Archive for May, 2012
By Evan Kanarakis & Veronica Lozano
Okay brides, today’s blog is for your future groom, so kindly either forward it to his phone or email, or print it out for him and subtly place it in an inconspicuous location for him to find.
We have all heard that, for the most part, weddings are all about what the bride wants. But we also don’t want to forget the groom, it is his day too after all. And believe it or not, some groom’s do want to help and have some input on some things. And if you want to score some major points with your beloved, taking care of a few things could be the difference between a calm, relaxed bride and one who is so stressed that she starts to take it out on you.
Be proactive with your bride. Use this as a first opportunity to preemptively ask your bride what she would like you to help with for your big day. Minimally, if you feel comfortable, tell her you will take care of the items that follow.
Suit Fittings. Take charge of the groomsmen’s suit fittings. It can be as easy as sending out an email to all your chosen guys, and just following up with the suit/tuxedo shop. Make sure to find out all the correct deadlines.
Groomsmen’s gift. Buy each of them a thank you present ahead of time. Start thinking ahead of time by looking at online sites like redenvelope.com. Something engraved with their initials or name is always a classy option, and can fit a variety of budgets.
Give guidance on the bachelor party. While the planning of the bachelor party is left in the hands of the best man, it’s important that a groom provide some degree of guidance on what he would — or would not — like to do. Make sure it’s going to be a day you’ll enjoy. There’s no fun in being compelled to take part in something you’re uncomfortable with or that would over-stretch the budgets of the other friends you’d like to attend.
the good wishes coming from friends and family, there’s nothing wrong with allowing some time prior to the service to collect yourself. Ask your best man to be in charge of corralling you away from guests when it’s time to get ready. A calming, celebratory drink with your groomsmen prior to the wedding is a great idea — just don’t over imbibe.
Choose your groom’s cake. This is one of the main times you get to express your sole opinion and add your personality to the wedding. Choose a cake that says something personal about you.
Prepare the suite. Finally, make advance arrangements for your honeymoon suite. Call the hotel in advance and arrange for champagne or flowers to be in the room upon your arrival. It will make for an especially sweet gesture at the end of a long, memorable day.
Plan the honeymoon. One great project for a groom is to plan the honeymoon. You obviously know enough about each other’s interests (and your budget) to choose a place where you’ll both be happy. Keep in mind that the destination is less important than the fact that the honeymoon will represent a chance to celebrate — and unwind — after the wedding. Instead of rushing off the night of or day after the wedding, consider leaving two or three after days later. It’ll save you from feeling rushed, and you’ll be able to see off guests with plenty of time.Tags: decisions, groom, helping, planning
Posted in Advice, Groom, Honeymoon, Planning | No Comments »
By Veronica Lozano
At a recent wedding conference, we gathered all of the upcoming trends for weddings, and one of them is something called Ritzy Ranch. What is that you ask? Well, as it has been described to us, it’s a combination of American western, vintage, with a forward spin.
And the couple who started the trend was none other than glamourous “It” couple Lauren Bush (Lauren) and David Lauren (son of the iconic designer Ralph Lauren). In typical Ralph Lauren style, the embodiment of western chic set the mood for their nuptials. And now, everyone else wants a bit of that same style. So if this sounds like something you might want to replicate with a wedding planner for your big day, this is how to describe it.
As The Knot explains it:
“The setting? A 200-year-old barn complete with long exposed-wood tables, large chandeliers and ambient lighting. The flowers? Lace-wrapped bouquets of wild roses, lilies of the valley, Queen Anne’s lace and gardenias. The food? Delicate wild game like juniper-spiced venison, cider-braised pheasant and pan-roasted quail, Top Chef: Texas-style. Brides will be channeling the Old West with a rustic-elegant spin a la Lauren Bush and David Lauren’s recent nuptials.”
