Friday, January 29, 2010

Fashion Friday: The Grammys

Of all the awards shows, the Grammys consistently feature the most cutting-edge fashion. These four gowns could be seen on such stars as Fergie, Lady Gaga or Alica Keys.

Row 1: Jean Paul Gaultier
Row 2: Valentino, Jean Paul Gaultier

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

How to Choose the Right Veil?

Many brides ask if they should wear a veil, and if so what kind? Jolene Picone of Veil Trends, as created a veil chart that addresses the basic veil lengths and description of each. Fly Away veil is the shortest length veil. This veil is also sometimes called a shoulder length veil. Fly Away veil to be any veil 20" long or shorter.
Blusher is the veiling that covers the face when you walk down the isle. The blusher can be worn during the entire ceremony until the first kiss as husband and wife or it can be pulled back over the bride's face before she is given away by father. ( or by person that walks the bride down the aisle. ) A blusher can be any length from about 20" to even a dramatic 60" or more.
Elbow length veil is just that; a veil that hits the bride below the shoulder or near the elbow. A common length is around 28".
Fingertip length guessed it, right at the fingertips or around the hand. A typical length for this veil is 36".
Ballet length is a veil that hits your body somwhere between your knees and calves. This veil is also sometimes called a waltz veil. Veil Trends measures a ballet length veil at 56".
Chapel length veils are 108" long and extend all the way to the ground. The width of the veil can range anywhere from 56" wide to 108" wide, depending on the width of your dress or personal preference.
Cathedral veils are the longest veil length and extend well past the end of your dress train. They are typically worn in church settings for a dramatic walk down a long aisle. A cathedral veil is aprox. 120" or longer.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Traditions - Chinese Tea Ceremony

Image Via Nealy

It's the quintessential Chinese wedding tradition: the tea ceremony. This time-honored exchange was created to show respect for the family. Historically, after they exchanged vows, the couple would serve tea to the groom's family (the bride would have served tea privately to her own family that morning). Today, many couples choose to honor both the bride and groom's families by hosting tea ceremonies for both sets of parents.

How It Works If you are hosting two separate ceremonies, traditionally, it's appropriate to honor the groom's family first. Likewise, if you are holding an all-inclusive tea ceremony, the groom's family should be served first. During the ceremony, the couple serves tea to the groom's parents and elders in order of seniority. The groom's parents are served, followed by his paternal grandparents and then his maternal grandparents. Next, are his oldest uncles and aunts, and finally his oldest brother is served. After each elder takes a sip, they hand the couple a lai see (a lucky red envelope), which usually contains money or jewelry. The envelopes are placed on the platter that holds the teacups. The ceremony is then performed in the same manner for the bride's family. The tea ceremony is also the time when the Chinese wedding contract should be witnessed and signed with a traditional signature seal or personalized stamp.

When to Have It
The tea ceremony traditionally takes place following the wedding ceremony. Today, some couples wait to host the tea ceremony until the day after the wedding (think postwedding tea, instead of brunch). Others host the ceremony just before the wedding, during the cocktail hour, or just after the ceremony. When the tea ceremony takes place usually depends on the amount of privacy a couple wishes to keep. If you just wish to include immediate family, you could serve your parents before the wedding ceremony, in the privacy of home. Another option is to perform the ceremony during the cocktail hour, while your guests enjoy hors d'oeuvres and cocktails. If you want all guests to pay witness to your tea ceremony, build in time between the ceremony and cocktail hour for this event to take place.

Where to Host It
If you want to host a private tea ceremony, you can choose to have it just about anywhere. To add contrast to a formal indoor reception, a private outdoor tea ceremony is the perfect way to incorporate a breath of fresh air into your day. Host the ceremony in a nearby garden while your guests enjoy predinner cocktails at the reception. If you want to keep it more low-key, opt to have a small ceremony with family at home. If you wish to include your entire guest list, you'll need to reserve a space big enough to accommodate everybody. Find out if there is a big enough outdoor patio at your reception venue, or perhaps the hotel has a smaller banquet room near your reception space. You could even set up the tea ceremony in your reception room and then have the room "turned over" before dinner is served.

