Wednesday, 25 February 2009

London Fashion Week report: ISSA

In the midst of black and white, out came coral and clementine at the Brazilian designer Daniella Helayel’s show this week in London. These colours pop like Carnival in Rio and could be a great combo for bouquets, centrepieces and bridesmaid dresses. If this colour scheme is up your alley then why not print out this page and bring it to your florist to see what flowers fit this palette?

For more details on Issa’s runway show go to:

London Fashion Week report: ERDEM

Primary colours, poofy skirts, painterly stylings and body hugging gowns were all spotted on the Erdem runway for the Fall/Winter 2009 collection. Erdem Moralioglu is one to watch in London and if you are looking for some modern inspiration for your bridesmaids then definitely take a look at the link below for more details on the designer and his latest designs.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

DRAMA = The Registry Part I: What and Where?

One of the most enjoyable, though potentially aggravating elements of getting engaged is The Registry. Shopping for your registry can be a fabulous party but lots of questions can arise when it comes to registering such as: Where should I register? How many registries should I have? And many more. Here are some answers to those registry questions that can turn your stress into a solution allowing you to saunter in shops selecting the crystal you have always dreamed of or the honeymoon you are wishing for…

Question: What should I register for?
Let’s start at the very beginning – If you are a couple who has never lived together then chances are you will need a ton of stuff for your new home from casual china to furniture. Take a look at the link just below for some ideas brought to you by The Knot. The list includes everything you could possibly want for you new home. Don’t feel bound by the rules of the registry – if you are a casual couple who prefers margaritas to martinis and don’t do formal dinner parties then formal dinner china might not be your top pick. But you might be able to use pots and pans, an espresso machine, a new couch, and bathroom towels, to name a few. Think of who you are as a couple and what you like. Make registering a fun shopping excursion to outfit your new home with all the goodies and necessities that suit your style.

Now, if you are a couple who has lived together for some time then you probably already have a lot of the basics. Why not use the registry to upgrade your home, to add the formal elements that you haven’t invested in as of yet such as bone china, glassware or 600-thread count sheets. You could also register for items that will have sentimental value that you might even be able to use at the wedding such as a sterling silver Tiffany cake knife that could be used to cut your wedding cake. If you and your fiancĂ© are foodies then why not register for the top line copper pots you always dreamed of or the 13-piece Global knife set that you have had your eye on for ages?

If you are the couple who has it all and you don’t really need extra things for the home, then why not register for your honeymoon? There are many services that can help you with this. In the UK, check out Trailfinders. In the US, take a look at Traveler’s Joy. Some hotel chains, such as Starwood even allow you to register for your honeymoon directly. Do keep in mind that many honeymoon registries will charge your guests a fee for their purchase so check on these fees before setting up your registry so that you can help your guests get the best deal for their gifts. After all, they are doing something lovely for you, why not do your part to help them along the way?

Another option is to add a charity onto your registry. You can register directly with numerous charities based on the cause that is closest to your heart such as: UNICEF, Human Rights Watch, Sierra Club, Rainforest Alliance, Habitat for Humanity, Doctors without Borders, Breast Cancer Research Fund and Save the Children – the list goes on and on. You can even nominate your own charity if you don’t see it on the list.
However, if you don’t want to register for charity gifts but still want to help out then why not set up an account with and register with one of the stores listed on their site? Then you can select a charity there so that Wedding Channel will make a donation to the charity of your choice every time one of your guests buys a gift.
For more information on a Charity Registry go to:

Finally, I think it is important to note that you should take into account two things before you begin your registry:

1. Your Guest List:
Think of your guests and what they would likely spend on your wedding gift. Make sure that your registry includes a few lower priced gifts, many middle priced gifts and a few select higher priced gifts because you don’t want to register for all inexpensive items and leave your guests without the option to buy you a bigger gift. The same goes for registering for only very expensive gifts – you want to make sure that your guests have items to choose from that they can afford.