Sound divine? We think so too. But as with every trend, it’s important to make it your own and start off with some inspirational pictures to set the mood. Have plenty of meetings with your consultant and various vendors to make sure you are achieving the desired look. Your wedding professionals will give you the best advice for the time of year, as the to likelihood of the your flower and dish requests. Make sure to heed their advice and listen to viable alternatives.glamour, ranch, ritzy, ritzy ranch, trends
Posted in Celebration, Details, Event Ideas, Inspiration, Wedding Design | No Comments »
By Veronica Lozano
As a major resource in the wedding industry here in Central Texas, we are often approached with funny industry stories. Such was the case recently when we heard some some wedding professionals discussing pet peeves of theirs in terms of etiquette. So collectively, we listened and gathered info from bridal shop owners and their staff to gain their perspective.
And all are quick to say, “we have seen a lot, and most know the rules when they enter our shop(s), however, there are a few…” Ultimately, it is about reciprocal respect. Consultants want you to find the perfect dress (hopefully with them), so imagine what your experience would be like if you come in with a great attitude and the following few tips in hand.
So here we go, you have the ring, you’ve set the date and now on to the dress. You’ve waited years to go on this special shopping trip, but wait! There are some things you should know both in preparing for the epic shopping trip to your actual etiquette while at the many bridal stores you will visit.
1. Do: Start researching styles of gowns by getting a few bridal magazines and bookmarking the pages. Make note of the designer and see where the nearest retailer to you is.
Don’t: Just walk into a store without any opinions on what you are looking for. It can be frustrating to consultants if you haven’t done your research. There are literally thousands and thousands of dresses, and they can’t put you in every single gown.
2. Do: Bathe before your shopping trip. Sounds silly but, this is really quite practical.
Don’t: Have body lotion on with glitter or freshly self-tanned with a tinted cream. These can leave the dresses you try on stained.
3. Do: Have a clean face.
Don’t: Likewise, a clean face is something to consider because if you have to put dresses on over your head, you don’t want to smear your makeup all over the tops of these very expensive gowns. If you must put on a face before walking out the door, veer towards the lighter side.
Don’t: Show up to the dress shops without proper foundation garments…or worse, NO UNDERGARMENTS AT ALL! Ladies, it’s wonderful that you are so proud of your bodies, however, when dressers are helping you and are so close to your “girly parts,” not everyone is comfortable with brides who go “commando.” Instead, at least for your shopping trips, invest in a pair of nude panties and nude strapless bra for an optimal look and comfort of others.
5. Do: Bring a special friend or family memeber to share in your experience.
Don’t: Bring the ranch with 13 aunts, cousins, and childhood friends. Space is always limited, even with individually scheduled appointments, so be mindful that everyone could get cramped and the tone of the day can turn very quickly.
6. Do: Have a glass of champagne to lessen the anxiety of being overwhelmed by the experience.
Don’t: Have a bottle of champagne and get sloppy drunk during your shopping. Emotions are already high enough as it is, and alcohol can exacerbate both happy and anxiety-ridden emotions. There is nothing worse than trying to get a bride out of a dress while she’s hysterically crying.
7. Do: Bring the right pair of shoes with you.
Don’t: Forget your shoes, bring the wrong shoes, or think you can eyeball it. Alternations can be very expensive and if you don’t have extra funds embedded in your budget for a second round of hemming, having your shoes selected before hand,or at least the DEFINITE height, will be a life saver.
8. Do: Have the funds ready to put a deposit down if you find THE dress.
Don’t: Delay in putting the deposit down due to time constraints. The sooner you put a deposit down, the sooner your dress will be made and back to you. If for whatever reason, it comes in and something is wrong, you’ll have time to figure out a Plan B.
9. Do: Get permission from the bridal shop to take pictures.
Don’t: Try to take pictures on the down low. Dress shops often have very strict contracts with their dress designer/distributers that prevent unauthorized photos of their dresses floating around.
Tags: do's and don'ts, dresses, etiquette
Posted in Advice, Bridal Wear, Ettiquette | No Comments »
By Veronica Lozano
We’ve recently seen some interesting jewelry being added for a bride’s special day. These blingy accents have evolved into some over-the-top pieces that if chosen carefully, add the perfect finishing touch to your bridal look.
