Even the White House Weighs in on Will & Kate

29 Apr

Statement by the Press Secretary on the Wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton
 
We congratulate Prince William and Catherine Middleton, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, on their wedding today and wish them a lifetime of happiness together.   The United States has no closer friend in the world than the United Kingdom. On this occasion, the American people extend heartfelt congratulations to the peoples of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth and share in their hopes for a bright future for the Royal couple.

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Thank God, Indeed

26 Apr

There is something uplifting about know that no matter how many Tsunamis hit or how many rebellions fail, the last crawl at the bottom of our screen is never the last.   In every pocket of the world, there are people planning for the future, plotting what’s next and moving forward in spite of all of the things that might hold them back.  I skimmed the accompanying article and learned far too much about two people I don’t know and will never meet: he has trust issues, this is “her happy ending.”  Embue their special day with as much meaning  as I might, the moral of the story is one that we can take to heart:   in a world of constant chaos and turmoil, we all need a little distraction.  Here’s to Kate the Great for allowing us to escape! (Cross-posted from Hostess Wars)

RSVP: Irreverent Save the Dates

9 Apr

Cross posted from Hostess Wars:

Recently I’ve met a few brides who are, well, less than excited about planning a wedding.  It’s not that they don’t want to get married, they just don’t want to drown in a sea of fondant and tulle.  For those brides, here’s a lifesaver, an Etsy assortment of Save the Dates devoid of hearts, flowers and soul crushing wordplay.

Customizable Silhouette, Jack and Jill Wedding, $3 each
Flying Pigs, InkyLivie, $50 for 25

This would be extra hilarious and/or awkward if like me, your parents are divorced:

They Set a High Bar, HelloTenFold, $2.50 each
Scratch Off Record, UnlessSomeoneLikeYou, $50 for 25
Retro Custom Wedding Postcards, Jennle, $2.00 each

 

Advice: Lilia Ahner on Choosing the Right Wedding Photographer

30 Mar

Given that one’s wedding is the biggest hostessing event of one’s life, it’s important to have photos that capture the very best of the wedding day. When I began my wedding blog, Bustle & Flow, I scoured hundreds of photographers’ websites before finding a handful of photographers who consistently deliver interesting, beautiful photographs.  As soon as I found Lilia Ahner’s site, she and her partner (and husband!) Ray’s photography became some of my favorite.  Lilia and Ray have an amazing ability to set up cool shots without ever seeming like they’re trying too hard.  Their work has been featured in publications ranging from San Francisco Brides Magazine to The Wall Street Journal (read: they’re kind of a big deal).  Here’s some advice from Lilia on finding a great photographer:

Most brides sort through a dizzying array of photos before they narrow down their list of photographers.  What should they be looking for as they cull through photographers’ websites?

Style: Wedding blogs are an amazing inspiration resource. Take a look at a number of blogs, and bookmark the weddings which featured photography that you liked. You’ll start to notice that there is a common thread with the photography that resonates with you, and you’ll discover that you are drawn to a particular style of photography: fashion driven, formal/traditional, photojournalistic, fine art, or modern and edgy to name a few different styles. You can find local photographers in your area that match the style you like.

Consistency: Look to see if the photos on the photographer’s website and/or blog have a consistent style and level of quality.

Budget: Are they in your budget range?

What are the five most important questions a couple should ask in their preliminary conversation with a photographer?

  • How long have you been in business photographing weddings?
  • Are you able to customize a package for us based on our needs?
    What will we receive with our package? A DVD with high-res photos? An album if it fits our budget?
  • Can I see sample albums of complete weddings? If you’re not able to meet with the photographer in person, can you view a wedding proof gallery online?
  • Do you have insurance?

As brides choose their dresses and flowers – any things that look good in person but don’t photograph well?

It’s our job to photograph everything and make it look good. Personally I don’t like to stifle a bride’s creativity by telling her that her choices wouldn’t photograph well. In terms of her dress, making sure that it fits her body type is essential. Also, having it tailored properly and making sure that it fits properly well in advance of her wedding is important. I have seen many dresses that do not flatter, or were too big or too small on the wedding day, despite being tailored.

There is lots of conversation on message boards and blogs about cutting corners and saving costs.  If a bride needs to trim one element of her photography what should it be?  What should she never compromise on?

If a couple is looking to trim their budget, they can ask their photographer to work with them in terms of the number of hours of coverage. Some photographers require a minimum of eight hours of coverage. We work with our clients budget to customize packages that fit their needs.

