Monday, December 20, 2010

Princess Bride - Designers Design Gowns for Kate Middleton

When you are a princess...well...soon to be princess in this case, everyone wants to dress you for your fairytale wedding. Why wouldn't they since the world, will literally, have their eyes on her when she makes her way down the aisle.

Ever since the royal engagement of HRH Prince William to Kate Middleton was announced, the world has been speculating on what the wedding will look like and most importantly what the soon-to-be princess and future Queen of England would wear on her wedding day.

While we cannot speculate on what Kate (Catherine) will wear on her wedding day, we can only wonder if it's an established designer with a name people recognize or some unknown up and comer. Royal correspondent Yvonne Yorke recently told Vogue UK, "When the name is officially announced, it will come as a surprise to many, and catapult the designer to worldwide fame. For clues on the identity, I suggest looking at those who have made dresses for Catherine, her sister Pippa, and her mother Carole." The anticipation! How lovely would it be for her to walk down the aisle in a gown designed by her sister or mother?

At any rate, WWD recently invited designers to sketch their idea on what Kate's wedding dress should look like. What do you think?

Main dress sketch above by Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli for Valentino
Yigal Azrouel
Vera Wang

Tory Burch
Tommy Hilfiger
Reem Acra

Rebecca Taylor
Rachel Roy

Prabal Gurung

Peter Copping for Nina Ricci

Nicole Miller
Nanette Lepore

Monique Lhuillier


Lyn Devon

Lela Rose

Kimberly Ovitz

Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel
Gilles Mendel for J. Mendel

J. Crew

Jason Wu
Frida Giannini for Gucci
Elizabeth Emanuel

Doo-Ri Chung for Doo.Ri

Christian Lacriox

Chris Benz
Ralph Rucci for Chado Ralph Rucci

Badgley Mischka

Alberta Ferretti

Monday, November 22, 2010

AMA - Red Carpet looks more WTF than OMG.

I love award shows and seeing all the glamor and gowns and bling and fabulousness. But it seems last night's AMA (American Music Awards) were more about trying to out do Gaga's outfits (she wasn't even there) - which can't be done or trying too hard to make a statement - whatever statement they were trying to make. I thought most of the outfits were a big fail and quite disappointing. Here's a look at the parade of HORRIFIC outfits that came down the red carpet last night. Just seemed like an off year.

(Mike Nelson / EPA)
I get it, less is more, but it was a just a bit off Rhi Rhi. Maybe you should have taken a cue from Hallie Berry's 2002 Oscar Gown by Elie Saab - the same designer that did this number. Your asymmetrical green draped dress by Elie would have made a better impact on the red carpet.

(Chris Pizzello, Associated Press)
Ke$ha, maybe you should replace the $ with a ¢ because this entire look likes like one HEFTY mess. It looks like a PR garbage bag challenge and you oddly are reminding me of the female version of Syndrome on The Incredibles. I hope this was not the junk junk you were talking about that boys wanted to touch.

(Danny Moloshok / Reuters)
Miley Miley Miley - maybe we should just change your name to Charmin because it looks like you forgot to check your behind before you left the restroom in this Marchesa gown. I think chopping off the train would have made this couture look much better.

(Chris Pizzello, Associated Press)
Willow - you've got my hair whipping but fire your stylist now. This concoction that they assembled is a hot mess and has me shaking my head NO NO NO. Overworked couture on a preteen just looks odd and the fit not too flattering...if you were older people would be saying what's up with the CT.

(Danny Moloshok / Reuters)
Nicki Minaj there is so many things wrong with this. Let's just say, maybe you should get your money back from the metal yard - they'll buy back by the pound. Manish Arora the designer of this number just did too much - way too much. If he wanted his couture to be recognized in The States maybe he should of put her in one of his other and absolutely stunning colored frocks. Plus wasn't the skeleton thing already done by Lady Gaga last year on stage? A rehash of his (Manish Arora) carousel dress that Katy Perry wore to the European Music Awards would have been a welcomed site too.

Regardless of the train wrecks - and there were more of those than just the ones above, a few of the celebs were right on the mark. Here are three of my favorites from the evening.

(Chris Pizzello, Associated Press)
Katy Perry is a teenage dream in this pale pink confection by Badgley Mischka. Simple, classy, dreamy.

(Danny Moloshok / Reuters)
Kelly Osbourne in Dior - absolutely beautiful. She looks old Hollywood fabulous, thinking Bridgette Bardot - sexy but classy.

(Chris Pizzello / Associated Press)
Taylor loving the bangs and this bang up dress by Collette Dinigan. You sure know how to light the way!

So that is my recap for this years AMA Red Carpet looks. Quite disappointing year - lets hope the couture for the awards season are better than these frocks.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Destination Weddings - The New "IT" Thing

Destination weddings have been around forever, but more and more couples are finding that these weddings are more attainable and affordable than having one in their hometown. Regardless if it's an international destination or a different state, the couples dollars are stretched further by taking their nuptials elsewhere.