Cuffs have suddenly burst on the pages of many bridal magazines. We think it is interesting that such a large piece of jewelry looks so well with most dresses we are seeing this season. And because 90% of the dresses out there do have a strapless look to them, the bare shoulders and long arms beg for a piece of statement jewelry like the cuff. We have found several that are absolutely gorgeous.
1. Bridal bracelet beaded cuff – Vintage Inspired Smoky by Allyson James
Description: Statement piece with Swarovski rhinestones and brilliant crystals tied with metallic thread. Hand-beaded and finished with ivory satin finish ribbon. Can also be attached to a clasp with adjustable chain.
We love this entry level cuff for its size. The combination of light and darker crystals create depth while the assorted sized and shaped crystals give it a modern, forward shape. This is the cuff for those brides who can’t commit to larger cuffs. It’s a way to add that extra drama without taking away from anything else.
Description: Hand embroidered wedding jewelry. One of a kind bridal cuff bracelet made with vintage lace and hand embroidered with golden seed and bugle beads.
We love the geometric patterns incorporated in this design. The gold is slightly unexpected and looks great on more olive and darker skin tones. The delicate ivory threads create an almost crochet, dream catcher effect. Definitely has a unique cultural and architectural feel to it.
3. Beaded cuff with freshwater pearl detail by Haute Bride
Description: Custom designed for perfect fit. This cuff boasts at least three materials: rhinestone edging, silver bugle beads and various sized pastel colored pearls. Comes with a 2″ width band.
We love this cuff found this month in the pages of Brides magazine shown for a spring wedding look. Though delicate, it provides the juxtaposition of softness with this edgy, rock-n-roll over-sized piece.
Description: Glossy black freshwater pearls strung together in four delicate rows along with smoky rhinestones give this bracelet a polished look.
The second CZ crystal clear stones fashioned in a jagged setting creates a sumptuous look of freshly cut glass.
Though these are bracelets respectively on their own, combined, they create a cuff look with the layering. And still popular, Sex and the City ‘s Carrie made this fantasy bridal look a must to recreate. It amps up the wow factor while still staying eternally classy.
Tags: cuffs, jewelry, Wedding jewelry
Posted in Wedding Jewelry | No Comments »
The Wedding Guide would like to congratulate Wedding Guide bride Tiffany Hufham on her recent engagement.
The Language of Love
Aleksei Belousov and I (Tiffany Hufham) met when I stepped of the plane in Berlin Germany, in September of 2010. He and his brother-in-law had been sent by the school I was to attend to pick my friend Ray and I up form the airport. We were both foreign exchange students. He was from Kyrgyzstan and spoke Russian and I was from the United States speaking only English.
For the first few months we were just friends. I was learning German in the beginner classes and he was learning German in the intermediate classes. The first few months of our friendship and relationship were based on everyone translating everything for us. It was frustrating at times but I was able to pick up the language rather quickly and by November we could have small personal conversations.
Alex had become roommates with Ray and Ray was my best friend so we ended up spending a lot of time together. Alex and I would stay up till late at night playing card games or watching The Simpsons in English with Russian subtitles.
On November 21st Alex and I decided to take our friendship to the next level and we started dating. We were both still working on our German so sometimes we would have to go to the word dictionaries, and every once in a while we had to rely on Google Translate.
As time went on we grew to understand each other better and in a way found a language of our own based on the German language. We would make mistakes but we could understand each other and that was what mattered. The “language” we had created had made it so that I could understand Alex better than could the native German speakers, and he could understand me better.
During the ten months that I was there we went to a number of countries together and we spent our first Valentine’s Day in Paris, New Year’s Eve in Berlin, and Christmas in Prague. We tried all sorts of different foods and met tons of people.
In June my time in Germany was up and I had to fly back to the states to finish my schooling. Alex and I stayed together for a total of nine months. In September, right before I was to start school again, he ended it. I was completely devastated. He had been my first love and I knew no one was going to compare. So I prayed. I prayed over and over again that God would completely remove my love for Alex. However, He never did and my fears had come true. No one that I met had come even close to comparing to Alex.
