated, NY; Gown: Alvina Valenta; Shoes (Reminiscent of the Hot Pink Gown in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes): Manolo Blahnik; Cake: Christine Dahl Pastries, Santa Barbara.

I hope this inspires your inner sex symbol.


Photo of Miller/Monroe wedding from Milton's Marilyn

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Trend Thursdays: What's Hot in Bridal Gowns

Every bridal season we are wowed by the designs that are created by fabulous designers. There's always a handful of trends that is a must have for that year. In the past we have seen colored ribbon sashes, Swarovski crystal embellishments, the mermaid dress phenomenon, and even colored wedding gowns. So what's the must have look this year?

Here's my trend alert for the remainder of the 2009 bridal season, which will carry over to the early part of 2010.

1) Empire (ŏm-pîr') Waist

from left to right: Vera Wang, Priscilla of Boston, Jenny Packham, Alvina Valenta

2) Flower Power

from left to right: Carolina Herrera, Angel Sanchez, Anne Barge, Jim Hjelm

3) Over the Top Bows

from left to right: Amsale, Oscar de la Renta, Vera Wang, Vineyard Collection

4) Sleeves

from left to right: Le Spose di Gio, Manuel Mota for Pronovias, Monique Lhuillier, Reva Mivasagar

I hope you all like my trend report. Regardless of the trends, always pick the gown that you feel the prettiest and happiest in. I have heard from many brides that you will know the right one for you. Happy dress shopping!


Photos from
and top shop photo from Morrirom's Photo Stream on Flickr

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Love is Love, Period. The Best Love Songs Ever Written.

In celebration of the 18,000 same-sex couples who legally got married in California between 6/16/08 at 5:01pm and 11/5/08 12:00pm, and to the thousands of other couples who love but are denied the right to marry...I have compiled a list of the best love songs ever written. This list was made by asking my monthly question to my friends on Facebook and Twitter.

Happy Anniversary to the same-sex couples, like myself, who legally got married on this date last year (06/17/08), the first day GLBT couples could legally get married in California. Here's to hoping that marriage equality will be restored in the future to California...and throughout this nation.

Now, the 100 best love songs ever written (according to me and my friends and in no particular order):