What You Need
You'll want to have an altar or table to display photos or candles in recognition of each family. If you are hosting just one tea ceremony, you may choose to have two small ancestral altars. A lot of times the bride and groom will light two wedding candles (one with a phoenix, the other with a dragon motif) to represent each of their families. The couple can also light one candle together (symbolizing the joining of two families). Other items for the ancestral altar: white flowers, fruit, offertory wine, and burning incense. Of course, a tea set is a must. The type of tea served can be left up to each family, but popular choices are black dragon, orange blossom, and classic green tea.

The Setup
Just like a Western wedding ceremony, the general rule is that the bride be on the left and the groom on the right. Those family members served should sit in chairs facing the couple. (For example, the bride would kneel in front of her father-in-law, while the groom kneels in front of his mother.) If you opt to invite your guests to the ceremony, have them sit in chairs facing your elders. You can seat them in rows just as they might have sat for the vow exchange or seat them at round tables where everyone is able to see what's going on.

The Decor
From the very simple at-home ceremony to the lavishly decorated affair, there are a ton of options for decking out your tea ceremony space. A couple motifs to keep in mind when looking for décor items: the Double Happiness symbol, phoenix and dragon motifs, Chinese marriage gods, gold and red colors, and decorative strands of firecrackers. You can drape a red and gold banner over the altar; fly red silk scarves in trees for an outdoor setting; hand out red rice-paper parasols to all your guests; or string small red paper lanterns along the ceiling. Your decor choices are truly endless so don't be afraid to get creative.

The Finishing Touches
If you do plan to invite all your guests to the tea ceremony, be sure to have someone there who can explain the significance behind the ceremony to those unfamiliar with the tradition. If you don't have a spokesperson, print out the meaning of the Chinese tea ceremony on an insert for your wedding program, so that your guests can follow along. You can make the programs as casual or elaborate as you want them to be -- from simple pieces of paper to card stock inserts that match the traditional wedding programs, invitations, and save-the-dates. Of course, when it comes to extras, you don't have to stop there. To entertain and impress guests, some couples hire lion dancers -- an expression of joy, celebration, and happiness -- to perform to the sounds of drums, gongs, and cymbals at the close of their ceremonies. For the ultimate wow factor, consider setting off traditional Chinese firecrackers (just be sure to get permission from your venue first, of course!).

Article by Anja Winikka of the Knot

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Inspiration Board: Russian Ballet

This inspirational board created by Fri of Wedding Nouveau, reminds me of a night my husband and I had in Moscow, when we stumbled upon an outdoor dance performance that was absolutely transcendent. We were walking back to our hotel late one night from dinner when, out of the blue, a processional of dancers in elaborate costumes passed us, leading people to a neighborhood square where they began a performance of visionary theater. It was a magical surprise to end our night.

(Above: St. Petersburg Tower by Bridgepix ; Gown by Atelier Aimee; Bouquet by Fantasy Floral Designs; Ballerina photo by Jonathan Skow; Russian Matryoshka necklace by Sea Unicorn; Ornament photo by Ken Marten via here; Gold Ballet flats by JCrew via here; Music box; Russian Table Setting via here; Mirror photo by Sarah Maingot; Male Model by GQ Russia ;Slicked Hair Model ; Russian doll and Sari Pillow by Ceci New York; Pink and Gold Platter photo by Sarah Maingot; Sitting Ballerina photo by Marina Danilova ; Stair photo via here)

Party Attire Etiquette

What's a girl to wear? Here's a quick reference to dress codes for your social event!

Black Tie

A Black Tie invitation calls for formal attire. Men wear tuxedos, women wear long dresses or dressy evening separates.

Formal usually means the same as Black Tie, but in some trendier cities like New York or Los Angeles, it could mean a black shirt, no tie with a tux. Women wear cocktail, long dresses or dressy evening separates.