During this time Alex had started the process of obtaining refugee status to the United States. In January of 2011 he flew into California to live. In February we started talking again and in March, over my spring break, we got back together. However, it was not easy. He was living in California and I was going to school in Washington State. So for the next four months we only talked over Skype and the phone, just like we had done after I flew back to the states.
In June I decided to move to California, where he was, and get into school there. I was in California from June until October when I realized that there was no way I was going to be able to get into the nursing program over there. My parents had just moved to Austin Texas to start a church and so Alex and I decided to move out to Texas together so I could try to get into school there. In October we loaded what little we had into our two vehicles and drove to a city we had never been to.
When we agreed to move to Texas, Alex decided he wanted to see the White Sands National Monument, which is in New Mexico. So after making it to Las Cruces, on the second day of our trip we decided to stop and go see the white sands. It was there as the sun was setting that he asked me to marry him by writing in the sand “Willst du mit mir heiraten?” (Will you marry me? in German). Naturally, I said yes. After spending another day in Las Cruces and visiting the White Sands one more time we finally made it to Austin. It was five days and almost 1,800 miles later. We got to Austin, found jobs and an apartment and once things had settled down some we decided to get married on March 24, 2013.
It is now April 2012. We have a little less than a year to plan the wedding. Alex and I still talk mostly in German but he is learning English pretty well and would be able to survive without me now. I, on the other hand, am learning Russian very slowly. But through everything we are happier than ever and we fall in love all over again every day.
We were on opposite sides of the world, speaking two completely different languages (the letters are not even the same) and somehow we still found each other. I honestly believe that God had us planned for each other and for Him the oceans and language barriers were nothing.
Tags: Bride of the Week, engagements, love stories
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By Shannon McCarthy & Veronica Lozano
One perk of planning your wedding is that you get to unleash the creative person in you and channel your own version of Martha Stewart, Colin Cowie and David Tutera. What is usually contained to hostessing duties on a much smaller scale will not compare to what could possibly be the biggest party you ever get the pleasure of coordinating. Yes…I said “the pleasure” of doing. After all, it is a party. And if you enjoy throwing parties on a smaller scale, just think of the possibilities…and all the possible themes you could create. The mind and imagination abound.
Luckily, spring is the perfect season to try some of the most whimsical trends because of the best selection of blooming flowers, and moderately temperate weather. From the simplest nuptial setup to the splashiest celeb celebrations, most wedding ceremonies have a theme or color scheme that unites decor, table settings, even floral styles.
Spring weddings are usually bursting with the bounty of the season, and this year is no different: Seasonal flowers like cabbage roses, peonies, tulips, dahlias and daisies form soft bouquets for both bride and surroundings. (The newest tip is to use faux flowers for your centerpieces, garlands and pomander balls.) Since it’s spring, invitations, table cards and napkins are festooned with foliage, flowers, butterflies and other signs of the season.
As for the “in” colors, they’re gorgeous. Pantone’s top color pick, Tangerine Tango, is a hot citrus orange, and David’s Bridal also taps begonia pink, freesia purple, apple red, coral and ocean blue as the wedding hues for spring. Wedding planners report the most popular overall themes are ranch (a.k.a. rustic), vintage and nautical, with fave venues being vineyards, gardens and farms.color trends, spring, themed weddings, themes, trends
Posted in Decor, Event Ideas, Favors, Flowers, Inspiration, Planning, Wedding Design | No Comments »
by Shannon McCarthy & Veronica Lozano
Are you the type of girl that never leaves the house without some well chosen accessories? Do you sometimes pick out an outfit based on your shoe selection first? Are you “that person” your friends invite first to all the jewelry shows? Then it’s probably safe to say you will put some thought into your accessories for your wedding.
You may stress over the dress, but picking out your big day embellishments should be fun. Narrowing down your choices might be the toughest part, because so many of these accessories are both gorgeous and quite affordable.
Elegant cover-ups could cost the most, but you won’t need much for spring weather. Perhaps a satin or lace bolero, cashmere or silk chiffon scarf, or the latest take, a delicately woven lace cape. Incorporating a delicate cover-up can not only be practical for those ceremonies with strict dress codes for the church, but also add to a variation of “looks” in your bridal pictures.