  1. One in a Million You - Larry Graham
  2. I Could Fall in Love - Selena
  3. I'm Yours - Jason Mraz
  4. You're My First, My Last, My Everything - Barry White
  5. I Don't Want To Miss A Thing - Aerosmith
  6. Always and Forever - Heatwave
  7. You Are So Beautiful - Joe Cocker
  8. The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face - Roberta Flack
  9. Hero - Enrique Inglesias
  10. At Last - Etta James
  11. Something - The Beatles
  12. Have You Ever - Brandy
  13. Baby, Baby - Amy Grant
  14. Someone To Watch Over Me - Michael Feinstein
  15. How Do I Live - LeAnn Rimes
  16. Baby I Love Your Way - Peter Frampton
  17. All I Want is You - U2
  18. By Your Side - Sade
  19. Maybe I'm Amazed - Paul McCartney
  20. Everything - Michael Buble
  21. When You Say You Love Me - Josh Groban
  22. All My Life - K.C. and JoJo
  23. When I Fall in Love - Nat King Cole
  24. Your Song - Elton John
  25. My Love - Justin Timberlake
  26. Nothing Compares 2 U - Sinead O'Connor
  27. I'll Be - Edwin McCain
  28. Amazed - Lone Star
  29. Leather and Lace - Stevie Nicks
  30. Body and Soul - Tony Bennett
  31. Ikaw (Translated from Tagalog, You) - Regine Velasquez
  32. Back at One - Brian McKnight
  33. What A Wonderful World - Louis Armstrong
  34. Wonderful Together - Eric Clapton
  35. Have I Told You Lately - Rod Stewart
  36. Open Arms - Journey
  37. Just the Way You Are - Billy Joel
  38. I Melt With You - Modern English
  39. Crazy For You - Madonna
  40. Come What May - Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor
  41. Lovin' You - Minnie Ripperton
  42. Your Body is Wonderland - John Mayer
  43. Fields of Gold - Sting/Eva Casssidy
  44. Unforgettable - Nat King Cole
  45. Why - Annie Lennox
  46. Time and Tide - Basia
  47. Always - Atlantic Starr
  48. If - Bread
  49. Wind Beneath My Wings - Bette Midler
  50. My Heart Will Go On - Celine Dion
  51. Truly Madly Deeply - Savage Gardens
  52. The Greatest Love of All - Whitney Houston
  53. Faithfully - Journey
  54. Hallelujah - Jeff Buckley
  55. I Do (Cherish You) - 98 Degrees
  56. Endless Love - Diana Ross and Lionel Richie
  57. Everything I Do - Bryan Adams
  58. Sweet Love - Anita Baker
  59. Suddenly - Billy Ocean
  60. Inna Godda Divida - Iron Butterfly
  61. You've Got A Friend - Carole King/James Taylor
  62. Breathe - Faith Hill
  63. Wahine 'Ilikea - Dennis Kamakahi
  64. I Wanna Grown Old With You - Adam Sandler
  65. We've Only Just Begun - The Carpenters
  66. Power of Two - Indigo Girls
  67. More Than Words - Extreme
  68. Fly Me to the Moon - Frank Sinatra
  69. Time in a Bottle - Jim Croce
  70. Because You Loved Me - Celine Dion
  71. When I Think of You - Janet Jackson
  72. Bridge Over Troubled Water - Simon and Garfunkel
  73. The Closer I Get To You - Roberta Flack and Donnie Hathaway
  74. Love Song - The Cure
  75. Wicked Games - Chris Isaak
  76. I Honestly Love You - Olivia Newton John
  77. Beautiful - James Blunt
  78. Unchained Melody - The Righteous Brothers
  79. Save The Best For Last - Vanessa Williams
  80. I Will Always Love You - Dolly Parton/Whitney Houston
  81. Now and Forever - Richard Marx
  82. Here and Now - Luther Vandross
  83. Always on my Mind - Elvis Presley/Willie Nelson
  84. (I've Had) The Time of My Life - Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes
  85. You Are The Sunshine of My Life - Stevie Wonder
  86. Vision of Love - Mariah Carey
  87. On Bended Knee - Boyz II Men
  88. Chasing Cars - Snow Patrol
  89. No One - Alicia Keys
  90. Lucky - Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat
  91. In My Life - The Beatles
  92. Let's Stay Together - Al Green
  93. Hey There Delilah - The Plain White T's
  94. Angel of Mine - Monica
  95. Get Here - Oleta Adams
  96. Never Tear Us Apart - INXS
  97. Come Away With Me - Norah Jones
  98. Head Over Heels - Tears for Fears
  99. Kissing A Fool - George Michael
  100. All Out of Love - Air Supply
Just like these songs about love, we all have our own love story, and no one's love is better than the other. Love is Love and we should all be lucky to experience it (and marry as two consenting adults if we so chose)'s definitely the greatest thing of all.

If I've forgotten your favorite love song, please add them in the comments.


Photo of John Lewis and Stuart Gaffney by Bella Pictures taken on 06/17/08, San Francisco, California

Photo of Ross and Percy by Cesar Juarez taken on 06/17/08, Santa Barbara, California

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

TIPsy Tuesday: What's All the Bustle?

Brides often ask me on what type of bustle they should get for their gown. This is a loaded question, because my preference is the understated French bustle, but depending on the gown and the effect one wants, than there are a myriad of things to consider.

Here's a list and descriptions of the different types of bustles out there. (Click on highlighted bold names for a photo of the bustle):

The Over Bustle: Blends the train in the gown into one seamless looking ballgown. This effect is made by putting in a row of buttons (covered) or hooks at the waist level of the gown where eyelets on the lower end of the gown can be picked up and hooked after the ceremony.

The French Bustle: Also known as the under or Victorian bustle, this little wedding gown pick up is done from underneath the gown with a series of ribbons. On the outside, it looks like a nice little understated fold in the gown that does not distract or look odd. Perfect for gowns without a waistline or a gown with an ornate back. Make sure to have your seamstress use matching colored ribbons so you can see which ribbon goes with which, it makes it easier when bustling the gown, because it's all color coded.

The Austrian Bustle: Probably the worst possible choice for today's bride, because it creates a series of hooks on the outside and makes the gown look like it's been picked up like balloon shades. This is accomplished by sewing bias tape down the back seams and running a ribbon through it or adding hooks or buttons to the back seam. Once the gown is picked up, the look is a series of tufts on the back side.