2. Be Smart About Your Registry:
By this I mean that you should think about what you are registering for. Is it something you love? Is it a must have? There is a chance that you may not finish your registry so be sure to register for items that you adore and that fit with your style. After all, you don’t want to end up with 5 different vases each in a different style that don’t match anything in your home or a lamp that is uber cool but clashes with your apartment. We can all make the impulsive registry purchase but the key is to go back and review your registry before finalising it so that you don’t end us asking yourself what you were thinking when you open your gifts 6 months later! Luckily online registries allow you to make changes time and time again so take advantage of this.
Question: Where should I register?
This question all depends on how you are looking to build your registry. If you are buying the basics for your home then take a look at the major department stores in your country or state. The bigger department stores and chain stores tend to be more reliable and have a bigger selection than smaller registry only companies. If you are looking for specialty goods like crystal or cookware then go to chain stores that you know you can trust. Each city has different options available so take a look locally to see what is available.
It is important to keep in mind that every store has their own policy for delivery, exchanges and returns. When you set up your registry appointment or when you visit the store you choose to register your gifts in, please be sure to inquire about their policies. Some stores deliver all gifts to you as they are ordered. Others wait until after your registry closes to send you the gifts. Just check the policy and make sure you are happy with it before posting your registry online for guests to view.

Take a look at the list of registries at the end of this post to see some examples of all of the different options you have….

IMPORTANT NOTE: I would recommend staying away from small registry companies that are not linked directly to stores or that have just opened, since they can be less reliable. For example, from my own experience, my husband and I registered most of our registry with Bloomingdales in the US, which has been great, and the rest of our registry with a UK registry company called WrapIt. On our honeymoon in Bali we received notification that WrapIt had filed for bankruptcy and so we would not receive any of our gifts. In addition, only our guests from the UK who bought us gifts at WrapIt received their money back as credit card companies from other countries did not know about the bankruptcy claim.
The moral of the story is – try to stick with bigger stores especially during this volatile economic environment.

Stay tuned to the No Drama column for The Registry Part II for answers to more of your registry questions.



Neiman Marcus


Crate and Barrel

Williams Sonoma

Pottery Barn
Bed Bath & Beyond

John Lewis



The Wedding Shop

William Ashley


Pottery Barn

Friday, 20 February 2009

Invitations to take your breath away & favours too! – EAST SIX

Stacey and Marina are the owners of East Six, an invitation design and production company based in New York. They are creative and outgoing, have been friends since they were just 6 years old, and today work with brides and grooms to design unique invitations to suit whatever their clients’ taste – whether romantic, eclectic, modern or classic – they do it all. They make sure that your personality always shines through their work from your Save the Dates to your invitations, menus and place cards.

*Great favour idea
East Six also provides printing options for favours or pieces of your welcome gift baskets. They can do anything from customising wine bottles to cigars – anything that you fancy… They have the magic touch transforming any favour from the ordinary into the extraordinary!

For more information, please visit their website at:

Thursday, 19 February 2009

New York Fashion Week report: BADGLEY MISCHKA

Sweethearts, one-shoulder and petal shaped gowns were all spotted along the Badgley Mischka Fall runway. Shiny satins and silks draped the models in elegant designs. The sweetheart gown shown above is my personal favourite and could make for an amazing silhouette for a bridal gown. While the short dresses and long gowns from his Fall collection would be great for your maid of honour and your bridesmaids, don’t forget to take a look at his bridal line for that perfect wedding dress.