One of the main reasons for this is that in some international destinations, their dollars go further and they are able to get more bang for the buck. Additionally, they are able trim their guests list to family and friends who are a part of the couple's lives, rather than including extended guests who the couple may not know personally, without feeling guilty of not inviting mom's co-workers or their fourth cousin twice removed.

I'm finding that many couples are entertaining this idea more and more, especially when they see how the over-the-top "platinum" weddings can translate to an enjoyable mini vacation for their guests. Additionally, couples on a budget are also finding that they are able to get a more unique wedding options when they look at destinations abroad or in another state. Plus the options of destinations for weddings are endless!

I believe that this trend will be more increasingly popular as couples try to find new ways to say I Do, while making it a truly memorable experience for their guests.

Some hot areas to have a destination wedding:

Riviera Maya, Mexico
San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
Prague, Czech Republic
Sicily, Italy
Quebec City, Canada
St. Lucia
St. John
The Bahamas
Puerto Rico
Miami, Florida
Napa Valley, California
Santa Barbara, California
New Orleans, Louisiana

Destination weddings are an experience on it's own. Working with a Destination Wedding specialists like, Percy Sales Events, will make the experience seamless and will help in making sure that you and your guests enjoy every moment of your wedding experience.

If you are looking for a wedding that will truly wow your guests, don't rule out how a destination wedding can work within your budget. You just might be surprised!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Wish Upon A Wedding: Blissful Wishes Ball - Making a World of Difference

Wish Upon a Wedding is the world's first nonprofit wish granting organization that provides weddings and vow renewals for couples facing terminal illness or other serious life-altering circumstances. Less than one year old, the organization has 16 active chapters, and will have granted 12 wishes by the end of 2010.

During the month of November, they are hosting several fund raising galas and auctions throughout the country, and would like to invite you to participate.

Whether you are a bride or groom to be, a wedding industry professional, or you simply love the concept behind their mission...YOU can help make Wedding Wishes come true, while raising crucial funding needed to sustain this wonderful, new nonprofit organization.

Here's How:

A Gala Celebration to Benefit Wish Upon a Wedding

The Blissful Wishes Ball is a festive way to support Wish Upon a Wedding. Enjoy a nice night out on the town with an elegant dinner, entertainment, music, dancing, and incredible auction items.

Can't make one of the fabulous Blissful Wedding Balls? There's another way you can help! Tell your clients, family, friends and collegues about the wonderful auction items that can be had at on Wish Upon A Wedding's through Wish Upon A Weddings Online Auction!

Bid Your Wish for Wedded Bliss

Online and Live auctions for a Worthwhile Cause

For the first time in history, couples getting married can plan their entire wedding from virtually any city in the United States, knowing that every penny they spend will go directly towards helping a couple in need. It's so EASY to bid. Find everything from invitations to flowers, catering to DJs, photography to wedding planners, honeymoons and more.

Simply visit their online auction site here to choose from hundreds of items from the industry's best vendors. Even if you are not getting married, check it out for other exciting items, such as dinners in top-rated restaurants, entertainment, sporting events and popular autographed memorabilia. Every cent earned goes towards Wish Upon a Wedding and their mission to provide these heartfelt Wedding Wishes.

About Wish Upon a Wedding

Founded in January of 2010 by CA wedding planner, Liz Guthrie of San Jose Wedding Consultants, Wish Upon a Wedding was created to help couples who did not have the time, money, resources or strength to plan a wedding on their own, because of terminal illness or other serious life-altering circumstances. The organization now celebrates the courage, determination and spirit of these couples by granting their dream wedding wishes. It is their goal that chosen recipients can inspire other couples facing similar situations to find hope and strength, while raising awareness for terminal illness.

Growing up with a sister who was deaf since birth, and raised by parents who ran a board and care home for people facing numerous disabilities and life hardships, Liz learned early on to value the many blessings in life, and the importance of helping others. Volunteering throughout her life for a variety of nonprofit organizations, Liz was looking for a way to combine weddings and community service.

After producing the San Francisco Dream Wedding Giveaway in 2009, a contest in which only one couple would be granted a dream wedding, Liz came up with a way to merge her two passions. While going through the process of giving the wedding "prize" to a woman suffering from stage IV Hodgkin's Lymphoma, Liz created Wish Upon a Wedding. Overnight, Liz decided to change wedding history, and the way we give, by launching a nonprofit organization that was totally unique and had never existed before.

Supported by industry leaders such as Sasha Souza, David Beahm, Stella Inserra, Jenny Orsini, Kevin Covey, Stacie Francombe, Sylvia Weinstock, Steve Kemble, Mindy Weiss, Mary Dann, and Ivy Robinson (to name just a few), the organization has experienced rapid growth and seen voracious acceptance throughout the country.