Jewelry need not be pricey: Faux pearl and crystal baubles are just as elegant as the real thing. (Look for floral motifs for a fresh take on bridal jewelry sets.) Especially with jewelry parties being all the rage from vendors like Silpada, lia sophia and Premiere, you could possibly even score some free jewelry as a hostess gift if you decide to throw a pre-wedding jewelry shower…or better yet, have one of your bridesmaids do it for you.
Trendy headpieces include sparkling headbands, glitzy head wraps encrusted with crystals, and bling-happy hair combs, picks and pins. Fun feather fascinators skew a little edgy, while veiled hats are both retro and very now. Birdcage veils also lend a vintage touch, and classic long veils are updated with muted colors. Most bridal shops now carry a good selection of alternatives to veils. Additionally, there are many local wholesalers who can offer even deeper discounts if you are looking to buy large quantities. This is a great option if you are planning on buying your bridesmaids their accessories as a gift.Tags: accessories, cover-ups, headpieces, jewelry, trends
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by Shannon McCarthy & Veronica Lozano
Let’s face it brides, when you ask your friends to stand up for you in your wedding, although they love you and will say yes, in the back of their minds they’re thinking, “Oh my gosh, please don’t let the dress be ugly or a million dollars.” One only needs to revisit the epic scene from last year’s hit movie Bridesmaids to understand the sentiment of most bridesmaids.
Helen: Ladies, I…I just don’t think we can do any better. This is…this is beautiful.
Rita: That is gorgeous.
[Annie takes a look at the price tag]
Helen: It is unique. It’s special. It’s couture. This is made in France.
Annie: Helen, this is um…this is eight hundred dollars.
Helen: Are you kidding? It’s on sale!
And unless you’re Helen with deep pockets and a size zero figure, as a bride, you should attempt to be thoughtful on the selection of your bridesmaid’s dresses.
So let’s bid a not-so-fond farewell to the age of hideous bridesmaid attire. With all the online resources for scoping out the best dresses, there’s no excuse for settling on something less than stellar.
Theere’s always the classic satin charmeuse strapless sheath to fall back on, but designers have tweaked the classic bridesmaid dress, and it’s now a frock to be worn way more than once. Improvements include cuts that mimic stylish cocktail gowns, removable ribbon or bow sashes, subtle floral appliques and flattering bateau necklines. Also more becoming are higher hemlines and matte satins that don’t wrinkle or show off figure flaws.
Want your girls to be super stylish? Color-blocked dresses, with darker skirts and lighter bodices, are both slimming and on trend. Bold hues are also of-the-moment: Try grass green, fuchsia or bright blue for a modern kick. And the best bridesmaid dress trend of all? Keeping the color exactly the same, but letting each friend pick out her fave style and silhouette.Tags: bridesmaid, bridesmaids, bridesmaids dresses, dresses, style trends, trends
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The Wedding Guide would like to congratulate Wedding Guide bride Kristi Lewis on her recent engagement.
Love Found on the Playground
I remember the first time I saw Andres Lavin like it was only yesterday. It was the summer going into our 5th grade year. I was standing in the doorway of the gym and he was walking across the playground in my direction. We spoke a few times that summer but that was about it.
For over 18 years we lived in the same small town but never really got to know each other. One day while at work I went to the cafeteria to get some ice and there he was standing in front of me, so handsome. I couldn’t believe my eyes! We smiled and said hello. When I went back to work I could not stop thinking about him . Later I added him on facebook. I tried to send him a message so many times but I was so nervous, I just couldn’t do it.
Let’s fast forward a little to December of 2011. Our company held its annual Christmas party on Dec 31st and I was supposed to go with one of my best guy friends, but I was stood up at the last minute. I almost didn’t go but decided that I would anyway. After the party I went out to a local bar with some of my friends. We were all having a great time and out of the blue there he was again walking towards me. I had this flashback of the very first time I saw him. I froze in my own little world. Again, we just smiled but never spoke.
Two days later I was at work and I got a Facebook notification on my phone that I had a new message. It was from him. I could not open that message fast enough. ”Hey how is your day going?” That is all it took and from that moment on we haven’t stopped talking.