Tufted Gowns Bustle: Bustles for tufted gown can easily be disguised because the seamstress can create pick me ups that will duplicate the gowns original tufts and pick ups.

The Pick Up Bustle: The simplest of all bustles it requires one button and one matching eyelet to create a simple little lift to your gowns train.

In addition to these standard bustles, seamstresses and gown makers are becoming more and more inventive in the way they "lift it up" when it comes to the backside of your gown. So, if you are working with a designer or getting one specifically made, ask about their opinions on what type of bustle you should go with.

Hope this helps the great bustle question. Remember have your maids or planner practice the bustling of your gown. It will be far easier to do it on site if you try it before the actual day.


Photo from Roxy and Kai

Friday, June 12, 2009

Fantastic Fridays: Vera Wang to Cha Cha Cha on DWTS

The Fox Trot, the Paso Doble, and the Cha Cha Cha, can this diva Tango her way to win the coveted Dancing with the Stars trophy? I sure hope so. I am super excited that Vera Wang, according to E!, has signed a contract to compete in the next installment of Dancing with the Stars. I wonder if she will modify any of her own couture creations for her costumes on the show?

She should do well, considering that she trained as a figure skater as a girl and competed in the 1968 US Figure Skating Championship. In 2009, she was inducted into the US Figure Skating Hall of Fame, so we know that Ms. Wang has the moves. We all know she will put 100% into her performances and there's no doubt that she will surprise many of us with her dancing talents.

Vera Wang is a world-renowned designer, best known for her wedding and evening gowns. Brides around the world covet her gowns, which have graced the aisles of many celebrity weddings, including Mariah Carey, Victoria Beckham, and Jennifer Lopez. Her designs are also staples on the red carpets.

You go Vera! I can't wait for the next season of Dancing with the Stars! I can't believe how excited the wedding community is about this news.


Photo from Vera Wang

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Trend Thursday: Equality Rings

In celebration of Gay (LGBT) Pride Month and to all the states, like Iowa and New Hampshire who have passed laws allowing same-sex couples to legally get married, I am highlighting a very special designer who designs with equality in mind, David Jason Taylor.

David's designs are geared towards the men in your life, but his designs are unisex enough that women who love them can also wear them. Currently he has two lines on his Website, the Tribeca Silver Collection and the Venetian Gold Collection. Both lines are FABULOUS.

Who would have thought to design jeweled stackable rings for me the guys? Sure Tiffany's has been doing it for the ladies, but now multi-colored gem bling for guys...OUTSTANDING! Not only does he use diamonds, but he also uses such gems as linen quartz, lemon or green citrine, blue topaz, emeralds, rubies, and sapphires...OH MY. The big plus is all of his pieces are handmade and handcrafted the day they are ordered! In addition to his rings, David has made some outstanding necklaces that would be great gifts for your groomsmen, best woman, or anyone special in your lives.

These rings are not only perfect as wedding rings, but they make great engagement rings too. Additionally, if you don't plan to marry, they are just a perfect accessory to have. I'm personally eyeing the Tribeca Band Ring as a replacement to my own nonchalant wedding band.

So, in celebration of diversity and equality, show your pride and your support by supporting those who give back towards the fight for equal rights, such as David Jason Taylor. Additionally, when you place your order on the David Jason Taylor Website and use the following code: percysales, you will receive free shipping and 10% of your purchase will be donated to organizations that support marriage equality.

Visit the world of David Jason Taylor today, you will love his pieces.


Photos from David Jason Taylor

Friday, June 5, 2009

Fantastic Fridays: News Article about Hero Bride

This article was found at here and thought you might love this story. Now this is surely to be a memorable part of her wedding.

Bride Still in Wedding Gown Saves Family From House Fire

Monday, June 01, 2009
Associated Press

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — A Connecticut newlywed in her wedding gown is being credited with helping save a family from a Bridgeport house fire.

Officials say that Georgette Clemons had just left her wedding reception Sunday evening when she spotted smoke coming from a home on West McKinley Avenue.

Clemons got out of the car she was riding in and ran into the home. She says a woman was yelling about her animals and didn't want to get out so she had to pull her out.