To view all of the designs from Badgley Mischka’s new Fall 2009 collection go to:

Check out his bridal line here:

Monday, 16 February 2009

New York Fashion Week: JASON WU

Following Michelle Obama's stunning debut at the Inaugural Ball in a Jason Wu gown, Jason Wu has now presented us with a fairytale line of dresses and gowns that will prove great inspiration for any bride who enjoys a bit of romance. The pieces offer up a modern twist to the old romantic with some spice thrown in by the addition of feathers and ruffles. His line is for the uptown girl that loves a swing skirt or the hopeless romantic who adored the gowns and dresses worn by SJP on Sex and City (especially those worn in the last two Paris-based episodes). Jason Wu’s collection will surely make anyone feel like the belle of the ball. If you aren’t able to outfit yourself and your bridesmaids in Jason Wu, then do take a look at the silhouettes he has created and bring them to your dress maker or go to your local department store and see what similar designs they offer.

To view more photos of Jason’s Wu’s runway show please go to:

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Surprise bridal designer of the moment: J CREW

With all of the amazing runway shows this year, I am guessing that you are all a bit surprised by this nomination (hence the title) but I think that J Crew is quite worthy of this title. The brand is well known across America but has only recently entered the bridal market. In just a few years they have reinvented themselves and added a bridal range that keeps on growing and is also affordable. Their designs represent the simple beautiful look J Crew is known for and are also spot on with the bridal trends. For example, if you like top bridal designers like Amsale, the 2 dresses shown above might be perfect for you if you want to save some money on your dress but still look gorgeous, modern and fashionable. These dresses are ideal if you are looking for a simple, clean style that is fresh and youthful. I adore the dresses shown above – they would be such a great match for a beach wedding or a luxe countryside wedding.

For more info on the J Crew bridal line go to:

Welcome to FASHION WEEK!

In honour of the upcoming fashion weeks in New York, London, Milan, Paris and LA, in the weeks to come I will include fashion updates on the styles we are seeing for Fall/Winter 2009 on the runways as this is where trends are made. Some of the key trends of each season in prĂȘt-a-porter and couture fashion end up in a derivative form on the bridal runways and so I am hoping that some of what you see on the runways now can inspire you for your gown choices and style for your own weddings. Maybe you will like a certain cut that you see or a hot new colour that would be perfect for your flower arrangements or bridesmaid gowns. Since New York fashion week starts tomorrow, I will be spotlighting the surprise bridal designer of the moment later today as a way to kick off my reporting. Stay tuned for Fashion Week news…

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

AMSALE unveils their Little White Dress

This Thursday evening Amsale will be entertaining brides-to-be and their entourage at their Flagship store in New York to unveil their newest collection. If like me, you are loving their recent runway show pics (see link below) then this is definitely an event not to be missed. What makes this event even more fabulous is the discount. Yes, ladies there will be discounts of 10% off your purchase of a little white dress (LWD) or 15% off a purchase of 2 or more LWDs! Also, if you show up in a little black dress you will receive a gift from Amsale. Have fun!

Amsale Flagship Salon
625 Madison Avenue
Thursday, February 12, 2009
6:30 to 9:30pm
RSVP 1-212-583-1700

If you are on the west coast, don’t worry because there are two upcoming Amsale trunk shows taking place in Texas. See below for details.

Louise Blum
Houston, TX
February 6-7
Please call for an appointment

Bridal Salon of San Antonio
San Antonio, TX
February 6-7
Please call for an appointment

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Spotlight on: MONTANA, USA

If the holiday season and snowfall has left you inspired for a wedding of sleighbells, ski slopes and snowflakes or if you desire sunshine and nature in its purest form without all the crowds of Colorado and Utah, then you will love Montana. Snowy mountain peaks or fields of green – rustic beauty at its finest.

With two mountain ranges and over 130 named lakes, Glacier National Park is a wonderful location for a Montana wedding. Close to Glacier you will find The Resort at Paws Up, a resort that can accommodate brides and grooms of every style from those that want to be more adventurous in a luxe tent to those that want full on rustic luxury at the upscale Wilderness Estates.

Big Sky is breathtaking and just 19 miles from Yellowstone National Park . It has tons of rustic lodges, barns or private estates for wedding venues. A great location in Big Sky is Big EZ lodge. Check it out:

Or you could go to Livingstone, a town filled with western charm with a population of 7000 and also where “A River Runs Through It” was filmed. If you are looking to find a location where you and all of your wedding party, family and guests could stay in charming rustic cabins, then take a look at Chico Hot Springs Resort.