Be sure to check out Lilia and Ray’s full portfolio at http://www.liliaphoto.com/

Celebrate: A Bash at Bubby’s

20 Mar

I love a restaurant wedding.  For one, the food is being made on premise which is a huge plus, and unlike catering halls, you’re paying for the food, not the space.  Given my love of these more intimate, food-prioritized weddings you can imagine how much I enjoyed this Brooklyn wedding at Bubby’s.  I’ve never been to Bubby’s but reading their menus I now want to go.  And in addition to what looks like amazing food (including some dazzling pies) it’s a very pretty space, with views of the Brooklyn Bridge.  Above all else, these photographs by Daniel Krieger remind me why I love city weddings: in each photo, Krieger manages to contrast urban grit with pure romance.  From an editorial perspective this visual juxtaposition of the bitter and the sweet seems like an honest entre to marriage: not perfect, not a fairytale, but rather a glimmer of beauty among all that is ordinary and real. You can view more photos from this beautiful wedding here.

Say Yes: A Spanish Inspired Wedding

2 Mar

Adela by Pronovias

Cross posted from the amazing Hostess Wars:

I’m a big fan of culturally inspired weddings.  Just beware: there’s a fine line between adding a few special touches and making your guests feel like they’ve stumbled into Epcot Center.  The trick is to choose several key elements and allow the culture to influence rather than overwhelm the design.

I recently returned from Madrid and so a Spanish-inspired wedding has been on my brain (in part because I tried to sneak into walked by the Pronovias flagship store). Madrid is a subtle and formal city, so those characteristics can underscore the event: a gown embellished with lace and ruffles, high candelabra centerpieces, a Spanish guitar trio for the cocktail hour, nicely bottled olive oil as favors.

It is also a city in which food plays a dominant role in socializing and celebrating, and so the food ought to be the event’s cultural anchor.  You could, in fact, forgo a formal sit down dinner and instead, opt for an ongoing flow of hot and cold tapas.  But for the bride with her heart set on a feast, I asked Leah Obegi of Pier Personal Chef in Los Angeles to help me create a menu that captured the various culinary traditions of Spain. ¡Buen provecho!

Spanish Menu

Gussy Up: Hitched, Washington, DC

27 Dec

One of the many joys of having a friend who is getting married is being able to visit bridal salons that I’ve only read about.  Asian Elle Woods, who you know well if you follow my personal blog (2010 recap: she’s graduated from law school, gotten engaged and passed the bar – woo!) started her dress shopping at the Amy Kuschel store in San Francisco.  Her second trip, and the first trip I made with her, was to Washington, DC’s Hitched.

Hitched is located in Georgetown, a fitting location for this hip bridal boutique.  All of the dresses are on the floor, which takes the edge off of  worrying that there is a perfect dress in some mystery vault that your consultant isn’t thinking of.   Given how small the store is, they have an excellent offering of dresses, both in terms of price point and style.  Featured designers include Adele Wechsler, Amy Kuschel, Amsale, Anne Barge, Anna Maier/ Ulla-Maija, Christos, Jorge Manuel, Judd Waddell, Lela Rose and Modern Trousseau.  In addition, their day-to-day stock is augmented by regular trunk shows.

Asian Elle planned our visit around a Modern Trousseau trunk show, and had her eye on one special traveling dress (a dress I will happily share with you next Fall).  Asian Elle had decided that she wanted a trumpet silhouette with lace and still, Hitched had plenty of options.  Our consultant was very friendly and did a great job of being enthusiastic without overselling.  She sat down with Asian Elle, took note of what she was looking for and then walked us around the salon to see what caught our eye.  Once we had collected about eight dresses, we headed back to the dressing rooms.

Each of the dressing rooms is divided into a curtained off changing space for the bride (which I imagine is appreciated by brides who don’t wish to be naked in front of their shopping companions) and a comfortable, well-appointed seating area for her party.  The two back areas are entirely private, but there is one area where the group seating, the mirror and the pedestal are viewable from the sales floor.  These areas also get a tiny bit of traffic as consultants and brides need to walk through here in order to get to the back rooms. The consultants at Hitched keep this to a minimum but I would suggest that someone shy ask for a room in the back when making an appointment.

Our consultant quickly slipped Asian Elle in and out of various dresses (as we ooo’d and ahh’d) and offered some helpful insights (“This one can come with a sash,” “We can bring the neckline up on this one,” “This is a really pretty bustle”) without over-inserting her opinion. One of the unforeseen bonuses of visiting the store during the trunk show was that  Modern Trousseau’s designer Callie Tein was present and buzzing about the store.  From the moment Asian Elle tried on the Modern Trousseau traveling dress it was the dress to beat, but once Callie poked her head in and gave her stamp of approval, there was no turning back.  From the way Callie talks about her dresses it is clear that each design is a work of love, and each detail a work of art.

While this should have been our “Say Yes to the Dress!” moment, Asian Elle wanted to take some time to think about it before putting her credit card down.  Our consultant was supportive (even if she did keep reminding us that we’d miss out on the 10% discount attached to the trunk show) and encouraged Elle to come back.

Overall, a great experience.  Definitely a good place to shop whether you’re just getting started or are near burnout.  Plus: they have a bridesmaids boutique upstairs!

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