To date, eight couples have benefited from the generous work of Wish Upon a Wedding. Over 4,000 volunteers have signed up to become Wish Granters. Their facebook page has attracted over 10,000 fans. None of this would be possible without public support.

In Loving Memory of Wish Recipients who have Passed On

Dani and Tony married in St Louis on September 1. She passed away September 30th. Dani had suffered from Cystic Fibrosis since age 3, and had recently received a double lung transplant.

Florence and Micheal married near Sacramento on March 13. She passed away on September 28. Florence battled stage IV breast cancer, and was diagnosed with six months to live at the time of her wedding.

Shelly and Jay married in Seattle on May 2. Shelly passed away three weeks later. She had been battling a rare type of cancerous lymphoma, and Jay suffered from Multiple Sclerosis.

Please help Wish Upon a Wedding continue to do great things.

And help them spread the word, by sharing this article with your friends, family, co-workers and acquaintances.

You CAN make a difference in someone's life today!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Destination Wedding Location Love: Xcaret (Riviera Maya, Mexico)

I recently went to the Riviera Maya to do a site visit at Xcaret (pronounced esh-caret) for a client who is interested in getting married there next September.

Upon arrival it just seemed like any other theme park - the entrance was nothing to write home about and I kinda got worried about the location and what potential it really had. Well let me tell you...once I walked through those gates - all my expectations from photos I have seen were met and than some! It was kinda mind blowing actually and a little overwhelming. Pictures does not do this venue justice - trust me on this, I've seen many pics of the venue and I was still in awe.

Graciela, one of the in-house wedding planners, walked us through the entire wedding guest experience. From entering through a special gate, to the walk up to St. Francis of Assisi Chapel (which by the way is officially sanctioned as a Catholic Church), to the journey guests will take en-route to reception site including a spiral descent (called the snail path) to a reception cave that has a river running through, it's called La Isla - which serves as one of the parks restaurants as well.

Additionally, we got to see other locations, like The Ponds, an area on the Caribbean Ocean that serves as a ceremony and reception location. We also got to see the Crypt of Souls a humongous dome like cave with an opening on top that houses a large crucifix and crypts (not real) filled with LED candles (pictured above). There's also a walk around the Crypt of Souls that is filled with Santos or figures of Saints. The floor is a huge spiral labyrinth and has water running in between the paved areas. The sound of the trickling water vibrates throughout this experience. It's an awesome location for photos or even an intimate small wedding for say 10 people.

Xcaret was designed as a "majestic park by the sea that features unique activities, where you can have fun while discovering the natural and cultural richness of Mexico. Among its great treasures, in Xcaret, you can find underground rivers, cenotes, a Butterfly Pavilion, recreated Mayan ruins, a beach, inlets and Xcaret’s one of a kind celebration “Xcaret Mexico Espectacular,” an absolutely wonderful show. At Xcaret you can also enjoy the most amazing water activities such as swimming with dolphins, scuba, Sea Trek and snorkeling."

For the destination wedding, Xcaret offers an experience your guests will remember forever! It's the location that destination dreams are made of. Guests will experience so much beauty, history, and see things such as the Bridge of Paradise, which is a representation of a traditional Mexican cemetery. This cemetery is made of 365 tombs that represents a day of the year and the 52 steps leading to it represents the 52 weeks in the year. I am telling you every corner has something amazing at Xcaret. Oh and I almost forgot THE VIEWS are amazing from St. Francis of Assisi Chapel as well as The Ponds. The location is very accommodating to all guests including individuals who may need special assistance.

The entertainers at the park can be hired to perform at your wedding or ceremony. All of them amazing musicians and artists. From conch blowing Mayan natives to an eight-piece Mariachi band - you can get the best of the best from Xcaret's extensive list of live musicians and performers. The parks in-house caterer can also customize your menus or you can select from menu's that already have conceived. They will also work with you to make sure that it fits within your budget! The staff is also wonderful to work with.

Here are a few photos of my Xcaret experience.

St. Francis of Assisi Entrance

Altar in St. Francis of Assisi (the open sided church with thatched roof has beautiful views of the Caribbean Ocean)

The back of St. Francis of Assisi Church and the built in benches

The inside of La Isla Restaurant set in a cave with a river running in between the stage and main dining floor. This restaurant/reception space can sit over 300 people. on two levels.

Part of the Bridge of Paradise

I love this location for a wedding. This venue offers so many possibilities for unique wedding experiences. It will truly add to the wow factor in your destination wedding. We finalized the contract for my client's Xcaret wedding while I was there - I can't wait to execute it next September 2011!

Make your wedding dollars stretch by having an incredible wedding abroad in places like Xcaret! You and your guests will love every moment. If you have questions regarding destination weddings to Riviera Maya Mexico or to other destination in Mexico, or anywhere else in the world to be exact, contact me at! I would love to work with you on your destination wedding!


Photo credit:
Crypt of Souls photo taken by: Pierre Voille
All other photos taken by: Kathy Grate

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