There are a few really amazing photographers out in Montana – in fact two of my personal favourites reside there: Mery Donald (see photo above) and Melanie Nashan. Their individual styles take advantage of the natural surroundings; the photos are beautiful and very publishable for all of those brides–to-be who want to see themselves in a bridal magazine a year after the big day.

Melanie Nashan:

Finally, I just want to encourage you to take just one look at Montana – I dare you not to be inspired by Mother Nature and the beauty of the American landscape.

Friday, 6 February 2009

Best accessory for a Bridesmaid: A Perfect Date (something to make you laugh on a Friday)

Your bridesmaids are probably thinking – What is the perfect accessory for my dress? Pearl or chandelier earrings? Silver strappy Jimmy Choos? A fabulous bag to carry all elements that a bride needs to be her gorgeous self on her wedding day (e.g. perfume, powder, lip gloss, deodorant and Snickers bar for energy)?

Nope – the perfect accessory for any bridesmaid is the perfect date. I personally experienced the glory of my best friend bringing the perfect date (let’s call him Dr. Steve). Dr. Steve turned up after a 20+ hour flight from South Africa bright eyed and bushy tailed in a tiny rural village in the Italian countryside ready and more than willing to help with any and everything asked of him. The glory of this wedding date was that he wanted to join in on the fun of getting ready for the wedding. Everyone in the wedding party, as well as the dates that I was good friends with, all chipped in to help organise the villa for the wedding ceremony – from cleaning the pool area to sitting and putting the cones together petal by petal to throw after the ceremony. Dr. Steve, meanwhile, being a guest I had never met before, was not required to do anything but lay by the pool and relax. However, Dr. Steve happily jumped up and helped out with everything from the cleaning to the last minute details for the wedding. He kept the laughter going throughout all of the activities and managed any stress I could have been feeling – but never felt thanks to Dr. Steve, and of course my wonderful and beautiful maid of honour, bridesmaids and bridesman. Dr. Steve even went as far as to cue the wedding party when they should walk down the aisle and then cued the band for each of the speeches and the cake! Dr. Steve went above and beyond the call of duty of any wedding guest and he was rewarded in the end with a specialised bottle of Polish vodka from my husband’s family from Krakow, Poland.

This is an example of the perfect date and so with a cheeky grin, I would like to say to all brides-to-be: Please ask your bridesmaids to choose their date wisely, if possible, since their date if he is anything like Dr. Steve, would be the perfect accessory to their dress and the perfect gift to their best friend for her wedding day.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

DRAMA = Destination Weddings: How to create a menu when you are dealing with foreign food?

You love your oysters on the half shell and your seared tuna with lemon and caviar or you just adore fried chicken, crab cakes and mini burgers. You are dying for your specialized watermelon wedding cocktail that has a pink hue (to match your fuchsia pink peony bouquet) and a sugar coated rim. But your wedding is in Mexico, Italy, the Caribbean or Spain and they don’t do that type of food and don’t have a special mixologist to create your wedding cocktail. You could argue with the chefs and provide them with the menu from venues back home or recipes from your favourite restaurant but that would be forcing food and drink on them that they don’t really know how to make or know what the meals should taste like. How do you find your happy place when your dream menu falls apart?

You accept what you can’t change and remember why you chose your destination. Look at it as an adventure to explore the local cuisine. These chefs will know what is in season, what type of food is available and what will work with the climate. Trust them in this. Definitely do a tasting or two to make sure you like the taste of the food but trust that they know what flavours are native to that region. Your guests are travelling far and wide for an escapade to a new land to see you get married – make sure that you embrace the local culture. After all, if you don’t, then why did you select that location after all? Make the most of the cuisine and talk to the chefs honestly during and after the tastings regarding what you like and what you don’t. Food adds flavour to a wedding so keep that in mind when you think of your vision for your exotic destination.