As firefighters arrived and battled the blaze after members of the Eitelberg family were rescued, Clemons was nearby folding her blackened wedding dress.

Clemons says she messed up her shoes, but says that's no big deal because the people inside the burning home are safe.

Photo from Toby Tucker Photography and is unrelated to the story.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Trend Thursday: The Multi-Day Soiree

Multi-Day Soirees are the hottest and latest trends in bridal extravaganza. No longer is a one-day event sufficient. The more parties' one has the better...because having just a ceremony and reception is so passe. Sure, in some cultures, multi-day events have been a standard, but more over we are seeing that aspect being hybridized into something totally new.

Couples are treating local weddings as if they are on a destination wedding and really making it a week of pure enjoyment, ending it with one spectacular "I DO!" Here's a sample itinerary of a multi-day wedding that I just completed for a local couple:

Tuesday - Cocktail Party for Bridal Party and Immediate Family.

Wednesday - Welcome Crab and Clam Bake for all guests.

Thursday - Bachelor and Bachelorette Parties at different locals.

Friday: Rehearsal and Rehearsal Dinner for Bridal Party, Immediate Family and Out-of-Town Guests.

Saturday: Ceremony and Reception

Sunday: After Wedding Brunch for all guests.

Seriously, there were at least 100 people at each event and the party pulse just carried over to the ceremony and reception making it one of the best weddings I have ever been too. Everyone was so at ease with each other because they got to know each other throughout the week. It was a great and grand celebration.

Not every couple can afford to do a week-long event at this caliper, but one can incorporate this idea and make it more intimate, with just a handful of people. The great thing about doing something like this is that it takes your mind off things and gives you the opportunity to relax and enjoy the people you love. It's the thought that the busier you are, the less you are to worry about things.

Regardless if you celebrate all week long or just for one day, the one thing that you have to remember is that this is a celebration...CELEBRATE, Have Fun, and Enjoy EVERYTHING that is unfolding before your eyes. Don't sweat the small's really not worth it.

Here's to celebrations that last for multiple days and to a trend that surely will just continue to grow.


Photo by Phase4Photography

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Wacky Wednesdays: 2010 San Francisco Dream Wedding Giveaway

Here's your chance brides to get married in one of the most romantic cities in the world...the City by the Bay...San Francisco! A collaboration of 30 vendors is making this dream destination possible.

The contest begins on August 4, 2009 at 7:55 a.m. PST, but you can browse the site to see what vendors are going to be included in this truly once in a lifetime experience. The group is giving "one amazing couple a lavish, heartfelt San Francisco wedding, valued at over $60,000. We’re hoping to offer a rehearsal dinner, day after brunch, and honeymoon to Napa as an added bonus, so be sure to check back often for new information," according to their Website.

Additionally according to their Website site, you will "get to know the contestants, as we begin posting their Love Stories online. Stay tuned for the big announcement, when we reveal the lucky winning couple on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2010. And of course, you won’t want to miss the breath-taking wedding, set for May 14, 2010 at one of San Francisco’s most famous landmarks."

Check out the 2010 San Francisco Dream Wedding Giveaway Website...who knows you might just be the one lavishing in this dream wedding.


Header from 2010 San Francisco Dream Wedding Giveaway and photo from Lilia Photography

Monday, June 1, 2009

TIPsy Tuesday: Disposable Chic

Don't tell Bardolet & Co., makers of TAST, that disposable plates and glasses can't be chic! Far gone are the Dixie plates with floral edging and Solo plastic cups in red and blue. Bardolet & Co. has revolutionized what disposable plates and glasses should look like.

They have taken what's hot in event ware and has come up with disposable elements for caterers. I don't know how green they are...but how much cooler would your house party look with these elements!

TAST is very stylized and very much couture ware inspired. For any type of lower budget events, this could be just what caters are looking for...adding some panache to the drab choices in disposable products. I especially love the disposable shot glasses and the appetizer and dip plates.

If you are looking for something to spice up your next backyard BBQ, you might want to look at TAST by Bardolet & Co. When you first go to their website it will all be in Spanish, but once you click on the TAST logo you will have the option for different languages. Have fun exploring the latest in throwaway china.


Photos from Bardolet & Co.

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