I told him I remember seeing him that summer and he thought I was lying. He couldn’t remember me and I couldn’t forget him. He is the most amazing man I have ever met. He goes out of his way to make me smile. No matter what we are doing we are always laughing and having the best time. He has gone from a single man going out with his friends almost every night to having a fiancé and two kids, going to birthday parties and baseball practice every night. I could not ask for a better man to share the rest of my life with. I believe that everything happens for a reason and had my friend shown up that night I may not have gone out to the bar after and I may never have met the man of my dreams.
For so many years I would relive that moment that I saw him walking across the playground. I didn’t understand why then, but now I know it is because he is my dream come true. I finally have my happily ever after! And it is better than anything I could have ever imagined. We plan to marry Feb 24, 2013 on his grandparents 76 wedding anniversary.
Tags: be our bride of the week, Bride of the Week
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Today we finish up our list of excellent tips for the newly engaged bride-to-be who may need guidance in creating a schedule of services and routines prior to her wedding. Most of these tips are fairly simple and have both a low and high end option for achieving the desired effect.
Who knew inexpensive things like vaseline, avocados and olive oil could prove to be such valuable beauty tools in your arsenal? Let us know how some of these tips worked out for you.
Take care of your lips each night by applying a generous coat of lip balm or Vaseline. “Gently rub it over your lips in a circular motion with a wet washcloth,” says makeup artist Mally Roncal. This will exfoliate and soften your lips at the same time. Go for a glossy lip on your wedding day. A matte lipstick will look classic but may not hold as long, and could crack and wear down. Put a gloss over your lipstick to cover up those imperfections.
Want to splurge? Some salons offer special lip treatments that focus on exfoliating, moisturizing and energizing your lips!
12. Get Longer Lashes
If you weren’t blessed with long lashes, consider trying false ones. Don’t want to look overdone? Get a softer, more romantic look by applying half lashes in the outer corners of your eyes. Longer lashes will enhance the shape of your eyes and focus all attention on you. Don’t want runny mascara on your wedding day? Try this: Apply your favorite mascara, and curl your lashes. Then apply a top coat of some waterproof mascara. This will give you beautifully curled lashes without the heavy feeling that many waterproof products have.
Want to splurge? Get semipermanent lash extensions at a salon. Extensions eliminate the need for mascara, which can actually lead to healthier eyes and lashes. They also last much longer than at-home kits. Applications stay on until they fall out naturally (you’ll have to get touch-ups every two to three weeks).
13. Get Smooth Skin
Have a tough-to-treat spot like dry elbows? A good body scrub in the shower will get rid of dead skin. Then, moisturize with a good almond butter or shea butter lotion. Wrap your elbows in a cloth and keep the moisturizer on for about an hour.
Want to splurge? Get a full-body scrub at a salon for allover smooth skin. Go for a sugar scrub for a soft and sweet-smelling finish.
Work with your hairstylist to map out your hair care plan of attack. Try an at-home treatment with your favorite conditioner and mashed-up avocado. The creaminess of the avocado will increase your hair’s silkiness. Start doing weekly treatments months before your wedding if you can. For an extra-glossy finish, look for shampoos and conditioners infused with olive oil. The oil helps tone down frizz and boost shine.
Want to splurge? Go to your salon and have your stylist give you a customized conditioning treatment for your hair type. For example, curly hair needs more moisture than straight hair. Your stylist will treat your hair type accordingly.
15. Plan Hair Removal
That little peach fuzz just above your upper lip may not seem like a big deal in your everyday life, but you don’t want it showing up in wedding photos. Start getting monthly waxes for best results. Not into the pain? Salons now offer special waxes like chocolate wax and sugaring (a sugar paste), which are great if you’re looking to walk out of the salon without too many sore spots.
Want to splurge? Get ready for your honeymoon by booking laser hair removal appointments in one month intervals (three treatments are recommended for best results). After around seven treatments, the results can be permanent.
* Tips provided from The Knot
Tags: Beauty, fitness, makeup, planning, pre-wedding beauty
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