As for cocktails, if your venue doesn’t do cocktails then stick with wonderful wines and simple mixed drinks but do find out if they have any local vineyards. Rather than focusing on cocktails you could focus on wine by serving a different wine specific to each course starting with a champagne or sparkling wine and ending with a digestif (after dinner drink) such as grappa, cognac, limoncello or scotch – try to find one from the region. If you are creating menus for the table be sure to add the wine that is matched to each course along with a description of the flavour so that guests can learn about the local wines and also find out where to purchase the ones that they enjoyed. Also, don’t forget that a bottle of wine or alcohol from a nearby vineyard or distillery could be part of a great welcome gift!

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

A designer to love: Reem Acra

Reem Acra is one of my favourite designers hands down! My gown was from Reem Acra (so I am a bit biased) but have you seen the Golden Globes this year or the Inauguration Ball pics? Reem was spotted all over from Tinsel town to the Capital. From Eva Longoria’s magnificent red floor length trumpet gown to the lavender gown worn by House M.D. star Olivia Wilde to Jill Biden's fabulous red evening gown that she wore dancing at the Inaugural balls. Reem Acra's style is innovative, surprising, detailed and dripping with just the right amount of glamour. Believe me - any girl will feel like royalty in one of her gowns. The affect on your guests could just be magical...
Take a look at the beauty that is Reem Acra:

The Dessert Table – and you thought you could only have wedding cake or cupcakes….

Amy Atlas creates mouth-watering and uber-chic dessert tables that appeal to every bride’s, groom’s and guest's child at heart. She designs the display based on your wedding vision with scrumptious delights from wedding cakes and chocolate-covered fruit to truffles, cupcakes and gourmet candies.
Find out more at:

Two of my favourite deserts to add to a wedding table would be French macaroons from La Duree and chocolates from the Belgian chocolatier, Pierre Marcolini. Macarons are beautiful and taste like they fell from the heavens while the tiny chocolate squares with the gold leaves are like tiny bits of thick, rich chocolatey perfection – the way chocolate was intended to taste.

For more information on these desserts please go to:

If you are more of a DIY bride or if you just have to have a gourmet dessert table but are already prioritizing your wedding gown or the 21-piece swing band and don’t have enough room in your budget for all of the desserts, then don't worry - Here are some easy ways to create the dessert table of your dreams that won’t cost a fortune:

1. If you love the idea of a dessert table but want the big wedding cake for the photos and your budget doesn’t allow both, there is always the Styrofoam wedding cake. I, personally, love a great wedding cake and the tradition that goes around it but when you have a budget to work to and the dessert table with different types of sweets sounds like your style then this is definitely an option to consider.
For more info on this idea, check out:

2. Go to your favourite bakery and work with them to select the cakes and chocolates that you love. Make sure to order them in advance so that all of your desserts match your colour scheme because remember – the idea is to have a chic and fun table full of yummy desserts that fits into your vision for the wedding, not a table reminiscent of a sweet sixteen party. So be sure to bring photos and ideas to the bakery so that everyone knows what the final product will look like. Then you could supplement the baked goods with candies or chocolates that would match your colour-scheme. Before starting, cut out photos of ideas and create a collage so that you know what you would like your dessert table to look like.

3. Another option is to have lots of smaller wedding cakes and skip the 1 wedding cake - because who ever said 1 cake is enough?