A White Tie or Ultra-formal invitation requires men wear full dress, with white tie, vest, shirt. Women wear long gowns.

Black Tie Optional

A Black Tie Optional or Black Tie Invited gives you the option of wearing a tuxedo or formal dress, but it should clue you into the formality of the event, meaning a dark suit and tie would be your other option. Women wear cocktail long dresses or dressy evening separates.

Creative Black Tie

Creative Black Tie leaves room for trendy interpretations of formal wear. He can go more modern with a tux -- maybe a black shirt, no tie. She wears long or short dresses or evening separates.

Sometimes, themed parties call for dress codes like Texas Black Tie or other variations of Creative Black Tie. In that situation, you can have more fun with it, choosing a dressy look with a theme (for him, it could be a tux with boots and for her it could be a long dress paired with Southwestern style silver belt and jewelry).


Semi-Formal or After Five means that tuxes are not required, nor are long dresses. An evening wedding (after 6 PM) would still dictate dark suits for him, and a cocktail dress for her. Daytime semi-formal events mean a suit for him and an appropriate short dress or dressy suit for her.

Business Formal is the same as Semi-Formal for him, but for women it suggests that women opt for more tailored dressy suits and dresses (nothing too slinky or sexy).

Cocktail Attire means short, elegant dresses for her and dark suits for him.

Informal is often interpreted as the same as Casual but it actually calls for the same dress as Semi-Formal -- dark suits for him, short dresses for her -- especially when associated with a wedding or special event.

Festive Attire is usually seen around the holidays, with the mood of the party being InformalSemi-Formal. For her, it means to choose looks with a bit of sparkle or holiday bent (i.e. a beaded sweater with black pants, a red silk blouse with a black skirt).

Dressy Casual calls for dressed-up versions of casual looks. For him, it could be trousers and a sportcoat, for her a dressy pants look. Jeans, shorts, T-shirts and other casual looks are not appropriate for Dressy Casual.

Casual generally means anything goes.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Help the People of Haiti

Our prayers go out to the people of Haiti. Every donation helps! You may go to the Red Cross or Habitat for Humanity to make a contribution to the disaster relief efforts.

Image Via the Guardian

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Hip Button Boutonniere

If you want an out of the ordinary and creative boutonniere, try a pin-back button. Unique and affordable, it can be customized for your whole wedding party!

Image Via Hatch Creative Studio

Friday, January 8, 2010

Fashion Fridays: Winter Wonderland

Baby it's Cold Outside
JILL STUART Cream Slouchy Teresa Boot $625
Tory Burch Metallic logo shoulder clutch, $315
Fiorelli Rose Frame Clutch Bag, Dove, 30 GBP

Thursday, January 7, 2010

A Groom's Guide

You're newly engaged and excited to get started planning, but your groom was done planning when he put the ring on your finger. Don't get made, get him Groomology: What Every (Smart) Groom Needs to Know Before the Wedding. This book will help him through the planning process all the way to the honeymoon.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Cup Cake Stands

These vintage ceramic cupcake stands from Farm House are the perfect way to make your cupcakes look even sweeter!

Available at Farm House

Saturday, January 2, 2010

New Year's Resolution

You're getting married this year--now there's something to toast to! We all know planning a wedding can be stressful, so make resolutions to help make your lives a little easier.

Here's a great list from Naomi Gladen.

Resolve not to do all the wedding planning. Brides seem to get stuck with all the phone calls and trips to the flower shop and all of those other tasks. You don't have time for that, girl! Make sure your fiance understands that this is both of your responsibility. And don't' be afraid to delegate. Hire a wedding planner will help tremendously.
Create a wedding planning schedule (if schedules don't make you crazy). If you're the kind of person who works better with detailed to-do lists, then make yourself one, complete with deadlines, and resolve to stick to your schedule. However, if to-do lists make your feel more stressed out instead of less, this might not be the best strategy.