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Drama Drama Drama

Weddings are amazing, beautiful and fantastically fun but in the run up to a wedding an upsuspecting bride and groom can face many obstacles and often too much drama that at times can feel like it drowns the wine and roses. If you are a romcom fanatic like me or a believer in fairytales or just someone that wants to plan their wedding without all the drama, then I hope to be able to help you. I am not a psychiatrist or even a psychologist - I am just a girl who got married and came up against one too many obstacles for her own good. So now whilst helping pick flowers, invitation fonts, calypso bands and castles, I am also here to listen and try to help people to see the bigger picture and figure a way back to happily ever after to what a wedding can be and should be - your most favourite and fabulous day ever...From now on, I will include a weekly feature Q&A regarding possible wedding dilemmas that you may come across. If you would like your question to be included, please email me at

In the meantime, check out these message boards to vent your frustrations or to gain comfort from the fact that so many others are in the same pre-wedding boat...

Diamonds are a girl's best friend, but how do choose the right BFF for you?

If you are thinking of getting engaged, are all ready engaged or just dreaming of getting married, chances are you may already know the 4 Cs - Cut, Colour, Clarity and Carat. But how do you know which design is for you and how do you lightly advise your fiance on how to buy your ring (if any advisement is necessary, which in most cases it is - Romcoms don't mention this part of the happily ever after!). To figure out the design you like most, take a look at - the site shows you different cuts of diamonds and settings so you will have an idea of what you might like. Also, look around at the pricier jewelry sites. While an 8 carat stone might be out of your price range, the larger rings give you a close up look to further help you see what styles you like. My favourite jewelry site is The gems are just breathtaking!

As for how to buy an engagment ring, being raised in New York with access to the diamond district and living in Brussels, which is close to the famous diamond-filled city of Antwerp, I would like to think that I have learned a thing or two about purchasing diamonds. While Tiffany, Graff and De Beers are all superb, not to mention Marilyn's favourite Mr. Harry Winston, the secret within the jewelry industry is to buy the gem first and then work with a jeweler to place it in the setting of your choice. This way, you are strictly paying for the quality of the diamond (or ruby or sapphire or any other gemstone of your choice). I won't kid you - this is a more time consuming option for fiance's but it is worth it!

Luxury in credit crunch times

I got married last summer in July 2008. As my fiance and I lived in London at the time and had lived in Brussels the five years before, we planned our wedding in Italy and my parents then threw us a separate reception in New York. My fiance and I wanted a fabulous wedding but didn't want to break the bank so we prioritized. Despite the current economy, a bride shouldn't be punished for the day or year her fiance proposes (or when she proposes). So I believe that all brides should have their dream wedding no matter what the year. How can we do this you ask? Prioritization. Make a list and figure out what elements of your wedding will make your wedding perfect. What are the key pieces that you want to set the mood? Location always matters so do keep that in mind. New Yorkers are right in the mantra: Location Location Location. Venues set the tone of a wedding so choose wisely - Outdoors in the open wilderness? Under a tent or marquee perhaps? Inside a temple, church or cathedral? In your parents' house? It all matters. Beyond the location, you want to think about who you are - Are you foodies? Wine connoissieurs? Music lovers? Are you a fashionista or environmental activist? After the location, these are the questions that you should be asking yourself to decide what other elements should be prioritised. Beyond these top 2-3 items that set the stage of the wedding, that is where the other elements come in and where you can begin to cut costs. There are tons of cost saving measures and they aren't all DIY options so if you aren't crafty don't worry! Just keep in mind that the first major step you can make is to prioritise.

Photography au natural

There is just something about wedding photos taken outside in nature. Mother nature just adds that je ne sais quoi to all wedding photos and Corbin Gurkin seems to be able to capture this natural beauty whilst making the bride and groom just as beautiful, if not more beautiful than even the most glorious surroundings. If you are looking for a photographer with a range from photojournalistic candid shots to editorial pics a la Vanity Fair and even the classic portraits, go no farther than Corbin. The beauty is just undeniable...

Location of the week: Fairmont Banff Springs, Canada

I adore this location. It is surrounded by spectacular natural beauty. No matter what the season - this is a memorable location for an enchanting event that will have leave guests fascinated! Plenty of exciting activities for a weekend wedding in the majestic Canadian rockies. Definitely a destination to explore...